A Celebration of Love at Discovery Suites

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It is already our tradition to have a staycation everytime we celebrate our wedding anniversary.  This 30th of October was something really special because we celebrated our 15 years of being together inspite of the challenges that we have faced as a couple.  This is also memorable because for me, this is just the beginning and more surprises are still in store for us 🙂   Details will be posted soon (winks).

 

One characteristic that I have is being impulsive– one day I just realized that I wanted to do something and out of the blue, I was already in the process of making it a reality.  A part of the plan is also to make our wedding anniversary celebration something special– since we already have tried to spend our summer vacay at Discovery Shores last April, I just thought of giving Discovery Suites Manila a try.

I have booked directly from their website and  coordinated with the staff regarding my plans via email.  They were attentive with regards to details and I was flattered because they have extended their assistance to me and all my requests have been granted. (Special thanks to Engr. Allan Suarez, the Property Manager; Ms. Joyce Nadres, Front Office Manager; and Mr. Albert Fernandez, the F&B Manager).  This really means a lot to me.

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The Check in Process

After attending a half-day seminar in school, we headed home to get our stuff and at 3pm we were already in the property.  The check-in process was hassle-free and the staff were very professional.

When we entered our two-bedroom suite on the 10th floor, we were greeted by these surprises. Discovery Suites is already known for giving extra care to their guests by treating them like VIPs.  We had a banner hanging above the windows that says: “Happy 15th Wedding Anniversary!” and a free anniversary cake for us.

Wedding Anniversary Banner

The living room area with the Wedding Anniversary Banner

Free Anniversary Cake

The Free Wedding Anniversary Cake

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The queen-sized bed with swan towels 🙂

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The inviting bath tub with rose petals

After enjoying the surprises inside our suite, we brought the kids to the swimming pool for their afternoon swim.  Since we have the pool to ourselves, we decided to swim also.

 

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The dinner set-up in our suite

I opted to just have our dinner served in our suite.  The table was set up by 6:30am and foods were delivered at 7:30pm.

 

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Overall, I could say that this celebration is the best though it’s the most expensive we had so far.  Anyway, it’s all worth it because we brought our two kids with us and they have totall enjoyed their stay in the hotel.

Note:    There will be a separate post about my review about their two-bedroom suite and their restaurants 22Prime and Restaurant 5.  Til next post, my dear readers 🙂

Photo & Video Credits:  Aldrin Quisay

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TBIP in Discovery Suites (Preparation Phase)

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Every 30th of October, Hubby and I celebrate our wedding anniversary at a nearby hotel or resort for an overnight stay.  This year will be something very special so I have chosen Discovery Suites to be our place  for our 15th wedding anniversary.  The said hotel is known for giving excellent service to their guests by treating them as VIPs.  Though I wasn’t that satisfied with my experience last summer in Discovery Shores, I must admit that there were more positive things that we have experienced rather than the negatives, so I guess it’s worth giving Discovery Suites Ortigas a try.

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My stay at DSB last summer

I booked for a two-bedroom suite in Discovery Suites for our overnight stay directly from their website. I coordinated with their staff (Property Manager- Engr. Allan Suarez;  Front Desk Manager- Ms. Joyce Nadres and the Food and Beverage Manager– Mr. Albert Fernandez) and I was very pleased because they responded promptly and extended their assistance to us for our upcoming event.

I couldn’t wait but to share to you the photos and videos for our 15th wedding anniversary and at the same time post my review of Discovery Suites and their restaurants (Restaurant 5 and 22 Prime).  I will be saving some of my blog posts though and you will be reading those at the right time. (winks 🙂 )

Thank you in advance, Discovery Suites for being a part of this preparation.

My Hair SOS at David’s Salon

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hair damage

 

Two months ago, I just had my rebond in one of the salons in SM Masinag so I never thought that my hair would be like this– I paid for almost P3,000 and yet, I was dissatisfied.  There was no other option for me but to look for another salon.

Last week, when we were in the mall, I was supposed to go to another salon, but because it was already 6pm, I had to choose a salon inside the mall instead.  I stumbled into the sign outside David’s Salon- a hair color package with haircut for P3,000.  I grabbed their promo and went inside for my new look and hair treatment.

with ms doris

 

hair treatment

As soon as I was seated, the senior stylist assigned to me-Ms. Doris, approached me and asked about my preferred haircut length and asked me my preferred hair shade as well- I settled for milk chocolate.  The hair color lasted for an hour and while they were washing my hair, I was offered a hair treatment (a Loreal product for dry hair)  that I can apply at home.  According to the junior stylist (Daniel), my hair was damaged because of the highlights I had in my first rebond.  Though I was having second thoughts on buying it because it’s kinda expensive (P1050), I gave it a try when I was informed that it will only be applied twice per week and that you will no longer use a conditioner.

loreal

 

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       I wasn’t expecting to have my have a miracle with my hair– I just had my rebond two months ago so I couldn’t have another rebond.  For now, I am happy with my new hair color and for the home hair treatment they recommended. Thank you to David’s Salon for this new look 🙂  I will definitely come back!

