A Secluded Family Resort in Paradise: A Review of Fairviews & Bluewater (TBIP Summer Diaries)

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Everytime  I book for a hotel in Boracay, I always go for the quiet area in Station 1 and it has to be beachfront.  I didn’t know what exactly happened, but I just found myself reading reviews and blogs about Fairways and then in just a flash, I already booked the property via Booking.com.  So, what convinced me to book in a secluded area in Bo. Yapak?  I’m a hypocrite and a liar if I won’t say that the photos didn’t help.  When I saw the image of the Ventana pool and the other amenities in the resort, that was the hint that I should give this a try.
In this post, I will give you my unbiased review of Fairways & Bluewater Newcoast.  Let us begin with their Front Office and Reservations staff.  When I heard about the Boracay closure and when the airlines and transfer service were willing to give a refund except them, I was quite disappointed.  I have reached them a lot of times via phone, messenger and email and they were firm in saying that they do not give a refund, but they can modify the dates up to 1.5 years.  I had no choice but to reschedule it to 2019.  I have informed them about the changes I wanted, but there was no confirmation from them yet.  One day, I just decided to take a peek at Boracay before its closure and surprisingly, their marketing manager approved the changes to April 15-17, 2018.  They gave me instructions to mail Booking.com and asked for another voucher with the modified dates.  I received a reply from the latter that it would be impossible for them to issue another voucher because my booking with them was already cancelled due to the closure.  They encouraged me to contact the hotel directly.  When I called back Fairways to ask for the voucher, the reservations staff told me that they already have noted the changes in their system.  To cut the story short, I didn’t print any voucher at all.
Fairways van

The Fairways shuttle service

 Fairways front desk officers
We were picked up by BPHT and the Fairways shuttle took us to the property.  We were ushered to the Veranda Lobby to check-in, but uh-oh, there was a teeny-tiny problem.  Ms. Dindin, the front desk officer was asking for a voucher.  After waiting for about 10-15 minutes, they were able to confirm with the reservations and the changes were already applied in the system.
Dindin

Ms. Dindin, Front Desk Officer

Though I have encountered a problem, I didn’t feel irritated.  Ms. Dindin was very friendly and accommodating.  While we were waiting, we even had a short talk about the Boracay closure and the presence of Ms. Jhoy of BPHT was indeed a great help because I didn’t get bored and she didn’t go until everything was finally okay.
Checking in

With Ms. Jhoy of BPHT

And so, upon confirmation, we had a short briefing about the amenities.  We were assigned to Villa Riviera and was a bit disappointed that my request to be assigned near the swimming pool wasn’t granted because they were fully-booked.  After giving us the map of the property, we left our luggage in the Luggage Area and planned to have lunch while waiting for the standard check-in time which is 2pm.
Now, let’s take a tour of our one bedroom suite in Villa Riviera.

Villa at night

I was expecting to be assigned in a higher floor, but we were assigned in the basement 😦  Anyway, when we opened the door and saw the suite, my disappointment turned into satisfaction.

Living and dining area

The suite was spacious enough for 3 people.  It was more than what I expected.  It has a living room, a dining area, kitchen equipped with kitchen utensils and cutlery.  It has two bathrooms (one common bathroom) and the other one located in the bedroom.

 

 

 

Kitchen

The kitchen

One advantage of choosing a suite is that you can stock groceries and even cook your own food in the kitchen.  They almost have everything that you need to make your stay comfortable.  They have a grocery store beside the main gate where you can buy snacks, drinks and other things that you need.

 

 

I enjoyed the spacious bathroom– the hot shower and the hot bath in the tub.  It’s just that the bidet in our bathroom wasn’t functioning.  As for the toiletries, those were basic and incomplete.  They didn’t provide bathrobes, cotton buds, razor/shaver, sewing kit and bubble bath gel.

 

 

Toiletries

Bath tub 1
The bedroom was big enough for us.  Our 10 year-old kid slept with us in the room and shared the bed with her.

 

 

There was a writing desk in the room, a nice blogging area actually, but I wasn’t able to utilize it because I knew that we had very limited time so I didn’t bring my lappy with me.

Wardrobe

One thing that I loved about the suite is the wardrobe room/walk-in closet.  Our stuff especially the clothes were only in one place because of this.  When you open the door, you can see the open closet where you can easily see your stuff.

