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Summer Summer Activities

Red Cross Learn to Swim Program Review + Tips!

I have a not-so-secret secret. Not so secret because virtually everyone who knows me knows this about me, but still a secret since I have never mentioned it here before.

I didn’t know how to swim.

As in zero. Like I couldn’t even float to save my life (literally). All my adult life I believed I just couldn’t float and wasn’t built to move in the water…which turned out wrong thank God.

When I was young, my parents attempted to teach me and I “sort of” learned how to do the basics. But when I was in high school, I got into a near-drowning incident while on a class outing, and I abandoned all hopes of ever trying to swim again. I wasn’t exactly afraid of the water, but I panicked whenever I couldn’t hold on to something. So I guess that means I really was afraid of the water but was just in denial hehe.

Because of this fear, I was determined to make sure that Yuri learns how to swim. Job is a swimmer himself and has wanted to teach Yuri (and me) how to swim, but since he’s still thousands of miles away, we decided to enroll Yuri in Red Cross Learn to Swim summer program for now.

Ready to conquer the water!

And then I thought about it. Maybe it’s not too late to conquer my fear and finally learn to swim? Long story short, I decided to enroll myself too. It might not be too late after all!

And ready to conquer my fear! (Please don’t mind the messy background haha)

Red Cross Learn to Swim Program Details

Fee: P1000
Duration: 5 days at 2 hours/day
Schedule: Not sure if this is true with all locations, but there were three time slots to choose from in our case – 8-10 AM, 3-5 PM, 6-8 PM.

We chose the 3-5 PM class at our preferred location, Garden Oases. At 40 minutes of travel time, it’s not exactly near our house but it’s one of the nearest among the several pool locations they offered. Our class started right after Yuri’s Jollibee Mini Managers summer program ended, so it was a busy month for us!

Before I proceed with my review, here’s the outcome of the program. Yuri knows how to float and dive and swim a bit. He just turned 6 and I don’t expect him to have full coordination, but he enjoys it so much and at least he knows what to do when he’s under the water. He just needs to practice how to control his movements.

Segue: Yuri was grouped together with a really stubborn boy because they were the same age. He was found problematic by all the instructors who handled them and I couldn’t help but think he dragged the entire group (well, only Yuri because it was just the two of them) down. Instead of teaching them new lessons, the instructor would spend a lot of time disciplining the other boy and making sure he doesn’t do anything dangerous (one time he pushed Yuri backwards when Yuri was standing by the pool). Half of the time Yuri was fending for himself so when I see Yuri trying his best to swim, I feel proud. Despite the odds, he tried his best to learn!

As for me, I can finally swim at 27 (almost 28)! I am by no means great at it, but I can finally do it which, for me, is a big departure from not even being able to float at all.

That was 5 days of ZERO makeup, not even a trace of brow pencil or lip tint! It felt nice 😀

Anyway, here’s my review!

Location

I like that we are offered several locations to choose from. They also publish the pool fees from the get-go so everything is transparent.

Parking was hard during the first couple of days because a convention was taking place in the hotel

Like I mentioned, we chose Garden Oases. The pool is clean and there are plenty of tables for the watchers. There’s also a poolside restaurant for those who want to order food. The kiddie pool is 2 feet deep which is perfect for Yuri’s age group. Meanwhile, the big pool goes from 1 foot to 6 feet to suit the rest of the age groups. The water didn’t reek of chlorine, too!

I really liked the shower room. It’s clean and spacious with enough racks for clothes, towels, and toiletries. There are also lockers provided if you pay a fee of P50. Lastly, I’m not sure if this is the case with all locations, but in Garden Oases, there’s always a lifeguard around despite the abundance of Red Cross junior lifeguards.

Instructors

I was surprised to see that the swimming teachers were way younger than me! In fact, I thought they were assisting the “real” instructors when I first saw them. But they turned out to be very adept in this field (being Red Cross Junior Lifeguards) and serious in teaching. Even though they were young (there were adult students in my batch, me included, but it didn’t matter to them), it was never an issue since they established themselves as the persons of authority in and around the water.

