Sunday, September 29, 2013

Manila Bay Dinner Cruise FAIL

My hubby's younger brother from the States is in town (because he got married in Cebu yesterday!) so we've been very busy the past few weeks going around the metro, touring him and his wife's family around town. One of the things on our itinerary was a Manila Bay Dinner Cruise, which my mother-in-law booked through a group buying site. It departs from the CCP Complex near Gloria Maris at 6pm (which is the time we went in order to see the sunset) and 8pm, and has a cruise time of 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Well, the weather that day was very windy. We were already having a bad feeling driving to the venue since we could see the trees really whipping around and the waves seemed really strong. There was no rain though so we just hoped for the best. Unfortunately, when we got there, we were informed that the ship wouldn't be able to cruise around Manila Bay since the coast guard didn't allow it. And of course since the winds were so strong, the passengers wouldn't fully enjoy the experience since they might just end up dizzy from motion sickness. The buffet dinner would still push through though, but the ship would remain docked.

It would have been best to reschedule, but since our guests were from out of town and there was no other time but that day, we just decided to have the buffet dinner. We could still come back next time though to take the cruise, but then we wouldn't avail of the dinner anymore.

the cruise ship

I don't know if you can see, but there's trash around the vicinity of the boat (well, what can you expect from Manila Bay). Thank goodness it didn't smell bad or we would have totally lost our appetite! And at least when it got darker, you couldn't see it anymore.

Ok, let me share was was written on the description of the deal:

In days of global brands, faceless corporations and international food chains there’s nothing more appetising than food experiences that leave a lasting impression. Boarding from CCP Complex, enjoy the experience of a lifetime with a heavenly Manila Bay Eat-All-You-Can Dinner Buffet Cruise on the Prestige Cruise Ship, operated by Prestige Cruises, the pioneer of dinner cruises in the Philippines. The setting while the boat takes you through the waters of the Manila bay is a world-apart from your modern-day shopping mall restaurant. The dinner cruise is softened by gentle lights, creating an evocative atmosphere. There is attention to detail in all aspects of the ship's delightful restaurant.

Hmmm, it sounds so wonderful and nice noh? But honestly, the ship itself wasn't that impressive...

The ship had 3 levels, but only the first 2 levels were set-up for the dinner. According to the sign, there is an additional P100 charge per person for guests who want to be seated on the top deck. The photo below shows the set-up of the first level, where the buffet was served (there were actually a lot of people who ate dinner but I took this photo just before we left so no one was there anymore). I don't think this really shows "attention to detail in all aspects of the ship's delightful restaurant". I mean look at the tables and chairs! The whole setting just seems so dismal and sad.

Here's the other part of the description:

The restaurant's extravagant dinner buffet celebrates traditional Asian  recipes, all of which is presented freshly on the premises by their experienced and talented team of chefs. The buffet is packed full of flavour, using top ingredients and classic Filipino technique to form the modern approach to the enjoyment of food. This is fine-dining on the sea without it being stuffy.

Well, in my opinion this is definitely the WORST part of the cruise for me. The food was not appetizing at all. They served about 5 dishes and it definitely was not extravagant nor fine-dining. It just seemed like cafeteria food. And drinks were not included, so you had to pay an additional P70 per drink! Total rip-off!

tahong & tonkatsu
pancit & hubad na lumpia

They also had live entertainment on the 2nd level...

The only redeeming quality was the view which was really gorgeous. We went to the top deck to take pics and we momentarily forgot about the setting downstairs...

If the cruise pushed through, I think we would have actually enjoyed ourselves since the views would have been really nice. But definitely don't expect much in terms of the food or the setting. You're better off eating at Gloria Maris which is right in front of the docking area. You're really paying for the experience of seeing the sunset and skyline while on the ship.

