The 9th – Seda

For the last entry of our 9th anniversary staycation , we stayed at Seda – Vertis North. Our anniversary blog posts took 3 weeks to blog about, I’ll tell why on the next blog post.  On our last day at City Garden Grand hotel, we didn’t want to go home yet. So we looked for hotel deals online. One of our friends commented that Seda was already open (since April 2017) and they currently have an introductory price for an overnight stay. So we booked the Deluxe room with 2 free breakfast buffet for 4,665 php.

The spacious reception area. ♥

Read More

From City Garden Grand Hotel, we booked an Uber to Glorietta 5 instead of going straight to Vertis North. It costs around 300+ for an uber ride from Makati to Quezon City that time. So we tried the P2P Bus at Glorietta 5 that will drop us off at Trinoma. Its my first time riding a double decker bus, and it was exhilarating! From Trinoma, well, we walked all the way to Seda.

Another view.

Lighting fixture.

The lounge at night.

An Ann Pamintuan piece near the stairs.

The lounge at the left side of the reception area.

Kenneth Cobonpue’s Bloom chairs! ♥ My favorite!

Check-in was a breeze. Our deluxe room was located on the 5th floor. Here’s how it looks like:

King-size bed. ♥

Lamp was not adjustable huhu.

Another view. ♥

Since we didn’t get to swim at City Garden Grand hotel, we took the opportunity here at Seda. The pool is located on the 3rd floor. The gym was also open but we didn’t try that. The other amenities on the 3rd floor were still under construction. I love the furniture here!

The pool was only 4 feet though. But the view makes up for it. We had clear skies that day and you could see the quezon city buildings. ♥ For dinner, we tried out the food at the ASEAN Food Festival at the parking area of Vertis North. The said mall is still under construction though.

Vito Selma’s Cara-boo. ♥

Obviously.

The next day, we had breakfast at Misto, their in-house restaurant. I love the interiors here, especially the abstract artworks! I wonder who is the artist. I also love their service staff. ♥ They were welcoming and accommodating. The breakfast buffet consists of the following: antipasti, bread station, egg station, noodle station, various local and international viands, desserts, cereals, and juice.

Middle plate: Various longganisa, croissant, and hakaw.

Inggo’s plate: antipasti, cheese, and bread.

Mine: antipasti, bread with blueberry (my favorite!), and scrambled eggs.

I knew we had more food but I forgot to take photos of that. After our breakfast, we relaxed in our room while waiting for our check-out time.

Yes let’s ride again the Cara-boo.

We had a great stay here. Interiors were beautiful, using local furniture designers for most of items in the hotel. We had a broken electric kettle inside our room and they quickly replaced it for us. One problem that we experienced was that there wasn’t any shuttle service to and from Trinoma. We had to walk all the way there to shop. But I think this is only temporary since the Vertis North will open soon. And there’s Uber for the lazy.

And that’s it for our 9th anniversary post. ♥ Thank you to Inggo for everything huhu. I love you!

The 9th – Hole in the Wall

For dinner on our second day, we decided to try out Century City Mall’s “food hall“. This is Hole in the Wall on the fourth floor. It consists of various food establishments inside a common dining area.

One of the dining areas during our visit.

Read More

Where we sat during dinner time.

For dinner, we decided to eat at the most popular store there which was Bad Bird. They specialize in chicken. Apparently they won numerous awards in the Philippines.

My Dirty Rice Plate (390 php). Dirty rice (fried rice, chicken liver, bacon, tamago, and bonito), kimchi coleslaw, and 2 pcs fried chicken.

Inggo’s Waffle Plate (360 php). Sweet potato waffles, miso butter, maple syrup, and 2 pcs friend chicken. The 2pcs small balls are hush puppies (+ php)

BB Corn (190 php). Corn on a stick with kewpie, bonito, cheese, and toragashi.

Verdict? We understood why this restaurant is popular with the crowd. But for us, personally, we didn’t like it. We thought it was too expensive for the food. But maybe this is the “normal” price for the Makati crowd. I dunno.

This is just one out of 9 establishments inside Hole in the Wall. I hope we could try the other restaurants when we’re near the area next time.

The 9th – Le Petit Soufflé

On the first day of our 9th anniversary staycation, we discovered that Century City Mall is only a 5-minute walk away from our hotel. On the second day, we decided to try out the interesting restaurants there. ♥ Based on online reviews, Le Petit Soufflé is the #1 restaurant in Century City Mall.

Pretty interiors.♥

Read More

If I were to describe the interiors, it would be french chic. I love their furniture. ♥

Our drinks: Iced Matcha Latte (130 php) & Hot Matcha tea (100 php). No strong matcha flavor, huhu.

Kinoko Frites (235 php). These are fried enoki and another mushroom. I loved these! But so expensive.