There were a few instructors not in this picture, including Yuri’s teacher who was the only girl in the instructor group

I also felt confident with them around (I can’t see where Yuri is most of the time as he’s either in the kiddie pool or in the shallow end of the big pool) because they’re trained not only to swim but also to save lives.

And another thing. They don’t use floaters or pool noodles or kickboards to teach. I saw that they had those, but I don’t think I can recall Yuri using these implements; instead, everyone had to learn how to float and swim without the help of any floating device. And take it from me who had zero knowledge about swimming: you can learn to swim without them.

(Interestingly, they use an image of children using kickboards in the completion certificate, so maybe this is not true with all locations.)

Fees

At P1000 for 5 days, their fee is one of the lowest around. This is considering how the class will be taught by people who have undergone intense professional training.

The fee doesn’t include pool rates, which they are clear about upon enrollment. But even if you add the pool fees for 5 days, it’s still cheaper than most. For example, in our case, we pay P150 per person per day. That’s P750 for 5 days plus P1000 so it’s a total of P1750 per person. I saw other programs charge waaay higher than that, which makes the Red Cross program a good deal.


I’m so happy we decided to enroll in Red Cross Learn to Swim Program. Here are some tips for you if you decide to enroll your kid (or yourself!) in the program:

My pool essentials!

  • Wait until the classes start and the instructor requires it before buying a swimming cap. Upon enrollment, we were required to buy both a cap and goggles, but we ended up using only the goggles.
  • Make sure you buy good-quality goggles because you’re gonna be using them all the time. Doesn’t have to be Speedo or anything expensive though! (Ours cost less than P200 apiece but did the job pretty well)
  • There’s no need to buy plenty of rash guards or swimwear. A lot of students were wash-and-wearing their swimming outfits and it didn’t matter
  • Wear slippers to the pool (no need to buy swim shoes or anything special)
  • Always wear sunscreen! There’s a 10- minute break after the first hour so take this opportunity to reapply. Take your skin seriously! 😉
  • Bring snacks and water but nothing too heavy on the stomach
  • And lastly, please teach your children, especially the young ones, to stay close to their instructors and follow their instructions carefully. There is a time to learn and a time to play, but most importantly, they should always be safe.
Summer Summer Activities

Our Jollibee Mini Managers Experience!

Hello, hello, hello, I’m still alive!

I never thought I would be this busy during summer break — and we still have more than a full month before school starts. I think I’m busier now than I was during the school year. Yes I know, I’m such a noob hahaha. I haven’t blogged since the beginning of this month, and I’m taking some time to do it now because I’m having the day off.

A very welcome day off after weeks of getting Yuri from activity to activity lol.

Let’s start with Jollibee Mini Managers!

Way back in March, when school hasn’t ended yet, we were already choosing between Jollibee and McDonald’s. I read positive reviews from both, so for me, either option will do (also, since I have worked with both Jollibee and McDonald’s in the past — 3 years apart I think — and both had been great clients). We decided to choose just one since we think it’s gonna be pretty redundant to do both Mini Managers and Kiddie Crew in one summer. Of course, we let Yuri do the choosing.

He’s at this stage where he likes wearing polo and collared shirts (got it from the dad methinks), so he took one look at the Mini Managers uniform and he was sold haha.

He’s also at this stage where he prefers being called “Gabe”

We reserved a slot early (March 14th if I remember correctly) for Week 2 at Jollibee Buhangin since it’s the branch nearest our house. There’s actually another branch just 2 minutes away from us; unfortunately, they don’t do Mini Managers.

