Weekends are for Flying Kites

We have been wanting to fly a kite and thought that our little boy would enjoy it. My husband bought a ready-made kite at Landmark Makati last Tuesday for for only Php99. It was a big one that has an airplane printed on it. Our son wanted to add googly eyes to it and call it a Pteranodon. He is fond of anything related to dinosaurs.

As the days go by, our little Kuya gets giddy as Saturday approaches. We promised him that we will find an open space to fly our kite on the weekend. It’s been raining since Wednesday and typhoon Gorio hit the country on Thursday. It’s been raining and a bit windy in our city almost the whole day of Friday. Saturday morning looked promising to me – it isn’t that sunny but it isn’t raining either. But, by the time my son woke up, around 12nn (we let him sleep in on weekends), it rained! We then told him that we cannot go outside. He suggested that we use an umbrella. I told him that we can’t fly a kite holding an umbrella. He must have prayed really hard because while we were starting on our morning routine, the rain stopped and the sun shone. My husband then prompted us to seize that opportunity so we all got ready to leave for the nearby Sports Center, which has an open field that is perfect for flying a kite. It was a good time for us because the field was nearly empty. People usually flock to that area very early in the morning to exercise, bike, and do picnics. They leave when the sun begins to shine at its hottest.

My husband quickly prepped the kite and the excitement began to build up. I was so thrilled to have my son experience flying a kite as I have never did it during my childhood. As much as I would like to be the one to run and tug the string, being 7 months, I opted to be the one to propel the kite into the air. In no time, the kite was up in the air and my husband maneuvered it so it would get higher and higher. Our son was so happy to see our kite up in the air. I asked him to tug the string for him to fully experience it. At first, he was scared to do so. Maybe because he remembered from his book, Curious George – The Kite, when the monkey was blown away with the kite. I assured him that it wouldn’t happen to him as he is heavier than George.

Curious George - The Kite

As the kite was already cruising up in the air, his Dad gradually put the string holder in his little hand. Our little boy tugged the string and ran a bit towards our direction. He was not scared anymore and I could tell that he enjoyed it. I tried flying our awesome kite and loved it. Too bad, the kite got tangled on the branches of a very tall tree and the string got cut off. It was beginning to be windy and we hoped for our kite to fall on the ground; sadly it didn’t. We just told our boy that we will buy another one that we can use on Sunday.

We bought a smaller Spiderman kite at Japan Home for Php66. We’ll see how it fares compared to our airplane kite.

 

The St James Christmas Bazaar 2016 Starts Today!

I consider this as our annual tradition when my husband and our little one would come along. The first time that we went to the St James Christmas Bazaar as a family was when I was still babywearing. I strapped my son onto my chest to make it easier for us to navigate the Cuenca Community Center of Ayala Alabang Village. I thought that it would be cozy for my baby and safe at the same time. He was fine for a while but then I had to unstrap him when he got sweaty and uncomfortable. His Dad and I took turns carrying him around. That’s because hundreds of concessionaires and countless of shoppers going in and around the Center, it got a bit hot and in some sections, difficult to move around.

Despite the difficulties – parking, moving around, waiting for a vacant table for us to dine at – I keep coming back to this bazaar. Why? I always get the best bargains and great finds for my loved ones, for our home, and for myself :)

This year, the St James Christmas Bazaar would run from November 24 up to November 27 (Thursday to Sunday). Shoppers may come in as early as 9AM. The Center will close at 9PM. Entrance is FREE.

Things to keep in mind when going to the annual and biggest bazaar in the South:

  • If you can, come early to get better parking. The earliest that we’ve been there was an hour before lunch time. By that time, the center was already packed with shoppers and the streets leading to it were already full of cars. We ended up driving around and got a parking slot on a street that leads to Rustan’s Fresh. From there, we walked a few meters going to the center.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and bring an extra shirt and mini-fan. You are bound to get sweaty with all the walking!
  • Bring bottles of water to keep yourself and your companions hydrated and to save on drinks when you eat at the food shops.
  • Have a list of what you want to buy. There’s a wide variety of stuff that you can buy at this bazaar – clothes, trinkets, houseware, toys, decor plus a whole lot more. We even got our RFID card from the Petron booth last year. If you want to be within your budget, better have your list with you so you don’t get into impulsive buying.
  • Bring your own sturdy shopping bag.
  • Be mindful of your valuables, that includes your kids :) Don’t keep all of your shopping money in your wallet. When I go shopping on crowded places, I feel safe putting my money on different pockets.
  • The football field near the center is open to the public. Take a breather with all the shopping and take your kids there so they too can relax and have some fun :)

Can’t wait to go! See you there!

