An Exceptional Coffee Experience @ Cafe Esse

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life is coffee

“Life Begins With Coffee”

“Life begins with coffee,” that’s what coffee addicts like me believe in.  No matter how complicated life is, one cup of coffee will definitely ease your burden and would make you feel better.  I’ve been in several cafes and there were times that I was disappointed with what I expected from the quality and taste of the food and drinks. I must say that my visit in Cafe Esse is one of the best experience I had.

 

 

Cafe Esse is located at the 2nd floor of CEO Building, L. Sumulong Circle, San Roque, Antipolo City.  My colleagues hang out here once in a while and now I know the reason why they keep coming back– it’s because of the superior quality of coffee and delectable food that they serve.

 

The word esse came from the word EXISTENCE or essence.

Cafe Esse was established in May 15, 2014.  For four years now, they continue to satisfy their customers.  It caters not only to barkadas who would like to chill, but to families who would like to spend quality time together and even for colleagues or business partners who would like to have their meeting.  When we arrived at past 4pm, there were different groups outside in the smoking area (barkadas).  Inside, there were few tables which can accommodate 20 pax.  Near our table, there was a college student who was doing her assignment or research work while sipping her coffee.  (There is FREE WIFI that customers can use).

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It’s very obvious that I enjoyed their coffee 🙂

 

Cafe Esse has a function room for special events which can be rented for P5,000 (P1,500 for 3 hours use and P3,500 for consumables).  Extension per hour is P500.

wooden frame

Here are their bestsellers:

HOT DRINKS

Hazelnut Latte

Hazelnut Latte  (  16 oz  P130 /20 oz P140.)

vanilla machiatto

Vanilla Macchiato   16 oz P130 / 20 oz P140

matcha latte

Matcha Latte  (16 oz. P145/ 20 oz P155)

Of the hot drinks, I like the Vanilla Macchiato next to the Hazelnut Latte.

FRAPPES

 

I remember the famous choco-banana fruit shake in Boracay (Jonah’s fruitshake) when I tasted the banana choco-nut frappe.  I prefer the choco mint frappe though because it was very refreshing.

MILKSHAKE

frappes

Strawberry Milkshake   P155

Because we brought a 4 year old kid with us, this one is the perfect drink for him.

THE FOOD

I super loved their pasta!  I loved both the Spicy Seafarer and the Creamy Carbonara.  The kids are not pasta lovers like me but they loved both also.

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Spicy Seafarer  P195

creamy carbonara

Creamy Carbonara   P195

choco ala mode waffle

Choco ala Mode Waffle P115

I felt like a kid again–I loved the combination of chocolate syrup and the waffles topped with cream.

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Cheesy Meat Fries P110

We love french fries, but we love it even more when it is topped with cheese.  In a span of less than 3 minutes, the plate was emptied.  I was about to get another round but the food just vanished instantly.  I didn’t scold the kids for that– actually, it was already a big achievement if you let them finish eating in a matter of minutes.  Usually, it took a long time for them to eat.

3 little pigs

3 Little Pigs   P190

This is one of the most popular bestsellers, this sandwich comes with potato chips.

classic blt

Classic BLT P190

Classic BLT is short for sandwich with bacon, lettuce and tomatoes.It is also served with potato chips.

all day breakfast

All Day Breakfast  P195

Since the cafe opens at 10am, the All Day Breakfast can be your brunch.  For breakfast, I’m already solved with one sunny side up egg and one regular sized hotdog, but in Cafe Esse, they have 3 small pancakes with a sunny side-up egg, jumbo hotdog, and bacon strips.  This is perfect to be paired with a cup of hot coffee.

enjoying the food

Hahaha!  It’s evident in the photo that I really love the food.  One sandwich can already fill your tummy so it’s worth every penny that you will spend in the cafe.

pastries

Cakes and pastries

Unfortunately, we were nnot able to taste the sweets but definitely we will when we come back.

CR/Washroom Inspection

In my feature about Comida China de Manila, I have mentioned that I was impressed with their washroom.  Well, in Cafe Esse they have a small but very clean washroom.  They have quotes and note written on the wall creatively.

outside cr

The staff were very friendly and polite.

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The Cafe Esse Staff

Recommendations Button                             HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

yman and bruce

You will definitely love their drinks and food and I assure you that you will come back.  For reservations, you may call the contact numbers below.