Jollibee Mini Managers Details (2018)

Fee: P650 (includes uniform, nameplate, snacks, materials)
Duration: 6 days, 2 hours/day (in our case, it was Tuesday to Sunday)
Schedule: 9 – 11 AM (may depend on the branch)

We were there from April 17th to 22nd. It was a pretty fun week watching Yuri and his batch mates around Jollibee, doing activities and trying to learn how stuff work. Okay, here’s my detailed review of Jollibee Mini Managers. Take note that I have no point of comparison since I’ve never tried McDonald’s Kiddie Crew either, so please use this as someone’s retelling of an experience and not a specific manual.

Activities

Even if I stayed to watch Yuri every day, I could never be too sure of their specific activities since they were inside the function room and we were outside. I do remember that they usually begin the day by singing and dancing. They did not do actual crew work like serving customers, but the older ones were allowed to help man the registers. The younger ones helped greet customers at the entrance and at the drive-through window.

Here are the other major activities I remember doing:

  • Crafts: drawing, making foam airplanes, making picture frames for family pictures
  • Song and dance number for the customers
  • Inspecting the parts of the restaurant that need cleaning/fixing
  • Getting customer “surveys”
  • Making Jollibee Yumburgers

Food

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they were served a different kind of meal each day. They got the following:

  • Day 1: Spaghetti
  • Day 2: Burger Steak
  • Day 3: Jolly Hotdog
  • Day 4: Lumpia Shanghai
  • Day 5: Spaghetti, French Fries + the Burger they made during their activity
  • Day 6: Chicken Joy

I like that they were not given just generic “kiddie” food like burgers and spaghetti and that there was variety. Unfortunately, they only served soft drinks with the meals. Yuri doesn’t drink soft drinks so he drank water from his Thermos. Occasionally, I would buy iced tea and swap it with his Coke.

PS: If you’re like me, try not to eat anything before you go to Jollibee because you’re gonna be tempted to eat once you’re there haha. I never thought I’ll get tired of eating tuna pie, but I think I’ve eaten tuna pie 4 days out of 6 and have gotten pretty fed up with it so I ate Jolly Hotdog instead LOLOLOL.

Price

I honestly think we got a great deal for P650. For starters, the uniform included is one entire set, with a polo top and shorts. I inspected the uniform once we got it last month, and I think it’s very well-made. It didn’t hurt that Yuri can use the navy blue shorts for his school uniform, too, hehe. The fabric, while not thick, is not flimsy either and the buttons are well-sown. In fact, I remember that “Jollibee” is engraved in each button, which is cool.

Graduation games

Games again, this time with the parents (who’s competitive???)

With…the principal! LOL! I didn’t anticipate that there will be an actual awarding ceremony, which explains the un-ironed top…

And then we include the price of the meals they get for each day and the materials for their activities. Honestly, I don’t think they profit from this but then again I know nothing hahaha.


Overall, I think Jollibee Mini Managers is a great summer activity for the kids. It’s not very expensive and the kids learn a lot in a new environment and make new friends. Most importantly, Yuri had a memorable time there and want to do it again next year! Nah, let’s try a new activity naman! 😛

School Summer

Hello March, Hello Summer!

Raise your hands with me if you also can’t believe it’s already March!

Wasn’t it just yesterday when Yuri was starting kindergarten? I still vividly recall how frazzled I was during the first day (I ironed everything…down to Yuri’s socks — now I know better!), how I looked forward to the orientation and the first PTA meetings, how we made friends in class… Of course, it wasn’t that long ago, only 9 months ago, but you know what I mean!

In fact, just earlier this morning, I went to the school’s PTA General Assembly, the second for this year (the first one took place in July). As usual, I got out of the general assembly feeling more stressed than usual (loooong story), but it’s okay. I’m just rejoicing because Yuri’s final exams are finally over!

Yes, they had their final exams last week. Ang aga, ‘no? I am not complaining at all! It’s been terribly busy for the past two weeks, with all the work + real estate commitments and studying with Yuri for his finals. I’m so glad it’s over. Tomorrow, they’re going to start rehearsing na for their Moving Up ceremony. We’re still going to school but at least, no more stress na (at least for this aspect).

