Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Aliwan Fiesta 2014

I was missing in blogging action for the past days.  The title of this blog post is the reason. 

AliwanFiesta is an annual event that gathers different cultural festivals of the Philippines in Star City Complex in Pasay City wherein contingents compete in dance parade and float competitions, as well as in a beauty pageant.

Thursday night was the DC League competition wherein hiphop dancers get to compete as the best in that category.

Friday night was the Reyna ng Aliwan pageant night.  Beautiful ladies from different parts of the country vie for the title and bring prestige to be crowned as the Festival Queen.

With Steffi Aberasturi who represented Sinulog Festival of Cebu.  She was crowned Reyna ng Aliwan 2014.

Saturday night was the grandest of all.  Different contingents from all over the Philippines compete showcasing their own festivals. 

Different Festivals around the country.

I, together with my partner, was assigned to the Malaysian TV9 crew who had covered Aliwan as part of their upcoming show called Fest (to my readers from Malaysia, watch out for it).  They will be showing different festivals from Asia and Aliwan will be shown tentatively on August 9 and 16.

I was so tired the whole week and until this week but the experience was so worth it.  I had so much fun.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Quick Island Cove Getaway

I blogged before that I love getting discounts offered by group buying sitesLast year, I grabbed a promotion for 2 day pass at Island Cove’s Animal Island and Oceania Water Park.  It was nearing its expiry already, so we decided to use it two Saturdays ago.

Leo had something to attend to so it was Ate Espie, Neo, and me who went to Island Cove. 

A shuttle brought us to the main island.

We decided to visit Animal Island first so we can lounge all we want in the pool after.

This is the safest distance that Neo will allow us to have his picture taken with the goat.

Island Cove’s Animal Island is a vast place that houses only few animals.  But the experience we had there was so fascinating.  Why?  When we entered they had 1-year old Jasmine out of her cage for photo ops.  Both Neo and I begged off that opportunity.

Playful Jasmine with her caretaker.

After 30 mins of walking through Animal Island and getting to know some ostriches, peacock and peahens, ducks, monkeys, and cassowaries, we arrived at the Crocodile Farm.  They have 19 crocodiles residing in that area.  Crocodiles at Island Cove feed on dead chickens.  As per the caretaker, they can’t feed live chickens to crocodiles as it will be considered animal cruelty.

A shot of Mama and Neo with the Baby Croc.  Neo was crying before this picture.  We just told him, the baby croc is a stuff toy.

Another shuttle brought us to Oceania Waterpark. 

We paid Php100 for tables and chairs.  Oceania has a lot of slides and some boating activities for kids but the entire time we stayed at the kiddie pool (2 to 3 feet deep) because Neo loves that area.

The kiddie pool has a small slide in it where we indulge Neo to try as much as he want until he accidentally outbalanced me (I was carrying and helping him at the slide).  Instead of me sliding to the pool, I slide back to the grounds which left me a knee scrape as souvenir.

Other than the knee injury I got, we had so much fun at Island Cove and we will be visiting this place again very soon. J

Monday, April 21, 2014

Accidents Do Happen

I am one brave person.  Or so I think before I saw blood gushing out of my son’s head.  I think that is something that would reduce a mom’s heart to pieces.

Last Thursday, Lolo Jun and Lola Net decided to celebrate Tito GB’s graduation.  There are issues with reservations as everyone wants to do vacation during holidays.  So we found ourselves at Ternate Beach Resort once again.

Since we didn’t have prior reservation, we were able to have 2 cottages (with almost 30 people).  No vacant rooms were offered to us since the resort OIC told us that 2 weeks ago they were already fully booked.  So we contented ourselves in renting out a tent for overnight usage.

And that started the problem.

When night came and it was time to sleep, Neo was having issues in the tent.  He doesn’t want to stay anywhere near it.  He was crying the whole time he was inside the tent.  So we just decided to let him stay outside. 

Neo was being consoled by Ate Espie and his Angkong.  The area was so dark that Angkong, who was holding Neo by the time, tripped in a root of a tree.  (The resort cut the tree and left the lower part of the trunk and root still intact which is very dangerous.)  Neo and Angkong fell in the grounds. 