Lovers2

They have two terraces– one in the living room (with two chairs) and the other one in the bedroom (one chair).  When you open the sliding glass door, you will witness the amazing view of the golf course.

Fairways security officer

All the rooms in the suite have a phone but we were not able to use them because when we didn’t have to call for help.  When you go out of the villa, there is a waiting area for a shuttle service and there were times that before we sit down, a security officer would approach us to ask where we wanted to go.

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Where to go in Fairways?  Actually, there is no need for you to go out because they almost have eveything that you need.
1.  The Pools
The Ventana Pool

View 5 ventana pool

 

 

View ventana pool

Hideaway Jacuzzi
I liked the view here but the water is dirty if you come at lunch or in the afternoon.  Better yet, come when they open at 9 or 10am.

Jas and yman jacuzzi

 Lucia Pool

Villa lucia sign

Though The Ventana Pool has a breath-taking view of nature feature the Sibuyan Beach, one of my favorites is the Lucia Pool, which is not crowded and very clean.  Unlike the other pools that open at 9am, Lucia Pool opens as early as 7 am, so after having breakfast at 6 am, you can already proceed there if you would like to have the place to yourself.

Lucia Pool 2

Atlantis Pool
Aside from the Lucia Pool, Atlantis is my fave.  It was very relaxing and peaceful in the area– not crowded.

 

 

Atlantis pool

The Infinity Pool

 

 

Infinity pool

 

 

 

 

2.  The Private Beach

Paradise cove

If you don’t feel like going to the White Beach or Puka Beach, Fairways has its own private beach with lounge chairs.

Private beach lounge chairs

Honestly, though I like the view, I still prefer to swim in White Beach and Puka Beach.  This is advisable for those who would like to go to the beach early.  They are already open at 6 am.
3.  The Restaurants
Though they have several restaurants to choose from, we were able to try only the Kudetah Italiano Restorante and the Veranda Restaurant where we have our daily free buffet breakfast.
KUDETAH ITALIANO RESTORANTE

Kudetah district

 

 

THE VERANDA RESTAURANT

Veranda receptionist

I wasn’t able to get her name, but she was very friendly to us and even offered to help in taking a family picture.
4.  The Spa
There are two spas to choose from:  the Maris Spa located near the private beach and the Bluewater Spa.  During our stay, I was hesitant to schedule for a treatment because of the time.  A spa treatment would take 2 to 3 hours.  Next time when we go back, I will include one of their spas in my Spa Detective Series.

 

Maris Spa

5.  The Gym

 

They have a gym located in Monterey ,but it’s not as big as what I have pictured in my mind before.  You can borrow towels and get a glass of water after your workout.  They have indoor jacuzzi but it is only for club members and you have to pay if ever you will use it.
Ideally, Fairways is perfect for big families.  The room is for 2 pax but you can add a kid for only P200 (includes breakfast already).
If there is a disadvantage of staying there, I could say that it has something to do with the schedule of the trips going to D’mall and vice versa.   We have experienced calling a tricycle instead and we paid P100 per ride.

Waiting for the shuttle budget mart

 Will we come back?  Definitely YES!  Next time, I will bring all of my kids with us.

FAIRWAYS & BLUEWATER NEWCOAST

Bo. Yapak, Brgy. Balabag, Newcoast Boracay, Malay, Aklan, 5608
                                                                 Phone Number;  +63362885587

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Last Day in Paradise Day 3 (TBIP Summer Diaries)

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I”ve already mentioned that our Boracay trip is just a peek before its closure that’s why I have designed a short itinerary.  We wanted to make the most out of our short vacay that’s why on our last day we decided to explore Fairways by pool-hopping!  We started by enjoying our view from our terrace.  If only we have booked for a longer stay in the resort, we could have spent our days sitting by the terrace while reading or just admiring the stunning view.

We had our breakfast first at Veranda Restaurant.   It was just okay-enough to fill our tummies and be energized for our planned activity.

Before the pool-hopping, we rode a shuttle to the main gate and had a pictorial with the Fairways sign in the background.

Family pic fairways

Since we already visited the Ventana Pool and the Hideaway Jacuzzi on our first day, we decided to go to the first pool that is open by 7am– the Lucia Pool.