 

Our Very First Family Movie Date

November 27, 2015 marked our first ever family movie date :) I believed that our boy is ready to watch movies on the big screen. We have chosen The Good Dinosaur, since he is fond of dinosaurs, as his first big screen treat. For his first time, we opted to watch at the Commercenter Alabang to make viewing as comfortable as possible for our little boy.

In the photo above, Louiji posed by the glistening Christmas trees at the activity center.

We got tickets for the last full show before having dinner at our favorite 24-hour Filipino restaurant, the Coco Hut.

Coco Hut - 27 Nov 2015

After enjoying a hearty meal, we crossed the street to go to McDonald’s. My husband and I enjoyed a warm cup of brewed coffee while our son munched on his fries and played with his new Happy Meal toy.

We got back at Commercenter 15 minutes before the screening time. When we got inside the theater, our little boy wouldn’t sit still and asked for ‘karga’. That was because an animated short film, with scenes that are a bit scary for his age, was on. While carrying him as we stood by the aisle, I whispered gently that those are only drawings with colorful lights on them. I kept explaining what we are seeing on screen for the first five minutes of The Good Dinosaur. He felt at ease and became comfortable with everything so we got back to our seats and enjoyed the movie. There was a time when he giggled and imitated the roaring sounds of the dinosaurs from the film :)

Louiji was up until the rolling credits

The latter part of the movie was around our toddler’s bedtime. There were instances when he asked for milkmilk and was about to get in breastfeeding position but he would sit up straight whenever he hears that the next scene would be exciting. I was expecting him to doze off at the end of the movie but he was wide awake up until the credits rolled in.

It was truly a delightful experience and another milestone for our family. I will forever treasure such moments where we spend quality time with each other and make wonderful memories together!

Our First Halloween Party at Sky Ranch Tagaytay

Disclaimer: We don’t join the Halloween festivities to glorify horrifying stuff. Each year during this season, we take advantage of this time to think and make creative costumes for our toddler from our favorite characters and movies. We also make it as an excuse to eat sweet treats. Now, that that thing is settled, let’s talk about the recent Halloween party that we attended at Sky Ranch Tagaytay :)

It was on rainy and foggy Saturday when some of the mommies and their families drove to Tagaytay to party with our fellow bloggers from Mommy Bloggers Philippines (MBP) and spend some time with our families at the same time. It was a small gathering but a happy one. Most of the kids and some of the babies came in their best costume dressed up as their most loved super heroes, fairy tale and movie characters.  Three of them were awarded as the most creative and crowd favorite. There were games for the children and adults as facilitated by our host and magician, Mr Potch Albiso also known as the Magic Meister. It was fun because almost every one participated in the activities. Raffles were also drawn in between the games. Some of the mommies won the most coveted Disney on Ice tickets courtesy of the Aranatea Group! After the games, we were entertained by the amazing magic tricks and amusing performance of Potch and his puppet, Piolo. My son especially loved the part where Potch made animals from twisted balloons. After the show and the announcement of winners for the best in costume, the kids lined up to get sweet treats from the loving and generous moms of MBP. Some of the mommies even made an effort to make candy packs with gift tags attached. After the program and the group photo op, we then spent time with our respective families to enjoy the ride-all-you-can (RAYC) passes that were given to us by Sky Ranch Tagaytay. I’m sure that all of us had great fun that day! Take a look at our photos below.

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Above is our simple registration table setup.

MBP Halloween Party - Registration Team

Our busy registration area where mommy bloggers dropped by to get their loot bags, food, RAYC stamps, and sign up their kids for the costume contest.

MBP Halloween Party - Prizes from our generous sponsors

We were very thankful to all the brands who sponsored our games and raffle prizes. Mommies and their families were happy to take home goodies from Nido 3+ (except for moms like me who have children ages 2 and below), Krispy Kreme, and Jardine Home Solutions.

MBP Halloween Party - Mommy Sheen of Yeah Shoot Photobooth

Mommy Sheen (in fuschia blouse) of Yeah! Shoot Photobooth and our fellow blogger, gladly helped out party goers don props for the shoot.

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Our little boy was happy with what he got in his pumpkin!

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Our sweet little one began munching on one of his candies soon after. He had a great time riding the carousel that he and Daddy did it thrice! I enjoyed the fourth ride with him. (That’s Mommy Joy, MBP’s workshop manager, in the background)

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I was so happy to take home this precious Lock and Lock glass water bottle!

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I was so honored to have helped these moms organize and launch the party for our community. It was a bit of hard work but seeing how our fellow members and their loved ones had a great time at the party made all our efforts very worthwhile. ‘Til our next gathering! :)

Mommy Bloggers Philippines Spooky Circus Halloween event was made possible by generous sponsors and a team of mommies who love this blogging community.

Thank you to Sky Ranch Tagaytay who not only provided us with a venue but also made sure we had a great time by providing ride all you can tickets and delicious food from Kenny Rogers!