Maybe we'll come back to avail of the cruise next time during the Christmas season, when it isn't rainy anymore. And hopefully, well have a much better time than this. ;p

Friday, September 27, 2013

Photo of the Day: Miley vs. Miley

OMG! My sister-in-law sent me this picture and I just find it so cute! This photo of our baby Miley was taken in 2010, so now we know who Miley Cyrus copied the whole tongue sticking out thing from hahaha! ;p

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tagaytay Highlands

We took a day trip to Tagaytay Highlands last week since hubby's younger brother from the States is in town. Unfortunately, Sabe was sick so we only brought Miley with us. It was a good thing the weather was quite cooperative that day. It was cloudy so it wasn't that hot, with just a few minutes of rain here and there, so we were able to fully enjoy the whole place. Here are some photos from the fun (and super tiring) day we had.

mandatory shot in front of the Tagaytay Highlands signage
so excited she kept running and running around...
group shot
matching plaid shirts with Daddy
checking out the fishies
lovely view

We rode the Funicular, which was like riding a super slow rollercoaster downhill. We all loved looking at the view outside and Miley had so much fun she wanted to ride it again after! :)

the Funicular
view from the inside the ride

Then, we rode the cable car back up to the country club. Again, Miley was so excited that she went inside the car first. She also had so much fun during the ride. I think we have a little thrill-seeker with us! Can't wait to take her on a real rollercoaster when she gets older. ;p

I haven't been to Highlands for quite a long time so I've forgotten how much stuff you can do around there. We had a fun day and I hope to go back here during the Christmas season when it's really cold. And of course, to bring Sabe with us so he can ride the funicular and cable car too. :)


Anyway, we are off to Cebu tomorrow for the wedding of hubby's brother this weekend! Soooo excited! :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

My first washi tape projects

If you read my post on my shopping loot from 168 Mall last week, you know that one of the things I bought was washi tape - a LOT of it.

6 rolls for P100

Like I said, I didn't really understand the whole washi tape craze when it started. I found the tape really cute but it was too expensive for my kuripot self at about P100 per roll. But then, I went to Divisoria and saw these babies being sold for so cheap! The paper and fabric ones were about 4 rolls for P100. I decided to get the cheaper tapes being sold for 6 for P100 because there were more designs to choose from. I believe they're cheaper since the texture is plastic (so do you still call these washi tape?). Well, here's a closer look at the designs I got:

kiddie designs
prints & patterns
travel themed

I plan to use them mostly for wrapping gifts, but I couldn't resist spicing up some of the plain stuff lying around the house - like the kids' portable DVD player :)

And the charger as well! ;p

Now I understand why people are so crazy about washi tape! They make everything look so cute! ;p Now I'm so addicted with searching for other DIY projects you can do - and there's so many possibilities. But first, I want to go back to Divisoria and buy some more tape to add to my collection haha. :)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

DIY: Idea on how to update a ceramic stool

One of my favorite pieces in our house is this ceramic stool which I got from Uniwide. I'm really happy with the color (well, it was the only choice on hand when I bought it)...

And then I saw this fabulous DIY work of art from this blog! All she did was use a couple of blue markers to make this Chinoiserie-style pattern on her plain white garden stool.

Pretty impressive huh? And it seems really easy too!

Check out this post for the full details on how she did it. Now I have all sorts of ideas on how to update my own ceramic stool! :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Real Living Space Tea Party & Walkthrough

I have been an avid reader and fan of Real Living magazine for so many years now, so I was beyond happy when I received an invite to their Real Living Space tea party. During the event, Associate Publisher Tom Castaneda and Editor In Chief Rachelle Medina personally discussed and showed us the spaces that some of Manila's best interior designers have created at the Trion Towers in BCG.

This was the lovely office / craft room set-up that greeted us, with furniture from Heima. The free DIY workshops during the weekend were also held here. Out of all the spaces, this was probably my favorite since I just love all the colors, prints and patterns. Everything just looks so happy and girly! Gosh, I wish I could have a room like this at home where I can do all my DIY projects. Heaven!!!

This is the living area styled by Van Acuna. Hubby was with me and he instantly gravitated towards the aquarium on display (he's been wanting to get an aquarium for the house ever since before). Well, we found out that the aquarium was from ADA Nature Aquariums and it costs a whopping P140,000! That's because all the plants used are real (and imported), the glass of the aquarium is some kind of special crystal (it was so clear!), and the best part is that someone comes to your house once a week to clean the whole thing! So sulit naman pala hehe! ;p

This is the dining space designed by Wilan Dayrit, which is where cocktails was also held.

We then headed upstairs to check 2 of the condo units that were styled for the event. In the first unit, the living / dining area was by Wilmer Lopez featuring furniture from Space Encounters. I really loved the whole vintage, retro, funky style of this area.