Villa lucia sign

 

Jasmine lucia pool pink maxi

We thought that we won’t be able to use the pool because there was a sign saying that it’s under maintenance.  Hubby asked permission from the lady guard in Villa Lucia if we can take photos because the pool is not available yet.  To our surprise, she said that we can use the pool,  they just didn’t remove the sign yet.  Yey!  So we chose lounge chairs registrered, and borrowed towels from the caretaker.

 

Lucia Pool 2

Family pic lucia jacuzzi

We used the jacuzzi first before jumping in the pool.

After swimming in the Lucia Pool, our second stop was Fairway’s private beach.  We didn’t swim in the beach; instead, we just feasted our eyes in God’s great artwork.  At one second, I was considering to rebook our flights for the following day, but then I came back to reality— that we had to go back on that day and rest for one because we would be spending Shane’s 11th birthday on the 19th.  After admiring the beauty of the beach, I promised myself that I would bring my other kids there and we will explore Fairways onext year.

Paradise1

 

Private beach lounge chairs

Hubby and I were debating whether we will go to Ventana or to the other pools.  I insisted that we already have been there on our first day so it would be better if we try the other pools.  Unlike the Lucia pool, the other pools open by 9am and when we checked the time, it was already 9 am.  Luckily, our feet brought us to the Atlantis pool and we were vey lucky at that time because we had all the pool to ourselves!

Atlantis pool

Jas atlsntis 3

The three of us atlantis

Next to Atlantis, we headed to the Infinity Pool which was a bit crowded.

 

Infinity pool

 

 

We left the Infinity pool at 10am.  We were about to go to the Cabana Pool but we hesitated in a while because BPHT will pick  us up at 11am.  As much as we would like to continue the activity, we had to go back to our villa and prepare our things 😦  I managed to extend the pick-up time for another 30 minutes and I was really glad Ms. Mariel agreed.   Mark was already in the Veranda Lobby when we arrived and it took us a while to check out.   We left Fairways with a heavy heart because we didn’t want to leave yet…

Whether we like it or not, we had to leave.  Anyway, as Barry Manillow say in his song… “Goodbyes are not forever!”,  let the government and the locals heal Boracay and yes, we will be back in 2019.

Speaking of going back next year, while we were in the Jetty Port, I had the courage to divulge the BIG secret to hubby that I was planning a renewal of vows for us.  Supposedly, the original date is April 30, 2018 but since there were problems with the guests who are coming, we decided to reschedule it on October 30.  When we heard the closure of the island, I rebooked our tickets to 2019 which means the renewal of vows will be rescheduled to its original date which is April 30 but on 2019.  So the next time we go to Boracay, I will be posting not only about our 6-day family vacation but our event as well.

 

 

I hope that you have enjoyed reading about our short stay in Boracay.  Watch out for my next posts about Boracay travel and packing tips and itinerary.   Bye for now, dear readers!

My Boracay 2018 Day 2 (TBIP Summer Diaries)

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So, we were given a chance to go to Boracay before its closure on the 26th and we had to savor every moment.  It was a limited 3/d-2/n vacay and we had to manage our time.  Because our bodies were refueled last night, we were ready to explore White Beach on our 2nd day.  I soaked myself in the hot tub before preparing our things needed for the entire day.

There’s a waiting area in Villa Sycamore (the villa beside Villa Riviera).  After few minutes, a security officer approached us and he called a shuttle to drop us to Veranda Lobby where we will have our buffet breakfast.

We were the first guests to enter the Veranda Restaurant at 6 am.  I anticipated the fact that restaurants get busy at around 8 am and while it wasn’t jampacked with people yet, we could enjoy our breakfast.  We picked a table near the golf course view.

I wasn’t expecting much of their breakfast choices since I’ve read blogs and reviews that there was nothing special about the breakfast buffet.  Well, for that morning, I was satisfied because there were various food choices.

 

 

Cereals Station

Breakfast day 2

 

I took a lot of photos of their food, but I didn’t post all the pics here because I intend to make a review of Veranda Restaurant.  After filling out our tummies, we went for a short walk to explore Fairways before we head to White Beach to buy food which we will take with us in our island hopping.  While walking, we found Villa Lucia; unfortunately, we didn’t have our stuff with us at that time because we left it at the luggage counter and we had very limited time so we went back to the Veranda Lobby instead.