CAFE ESSE

2/F CEO Building, L. Sumulong Circle, Brgy. San Roque, Antipolo City

Tel. no.: (02) 507-3956 ; 0927 8610571

 

 

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A Weekend Bonding with Nature @ Park, Rest & Dine

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It’s still my birthday month and as what I have mentioned in my previous post, I will feature restaurants where you can celebrate important events.  It’s one day after my son’s birthday so technically, we had his post-birthday celebration last Saturday.  This is one of my unforgettable trips because I was able to bond with my family in a not so distant place from ours and savor the beauty of nature.

This hidden gem  is already part of Baras, Rizal (though the address in Google is Antipolo).   Park, Rest & Dine Restaurant is a place where you can literally park your vehicle and taste delightsome”lutong bahay” food.  Being at the place made me feel more relaxed and for that particular moment, I had peace of mind.  Temporarily, I forgot about all the negative things I had in my mind and felt secured and relieved.

parking area

the parking area

trees

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WHY PARK, REST & DINE?

I was curious with the title– how they come up with such name and it’s a good thing that the owners were very accommodating though they were really busy at the time we visited.

We were able to have a short chitchat with the owners Ms. Melody and Sir Romano Syaman and asked about the concept of the place.  They lived in New York for 10 years and  during their stay in the United States,they would often see the sign “Park, Rest and Dine.” and from there, they got an idea what to name their restaurant.  It is for travelers who would like to park for a while, check in a room or dine for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Originally, when they started out in 2013, they had two rooms available for rent, but they decided not to offer the rooms anymore because they have limited supply of water.  They opted to just focus on the restaurant.

While waiting for the food to be cooked, we explored the place outside.  We didn’t even notice that 20 minutes have already passed.

THE RESTAURANT

You will definitely feel at home when you enter– the typical wooden furnitures, sofas, modern lighting and native decors will set your mood to relax and enjoy.

inside seating area

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This is a 12-hectare property— actually, they can accommodate more customers because they still have more tables with umbrella outside, but according to Ms. Melody they are just accommodating small groups.  Inside the restaurant, seating capacity is 20-25 pax.  The entrance can accommodate 10 pax and the veranda for another 20 pax.

veranda

       Park, Rest & Dine is open from 7am to 5pm.  Though they close that early, they are open for walk-in customers who would like to dine for dinner.  You can also call their Globe number for reservations (0926- 0560103).  They are open from Sunday to Saturday and even holidays.

Basically, the restaurant is just for families and barkadas.  They do not sell alcoholic beverages because they do not want to deal with drunk customers and they want to preserve the cleanliness of the place and maintain its wholesome image.

front area

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THE FOOD

family pic

These are some of the bestsellers that we have tried.  For the starter, we were served with a bowl of Sinigang sa Sugpo.  Not only the adults loved it, but the kids as well.

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Sinigang Sa Sugpo P280

diced chicken with veggies

Diced Chicken with Mixed Veggies P280

Chicken is one of my favorites and I was really glad that we were served with this dish.  That made it even better because it was served with half-cooked veggies (very good for health-conscious eaters).

sotanjon guisado

Special Sotangjon Guisado –  P280

This is an all-time favorite especially during parties.  What made it more special is the pork and veggies.

tanigue steak

Tanigue Steak     P380

The Tanigue Steak is one of their bestsellers because of its taste.  This is made of fried fish steaks cooked in soy sauce, topped with white onions and red bell pepper.

bulalo

Bulalo     P480

This soup is made of beef, cabbage and potatoes.  This is a hit for the adults but the kids prefer Sinigang sa Sugpo.

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Pancakes    P280

This is what I will remember about Park, Rest & Dine– I had the best and most delicious pancakes here!  Their pancakes are quite big and thick and they come with scrambled eggs and sliced hotdogs.

unli coffee

Unlimited Brewed Coffee   P60

Here at Park, Rest and Dine, you can have unlimited brewed coffee for only P60.  Yes, you read it right!  So for coffee lovers, this is surely something you won’t like to miss.

If you would like to have a unique dining experience, go out with your family or barkada and  give this a try!

PARK, REST & DINE

Marikina-Infanta Hi-Way, San Jose, Upper Antipolo

Mobile:  0926-0560103

 

Special Occasions @ Comida China de Manila

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       Special ocassions are meant to be celebrated with people who are dear to you– friends, colleagues, your someone special and family.  In my birthday month, I am featuring cafes/restaurants that are perfect for celebrating special events.  In my previous post, I already have featured a cool place to chill with stunning ambiance and cozy hang out place in Antipolo- Yellow Lantern Cafe. This time, because I will be sharing about my birthday celebration as well, I decided to celebrate my special day in one of the premier restaurants in Pasig– COMIDA CHINA DE MANILA.

