To celebrate my birthday, The Memet, Sofi, and I headed up to Tagaytay some time last week. It was an unplanned trip. The Memet just happened to come home early from work, and since we didn't really go anywhere on my birthday, we packed up real quick and were on the road around 4pm.

With a quick stopover at Paseo de Sta. Rosa, we were in Tagaytay by nightfall. Since we didn't have a reservation, we drove around for quite a bit before finally deciding on Summit Ridge.

Because I packed quickly (too quickly for my liking), I didn't pack any jackets for any of us. It's been quite hot in Manila the past few weeks, so The Memet and I weren't expecting it to be a windy and chilly evening in Tagaytay that night.

Summit Ridge

We booked a room at the front desk while the three of us shivered in the cold. Haha! It was so cold and windy that Sofi shivered even after I wrapped her up in my cardigan.

Here we are all warm in our room with the a/c turned off. Haha! (Sorry, it's just the two of them. I hardly ever have a picture when I'm the one holding the camera. LOL!)

It's a small room with a king sized bed, a couch, a television, a personal fridge, a desk, and a table. There was also a closet, but no bathrobes.

Here's a peek at the bathroom:

The bathroom was spacious enough, but didn't have a bathtub. We wanted one for Sofi. Hehe! But beggars can't be choosers - and it was too cold anyway.

The bathroom had the standard set of toiletries, a hair dryer, but no bidet. I wish all hotels here in the Philippines had bidets.

We enjoyed our stay - even if we were really just there to sleep. We didn't even have a chance try the complimentary breakfast. Hehe!

Before we move to Breakfast at Antonio's, here's a picture of my baby, all fresh from a night's sleep. Haha!

Breakfast at Antonio's

For my birthday, I really just wanted a nice meal at Breakfast at Antonio's with my little family. Yes, I'm at that point in my life when I want nothing but to spend time with my family. Hehe!

It didn't happen on the exact day of my birthday, but The Memet did his best to make it happen eventually.

Sorry. Just had to include Sofi's pictures. Hahaha!

I already shared a post about Breakfast at Antonio's (click HERE) roughly 2 years ago. Although it's been quite a while, the service and the food remains the same. So I guess I'll just share some photos of what we had for brunch:

Good, yeah? They all tasted as good as they looked. But The Meme and I agree that Mom and Tina's still serves the best beef tapa out there. See blog post HERE.

So that ends my short blog post. Gotta go because Sofi's starting to eat her book. LOL!

Thanks for dropping by!

Hello there! I've finally gotten the chance to write the 2nd part of our Tugawe Cove vacation. Sorry if it took a while. I wanted to write immediately a couple days after the first part, but as usual, life got in the way.

So anyway...

After the exciting travel to Tugawe Cove Resort (read about it HERE), we were welcomed with warm smiles and some yummy refreshments.

We loved their maruya so much (they're banana fritters, I think?) that we ordered them every chance possible. Sigh, how I wish they can deliver to Rizal. Haha!

This is their reception area.
Tugawe Cove Resort is a huge property. They have rooms up on the hill top, on the hill side, and at the bottom right beside a lake, near the ocean.

We got a lake side casita, and because there were no king beds available, we settled on the one with twin beds.

On the way to the lakeside casitas.

The room wasn't huge, but we had ample space for ourselves. The bathroom was the same. It wasn't huge, but it spacious enough for two people to shower at the same time.

Here's the view right outside of our room:

It was tranquil and a stone's throw away from the ocean. What we didn't anticipate was that we would hardly be spending time at the beach... And that the restaurant would be at the top of the hill. Grabbing a meal meant going up the hill every single time - not a walk in the park if you're not exactly fit. Haha! So we ended up ordering room service for dinner all the time.

Here's the beach. I think we only went there once. That was it. Haha!

Here are the stairs that we had to endure every time we had to get to the top of the hill:

Yes. It's quite a climb. Haha!

Good thing they this buggy that you can ride to the top - but you still have to climb halfway.

It's quite slow and when you're riding to the top, you're facing downhill... But if you absolutely can't bear the stairs and you're not in a rush, then take the buggy. Hehe!

Everything can be found on top of the hill: the restaurant, the pool, a playground for the kiddos, the entertainment area... If I had only done my research properly. LOL!