Special thanks to Mr. Poch Albiso, the Magic Meister who made it the most enjoyable day with his magic show and games.

Our generous sponsors, Nido 3+, Krispy Kreme , Araneta Center, Summit Media, URC, Yeah! Shoot Photobooth, Lock and Lock, First Vita, Jardine Distribution, and Jollibee for their support, giving us giveaways and prizes.

Halloween 2015 at Sky Ranch Tagaytay

One of our most memorable family bonding is our visit at the Sky Ranch Tagaytay. We went there with everyone on my side of the family (except for my brother who was in SG at the time) and we had an amazing time. Check out the press release below to find out how you can have a great time with your own family at the Sky Ranch Tagaytay.

PRESS RELEASE

Among the premiere parks in the country, Sky Ranch is well known for its rides, food destinations and family-friendly ambiance. A project of SM Prime Holdings Inc, Sky Ranch Tagaytay is a 5-hectare leisure park right beside Taal Vista Hotel.

The entertainment complex and many dining establishments have made the park a welcome treat for those wishing to get away from the city even for just a day.

With the offer of family fun and adventure, you can choose from their well selected amusement park rides and activities. Their rides include the Sky Eye which is deemed one of the tallest Ferris Wheels in the country at 63 meters high, Super Viking, Sky Cruiser, Zipline and many more. For a complete list of  rides see below.

Their new rides include the BUMPER BOAT, BOAT PARADE, CHALLENGER, and CITY RAIL.

Sky Ranch also provides you with one of the best views of Taal Lake and Taal Volcano. Gazebos can be found around the park for a relaxing and comfortable vantage point.

There are over a dozen dining establishments that will suit almost every palate from casual fast food to fine dining. Food establishments are open from 10am-10pm.

The Venue, an events place created by Sky Ranch for special occasions is 2,000sqm and perfect for any gathering.

All the facilities and amenities you could possibly need such as parking, a breast feeding station, clinic, ATMs, souvenir shop, etc are available.

Sky Ranch Tagaytay is open on Mondays to Fridays from 10am-10pm and Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays from 8am-10pm.

Admission Ticket (Special Promo until further notice)

Php 50.00 – Weekdays (Mondays to Fridays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Php 80.00 –Saturday, Sunday and Holidays (8 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Parking rates:
Bike – Php30.00
Car – Php50.00
Bus – Php150.00

Gazebo:
Gazebos are available for rent. Guests may order food from our restaurants and dine in one of our spacious Gazebos with the cool Tagaytay breeze and the majestic view of Taal Volcano. Below are the
corresponding gazebo fees:
Php 750.00 – Weekdays (Mondays to Thursdays)
Php 1,000.00 – Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Holidays

Wickedly Fun Halloween at Sky Ranch 2015

Have a Wickedly Fun Halloween at Sky Ranch!
Halloween is one of the most anticipated events for families most especially kids who love to show their Halloween costumes and get freebies.

Expect lots of fun with games from dancing to a scavenger hunt and a mystery game! Five (5) participants in their best Halloween costume will be chosen to win special gifts!

  • For every purchase of ride tickets worth Five Hundred Pesos (P 500.00) single or accumulated receipts from October 25 to 31, 2015, customer gets one (1) claim stub and one (1) event pass.
    Halloween event will be on October 31, 2015.
  • Claim stub is equivalent to one (1) freebie (loot bag/merchandise item) to be redeemed from October 29 to 31, 2015.
  • Customers are encouraged to wear their best Halloween costume.

Follow Sky Ranch Tagaytay on Facebook

List of Sky Ranch Rides:

Sky Eye  – Php150.00

Sky Eye is 63 meters in height. Consisted of 32 air-conditioned gondolas that can accommodate 3-4 passengers per gondola, Sky Eye gives you a wonderful view of Tagaytay, its neighboring provinces, Taal Volcano and Lake for 10 minutes.

Guests Should Be

3 ft and above, 3 ft and below must be accompanied by a responsible adult

Age Interest

Kids, Tweens, Teens and Adults

Thrill Level

Small drops, Spinning

Super Viking – Php100.00

An open seated gondola which swings up to 90 degrees, back and forth. The ride can accommodate a total of 45 persons with 5 persons per row. This thrilling ride at the heart of Sky Ranch takes from 5-6 minutes.

Guests Should Be

4 ft and above

Age Interest

Tweens, Teens and Adults

Thrill Level

Big Drops, Thrill Ride

Carousel – Php 50.00

Get a 360-degree view of the whole Sky Ranch lot in an instant while riding in wooden horses and sleighs strategically located inside this spinning tent. Consisted of 4 sleighs and 24 horses, this carousel has two floors that could take you on a higher level of adventure.

