Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Dining Room, Gourmet’s Farm

The Dining Room at Gourmet’s Farm is located at Silang, Cavite.  You will pass by this restaurant whenever you go to Tagaytay since it’s located along Aguinaldo Highway.  That being said, it has always been in our to-do-list whenever we go to Tagaytay.  However, whenever we go to Tagaytay we always use the Amadeo-Tagaytay road, and we will eventually forget about Gourmet’s Farm.

We really want to eat at this place, because they serve organic meals – and we would love to try organic meals, we scheduled a Sunday to have lunch at this place.

The fa├žade of The Dining Room.

The Dining Room at Gourmet’s Farms has a very rustic feel.  The place has displays of paintings that they sell.  There’s also a piano in the front area of the restaurant.  The restaurant is very classic.

Family picture with some of the paintings for sale at the background.

When we went there, the place is not yet crowded.  We were seated asap and we ordered the following. 

Al Funghi Pasta.   Very delicious.  It has a lot of mushroom (as the name states).

Al Funghi Pasta at Php280.

Kebab.  Neo loved this dish, its just that for its price, the serving is small.

Kebab at Php380.00

Gourmet Pizza.  This is their best seller for pizza and it’s very yummy. 

Gourmet Pizza at Php450.00

We also tried the salad bar.  The hubby seldom eats green salad, but he like the combination of salads at The Dining Room.

Salad from the Salad Bar at Php391.00 

Dalandan Juice at Php85.00.  The little boy finished this before the meals were served.

Overall, we had a very happy-tummy experience at the Dining Room at Gourmet’s Farm.  They serve really delicious meals.  I recommend you try this place the next time you visit Tagaytay. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Mommy Fleur Lunch Out 2016

It is no secret that Mommy Fleur is one of my fave mommy bloggers.  She makes blogging quite refreshing with her no-holds-barred way.  Just by reading her blog posts, you will feel really close to her. 

I have met Fleur a lot of times already.  And the number of times I did, she will always makes me feel like I’m an old friend.  The first time I met her was on Mommy Fleur Day last 2013.  She greeted me like I’m one of the honorary guests. 

Last February, Mommy Fleur again held her Mommy Fleur Day which she dubbed as Mommy Fleur Lunch Out.  It was held at Cable Car, Ortigas area.  So I was a bit late since I came all the way from Cavite.  Almost all of her invited blog readers are there already. 

When I got seated, Mommy Fleur started (or continued as I was late nga) her kwentos.  This is what I like about her.  She can speak out her mind and all her kwentos to all her blog readers.  It’s like you’re her long lost friend and she’s updating you of her life.  Kakatuwa.

Fellow mommy bloggers at Mommy Fleur Lunch Out.

Throwback giveaways. (photo from Mommy Fleur blog)

I grabbed this photo from Mommy Fleur's blog.  I have the same laughter last 2013 Mommy Fleur Day.  No dull moments when you're with this awesome mommy blogger talaga. 

Mommy Fleur also treated us for lunch at Cable Car.  And sent us home with some throwback giveaways.  J  Thanks, Mommy Fleur for the lunch out.  Sa uulitin! 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Best Photo 2015

A picture is worth a thousand words

That phrase speaks a lot.  I love taking pictures.  No I don’t post pictures that much, but I love taking them.  This is mainly because I want to preserve memories.  I want my little boy to grow up and look at pictures and reminisce what good times we had when the picture was taken.

Let me share to you some of my favorite photos from 2015.

Our family photo last December simply tops my list.  We wanted to preserve a tradition of taking a yearly family photo during December – just in time before a New Year starts. 

I also love this family photo taken by the hubby’s brother from a family wedding we attended.  This is so memorable because this is Neo’s first time to be a ring bearer. 

This photo was taken when Neo and I first had our date.  You see, I can’t go out alone with Neo.  I’m afraid I might lose him or that he might have a tantrum and I might not be able to handle him.  But the day this photo was taken, we had our first date.  It was Mama and Neo alone (together with other Mommy-Kid duos).  And we had so much fun.  Neo would always remember this day.

Oh, I could go on and on and show you so many photos of 2015 that I love but the space will be limited.  

