Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Taking Gifting to the Next Level

Christmas comes but once a year... and Nuffnang Philippines wanted to know how I'd like to celebrate the Season of Giving this year ---by holding a blog contest! 
And if you've ever read my blog, you'd know I just love joining contests!
All I have to do is answer 3 questions:

1) What is your Christmas wish list for yourself?

If I'm being honest, I would love to get a big screen TV because the plasma TV I bought for my birthday 3 years ago just died recently. I really felt awful because I loved that TV. I researched a lot before deciding which one to buy, and I saved a good sum to get it. 
I'd sure love to get a new TV with an even bigger screen so my family and I can huddle up in front of it while we watch Christmas classics like "It's a Wonderful Life"

2) What are your Christmas gift ideas for your loved ones this year?

  • For my dad, I want him to get a new wallet. He's kept an old, wrinkly wallet for years and it's time for a replacement.  
  • For my mom, I know she'd love a new dress for Christmas. And maybe a new pair of shoes. 
  • For my brother, I'd have to look for a gadget that can find all the stuff he misplaced because he's so forgetful at such a young age! 
  • And for my sister and her family, I wish I had the funds to send them to Boracay for a vacation! Her hubby and son haven't been there yet  and I'm sure they'd love it!

How do you plan to give back to others this Christmas?

My grandmother has a yearly Christmas drive so she can share her blessings with the less fortunate in Lucena. While we can't be there to help her when she does this, I'd love to send some goodies so Lola can make more kids smile this year. 'Coz  Christmas is really for the children. 

 “For more updates about this year’s “Merry SM Christmas” campaign, visit SM’s official Christmas microsite ( and follow its official social media accounts at Facebook (, Twitter (, and Instagram (; and get an insider access to all the fun happenings at SM Supermalls nationwide through Viber ( Shoppers can actively share their holiday merriments inside the SM Supermalls by posting their photos on social media and adding the hashtag #MerrySMChristmas2015.”

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Modern Peak Antipolo and Panciteria Lido

After the chaos of Cristna Villas resort last year, we wanted a place where we could truly relax and so I found some new places in Antipolo. My first choice was actually another place but it didn't really encourage bringing kids 10 years old and below. Good thing i found Modern Peak. I just contacted them and made a 50% deposit and we were all set.

 First we heard mass at the Antipolo church and bought our usual stock of cashews
 then we had lunch at Savory.  Too bad Alex's parents had work so we decide we'd be Alex's babysitters. Modern Peak is inside a private subdivisoon and there aren't many signs so we got a little lost getting there. It really started as a rest house for the owner's family but they decided to open their doors to the public.
 We got 2 standard suites for P2,000 each.  Each room was good for 2 people with free breakfast.  Each room had a TV with lots of high definition cable channels, access to free wifi, magazines, toiletries and en suite bathroom.
 They also have family rooms for 4 people at P4,500 and dorm rooms for P5,400 for 6 people.
 On hindsight, I might get the family room next time because the rooms and beds are bigger. The standard room's beds are so narrow I was afriad I'd fall off!
 The only other downside of our room was that there were no windows. Granted, there wasn't much of a view as we were surrounded by other homes, but a window to the outside world would be welcome if you're a bit claustrophobic. I think only the deluxe rooms had windows.
 The interiors are lovely and the staff are so attentive. Water is free, you just have to ask.
 The best part of place was their pool! We had it all to ourselves! They also have very posh shower areas near their resto. And the gracious owner said the water is not treated with chlorine so it doesn't smell or sting the yes.
 Her daughter is also the chef of the restaurant so we had salmon sinigang and grilled pork.
 We promised we'd come back for her specialty, the buttered chicken.
 For brekafast, we had a thick slice of ham and egg. We then went swimming till noon. There was a pipe that burst so we didn't have water up in our rooms. Our host generously offered the vacant rooms on the first floor which still had water. Top notch service!

 For lunch we tried out Panciteria Lido
 We had the Ho to tay, (P220) which was good
 Chami (solo size P130) this was ok, but it wasn't savory-sweet like the one in Lucena
 Coco-Mango Jello cooler (P65) It was refreshing but mom didn't like the coconut milk
 Their specialty: pugon roasted asado (P285) This was just ok.  But the serving size wasn;t enough for 4 hungry adults so we also ordered
steamed fish fillet with soy (P255) which was healthy but kinda balnd.

