My Boracay 2019 Day 6 (Summer Diaries Special)

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This blog tells about our last day in Boracay on May 4, 2019.  The three of us- hubby, myself and Bruce stayed in Estacio Uno Boracay while the others- Shane, Kyle and my father were left in Alta Vista de Boracay.  So, this set-up was kinda risky because this will be the first time that my father ( a senior citizen) would check out and I was praying that there would be no hassle that day.

After the sumptuous dinner that we had the previous night, we slept early.  We had a good night sleep– congratulations, Estacio Uno!  There’s only one teeny tiny thing  that you have to improve, but other than this– no more.  (Please see my separate post about my hotel review).  I wanted to check the hotel’s extension in the main road but we were not able to do so.  Probably when I come back, we can check how it looks like.

 When we woke up, we had a cup of coffee (that’s the daily routine for us) then I checked if the kids and my father have already prepared for breakfast.   I reminded them that they will be picked up at 9:30am and they need to be in the lobby by 9am and they should dial 0 for luggage assistance.

While Bruce was still sleeping, we took advantage of the time to go out and had a very quick pictorial.  Oh my!  I know I hate cramming, but we had some sort of adrenaline that we never get exhausted especially that we need a lot of catching up to do— we needed more photos and videos.  I really couldn’t believe that 6 days were NOT enough.  On my next vacay in the island, it would just be me, hubby and Shane so there will be less worry on my part and we can ENJOY for few days.

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PICTORIAL!  

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While the priests and nuns were praying (facing the grotto in Willy’s Rock), we were having our pictorial.    Also in the other side, the Koreans who had the pre-nup pictorial the day before were also here doing photoshoot #2.  I was tempted to walk there wearing my white gown, but it wasn’t pressed.  Unfortunately, they also have no iron in the hotel room.  If only Hubby would join me, I would love to pose there, but who would dare to walk in front of many people with that kind of gown?  So you will see in my photos below that I was just lying on the bed/daybed so it won’t be obvious that the gown needs serious pressing.

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BREAKFAST

When Bruce woke up, we got ready for breakfast @ Estacio Uno Boracay.  Though there were only limited selection of food, I didn’t have any complain with the taste and service.

As soon as we have finished eating, we went to the beach to swim.  Bruce was looking at the water while we were having our breakfast– as if he wanted to jump!

MORNING SWIM at WHITE BEACH

We were running out of time and because we will be picked by the BPHT staff at 9:30am, we had to make sure that there was time for swimming!

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beach with bruce 2.jpg

When Bruce was already shivering, they went to the pool for the last dip!

SWIMMING AT THE POOL

I opted not to swim in the pool cos that time I was getting ready for another PICTORIAL.  I wasn’t able to wear my white wedding gown so I decided to just wear it inside so I can have photos in that white dress.

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WEDDING PICTORIAL

So here it is, my photos using my wedding gown I ordered from Amazon.

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GOING HOME

After last minute check for the things that we packed, I got a call from the front desk and I was informed that the staff from BPHT is already in the lobby to pick us up.

with bruce check out

after the check out

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with Ms. Sheelo of BPHT

 

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van to Boracay Airport

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If we have encountered a problem in The NAIA airport Terminal 3, we didn’t have any problem in Boracay Airport.  All the staff and employees were professional from the guard to the CSR assistants.

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We are ready to board 😦 Sad but we have to go back to reality.

boarding passes

Have you noticed my shimmering cheeks and liquid eyeliner?  Hehehe!  Ever since we went to Boracay, this is the first time I had visible makeup.  The whole stay in the island I had this very simple and innocent No MAKEUP look.  Thanks to Pond’s, I didn’t have a dry face.

at the bus

There you go— family pic inside the plane 🙂

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I prebooked our meals online because this would be our lunch.  This time, some of the orders were not available, they replaced those with other meals– the flight attendant informed that.  I thought that there was no problem with my daughter’s kiddie meal.  I ordered mini pizza for her and she got the box,  It’s only in the house that I found out that when she opened the box, she only got 1 KITKAT chocolate and 1 Chuckie Choco Drink.

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Roasted Chicken

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Chicken Spaghetti

Finally, we were home at around 3pm and though it wasn’t a perfect vacay, I was thankful because I was able to spend my time with the whole family.

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My Boracay 2019 Day 5 (Summer Diaries Special)

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Hubby and I really wanted to go back to Puka Shell Beach because the kids wanted to collect seashells and have a morning swim, but if we will push through with that itinerary, nobody would buy food for the rest of the family members who will stay in the loft room for lunch and dinner.  We made sure though, that we squeezed our time in the morning to swim with the kids in the infinity pool.  Though we were not satisfied with the loft room in Alta Vista de Boracay, our consolation prize is the swimming pool.  As long as the kids are enjoying, I can temporarily forget that I was totally disappointed.

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buding

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As early as 6:15am , we were already in the lobby so we can wait for L’Altura where the buffet breakfast is served to open.  While waiting, I spoke to the front desk officer that we would be out to transfer to another hotel but two adults and 1 kid would be staying and the senior citizen will be the one to check out the following day.  We also paid the excess fee for breakfast of P175.00 for two days so my father won’t be having trouble during the check out.

at the veranda morning

We had our breakfast first before the morning swim and luckily, we were able to dine with a mountain view– so far, it was a great morning.

l altura

 

 

 

The kids can survive with cereals and egg and I can survive with chicken, pasta, eggs and hotdogs.  What I don’t like is that they don’t have an egg station where you can order on the spot and they cook on the spot too.  Hubby had to request the staff for eggs to be served in our table.  As for the sweets—Uhmmm, it’s understandable that they don’t have cakes and ice cream cos it  isn’t a five star hotel anyway.

After the breakfast, at past 7am, we got ready to swim with the kids.  Morning swim was our bonding with the kiddos and we had the fulfill that promise.

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SWIMMING TIME!

