Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Thoroughly Spoiled by Discovery Shores Boracay

Our wedding anniversary celebration was a bit late this year. Wait, okay. It wasn't just a bit late. It was really late. Haha! To make up for it, The Memet and I decided to do our annual trip in style. We looked around at deals all over the internet, and my eyes fell on Discovery Shores' LOVESTRUCK Package.

The package included:

- One 60-minute Terra's Touch massage for two at Terra Wellness Spa
- One candle-lit set dinner for two with a bottle of wine at Indigo Restaurant
- Honeymoon set-up with a basket of fruits
- Honeymoon souvenir on departure

- Daily buffet breakfast
- Complimentary en-suite foot was upon arrival
- Complimentary refreshments and welcome snack tray in the room upon arrival
- Welcome amenities, including bag and slippers, in the room
- Daily complimentary two bottles of water
- Special turn down amenities
- Complimentary wireless internet access
- Satellite cable TV, in-room safe, iPod dock, coffee/tea-making facility, and mini-bar (mini-bar consumption is on personal account)
- Complimentary use of luxurious pool, state of the art gym, and entertainment room
- Complimentary snack station at the poolside (10am-4pm)
- Complimentary daily kids activities at Kids Room every 4pm
- Complimentary use of kayaks (subject to availability)
- Complimentary shuttle service from the resort to any destination between Station 1 and Station 3 (subject to availability)
- Butler service at the beach front
- Round trip land and boat transfers from Caticlan Airport during check in and check out dates

The list above was what was sent to me via e-mail when I confirmed that I wanted to reserve a 3-night stay with them. As you can see, there were a lot of perks, so I was sold. Haha!

I made the payment, booked our flights, and before I knew it, we were on our way to Boracay. Woot!

Everything about this trip was perfect. The taxi that we rode to the airport was great, our Cebu Pacific flight to Caticlan was on time, everything!

We took our sweet time getting off the plane when we got to Caticlan. See? We were the last passengers off the plane. Haha!

We were used to the hotel's representative waiting outside the airport. Sometimes, they even made us wait. Little did we know that the Discovery Shores rep was already waiting for us near the luggage carousel. We felt like we were whisked away to our shuttle. Haha!

Once in the shuttle, the driver introduced himself to us and then we were offered candies. We had the shuttle to ourselves. After a few minutes, we were being ushered into the boat that would bring us to Boracay island. Again, we had the boat to ourselves. How awesome is that!

After alighting from the boat, we were once again ushered into a shuttle. This time, we were driven to the hotel. As early as the airport transfers, we were already more than impressed.

At the hotel, we were greeted by courteous hotel staff and given something to drink. We got there really early. Like 8am early. Standard check-in time was 2pm, and prior to the trip, I asked if we could leave the luggage with the hotel's front desk while we just whiled our time away at the beach front. The hotel agreed, so I was expecting just that. But after checking in, we were told that our room was ready, so we were taken to our room right away. Yey!

Our room was a Junior Suite and it was marvelous. It didn't fail to impress.

We got a free tube of VMV sunblock (perfect for my sensitive skin)! And the jars of cookies and dried mangoes were refilled daily! I think it's safe to say that even without leaving our room, we didn't go hungry.

Look at how spacious that room is!

Sorry for the messy bed in the photo. I tell you, that has got to be the most comfortable bed that I have ever slept in.

Anyway, back to our arrival. After we were nicely settled in, somebody rang our bell and came in for our complimentary foot wash.

I was expecting just that - a foot wash. But well, we actually got a foot scrub and a very nice massage. Hihi!

We were too tired to go out and do anything, so we slept the morning away and just ordered through room service when we woke up again at 2pm. This was what we got:

Okay. I'm getting hungry again just looking at that spread. Haha!

Perfect for Chilling Out

When the sun wasn't shining too bright anymore, we went out to explore a little. To be honest, we didn't really do much of anything on our 4-day stay in Boracay. We just ate... walked around on the beach, hung out by the pool, and mastered the art of doing nothing.

The butlers at the beach front were wonderful. They made sure to organize the things that we left behind on the beach chairs whenever we went to take a dip, they brought towels to us, opened the beach umbrellas for us, and brought us cold glasses of water when we looked like we needed it.