Fairways has shuttle service for their guests, but we had to wait for 30 minutes before we get a ride.  That morning, we had to be in Astoria at 10 am because BPHT will pick us up for our parasailing activity.  We didn’t have any choice but to just call a tricycle to bring us to D’Mall and we paid P100 for that.  After buying food at Andok’s D’Mall, we started our morning walk in White Beach and I fell in love with the beach!

White beach morning

White beach day 2

I understood why the government has decided to save the island and I truly support them in their advocacy.

Family pic day 2 white beach

At 10 am, I texted Mark, BPHT’s guide and he was already there.  A boat transported us in the part where they do the parasailing activity.  The guides gave us few instructions.  At first, it was normal to experience fear, but after few minutes, I felt relaxed and I couldn’t help but to admire the amazing view.

Parasailing 2

After the parasailing activity, the boat dropped us to Station 3 where we waited for the private boat for island hopping.  The funny thing is that… it couldn’t be considered island hopping because we just went to Puka Beach to have a swim and we opted not to go to Magic Island and Crystal Cove.  We had very limited time and I knew that island hopping would take us 3 to 4 hours.  Hubby would like to catch the sunset in White Beach that’s why we decided to cut the activity.

shane puka beach

 

After our activity booked via BPHT, we went back to our suite in Fairways & Bluewater.  We visited Monterey because the play lounge and the gym is located there.  I was quite surprised to see that the gym is small.  It’s been months that we haven’t had our workout that’s why we didn’t even perspire.  We headed to the Laguna pool, but when we saw it, we opted not to swim– the pool wasn’t inviting and we thought that it would be a waste of time.

 

 

Hubby workout

Unlike the other luxury hotels/resorts, Fairways only allow the guests to use the outdoor jacuzzi.  You have to pay if you will use their indoor jacuzzi.  So, we just took the shuttle to the main gate and hired a tricycle to take us to Station 1.  We paid P100 again because hubby didn’t want to miss the sunset in White Beach.   Well, it was worth the money because we were able to witness the Boracay sunset.

Sunset day 2

 

Boracay is considered a paradise and the favorite summer destination of tourists especially the foreigners.  In my short stay, there was something smelly in some areas, but there were locals who were busy with the road constructions and clean-up.

We keep on coming back to Boracay because of its fine, crystal-like sand and we are already excited to see it next year.  Yes!  My whole family will be there to see the NEW Boracay in 2019.  Thanks to Airasia because we have successfully rebooked our flights for next year.

White sand

We walked from Station 1 to D’mall and waited for the Fairways shuttle to drop us to the main gate.  We bought food in Citymall which is just across Fairways because that particular night, we wanted to have dinner in our suite.

 

Because we were extremely exhausted, we didn’t have night swimming.  Instead, we slept early to recharge our bodies for our last day in the island.  The following day, we planned a pool-hopping activity after breakfast before we finally say goodbye to Boracay.

Boracay 2018 Before the Closure Day 1(TBIP Summer Diaries)

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Yey!  And so, I was able to take a sneak peek of paradise before Boracay will close on the 26th.  Though I’ve been to Boracay Island many times already, the excitement is just the same as my first visit.

 

Life vest 2

How to use the  life vest demonstration

I knew that we had to leave before 6am that’s why I prebooked our in-flight meals.  Our booking includes 20kg baggage allowance and value pack meal.

 

We didn’t expect to arrive early because all the time we have experienced delayed flights.

 

As soon as our plane landed, I texted Ms. Mariel of BPHT Booking Services and informed her that we were already there.  To my surprise, Ms. Joy of BPHT was already waving at me, holding a placard with my name in it.   Hmmm… that was impressive and so far, everything went well.

 

She ushered us to the Fairways van and we traveled from the airport to the Caticlan Jetty Port.  She bought tickets for us and assisted us with our luggage suntil we reached the Cagban Port and transferred to another van.   Everything was perfect until we arrived in the resort.

The Fairways shuttle dropped us to the Veranda Lobby where guests check in and out.  I approached Ms. Dindin, one of the Front Desk officers in the hotel and she was asking for my voucher.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to present one because Booking.com cancelled my reservation due to the Boracay closure.  I received an email from Booking.com saying that it is impossible for them to send a new voucher because the reservation was already cancelled.  I called the resort and they assured me that I won’t be encountering a problem since the changes regarding the date of my reservation was already in the system.  Ms. Dindin verified that thing to the Reservations Department and after few minutes, she told me that reservations is already putting my booking into their system.    Good thing, Ms. Joy was there to give me company while waiting.  She could have left already when we reached Fairways but she patiently waited until we checked in.  Thank you so much, BPHT!