You see, we are in an era where we are lucky enough to take as much photo as we want.  Some fifteen years ago, you can only capture small amount of photos because it’s too costly to take photos.  But now, we can take as much photos as we want – and print as much as we could!  There are a lot of online companies that can offer printing of your favorite photos without so much hassle.  One of them is Social Print Studio.  

Social Print Studio can print your photos in a simple, quick, and beautiful way.  You can download the app and get the photos you took in your mobile phone printed quickly.  Your photos will be printed in a thicker photo paper made of quality materials, like these metal prints

So why limit yourself in taking photos and saving it in your digital memory?  Why not print it all and save it.  Your kids and grandkids will surely enjoy going back memories with tangible photos to look at.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Buying Neo’s Bike

My little boy already graduated the toddler stage and is now officially a preschooler.  That being said, there are some perks he can now enjoy that we deem quite hazardous for a toddler before.  Say for example, having his own bike.

Neo had his first bike some three years ago (thanks for Breeze’s SigeLand activity).  There are a lot of items (toys and art crafts) that Neo can choose from but he really preferred the small bike.  It was really small but was just fit for a toddler back then.  Now that he’s a little bit bigger, he wants a bike that he can ride on his own.

Since Neo entered pre-school, we have been promising to buy him his own bike if and only if he can color nicely.  You see, Neo can’t color well pa.  We have been getting notes in his books and notebooks saying: practice coloring!  We don’t want to pressure him to color nicely, so we set the bike as a motivation for him to do his part.  We were thinking of giving the bike by Christmas 2015.

By November 2015, Neo’s coloring has improved a lot, but still not as nicely as what we expected, so we decided not to give him a bicycle until he can color nicely.  Because we have a clause stating “if and only if” (for Mathemeticians, you would understand that this clause is non-negotiable).  However, my brother, his Tito GB told him that he will give the bike as a gift for Neo’s birthday.  Now, as parents, we can’t say no to a gift because it was not for us.  But Tito GB also has an “if and only if” clause.  He wants to buy the bike with Neo because he wants Neo to pick it himself.

Neo’s birthday came, Christmas came, New Year came, my birthday came – but still, Tito GB and Neo haven’t seen each other.  So the bike was still not materializing.  But by the end of January, finally, the mag-tito saw each other.  They now want to buy that bike.  We have minimal time to browse through and search for Neo’s bike – so the ending, still no bike.  What Tito GB did, so Neo won’t feel bad, was give Mama (me) the money and just buy the bike for Neo because it was really long overdue.   

The practical mommy in me needs to know where to find the best bike for Neo.  We want to make sure we get the bike he wants but that I won’t make abono to what Tito GB gave.  

So where did we find a good bike for Neo?  Cartimar.  This area at Pasay City has rows of stores selling bikes of all kinds. 

We were able to find a sturdy bike for less than Php2000 and complete gear for Neo for Php500.  What a steal, right?  The same bike would cost Php3500 at the department store and Php1000 for the gear. 

So bike enthusiasts, you can check out Cartimar near Libertad at Pasay City and buy all your biking needs at a lower cost.  Don’t forget to compare stores prices and haggle J

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Jolly University’s Getting Ready for the Future, Today

Last March 4, Jolly University marked its third year by conducting a Jolly Food Congress and a Grand Cook-Off Challenge for aspiring chefs and entrepreneurs at Le Pavillion, Pasay City. 

Jolly University opened its doors of learning and career opportunities to several students as they participate in the boot camp where they were given hands-on trainings, workshops, and seminars. 

The program started promptly at 1PM.  Different competitions were done during the entire duration of the event.   Students and spectators alike were all amazed at how budding chefs are so innovative and creative in creating different meals using various Jolly products: Jolly Food Line, Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil, and Jolly Claro Palm Oil for Main Dish Competition; Jolly Food Line, Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil, and Jolly Claro Palm Oil for Desert Competition; Dona Elena Al Dente Pasta for Pasta Competition; May Sparkling Juice, Gerolsteiner, Welch’s, Rauch Happy Day, Old Orchard, Mott’s and Cocio for Mocktail Competition; and Jolly Cow and Allegro Beverages for Latte Art Throwdown. 