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family pic pool

After swimming, we went to Citymall to buy groceries for the rest of the family members and lunch.  We have discovered an eatery near BDO in Citymall (you will just walk across) where you can buy affordable “lutong bahay” dishes– lumpiang gulay for only P10 each, 1 cup of rice for only P10, the pork dishes for P40 and fish for P50.  Most of the people eating there are tricycle drivers.  You can come here if you are in a tight budget.  Too bad, we just discovered this place on that day 😦

 

Just across the eatery, you will find Belmar’s store where you can buy plastic bag and other stuff.

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After having our lunch in our hotel room, we packed our things, sorted out the wet clothes

We were transferred to Estacio Uno Boracay by BPHT and after few minutes of verification, we were given seashell necklaces and welcome drinks.

check in estacio

This is my second time in Estacio Uno and though the hotel is kinda small compared to other beachfront hotels, I like the interiors and the service.    There are only few things they have to improve but overall, I recommend this hotel and probably would be back some other time.

bruce and hubby waiting

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Bruce enjoying his welcome drink

We loved the room though it is small because of its chic design.  We only brought 1 kid with us because we would pay extra for additional guests.  Aside from that, the room is only good for two adults.

estacio room 1

After checking in, we rested for a while because it’s still freakin’ HOT outside and I had a cup of coffee while picking what we will wear for the rest of the day until the following day.

 

After the coffee break, we went out for the afternoon swim.

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I super loved their free toiletries and what they don’t have in other hotels is here– the sewing kit for wardrobe malfunction.

SWIMMING @ THE WHITE BEACH

afternoon swim beach

 

SWIMMING AT THE POOL

 

After the swimming, we got ready for our complimentary dinner in Estacio Uno and I thought we would have a problem because the front desk staff were not aware of that.  They told me that they only provide the guests with complimentary breakfast but the dinner is NOT complimentary.  I informed them that I only got the info in the hotel voucher and after a minute of verification, they asked us to choose from the menu of worth P1,000.

Surprisingly, the food is affordable– you can buy double burger patty with fries for only P185.  Other dishes were only averaging to P200 up and the food tasted good.

 

We just had the food served in our room because we were not comfortable eating in the lobby, hahaha!

dinner estacio room

After the dinner, we decided to sleep early because it will be the last day in Boracay the following day and whether we like it or not, we have to go back in Manila 😦

REFLECTIONS:

  1.  This day, I have realized that despite of being upset for different reasons, we still have to manage how to smile and be positive.
  2. We just realized we should have discovered the affordable eatery right away.  In that way, we could have saved a lot of money.  We just chilled in the first few days because what we have in mind is that we still have the time to explore.  Lesson learned:  Do what you have to do before it’s too late.
  3. We were glad we have organized everything in advance that’s why we didn’t have any hassle this day.

For the hotel review of Alta Vista and Estacio Uno, watch out for my next posts and my vlogs as well in my Youtube channel.

 

My Boracay 2019 Day 4 (Summer Diaries Special)

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Hello!  This is Day 4 of our 6 day Boracay Summer Diaries.  If you have read my previous post, I was disappointed with our loft room.  After checking in to Alta Vista de Boracay, we have rested the previous night to devote the following day to bond with the 3 kids at Puka Beach and the hotel’s infinity pool.

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So, after the disappointment I had with our loft room, I had to think how are we going to be productive that day. (Yes, I was soooooo disappointed  because the room is quite old and the furnitures are also outdated already.  They need to make a MAJOR room makeover). 

every summer has a story

As what the pic says, “Every summer has a story and our stay with Alta Vista was a nightmare.”

We have prepped our day by starting to fill our tummies with their buffet breakfast.  The restaurant was already jampacked with guests so we just had our buffet breakfast in the basement.

 

breakfast day 1

Well, the food was just ok, but nothing spectacular with the taste– it was like I ate a cardboard with a flavor.  Just for the sake to have energy for our morning bonding with the kids and for getting the worth of what we paid for, we ate the food.

The pool was so inviting, but we had to resist the temptation because we had to go to Puka Beach that morning.  Heading there in the afternoon would definitely be sooooo hot.

to the hymettus bldg

We went back to the room to change and get our stuff.  I was so disgusted because we were 6 in the room but there were only toiletries for two pax.  In Ambassador where we checked in from the 29th til May 1, 2019, they provided toiletries, freebies like coffee and tea for 5 adults and replenish the supplies on a daily basis.  In Alta Vista, I had to request for slippers– they did NOT anticipate what the guests would be needing.  I even requested for additional toiletries as well– Oh my!  I went there for vacation but I was even more stressed.  You had to REQUEST for something they did NOT provide.

When we went to the lobby to wait for the shuttle service, the guard asked us to be seated for a while and he will just call us as soon as the shuttle arrives.  To our dismay, the shuttle arrived but he didn’t call us.  We were about to stand but there was no room for us anymore, so there was noting to do but to wait for another shuttle.  After 15 minutes, we were able to have a ride.

disappointed

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When we were already dropped to PUKA BEACH, we were directed to the towel booth where we were given 5 beach towels to use and we were given a small table and thin bench where we can sit for a while and place our stuff.

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towel area

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When we arrived, we almost have the beach to ourselves– only few guests of Alta Vista were there so the kids were excited to have their morning swim.

bruce puka

The kids enjoyed picking up shells in Puka Shell Beach.  They were amazed to see the sand there is different than the powdery white sand in White Beach.

sand at puka

After picking up shells, the kids enjoyed swimming for a while because after limited time of bliss, it was replaced by another disappointment.  Just in an instant, with my own eyes, I witnessed how Puka Beach has transformed into a jetty port!

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The boats that were scheduled to have island hopping docked in the swimming area and so the other guests got furious as well.

Oh well, our day was ruined already and it’s a loooooong day so I thought we were already there so we should just enjoy the beach anyway.

family pic puka 1

I temporarily forgot everything because Hubby treated us for ice cream, hehe!