Long Weekend Thoughts

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Yay!  And so, we got this loooooong weekend because of the two-day transport strike, but to tell you honestly, a part of me is quite unhappy with it because we have a lot of catching up to do in school.  That is the reason why I didn’t take advantage of this to travel or bond with my family.  My idea of a perfect staycation or holiday is when you don’t think about work when you are already there; otherwise, your day will be totally spoiled.

We still have until Friday to have our performance task in my English 8 classes.  Aside from that, we also have to review for the upcoming 2nd Quarter Examinations and I haven’t given the students their summative test yet.  I still don’t have any idea if there will be changes with the activities and schedule– whatever they will come up with, I am just here to guide and support the kids in school.  Next week, we will be having our inset and I am looking forward to finish all of my tasks so I can finally take a break and enjoy.  

This coming October 30, 2017, my hubby and I, together with my two kids, will be having a staycation is Discovery Suites Ortigas.   Every 30th of October, we celebrate our wedding annivesary in a nearby hotel to unwind and celebrate the number of years that we are together as a couple.    This year though will be a bit different and I am hoping that everything will go perfectly as planned with the help of the Discovery Suites staff.  Our 15th wedding anniversary special will be posted in my Intagram, Twitter and Facebook account.  This is just the beginning because a lot of surprises is still in store for TBIP in 2018.  Watch out for my review of Discovery Suites here and in Tripadvisor 🙂

 

Sweeter The Second Time Around @ Date & Dine Resort

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The last time I’ve been to this exclusive resort was two years ago— Hubby and I had an initmate wedding anniversary celebration here.  Last week, when I was searching for a private, classy and inexpensive resort in Antipolo where we can celebrate the long weekend with my family,  I didn’t think twice when I thought of Date & Dine Resort & Residences.  I immediately booked the Rustic Room (King room) for us via Booking.com.

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The resort can be found in Beverly Hills Subdivision (boundary of Taytay and Antipolo).  It was indeed a perfect choice because we were able to have family bonding in such a quiet place with an awesome view.

date and dine welcome

Upon entering, we felt we were HOME.  Upon check-in, the staff explained to us about the payment.  We just paid for 2 sofabeds @ P500 each for the 2 kids (includes breakfast).  We were amazed to discover that they really made an effort to provide excellent service to their guests.  It was quite the same as before, still very clean and they have made some improvements.   There is a common living room and dining room in the first floor and all the rooms for the guests are located at the basement.

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The living room

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dining

dining room

stairways

 

We were escorted to our room (the Rustic Room).  It was big enough for 2 adults and 3 kids.   After fixing our stuff, we went to the gym and decided to have our afternoon swim.  That afternoon, we had the pool for ourselves!

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This is the seating area for non-swimmers.  (You are not allowed to sit here when you came out of the pool).

 

family day

 

pool view

 

kylr pool

We have enjoyed the privacy that we really wanted and it was definitely a time and money well-spent for our family bonding.  The staff got our order for dinner and breakfast ahead of time so they can prepare in advance.  They specialize in Italian food in their menu but they also serve selected Filipino dishes.

pizza

Since I am a pizza lover, this is definitely in the list 🙂

 

carbonara

Authentic Carbonara served without cream

 

barbeque

Barbecue for the kids

 

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generous serving of banana split for family sharing

I think we just spent around P1500 for the dinner and extra breakfast for Baby Bruce. The price is really reasonable enough paired by excellent service from the staff.   In other restaurants and hotels, they do not grant requests like changing of sausage or longganisa to hotdog.  When I requested to have hotdogs instead of longganisa because I do not eat the latter, the staff instantly agreed.  We had our dinner at past 7pm.  It was served in our reserved area (the lovers’ spot).  After that, I had a scheduled foot spa service in our room at exactly 8pm.

If there is one thing that we didn’t like is the WIFI connection.  Though they have provided us with passwords, those were useless because we have used our mobile data to connect to the internet and be updated in my social media accounts.  Hubby, on the other hand couldn’t use his mobile data because of the weak signal in the place.