Various Jolly products.

Participants busy on their Grand Cook-Off Challenge.

While some participants are cooking, Jolly University also treated the students with highly informative and interactive seminars.  I was fortunate to listen to Francis Kong, inspirational speaker. 

Francis Kong on stage motivating young adults.

The Jolly University Food Congress and Grand Cook-Off Challenge was supported by several brand partners: Masflex, Whirlpool, Fujidenzo, Tecnogas, Allegro Beverages, Security Bank, Pyrex, Glad, Corelle, Raintree Group of Restaurants and Booster C, together with media partners: Breakfast Magazine, Cook Magazine, Appetite Magazine, Food Magazine, Celebrity Mom, Business Mirror, Entrepreneur, Eagle Broadcasting, CNN Philippines, and Crossover.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Baguio 2016: Tourist Spots Take Away

Every tourist spot in Baguio we went gave me different take away to remember.  I’d like to share it with you, in case you will be going up north in the near future.

Burnham Park – Burnham Park has got to be the most popular among all Baguio’s several parks.  It has no entrance fee but there are a lot of activities you can do.  Kids and kids at heart can bike around the place.  There are a lot of bike rentals around the area costing Php40 for bikes and Php50 for bikes with sidecar. 

You can also try boating which cost Php150 per boat that can carry 6 to 8 passengers. Or you may want to just walk around Burnham Park.

Botanical Gardens – we didn’t enter Botanical Gardens.  We just wanted to take a picture at the sign.  However, no one can take a photo of the sign alone, because there are native Irogots oldies that will join you in your pictures.  They will ask Php10 per Igorot. 

Wright Park – Again, there’s no entrance fee for this park.  You can ride a horse for Php200 per hour.  Or take a picture riding the horse for Php10 to 20. 

At the middle of Wright Park, there are sellers of plants.  They sell their plants at a lower cost than those sellers of plants at Mines View Park.  So if you plant to buy ornamental plants, buy them at Wright Park.

Cheaper at Wright Park than at Mines View Park.

Mines View Park – is where you get to see a very scenic view of Benguet.  No entrance fee and no fee for taking pictures at the breathtaking view.   You can buy pasalubongs here at Mines View Park.

Good Shepherd – Just 5-minutes’ walk from Mines View Park is Good Shepherd Convent.  They sell one of the best tasting Ube Jam I have ever tasted.  Buy some for pasalubongs.

Philippine Military Academy – Five days before our Baguio trip, PMA started to collect Php20 per person entrance fee.  This is inclusive of parking, rest room usage, and entrance to museums.  I love it here because cadets and officers salute us, normal people, whenever we pass by them.

Fort Gregorio del Pilar. 

Baguio Night Market – This is located at Harrison Road, starts at 9PM and ends at 1-2AM.  You can find a lot of ukay-ukay here selling as low as Php10 per clothing.  Some sellers also sell brand new class A items.  So haggle as much as you could.

La Trinidad Strawberry Farm – This is not located at Baguio but at La Trinidad, some 15 minutes ride from Baguio City proper.  Strawberry Picking costs Php450 per basket (I think, you get ½ - ¾ kilos of strawberries if the basket is full).  Strawberries sell at Php180-250 per kilo (no picking involved).  But be wary, we bought around 4 kilos of strawberries, the vendor gave us 0.4 kilo less – apparently the weighing scale was tampered. L

Strawberries for sale. 

Other take aways…
Rest Rooms – Baguio is a tourist destination.  Rest Rooms are everywhere but at a cost.  So better make sure you have coins handy when you want to take a leak.

Express Ways – Thanks to NLEX-SCTEX-TPLEX we were able to save time travelling.  However, you have to take note that the toll fees you have to pay will amount to almost Php600 one-way.  Also, TPLEX is a long stretch of road with no gasoline station built as of yet.  There’s a portalet if you need to take a pee but it can be quite smelly. L

Number Coding - Baguio City follows the number coding scheme for vehicles.  We arrived at Baguio Thursday lunchtime.  The next day is our car’s number coding.  How can we use it for touring?  Good thing, Baguio City allows applying for tourist exemption of number coding.  All you have to do is go to the Police Station located near SM Baguio.  Bring your car’s OR (Official Receipt) and CR (Certificate of Registration) and pay Php300 for the exemption.  No need to bring your car. 