Guests Should Be

3 ft and above, 3 ft and below must be accompanied by a responsible adult

Age Interest

Kids, Tweens, Teens and Adults

Thrill Level

Spinning

Sky Cruiser – Php100.00

A unique experience of seeing the wonderful view of Taal Lake and Volcano, Sky Cruiser gives its riders an exciting aerial ride where they can control their vehicle by pedaling it around the track. Each wagon can accommodate 2 riders at a time.

Guests Should Be

4ft and above

Age Interest

Tweens, Teens and Adults

Thrill Level

Spinning

Mini Viking – Php 50.00

Just like Super Viking, this Mini Viking gives guests a milder experience of being swayed up to 90 degrees. It can ride 10 to 12 guests per ride and each ride lasts for 3 minutes. This is an open seated gondola perfect for those who are not yet ready to take the much thrilling Super Viking

Guests Should Be

3 ft and above.

Guests below 3 ft must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Age Interest

Tweens, Teens and Adults

Thrill Level

Big Drops, Thrill Ride

Express Train – Php 80.00

A relaxing and fun way to roam around Sky Ranch, this trackless Express Train goes around the area with 12-18 guests at a time. A perfect way to enjoy a fantasy land while enjoying the cool breeze of Tagaytay and the amazing train sound brought about by this ride. Sky Ranch has currently two sets of train for you to enjoy, the Thomas Train, which surely amazes kids and the Safari Train that is perfect for adventurous and thrill-seeking individuals.

This ride may take 9 to 10 minutes per ride.

Guests Should Be

3 ft and above, 3 ft and below must be accompanied by a responsible adult

Age Interest

Kids, Tweens, Teens and Adults

Thrill Level

Slow, Moving

How My Friday Went From Better to Best

September 18, 2015. I had a good start on my Friday. It was our boyfriend-girlfriend anniversary and my husband and I woke up at almost the same time. We had breakfast together and I was happy that I finally got to recreate the same fluffy pancakes that I did long ago. The H genuinely liked it. My early morning efforts paid off!

When The H left for work, I managed to squeeze in a few minutes for a much needed stretching. Our toddler woke up a few seconds after my mini-exercise. I served breakfast in bed for him and I read stories to him while he was eating. I let him play afterwards while I follow him around with his sippy cup of fresh milk. Thinking that the my little one was content on playing, I got my laptop and began to work on a new blog post.

As soon as he saw me prop into bed, he went to my desk, pointed at the iPad and asked me if he could used it. I obliged just so he would also be busy while I’m doing my thing. I created a draft for my post on Word but when I was about to put it on WordPress, the CMS kept acting up. I have switched browsers and restarted my laptop, all to no avail. I was so upset because that glitch was causing a delay on our schedule. I even asked for my husband’s help but he can only do so much while he is at work. I went out of the room whining about my dilemma. I decided to pray about it and I suddenly remember the verse from John 10:10The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come that you may have life and have it to the full. I felt better after I have repeated it over and over. I won’t let the enemy steal my joy. We’re celebrating our special day and I won’t let that mishap ruin our happy mood.

John 10:10

My boy and I had late lunch, took a bath and had a nap. As I have promised him a couple of days ago, I took him out go biking. It looked like it was about to rain but we still went out and prayed that the skies would only be cloudy. And it was! We drove to the next block and asked my niece to go biking with us. My sweetie pie was so happy to go biking outside again. We went home a little after 6 and had another round of merienda. I have noticed that when I’m happy and excited, I would always sweep and mop the floor. So I did just that after we have eaten our snacks. Well, we’re about to have dinner in a few hours at my favorite Coco Hut and that made me giddy. By the time my husband got home, our son and I have already freshened up from a quick bath and were ready to go.

Coco Hut Menu

Soon, I will have hi-res photos for my posts and my dear readers will no longer see blurry pictures such as that of the Coco Hut menu above 😀 Moving on!

The Coco Hut is a cosy, 24-hour restaurant situated in the Commercenter Shopping Mall in Alabang. We have discovered Coco Hut during one of our family dates when my husband had mistaken for Army Navy, the place that we were planning to go to that night.  Coco Hut is adjacent to Army Navy and have almost the same setup which justified The H’s error. He liked how Coco Hut is more spacious than it’s neighboring resto which made it toddler-friendly. I had my eyes on their Pinoy-themed menu. They even have my favorite veggie dishes –  Laing and Coco Langka!

Coco Hut Barbeque with Rice
Barbeque with Rice (Php175)

I told my husband that since it’s our anniversary, we can order more food. I wanted to celebrate by satisfying my enormous appetite, which surprises The H at times. Some people said that I have a big appetite because I breastfeed. They didn’t know that I eat like a man most of the time even when I was still single! For that night, The H had a very meaty and deliciously grilled Barbeque with Rice. Of course, he shared some with me and Louiji. The little boy, whom his Dad lovingly refer to as a fishtarian, had Crispy Fish Fillet (Php160) served with rice, coco squash and tartar sauce. He ate his meal with gusto! We are so glad that he is getting a better appetite during mealtimes. He didn’t like the coco squash so we finished it for him.

