The Manila Hotel Reopens on July 3 with a Special Anniversary Promo!

Great news! The historic Manila Hotel partially opens its doors to its valued guests just a day before its founding anniversary. The famed Café Ilang-Ilang, the Lobby Lounge, and the Delicatessen resume operations on July 3, 2020, strictly adhering to government quarantine protocols to ensure the safety and well-being of its guests.

As it commemorates its 108th founding anniversary on July 4, The Manila Hotel welcomes its guests with an enduring brand of service that now puts emphasis on enhanced health, hygiene and sanitation procedures in accordance with DOH guidelines.

As the hotel prepares for the reopening, Atty. Joey Lina, the president of The Manila Hotel, assures the public, “You are safe here. We have taken every precaution to heart so you and your loved ones can have peace of mind when you visit or stay with us.”

For its 108th anniversary promo, The Manila Hotel gives the first 108 customers for the first 108 days of Café Ilang-Ilang’s reopening, including Saturdays and Sundays, a special dining rate of Php1,250 for lunch and Php1,550 for dinner. A new system for dining is also in place where guests can order as much food as they want from the selection of dishes at a fixed price.

Both Café Ilang Ilang and the Lobby Lounge will be open with limited seating capacity. Thorough sanitation procedures will be implemented, and guests can order using disposable menu, eat using cutlery in sealed containers, and use tables with acrylic dividers. Guest Services Officers and waiters will don masks, gloves and face shields. To limit contact with guests, Café Ilang-Ilang is also fine-tuning its ordering and payment systems.

Adopting best practices, the hotel launches a comprehensive initiative to assure its patrons they are safe at The Manila Hotel. High-traffic public areas will have hygiene reminder signages and distance indicators, and guests will be asked to undergo mandatory temperature checks and health declaration procedure. Limited capacity will also be implemented in elevators, while several hotel facilities (the spa, swimming pool, gym, etc.) will remain closed.

High-touch points like door handles, elevator buttons, public area furniture and others will be regularly sanitized using UV technology. Tests reveal that UV sanitation greatly reduces the bacteria count on surfaces, as demonstrated by lower RLU readings (a measure of surface cleanliness) after the procedure.

The hotel also plans to start accepting room bookings by August 2020. All rooms will be thoroughly cleaned with UV-C light technology to eliminate germs, bacteria and viruses, followed by medical-grade sterilizing and disinfecting solution. A change of fresh and sanitized linens; sanitation of touch points in the room including remote controls, lamps, etc.; and thorough bathroom disinfection are also part of the procedure. Guests will also receive personal wellness kits and a UV-sanitized keycard and will arrive at their sanitized rooms with a seal of assurance that they are the first ones to enter them.

And because taking care of its own people means they can take better care of their guests, The Manila Hotel has likewise invested on testing its staff upon return to work to ensure they are healthy. The culinary team strictly adheres to stringent protocols on proper hygiene, hand washing and food handling. Staff will be required to wear PPEs as needed, and a strict implementation of distancing measures will be done in the offices, front desk and other areas frequented by guests.

The Manila Hotel looks forward to welcoming both its loyal and new guests with the kind of service it is known for and with the assurance that “YOU ARE SAFE HERE” is not just a tagline but a commitment it truly means to uphold.

Posted in 108th Founding Anniversary, Cafe Ilang-Ilang, Delicatessen, Hotel Reopening, Lobby Lounge, Press Release, Special Anniversary Promo, The Manila Hotel | Leave a comment

K-drama Feature: When the Camellia Blooms

When the Camellia Blooms primarily revolves around the life of Dongbaek (Gong Hyo-Jin), a single mom and an orphan, who opens up a bar in the fictional town of Ongsan to raise her son Pil-gu (Kim Kang-hoon). Dongbaek bears the brunt of her mean neighbors who deem her life as lowly, shameful and unlucky. Dongbaek later falls in love with a do-gooder policeman Yong-sik (Kang Ha-Neul). Meanwhile, Ongsan’s serial killer Joker resurfaces, putting Dongbaek’s life in danger.

Photo credit: Soompi

What I Like about This K-Drama

The Themes – For the most part, this K-drama talks about what a mother can and will do for her child. Dongbaek draws her strength from her son Pil-gu, the only family she has, having been abandoned by her own mom when she was little. Breaking stereotypes is another theme covered in this K-drama. While it’s unthinkable for her Ongsan neighbors to see a woman and a single mom at that open up her own bar, it did not stop Dongbaek to pursue what she sees is the only way she can support the needs of her son Pil-gu. When the Camellia Blooms also touches on love of family, kindness and resilience, as well as women empowerment.

The Actors – Gong Hyo-Jin shines in this K-drama, portraying the timid, kind and pushover (well, initially, she was) female lead Dongbaek. She finds a perfect partner in Kang Ha-Neul as the headstrong, chatty and romantic police officer Yong-sik who showers Dongbaek with compliments, pure love and genuine concern. Kang Ha-Neul’s brilliant performance in this K-drama earned him the Best Actor award in the recently concluded 56th Baeksang Arts Awards, beating the likes of Hyun Bin (Crash Landing on You) and Park Seo-joon (Itaewon Class). Not to be outdone in When the Camellia Blooms is Kim Kang-hoon who plays Dong-baek’s son Pil-gu, a quick-witted grade-schooler, quite mature for his age, who goes out of his way to protect his mom from people who degrade her.