More stairs going up to the restaurant, the pool, and the entertainment area.

We loved lounging in the pool. The view was awesome and the birds were quite an entertainment. There were a few birds that liked to dive into the pool only to get their feathers slightly wet. Some others only did some fake dives. Haha!

It's just now that I realized that we don't have any pictures at the restaurant. I guess it's because we're always very hungry by the time we get up there. Haha!

Tugawe Cove Resort is a wonderful place. It's very exclusive (not like there's a choice) and the staff are friendly. If you're looking for a place to party, this place might not be it though. It's very peaceful and quiet, especially at night. It's the kind of place you go to if you just want to chill.

Do check them out if you've plans of going to Caramoan. Here's the LINK to their website. :)

Before Sofi came into our lives, the Memet and I went on a road trip to Caramoan. Flying to Naga would've been the easier (and faster) option. But why go on a cramped plane ride when you can stretch out in a car and enjoy the long and winding road?

Well, I stretched out and dozed while the Memet drove, but he likes driving, so we both had fun. Haha!

The drive to Camarines Sur was roughly around 10 hours. It was fun, but the real adventure began when we arrived at Sabang Port.

We found a nice and secure parking spot, freshened up a little, used the bathroom, and then the guy who was helping us out with our luggage said that the boat that was going to Guijalo Port was leaving. LOL!

We hightailed it to the beach with 2 guys carrying our bags for us. The boat was in the water and I couldn't find an actual port anywhere. I got the shock of my life when the 2 guys put us on each of their shoulders and carried us to the boat - yes, they carried us as they waded in waist-deep water. It was at that moment that I wished I was a big time blogger so I'd have a team of photographers and videographers to document the moment for me so I can show you guys what happened. LOL!

Tip # 1: Wear flip flops and secure your things. You don't want anything valuable taking an unexpected dip in the ocean.

Here's a look at the boat. It's pretty big in person.

The boat ride to Guijalo Port took around 2 hours. You can take a nap, but the view's also amazing. If you're lucky, you'll see Mayon Volcano too!

After we arrived at Guijalo Port, we called Tugawe Cove Resort to let us know that we were there. Then around 20-30 minutes later, a speed boat arrived. Yes, a speed boat. Haha! We noticed 2 other folks who seemed to be heading to Tugawe and were unsure how to get there (I overheard their conversation), so the Memet and I approached them to let them know that a Tugawe Cove speed boat had arrived.

The ride to Tugawe Cove was fast. Duh, speed boat. Travel time was around 30 minutes. Yes, the resort was a bit far.

Tip # 2: If you're preggo, you might want to mention that to the resort so they can send you a regular boat. It'll take longer, but it'll be safer for you. The speed boat's really cool, but the ride can be quite bumpy.

The ride from Tugawe Cove Resort going back to Sabang Port was pretty much the same. Except when we got to Guijalo Port, it was low tide so the big boat couldn't go inside the actual port area. It could only go as far as the entrance, so that's where the speed boat dropped us off.

We got on the big boat pirate style. Haha! The speed boat got as close as it could and then we were boosted on to the side of the big boat.

Getting to and from Tugawe Cove Resort was quite an adventure, which is why I decided to make a post solely about it.

Coming up next, a blog post about the resort itself. :)
Manila Peninsula

Okay. First things first. Why is it called The Peninsula Manila when it's located in Makati? Haha!

Hello, hello! It's been a little over 2 months since my last blog post. Life, as usual, got in the way. Things are so much more hectic since I became a work at home mom. And then I got to experience my first staycation as a mom - with a 6 month old baby. Wow. Haha!

So. The Peninsula Manila. Love, love, love the place but our stay came with a few kinks. Will tell you about it in a few.

The Memet and I normally go on our December staycations on the 24th and 25th. But since that was the entire weekend last year, we decided to schedule our overnight stay on the 23rd.

There were a lot of guests in the hotel already, but The Peninsula Manila is a pretty big hotel and there was plenty of room for everyone to move around without the place feeling crowded.

Loved the valet folks, btw. If you're a guest staying at the hotel, valet services are completely free. You just gotta get your ticket validated at the front desk.