Longganisa with Rice (Php145)
Longganisa with Rice (Php145)

Being a fan of all-day breakfast meals, I ordered Longganisa (Php145) which was served with garlic rice, egg and atchara. It was delish!

Coco Langka (Php75)
Coco Langka (Php75)

We also had Coco Langka (Php75) which was perfectly cooked that I couldn’t stop saying Sarap! with every spoonful.

We keep on coming back to Coco Hut not only for it’s proximity. We love it for its freshly served and home-cooked meals, cosy ambiance, kid-friendly atmosphere (we often see families with little children) and impeccable customer service. The crew always serve diners with a smile and would anticipate our needs. They would offer a highchair and refill our cups even before we ask for these stuff.

After dinner, we crossed the street to get to McDo and have our favorite dessert – Banana Oreo McFlurry for me and the kiddie while The H got the McFlurry with Oreo Cookies. It was a sweet and lovely Friday :)

I hope that you had a great Friday, too!

 

Our Saturdate at the Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival

We had a stupendous time at the Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival last September 5. This is certainly one for the books. A family milestone. Our son is a huge fan of Mickey Mouse! He never gets tired of watching the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episodes. Every. Single. Day. He would be mesmerized by all the characters and he would always giggle with glee at his favorite scenes. He has actually memorized what’s going to happen next in that he would either mimic what Mickey or Goofy would do or look me as if to say “Mommy, look at what’s going to happen next.” I find joy in seeing my son giggle, laugh, jump and dance as he watch his favorite episodes of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. That is why when I have learned that the gang will be coming to the Philippines, I prayed incessantly for us to have the opportunity to witness their world-class performance. GOD surprised us big time and our whole family got so excited and we couldn’t wait to watch our son’s favorite Disney characters entertain the Pinoys at the KIA Theatre. Check out our pictures.

Fab Opening

The show was already starting when we got inside the theatre. Goofy, Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, together with their backup dancers had a fab opening to welcome the audience. I can’t believe that we are seeing these well loved Disney characters again. It made me reminisce our fun memories at the Tokyo Disneyland last year. I missed Daisy Duck, though. She is actually my favorite. I wish that she would get to join the gang next time.

Aladdin

Next up was a performance from the lead characters of Aladdin. My son has not seen that movie yet nor have we read the book about it so we explained to him that the bluish and muscular fellow dancing on stage was Genie. Soon after, Aladdin and Princess Jasmin came out to wow the audience.  At this point, I was a bit nervous because I was expecting that my son, who has never watched a film inside a movie house, would ask us to go out of the theatre. We were so proud of our little boy because he didn’t freak out when the lights went out at the start of the show up until it ended! I actually had to ask him to go outside to check out the sponsors’ booths during the break.I guess that’s how magical the Disney Live it is to him. He got so engrossed at the amazing show even though he was only able to get acquainted with some of the characters during that day.

Mickey and Minnie

Minnie and Mickey went onstage again to give an introduction of the next act. The whole stage was transformed to give way for the performance of the main characters of the Little Mermaid. Too bad we didn’t have a clear picture of them. Sebastian, Ariel, Prince Eric, Ursula and the mermaids presented the highlights of the story of The Little Mermaid during their act.

Bullseye Green Army Men Woody
Bullseye, the Green Army Men and Sheriff Woody were getting ready to wow the audience

My favorite part of the show was the last act where the characters of the Toy Story came up and did a skip rope showdown. With the Green Army Men in charge of the ropes, Jessie and Woody did an exhibition and skipped together on two inter-looping ropes.

Jessie and Woody

Afterwards, Jessie and Woody gave way for Bullseye to show everyone his hidden talent. Woody’s trusty horse can skip rope, too!

Jessie and Woody give way for Bullseye

We were so blessed to be at the KIA Theatre that day to watch the Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival. It used to be just a dream to watch them perform live here in our country. We hope to see them next year and be entertained with the endearing gang of Mickey Mouse and the Disney characters from our childhood.

A big thanks to the Mommy Bloggers Philippines and the Araneta Center for giving us the opportunity to witness the Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival!

Saturdate at the Movie Stars Cafe

I just had a fun and tummy-filled dinner  with my family last Saturday. We were blessed to have been invited to dine at the Movie Stars Cafe.  If you are a movie buff, this movie and memorabilia studio located at the Seaside Blvd of the Mall Asia is your happy place.  Here you will find plenty of memorabilia from the most watched movies of all time. What’s best is that you get to have your picture taken with the popular movie characters such as Spiderman, Iron Man, Darth Vader, even Peter Pan! The place was so incredible! Words are not enough to describe it so I’ll show you what you are missing in our photos below.