The following day, before we had our breakfast, we walked for a while and headed to the  gym.  We noticed that they have upgraded their equipments.

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The lounge

 

d and d gym

 

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gym bruce

 

gym kyle

 

After that, we had our breakfast in the poolside.  Another improvement that we have noticed was the presentation of their food.

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kid’s meal

 

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bruce breakfast

 

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The staff were always kind to accommade our request for family pictures 🙂  After breakfast, we prepared for our morning swim before we finally say goodbye to D & D.

yman poolside

ate and bruce

 

bruce pool

 

with the kids pool

 

snacks poolside

platter of fries, calamari and mojos

 

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What elese can I say?  Our first visit here was quite perfect, now it’s more special— definitely sweeter the second time around because this time our kids are already here 🙂

http://www.dateanddineresort.com/

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

 

For more information, you can personally visit their website:  http://www.dateanddineresort.com/

Phone Number:  (02) 571 4122

 

Hotel H20:  Terrible Service from Beginning to End 

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Part of my childhood days is visiting Luneta Park and after almost 3 decades, it’s a great feeling to be back.  Luneta is one of the most special places that’s  why I was thriled when I have learned that Hotel H20 is situated behind  Quirino Grandstand.  It is operated by Manila Ocean Park and since it’s a four star hotel I was expecting excellent service from them.  I used to pass by this hotel before and I would like to experience something unque- I perceived that it’s one of the reasons why they have that superior rating.

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I booked a bayview room at this hotel via Agoda and I opted to settle the full payment at the hotel- the total amount to settle is P6K plus taxes.  I called their trunkline to confirm my reservation and asked if it’s possible for me to upgrade the room because according to the customer service representative, each room is only for 2 adults.  I had to pay for the extra person amounting to P1,200 and the buffet breakfast amounting to P1,600. I asked her over the phone how much is my total bill?  Her answer is P10,020.  I needed to know so that I can prepare in advance.

Upon reaching the place, there were two entrances– one for the Ocean Park visitors and another for the hotel guests.  There’s a door leading to the elevator (with a small lounge wherein you can relax).  Everything was classy- from the hotel interiors and furnishings.

 

 

shane lounge

 

yman and kyle 3rd floor

The hotel lobby is located in the 3rd floor– when I approached the front desk, the representatives were snobbish.  One representative told me, “Somebody will attend to you in a while.”  I have been to different hotels and resorts and I have not encountered that kind of treatment.  Part of customer service training is to welcome your customers with a smile. Nobody greeted us and offered welcome drinks which was very strange, especially to a 4-star hotel.  

I asked how much do I have to settle and I was surprised to know that my total bill is P17k plus.  The lady told me it was because of the upgrade but they didn’t tell me when I called that I have to settle that amount.  They said they were not able to charge my card- why the hell are they going to do that when I opted to pay at the hotel.  If you have chosen an option, it should be followed.   I think that was deception- if they will charge my card with P7k and I will settle the P10,020 at the hotel (If they were able to charge my card, I wouldn’t know that there are other charges because of the P10k I have settled in the hotel.  I wouldn’t know that I was charged with additional amount.  As a customer service representative, it is your responsibility to give crystal clear information.  I didn’t agree to pay the P17k plus and settled for the standard bayview room I have booked previously.  




The room was approximately 25 square meters with a queen bed. After 5 minutes, the room attendant knocked carrying a mattress for our additional person for the room.  We also ate the freebies- chocolate chip cookies, 2 cans of sodas and 2 bottled waters.  We planned to go to MOA but agreed to just stay in the room to rest.




We just enjoyed the room and then we explored Ocean Park to buy inexpensive food.





After spending the night, we planned to explore the place once again after having our breakfast.   We were about to go out of the room when somebody knocked.  I was surprised to know that I requested for room service for breakfast and I was asked to settle the bill.  I told the room attendant that I did not order anything and I have settled the full amount when I checked in.  I explained that I paid P400 per head- if they are going to deliver those, why is it that the food is only for 2 persons?  The attendant told us that if I paid for P400 it was for buffet breakfast.  He used the phone to verify and found out that the delivery is for room 3115 and not for 3215.







Their buffet breakfast was okay- with variety of choices but they did not include pizzas and cakes.  For the juices, those are concentrated and not made of real fruits.  After the breakfast we headed to the White Moonbar to have photo session.




