In my last blog post, I told a brief story of my most recent Tagaytay trip with friends. As promised, here's a quick review of the Bag of Beans branch that we visited two weeks ago.


The Bag of Beans branch that we visited seems like a new one, because if my memory serves me right, it's located across from where the old Mano's Greek Taverna used to be.

Bag of Beans Bed & Breakfast (Athena)

We got there close to 8am and as soon as we drove down the steep ramp, we wondered if the place was open for breakfast or not - there were no other cars parked and the place looked empty. But the security guard guided us to a parking space and confirmed that they were already open. Our tummies heaved a sigh of relief.

Upon parking, we unplugged our phones from the car (you'll be surprised how many phones can be charged in a car all at the same time), grabbed our bags, and claimed a table fit for our group.

Once we were settled in, we placed our orders and gabbed away while our breakfast was being cooked.

We had light jackets with us, because we were expecting some semblance of a cold breeze because hello, Tagaytay! But it was actually pretty hot that day. Thank goodness for the trees and plants - they made dining al fresco all the more pleasant.

Here's what my friends and I ordered:

Fresh Watermelon Juice - P130

Cafe Mocha - P120

BoB Cheeseburger - P320

Chocolate Chips Pancake - P195

Golden Smoked Tinapa - P260

Bacon Omelette - P320
Everything was "okay". The servings were generous and the plating were picture worthy. Well except maybe for my bacon omelette. I just couldn't find a good angle! Or maybe it's just me. Hahaha!

The taste was okay (average at best) and the price was a bit expensive. I guess what we really paid for was the ambiance. It would've been better if they had stellar customer service. Sometimes great customer service + great ambiance can ensure your customers leave happy even if the food's average.

The customer service wasn't all that terrible. My only gripe is that our waitress hardly smiled even though we were a jolly bunch. We didn't get a lot of good mornings from the other staff as well. Would've been great if our smiles were returned.

I'd probably still go back to Bag of Beans, but next time, I'm trying other branches to see if their customer service is better. Hehe!

Click to add a blog post for Bag of Beans on Zomato
A few weeks ago, my friends and I headed up to Tagaytay on a manic Monday so we could spend some time with one of our friends who was due to fly back to the US at the end of that week.

With me as the designated driver (imagine that!), we left at 5am and took the C-6 route so that we were in Upper Bicutan in less than an hour. Regular drivers would've made it to Upper Bicutan from Cainta through the C-6 route in maybe 20-30 minutes, but I drive slow when it's dark. You can blame my poor eyesight for that.

We made a quick stop at the first gasoline station along SLEX to fill up on coffee (not on gas) and for a quick pee break. Well, the stop wasn't that quick, because we arrived in Tagaytay just a little before 8am.

We couldn't decide on where to go for breakfast, so I picked out the two places I haven't been to - despite all the times I've already been to Tagaytay:

  • For Breakfast - Bag of Beans
  • For Lunch - Breakfast at Antonio's

Here we are picking out our spot at Bag of Beans.


After what seemed like a two-hour breakfast, we headed to Sky Ranch to hang out.



Unfortunately, it was too hot to do anything, so we just decided to hop on the Sky Eye (ferris wheel). The "gondolas" were airconditioned so it was a welcome respite from the heat.

Yeah, I don't know why they call the little "cars" on the ferris wheel gondolas. Is that what they're really called?

So, anyway, it was really hot so after the short (but cool) ride at the Sky Eye, we sought out some shade. Here's a shot of my friends during our mission to find a cool shaded spot:


Uh-huh. We're grown ups. Haha!

At noon, we drove to Breakfast at Antonio's to have lunch. After another two-hour meal, we were too tired for anything else so we decided to start our drive back to Cainta.

Look, here's a picture with me in it!


It was a fun day, but I'm a bit sad that we didn't get to see "the most beautiful Starbucks" in the country. Haha! We planned on going there after lunch, but yeah, being the oldies that we are, we were already too tired and sleepy. LOL!

I'm trying to convince my parents to drive to Tagaytay with me on my next day off (Um... maybe in 2 to 3 weeks? Yeah, I'm that busy.), so I can finally see the Starbucks branch that everyone's been talking about.

I'm going to write separate blog posts about Bag of Beans and Breakfast at Antonio's, so please do watch out for those.

That's it for now. Gotta go face Joomla! Might discuss that too in a different blog post. Hehe!

There are many reasons why I haven't been able to blog the past couple of weeks. Let me list them here quickly. Yes, I feel I owe you guys an explanation. Hehe!

  1. Our move finally happened. And yes, when we moved, we had no internet connection waiting for us at the new house, so I had to work out of my parents' house for a while. By "a while" I mean around 3 weeks.
  2. Our CEO at work has decided to launch a new application and expected launch date is the end of August. Yes, that's this month. And yes, I'm busy. Haha!
  3. Big events at church. Busy, busy.