Check-in was quick. Was a bit surprised at the deposit though. Usually, hotels ask for a deposit anywhere from P1,000 to P3,000. The Peninsula Manila's deposit is equivalent to one overnight stay. I was just glad that my credit card wasn't anywhere near being maxed out when we checked in. That would've been embarrassing.

We got the cheapest room, by the way. I mean, duh. Haha!

Here are some mandatory photos of the room. With The Memet and Sofi.

Manila Peninsula

A few pieces of fruits were waiting for us in the room. Would've been cool if there were chocolates too. Haha!

Manila Peninsula

Manila Peninsula

The room that we got had 1 king size bed - enough space for the 3 of us. The lady at the front desk asked us if we needed a cot and I said "yes, please". But for some reason, they didn't give us one. I didn't mind.

Sadly though, the bed was pretty old. The mattress sagged in the middle and it creaked whenever we moved. Our bed at home felt even more comfortable than the one in the hotel.

Manila Peninsula

Manila Peninsula

Manila Peninsula

The bathroom was pretty lush. It had a separate shower and bathtub and an enclosed area for the toilet. We didn't get to enjoy the tub though, because the room was freezing. It was cold even when we turned up the heat. As in brrrrr.

One thing that was missing in the bathroom was a bidet. I wish all hotels here had bidets. Life would be so much easier.

Manila Peninsula

Manila Peninsula

The toiletries had the expected packaging, but man, they were by Oscar de la Renta. Wow. The scents were pretty too.

We had dinner at John and Yoko in Greenbelt that night. It wasn't easy. Sofi's used to sleeping early - like around 5pm early, so she was pretty fussy. We took turns eating. (So that's what it's like for parents. Haha!)

She slept during the short car ride back to the hotel and was still sleeping as we walked through the busy lobby and up the elevator. It was pretty weird because as soon as we entered the room, her eyes popped open and then she started crying. The crying's pretty normal when her sleep gets interrupted or when she's really sleepy and it's past her bed time. But wow, her crying lasted quite a while even when we turned down the lights.

After we turned down the lights, the hair on the back of my head stood on end for some reason. I'm not afraid of the dark. In fact, I can't sleep with the lights on. But after the chill I felt, I couldn't help it. I turned on all the lights again.

After nearly an hour of trying to put Sofi back to sleep, she finally did. And The Memet was right on her heels.

Once they were both asleep, I turned on my laptop and put in about an hour of work. The internet speed was pretty fast - for PH standards. LOL. I was able to get 8mbps. Nice.

What wasn't nice though was how the chills just wouldn't leave me. There was a mirror on the desk in the room and my eyes kept darting towards it expecting to see something otherworldly. Thank God I don't have a third eye. My mom seems to have one though. Thing is, I can't see, but I can usually feel when something's off. And there was definitely something off in our bedroom. And I kept getting a whiff of a perfume that was neither mine or The Memet's and it made me keep looking over my shoulder.

As soon as I finished working, Sofi - who was sleeping soundly with her butt sticking up in the air - suddenly cried like there was no tomorrow. Even when I picked her up to console her, she continued crying and that was when I felt truly scared. When she finally stopped crying and went back to sleep, I woke The Memet up and asked him to pray with me. He didn't seem bothered by anything and that was fine. At least it was just me who was being weirded out by the feels I was getting from the room. Hahaha!

I didn't sleep very well that night. I kept waking up every now and then because of the lights - I hope that was the only reason. And when I finally woke up to see the sun shining, I felt more at ease.

I was finally able to enter the bathroom that morning. Yeah... I didn't get to wash my face and brush my teeth the night before because I was so scared. LOL! I was able to take a bath even though my hands and feet were still as cold as ice. The water felt cold even at its hottest setting. But The Memet said he didn't feel cold while he was taking a bath. Weird.

Manila Peninsula

Anyway, overall, The Peninsula Manila was great. Customer service was top notch. And check-out was a breeze even when there was a line. Would I go back? Probably not. It's not a place we can afford to regularly check-in at, plus I want to be able to sleep well. Hahaha!

That was quite an experience for Sofi's first staycation. We'll be going to the beach in a few weeks and I can't wait to blog about it!

Who among you, dear readers, have stayed at The Peninsula? Do you have stories to share? Hehehe!