Comida China de Manila is formerly known as Panciteria San Jacinto– one of the few restaurants that serve authentic Chinese food.  It was established in 1894 in Manila and in 1996 it has moved to E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue in Ugong, Pasig City( along C5 across SM Hypermart).  It was just in 2011 when the management has decided to change the name to Comida China de Manila– new name but still the same touch of authentic Chinese food that they serve to their satisfied customers for 124 years.

MY COMIDA CHINA DE MANILA EXPERIENCE

       Upon entering the restaurant, I couldn’t help but to appreciate everything that I see.  Others might visualize the place as a typical Chinese restaurant because of the table designs– I couldn’t help as well but to reminisc the days when I was a kid, we always go to Mamon Luk where we eat mami noodles), but here @ Comida China de Manila, everything is exquisite– from the contemporary furnishings, cleanliness of the place, delectable food and first class service. 

       In my press trips for restaurant reviews/features, we do not just check the ambiance, food and staff, we actually check the restrooms.  It was similar to the five-star hotels that we’ve visited like Shangri-la and Marco Polo because of their impressive, well-maintained and very clean washrooms.

       The restaurant is commodious enough to cater families and barkadas and other groups for lunch, merienda, dinner to late snack.  They open from 11am to 10pm from Mondays to Saturdays and 10am to 10pm during Sundays.

       They have a conference room (good for 20 pax) for business meetings and function rooms where you can hold events like christening, weddings, birthdays and Christmas parties.  (You can get info about the function room rates here).

function rooms

MY BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION @ COMIDA CHINA DE MANILA

On my special day, I wasn’t feeling well, so instead of having an overnight staycation in a hotel, I opted to have a simple birthday dinner with my family @ Comida China de Manila.   After waiting for hubby and the kids, we headed there right away.  I thought this will just be a simple dinner, but I was really dumbfounded when I entered the place.  I was treated with such royalty that I was indeed wearing an invisible crown and dazzling diamond jewelry set.   Well, I was quite speechless but after a second that seemed like eternity, I was back in my senses.  There we were, escorted by Harry, Norlan and Racquel to  the conference room to use which can accommodate 20 pax.

table1

        Actually, the room was too big for us–there were two long tables in the airconditioned conference room.  We occupied one table and because we have a hyper 5-y/o kid with us, it’s fine for him to run around the room because the door is closed.  At the time that we arrived (8pm), the restaurant was already jampacked with people.  I suggest that you reserve the conference room (if you will come in small group) if would like to have privacy and enjoy the ocassion with your visitors/companions.

THEIR FOOD

          Are you wondering why people keep coming back to Comida China de Manila?  I will share the bestsellers that we have enjoyed in my birthday celebration.

menu

            At Comida China de Manila, they have set menus that you can choose from (for meetings and events) but you can customize your own.  If you plan to just hang out and have simple lunch or dinner, you can order ala carte instead.  Here are the recommended dishes if you will be holding your event here.

cold cuts

Cold Cuts Platter (M) P603.00

This comes with their famous Asado, Pata Jamon and Lechon served with Chinese Sausage, Century Eggs and Seaweeds.

Comida China Soup

Comida China Soup (M) P522.00

Comida China Soup is their House Special (also known as the “balut soup” ) because it looks and tastes like “balut.”  This is made of eggs, minced porl, peas, carrots and seaweeds.  This is a must-try for first timers in this restaurant.

Bird's Nest with Quail Eggs Soup.jpg

Bird’s Nest with Quail Eggs Soup (M) P420.00

When the staff saw that we have kids, Ms. Raquel suggested that it would be better if we will have either Bird’s Nest qith Quail Eggs Soup or Sweet Corn Soup.  I chose this and I was right– my five-year old kid loved the soup!  This is their version of the traditional soup made with nido, minced pork and quail eggs.

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Comida China Chow Mein (M) P552.00

Because it was my birthday, and as part of tradition (I’m 1/4 Chinese), we have noodles or pasta on the table everytime we celebrate our birthday.  The Chinese believe that the noodles/pasta will give you long life.   It has shrimp, pork and Chinese brocolli leaves, carrots and black mushrooms.  I loved the sauce and the half cooked veggies.

Yang Chow Fried Rice

Yang Chow Fried Rice (M)P441.00

I love flavored rice that’s why I was delighted when I saw the Yang Chow Fried Rice.  I didn’t even force the kids to have more rice because of its taste.