After that we decided to go for a swim in their outdoor pool.  You have to go out and enter the pool lounge to reach the pools.  They have two swimming pools (roofed and the other one is open).



We went back to the room before 11am to take a shower and prepare for checkout.  When I was checking out I was informed that I have additional charges. “HUH?  What additional charges?”  I asked.  The front desk staff told me that I have to pay for the additional person and buffet breakfast for 4.  I tried not to freak out and explained that I have settled the full payment upon check in.

For a four- star hotel like H20, they should invest in giving their representatives seminar on giving excellent service.  Staycations should be enjoyed and it’s unfair for a customer like me who paid and then ended up NoT SATISFIED with their service.

Not in Cloud 9 (A Review of Cloud 9 Hotel & Resort)

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My ideal way of spending Mother’s Day is just to be with my family– the top place in my list is Cloud 9 Hotel & Resort.  Originally, I just wanted us to have lunch in their restaurant and experience the hanging bridge.  When I called the front desk and learned that we can also swim in the pool even if we did not check in one of the rooms, I instantly informed the kids and we were all excited.  

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information

 

nature

We went to the Information and paid for the swimming entrance fee (P150 for adults, P80 for kids until 11 yrs. old and P50 for kids less than 3 ft.  After paying, we spent about thirty minutes looking for the swimming pool.  (The pool is hidden so it is not easy to locate and there is no signage that tells the guests where the pool is).  

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There are no cottages unlike the other resorts in Antipolo, but there are tables and chairs that you can use and those are FREE.  There is a small pool (suited for kids but adults can also swim).  I only stayed there for an hour because I wasn’t comfortable and my skin was beginning to itch.  I took a shower right away and waited for my kids to finish.

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pool

 

family pic

While waiting, we have witnessed a kid who got drowned 😦  The parents were busy chatting in their table and there was no lifeguard at the moment; fortunately, they were able to revive the kid.  After that incident, we asked the kids to get ready for lunch because it was almost 12nn.  There was a long queue in the shower rooms– I waited for more than 30 minutes.  

after swimming

 

We headed to the restaurant but we were surprised to see people lined up and waiting for their turn to get inside.  We decided to just go to Jollibee for lunch because we were already starving.

 

7th heaven

 

hanging bridge

 

TIPS:  Do not expect too much about the pool- you will just get disappointed.  Though I appreciate the beauty of nature in the property, I was disappointed with the pool and all of us got itchy after swimming.

Call the front desk first to know how much is the corkage fee for the food that you will bring.

Go to the restaurant early to avoid the queue.

Do not go there on weekends — the place is jampacked with people.

 

It wasn’t the perfect time, I just didn’t like the swimming pool but I don’t have any idea with their rooms.  Will we go back?   We will definitely have lunch or dinner in their restaurant one of these days and try the hanging bridge 🙂

 

 

 

Boracay Activities with BPHT (The Island Hopping Experience)

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Our Boracay 2017 Getaway is the best that I had ever because I carefully planned about it.  I  scheduled the Boracay activities on our 3rd day because I wanted to have all the time for ourselves and to feel relaxed on our last day.   We started with the zipline at 10am then we headed to Station 2 with Armel (our Guide from BPHT) and waited for our private boat. 

the view zipline

Island hopping is really recommended for those who would like to explore and enjoy Boracay.  Before, I didn’t want to engage in this activity- I felt like this is a waste of time but thanks to BPHT my perspective has changed.   

You can opt to book this by group (with other tourists) — or you can have a private boat.  I prefer having a private boat so you can control your time.  You can even  tell the boatman which places would you like to visit and you don’t have to wait for the other passengers.    You can bring your own lunch because the free lunch buffet is only for group island hopping.  We bought lunch in Andok’s and just had lunch when the boat stopped by Crocodile Island.

before the island hopping

At Station 2 while waiting for our private boat

The sight of the tranquil sea made me forget all my troubles even for just a while.  I felt like a kid again– amazed to see the different attractions.

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island hoppers

group of tourists

turtle island

Turtle Island

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island hopping 3

 

aqua fun

Aqua Fun

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Crystal Cove

I chose not to stop by Crystal Cove anymore because it will consume our time (but I promise that I will be back!) ; instead, we just had a tour enjoyed the different places.

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Aron’s Magic Island

 

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We were amazed to see vendors in the sea:  first one was the coconut vendor.  We bought 3 pieces of coconuts for P100.

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Buko for sale

The second one that we saw was the ice cream vendor.