Hambagu with truffled cream & mushrooms. (595 php). This is Inggo’s dish. He craved for Jolibee’s burger steak after eating this.

My dish: Squid Ink Riz (395 php). This took a while. Its a small, but filling dish. I love the fluffy egg & squid ink rice.

Matcha souffle with vanilla syrup (350 php). Expensive! But worth a try. We loved the crispy edges instead of the fluffy insides.

Facade design. So cute huhu.

Verdict? Its worth a try. Not sure if we’ll come back though.

Le Petit Soufflé is located on the Third floor of Century City Mall.

The 9th – Little Tokyo

For our first dinner during our 9th anniversary staycation at Makati, we wanted to try the Wagyu cube buffet at Little Tokyo. This place features a group of restaurants which specializes in Japanese cuisine. We’ve been here a lot of times before (check out our old food blog!). But we didn’t get to try the wagyu buffet at Urameshi-ya before since they only offer this during Monday to Wednesday. But this time, we did!

Read More

We walked from our hotel to Little Tokyo instead of taking an uber. The surge was insanely high for the distance. Well, at least walking was healthier (but tiring).

The “buffet” at Urameshi-ya is worth 500php + 10% service charge. We got wagyu cubes, wagyu spam, marinated pork belly, and some scallops. You have 45 mins to cook everything you ordered. But you can still stay after the 45min. mark to eat your food. The buffet comes with miso soup, salad, and rice.

The server gave us a plate of wagyu cubes. ♥

HUGE scallops! ♥

Sadly, there wasn’t any crabs/oyster/shrimp during our stay compared to the other review blogs. But since we went here for the wagyu cubes, we didn’t mind. The wagyu cubes were delicious! Service was great as well. Our server helped us cook the scallops. (Tip: you don’t have to remove the shell!)

Satisfied with Urameshi-ya, we went to their neighbor restaurant Hana for dessert: We always order the Matcha Kakigori + additional icecream here!

After our Little Tokyo adventure, we got an uber and went back to our hotel. ♥

The 9th – City Garden Grand Hotel

We celebrated our 9th year anniversary this May! ♥ Instead of going far away this year, we opted for a staycation instead in Metro Manila. I’ve decided to divide the posts into smaller parts. For the first entry is our hotel! We checked in at City Garden Grand hotel for 3 days and nights. I would like to note that this is the City Garden Grand Hotel. They have a sister hotel which is just nearby.

Reception area.

Read More

Check-in was a breeze. You need to present your ID and pay a security deposit at the reception. Then you’ll receive your room card. We got the Superior King Bed room on the 29th floor.

Lobby.

Ceiling details. Love the 3 huge capiz chandelier!

I love our room!  ♥ The bed and pillows were so comfy. Both side tables have equal numbers of power outlets, switches, and telephones compared to others. Wifi was also free (up to 3 devices I think). It has a sophisticated feel to the interiors through the use of dark & neutral tones, accentuated by the use of lights.

Our king size bed with the comfiest pillows. ♥

Bathroom.

Bath tub : the #1 reason that we chose this hotel.

Left: View from our room ♥ | Right: Trump tower! (I did some of the interior plans in my previous job)

For our last day, we had breakfast at Spice Cafe on the 7th floor. You could go ala carte or do the breakfast buffet worth ~800php.

Sadly, the only photos that I took were below. I was too shy to take photos of the others because there were a lot of foreigners that morning HAHA. The breakfast buffet consists of the following: Bread station, fruit station, cheese, chocolate fountain, cereals and yogurt, salad bar, noodle station, egg station, maki station, viands from the Philippines and different countries.

I was satisfied of the buffet because of the bread station with blueberry jam. ♥ He was satisfied because of the unlimited olives & bacon. Service was very nice.

Overall, our staycation was great! No complaints on the room except for the aircon (which took a while to cool, but apparently they replied at our review on Agoda & said aircon was repaired). The hotel was nearby Century City Mall and other food establishments which was a plus for us. If we had a bigger budget, I’d like to try the Presidential Suite next time.  ♥

City Garden Grand hotel website.

Tuesdays made better

Sydney and I went to the newly opened CBTL branch at Banawe last week. I was supposed to blog about this on Monday to mimic the current hashtag of CBTL Philippines. But we went there last Tuesday so might as well make a parody of it lol. I love the place! It gave ample sunlight that brightened the interior, which in turn made our watercolor session easy.

My Hydrangea postcard that I gave to the baristas. ♥

Read More

I painted sunflowers that day. ♥

Sunflower cone & sunflower stems. ♥

I’ve been thinking of organizing an Art Tambay session for the North peeps. Any suggestions on coffee shops / cafes? 🙂

Birthday Month

April is my birthday month. ♥ I did a lot of things recently. Let me photoblog them below:

Art Tambays with my cousin. ♥ This is 90% seamountainco colors! The green is from Winsor & Newton Cotman.