That sums up our Baguio trip for 2016.  Hope you get some inputs from our quick getaway.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Baguio 2016: Baguio Condotel

We went to Baguio without a plan and with only a lone hotel reservation at Hotel Veniz which was sponsored by a colleague.  That hotel room can accommodate two people (max of three).  We went to Baguio as six adults and a kid.  Needless to say, that lone hotel room wouldn’t fit us.  We tried to book an additional room at Hotel Veniz but their available room was a Junior Suite, and it wouldn’t be very practical for us to book it since we would be out touring during the day and would just use it to sleep.

So my mom and I walked the streets of Harrison Road to look for a hotel.  We found Harrison Inn, with unbelievable room rates costing Php900 for 3 pax.  However, we were told that their rooms are at the 4th floor of the building and they don’t have an elevator.  This is a no-no for us because Neo’s Mamita (who’s traveling with us) can barely walk let alone climb the stairs.

Luckily for us, just two blocks away from Harrison Inn is Baguio Condotel.  It has everything we were looking for a place to stay.  The rooms are big.  They have rooms (two to be exact) in the ground floor.  The rates are affordable.  It’s strategically located one pedestrian walk away from Burnham Park.  And each room comes with the amenities of a home. J

They offer one queen bed and one single bed for studio type rooms. 

We booked it right away, and what’s more lucky for us, they honored Mamita’s SC card (senior citizen) and gave us a 20% discount for the room.  I love establishments like these. 

A dining area.

Pots, pans, plates, and utensils good for 3 people are all inside the cabinet.

So how do I rate Baguio Condotel?

Room – 5 out of 5.  The room that my parents stayed in was Casa Yakal.  It’s a studio room with 1 queen bed and 1 single bed.  The room is very spacious and has complete amenities that can accommodate 3 people (microwave oven, rice cooker, induction cooker, pots and pans, utensils and plates, cabinets, refrigerator, oven toaster, dining area, and whatever you can think of.)  They have the amenities of a home.  But their rooms are non-air-conditioned rooms.  But who needs air-conditioning when you’re at Baguio during January?

Amenities – 4.5 out of 5.  This condotel has parking spaces for at most 5 cars.  You might want to park early so you will get a slot.  Also, this condotel offers amenities of a home but sometimes, when you’re traveling and touring you would like some amenities that hotels can provide, lots of towels, room services, etc.  But I can’t complain because my parents who stayed here was just so happy about the amenities. 

Staff – 4.5 out of 5.  The staffs are all courteous from the reception to the guard.  They would always assist Mamita while walking in and out of the condotel.  But they don’t proactively offer to make up the room or even provide toiletries.  They would clean and provide, but you would need to ask.

Food – n/a.  They don’t offer free breakfast or any food at all.  It must be because you can cook your own food.

Location – 5 out of 5.  If I can give out a rating more than 5, I’d give it.  This place is just a pedestrian walk away from Burnham Park at Harrison Road side.  So if you want to go to Burnham Park, you can walk for 2 minutes and you’re there.  Also, because of its location, my parents were able to go back and forth the Baguio Night Market without walking too far.

Value for Money – 5 out of 5.  With its location and amenities, and for a very affordable price, Baguio Condotel sure gives a lot of value to your money.  What I really like about them is giving out senior citizen discount as much as 20% for the room itself.   Below are the rates for Baguio Condotel.

Room Type
Studio / 1 T&B
2 (3rd person is free)
Php 2085
1 Bedroom / 1 T&B
3-4 persons
Php 2930
2 Bedroom / 2 T&B
4 persons
Php 2930
2 Bedroom / 2T&B
5-6 persons
Php 4688
Penthouse /
2 Bedroom / 2 T&B
4 persons
Php 4389
Penthouse /
2 Bedroom / 2 T&B
5-6 persons

Also, if you’re looking for a place to stay that would provide you the amenities you have in your home at a very reasonable and affordable price, this is the place.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Baguio 2016: Hotel Veniz

Hotel Veniz is located right at the middle of the city.  It is just a minute’s walk from Burnham Park.  Very strategically located and it spells convenience.