My skin reacted not so nicely to the salt water (my allergies were raging when we were in Boracay), and imagine my relief when a butler brought over a cold glass of water to me. I didn't even ask for one. I gladly rubbed the cold glass of water to my burning skin.

The pool staff were just as attentive. Actually, everyone was very attentive.

Buffet Breakfast

There were always a lot of food options at the daily buffet breakfast. They served breakfast until 10am, which was great. The Memet and I made a habit of coming out of the room at around 9:30am, so that we'd be having brunch instead (Thrift mode: ON). Haha!

Bed-Time Surprise

On our first night there, we had dinner at one of the beach-side grills in Station 2. We had a pleasant walk back, and we had an even more pleasant surprise when we entered our room.

The first night was the grandest surprise with the rose petals and everything. But every night before bed time, we got a special turn-down treat and a card with a cute quote. How sweet!

Free Massage at Terra Wellness Spa

I wasn't able to get any photos at the spa, but let me just say that the experience was heavenly. Their services weren't exactly budget friendly, but thanks to the package that I got, the Memet and I were able to get a free one hour massage!

Their spa was wickedly relaxing and their masseuse were extremely professional. They weren't the kind to smirk at clients who got free massages and they had magic hands. Haha! We felt completely at ease with them and left the spa feeling wonderfully light and relaxed.

Free Candle-Lit Dinner at Indigo Restaurant

Another freebie was the candle-lit dinner at Discovery Shores' Indigo Restaurant. Prior to our dinner, I checked out the menu and gawked at the prices. They were expensive. Well, duh. Haha! But when we got there after our massage, we were blown away by how friendly everyone was.

We were served a five-course meal, and by the time dessert was brought over, we barely had room in our tummies! All the dishes were superb! We actually felt guilty that we couldn't finish all our food. We were that full.

Before we called it a night, we were approached by our waitress and given this little token:

It was a box of chocolates! We were too full already, so I put it in the fridge back in our room. I ate it the next day. Haha! And may I just say that they, too, were heavenly?

Seriously though, Discovery Shores Boracay gave us the pampering that we weren't expecting at all. Sure, we paid quite a hefty amount (our wallets were crying), but the expense was more than worth it. After our house is built and we have saved up enough for another grand vacation, we're definitely going to visit the Discovery Leisure Company's other hotels. Club Paradise, perhaps?

If you're going on your honeymoon or maybe looking to celebrate a milestone in your marriage, Discovery Hotels will make it worth your while.

Monday, October 20, 2014

DPOP's 1st Professional Blogging Summit

It looks like my activities as a full-fledged blogger all kicked off in the last quarter of this year, all thanks to my good friend Donna of Honey's Haven. She was the one who all but dragged me to start attending these events. Haha! And I'm glad that she did, because I'm starting to learn a lot of helpful things.

DPOP or Digital Pop had its first ever Professional Blogging Summit last Saturday, October 18, at A.Venue Mall in Makati. I feel blessed to have been part of it. DPOP is the brain-child of Janette Toral and Jeoff Solas, two of the most influential people in the world of bloggers.

The venue was perfect. It lent a casual air to the event, so it helped make it easier to be casual with the other participants. :)

The guest speakers that day were Azrael Coladilla, Ross del Rosario, JayL Aquino, Seph Cham, Jeoff Solas, and Sai Montes.

I wasn't able to take a whole lot of photos of the speakers, because my seat didn't have the best view in the house (i.e. small me, big guy in front of me). Hehe! Next time, I'm definitely sitting up front.

So. Let me share with you some of the key "take-aways" that I learned from the speakers that day:

1. Collaborate with Other Bloggers. I don't know why I never thought of this. Well, maybe one of the biggest reasons is that I'm a very shy person. Haha! But yes, it makes sense. Not only does it make projects a whole lot more fun. It also makes it easier to get invites. Time to come out of my shell! Who wants to collab with me? XD

2. Be Visible. Again, it makes sense. (That's why the speakers were invited. Because they're the SMEs. Hehe!) It's easier to blog about the latest happenings, the latest trends, the latest food joints, if you're out there. I must make a mental note to always attend bazaars and such. I'm not gonna get anywhere if I'm always holed up at home. Haha!