While I love taking Yuri to school, I’m looking forward to summer break when I don’t have to dress up and get out of the house. I can almost taaaste it. On the other hand, I want Yuri’s summer break to be productive, and we’re already starting to plan for it. Here are some of our plans:

1. Swim School

I’m waiting for Red Cross Davao to make their announcement regarding this year’s summer swimming lesson schedule. We missed last year’s so now I’ll make sure to enrol Yuri in their program as early as possible.

2. Jollibee Mini Managers Camp or McDonald’s Kiddie Crew

Isa lang, not both! I’ve heard good things about either two. I like McDo because the nearest location to our house is more convenient. However, I think Yuri prefers Jollibee because he likes the uniform better. Whichever works, honestly.


Apart from this two, I’m also thinking of enrolling Yuri to a music school. Yes, I’m still not over this ambition! However, while I want our summer break to be productive, I don’t want it to be hectic. Still, if I can find a sweet spot in between to achieve a balanced schedule, I might as well take it (with Job’s consent, of course, since he already vetoed last year LOL).

What are your plans for summer?

Summer Summer Destinations Travel

A Summer Day Trip to Mati + Lupon

Three weeks ago, on Black Saturday, we went on a day tour to Davao Oriental. It was a semi-spur of the moment decision since it was just mentioned during Good Friday when a good neighbour of ours invited us to her hometown, Lupon. She was in charge of her town’s salubong so a number of our other neighbours were going to help. We didn’t have anything planned for Holy Week-end so we decided to go on a day trip.

Also, I haven’t been to Mati yet, and it’s a booming tourist destination, so I was excited!

Nope, we weren’t cramped into the back seat all the time. When we started driving, Yuri transferred to the second row with his grandparents. My sister and I commonly take the third row seat when the car is a full-house.

The municipality of Lupon is around a 3-hour drive from our home in Davao City. However, we got there early and our neighbour didn’t even arrive yet, so we decided to go to Mati City first, which is another 30-40 minute trip.

Mati

Sleeping Dinosaur

Mati Baywalk

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Summer Summer Destinations Travel

Messy Blogger Goes on Vacation

Woah, it’s been 28 days since I last wrote a post! I was still wondering why it was already March then, but tomorrow it’s already April. Whaaaat!

My self-imposed hiatus was supposed to end when I wrote my last blog post, but life happened and I didn’t have time to write again. March remained to be a fantastically busy month because we were scheduled to go on a 1-week vacation. Thus, I had needed to complete tasks for my day job and schedule/attend all the necessary real estate-related appointments before I went on leave.

Let’s pretend you’re interested in my life hahaha because I’m going to tell you about it — again.

So, we’ve gone on vacation last week. It wasn’t particularly spectacular — we didn’t even go out of the country — but it was a memorable one because we were able to visit a lot of places. We just went on a road trip to a number of provinces like Bulacan, Zambales, Pampanga, Batangas, Laguna, and Cavite. I’m a true-blue Davaoena so these places are far from me haha.

This also big deal for me because the last time I’ve been on a plane was in 2015 pa. My work life is so hectic and though we enjoy paid leaves, I just couldn’t take a leave anytime I wanted because of the responsibilities that will be left behind. Still, I’m hoping for more opportunities in the near future where I can travel and work at the same time (read: a vacation that won’t require me to wake up at 6 am everyday and follow an itinerary!).

As a family, I don’t think we’ve ever gone on a trip where all we did was stay in a resort and just dawdled. This is because my father is really really fond of going on road trips. He doesn’t want to go abroad or go on shopping trips or do extreme activities; all he wants to do is sight-see and discover places.

On the other hand, I’m the type of person who enjoys staying in bed the whole day, so staycations are my favourite kind. I also love shopping. But you can say that this trip was really for the resident senior citizen. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I mean, during this particular trip, he was able to visit his birth place, Macabebe, Pampanga, again after more than 20 years. We even went to the church where he was baptised; he was also named after the patron saint because he was born during the saint’s feast. It was a really special moment for him. Continue Reading

Summer Destinations Tips and Tricks Travel

My Top 6 Tips for Budget Travelling With a Toddler

I used to think that being a mother marks the end of my travelling, gallivanting days.