Movie Stars Cafe - Facade

This is the facade of the restaurant where guests frequently have their photos taken. When we got there, groups were taking turns posing by this wall.

Movie Stars Cafe - King KongThis is one of the restaurant’s hard-to-miss landmark. King Kong bursting on the brick wall! My father was just too happy to have a photo op with this giant celebrity.

Movie Stars Cafe - Dining Area

Inside the Movie Stars Cafe, the dining area is set up like this. The cafe has comfortable chairs and couches which makes it cozy enough for guests to sit in them longer to enjoy a nice meal, a good movie, and an entertaining show.
Movie Stars Cafe - StageThe stage has a huge screen which plays movies or TV shows prior to the scheduled performances. I enjoyed watching The Voice UK when we were there.

Movie Stars Cafe - CosplayersJust before the show started, we had our picture taken with the performers. They are staff of the cafe dressed as superheroes and villains. Even the waiters and waitresses were in costumes, too.

Movie Stars Cafe - Signed Portraits

Behind the walls of the couches are signed portraits and posters of celebrities.

Movie Stars Cafe - Star Wars StormtrooperOne of the Stormtroopers from the movie Star Wars seem to be guarding the buffet spread.

Movie Stars Cafe - ShrekThis rough but friendly ogre, Shrek, is situated near the stage.

MovieStarsCafe_Freddy.jpgI look pa-tweetums here but really I was scared. I just need to put a brave front for my nephew who was getting afraid at the sight of the scary characters.

Movie Stars Cafe - BatmanI was hoping to see the Caped Crusader in the flesh but saw his statue instead. Not bad, though. This Batman statue will welcome you upon entering the restaurant.

Movie Stars Cafe - SpidermanWe had a babysitter that night and his name is Spiderman. This Spiderman-clad man is the friendliest among the cosplayers that night. He indulges the guests with requests to climb on top of the wall for a photo op.

Movie Stars Cafe - Iron Man.jpgI like this full-sized Iron Man statue better than one in costume. His suit is sleek, shiny and it gives that Tony Stark vibe (to me, at least).

Movie Stars Cafe - MenuDiners have the option to enjoy the Dino Buffet (Dinner or Midnight) or ala carte meals. Meals are good for 3 persons and they taste sooo good!

Movie Stars Cafe - Rising SunThis the Rising Sun, a Shoyu Chashu ramen served with egg and crab sticks. It’s a bit spicy. It’s one of my favorites.

Movie Stars Cafe - Red CarpetWe also ordered the Red Carpet. This is the cafe’s version of carbonara served with smoked bacon, asparagus and grilled herbed chicken fillet.

Movie Stars Cafe - Monroe's FavoriteWe also had Monroe’s Favorite which also became our favorite. It’s hard not to like this for it is made with sauteed shrimp, andouille sausage, chicken, onions, bell peppers in special Cajun spiced jambalaya sauce.

Movie Stars Cafe - El Grande PizzaMy husband and I planned to order this before we got to the Movie Stars Cafe and we were not disappointed. This 18″ thin-crust pizza is loaded with just the right amount of bacon, ham, pepperoni, sausages, chicken barbeque, peppers, onions, olives and fresh mozarella.

Movie Stars Cafe - Memory LaneI enjoyed this piece of cake called Memory Lane so much! It is a layered cheesecake with Toblerone and vanilla served with cream anglaise and strawberry syrup.

Movie Stars Cafe - Dessert BuffetI passed by the dessert section of the buffet on my way to the restroom. I then wanted to change my mind and have a Dino buffet instead.

Now that you have seen what my family and I have experienced at the Movie Stars Cafe, don’t you want to have kind of day, too? If your answer is yes, I’d be happy to share a coupon code with you that let’s you enjoy a 10% discount from your total bill. Before you order, tell the waiting staff that you will use my coupon code: IIMA-9887. You may want to save this coupon code on your mobile phone because the management will not accept just the website or blogger’s name. Remind the staff again when you bill out to make sure that you enjoy the 10% discount.

The Movie Stars Cafe is absolutely for the whole family. Why not take the whole fambam here soon?

Movie Stars Cafe 
By The Bay, Seaside Blvd.
SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City
Reserve your slot: reservation@moviestarscafe.com
Like them on FB: https://www.facebook.com/MovieStarsCafe
Follow them on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MovieStarsCafe

Our Happy Staycation at Crimson Filinvest

We just had the most wonderful staycation during the Holy Week! We had the best deals and carefully planned but flexible schedule at the Crimson Hotel Filinvest City. We have booked our accommodations ahead of time and was blessed to have gotten a promo rate. We paid Php3,500 for an overnight stay at a deluxe king room with breakfast buffet for two! That includes complimentary use of the pool and gym.