I admired the ice cream vendor because he really waited for the ice cream wrappers and provided a plastic bag where we can place the trash so the cleanliness of the beach will be maintained– VERY GOOD!  He even gave us a tip that if we really wanted some privacy and have the whole beach to ourselves–without those boats, we should come at 8am or 3pm.  Hubby and I wanted to come back in the morning the following day but the challenge would be the schedule– if we can provide food for them until dinner we can hit the beach the whole morning.

After last round of swimming and collecting seashells, we went back to the hotel already because we need to go to the Citymall to buy food for dinner.  We just had cup noodles for lunch so since the following day we will leave the 2 kids and my father in Alta Vista, we need to have stock of groceries for them.  Hubby and I, together with Bruce will transfer to Estacio Uno so we really have to make sure that everything is organized and that there will be no hassle as well.

citymall boracay

We have bought groceries in Crafts of Boracay and Budget Mart and the products are quite expensive and we were surprised because in Savemore in Citymall, the prices didn’t change.  Every week, we do our grocery shopping either in SM Masinag and Savemore in Xentro Mall Antipolo so we know the prices 🙂

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We even discovered that you can buy inexpensive rice meals here but unfortunately we couldn’t bear the long queue for payment so we just decided to order in Jollibee instead.

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dinner at the veranda

We made use of the veranda not to dry the clothes because there was nothing pleasant to the eyes to view here.  We opted to just stay in the bedroom in the loft to rest in our free time.  Too bad, there was NO television in the loft bedroom so we were really bored to death:-(

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We need to make the most out of our disgusting stay in Alta Vista so we went for a night swimming. We liked the infinity pool but then you cannot have pool-hopping just like what we have done in Fairways last year.  Their attendants were nice as well and we didn’t have any misunderstanding with them regarding the towels that we have borrowed.

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What I liked about the pool attendants was that they really look after the guests especially the kids.

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jacuzzi

jacuzzi

After the night swimming, it’s a mom’s instinct to organize all the things that the kids will be needing when we leave the following day.  I even called the front desk to make sure that we won’t have any problem with the check out because my father will be the one to get the refund for the incidental deposit.

REFLECTIONS:

  1.  I have managed to control my temper in situations like this– before I would confront the staff and would demand to speak with the manager if needed.  I have learned to use my precious time to things that needed immediate attention.  I knew that I would just waste my time doing so.

2.  I was the one to be blamed for having this kind of experience.  I have assumed that           Alta Vista is like Fairways and I have not done my research.  I have discovered                     how terrible their service is when I have read the reviews but unfortunately, it                   was too late because I couldn’t modify or cancel my reservation anymore.  I was                 deceived by the pictures and I admit, dear readers that it was an HONEST mistake.             I am correcting this mistake by letting you know that it’s not wise to spend your                 money in this hotel.  If you would like to be away from the busy White Beach but               still want to have an excellent and blissful vacation, choose Fairways & Bluewater             Boracay.

That’s it for now!  Watch out for my Boracay Day 4 VLOG here.

 

My Boracay 2019 Day 3 (Summer Diaries Special)

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It was our last day in Ambassador in Paradise, so sad to leave because of the super nice location– just few steps from our suite to the beach (That’s what I actually loved about a beachfront hotel) 

I didn’t want to cram at the last minute so the night before, I already have organized our stuff.  I have separated what we will wear that morning and prepared a separate bag for the wet clothes.  We had our morning walk and swim at the beach and we were able to have a family picture taken before heading to the breakfast buffet at Al Fresco Restaurant.  

family pic 2

THE BREAKFAST

It was our second day of having our breakfast in Ambassador in Paradise and still I didn’t have any complain with the TASTE of their food though they only have LIMITED selection.  I have survived that morning with chicken, hotdogs, egg and pasta.  The only thing that I have noticed is that they do not have sweets.  It would have been a nice treat if they have served cakes or other desserts like what they have in other hotels.  (The Linden Suites which I did not recommend served cakes and Edsa Shangri-la served ice cream in their breakfast buffet). The hotel was categorized as five star so the guests would really look for that standard.  It would be safe for the hotel not to claim itself as a five star when in reality it’s not.  It’s already evident -it’s not a 5-star hotel.– I would rate them as a 4-star hotel.  (For the complete details, please check my separate post about my hotel review).

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After the breakfast, I just stayed in the beachbed in the pool area and watched my kids enjoy the pool for the last time.

beachbed ambassador

After we have taken a shower, we already prepared for the check out.  I was prepared to have my vlog launch at Alta Vista de Boracay as I have already pictured something like Fairways & Bluewater Boracay .  Last year, just before the Boracay closure, we were able to book a 3d/2n stay there and we were totally impressed with the breathtaking views and we have enjoyed our “pool-hopping.”  Even if it’s not situated in the White Beach, everything you need is already in the property (different restaurant choices, high class facilities like the gym, spa and swimming pools).  They have their own convenience store near the gate but in case you need more stuff to buy, Citymall is just across the property.  They also have a shuttle service that will take you to the D’mall for free.

check out ambassador

So, I was excited to transfer to Alta Vista de Boracay because of what I have visualized in my mind.and what I saw in the room photos.   We didn’t have any problem checking out in Ambassador, but we stayed there in the lobby for few minutes to wait for the multicab service provided by BPHT.  ‘

At the time we were in the lobby of the hotel, there were many guests but we were able to check in after few minutes.  Ms. Maricel explained everything clearly (including the breakfast stubs and the shuttle service to Citymall and Puka Beach).

frontdesk

the friendly front desk staff

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After filling out the form, we waited for a while then we got our breakfast stubs, wristbands for the shuttle service and the old-fashioned room key.  (Yes, you read it right, an OLD FASHIONED KEY!).  Oh well, so this was the start.  I expected that they would give us the keycards like they do in luxury hotels and even in a 3-star hotel like Microtel, but I didn’t mind that at first because I thought we would have a nice loft room anyway.  

stubs and wifi password

We had internet access that we were not able to use for 4 days and 3 nights so we ended up using our LTE connection instead ALL THE TIME.