To be honest, travelling with a child in tow does come with limitations. However, these limitations don’t necessarily mean saying good bye to treks and trips because it is possible to work around them. In fact, ever since I became a mum, I’ve been travelling even more!

It is challenging, but travelling with kids makes a trip even more fun and memorable. Don’t worry; I’ve been there. My 4-year old has already gone to different places in the country including Baguio, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Cebu, South Cotabato, Maragusan, and Tagaytay. This summer, we’re planning to visit Bataan and Subic. All on a budget! If you want to know how I did it, here are my top 5 tips for travelling with a toddler on a budget.

1. Organise the trip ahead of time.

It’s funny but I organise trips several months — even a year — ahead of time. Not only are we able to book cheaper flights, we are also able to look for affordable accommodations. What I do is check online travel websites for great deals. Since we’re planning to stay in Subic next summer, I already started looking for a good accommodation in the area. I found this hotel:

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Charming and quaint — affordable, too!

2. Arrange a “journey pack” that will entertain them on the road or during your flight.

Backpack, backpack!

Backpack, backpack!

My son always has his small backpack with him wherever he goes. When we travel, I fill it with things that will entertain him such as snacks (try to avoid too sweet stuff though – they go hyperactive), books, toys, and gadgets. This way, he wouldn’t get bored and at the same time, I wouldn’t need to buy him food and toys all the time.

3. Let them use their own cheap camera.

Taking his own pictures in Banana Beach, Tagum City

Taking his own pictures at Banana Beach, Tagum City

On-site entertainment can be cheap! If you have a cheap camera phone or a tablet, you can give it to your child (provided that he is old enough to carefully use gadgets) and encourage him to snap away. Three benefits: they are entertained, the photos will become memorable souvenirs, and photography is always a learning experience.

4. Don’t forget to pack weather-appropriate clothes.

Changed Yuri from a thick sweater into a casual shirt

Changed Yuri from a thick sweater into a casual shirt

Sometimes, this is obvious. Like, if you’re going to a beach, you will pack swim suits and clothes with breathable fabric. If you’re going to Baguio or Tagaytay, you will bring sweaters and thick garments.

However, pay attention to the weather. For example, one time, we were at the beach and the weather suddenly went gloomy. Thank goodness I also brought sweaters and jackets! And when we were in Tagaytay, it was so sunny it didn’t really feel like we were in Tagaytay. Good thing I brought extra shirts that were humid weather-friendly. This way, there won’t be any need for you to buy new clothes — unless you want to. *ehem*

5. Remember that a child-friendly accommodations are not always expensive.

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In my dictionary, a child-friendly accommodation doesn’t necessarily equate to playrooms or custom-built furniture. My definition of a child-friendly accommodation is simple. It is clean, secure, and convenient. A working elevator, friendly staff, a comfy bed with fresh sheets, cool air conditioning… you know, the basics!

I’m leaning towards booking our accommodation through Traveloka. I love that I can see the prices per night right away. But more than that, there’s also an option to look at various traveller reviews. As someone who always books her trips online, these online reviews are very valuable to me!

6. Don’t worry about things not going your way; just have fun!

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Resting at Bell Church in Baguio

Not everything is going to happen the way you were envisioning it — that’s the truth and that’s also the truth whether you’re travelling with kids or not. I’m terribly OC but I intentionally let go of my rigidity whenever we’re travelling. Just go with the flow and have fun!

What are your travel tips? Do share!

Lifestyle Places Resort Review Summer Summer Destinations

Summer’s Last Hurrah at Banana Beach

A little more than a month ago, just before June started, we had our huling hurit sa taginit in Banana Beach, Tagum City.