Since it was only past 11am, we just left our luggage to the luggage room.  After we got our luggage stubs, we went to the Ventana pool area and we ordered pizza while charging our mobile phones.  We loved the view and we had a short photo session while waiting for 2pm.

 

 

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View 5 ventana pool

We definitely fell in love with the breathtaking view and we couldn’t wait to hit the beach and to have our swim in their inviting pools.

 

We waited for the shuttle service to drop us to the Veranda lobby.

Veranda lobby while waiting

We were assigned to room 17101 at Villa Riviera–a spacious one bedroom suite.  (A separate blog post will be written to feature our assigned suite.)  I was quite disappointed because our room was located in the basement.  We wanted a poolside room and the one with veranda in the upper floors, but we couldn’t do anything but to accept the fact that the hotel was already fully booked.

Riviera

Because we were exhausted, we decided to rest for two hours and get ready for an afternoon swim.   While hubby was taking a nap, my daughter Shane asked me if I wanted coffee.  How sweet it was when she prepared a cup of coffee for me.

Coffee service

 

There is a shuttle service that will transport you the different places inside the property or to the D’Mall.  We waited for a while and a security officer approached us and asked where we wanted to go.  The driver dropped us to Paradise Cove.

Paradise cove

Nice beach view

Beach view 1

Love

 

Private beach 1

The nice thing about Fairways is that they have their own private beach.  If you don’t like to go to White Beach, just ask the security officer to call a shuttle to drive you to Paradise Cove and ta-da!— in just a matter of minutes, you are already in their main beach.  They have lounge chairs for their guests, so you can relax while watching the sea.  The only thing that I have noticed, though the sand is white, it’s not as fine as they have in the White Beach.  Also, when we had our afternoon swim, my feet was hurt because there were lots of small rocks and shells under the water.

We decided to go back to the Ventana pool and we also tried the Hideaway Jacuzzi because it seemed nice in the photo and there was nobody using it at that time, but after finding out that the water was dirty, we transferred to the Ventana pool.  Eeew!  We felt like we were going to have a skin disease as my skin was becoming itchy already.

 

Ventana pool

We brought dry clothes with us because we wanted to go to D’Mall and have dinner there.

The beachfront was not as jampacked as it used to be– Yes, there were still tourists who visited the island but foreigners dominated the number, particularly Koreans and Chinese.  Boracay, despite of its present state remains to be my number one summer favorite destination.

 

 

We bought groceries at the Budget Mart, where the Fairways shuttle arrives every 30 minutes to pick up the guests.

We slept early because we had planned activities the following day.  Watch out for my next post featuring those activities.

A Peek at Boracay 2018 (TBIP’s Summer Diaries)

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Happy Summer!  By this time you might be seeing my Instagram and FB posts.  For those who follow my posts and those who know me personally, you might be wondering why the hell am I here in Boracay.   I already have rebooked our scheduled trip to April 29 ro May 4, 2019 and I started searching for other summer destinations.   Well, I really tried my best to find one, but I always end up being disappointed.  It’s either the hotels are fully booked, per night is expensive or the sand is dark gray.  I already have conditioned myself that for this summer, I only have staycations to enjoy– not until the day I was searching for the rates of Boracay Cruise via 2Go.  I compared the rates to Airasia and I was surprised to see the low rates P13k plus for 3 pax (roundtrip). That moment, I had a sudden interest to go to Boracay before the closure on the 26th of April.

I immediately called Fairways & Bluewater and asked if it’s possible for me to rebook on April 15-17.  After 20 minutes, it has been approved by the Marketing Manager and the transfers and activities that were scheduled on the 29th will just be used on our trip.  Hmmm!  I was firm in my decision that I had to take a peek in Boracay Island this month.  Nothing beats the so-called paradise when it comes to the powdery white sand.  If I will be spending P20k plus to go to Batangas, Zambales or Pangasinan, it would be a better decision to go to Boracay for just P13k.    So, I booked our roundtrip Manila to Caticlan flights via Airasia and coordinated with BPHT and everything has been settled in few minutes.