China Chicken.jpg

China Chicken  (1/2) P428

I always look for chicken in parties and I was really glad it was included in the dishes for my birthday celebration.  My father told me that my Chinese grandfather used to cook something like this before– golden brown chicken with soy sauce gravy.  Of course, the presentation here is quite different– they topped it with crispy shrimp crackers. 

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Sliced Fish with Sweet and Sour Sauce  (M) P524.00

For fish lovers, this plate of golden-fried sliced parrot fish topped with fresh julienned vegetables with sweet and sour sauce is also a must-try.  

fried shrimp bals.jpg

Fried Shrimp Balls (M) P1,116.00

This is the star of our feast and a big hit to the kids– we loved the scrumptious shrimp balls.  Every bite is sooo heavenly that we had to eat slowly to savor every minute of it.  This is one of their most expensive dishes, but this should be in your list especially if you have kids in the event.

Butchi

Butchi (3 pcs.) P99.00

          My hubby and father enjoyed the butchi but the kids and I wanted and was craving for something.  I was feeling dizzy even the day before (abnormal uterine bleeding and mild anemia), so I just stayed in my bedroom and didn’t even manage to order a cake and ice cream for myself.   After few minutes, Sir Norlan came in with a birthday cake from Mom and Tina’s Bakery Cafe. That made my day!  I’m a kid at heart so definitely the sumptuous meals won’t be complete without the luscious cake 🙂  

             We were extremely satisfied with the food but we didn’t manage to have another plate for another round– it’s because our tummies are already full.  

feast

          Thank you again, Comida China de Manila— that was so sweet!  I was speechless for a while but I managed to express my gratitude to them and to their staff who were with us in the conference room to attend to our needs.   

staff

Comida China de Manila’s staff


with norlan

With Sir Norlan

For a hassle-free meetings and events, Comida China de Manila will take care of all your needs.  No need to worry about cakes and other desserts because Mom & Tina’s Bakery Cafe is just beside the restaurant.  

mom and tina's facade

 

 

TBIP highly recommends Comida China de Manila. 

Please refer to these details:

 

 

Address:  FRDC Bldg., 106 E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue, Ugong, Pasig City 

Tel Nos:  (02) 671-5942 /(02) 914-0832

Website:  https://comidachinademanila.com/

 

Celebrations @ Yellow Lantern Cafe

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Few cartwheels and somersaults away from my home in Antipolo City is the Xentromall, but my brilliant discovery that I would like to share with you is the Yellow Lantern Cafe, a cool place where you can hang out with your friends, chill during weekends, bond with your family and celebrate your special occasion.  I had my pre-birthday celebration here last weekend and we really had a blast!   Yellow Lantern Cafe is situated in Comoda Ville in Mambugan, Antipolo City (near Cafe Lupe).

jas tables

Upon entering the cafe, you will be filled with positive energy and happiness because of the yellow vibrant color that eliminates all the negative vibes. The cafe is furnished with tables and yellow chairs with a mini yellow lantern and sartin cup on top of each table.  I couldn’t help but to notice the creative yellow chandeliers made of bottles.

lantern

yellow lantern and sartin cup for each table

Christmas is already in the air!  They have the Christmas tree and Santa Claus in the entrance door and we couldn’t let the day pass without having a photograph beside it.  The atmosphere creates a homey feeling wherein you can simply stay and enjoy the place with your friends and family.

The interior design of the cafe is impressive– it actually displays the artistic side and showcases Filipino touch in their furnishings and displays.

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Each table inside the cafe can accommodate 5-6 pax.  They also have tables in the veranda wherein you can enjoy watching the overlooking view and sunset.

sunset

In time for meetings, videoke sessions, celebrations or special events, YLC has two function rooms (Simone’s Room and Sadie’s Room) which can be rented for P5k for 3 hours (with consumables and videoke) and can accommodate 20 pax.  The 2 rooms can be combined to accommodate more people (10k for 3 hours with consumables and videoke).

So, what else made YLC exceptional?  Aside from the charming and homey ambiance, what you should check here in YLC are their bestsellers.  Traditional dishes are complimented with Filipino touch– It’s comfort food presented in a classy style and affordable prices.

 

menu

menu1

THE APPETIZERS:

gambas

GAMBAS P230

We had Gambas for the starter.  The kids and I loved this shrimp dish because of its sauce. (What makes the marinate special is the shrimp extract that gives the dish extra tasty flavor) I am not much into seafood but this definitely is a must try 🙂

battered chicken fingers

Battered Chicken Fingers P385 (3-4 pax)

Battered Chicken Fingers is served with camote chips.  For picky eaters like me, this one is a life saver! It is also best to order this if you have kids with you.