We were there on a daytour but we made the most out of it because summer was almost over! Wow, I do miss summer a bit. While I’m enjoying the rainy season now, I miss the carefree days of the past season.

Anyway, I digress. One of the most popular beach resorts in Davao Region (aside from the numerous resorts in Samal Island – which, by the way, is not under the jurisdiction of Davao City) is Banana Beach. I’m not 100% sure but I heard it is owned and/or managed by the same owner as Eden Nature Park. I’ve always been intrigued about Banana Beach but never found the time to go there, so this was a great opportunity.

IMG_3477

I’ll show you Banana Beach through a photo story!

Tourist Center

Banana Beach has a tourist center where the visitors gather and lounge while the staff checks or makes their reservations. They have bananas free for everyone (at least, until the last piece is taken) and the lounge area is comfortable enough.

IMG_3695

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Places Review Summer Summer Destinations Travel

A Summer Trip to Maragusan

This summer was just so hot. I know I shouldn’t be complaining as I live in a pretty comfortable house with access to air-conditioning, but during this summer, we had long brownouts almost everyday so we always experienced unbearable heat.

We had no time to organise a trip to Baguio or Tagaytay so we went local. Here in Davao Region, we also have a summer capital. It’s the small town of Maragusan, which is surrounded by mountains. Bukidnon is also a known summer destination, as well as Buda, but we’ve never been to Maragusan before and we were curious.

Maragusan

Anyway, we were desperate to cool down haha so we went there. It’s a three-hour trip from Davao City. There are several tourist attractions in the town and we were able to go to four. Here’s a mini photo-story of our trip! Continue Reading

Summer Destinations Travel

A Leisurely Diversion at D’Leonor Inland Resort and Wavepool

D'Leonor Inland Resort and Wavepool

One of the joys of living in Davao City (a big city with a suburban feel) is the proximity to different kinds of destinations. In the south where many of my friends live, a 3o to 45-minute ride will take you to cool highland resorts. If you want to go further, you can go to Buda, an even colder destination, which is still within the city (here’s a weekend getaway at Buda that I had last December!).

In the north, where I live, lovely white sand beaches like Villa Amparo are just 20-30 minutes away. When I was still studying, we would decide to go to the beach if we had a long vacant period and return to school just in time for our next class! Cool beans.

Now, in the part of the city where I live, there’s this inland resort that opened a few years ago that’s just a literal 5-minute ride from my house. D’Leonor Inland Resort is a pretty big tourist destination since there’s no other inland resort and wavepool aside from it, but would you believe that I’ve never been to it?

Well, that changed a couple of weekends ago. My parents celebrated their 32nd anniversary (ZOMG I hope I got the correct number LOL!) and, for a change, decided to visit the resort instead of just going out for lunch. Of course we agreed!

It was quite a last minute decision so we didn’t have time to book a room. Since it’s just a stone’s throw away from home, we decided to just make a quick tour around the place.

D'Leonor Inland Resort and Wavepool
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Places Summer Destinations Tips and Tricks Travel

Ilocos-Baguio-Cavite Trip on a Budget: Itinerary

Ilocos - Baguio - Tagaytay - Manila Trip Itinerary

A couple of months ago, I shared this post about our trip to Baguio, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, and Cavite (with little bits of Manila in between) last summer. It’s not an extraordinary trip (though all of us enjoyed it!), but what makes it a fun trip to organise is that it was all done on a budget — of P3,500 per person!

I was really supposed to make a followup to that post for our complete itinerary, but it completely slipped my mind. Good thing my best friend George asked me about it yesterday. She’s trying to pull off a copycat move and embark on exactly the same trip. Tsk tsk. Love you George hahaha. Anyway, instead of writing her a copy of our itinerary, I figured out I’d write it on the blog instead. Here you go!

Day 1: Flight to Manila and Road Trip to Baguio

SAM_2066-001

11:30 am – Flight from Davao to Manila

1 pm – Arrival at NAIA, met up with Mang Leo our driver. Send me a message if you want the contact number of our service and please ask for Mang Leo. I highly recommend him!