I won’t be able to follow the itinerary that I have prepared for my 6-day Boracay vacay because it will just be a 3/d 2/n vacation instead.  Here’s what I have prepared:

April 15, 2018- 10:55am-Arrival to Boracay

11:30- Check in and explore Fairways

5:00pm-  walk to White Beach and D’Mall

April 16, 2018-  7am-  Breakfast

8am to 9:30- Morning walk

10:am-12nn- Parasailing

12nnto 1pm- LUNCH

1:00-3:30 pm-  Private Island Hopping

4pm-  Back to the resort to rest

7pm -Dinner

8pm- Night swimming

April 17m 2018 7am-breakfast

8am to 9am -pack the things and get ready

9:30am- Check out

The 6 Day Boracay Special will be scheduled on 2019 instead, but at least I will be able to see the island for the last time this year and on the peak season next year.  Watch out for my posts in IG and FB.  I will try to blog as soon as I get home on the 17th or 18th.   Bye for now, folks!

My Horrible BATANGAS BEACH Search Experience (TBIP’s Summer Diaries)

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LIFE IS A BEACH.  These past few years, it’s been a habit for hubby and I to spend our summer vacay in Boracay.  People around us have been asking why do we always go there and why don’t we try other destinations?  I have actually considered to visit Palawan but I always end up in Boracay.  Now, I finally understood why…

Because of the Boracay closure, we decided to just spend our summer vacation in a nearer destination instead.  My friends and colleagues recommended Calatagan in Batangas and Pagudpud.  I thought it would be easy for me, but if I find a hotel that suits my taste, it’s either fully booked or too expensive.  I was surprised to find out that Boracay hotels and resorts are much affordable than hotels and resorts in Batangas, Subic and Pagudpud.  In Fairways, I paid P23k for 3d/2n and it’s just the same with average hotels in Batangas.  I even saw some that costs P20k per night and that would be the same as what I have paid in Discovery Shores.  What is funny is that Discovery Shores is a luxury hotel and that’s understandable for their rate, but absolutely NOT for those expensive beach resorts in Batangas.

jacuzzi 2

I’ve tried the presidential suite in True Home Boracay and it’s only less than 10k per night and that is BEACHFRONT, dear readers!

As I search in their websites, I also googled for reviews in Tripadvisor and blogs and based from what I have read, in Nasugbu, Batangas, the sand is grayish black and the activities would cost a fortune as well.  In that case, I prefer to wait for another year than to spend and waste money for something I would be disappointed with.  I know that I still have two months to have this VITAMIN SEA, but I need something decent and affordable.

There are white sand beaches in Zambales but those are campsites and probably the accommodations won’t suit my taste.  It has to be beachfront, airconditioned and preferably with sea view and a private veranda.  I know for a fact that I am choosy but we have to be comfortable in our stay and that is my priority.

I am also considering a Palawan cruise via 2Go but I will have to check if we have the budget and if the hotels are reasonably priced.  I might be able to try other destinations next year aside from Boracay but it has to be carefully planned.

To sum it up, I think it’s NOT a good idea to pick Batangas as my summer destination.  For now, I think I have to be contented in my upcoming staycations (Edsa Shangri-la and Holiday Inn Manila Galleria).  I will keep you posted if ever I will come up with a new travel plan.  I still have 2 months and I hope I can make the most out of that time.  HAPPY SUMMER!

 

My Boracay 2018 Shut Down Experience

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shane puka beach

Hello, everyone!  It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  Everything happened so fast that I couldn’t figure out anymore what to do first.  It’s only few more days before our scheduled trip to Boracay, but unfortunately I will see Boracay after a year instead.  It was Wednesday evening when I received an email from the Philippine Airlines that my two of the flights I booked with them  (my father and kids’ flight) would be adjusted.  Instead of going back from Caticlan to Manila on the 1st of May, it would be on the 2nd.  I accepted the adjustment.  The same evening, I received another email from PAL that our flight has been cancelled. I called PAL customer service and the agent was apologetic and informed me that they had to cancel our flight because it has something to do with the Boracay closure issue.  I just asked for a full refund and it was processed in few minutes.  According to the agent, I had to wait for an email about the full details regarding our refund.