The fourth reason is the upcoming Cards & Payments Philippines and E-Commerce Show Philippines 2015. No, I'm not organizing the event, but I'm proud to say that I've been coordinating with the organizers because Bloggers ng Pinas is the event's Official Blogger Group Partner. Okay. Let me just take a moment to breathe and say, "Wow."

The big convention will happen on September 2 & 3 (Wednesday and Thursday), and will be held at the SMX Convention Center right next to Mall of Asia.


There will be 60 expert speakers, 40 international and local exhibitors, and over 1000 attendees. Those numbers alone are proof that it's going to be one big event. Cards & Payments Philippines and the E-Commerce Show Philippines will be the premier meeting place for the entire payments and e-commerce ecosystems from across the country.

Some of the industry leaders who are confirmed to speak at the event are the following:

Undersecretary Prudencio M. Reyes, Jr., Department of Trade and Industry
Inanc Balci, CEO, Lazada Philippines
Paulo Campos, CEO, Zalora Philippines
Raymond Estioko, Deputy Director, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
Orlando Vea, Co-Founder, Smart Communications
Xavier Marzan, President & CEO, G-Xchange, Inc, Globe Telecom
John Owens, Chief of Party, E-PESO
Randy Montesa, Head, Card and Electronic Banking Group, Land Bank of the Philippines
Reese Fernandez-Ruiz, President & Co-Founder, Rags2Riches
Rafael Danilo Reynante, Chief Compliance Officer, Development Bank of the Philippines

Terrapinn Pte Ltd's Managing Director, Sharon Roessen, explains why they decided to launch the conference in Manila:

"With 20 years' experience running Cards & Payments Asia and the E-Commerce Show Asia conferences in Singapore, we are excited to announce the launch of both events in Manila. The Philippines market is going through a phenomenal period of growth, and the opportunities facing the payments and e-commerce markets are vast. We are looking forward to this event becoming the key driver of growth for both these industries."

The Philippines' Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) supports the conference, and this is what Undersecretary Prudencio M. Reyes, Jr. had to say:

"E-commerce in the Philippines is booming, with the market expected to grow to USD 2 billion by the end of 2015. Critical to this continued growth is the sharing of best practice and access to market leading solution providers. We are therefore delighted to be supporting the E-Commerce Show Philippines. As well as delivering the opening address within the conference, we are also excited to be sharing an exclusive update on the E-Commerce 2020 Roadmap. We look forward to meeting all the key players in the Filipino e-commerce community."

Cards & Payments Philippines 2015 will address some of the critical payment infrastructure challenges facing the market, taking a deep dive into the future of e-money, digital payments, crypto-currency, compliance and cash handling.

E-Commerce Show Philippines 2015 will bring together leading e-commerce companies, to learn from e-commerce leaders on best practice customer acquisition & retention, logistical challenges, marketplace disruption and more.


The event is supported by some of the leading solution providers in payments and e-commerce, including:

  • SM Lifestyle and Entertainment who will be showcasing their revolutionary e-Plus! Tap to pay system
  • Smart e-Money who will be presenting PayMaya, the first non-bank in Asia to be awarded a Visa issuing and acquiring principal license
  • Voyager Innovation who will be featuring Takatack, the largest online e-commerce store in the Philippines, and TakThis, which provides online entrepreneurs a storefront where they can post and showcase their product inventories
  • SMK-Logomotion, Wirecard, Ziaplex and HPS, who over both days of the conference will be demonstrating their expertise and helping our attendees to drive their business forward

About Cards & Payments Philippines and E-Commerce Show Philippines:

Date: September 2-3, 2015 (Wednesday & Thursday)
Exhibition Hours: 10:00am - 6:00pm (Sept. 2), 10:00am - 5:00pm (Sept. 3)
Venue: SMX Convention Center, Function Room 1 & 2

Are you a BLOGGER who's interested in getting a Special Visitor Pass? Just register online at www.terrapinn.com/bnp-register before August 20.

All other bloggers who register after August 20 will receive the standard visitor pass. Hurry, because there are only 50 special visitor passes!

In case you encounter difficulties registering online, you may send me an e-mail at dmpgutierrez[at]gmail[dot]com. :)

For all other questions about the event, you may get in touch with:

Jancis Yap
Marketing Manager
Tel: +65 6322 2708
E-mail: Jancis.Yap@terrapinn.com

About Terrapinn
Terrapinn is a business media company. Its products are trade exhibitions, conferences, training solutions, and electronic and print publications. For more information, please visit www.terrapinn.com.
Tony & Jackey

My hair hasn't been a "virgin" since I was in high school. As early as then, I liked getting it colored. But now, I NEED to get it colored because of my pesky white / gray / silver hair. Haha!

Sadly, I don't get to go to a salon to have it trimmed and treated regularly. So yes, my hair's pretty damaged.