Everyone was grabbing Neo and checking if he was alright since he was crying so hard.  I rushed to him and saw blood gushing out of his head.  Auntie Ruth was telling me: “Wag kang mataranta, Nerisa” and Leo was so calm in checking his son and also telling me: “Love, wag ka magpanic”.

I was about to cry and let two tear drops fell when I looked at Neo who was looking at me.  I instantly remember what my Tita Nenet told me before when my cousin was in the same condition: “Kahit gusto kong umiyak, pinipigilan ko.  Kasi alam kong sa kin lang sya kukuha ng lakas”.  I hold back the tears and just hugged Neo.

We went to the nearest hospital and had him patched up.  He has a lot of wounds but we focused at the cut in his head.  The doctor didn’t feel the need to sew it and just patched it up.  Neo was given antibiotics afterwards.

We went home and slept soundly in our bed.  I woke up the next day crying so hard.  I know I am not a bad mom.   I know Neo is doing okay (as he was jumping up and down the next day).   I know that no one wanted it to happen.  It was called accident for a reason.  I just wanted to cry the tears I wasn’t able to cry the night before.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cabalen SM Mall of Asia

My only brother, GB, graduated from college last Friday.   We didn’t plan to celebrate right away.  We just decided to eat out for lunch.  However, since last week (and this week) is graduation week and everyone will be dining out, we found ourselves having a hard time looking for a place to eat.  We ended up at Cabalen in MOA.

Cabalen is an all-day buffet.  It costs Php398 per person and Php60 for bottomless drinks.  Let me show you some pictures of the food.  (I didn’t take too much pictures because there is not much to capture).

What are the pros and cons in choosing this buffet?

Pros: It’s an all-day buffet.  There is no time limit as to how long you will eat.

·         Too few food choices.  I have been to a lot of buffet and by far, Cabalen at SM Mall of Asia has the fewest selection of food.  When I search the internet (as I always do), some would say they serve lechon but we were unlucky since that day they opted not to.

·         They ran out of food.  You will hear customers asking “may ganito pa?” and waiters will respond “mamaya pa sir. Mga 30 minutes.”  This is a big no-no for buffet.

·         Staff Problem.  This is just my opinion.  The staffs/waiters at Cabalen are courteous, yes.  But there are a lot of times that when asked, they will just stare at you as if they don’t know the answer to your question.  Like when Leo asked “Red tea ba yan?”, the waiter just look at him.  He was the one serving the drinks and he just need to answer yes or no, but he didn’t.

Would I recommend Cabalen at SM Mall of Asia?

I will not.  If you have other places to eat, I’d say please go there.  I will just echo the words of one irate customer that day (who told it to the waiter who just stared at him), “I paid almost Php500 per person and your food choices are too little and you don’t refill agad.  I should have gone to ***** and just add Php200.  I could have been satisfied.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Get Hooked on Do-It-Yourself

I am a fan of do-it-yourself as evident of the decorations I did for Neo’s 2nd birthday.  But I will be honest in saying that I am not very creative.  I like to borrow ideas in the internet.  Just one click and I’d have a thousand suggestions. 

So when I saw the Good Housekeeping-3M’s Get Hooked on Do-It-Yourself event in our Mommy Blogger’s group, I signed up right away.  This is like hitting 3 birds with 1 stone for me.  First, I get to meet my fellow mommy bloggers; second, I get to learn a lot of DIY ideas; and third, I again saw Team Kramer in personal J

with Jen of I am Mommy Bave.

So yesterday, off to Megamall we went.  The event started on time at 3pm. It was hosted by Angel Jacob.  There were a lot of activities and a lot of giveaways from Good Housekeeping and 3M.  Team Kramer were interviewed for the event as well.  

Team Kramer as they were interviewed for the event.

Some of the Mommy Bloggers I was fortunate to meet at the event. (We don't have a group picture L)

But the highlight for me was learning a lot of DIY for our little home.

Here are the list of DIY presented in the event.  I hope you can share this too.