Booking was easy at Crimson Hotel Filinvest City. I consider their booking process as the safest compared to the other hotels that we have  transacted with in the past. The Crimson staff did not ask for my credit card details over the phone. She sent me a booking confirmation via email with an attached credit card authorization form which guaranteed a secured transaction for both parties. My only complaint was that I had to follow up on my confirmation email which I have not received after 24 hours (as the staff has promised).  I had the option to pay for our accommodations at East West Bank or make a partial payment at the hotel three days after receiving the email. I opted to pay for the whole amount in person as we were just within the area during the designated date. I was assisted by Mary from the reception who also gave us a tour of the hotel and answered more of our inquiries.

As we were informed by Mary previously that we can have an early check-in at 11 AM provided that a deluxe king room is already available, my family and I arrived at 10:30 AM hoping to settle in and hit the pool. How can we have not foreseen it! The hotel is fully booked  because it was Holy Week and the standard check-out time is 12 NN. It’s a good thing that Louiji loved walking around and that’s we did for a while. We left our bags at the concierge who kept them safe at the storage. We then decided to hang out by the pool. It was jam-packed with  guests, too. We just had to contain ourselves with people watching to pass the time. Our toddler got excited seeing all the kids playing and swimming inside the pool. He was giggling and wanted to go near the pool side.

Baby walking at the lobby of Crimson Filinvest
Louiji was so happy walking in a wide open space!

While waiting for our room, we went inside the hotel and chance upon the film showing at one part of the grand ballroom. Toy Story was on. I applaud Crimson for this! They provided entertainment and comfortable seats for guests who are waiting. Though there were food crumbs on some spots of the ballroom, it was way better than having to wander around and do nothing. We watched the movie for a while until my husband asked me to have lunch outside. When we got back, there was already a long queue in front of the reception. My husband quickly lined up while my sleepy toddler and I went back to the ballroom so our baby could breastfeed and take a nap. After 15 minutes, my husband went in and told us that we already have a room.  I beamed because it was only 12:30 PM. Still an early check-in!

When we got to our room at the 17th floor, I quickly laid my sleeping toddler on the king-size, soft yet firm bed. I inspected the sheets (OC mom!) and they’re oh so white and stain-free unlike the one in the hotel in which we stayed in last year. They have plenty of pillows for the three of us. I love having plenty of pillows around the bed when I sleep. It assures me that my baby, whom we co-sleep, won’t fall from the bed while my husband and I are snoring through the night. The bed also has a nice and cushioned headboard which protected my son from bumps whenever he played on the bed.

Louiji on a king-size bed at Crimson Filinvest
Louiji was happy watching TV on the king-size bed. That headboard was an added protection for our active toddler.

As what I am used to do upon settling in, I opened the cabinets, drawers, mini bar and checked out the bathroom. The cotton bathrobes inside the closet are spotless and they looked like new. No holes or any damage of some sort (I’m referring to a previous experience from another hotel). Beside the bathrobes are the steam iron and the ironing board. There are a few hangers, too. On the other side of the closet is a safe which is big enough to fit in a laptop.

I like the bathroom’s layout but I hope that Crimson would get bathtubs for their deluxe rooms in the future. Also, it would be better if there are two sets of shampoo and conditioner and bath gel. One set of those bath products are just not enough especially at this season when most of the guests are families. The best feature of that bathroom (for my husband, at least) is that it has a bidet. The hotels that we have visited in the past are not equipped with this handy helper.

Right outside the bathroom is a small cabinet which has an electric kettle, cups and saucers and complimentary coffee and tea packets. We had those coffee late in the afternoon and we like how they tasted. Also, inside that cabinet is a small basket of mixed nuts, dried mangoes and chips for sale. Bottled water, energy drinks, soda, bottled juices and a bar of chocolate, all for sale, are placed inside the small ref found inside another cabinet at the bottom of the table.

Our room has a 40″ wall-mounted LED TV with cable network. My toddler enjoyed watching his favorite Disney Junior show, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. He giggled when he saw Mickey Mouse and was mesmerized for the entire show.  My husband was another happy TV viewer at that time because he got to watch UFC fights. Our son was either sleeping or was busy playing when his Daddy was so engrossed with that kind of entertainment.

Hallway at Crimson Filinvest
Our toddler loved walking in this hallway

Since our room is located at the 17th floor, we had a nice view of the Alabang night sky. While waiting for Daddy to come back from buying distilled water for us, we sat together by the window and told him stories of some of the spots found in our view.