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I called Fairways and Bluewater and inquired about the Boracay closure issue and asked for a possible refund just in case the island would be closed.  The receptionist told me that in that case, they won’t give a refund but it is possible to have it rebooked.  I was also assured that as of the moment (while I was speaking to the receptionist), there was no formal instructions for them to close though the other establishments have already closed because they did not comply with the government’s order.  I was quite relieved but because I was still alarmed that we didn’t have a flight yet from Manila to Kalibo, I called Air Asia before I decided to book a flight because PAL cancelled my flight.  According to the agent, there was no announcement yet from the government so I can still book and if ever there will be an announcement, they will update me about possible refund/rebooking.  After few minutes, I booked our flight via Airasia.

After getting my new flight details with Airasia, I texted Ms. Mariel from BPHT.  She called to clear and confirm about the flight details and island hopping activity and she sent the updated voucher after our conversation.  I thought there will be no problem but my hubby woke me up at 3am only to show me a link in Facebook about the government’s decision to close Boracay for 6 months.  At first, I couldn’t believe it.  What happened to the one month notice they were talking about?  They have informed the people before that if the President would announce the Boracay closure on April 5, 2018, its effectivity would be May 5, 2018; therefore our trip won’t be affected because our supposed trip is April 29 to May 4, 2018.  I was confident because of that one month notice, and until now I still couldn’t believe I am experiencing this.

Luckily, yesterday morning, I got an email from Agoda Customer Service to inform me that my booking with them was cancelled because of the Boracay closure.  I didn’t have to worry about that anymore.

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I know that the government has done their part and even though they coordinated with the airlines to give us options (to get a full refund, reroute or move flight), still it has caused a big problem.  I’ve been trying to call Airasia yesterday but I couldn’t get through the line.  I was planning to reroute our flight to Palawan on the 29th but after my conversation with hubby, I decided to move the flight to April and May 2019 instead so I don’t have to worry about our trip next year.  Another thing is it is PEAK SEASON now and I only have few days to make my hotel bookings.  Most of the hotels are already fully booked and since I already paid Fairways with the full amount, I don’t have a budget anymore with another hotel booking.

After we had our breakfast this morning, I called PAL customer service and somebody answered my call in just less than five minutes. I was very thankful that the agent patiently answered my queries, cancelled the flights  and processed my refund for 2 more flights and I even followed up the refund of my cancelled flight last Wednesday.  So, mission accomplished for PAL but it took me 55 minutes for the Air Asia customer service call.  It took them 30  minutes to answer my call,  They put me on hold then processed my request for almost 30 minutes.  It was successful though and the confirmation email was sent to me for our April 29, 2019 flight from Manila to Kalibo.  They haven’t sent me yet the confirmation for May 4, 2019 for Caticlan to Manila flight.

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Just few minutes ago, I just got off the phone and called Fairways & Bluewater and requested them to rebook our reservation to April 29 to May 1, 2019 and I am glad that they are processing that already.

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I only have ONE BIG PROBLEM and because of this Boracay shut down, I am having difficulty in looking for a place to spend our family vacation.  So, we re not going to fly to far destinations this summer– we are actually thinking of having our vacay in nearer places instead.  Almost all the decent resorts in Batangas are already fully booked.  So, what do I now?  I’ve been searching for beachfront hotels/resorts in Calatagan, Batangas that suits my taste but it was unsuccessful.  I am looking forward to go to the beach this summer but it looks like we have a serious problem here.  I hope not to end up having staycations instead:-(

Whether we admit it or not, this Boracay closure has caused a problem not only to tourists like me, but to the business owners and workers as well.  We are hoping that this sacrifice would have a favorable result.  See you Boracay in 2019.

TBIP’s SUMMER 2018 UPDATE

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HAPPY EASTER, EVERYONE!  Well, I purposely didn’t book for a trip/staycation this Holy Week as I would like to spend it at home with my family.  Yes, I just stayed at home and finished some paperworks (Unfortunately, I can’t rejoice yet and as much as I would like to motivate myself, I am still CLUELESS on what’s going to happen next.

I know that you’ve heard about the Boracay closure issue and our trip is scheduled on April 29 to May 4, 2018.  If President Rodrigo Duterte would announce his approval of the Boracay closure by the first week of April, there is a possibility for us to enjoy Boracay in the peak season because it will take 30 days after the announcement will be effective.  So, I am praying for a miracle– to think of it, it will be too much of a hassle.  Why?  I have to deal with airline rebook/refund.  If I will rebook, there is no guarantee though that I will get a hotel on those dates because it’s PEAK Season.  I just hope that they would do the closure on the lean season because a lot of tourists have already made their plans and it’s pretty frustrating if that would be cancelled.