lobby while waiting

We were given welcome drinks while waiting for our loft room

hymettus

We were assigned in the Hymettus Bldg. on the 3rd floor where loft rooms are located.  I booked a loft room because we are 6 in the family and because we only have 2 room choices (the studio/de luxe suite and the loft suite), that’s the best choice that we have.

luggages

When I entered the room, I didn’t get impressed.  You will see my reaction caught in the video in my review about Alta Vista de Boracay.  It was just a STANDARD  loft room— nothing special and pleasant to the eyes.  At the back of my mind, I thought “There’s NO way I would formally launch my vlog here as this property didn’t even pass to my standards.”  So since I was scheduled to have a feature of Lemon Cafe that night, I opted to just have my vlog launch there.

veranda jasmine

the veranda

veranda view

(It’s a nice place to dry the clothes but hubby told me he doesn’t like the view either.) 

After putting our things in the loft room, hubby and I, together with the 2 kids got ready for our afternoon walk in D’mall.    There’s a waiting area for the shuttle service going to Citymall.  The road was still under road construction at that time, so they only drop their guests there.  You need to get a multicab going to D’mall.

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We had a hard time waiting for a ride; luckily, we were able to spot one and we paid P15 per head.

waiting for ride to dmall

while waiting for a ride in Citymall

After the short walk to Station 2 beachfront, we walked in D’amll where Lemon Cafe is located.

 

(For the details about Lemon Cafe’s bestsellers, I will be writing a separate post about it.  )  I formally launched my vlog here so it was something special for me.  I will allot a year for me to have more subscribers and content.  i am still new with vlogging so it takes time for me to edit one vlog post coz I have to put raw videos, selected pics together, trim or cut unneccesary clips and apply music and graphics to it– it requires a lot of time.  Probably in my next visit to my favorite summer destination, there will be two major celebrations (the renewal of vows we had on April 30 and the vlog launch on May 1).  I think I will be relaunching my vlog too– so BACK-to-BACK celebration!

 

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I chilled with a glass of watermelon ginger juice

Our tummies were fueled after the hearty dinner and I was even more speechless when I saw what they have prepared for dessert.  That’s my weakness— DESSERTS to temporarily forget the disappointments I had experienced.  I was in cloud nine that particular moment and I felt like a kid again.  I liked the salted caramel and lemon meringue especially.

sweets

I would like to thank the staff of Lemon Cafe, to Ms. Sarah who let us taste their bestsellers (main dishes, juices and desserts ) and to Jenny for taking care of our needs while we were there though they were super busy at that time, but they have given us an excellent service.  Kudos to the team and cheers for more years of serving Boracay tourists with delectable food and exceptional service.

with the staff

with the staff of LEMON CAFE

After the sumptuous dinner, we checked the beachfront to see whether there were still parties just like the old Boracay that we have known for.  They still have the parties but the dancers or party people were not in the beachfront, they were inside the establishments.  So you see, there was a BIG improvement in terms of DISCIPLINE and though it was quite strange because for so many years, we got used to see people and firedancers party in the beachfront, but I actually loved the NEW Boracay.

After that, we went to Budget Mart to shop for groceries and just like what we have experienced in Crafts of Boracay, the prices of the products were higher compared to the groceries here in Manila.  It would be better to buy in Citymall because the prices compared to the groceries here are the same.  At that time, we have not been to Citymall yet so we didn’t know that.  (It’s OK, we learn from our own experience.).

We had a hard time looking for a multicab that would take us to D’mall.  We found one but the driver contracted us to pay P150 and because we were exhausted already and we were desperate to go back to the hotel and rest, we agreed. We waited for the shuttle service from Citymall to Alta Vista and then because we were dead tired, we didn’t manage to have a night swimming like what we have planned before.

Before sleeping, we had to move the other bed in the loft because my hyper five year old kid jumps and we were afraid that he might fall if we didn’t do so.

REFLECTIONS:

  1.  I didn’t make  a wise decision to book a loft type room in ALTA VISTA De Boracay.  If only I have booked in advance, I would have booked a one or two bedroom suite in Fairways and we won’t be disappointed like this.  There was only ONE television in the living room and that was already occupied by my father so I couldn’t watch my favorite TV programs.  There was no privacy as well if you will stay with your whole family.  It was just applicable for smaller groups.  (The detailed description about the review will be written in a separate post). 
  2. It would be better to organize everything so there would be no cramming on your end– we were able to do that when we have packed everything in advance prior to the check out in Ambassador in Paradise.
  3. I super loved the NEW Boracay and it would be an excellent example to the youth on how they should preserve the environment and dispose garbage/trash properly.  i would love to integrate these in my lessons.
  4. We gave time for ourselves to rest and we didn’t abuse our bodies at all.  It’s a good thing that we are disciplined as well.

NOTE:  You can view Day 3 of My Boracay 2019 Vacay VLOG here.

 

 

 

 

My BORACAY 2019 Day 2 (Summer Diaries Special)

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This BORACAY trip was intended primarily for a special event which was the renewal of our vows.  I surprised hubby with this and we planned this event secretly with the members of my family for almost a year and a half.  We had lots of changes— the original plan of having a beachfront wedding at Estacio Uno , then I coordinated with Mama’s Fish House because I had to cut down expenses, but then since hubby’s relatives and some of our friends can’t go to Boracay, I decided to just have an intimate renewal of vows instead.  And now for the final change, with the help of Ms. Mariel of BPHT, I thought of having our renewal of vows on a boat.  Yey!  

jas pool background

Ever since we visited Boracay for the first time in 2011, we always make it a point o visit or have a picture with this Gorilla.  So, since we stayed in Ambassador in Paradise for 3 days and 2 nights, we were free to have pictorial with this celebrity, hehehe!

with the gorilla 2

with hubby 2

After a tiring day that we had the previous day,  we woke up before 6am and had the traditional morning walk just near Willy’s Rock.  We did not swim because we had to go straight to Al Fresco Restaurant for the breakfast buffet at 6:30am.