MUST-TRY SPECIALS

umaapaw in paellera

UMAAPAW IN PAELLERA  P450 (5-6 pax)

This is YELLOW LANTERN CAFE’s  signature dish.  We were amazed to experience having the traditional paella served in Filipino style.  Instead of the usual seafood and meat in Spanish Paella, Umaapaw in Paellera has bagoong rice, topped with dilis, scrambled eggs, salted duck eggs (itlog na maalat), longganisa, eggplants, onions, and mangga.  They serve it with homemade spiced vinegar and chili garlic.  Instead of lemons, it is served with calamansi.

papa bbq ribs

american bbq ribs

American BBQ Ribs with Hickory Sauce   P585  (5-6 pax)

This is also one of the kids’ favorites in YLC.  The meat is so tender and tasty.  We loved the potato wedges as well.

DESSERT

chocnut cheesecake

Chocnut Cheesecake  P145

This is their signature dessert– cheesecake combined with Chocnut.  I couldn’t help but to reminisc my childhood days wherein I used to eat a pack of Chocnuts (hihihi!).

fruit platter

FRUIT PLATTER     P275

We had a platter of fruits for finale –  slices of watermelon, apple, orange, pineapple, etc.

DRINKS

The drinks were refreshing, but I prefer the fresh lemonade.  Thank you, Sir Oliver for preparing these drinks!  They also have a bar wherein you can enjoy having your favorite drinks with your friends.

bar

The meals I presented above are their bestsellers.  They still have other dishes in their menu which you can check out here.

YLC is open everyday except Mondays from 11am to 12 midnight.

jas and shane

We really had a blast!  Aside from the family bonding and the sumptuous meal that we had, we felt at home.  We would like to express our gratitude to the YLC staff  especially to Chef Carl Bautista in making my pre-birthday celebration extra special.

staff yellow lantern

The YLC Staff

with Chef Carl Bautista

With Chef Carl Bautista, Operations Head of YLC

What are you waiting for?  Come and check this out!

YLC_Logo_lowres(with-background)-1

267-268 Comoda Ville, Sumulong Highway, Brgy. Mambugan, Antipolo City

(02) 631-5648 / 0995-0898538

YELLOW LANTERN CAFE LILAC

84 Lilac St., SSS Village, Marikina City

(02) 231993 / 0923- 4471158/ 0995- 0898538

Email:  yellowlanterncafe@yahoo.com

 

 

 

An Overnight Chill at Marco Polo Ortigas

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I was on leave for one month due to abnormal uterine bleeding, and when it was time for me to go back to work, I  though of destressing for a night.  Well, I didn’t make up my mind that day– that’s why I didn’t prepare and pack my things for an overnight stay in Marco Polo Ortigas.

I was in Marco Polo that morning because I had to screen tutor applicants.  My plan was to go back at home after few hours, but then part of me would like to take a break and release all the negative energies.  After mentally arguing with myself, I just made an impulse decision!  I booked a continental room online and voila! After a minute, the booking was already confirmed.  I went to the 24th floor where I checked in before, but I was redirected to the 44th floor where Continental Club is located.

continetal club sign

 

check in

Private check-in @ The Continental Club

I checked in around 9 am and after filling out the info sheet, I was asked to go back at 12nn to get the keycards.

Realizing that we had no extra clothes, I called at home and asked my father to bring some clothes for me and my daughter Shane.  Because it was unplanned, I knew that I won’t be able to wear what I wanted.  I had to accept the consequences though because I decided to push through with the booking at the last minute.

Before 12nn, we went back to the Continental Club and got the keycards.  I was with my 11 year old daughter (Shane) that time.  I asked the front desk staff (I forgot her name) about the afternoon tea @ the Continental Club Lounge but I was informed that children are not allowed in the lounge during weekdays.  She said that Shane will be allowed in Connect Lounge @ the 24th floor.  That was confusing though because I still have to accompany the kid and quite weird because she will have her meals at Connect while I will have mine at the club lounge.

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suite

We checked our Continental Club room first.  We didn’t have our bags because as what I have mentioned earlier, this was an unplanned booking.  They were probably wondering why we didn’t have our luggages.  After taking a peek in our room, we decided to rest for few minutes and dine there.

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freebies:  3 pieces of red apples

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We went down to 7-11 to buy take out food for our lunch.

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This Continental Club room is larger than the previous one that we have booked last summer.  It has a sliding glass door that separates the bedroom from the mini dining area.  The bathroom is also more spacious.