3. Take Good Quality Photos. Lots of people are very visual. I actually know a couple of people who only look at the pictures in books and magazines. I'm serious. you probably know a couple too! So anyway, yes, it's important to take good quality photos. I'm definitely going to attend basic photography workshops now!

4. Do Your Homework. There is nothing worse than showing up for events without knowing at least a little of your host's background. It's essential to find out what they're about, because getting invited to events is like getting invited to their home. Knowledge is power.

5. Get to Know the PR People Who Send You Invites. This here is very important. It's one of the keys to getting repeat invites. Again, makes sense. Right?

Those were just five of the many helpful tips that the speakers shared with us during the summit. I can't wait to practice everything that I learned.

Thank you so much to DPOP for coming up with the Professional Blogging Summit. Because of you and the speakers, I'm now an even more inspired blogger. And thank you too, because I met new blogger friends at your event. :)

Also, thanks to Liberating Jepoy, A. Venue Mall, Island Rose, ProFriends, and Salad Box for making the event possible.

Well, what are you waiting for? Let's get blogging!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sample Room + Burt's Bees = ♥

It seems I still have a hangover from my Blogapalooza 2014 experience. Haha!

I always love it when I receive packages - especially those that I didn't have to pay for. LOL! So, thank you so much, Sample Room for sending me a parcel of goodies from Burt's Bees. Truth be told, I didn't really expect to win anything when I posted my photos from your booth at the Blogapalooza event last weekend. But, boy, was I thrilled when I saw you post this on Instagram:

Image Courtesy of Sample Room's IG Account: @SampleRoomPH

In my excitement, I quickly whipped out my camera and took photos of the items I found inside the parcel. I haven't tried the products yet (I just got them an hour ago. LOL), so the only thing I can say about them right now is that I love the packaging!

Here are some of the photos that I took. My turtle photobombed some of them. Haha!

The tote bag is totally adorable!

Thanks, Sample Room Team! You're the sweetest!

My skin type is combination / sensitive / acne prone. Yeah, my life's complicated. LOL. Since the weather's starting to cool down some, I'm expecting my skin to be drier than usual (while of course managing to still be oily), so Burt's Bees' Intense Hydration products couldn't have come at a better time. I'll do a patch test soon (wish me luck!) and will give you ladies an update in another blog post.

In the mean time, many thanks again, Sample Room and Burt's Bees! You really made my day. ♥

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

According to Ms. Daphne Oseña-Paez, the Philippines has "the highest occurrence of breast cancer in South East Asia... # 9 in the world."

I'm pretty rattled with the statistics, and you should be too.

Women shouldn't lose hope though, because breast cancer can be prevented. Women over 40 are advised to get annual mammograms, while younger women should do monthly self-examinations. Since I fall in the category of "younger women" (haha!), I usually have my gynecologist do a breast exam on me whenever I go in for my annual pap smear - that's aside from my monthly self exams, by the way. One can never be too sure. After all, prevention is better than cure.

To help with breast cancer awareness, Human Nature recently launched a body wash called Mammome.

Image courtesy of Human Nature

The back of the bottle has instructions on how you can regularly do a self-examination in the shower, which I think is pretty cool.

Image courtesy of Human Nature

If you're in the vicinity of Valenzuela City, Cuts Against Cancer in cooperation with Human Nature will attempt to set a record for having the most hair donated to charity in one day. They're looking for donations of healthy hair that are at least 8 inches long.

If you feel like donating your healthy locks to charity, head on over to SM City Valenzuela on October 23 (Thursday), 3-9pm. It's probably time for a stylish short 'do anyway. *wink*

Image courtesy of Human Nature 

If you want to help, but won't be able donate hair (like me), don't fret because there's another way. This is a great option for shopaholics (again, like me). Hehe!

The ICanServe Foundation has an online shop where you can buy accessories, shirts, bands, fans, etc. The items are pretty cool too. Whenever you buy anything from them, you're helping the ICanServe Foundation "continue their advocacy in favor of women at risk for or living with breast cancer."

I already did some shopping earlier this month, and here are the stuff that I got.

Pretty cool, huh? What're you waiting for? Go on and shop for a cause. :)


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