towel area ambassador

the towel area @the Ambassador in Paradise Hotel

Hubby went out first to return the towels we borrowed the previous night and I wondered why he has not come back yet, so I decided to go out already.  I was right with my instinct that he had encountered a problem.  He returned 5 towels but he only got 3 towel cards- the staff told him that the two other cards were missing!  When I heard that, I thought we would have a problem checking out because 1 missing towel card costs P1,600 and that would mean we would pay P3,200.  Of course, if they would ask us to pay for the missing cards, I would complain because we have returned 5 towels and it was not our problem if they have lost the two cards.  The staff assured us that the incident will be reported so at least we didn’t have to worry about anything at all– especially that the we were about to celebrate a very important event on that day.

breakfast

breakfast @ Al Fresco Restaurant

I didn’t want to ruin our special day so we just enjoyed the morning and filled our tummies with great food.  I  was super satisfied with our breakfast (being a very picky eater, it means the restaurant did a very good job because I was satisfied )— Hubby and I had a heavy meal because we knew that we would have a late lunch.

While I was taking a shower, hubby left to buy food @ Andok’s for the other family members.  We didn’t have our lunch yet because we were still full at that time.  We decided not to let my father and youngest kid join us because we already have anticipated the scenario–There would be a senior citizen complaining about the long walk and joint pains then a hyper kid who would run, jump and roll on the floor.  So only the two kids went with us in that event.

THE PREPARATION

I really couldn’t wear the white wedding gown because I wasn’t able to press it, so I just chose an off-shoulder light pink glittery dress that I would wear supposedly in the reception.  Hubby also didn’t want to get too much attention if we are going to walk in Station 1 in front of Astoria and wait for the boat tom dock.  If only I had pressed the gown the day before, I won’t mind the attention that we would be getting (hi hi hi!)

For the make up, I settled for the simple and natural look– wearing heavy make up would be a problem especially if I decide to swim after the event.  After applying the sunblock and day cream, I just put a little foundation and pressed powder with very light coral blush, bronzer and highlighter.  Special thanks to Anne Viray for the makeup tips!  I also didn’t style my hair- just sprayed it with Tresemme Hair Spray for the sides and just combed it.

We arrived at the pick up point (in front of Astoria) before 11am.  After few minutes, Mark and Ms Mariel of BPHT arrived and I received my bouquet of pink and white roses.

before the rov

It was my first time to meet Ms Mariel in person though I coordinated with her regarding our roundtrip transfers since 2016 through phone or email.  They decorated the boat with white and pink organza fabric and combination of red and white roses.   After few minutes, Pastor Angelo and Pastor Peter arrived and we have chosen to dock in a quiet spot at Puka Beach for the ceremony.

 

 

(For the complete details about our renewal of vows, you may check the updates here in my site or YouTube channel.)

with pastor angelo and peter

kiss beach

After the ceremony, we dropped Pastor Angelo and Pastor Peter in Puka Beach then we have decided to swim since we have plenty of time left.  Part of our itinerary was Ilig-iligan Beach.  While we were in the boat on the way to that beach, we have changed to rash guards so we can have our afternoon swim since we didn’t swim that morning.  As soon as the boat has docked, to our surprise, two police officers approached the boatmen and we have already sensed that we were in trouble.

Hmmm!  We were in trouble!  (Self-check:  Have we violated the rules? ) As far as I know, it was included in our itinerary so I thought that they were not aware that docking and swimming there was not allowed.  I called Ms Mariel and she informed me that they didn’t know about this yet.  Of course, if they already know that it’s not permitted to dock there, why would they include it in the itinerary?

One of the policemen went to our boat to get our IDs for the police report.  That was something that I can’t forget.  After the renewal of vows, we should have enjoyed, but it turned out to be a TOTAL DISASTER.  We were not able to use the remaining hours for the island hopping since we rented that boat for 4 hours.  We didn’t blame the boatmen nor BPHT because nobody wanted this to happen.  The boat provider was fined P11,000 and the boat was put on hold.  We were dropped to Station 1 where we were picked up because they will go to the jetty port.  In the video below, you will see that the two policemen were with us in the boat.

 

After the incident, we just went back to the hotel to rest and have lunch.  After that, we headed to the beach for the afternoon swim.  After the renewal of vows, we gave the remaining hours and days for the kids to enjoy.

no island hopping

family pic beach afttie

beach

kyle and shane.jpg

sunset4

After the afternoon swim and gazing at the adorable sunset, we went to the pool for another round of swimming.  Just like what hubby said, this vacation is not just for the two of us, it’s for the kids to enjoy 🙂

REFLECTIONS:

  1.  As much as I wanted to have my vlog launch on the boat or during the island hopping, it didn’t push through because of what happened. I just planned to have it either in Alta Vista de Boracay where we will check in the following day or in Lemon Cafe.

One thing that I have learned from this incident is not to freak out or overreact.                  Even the policemen who got our IDs for verification was calm in talking with us                  and the boatmen.  I think there was just a misunderstanding, but they should have            listened and spared them.  Nobody wanted this to happen that’s why i didn’t blame            anyone for this.  I just accepted what happened and enjoyed the rest of the day.

We also thought that we were still lucky because somebody asked if we wanted to               have our renewal of vows in Ilig-iligan Beach or in Puka Beach.  We just chose the             latter, and we were glad we did because if not, we wouldn’t have renewed our                     vows that day.

2. Another lesson was not to expect too much.  Because Ambassador in Paradise                     was categorized as five star hotel, I expected the same service and special                             treatment like what we have experienced in Edsa Shangri-la, and Discovery                         Hotels.  I thought they would give us a small surprise as well.