Some of our companions (actually, my cousins) were quite late even though they took an earlier flight (long story) so instead of leaving for Baguio at 1pm, we were only able to leave at 2. 

2 pm – Start of our first roadtrip, which is from Manila to Baguio

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Lifestyle Summer Destinations WAHM Diaries

A Weekend Getaway at Villa Amparo Garden Beach Resort

Villa Amparo Garden Beach Resort | Joyful Mess

Hi everyone! *waves*

I think I have finally recovered from the weekend that was. From the way I was describing my aching limbs and muscle pain, you would have thought I was involved in extreme sports or something. Well, I was not. Anybody who knows me knows this for sure – I don’t have any interest in extreme sports (or any kind of sport for the matter haha).

I digress.

So I had a great weekend.

My colleagues (the Philippine team for stayathomemum.com.au) and I had our first outing slash bonding activity, and I was so thrilled. However, I was initially torn between bringing Yuri along or leaving him behind because, you know, even though I want him to enjoy the beach with me, I was also craving for some me-time. Eventually, I decided to just bring him along because my teammates want to (they did promise to look after him while I take a bath haha).

We decided to book a room at Villa Amparo Garden Beach Resort at Samal. Because I called the resort at the last minute, the room/s we wanted were already fully-booked. I asked for the most expensive one, the penthouse, because that was our only remaining option. Unfortunately, the lady I was talking to said it was already tentatively booked.

But my ears picked up on the word “tentatively.” I said, tongue-in-cheek, if we pay now, can we have the room? She said she would have to confirm with the original group who reserved.

To make the long story short, after assuring her that we’re 200% sure, I was able to get the room. Yeah!!!

It was so fun. First, you should know that I’m a girl who loves to pack (I can volunteer to pack your clothes for ya) and had a fun time deciding which of Yuri’s things should come. Of course, while his things come first, I also made sure to pack all the essentials like sunblock, lotion, and perfume (because you’ll never know!). You can find the perfect scent from a selection of perfumes from Zalora.

Then there’s the resort. The resort was lovely (it could use some improvements but overall I was pleased) and I was in the company of girls who, paraphrasing the words of Pam, just could not stop talking. Oh well! By the way, here are pictures of our accommodations: Continue Reading

Summer Destinations WAHM Diaries

Sneak Peek of My Weekend

Hey guys! I’m just leaving this picture here. It was yesterday afternoon when we arrived from our fun frolicking at Villa Amparo with my virtual teammates, but my muscles are still aching! So I’ll still be needing my much needed rest. It’s no picnic bringing a preschooler with you to the beach haha!

Villa Amparo

Lifestyle Summer Summer Destinations

Baguio-Ilocos-Tagaytay Trip on a Budget

(Click on gallery above to view pictures.)

AKA How we toured (almost) half of Luzon for only around P3,500 per person

Last March, I took a week off from work (on second thought, I did not really work during February and March) and went to far places. Nope, we did not go outside the country, but we did have a grand time touring a far island: Luzon.  Well, half of it. Almost.

In a week, we were able to go to Baguio, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte, and Cavite (Kawit and Tagaytay) — and little bits of Manila in between. Guess how much we spent for the trip? Roughly just about P3,500 per head. Add airfare and some pocket money, and the trip still won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

If you’re planning to embark on a similar trip, read on!

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Lifestyle Summer Destinations WAHM Diaries

Over the Weekend

Pearl Farm Resort Samal

Hi everyone!

How was your weekend?

Mine was uneventful. A little tiring but I’m still thankful it was uneventful.

You see, it was my maternal cousin’s birthday last Friday and they celebrated it at a quite popular resort here in Davao (Pearl Farm). We were all invited to come but my dad could barely get out of bed due to heavy medications and I had to work (no holiday for remote workers hehe).