·         Create a picture wall. 
·         Hang a curtain rod.
·         Organize fashion accessories.
·         Organize and get things of the floor.
·         Display kid’s art.
·         Hang things from bedroom door of cabinet
·         Add string lights in a room or to a shelf.
·         Hang a lamp from the ceiling.
·         Create a tablet station in the bedroom (my personal favorite that I will surely try).
·         Hang buntings and decorations.
·         Create a backdrop for parties.
·         Hang backdrop for your own DIY photobooth.

If you are creative, the list could go on and on. 

And if you are like me, who doesn't want to ruin your walls by drilling holes and who doesn't want to spend too much and pay for someone who will do it, 3M products are best for you.  Why?  It’s cheap enough to do it yourself and its sturdy enough to hold your decorations and things.

Different 3M Command Hooks and other products you can use too J

Thank you Good Housekeeping and 3M for this fun-filled event full of bright ideas to make our home beautiful.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Seda Hotel, Davao City

I went around the Philippines for work for the whole month of March.  Davao was my last area and Seda Hotel was my last hotel-home.  And I must admit, the saying “save the best for last” is very applicable for me.

Seda is owned by Ayala Land.  This very beautiful hotel is conveniently located in front of Abreeza, Davao (Ayala Mall at Davao).   By far, this is the only hotel that has everything I need in the hotel room.

What I love about this hotel?

·         Complete toiletries.  From bathroom toiletries, to slippers, to bathrobe, and everything else.  It’s complete.

·         Safe and Flashlight.  Most of the hotels I’ve been to have safes but only Seda has a flashlight inside the hotel room.  In case of an emergency, hotel should have flashlights in each room.

·         Office Table complete with accessories.  If you are travelling for work, an office table at the hotel would be a must for you.  Seda offers these plus so much more accessories.

·         Just enough mirrors.  Seda has only 3 mirrors just enough for your needs.  A full length one, a bathroom one, and at the office table. No need to be scared at night time.

There is just one thing that’s not very okay with me.  The price.  Seda Hotel rooms don’t come in cheap.  But the experience is all worth it. J

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Eden Nature Park, Davao

Before March ended, I was lucky enough to visit Davao.  The place is very much different from Manila.  For one, smoking is not allowed.  There are designated places to smoke though.  Another difference is that at downtown, your speed limit should be 30kph, nothing more.  Imagine it’s like driving inside a subdivision.  And lastly, the crime rate in this beautiful city is so low.  Many would dub this as proper implementation of law or political will.

On my first day at Davao, after work, we had dinner at Vikings SM Lanang.  I have been to Vikings MOA, but I can say that Vikings at Lanang has more food choices and has a bigger area.  Prices are the same though.

The next morning, I have some time to kill before going back to Manila.  I was very adamant to visit the city hall and say hi to Mayor Duterte.  But my colleague decided to bring me to Eden Nature Park instead. And it was a good decision.

Eden Nature Park is a 90 hectare land owned by the Ayala of Davao. 95% are man-made and only 5% are natural.  But you wouldn't even think that anything is man-made in this place.  The place spells NATURE in all caps.

There’s a shuttle and a tour guide that will tour you around the nature park.  With 90 hectares of land, you will have a lot of places to visit if you are going overnight or by the mountain trail.  But if you are with the tour guide and shuttle, you will only have 3 stops to make. 

First stop: The Flower Garden.  You will forget where you are with all the beautiful flowers in here.  Take as much pictures as you could but careful not to disturb the bees.  They’re everywhere.

Second stop: Tinubdan.  This is a tribute to Mindanao’s ethnic tribes.  Here you will be exposed to the different ethnic tribes in all provinces of Mindanao. 

Third stop: Lola’s Garden.  Nothing very special in here, except you will have a breathtaking view of the Davao. Wow.

This place is a must to visit when you are at Davao.  Let me end this blog post by this picture and hope this reminds us in taking care of the environment.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Familia Nunag @ Cebu – Crown Regency Hotel and Towers

Crown Regency Hotel and Towers was our home when we went to Cebu last month.  Since we have a lot of things to do at Cebu, we only stayed at this hotel during night time and on our last day.  This place has so much to offer.  We were able to try a lot of it, but not all.  But before I list down the things we tried, I’ll show you our hotel room and the rates first.

Our hotel room is located at 33rd floor (yes, too high) and with a very beautiful view of the city.