 

 

3.  No matter what happened to you, all you can cling to is your family so value the time that you have with them.  At the end of the day, before going to sleep, I thought of the vows that we have exchanged.  We didn’t have the time to write our vows so we just did it on the spot.  Hubby said he’s not that showy of his feelings but he did not leave me especially when I need someone to be with.  He already proved it to me a lot of times and exchanging the vows in front of our children is something that I would cherish til my last breath.

Despite of what happened, I would like to thank Ms. Mariel of BPHT for helping me out with this idea.  I just spent less than 20k for the intimate renewal of vows ceremony on a boat.  There was no special dinner and vlog launch but I got what I wanted already.  Of course, if you wanted to upgrade like hiring a make up artist, have the ceremony in the beachfront and set up a special dinner for your guests, it would cost more.  Let me tell you more how I renewed our vows on a budget in a separate blog post.

Til next post, dear readers and don’t forget to subscribe in my YouTube channel.

You can watch my vlog here.

 

 

 

My BORACAY 2019 DAY 1 (Summer Diaries Special)

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It’s been a week since we flew all the way here from Manila to Boracay and I think the 6 day vacay wasn’t enough!  It’s quite different if you will travel alone, with your hubby or with the whole family.  In this part 1 of my BORACAY special, I will tell you about my experience when we have traveled for the first time in group.  Because we traveled with the kids and with a senior citizen, we couldn’t think of our own happiness and comfort.  You had to think about them first before you make a decision.

Let’s go back to the main reason why we traveled with my 5 year old kid and my father– primarily because I wanted them to witness our renewal of vows.  Next, It was their first time to travel in Boracay and ride on a plane and lastly, I thought it would be fun to spend the summer together as a family.  Well, here in the Boracay series, I will give you tips on how you can save money and where to stay when you are in the island.

THE PREPARATION

As early as 3:30am, we were all awake to prepare everything– the luggage, itinerary vouchers, IDs and boarding passes.  Nobody would drive us to the airport so I just booked a 6-seater car via my Grab app.  We left at 5am and we were able to reach the NAIA Terminal 4 at past 7am.

INSIDE THE AIRPORT

airport

All of us have our boarding passes already and we all have baggage allowance of 7 kg, but I prebooked additional 20kg baggage allowance since I have a large suitcase plus one travel bag and a backpack.  Hubby bought another suitcase for Shane’s clothes to reduce the number of bags that we will take with us for that trip.  When I checked in the 2 suitcases, the attendant said that I already exceeded 9 kg and I need to pay additional P3,300 for that.  Had I known that I would pay that much, I should have prebooked another 20kg for just P500 online.  We didn’t have any choice so we paid for the additional fee, but that 3k is already a big help for the groceries but it vanished in just a flash (sigh!).

baggage drop

the queue to the boarding area

The kids were not able to charge their phones so they went to the charging station to charge.  At 9am, we were able to enter the boarding gate.

charging station

IN THE PLANE

plane

family plane

I also prebooked the inflight meals online because I anticipated the 1.5 hours trip from Kalibo to Caticlan Jetty Port.

inflight meal

the inflight meals that I prebooked online

TRANSFER SERVICE

When we have arrived at the airport, I waited for the BPHT staff to approach us.  I was expecting a signboard with the title of my blog (The Travel Blogger in Pink) but there wasn’t even a sign with my name on it.  Ms. Liza wasn’t as welcoming as our previous guide, Ms Jhoy, but probably they were busy in the office so they forgot my requests.  I trust Ms Mariel so much that every time we go to Boracay, I contact them to book our roundtrip transfers.  We also waited for few minutes for the van to arrive when we were already in Kalibo.

In the Jetty port, Mark welcomed us and guided us where to fall in line and verify our identities with our IDs and hotel vouchers.  After the boat ride, we rode another vehicle to take us to Ambassador in Paradise Hotel.

THE CHECK-IN PROCESS

As soon as we have arrived, the staff were attentive and asked for our IDS and payment for the balance.  We were given seashell necklaces and welcome drinks in their small lobby/reception area while waiting.

FIRST IMPRESSION:  Honestly, it doesn’t look like a 5-star hotel and I was expecting a large lobby.

at the lobby

keycards and towel cards

Upon check in, we were given the key cards, info about WIFI access, towel cards and a basic mobile phone (because they do not have a landline in their rooms) that you can use to dial the front desk, housekeeping and the restaurant.

501

Room 501

We were assigned to room 501 (a family suite) in the ground floor with pool view at the veranda.  (The detailed review about Ambassador in Paradise  will be written in a separate post). 

I was satisfied with the suite but I could have enjoyed more if we have a bathtub in the toilet.   I super loved their free toiletries and the location is super nice as well.  In the veranda you can relax because you have a pool and beach view.

jas and shane twinning 

After checking the room, resting and unpacking, we decided to walk from Station 1 to D’mall to buy groceries.   I also told hubby about my surprise for him the following day so we can prepare in advance.   It took me almost an hour to unpack, organizing the clothes in the closet (I placed the tops, bottoms and dresses inside and the swimwears and cover ups in the suitcase) and the beauty supplies on the table.

Aside from the bathtub, lighted closet and vanity area, I also looked for  the pressing board and the iron.  I had to press my wedding gown for the renewal of vows the following day!  I didn’t bother to avail the pressing service because it would cost me around 1k approximately.

beach aftie

First, we walked in the beachfront– (we were tempted to swim in the beach but we didn’t do so because we had to get back at the hotel soon as my Papa will get hungry and there was nothing to eat.  We opted instead to use the way leading to the main road.

 

And here is what we saw:  TRAFFIC everywhere because of the road construction.

 

I would like to thank Mr. Russel Palmer of Crafts of Boracay for allowing me to document our grocery shopping in their store.    We bought red wine and dark chocolate for the renewal of vows the following day (wine and chocolate ceremony).  We also bought plastic plates, spoons and forks, powdered detergent, chips, bread, cup noodles, coffee, sugar, crackers, candies and bottled water.