Father's day at Sieg's 2015

We were supposed to celebrate Father's Day at Gerry's Grill but they were full  so we were supposed to go to Makati but I said I was too hungry to travel so far and then wait for our orders to be cooked. Good thing we went to Sieg's
 We had the baked mussles (P195)
 shrimp tempura(P360)
 Miki bihon guisado (P150)
 salmon sinigang with miso soup (P320)
 bicol express(P180)

and the crispy pata (P480) 
I must say the food and the price was terrific! The only dish that wasn't a hit with us was the sinigang. The miso and the sinigang was not something we were used to but we took a risk and it really wasn't bad.

They also gave my dad a free cap for Father's Day!

Cheapskate's guide to Tagaytay

 Since we were trying to be more economical this year, we went to Tagaytay using a lot of budet-savvy tricks.
We went to Tagaytay early in morning to avoid the traffic. But since our rooms wouldn't be ready till noon, we spent the morning at the St. Scholastica's retreat house where my mom and sister knew the nuns.
 For a nice view of Taal Volcano without paying for entrance fees, we went to Tierra de Maria chapel. It's right beside the Tagaytay Picnic Grove.
 For lunch, we went to an old favorite, Leslie's. Unfortunately, while it's always fully-packed, my family found the food overpriced and underwhelming. But I did like that we could have a family photo there without paying an entrance fee.

 For our accommodations, we decided we didn't really need one with a view of Taal Lake. We just needed a place to sleep in with airconditioning and free wifi.
Luckily, my sister knows the owner of D-Zone Backpackers' Inn. It's a few meters away from the center of Tagaytay but since we had a car, it was no problem. Parking might be a problem since it was a place for backpackers, they didn't really have a parking space except for the space in front of their building.
 The rooms are simple but clean and very affordable! This is the superior room for 2 (P2,400) which has a TV, aircon, toiletries and free breakfast. The quirky thin about this room was the abundance of cabinets near the window.
 This is the econo room for 4 people (P2,400) which has bunk beds, aircon, toiletries, free breakfast, but no TV.
Also note that the 3 bathroom and toilets are shared. But since there were hardly any other guests, we had them all to ourselves.
The breakfast is rather small and coffee and hot water is not free so you might want to bring extra food and a coffee maker.

 For a unique yet affordable meal, head on to Mushroom burger, where the burgers are partly made of various mushrooms, though you wouldn't know the difference. They also serve delicious lomi soup for when the weather gets chilly.

Of course, we also made some gaffes in our cheapskate ways. We tried to kill some time after merienda and before dinner by chilling out at Cliffhouse. 
We didn't know that they charged a parking fee of P200 but it was consumable so we shared a couple of cups of coffee and explored Cafe Breton which had a nice little gallery upstairs.

 My mom didn't want to go to an expensive restaurant for dinner so we tried out a place near Leslie's called Don Juan and while the food was good and affordable, I don't want to go back there. It kinda feels like a bar for adults and not many families go there. So when they directed us upstairs to their private room, it felt kinda dusty and dark. Plus, the stairs didn't feel safe.I fear for people who get drunk there and try to get down without assitance.

 The next day, I didn't feel like going cheap again, so we tried out another restaurant, Tootsie's.
 The salad was great!
 But their much-vaunted molo soup disappointed. My mom's version is better!
 We also enjoyed the lengua, and the pork binagoongan but the servings were not meant for sharing.
 So we had to order some fried tilapia.
 The verdict: Satisfactory but nothing I want to come back to again. Maybe next time we'll try the bulalo at Mahogany Market
 Our next stop was Little Souls' chapel. We were supposed to buy their coconut cream pie the day before but they were closed by the time we got there. I love their pie! It's got a layer of cream and toasted coconut sprinkled on top! The only problem with it is that you'll need a cooler if you want to bring some home. Otherwise, the cream will melt into milk and make your pie soggy.

 We then went to Mahogany Market to buy some fresh beef and veggies.
 We then went to Ilog Maria to buy some of their organic products. They have candles and soaps and the most affective anti-dandruff shampoo! It's also a great place for photos!


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