Room Type
Single Occupancy
Double Occupancy
Superior Deluxe
Php 5,390.00
Php 6,370.00
Junior Suite
Php 7,350.00
Php 8,330.00
1BR Presidential
Php 17,150.00
Php 17,150.00
2BR Presidential
Php 22,050.00
Php 22,050.00

*They have member’s rate too.  So much cheaper than the regular rate.

Here are the things we tried at Crown Regency:

Sky Adventure: SkyWalk

The Skywalk is located at the 37th floor of the hotel.  Here you will be walking around the hotel’s exterior.  It’s a walkway which some parts are composed of glass so it would look transparent below.  You will be asked by the guide to pose by hanging one of your feet out.  I didn’t oblige.  I was so scared.

Sky Adventure: Edge Coaster

This ride is located at the 38th floor.  This is just like a ride circling the hotel.  The fun part (scary for me) is the ride tilts 45-50 degrees so you will have a view down.  You have control of the tilting but the first 10 secs will be automatic.  My eyes were closed most of the time. I was so scared.  What if we fall?  Maulilang lubos ang anak namin L (morbid.)

We don't have a photo at the Edge Coaster.  You are not allowed to bring anything during the SkyWalk and Edge Coaster.  Your valuables may fall kasi.  There is a photographer with you and they sell your photo (hard copy only) at Php120 each.

BTW, when we were trying the Sky Adventure, there's a fire happening at the informal settler's area.

Target Shooting at Ultima Sharp Shooter's Club

We were given free vouchers for target shooting.  Three bullets apiece per voucher.  We paid for the target paper separately at Php130 each.  Leo tried it first while I watch.  When it was my turn, I chickened out.  The gun was so heavy for me and the deafening sound while watching Leo do it were 2 factors for me not to try it.

4D Theater

This is not my or Leo’s first time to try a 4D ride.  So we were not that excited.  But when I asked the reception area, they told me kids Neo’s age are free.  So it made the 4D ride something to remember.  The whole 10mins, Neo was howling and crying and shouting inside the 4D Theater. Good thing, it was just the 3 of us inside.  I wouldn’t try this again with Neo.  He must have been so afraid.  Bad mama. L

Swimming Pools

Crown Regency has 2 swimming pools - an outside pool and an indoor pool.  Both have chair and bed water massage.  We stayed most of the time at the indoor pool.  I can’t tolerate the cold water at the outdoor one.

There are other activities to try too.  Crown Regency has a zip line from one tower to another, rappelling from top to bottom of the hotel, gym, bars, a Casino Filipino at the 3rd floor, Spa and Massage, Salon, and a lot of dining areas.  A whole day won’t be enough to try all of what Crown Regency has to offer.  

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Unexpected Doctor’s Visit

Last Saturday, Leo and I went out to process some papers and do some grocery shopping.  When we arrived home, we were greeted by the news that Neo hurt his left arm when he tried to go down from the sofa.

He woke up from his nap crying so much.  He won’t let us touch his left arm and let that arm just fall on his side.  The mommy in me panicked, so we went to the clinic nearest our home.  During the trip, I would constantly asked Neo what area is painful and he will point at his left lower arm.

By the time we arrived at the doctor, Neo looks perfectly fine.  No more crying.  Left arm can be moved.  But for my peace of mind, we had his left arm x-rayed.  Neither fractures nor dislocation were seen.  Thank God. 

Doctor said Neo must be crying because of trauma.

When we arrived home, we decided to jog around.  Neo happily joined us.

Yan ba ang napilay?

Happy Thursday everyone! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Another Star City Giveaway - With A Winner

Happy April everyone!  As the blog title says, Baby Neo’s Mama will be having another Star City Giveaway.  This is not April’s Fool, this is for real.

Let us indulge our kids to be merry this summer.  I will be giving away Five (5) Star City Ride-All-You-Can Passes.  So, join, join, join!

o   Join via rafflecopter below.
o   Leave your name and email address on this post as a comment.
o   Announcement of winner will be on April 7.
o   Star City Ride-All-You-Can prize can only be claimed and used Mondays to Saturdays of April, not on Sundays and holidays.  The prize is not convertible to cash.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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