Read More

Art in the Park weekend with Hannah, Ruth, Jean & Monique. ♥ This is my artwork during our stay at CBTL. The color I used for the hair is #Jeandigo.

2nd painting from Art in the Park. I was explaining to Ruth that I suck at other flowers (as shown here LOL). I must improve!

Inggo had some leftover photo paper. I printed these as postcard samples but the paper was too slim. They look nice, don’t you think ? ♥

Days after my birthday. I met up with Hannah at Serenitea. ♥

I’ll never tease Hannah about her androgynous drawings ever again! I tried painting a guy this time. It was so hard!

More floral practice. ♥ Left: Hydrangea that I tried to be detailed but got lazy LOL. | Right: I just let my IG friends guess what flower this is. The reference is a peony though!

Left: A gerbera painting that is “too light”. | Right: This is a “rose”. I liked the way the leaves look though!

Some paintings I did at a cafe nearby Inggo’s place. ♥ This is at Fecha de Cafe, Kamias.

This isn’t even 50% of what I did for April. (But these were the art related stuff). I availed every birthday promo that I knew of during my birthday. We tasted different cuisines at Madrid Fusion Manila & had a fantastic dinner at Izakaya Kikufuji, Little Tokyo. Did a lot of sketches during Holy week.

The January Girls are currently preparing something exciting. ♥ I can’t wait to blog more about it!

Art Fair 2017

A few weeks ago, the January Girls met up for another Art Tambay at Makati during the Art Fair Philippines weekend. ♥ We chose Fundamental Coffee as our location. Heavy rains poured the whole afternoon, so it took a while for us to be complete.

Pretty interiors.

Read More

Getting to Fundamental Coffee is easier than the previous coffee shop we went to. From Glorietta Mall, exit through the Glorietta 2 exit (the one with the new activity center/waterfall entrance), and just cross the street to Park Terraces.

The menu.

Hannah and I got there first. I ordered the Double chocolate mocha & their Fundamental French Toast. Hannah ordered their best seller, which was Cappuccino with butterscotch. We talked about the interiors of the cafe while waiting for our orders.

Their fundamental french toast was heavenly. ♥ Three hefty slices of french toast with honey & nuts. So delicious!

Double chocolate mocha. The chocolate foam was a unique touch to this drink.

We invited another person to our art tambay. She was our (Aiza & I) group mate back then in the ATC trade last year. Her name is Monique. She makes the yummiest food illustrations on instagram! I did her portrait during this art tambay. Speaking of portraits – I did portraits of the girls as gifts for this meet-up. I’m glad they liked it. ♥

Flat lay attempt of my table space lol.

That cute tin can pictured above is from seamountainco. A local store that makes its own artist-grade pigments! Thank you Jean for gifting us a sample of your watercolor paint! I can’t wait to make art with this. ♥ I did try it out during our art tambay, and its really pigmented! A small amount of paint goes a long way for this. I can’t wait to experiment with it.

After that, we decided to go to The Link for the Art Fair. This event is held at the top floors of a parking lot building. There was a long line to the entrance. But it was orderly and the management/security did their jobs well. We went on a Saturday so the venue was crowded. This event showcases the best of the Philippines’ contemporary art. Here are some of the paintings that caught my eye:

Mass hysteria number two by Liv Vinluan.

Ramon Orlina glass sculptures.

Takahiro Hirabayashi paintings.

And that’s it for the month of February. For March, we plan on meeting again at the Just Add Water + Ink event. Hope to see you there!

Vanderlust

Not all those who vander are lost.

Corny. HAHA. Anyway. A few weeks ago, we were looking for a place to have coffee & dessert long Tomas Morato where we found Vanderlust Bistro + Patisserie. A European cafe hidden at the corner of Tomas Morato & Sct. De Guia. Curious, we went in to see the display case showcasing European desserts: German Schneeball, Italian Cannoli, and Spanish Churros. The well-trained, friendly staff explained each dessert to me and recommended their best sellers.

Read More

Second floor. Or maybe Mezzanine? Ceiling height is a bit low. You could say that this place is “cozy”.

How to enjoy the Schneeball.

Our order.

I ordered the calamansi schneeball for us to try. Coffee was Mocha for me and an Americano for him. I loved the procedure to eat the schneeball! You put it in the paper bag, and wack it with the mallet. It felt like my frustrations with work were being wacked away. HAHA.

Overall, our stay was really nice. We didn’t get to try their non-dessert food. But there’s always a next time. ♥

Vanderlust Bistro + Patisserie : Menu | Facebook page.

Crystal Beach

Our group went to Crystal Beach Resort over the weekend. Reasons for this trip were instagram shots, photoshoots, surfing, and s’mores. Picture heavy post ahead!