I actually have included LABoracay in my itinerary since I haven’t celebrated it before and it will be my first time if ever.   Boracay is such a paradise and my sympathy goes with the locals, business owners and the tourists.    I support the government agencies in their plans of saving the island and I will do my part in preserving its beauty.  If our planned Boracay 2018 trip won’t be cancelled, I will show everyone how beautiful Boracay is and why it is considered as a paradise and one of the world’s most beautiful beach.  So, I’m just keeping my fingers crossed and will leave it up to HIM up there.

I hate to entertain negative thoughts, but just in case our Boracay trip won’t push through this summer, I’m thinking of going to nearer destinations like Subic, Pangasinan, Tagaytay or Batangas but again my fear would be most of the hotels are fully booked already 😦

Since this is the first day of April, I started it with good vibes.  Yesterday I went to the salon and treated myself with foot spa with pedicure and gel manicure.  The only disaster that I have so far  is my hair and I’m actually having second thoughts if I would have it rebonded or not.

 

 

I am also thinking of having a productive summer vacation so I might as well feature home improvement segment in my blog as well including an upgrade of the home furnishings, accessories and appliances.  By next week, I will be posting the parts of our humble home and hopefully before the start of classes, it will have its new look.

I will also feature beauty rituals you can do at home for spa/salon alternative since I know going to spa is kinda expensive.

Before our Boracay trip, I will show you my very own PINK luggage and its contents (My BORACAY 2018 Packing List).

After April 20 to 28 and on May 2018, my schedule is still open for hotel/restaurant features/reviews.  Feel free to shoot me a message in my email if you have suggestions, ideas or you wanted to collaborate with me.

Cream with Eggs Easter Facebook Post

 

FREEZE! The Toxic Month Update

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Hello, dear readers!  Ever since the month started, I haven’t had any opportunity to squeeze my precious time for beauty, destressing, staycation, fitness and pigging out sessions– it’s because I’m loaded with paperworks in school.  Next week will be even more toxic because we will start computing the grades and more paperworks to submit.

 

I already have anticipated this scenario that’s why I went to Fitness first on February 28 and asked the reception to have my March on freeze because I won’t be able to go to the club for the whole month.  I did the same thing for April so for two months, I will have my fitness routine and diet on my own.

It might take some time before I will have another blog post but I promise to give you updates as soon as I have finished everything on the first week of April.  Probably before April 6,  I will have my hair treatment, foot spa, manicure and pedicure session @ the salon to reward myself.  After that, I have two months of work and play 🙂  Vacation galore so I will spend my time to bond with my family.  It will start on April 19 for my daughter’s 11th birthday celebration @ Edsa Shangri-la.

Next will be the much-awaited 6-day Boracay 2018 special from April 29 to May 4, 2018.  I will be having a detailed review of Fairways and Bluewater Newcoast, Azalea Boracay and Estacio Uno Resort.  Please wait for my update because I will be sharing my Boracay 2018 packing list as soon as I have the time.  I am now in the process of sorting old and brand new swimsuits and ordering summer outfits.

I mentioned work and play earlier— of course, I need to work even on vacation.  Aside from being a public school teacher,  I am also managing SMART TUTEE In-Home Tutorials, On April 23, 2018 and May 7, 2018, SMART TUTEE will be screening in-home tutors for the following areas:  QC, Antipolo, Mandaluyong, Pasig, Cainta and Marikina.  We will be in the Linden Suites from 10 am to 12 nn to screen applicants.  Interested applicants may send their resumes to screening@smarttutee.net.

On May 8, I will also be in Holiday Inn for a staycation and will be visiting our new Smart Tutee office in Marco Polo Hotel Ortigas.  Starting May 18 also, we will be accepting registration in our new office for SY 2018-2019 and will screen tutor applicants.

I don’t know if I can still manage to feature or review hotels, spas and restaurants for April and May but I would love to do so 🙂  Please drop me a short message in my email for collab.  I will only take some time to rest this month but I promise to give you guys new updates soon!  Til next post, dear readers!