After eating dinner (we just bought food in Andok’s), we went out for a walk to see how is the nightlife in Boracay now.  There were NO parties in the beachfront and firedancers just like before– we actually loved the NEW Boracay.  The people seem to be disciplined already.

family night

As much as we would like to rest already,  the night won’t be complete without the night swimming so we called the kids because they were looking forward for this.

The pool has floaters already that the guests can use.  They also have a lifeguard to look after the guests especially the kids.  We used our towel cards to exchange for towels in their booth so no need for the guests to bring the hotel towels in the pool area anymore.

OUTFIT FOR THE DAY:

outfit for the day.jpg

Top:  From Cynthia’s House of Sale in Marikina (P100)

Shorts:  Barbie at around P500-600.

I would like to thank Ms. Mariel of BPHT for her patience.  We have changed the time twice– at first when I told hubby he thought the 1pm island hopping would be super hot so we changed it to 9am.  ms Mariel immediately informed the boat provider and the pastors about the updated time.  After dinner we realized that we would be in a hurry because the breakfast at Al Fresco restaurant will begin at 6:30am and if we would finish by 7am or 7:30am, I only have 1,5 hours to prepare and we still have to go to Astoria because that’s the pick-up point.  I called her to inquire if we can have the activity at 11am so I can still do my make up and hair for the special event.  It’s a good thing that she understood that and granted my request.

It was such a tiring day so we slept early to recharge and to prepare for the important event the following day. (My Renewal of Vows will be written in another post)

REFLECTIONS:  

  1. It would be better to prebook the meals and baggage allowance to avoid paying expensive fees.  We should have brought larger suitcases instead of travel bags.
  2.  Was it the right decision for me to book Ambassador in Paradise for the first two nights?  YES because its location.  I just didn’t feel the sincerity of the staff– I mean they do their job because they are obligated to do it and not because they like to do it.  Since it is tagged as a five-star hotel, I have very high expectations about the service and the hotel itself.  It can’t be compared to Shangri-la and Discovery Shores.  There were no welcome fruits and they didn’t make us feel special and feel at home.
  3.   In the first night, we realized also that we just can’t think about ourselves– we need to consider the other members of the family.

 

 

Renewal of Vows on A Budget!

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How I renewed our vows

Hello! I posted last year about my plans of renewing our vows in Boracay but due to the island’s rehabilitation and closure in 2018, it did not materialize.

Probably you are asking why do we need to renew our vows? First of all, we were not able to have a decent wedding in 2002, it was just an ordinary civil wedding ceremony in Taytay but years passed by and as my kids grow and as we age as well, I realized that I wanted to march down the aisle — not in the church but at the beachfront of Boracay.

I started planning about it- I started with Estacio Uno but I cancelled it due to financial problems. I had to think of cheaper options until I thought of having it in Diniwid Beach instead and Mama’s Fish House for the reception.

I actually forgot about the whole thing until this March, Ms Ella, my make up artist reminded me about it and that’s when I started to fix everything at about 2 months before the event– when everybody is super busy and I feel stressed as well.

I thought of having my intimate renewal of vows in Ambassador in Paradise resort in Station 1 where we booked for April 29 to May 1. The package is around P52,000 including the food for 5 pax, but still I want to cut down the expenses, so I decided to contact BPHT and arranged for a renewal of vows on a boat and they will just decorate it with white and pink roses and sheer organza. I really loved the idea and it’s a lot cheaper as well. My only problem is the reception area. I’m torn with having lunch in Tabon Baybay in their buffet lunch area, having a private dinner for two either on Discovery Shores or Ambassador or having it in Mama’s Fish House.

This one is much different than a traditional wedding so less preparation and stress on my part. I already purchased my white beach dress and accessories online. I am arranging whether we can have a pastor to officiate the ceremony, but just in case, a family member can officiate it. We did not hire a professional photographer, I just have my eldest kid Kyle and my Papa to assist me with the videos and photographs. There will be no favors as well as we did not invite guests, it will just be a very intimate ceremony and lunch.

So, how did I manage to have renewal of vows with a P20k budget?

  1.  This is a very intimate event so I did not invite guests- just hubby and I, our 3 kids and my father.
  2. I just arranged a boat renewal of vows which cost me around P6,500 plus decorations of pink and white roses for P400 per dozen.
  3. We just had family dinner @ Mama’s Fish house.  I didn’t ask anymore about a special set up because it will cost me P3,500.  We just ordered a la carte.
  4. With the help of BPHT, we finally had a pastor to officiate the renewal of vows for P5k.
  5. We did not have the exchange of rings (we were not able to buy a set yet).
  6. Instead of buying sand ceremony kit, I opted for the dark chocolate and wine ceremony.  We bought these in the grocery store a night before the event.
  7. I cancelled the make up artist service 3 weeks before the event because I will save P9,100 (that actually I have used to pay the pastor and for the family dinner)

It’s not how expensive your wedding or renewal of vows is, but how memorable is it.  I do not have to spend a fortune to have a unique and memorable event.

Interested in renewing your vows or getting married in Boracay Island? Watch out for my blog posts and vlogs about the preparation and for the event itself. I might go live on Facebook  later.  See you!

Destressing Session Before the Summer Vacay

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nexus reception

the friendly staff @ Nexus 1 Body Spa

As part of my preparation for our upcoming summer trip in Boracay next week, I booked a body scrub, Swedish massage , manicure and pedicure at Nexus1 Body Spa in Xentro Mall Antipolo.   I would like to achieve that summer glow  ( radiant skin before our trip and I wanted to destress as well) Well, I’ve made the right decision to try their service.  At first I was hesitant because I thought I would also be disappointed like what I have experienced in Nails Glow Xentro Mall, but because it is the nearest nail salon/spa in our area and I didn’t want to come back anymore at Nails Glow, I had no choice but to give it a try.    In my first visit, I was very pleased and amazed because the staff treated us well and unlike the other spa attendants who refuse to answer queries and quite rude to their clients.  Even the owner greeted us with a smile. No wonder why their clients keep coming back (they have excellent service, affordable prices and nice treatment to their customers).