Our accommodation was sponsored by a colleague.  We were given a standard room good for 2 pax costing Php1750.  This is the cheapest room with air-conditioning.  It has a queen size bed, LED/LCD TV, cabinet, and private bathroom.  Here’s how it looks like:

Queen size bed.

Bottled water are at a cost (not complimentary).
Small sitting area at the corner of the room.

A lone cabinet where you can put your things.

Clean bathroom. 

The room is big but not big enough for 3 adult and 1 kid.  We requested for an extra bed and paid for Php500 per day.  It is inclusive of extra bed with linens, extra towel, and breakfast buffet.

The extra mattress we paid for. 

Room – 3.5 out of 5.  Hotel Veniz has nice, clean spacious rooms.  However, it doesn’t offer a mini-ref inside every room.  It must be because Baguio has a cold weather but, some guests like me, are quite accustomed to drinking cold water after a whole day of touring.  Also, the hot and cold shower is defective.  It would turn super-cold then super-hot no matter how many times to blend the water temperature.  I had to run away from the shower every time it starts to turn cold or I might freeze.

Amenities – 3.5 out of 5.  The hotel only has one elevator.  We were lucky to be given a room in the 6th floor.  The 4th floor is where the conference room is located.  So you don’t have access to the elevator from here, so if your hotel room is at the 4th floor, you will have to alight at the 5th floor and use the stairs.  This hotel has a basement parking for a couple of cars with one ingress-egress way.  So you have to be very careful in entering and exiting the parking area.

Staff – 4 out of 5.  The staffs are courteous and nice when you talk to them, and I haven’t experienced any rudeness during our stay.  But I would love for them to smile and greet guests with warmness because it would surely be a nice gesture.

Food – 4 out of 5.  The breakfast buffet included in the room accommodation was just okay.  Not super superb tasting, but just okay.  What I like about the breakfast buffet was that they change menus.  In the two days we have breakfast, they offered different menu on the first day and a different menu on the second day.  This is a thumbs-up for me because I stayed in a hotel before that offers the same menu for breakfast daily.

Location – 5 out of 5.  As I said Hotel Veniz is strategically located in front/side of Burnham Park.  It is located right at the city proper.  It also has a mini mart at the 2nd floor of the building.  No wonder they are always fully booked.

Value for Money – 5 out of 5.  Baguio is a tourist destination, and staying in a hotel right in the middle of the city costing only Php1750 is such a steal.  With nice rooms and breakfast buffet included, Hotel Veniz surely has a very good value for your money.

Overall our experience with Hotel Veniz is fine minus the hot and cold shower defect.  I would love to stay again in this hotel if we ever had the chance to visit Baguio again.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Baguio 2016: Day 3

Early the next day, we went up to Baguio’s public market.  Baguio is popular for its fresh and cheap veggies.  We bought some vegetables and decided to check out our hotel. 

After checking out of our hotel, we went to the Strawberry Farm at La Trinidad, Benguet.  The land where the Strawberry Farm is located is owned by Benguet State University and is being leased to the farmers of strawberries.

We had fun touring the place, but we didn’t avail of the strawberry picking.  Rates are at Php450 per small basket.  I’m not sure if the small basket weighs a kilo, but I assume it’s not.   So we just did some picture taking around the area and bought some strawberries at the pasalubong area.

Strawberries for sale.

They also sell vegetables at the Strawberry Farm.  You may find some veggies are sold cheaper here than the public market. 

Super yummy strawberry ice cream.

After that, we traveled back to Cavite.  We left La Trinidad, Benguet around 12pm and arrived at Cavite by 8PM.  It’s not the normal travel time because we had a lot of stopovers.  And we traveled using Marcos Highway and not Kennon Road both going to and from Baguio. 

This was our first travel for the year and one memorable journey.  Now, I’m hoping for more travel and more fun this year. J

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