The bedroom inside the unit was styled by Pam Tan. My favorite part in the room was probably the butterfly decals on the wall from Dimensione. According to EIC Rachelle, the designer placed them there to cover paint chips on the wall (great idea!).

In the next unit, the living area was styled by Kristine Neri-Magturo. I really like the mix of feminine and masculine elements in the space. If you noticed, there are a lot of antlers used as decors in the room, just like in the other unit, which was purely coincidence from the designers. ;p

The bedroom in the unit was styled by Elle Uy. This room is also one of my top picks since it has that whole bohemian vibe (very Urban Outfitters!). I especially love the curtains and the wall gallery.

It was such a great afternoon and the whole time, I felt like I really stepped inside the pages of Real Living. I love how all the spaces have their own distinct style - there really was something for everyone. Now, I'm even more inspired to start redecorating! Although I need to wait a couple more years before I can start placing breakable accent pieces anywhere around the house with my toddlers running around hehe! ;p

Friday, September 13, 2013

Shopping loot from 168 Mall

Finally, I was able to go back to Divisoria after soooo long... the last time was exactly a year ago! I think it's becoming a tradition to go during this time of year though, right before the Christmas rush sets in. Good thing my mother-in-law wanted to go too, so we convinced hubby to be our driver and alalay for the day hehe. ;p I also invited my mom along so it was really a shopping day for us girls. Anyway, we left bright and early so we got to 168 Mall at around 7:30am. We were able to find really great parking in the basement right in front of the elevator (which is a must since hubby made several trips back and forth to put our stuff in the car - so we would have our hands free for more shopping!).

Anyway, we had breakfast first in the foodcourt and by the time we were done, most of the stalls were already open. It was good I had a list ready so I didn't feel so overwhelmed since I pretty much knew what I was there to buy. But still, it was hard not to get sidetracked with all the cheap items up for grabs!

Here are just some of my favorite personal buys from the day:

Wrapping Paper Books - I saw this before during my previous trip to Divisoria but didn't buy it then. Ever since, I've been seeing these sold in the mall and online for more than double the price. So happy I finally got my hands on these babies!

left: P130, right: P100

Washi Tape - I didn't really understand the whole washi tape craze ever since it started. I found the tape itself really cute but my kuripot self couldn't imagine spending about P100 for a single roll. Well, Divisoria really is the place to go since you can find all kinds of washi tape for so cheap - the paper and fabric ones were 4 rolls for P100. I decided to get these tapes which were cheaper at 6 for P100 - and I got 24 rolls! Now you can say my washi tape obsession has officially begun! :)

6 rolls for P100

Leggings - my closet staple! Loved the material of these leggings since it's very light so they're not hot to wear.

black leggings: P180, blue leggings: P75 each

Silicone Chopsticks - I bought chopsticks like these last year but as usual, we can't seem to find them anywhere around the house. Got pink ones for Miley and hopefully they last longer. :)


Party Supplies - Got these for Miley's birthday when she celebrates in school. Yes, her birthday is all the way in February but I'm not sure if I'll be able to go back to Divisoria before then anyway. So at least, ready na months in advance pa lang haha!

goody bag (10 pcs): P20
paper plates (10 pcs): P30
paper napkins: 3 packs for P100
these are the other paper napkins I got, but for the house

Kiddie Coat & Tie - We've been looking for a coat for Sabe since he'll be attending a lot of weddings in the coming months. The cheapest one we saw was about P1,800 in SM. Well, thank you to the bridal section at 168 mall and we were able to score this one for a steal!

coat: P500, tie: P100

Kiddie Crocs- got the kids another set of slippers which they use around the house

P150 a pair

Cars Toy - Sabe loves CARS the movie so we had to get him this toy - it moves with lights and sounds!


Of course, hubby didn't go home empty handed. Check out what he got for himself hehe:

plastic belt: P100
knee support: P80

Oh, and we got this electronic mosquito killer lamp for the house. We just tested it so far so I'll still have to let you know if it's effective. :)


A lot of the other stuff I bought are for Christmas gifts (so I can't post those yet kasi surprise hehe). And even though we spent about 7 hours shopping, I still feel like I have a lot of stuff I'd like to go back for. We're still trying to convince hubby to drive us again though, so wish us luck! ;p


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