I pray I can go to the beach, too…

My mum was going to turn down the invitation but my dad insisted we go. I told him I’d stay behind (and, by extension, Yuri) with him to be his nurse. And the rest was history. I was working on a holiday with a restless preschooler, and for the entire weekend, ran the household and tried not to get confused with what medicines my father needed to take at a specific time.

I couldn’t stand blood but sometimes I wish I took up nursing! Haha just kidding.

I also ended up filling up every possible container at home with water because there was an advisory of water interruption for 3 days. I guess I had an adrenaline rush (read: panic) because I easily filled up around 15 large Tupprrwares and Rubbermaids, 3 empty gallons of water, and a huge Orocan drum.

Guess what. We never lost our water. Oh well!

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Resort Review Summer Destinations

Pacific Heights Private Resort in Samal Island

Pacific Heights Resort Samal

You have been redirected from my review of Pacific Heights Private Resort on DavaoMommy.com.

Last Monday, I told you about our R&R slash supposed team-building with other village officers and youth. Which was promptly ruined when a group of gatecrashers, well, crashed the event. It was a good thing, though, that the resort we went to is a lovely one so our day wasn’t completely ruined. (It was also a good thing that they arrived at lunch and we were still able to have fun in the morning.)

Pacific Heights Private Resort

I’ve actually never heard of this resort before, which is understandable as it is quite new. As the name also implies, it is a village and the resort is supposed to be exclusive for them, However, for some reason, they recently decided to open the beach resort to the public. Yay!

I wasn’t able to take a lot of pictures because, for the first time ever, we went to the beach yaya-less, So I was constantly running after a little 3-year old whom we shall not name, and I was also constantly wet with seawater. But here are some photos that we managed to take:

On the way – actually, on the barge
Pacific Heights Resort Samal
Pacific Heights Resort Samal
Pacific Heights Resort Samal
Pacific Heights Resort Samal
Pacific Heights Resort Samal
Can you guess what they were playing? I told them that next time, we shouldn’t have medics in the fun run; we should have the medic in the teambuilding!
Pacific Heights Resort Samal
I just realized I don’t have a photo of the pavilion that we rented, so I borrowed this photo:

Via samalguide.com

It was a very clean resort and the sand was, like most Samal beaches, also fine and white. However, unlike Costa Marina, which we used to frequent, there were no big coral formations under the sea. Thus, you can swim barefoot without the risk of injury. In Pacific Heights Private Resort, there are also multiple water activities that you can do such as riding the banana boat and going “skin diving.”

How to go to Pacific Heights Private Resort

Go to Sasa Port, ride a ferry/barge (you can ride it directly or take your car with you). I was surprised with the speed of travel. A few years ago, crossing from Davao to Samal via barge took approximately 15 minutes. Now, it doesn’t even take 5 minutes! Upon arriving at the Samal pier, go right and just follow the road until you pass by Monfort Bat Cave. Pacific Heights Private Resort should be right ahead.

Pacific Heights Private Resort Rates

Entrance
  • Adult(Day Tour)- Php 100.00
  • Adult (Overnight)- Php 150.00
  • Kids (Day Tour) – Php 30.00
  • Kids(Overnight)- Php 60.00
Rooms with Aircon
  • Close Cottage(Small) Day Time – Php 1,500.00
  • Close Cottage(Small) Overnight  with 2 pax Break Fast- Php 2,000.00
  • Close Cottage (Medium) – Php 3,000.00
  • Close Cottage (Medium)- Overnight with 6 pax Break Fast – Php 4,000.00
  • Close Cottage (Large) Day Time – Php 4,000.00
  • Close Cottage (Large) Overnight with  10 pac Break Fast – Php 6,000.00
  • Open Cottages Day Time – Php 250.00
    Open Cottages Overnight  – Php 350.00
  • Green house (Dorm type without aircon) Php 350/head
Rates from SamalGuide.com: http://www.samalguide.com/resort/pacific-heights-resort

The rates above don’t include the pavilion, so let me add that the pavilion, for day use, is P2,500.