The reason why I always want a Continental Club room is because of its FREE access to the Continental Club Lounge where guests can have free drinks and have afternoon tea & snacks @ 2pm.  Another benefit is the free use of boardroom for 2 hours.  It was in time that I booked there and we were able to use the boardroom because at that time people were in the community meeting room in the 19th floor where supposedly was scheduled for us.

boardroom

We had our tutor orientation @ The Continental Club Lounge Boardroom.

After utilizing the boardroom for the tutor orientation,I went back to our room and let Shane get ready for the afternoon tea @ Connect Lounge in the 24th floor.  I decided to join her rather than leave her and have my snacks at the club lounge.  When I approached the lady at thebar, she already knew that we would be coming.  She said that she got a call from the Continental Club and instructed her to reserve a table for us for the afternoon tea.  I assumed that they knew what they were doing, so I convinced myself that everything has been taken cared of.

reserved

It was also a time for my daughter and I to bond so it was just a perfect decision for me to join her.    In my previous post about our afternoon tea @ CONNECT Lounge, I already featured the inclusions for the Traditional Afternoon Tea. Again I have chosen the Traditional over Asian.   I just had Cappucino and juice for Shane instead of tea.

 

connect

shane connect

When we went back to our Continental Club room, I felt uneasy and quite bothered.  I couldn’t help myself but to  call the frontdesk to confirm whether we have a problem having our snacks at Connect Lounge rather than having it at the club lounge.    I hate HASSLE during our stay and I wanted to make sure that I won’t pay extra upon check out.  I asked if my privelege as Continental Club guest is the same as what we had at Connect Lounge.   If we can eat unli snacks and have unli drinks in the Continental Club Lounge, I wondered if it’s also the same in Connect since the receptionist told me that Shane won’t be allowed in the Continental Club Lounge.  I was alarmed when I was informed that it’s not, but after few minutes of talking, I was assured that I didn’t have to worry about anything and that Shane will be allowed to be with me in the club lounge since she is already 11.

After resting for few hours, we went to the lobby and looked for my father.  I asked him to bring us clothes– as expected, I got what I didn’t want but it was fine with me.  What I wanted was a relaxing stay and a night to chill @ the hotel.  This is not the usual photo sessions during my press trip.

lobby

After unpacking, we got ready for the cocktail time @ The Continental Lounge.  I am not into drinking wine so we just had dinner in the club lounge.

at your service lounge

Everybody @ the Continental Club Lounge takes good care of their guests 🙂

continental lounge 1

library

In Continental Club Lounge, you can get as many food and drinks that you want (that’s the reason why I always book for a club room in 5-star hotels).  Actually, before we get our things in the lobby, we dropped by here to drink a glass of orange and apple juice.

pasta chef

The staff asked us about our preferred pasta and I chose spaghetti in red sauce and penne in white sauce.

burger

Our tummies were satisfied– we had pasta and sweets so we didn’t have to go out and order for expensive food.    We just watched TV in our room then I had a relaxing hot tub bath.

Evening won’t be perfect without having a cup of coffee.  We have tea/coffee making facilities in the room.  I opted for the free instant coffee because I preferred to use the Nespresso machine the following day.

view at night

We had a good night sleep, but I made sure that we will be able to enjoy and make the most out of our stay.  While I was preparing our things, we had a cup of cofee in the room using the Nespresso machine.

nespresso machine

After that, we had breakfast @ the Continental Lounge before we had  our morning swim.

breakfast

Because I couldn’t use the fitness center (I had abnormal uterine bleeding last month), we just conditioned ourselves to spend the morning in the indoor pool.

flow2

flow reception

We headed to the changing room first and had a quick shower before getting our fresh towels in the pool area.

changing room

 

shane

You almost have everything in the changing room from warm water to drink, mouthwash, cotton buds, lotion, toner, shampoo and body wash.  You just have to bring your own comb or hairbrush.  They do not have one unlike in Edsa Shangrila.

me

 

shane swim

I didn’t spend much time in the swimming pool, I enjoyed the jacuzzi more.

jacuzzi

I was not comfortable during the morning swim because of the pool attendant.  It’s as if he can see every single movement.

shane poolside

Before 10 am, we went back to the changing room to spend few minutes in the sauna room and take a quick shower.

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Because we had to leave before 12nn, we went back to the Continental Club Lounge for our lunch.

afritada lunch

In a while, we prepared our things and called the Continental Club Lounge for check out.

check out

Since it was an impulse booking experience, and I didn’t have any fashion photoshoots, it’s just the experience that I would share here.

