Diamond Hotel

Freebies are pouring out especially during holiday season. After our free Staycation in Solaire, we were able to grab free gift certificates courtesy of Diamond Hotel.

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We stayed at the Superior Twin Room, this time fronting the picturesque Manila Bay. It has two queen size bed, sofa set, wall mounted TV screen and bath tub.

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There are a number of restaurants and bar that you can choose from. If you are an in-house guest, free breakfast serving at Corniche (take note of the dress code).

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Function rooms for corporate meetings and special events are available with different packages to suit your needs.

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There are also several recreational facilities like the gym, spa, tennis court and swimming pool.

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If Solaire has its casino, Diamond is just across Manila Baywalk where guest can definitely enjoy quality time with their love ones while watching the sunset.

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Solaire Resorts and Casino Manila

I, being a self-confessed “kuripot” always head out to budget friendly accommodation and never booked a 5 star hotel in my entire travel life. So when I was invited for a free overnight “staycation” in Solaire, I never hesitated to join the group.

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Solaire hotel has two towers; the Bay Tower (overlooking Manila Bay) and the Sky Tower where our group stayed. The Sky Studio room is the cheapest among all rooms being offered, but it is still very elegant and well designed (I can imagine how the higher rate rooms look like). It has a king size bed, wall mounted TV screen, sofa set and bath tub.

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Food centers are abundant in Solaire, you can choose from fine to casual dinning. They also have bars and coffee shops where they serve finest alcohol and caffeine drinks.

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oasis garden cafe

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waterside restobar

There are also several recreational areas like the wellness spa and swimming pool.

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And of course, you can try your luck at the Casino area located at the ground floor where you can play baccarat, card games and slot machines (note that taking photos are prohibited).

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They also have function rooms for personal events, corporate meetings and the Theater where local and international musical shows are staged.


Baguio…my second time this 2015

Last March, I went to Baguio to attend a seminar of our client. I only visited the Session Road because we went to Sagada the following day. This November, I went up again to attend a baptism of my hubby’s childhood friend. It coincided with Bonifacio Holiday and my sister’s wedding anniversary, so my family went along as well.

Going to Baguio from Manila is now easy especially if you have your private vehicle. Thanks to NLEX-SCTEX-TPLEX, travel time is only 5 hours. We left Quezon City around 5:30 and arrived in Baguio past 10am so we got to rest for a while and had lunch first before roaming around Baguio.

The Mansion – located in Leonard Wood Road, it was built in 1908 to house the US governor and generals. Today, it is where every President of the Philippines stays every time they visit Baguio.

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Wright Park – located across The Mansion and known for its man-made pond called “Pool of Pines”. Here is where visitors can avail horseback riding for a certain fee.

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Mines View Park – located 4 km from the city proper where you can see the panoramic view of Benguet province. You can also have your picture taken wearing traditional costumes and souvenirs are plenty here compared with other tourist spots around Baguio.

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Burnham Park – located at the city proper and the most well-known tourist spot in Baguio. Aside from it is where provincial events are usually held, there are a lot of activities visitors can do like picnic, strolling, biking and boating.

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And your trip to Baguio would not be complete without eating fresh fruit and veggies:)

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Corregidor… A Spontaneous Educational Tour

My sister’s family-in-law scheduled a trip to Corregidor last September. UNFORTUNATELY, two of the family members were not able to come, which made me and my travel hubby FORTUNATE to join them… for FREE. They score the discounted tickets thru Metrodeal . Regular rate for the whole tour is P2,549 but they got the ticket at P1,399 which includes ferry transfer Manila-Corregidor-Manila, tram with tour guide and buffet lunch as well.

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This is my second time to visit this historical place, the first one when I was in college. The present docking area is now located near SM Mall of Asia unlike on my first visit which was at the back of CCP Complex. Travel time by ferry boat is around 1 hour and 15 minutes

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Upon arrival, we were greeted by our designated tour guide. He was delighted to know that we are all Filipinos which made him talked comfortably on our native language. We roamed the whole island by tram with stopover on several points of interest.

the tram

                                                                     The Tram

 

mile long barracks

                                                    Mile Long Barracks

 

battery hearn

                                                             Battery Hearn

 

Pacific War Museum

                                                          Pacific War Museum

 

Filipino Heroes Memorial Museum

                                            Filipino Heroes Memorial Museum

 

The Light House

                                                       The Light House

Sometimes it’s good availing tour packages, quite expensive but hassle free. And it’s best shared with a group you are all familiar with. Thank you for this wonderful experience.

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Tagaytay… A Quick Getaway during the APEC Holiday

As HR practitioner, we consider “Ber” months as our “Hectic” month of the whole year. But thanks to the APEC Holiday, I was able to relax with my family in Tagaytay for a quick getaway.

We traveled from Q.C. around 8 in the morning and arrived at 11AM. Check in time is at 2PM so we first went to Picnic Grove to have our lunch.

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After lunch we started our leisurely walk and checked activities offered inside the park.
Horseback riding P200/picture taking only P20

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Mini Zoo P100 with unlimited photo and close encounter with the animals.

 

 

 

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It was past 1PM when we decided to check in at 5R Rooms Tagaytay.

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This accommodation has a good location because it is along the highway and about 1.5km from Picnic Grove. It is best for groups because their family room has a private sala, kitchen and ref. They also provide stove for free if you want to cook and it has a swimming pool where your family can enjoy bonding time.

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Family a/c room good for 5-7 person is at P4,000.

Early next day, I decided to stroll alone and check places of interest within the area. I first spotted the Shrine of St. Anne, about 300 meters from 5R.
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It has a small garden with grotto at the center where you can pray and reflect.
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Walking further, 750 meters from 5R and in front of Development Academy of the Philippines is the Tierra de Maria
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Established last 2000, it has a 50ft image of Our Lady of Manaoag where you can meditate and request for favors.
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After having uttered my prayer and wishes, I rode a PUV back to 5R and drop off in front of Ina ng Laging Saklolo (Our Lady of Perpetual Help) Parish.

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It is one of the Catholic Churches in Tagaytay located in Sungay West along the highway and walking distance from 5R.

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You can also check Keni Po, another accommodation along the highway and in between Ina ng Laging Saklolo and 5R.

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Another accommodation in front of Keni Po is Little Falls Inn, aside from rooms they also offer tour packages.

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And if ever you’ll book from any of these three accommodations, try to visit this parking area besides Little Falls Inn especially in the morning.

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There is a small eatery that serves porridge, rice cakes and fried tofu best eaten while enjoying the cool breeze and the early morning sun.

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