Luckily, Tony &  Jackey opened a salon in SM Masinag last May 22nd and last weekend, they hosted a Rizal Media & Bloggers Day Out.


I didn't want to brave the early morning traffic in Imelda Ave. (traffic in Cainta is horrible because of an ongoing DPWH project), so I drove through Valley Golf, exited at their Sumulong, Antipolo gate, and drove down to SM Masinag. Thank God my father in law got us a Valley Golf sticker. Hehe!

Anyway, as soon as I got to T&J Salon, they had me register and then I was whisked away to put on a cool looking robe. Once my robe was on, they washed my hair and applied a keratin treatment.


They applied heat to my hair for around 10-15 minutes to let the keratin treatment seep in, then they washed it off and before I knew it, I was back in my chair getting my hair blow dried.


This is what my hair normally looks like - if I don't brush it. Haha!

Ms. Razel trimmed my hair (yey!) and then she set it with big curls when she was done. The finished product? TA-DA:

Sorry, my face is still the same. Hahaha! :p

This is what the curls looked like from behind. ♥ (Some of my old ombre is still showing.)
My hair felt super soft after the treatment. And one of the things I absolutely loved about the experience? Everyone's hands were surprisingly gentle while they were shampooing, combing, and blow drying my hair. I swear. There was absolutely no hair-tugging or hair-pulling involved. And for that alone, I'm definitely going to go back. Haha!

Speaking of going back, T&J Salon has ongoing promos, so I'm going back next week. *wink* Their promo rates are only good until July 15th, so you better head on over to T&J ASAP!



If you're just looking to get a hair cut, that's fine too. For a hair cut with a Creative Director, you'll only need to shell out P200, while their rate is P300 with a Senior Director.

Before I end this post, I want to share some of our photos from Saturday. We all enjoyed our pampering experience with T&J Salon, and you can see it on our smiles.



Thank you so much, T&J Salon! And thank you for the wonderful treatment, Ms. Razel & Ms. Ana. I'll definitely be back! Hehe.






_______________________
T&J Salon Masinag
2nd Floor (near escalator)
SM Masinag, Antipolo City
Website: www.tnjsalon.com
Phone No.: 02.470.8209
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tnj.masinag
Ever since this year started, The Memet and I have been extremely busy. Along with all the "busy-ness", we've also had to tighten our belts because of all the expenses that came along with our house's construction. Actually, it's still not finished. The house is primarily the reason why we're so busy. We. Need. To. Pay. For. Our. Loans. Hahaha!

It's quite stressful, but we're sure it'll be more than rewarding when we've finally moved and when we're finally debt free. The move will, of course, come first. It's a long and winding road to being debt free (construction loan, I love and hate you), but we'll get there.

Somewhere down the road this year, we remembered that we were also trying to conceive. And stress is a big no-no for TTC couples. So, in an effort to reduce our stress, I booked an overnight stay at Eastwood Richmonde Hotel for us via Agoda.com.

I chose Eastwood Richmonde Hotel because it's practically a stone's throw away from Cainta. Road trips are fun, but when you're stressed and just looking to chill out, the closer the hotel, the better. Hehe!

I got a Superior Room (with Breakfast), and let me tell you, the photos included in Agoda's room listings for Eastwood Richmonde Hotel didn't quite do justice to the place.


The room was bigger than I expected. Haha! It had a living room, a work desk, a separate bedroom, and of course, a bathroom.





There were two TVs. One in the living room, and one in the bedroom. If you want to watch TV while in the bathtub, all you need to do is raise the blinds right next to the tub and you get a full view of the bedroom with the TV. But then the folks in the bedroom will have a full view of you in the bathtub too. Hehehe!




The bathroom was pretty spacious. We found the standard set of toiletries in there, along with a hair dryer, a weighing scale, some towels, and an extra roll of tissue. 

There was no bidet though. (Big pout)

Room Service

The Memet and I were too lazy to get dressed that evening (we enjoyed the lazy feel of lounging around in bath robes all day), so we just had dinner delivered to our room.

Sorry, we dove in as soon as it arrived. I remembered too late that I had to take a photo first. Hehe! *Peace*




Everything we ordered was yummy. The nachos and the tiramisu, I particularly loved. The nachos were still crispy even after an hour, and the tiramisu was heaven on a plate. The two main dishes that we ordered (plus the nachos) had huge servings so we struggled to finish everything. Haha!

Breakfast Buffet

Their breakfast buffet had a modest selection of food perfect for, well... breakfast. There were pancakes, all sorts of bread that I can't even begin to name, some rice, corned beef, and my favorite... BACON! Their bacon was really crunchy and yummy.



Overall, I'd say our vacation in Eastwood Richmonde Hotel was money well spent. Would I go back? Definitely.