A QUICK TOUR AT NEXUS 1 BODY SPA

Just in case you have followed my previous posts, you might have discovered that I really like to destress and I am very particular with the place, class and exceptional service.  Sometimes, you can be fooled by a classy reception, but when you enter, you will discover how untidy the place is and how gross the materials they use.  I requested for a quick tour and I was glad that they have granted it 🙂   Now, let us have a tour of the 100 square meter establishment.

 

They have 6 rooms for body scrub and massage.  The massage area was larger than what I expected– each space is separated by curtain but the furnishings and designs are of excellent taste.

While waiting, because they still have to prepare our rooms and my father’s foot wash, we were offered with the very refreshing ginger tea.  I also booked a Swedish massage and they gave us 20% discount because he is a Senior citizen.  My hubby didn’t book for a service but they offered him a tea too.

ginger tea

ginger tea for me and hubby 🙂

 

While my father was having his foot wash, I was in the massage area and after I have worn the boxer shorts and cover, we already proceeded with our body scrub session.

inside the massage area

 

THE BODY SCRUB

They have two kinds of body scrub- the Apricot and salt.  I already have tried Kojic salt that’s why I chose Apricot this time.  It’s cream based but it has also beads and I didn’t feel itchy during and after the treatment.

apricot body scrub

cream based Apricot body scrub

body scrub

 

When I go to the spa , I always check the restroom/shower area.  So far, the spas that I have visited with clean and impressive restrooms are Soulscape Spa in Marcos Highway and Z Spa in Pasig City (with sauna and bath tub)  .  I didn’t expect that it would meet my standards, but congratulations, you’re now in my list as one of the best spas I’ve visited.

I was impressed with their restroom and shower area– the rooms are very clean.  They already have prepared the towel, new cover and boxer that I will use.  After the hot shower, I headed to the room for the Swedish massage.

THE MASSAGE 

I enjoyed the Swedish massage– I requested for light pressure as I don’t want to feel like being beaten after the treatment.

Swedish massage.jpg

 

After the relaxing massage, April gave me hot towels and ginger tea.

ginger tea after the treatment

 

It was already past 6pm when we were done with the massage, so we headed to the nail area right away,

 

I quickly chose the colors for the toenails and fingernails.  I settled something green for the toenails and bright pink polish from Orly.

 

Now, I am summer ready– thanks to Nexus 1 Body Spa for the affordable packages!  You may check them at Xentro Mall and avail their summer promo.    For the complete video, please click the link and subscribe to my YouTube channel.  Til my next post “-)

NEXUS 1 BODY SPA

2/F Xentro Mall Antipolo, Mambugan, Antipolo City

                                                 Mobile number:  0966 761 1735

 

 

 

The Apps I Use in My IPhone 6S Plus

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Hello, everyone!  I got my new Iphone 6s plus last week because I have renewed my postpaid plan with Globe for another 24 months.  I would have preferred the Iphone X but since I am cutting down our expenses, I settled for the unit with no cash out.

My Postpaid Plan

I chose the Plan P1799 because it has almost everything that I want to have except for the unli Smart calls.

  • I have unlimited calls to Globe and TM and this is what I use to contact my family members.  They have postpaid Globe plans too under my account.
  • Another thing that I like is that I won’t worry anymore about texting Smart/TNT mobile numbers because I have unlimited text to all networks (awesome!)
  • I have 11 GB of data (which I really enjoy) because I check emails and messenger once in a while.

So far, I am happy with my phone and I downloaded the apps that I will be needing for work and play 🙂

  1.  GMAIL

gmail

This app is a must for me because I receive email messages daily.  I have three Gmail accounts:

  1.  For work – I have a Deped email account that I use in school
  2. For my business which I use to send invoices and proposals to clients and where tutor applicants send their resumes.
  3. For personal use (my blogger/vlogger account)

2.  FACEBOOK

fb

This is where I post my daily status, share pictures to my friends, get announcements for work-related posts, etc. so I really need this.

 

3.  MESSENGER

messenger

This is not just for personal use, I use it to communicate with my students and co-teachers.

4. FACEBOOK PAGE MANAGER

fb page manager

It’s easier for me to check my inbox for my business page account and share photos in my blogger fan page account.  I get important chats from our clients and messages from tutor applicants here.

5.  GOOGLE

google

Though I have Safari for searching, I still prefer Google.  I just use this for emergency– if I have to do some research.

6.  YOUTUBE

youtube

Ever since I decided to vlog, I have this app in my phone.  This is where I post the video and then share it to my personal FB page and fan page.

7.  SPLICE

splice

I use my phone in taking photos and videos for my blog posts and vlogs so it’s very convenient to have this app in my phone.  It’s easy to use — in editing and adding audio and text to my videos.  After that, the video can easily be shared in YouTube and Facebook.

8.  WORDPRESS

wordpress

I just added this so I can easily check my stats and edit or post easily if I want to.

 

9.  INSTAGRAM

instagram

This is a must in my phone because photos are automatically shared to my Facebook page.

10.  MERRIAM WEBSTER

merriam

I use this to check the meaning and pronunciation of the words if I am not sure before I teach in front of my students.

11.  WAZE

waze

We use this if we are not familiar with the place

12. GRAB

grab

We use this if our car is under coding and we have to go to an important meeting.  We also use this if we do not have somebody to drive for us.

13.BOOKING.COM

booking,com

I use this to reserve a hotel room without paying in full using my credit card.

14.  DISNEY LIFE

disney life

My Globe Postpaid plan comes with a free 6- month subscription so we have to take advantage of this,  I downloaded this in my phone and gave access to my 3 kids.

15.  LAZADA and ZALORA

If I don’t go out, I just choose items here and they deliver in in our doorstep.  There were times though that the quality was in bad taste.  Zalora is better in terms of quality of products, but I just have these apps for convenience.

So far, these are the useful apps that I am using.  That’s it for now.  Next time. I will post about the preparation for our summer trip.