Read More

And of course a much needed trip for all of us since its been a while since we last got together. ♥ This place was one of the most recommended trips from the DIY Travel Philippines Facebook group. I discovered that a weekend trip is doable and cheap. Thankfully most of us were available. I reserved the following for our group:

  • Malachi2,550php for Inggo. This is an airconditioned room for 2pax. It has its own bathroom with toiletries, tv, and bed. It comes with free breakfast buffet stub for two.
  • Shem (They got transferred to Micah) 1,700php for Ruth & Joy. This is a bahay kubo type accommodation. Comes with a bed, electric fan, electric sockets for charging. It also comes with free breakfast buffet stub for the next day. Its at Kampsite 1 and near the public shower area.
  • Tent (Mariel) – 750php/pax. If own tent its 550php/pax. 250php of those are consumable within the resort. You could instead add 35php at the dining hall for the breakfast buffet. Tent comes with mat & pillows. Its at Kampsite 2.

After confirming the availability of these rooms via phone call, I reserved the same day via online banking. We paid 50% of the total rooms. We just printed the email confirmation & deposit slip and presented it at check-in. We also paid the remaining 50% on site. There’s a 1k deposit per room (in case of damage) and a 500php deposit for the tent. This is refundable at check out. The deposit for the rooms we knew, but we didn’t knew about the tent deposit. It was a good thing that Inggo had extra cash.

Waiting at the reception. It was hectic that day. They were at full capacity! But the receptionists were friendly & helpful.

So pretty. ♥

Hugot wall. HAHA.

Esther. This is near the Micah bahay kubo.

LOOK AT THE TREES.

My signature travel pose. HAHA.

This is where Mariel (our tent) is located.

Our view with the Agoho trees. ♥ #ItsMorePineInThePhilippines

I found Mariel. HAHAHA.

To the beach! ♥

For your (Cigarette) butts.

One of the most Instagrammable shots in the resort. One point perspective guyssss.

The beach ♥. The other side of that mountain is Anawangin cove I think. One of the islands in the background is Capones island.

Pretty ♥

The beach has two areas: the surfing area & the swimming area. Check the signages! You could only swim between the colored flags. The waves were huge during our stay. It was fun screaming & jumping at the waves. Para kang nasa Splash island HAHA. I urged Ivy and Inggo to try surfing. It’s 400php per hour with an instructor. It was soooooooo much fun! ♥ Those two had aching muscles after though. HAHA.

S’mores night. ♥

It was only for a while but we had some s’mores at the bonfire after dinner. We didn’t get to eat as much s’mores as we want since the staff added more logs to make a bigger bonfire, huhu. There’s also an acoustic night during weekends, so it was a nice night eating s’mores and listening to music. ♥ If only we brought a large mat so we could sit here. Oh well, lesson learned! We stayed at Micah for some girl bonding before sleeping. ♥

The next day, we ate breakfast at the dining hall. I didn’t get to take photos because I was hungry or something. HAHA. After that, we explored the resort and took more photos. These are our italic shots:

Ivy.

Hannah. Her italic shot I think is too embarrassing to post here. HAHA.

Ruth. ♥

Me. ♥ Can you see my jacket? It has wings on it HAHAHA.

Check out was at 12 noon. We packed our bags and off we go back to Manila. ♥ We managed to ride a bus at the town bound for Caloocan. Lucky! And that’s our #WeekendWarrior trip. After all these years, one outing finally went out of the drawing board. lol.

Itinerary:

  • Ride the Cubao Victory Liner bound for Iba, Zambales. Tell the teller that you will alight at San Narciso, ticket price will be cheaper. (310php compared to 380php). Terminal guide here.
  • We were supposed to ride the 7am bus. Unfortunately, we were too late & the tickets for the 7am ride were sold out. We took the 9am bus ride instead.
  • Travel time is 4 hours with stops in between.
  • Alight at San Narciso. You will know its San Narciso if you will see the San Sebastian Church to your right.
  • Ride a tricycle to Crystal Beach. Fare is 15php per person.
  • Going home depends on which bus you will ride. The Caloocan bound bus fare is around 272php.

General idea of expenses:

  • Bus roundtrip (310php) = 620php.
  • Tricycle roundtrip = 30php.
  • Own tent = 550php.
  • Total = 1,200php for these. You could do a weekend trip for less than 3k/2k. This will depend on your food budget

Other expenses:

  • Surfing with instructor = 400php. Board rental = 200php.
  • Additional for breakfast buffet = 35php.
  • Rentable sports equipment also has a price per hour. Ask the staff for this.
  • You could also do an island hopping to Capones island. Ask the staff for this too!

Crystal Beach Website | Facebook

Hope this helps!