I couldn’t stop raving about the swimming pool, situated at the 8th floor of Crimson Filinvest, because I love how the it  was designed with the family in mind. It looked like one big swimming pool which has concrete dividers that separate the kiddie (2 feet high) and adult (4 feet deep) sections. It’s a good thing that Louiji was wearing a rashguard because the water was cold and it was a bit windy during our swim. I was glad that towels are available at the bar which makes it convenient for swimmers. At least two life guards were manning the area ensuring the safety of everyone in the pool. There were also security guards stationed near the tables and lounge area of the deck.

Morning swim at Crimson Filinvest
My handsome loves just finished their morning swim. Get a glimpse of the pool deck area on the background.

We woke up early to enjoy a good breakfast at Cafe 8 downstairs. When we got there before 7 AM, the place was already packed with diners. It looked like they have the same plan as ours, that is, to be the first at the cafe and avoid the long lines at the buffet. After we have all settled in our seats, my husband and I took turns in getting our plates full. The cafe’s buffet menu was so good it was filled with different kinds of food that would suit even the pickiest palate. Even my toddler enjoyed his breakfast. I’d say that it was the best and most tummy-filled breakfast that we had!

Cafe 8 at Crimson Filinvest

Buffet Breakfast at Cafe 8 Crimson Filinvest
Clockwise from left: Our little boy munching on cereals; French toast with butter and jams; my plateful of breakfast staples
Salad and Cold Cuts Section at Crimson Filinvest
The salad and cold cuts section at Café 8
Cold Cuts at Crimson Filinvest
Salad and various kinds of cold cuts. Spot the glass of fresh mango juice and yummy omelette at the background

Since we had an early breakfast, we had more time to spare before check out. What do we have to do? Of course, off to the pool (again)! Our morning swim was better than the afternoon before because the sun was shining and kept us a bit warm. I think we just swam for a little over an hour because Louiji’s lips were turning blue again because of the cold water in the pool. We went back to our room to rest for a bit and pack our bags.

Check-out was a breeze. Though there was a long line by the time we got to the lobby, the staff were so efficient that the transaction with every guest went by quickly.

My family and I enjoyed our stay at Crimson Filinvest so much! We are definitely going back. Next time, we will bring our running shoes and workout clothes so we could also use the gym.

 

Press Screening of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

I got an invitation from Nuffnang Philippines to attend the press screening of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey at the Special Events Hall & Auditorium of The Mind Museum in BGC Taguig last Friday, March 7.   I was so happy because that was the first event that I was able to take my family with me. Instant Fridate :) When we got to the hall at around 6PM, guests were being treated to cocktails catered by Bizu Patisserie.

At the Cosmos Screening
My Fridate :)

Shortly after, RX 93.1 radio jock Chico Garcia got on the stage to formally open the event. Maribel Garcia, curator at The Mind Museum, came in next to welcome the guests with an introduction about the museum. Jude Turcuato, Head of FOX International Channels Philippines, then gave an overview of Cosmos and introduced the National Geographic viewing pod, placed at the center of the hall, before inviting everyone to proceed to the second level of the museum for the viewing of the first episode.

On Stage
Chico Garcia, event host; Maribel Garcia, curator at The Mind Museum; and Jude Turcuato, Head of FOX International Channels Philippines
NatGeo Viewing Pod
The National Geographic Viewing Pod

To Cosmos Viewing

The first episode of Cosmos was really mind blowing. It gave us a glimpse of the vast universe that we are in. The topic about the Cosmic Calendar, which described how everything came into being was of great interest. To know more about it, catch Cosmos which will be aired simultaneously at the National Geographic and FOX channels on March 12 at 10PM. It will be hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist, author, and science communicator, who took in after the late Carl Sagan.  Sagan, who starred in the original Cosmos aired in the 1980s, was a renowned astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, and science communicator of his time.

Cosmos Screening
Cosmos Screening

After the screening, Chico and Jude came in front to raffle off 10 units of Devant DVD players. I was blessed to have been the third recipient of that DVD player!

At the end of the event, guests were sent home with a box of yummy Villa Del Conte artisanal chocolates and a National Geographic canvas bag. I was not able to get a NatGeo bag because I got out of the line after receiving the chocolates.

Going to the Cosmos event that Friday was a wonderful time to end my week. I got to spend time with my family while working. I was also able to have met fellow mommy bloggers. Glaiza of Moomy Musings was so nice to share with me some blogging tips and she also led me to the ladies of Villa del Conte to try out their chocolates and have a chat with them. It was a part of me that I need to improve on. I tend to be shy around people during events. She also introduced me to Lanie of TweenselMom. They invited me to join Mommy Bloggers Philippines of which Lanie was the head.

Cheers to Nuffnang and NatGeo for a successful event!

Don’t forget to watch Cosmos this coming Wednesday, March 12 at 10PM which will be simulcast at the National Geographic and FOX channels.