Actually, I prefer Edsa Shangri-la than Marco Polo because the amenities and the room is way better than the latter but I was already there, I didn’t want to transfer to another hotel anymore.  You can have a club room in Edsa Shangrila for 15k but I got mine at Marco Polo for only 10k.  Of course, the 15k has its own living area while the latter doesn’t have one.  The swimming pool, fitness center and jacuzzi is also better as expected.

So, did I achieve my purpose?  Yes, though it wasn’t carefully planned.

Rating:  fourstars

It’s above average but I wasn’t completely satisfied with the breakfast.  They need to have variety of choices for their customers but the staff are very polite and attentive.

MARCO POLO ORTIGAS MANILA

Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City

(02) 720-7777

 

Nails Glow @ Xentro Mall Antipolo (Spa Detective Series)

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It’s been a while since I had my last spa treatment–that was before my summer Boracay trip last year.  I missed the skin pampering and destressing sessions I had when I wasn’t that busy yet.  Now, I have health issues and even if I have the time, I feel sooooo lazy to go to a spa and destress.

Oh well, Xentro Mall Antipolo was just built few months ago and it’s just walking distance from our place in Mambugan, Antipolo City (across Josefina Subdivision).   Now, it’s very convenient for me everytime I want to have my nails get polished and have a body scrub or foot spa, it’s just few somersaults away!

 

AMBIANCE: (4 stars) Very relaxing and clean.  Colorful and modern furnishings are pleasing to the eyes.  You will also be relaxed by the music as you enter the place.

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SPACE:  The space for foot and hand treatments are just for 5-6 pax and I won’t bother to come in if the place is already full with customers. They just have two small rooms for waxing, massage, facial treatment and body scrub.  They have a common CR where staff and customers use.

SERVICE:

FOOT SPA:  5 stars – I super love their premium foot spa for only P250.

MANI/PEDICURE:  3.5 stars- Probably, I just didn’t like the nail polish shades they have.

BODY SCRUB:  1 star- I wasn’t satisfied with the body scrub I had because I expected this to be done in almost an hour.  I would still go for Z Spa and Soulscape’s body scrub.  After the treatment, I didn’t feel anything special with my skin.

I wanted to try their facial treatment but it is kinda expensive.

PRICE:  3.5 stars – The premium foot spa is worth the price but the other services are overpriced.  It is not even inside a hotel.

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Because I’m a CERTIFIED SPA DETECTIVE, I am committed in giving you my honest opinion based from my experience.

SUGGESTIONS:

1. Create affordable packages that the customers won’t be able to resist.

2.  Offer tea/refreshments to the customers especially those who would avail the spa services/treatments.

3.  Renovate the small rooms and restroom.

This is all for now since I haven’t tried their other services yet.  If ever you would like to visit them at the 2nd level of Xentro Mall Antipolo in Mambugan, Antipolo City, look for Berly.  Everytime I wanted to have a foot spa or mani/pedi service, I look for her– she’s good 🙂

Afternoon Tea Bonding @ CONNECT Marco Polo

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with shane

with my daughter, Shane

I was with my daughter one time in Marco Polo (we took advantage of the class suspension).  I wanted to try a new cafe, but that particular day, I think I had 5 or 6 cups of coffee already– I wanted to try something new instead.  The next thing I knew, I was dialing Marco Polo’s phone number and inquired about their afternoon tea @ Connect Lounge and  I successfully reserved seats for two at 3pm.

shane

iced tea for kids

at your service

CONNECT Lounge is located in the 24th floor of Marco Polo Ortigas– near the lobby where hotel guests check in and out.  Usually, business meetings and coffee breaks are held there.

Upon approaching the staff in the counter, we were immediately ushered to our reserved table.  We were given our drinks first– tea for me and iced tea for Shane.  We super loooooved the view!  While sipping our drinks and enjoying the snacks, we also watched the view from the glass window.

shane2

tea.jpg

When I was asked to choose between Asian and Traditional Afternoon Tea, I instantly have chosen the latter because I like sandwiches and sweets than Asian treats.

tea n caketea with snacks

TRADITIONAL AFTERNOON TEA (Php 1,200)

1st Tier (FINGER SANDWICHES)

  • tomato and mozarella
  • egg and cucumber
  • ham and mango relish
  • smoked salmon

2nd tier- SCONES

  • cream
  • raspberry jam

3rd tier- DESSERTS

  • English fruitcake
  • Chorix swans with passion-fruit cream
  • Chocolate eclair
  • Strawberry tart

Honestly, we couldn’t eat everything and we had to ask the staff to prepare the leftovers for takeout.