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enjoy

 

When we were near Crocodile Island, we stopped by to snorkel.  At first, I was hesitant to jump into the water but the boatmen assured me that I will be safe.   I saw the amazing view under the sea- the coral reefs and the colorful fishes.   

 

snorkerling

 

snorkkeling2

 

Our last destination was the Puka Beach- it is smaller than the White Beach but the sand is not as fine as what they have there.

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in Puka Beach

We lined up just to take photos here- a proof that we have been in Puka Beach!

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After that, we had a 15 minute swim before we finally go back to the boat.

shane puka beach

 

Thanks to our boatmen who were with us for 2 to 3 hours  (who also served as our tour guide and photographer) 

private island hopping

To book Boracay’s activities like island hopping, zipline, parasailing, etc. you may contact BPHT directly.

logo-bpht

Manggayad Main Road, Talipapa Bukid

Manoc-Manoc, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan

Phone Number:  (036) 272- 1226

Mobile Numbers:  Smart (0920) 126 0307

 Globe:  (0977) 173 8552

Website:   http://www.boracayphilippineshotelandtransportation.com.ph/

Disclosure:  This activity was complimentary; however, alll the opinions in this blog post are my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.

 

My Boracay 2017 Getaway (Day 2)

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Of all our Boracay trips, we felt that our last Boracay trip was the best.  Our first day in Boracay went well- we were able to explore DSB, rest, swim, walk, have dinner and have our night swimming 🙂  For day 2, of course, we knew that we had to be productive also.  As early as 4am, I was up and we prepared, sorted, and packed the clothes back in the luggages for our early check out at 11am.

 

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at the veranda

 

The pool was inviting me to have my morning swim but we decided to have our breakfast first before having our planned activities.  It’s a good thing that Discovery Shores offer their breakfast buffet for their guests at 6am.  

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breakfast @ The Sand’s Bar

After breakfast, we headed to the beachbeds in the beachfront to relax for a while and to have a quick morning swim. 

shane and jas lounge chairs

 

ready for the morning swim

After the morning swim, we headed back to the room to get ready for our Mermaid Photo Op.

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Our scheduled meet-up was 9 am and we were advised to go there 30 minutes before.  I thought it was just a short walk , but I was wrong.   Shane was feeling lazy at that time to walk and was irritated at the same time because of the heat.  While we were walking along White Beach, we passed by Estacio Uno.  I really missed the seaside suite that we have stayed in last summer and I promised myself that we will definitely go back.

 

estacio uno seaside

Estacio Uno

Finally, we reached Fisheye Divers beside Starbucks Coffee to meet the mermaid swimming instructor.  After signing the agreement, choosing and fitting our tails, we had our photoshoot.  

 

with the mermaid instructor

with the mermaid instructor 

mermaid by the seashore

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tails up 3

 

After the photoshoot, we fixed our things and checked out of DSB.  The concierge service arranged for our private tricycle going to Tirta Spa for my Anti-time treatment.

 

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The Tirta Spa entrance

foot ritual ginger tea

the traditional foot wash

treatment preparation

my Anti-time facial and body treatment

After the treatment, I felt rejuvenated and because I just wanted to have that unique glow in my skin for the rest of the day, I decided not to take a shower or have an afternoon and midnight swim.   We went back to DSB and they dropped us to True Home Hotel for free.  (The only trouble we had was waiting for almost an hour because the DSB staff brought our luggages in the airport by mistake).

 

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the smooth check-in process with True Home Hotel

After checking in, we just decided to put our luggages in the room,  let our daughter have her afternoon swim and catch the beautiful sunset in the beachfront.

 

true home hat

 

beautiful sunset

 

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shane's afternoon swim

 

Because it was getting dark, we walked from Station 1 to the D’Mall to find an inexpensive restaurant. Luckily, there was a vacant table and chairs for us in SMOKE Restaurant!   (This is one of my favorite restaurants in Boracay because the foods are reasonably priced and best of all– delicious!)

yman smoke menu

 

burger steak

Shane’s Burger Steak

spicy chicken

Hubby’s Spicy Chicken

chicken barbeque

My chicken Barbecue 🙂

 

After dinner, we bought some “pasalubongs”  like ref magnets, pair of earrings and bracelets.  We also went to the grocery store to buy coffee and chips.

 

ref magnets

Hubby shopping for ref magnets

After the long walk back to True Home Hotel, we decided to sleep early for another set of activities the following day.   We joined Shane in the living room because the aircon in our bedroom wasn’t working 😦

 

shane sleeping1

 

We had a lot of activities, but we were not exhausted– it was indeed a PRODUCTIVE DAY!