After checking out, we chucked our overnight bag in the car and went for a stroll in Eastwood Mall then watched San Andreas in Shangri-La Mall. Before going home, we dropped by our favorite spa in Antipolo for a massage. Haha!

But going back to Eastwood Richmonde Hotel, their details are below if you'd like to book your stay with them too. :)




__________________________
Eastwood Richmonde Hotel
17 Orchard Rd., Eastwood City
Bagumbayan, QC 1110 PH
E-Mail: erh@richmondehotel.com.ph
Contact No.: (632) 352.7281
Hello there! As promised, I used Human + Kind's Skin Lightening Cream every day since I last published a blog post, and I'm now ready to write a review. Question is, are you ready? This post is going to be full of pictures of me, so... yeah. You better be ready. Haha!


I still cannot get over how pretty the packaging is. It has almost all of my favorite colors. Hehe!

On the packaging, it says Human + Kind is all about "skincare with a conscience" (I'm all about that!).

Human + Kind's all natural all-in-one skin lightening cream is a daily moisturizer that provides an instant lightening effect and it protects the skin from harmful effects of UV rays and prevents skin dryness. This all-natural cream ensures smooth, evenly luminous and perfect skin. The unique extract of seven Swiss Alpine plants has given proven results. You can use it, comfortably and safely, twice a day and long term. Suitable for all skin types and tones.

Now, on to the product review.


This skin lightening cream by Human + Kind has a texture similar to that of a sunblock. It's creamy, but if you want to successfully apply it without ending up with streaks all over your face, you're better off applying it little by little because it tends to dry quickly into a powdery finish. So yes, unlike sunblock, this one's not sticky at all. The scent is mild and pleasant and left me smiling after application. Hehe!

Here's a bare-faced photo of me with nothing but Human + Kind's skin lightening cream on.


If you look real closely, you can see my pores. Haha! Sorry, I don't know how to use Photoshop. The cream didn't promise to erase my pores - it's a skin lightening cream after all - but it did a wonderful job in giving me a nice glow. Remember, no makeup at all in this photo. It also helped to lightly blur out my pimple marks, so plus points there for Human + Kind.

Here's another picture that shows the side of my face that's currently full of pimple marks.


See? The pimple marks are nicely blurred out. And I haven't even put on foundation yet! ♥

Earlier today, I decided to get myself a little dolled up just for this blog post - even if I have nowhere to go. Hahaha!


On top of Human + Kind's skin lightening cream, I lightly tapped on some powder foundation, I used brow powder on my brows, and put on a little lipstick. And voila! The finished product: a... presentable face. Pardon the pout. Haha! 

The Verdict

So. Would I buy Human + Kind's skin lightening cream in the future? I would say that's a definite yes. Even though it was a bit difficult to spread evenly at first, I quickly learned that a little at a time makes for an even application.

It didn't break me out, and it gives me a nice glow even without the help of a lot of makeup. Plus, it protects from UV rays, AND it's all natural. Skincare with a conscience! It's a win-win all around!

Human + Kind isn't available in the Philippines yet, but you can easily order through www.superberry.me. They're based in Singapore, so if you have friends or family who live there, you can also ask them to buy from Superberry for you. hehe!

Feel free to check out Superberry's website. They have a lot of natural products and they ship worldwide. Superberry also has a Facebook page and an Instagram account, so feel free to check those out below. ♥



________________________________
Superberry


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Superberry, one of Singapore's leading beauty stores, got in touch with me last week and wanted to send me some of their products to try and review. Who am I to say no? ♥

I got a package from them in just a matter of days - yeah, I'm surprised at how quickly it arrived. Hehe! There were two products in the package.

1. Human + Kind Skin Lightening Cream

It's a skin lightening facial moisturizer that has UV filters to help protect from the sun's harmful rays. I did a skin patch test last night to test for allergic reactions, and thankfully my skin didn't react negatively. It's hypoallergenic, but I wanted to be sure. Hehe!

Don't you just love the packaging? It's so cute!

I can't wait to test it and see whether my skin loves it or not. I'll post an update after a week.



2. Tolpa: Dermo Body Cellulite Serum

Yeah, I have cellulite. Haha! I've never really given it much thought, but I'm glad I got this serum to road test. I hope it works. My thighs could use some pampering. :)

It's hypoallergenic, so it's safe for sensitive skin like mine - yey! I already tried it last night, but the box says I should apply it over a period of 4-6 weeks, so I'll be back with an update in 3 weeks. 



While waiting for my updates, you might want to check out Superberry's website - details below. They do international shipping, and I'm sure you'll get your orders quickly. I got mine in less than a week. ♥

UPDATE: My review of Human + Kind's Skin Lightening Cream is now available. Click HERE to read it.



_______________________________
Superberry
www.superberry.me
FB: www.facebook.com/superberry.me
IG: @superberry.me


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