My rating for CONNECT’s  Afternoon Tea

5 stars

Why did I give a 5-star rating?

AMBIANCE:  Perfect!  The place is clean and has a nice view of the buildings.

STAFF: very friendly and attentive.

PRICE:  quite expensive but it’s worth the price I paid for

TASTE:  above average

CONNECT LOUNGE

24/F Marco Polo Ortigas Manila, Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City

Phone # : (+632) 720 7777

 

Summer Family Vacay @ CJH Part 2

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In my previous post, I already have toured you in our spacious suite. Now, I will tell you about our second and last day in The Manor @ Camp John Hay.   After getting disappointed because I wasn’t able to use the jacuzzi at the Health Club, we decided to go back to the room and take a shower.

We had a problem with the toilet because the one that we have in the bedroom is clogged.  Unfortunately, the water basin didn’t flush so we had to go to the smaller toilet in the living room and we have to wait for our turn if needed.  That was uncomfortable on our part.

After packing our stuff and getting dressed up, we headed to the restaurant.  Oh yes, everytime we have a staycation or in a press trip, I always look forward to the buffet breakfast.  Before we entered  Le Chef, we were able to clear things out with the additional charges with the staff and I already have asked the hotel about it prior to our arrival and everything was settled.  There were plenty of tables inside but we opted to sit outside where we can see the beauty of God’s work.

It’s a good thing that they had corned beef, hashbrowns and chicken sausages at that time.  I was quite pleased with what I have chosen. The hot congee and sweets made it perfect.  I didn’t go for coffee that morning; instead, I settled for pineapple juice.

bruce breakfast

My youngest just tried the sweets but my other kids had taho– this is a breakfast ritual for them eveytime they are in Baguio.

Hubby picked fruits as usual.

Out of 5 stars, I would give 4 to their buffet breakfast.

After we filled out our tummies, we went for a walk around the area.  We decided to spend the rest of the hours there because we will be checking out in a while.  The kids were amazed of the animal statues, park and mini playground.

cjh

facade

We were enjoying our walk outside and we didn’t want to go back to the room yet but we had to because we had to get ready for check out 😦  I got a letter when we got back to the room, reminding me that we had to leave before 12nn.

I had no issue with the check-out.  Kudos to the hotel staff!

check out

Check-out was hassle-free.  Thanks to the staff!

So, another sad part is this:  we had to walk with our suitcases and other luggages from the hotel entrance to Ayala Technohub where we looked for a place to eat, but unfortunately, the restaurants were jampacked with people.  Luckily, there was a vacant table @ Pizza Volante.

Here’s my rating for The Manor:

3.5 stars

Should I come back?  Not sure.

Would I recommend it?  See and experience for yourself, haha! If ever you would, bring your own car.

Idle Mode for 5 Months

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Honestly, I didn’t really know what happened, but it’s been five months that I haven’t blogged about my recent activities– this is already quite alarming! I must admit that I felt so lazy that  I didn’t even post about our Baguio trip last May and I am really soooooo guilty of myself and to my readers that I haven’t shared any post at all.  I just woke up one morning and thought that this couldn’t go on for so long and so, I AM BACK!
       I tried to figure out why and I guess I was just too exhausted.  Last month, I was confined in the hospital because of D&C procedure.  I still couldn’t understand why I had my abnormal uterine bleeding and for a week already I have my UTI attack.  I didn’t go to work because of pain and I need to rest.  I’ve been dealing with stress lately– to the point that I thought of quitting my job already.  It’s no joke, folks!  I’m dead serious about this.  If only I have enough resources this time and I already am debt-free, I wouldn’t have second thoughts and could’ve taken the plunge.  Well, it’s not easy as ABC and 1-2-3, unfortunately… I should accept that reality.  As days go by, I motivate myself that in few months, I would be able to get out of this (That’s the least I can do to help myself.)

 

october stats

       I just opened wordpress today and was quite pleased with the stats.  I couldn’t believe that I have readers everyday even if I don’t have new posts.  Oh well, the more I feel guilty!  I realized that I have stories that readers might be interested with.  Let’s name a few:
1. Tea Time @ Marco Polo Ortigas Manila 
2.  My Auto Loan Experience
3.  Nails Glow Xentro Mall Review
4.  Horrible experience and Harrassment from Fitness First
4. My 16th Wedding Anniversary (I cancelled booking in one of my favorite hotels Discovery Suites because of my UTI.)  I prefer booking somewhere near our place but still unsuccessful because Vieux Chalet isn’t responding to my email message and text message.
and more to follow…
Til next post, dear readers!