The Life Lessons – Being a single mom (or a single dad for that matter) is not something that society should look down upon. If anything, society should be kinder to them and more accepting. Being a mom and a dad to your child at the same time is no mean feat. It requires twice the love, strength and sacrifice to raise a child on one’s own. I cannot imagine myself doing that, which is why I have so much respect for single parents. Another take-away I got from this K-drama is this: We should not let other people’s opinions define us. For as long as we are living a decent life and not harming others, we can be what we want to be and do as we please.

The Pick-up Lines – Romance is alive and well in this K-drama. I was particularly taken by the romantic lines of Yong-sik to Dongbaek, clearly conveying his sincere and honest intentions. He is also always complimenting Dongbaek and making her realize her self-worth. These pick-up lines from Episode 4 alone will surely make your heart flutter.

“You may be an orphan and a single mother, but you managed to raise Pil-gu so well, and you even run your own business. You don’t blame others or live a cheap life. On top of that, you still manage to stay so kind and diligent. That’s how you live. People should respect you and compliment you for that.”

“If anyone else were in your shoes, they would’ve lost it already. No one has the right to badmouth you. Dongbaek, in this entire neighborhood, you’re the strongest, the most strong-willed, the most magnificent, and the most admirable person I know.”

“I’m not like Kang Jong-ryeol. I don’t care who Pil-gu’s dad is. I promise that I will never make you or Pil-gu cry. I’ll remind you every day what a great person you are so that you’ll never forget.”

When the Camellia Blooms is one of my most favorite K-dramas because of the themes it conveys, the superb acting skills of the lead characters, the lessons it imparts and the wonderful pick-up lines. Go watch it if you haven’t already. I’m sure you’ll love it, too!

Posted in 56th Baeksang Arts Awards, Best Actor, Gong Hyo-Jin, K-drama, Kang Ha-Neul, Kim Kang-hoon, Korean Drama, When the Camellia Blooms | Leave a comment

Araneta City Opens More Stores!

Craving for delicious treats or planning a home improvement project? Good news! Araneta City now has many stores open to provide your essential needs!

Various dining options are available in Araneta City for the foodies out there. For Filipino favorites, head on over to Max’s Restaurant and Cafe Adriatico in Gateway Mall or Barrio Fiesta in Ali. For international flavors, there’s Taco Bell in Cyberpark 1, Pizza Hut in Cyberpark 2, Tokyo Tokyo in Ali Mall, and Sachi and Gloria Maris in Gateway Mall. Dairy Queen is also open to satisfy your sweet tooth. But if fast food is more your style, Popeye’s in Ali Mall and McDonald’s in the New Frontier Theater Arcade are also serving some well-loved fares.

Beat the summer heat with refreshing drinks from Starbucks Coffee, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and Macao Imperial Tea are open in Gateway Mall. Tim Hortons in New Frontier Theater Arcade is also ready to fulfill your craving for coffee and some delectable snacks.

If you’re itching to start some home improvement projects and repairs while quarantining at home, Handyman in Ali Mall is open, as well as Japan Home Center and Daiso Japan in Farmers Plaza. For those with a green thumb, Farmers Garden is also stocked with supplies for your gardening needs.

Malls within Araneta City are expected to resume normal business operations by June 1, but other essential services such as groceries, money remittance services, banks, and wet markets continue to operate to serve their customers.

“We are eager to welcome people here in Araneta City,” Antonio Mardo, Senior Vice President for Operations of Araneta City said. “More and more stores are now open to provide essential items and services. We have also put in place measures that are in line with the government’s guidelines to make sure that our customers’ health and safety are prioritized.”

To ensure the health and safety of customers and employees, all dining establishments provide take-out and/or delivery services and implement strict hygiene measures. contactless payment methods are likewise encouraged to limit physical interactions. Social distancing directives and disinfection procedures are also implemented in Araneta City in accordance with the government’s regulations.

For a complete list of open establishments in Araneta City and their operating hours, click this link: ttps:// Like and follow Araneta City on Facebook at

Posted in Araneta City, Beverage Shops, Dining Establishments, Food Shops, Home Improvement Stores, Press Release, Quarantine Life | Leave a comment

Medicine Delivery via Mediscount Pharmacy

We ran out of Vitamin C stock at home last week, so I tried ordering at Mediscount Pharmacy. That time, the only Vitamin C brand they had was Selvon Cee SR®, a sustained-release tablet equivalent to 1,000 mg of Vitamin C.

Selvon Cee SR®, Php7.75 per tablet

I also inquired if they carry the brand of cholesterol-lowering drug that I’m taking. They didn’t have it, but they offered an alternative to it which was approved by my cardiologist.

How to order at Mediscount Pharmacy:
• Send your order through this Viber number: 0917-310-8484. Look for Marla.
• Include your name, complete delivery address and PWD or Senior IDs if applicable.
• Deposit or transfer your payment online to Mediscount’s BDO account and viber bank confirmation as proof of payment.
• Cash on delivery and credit card payments upon delivery of the items are also accepted.
• Buyer shoulders delivery fee.
• Another way to order medicines from Mediscount Pharmacy if by filling up their online order form HERE. You can also call this number to order: 8708-5400.

Since we don’t intend to go out due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we really appreciate the medicine delivery service being offered by Mediscount Parmacy. They offer next-day delivery with no minimum order required. Mediscount Pharmacy is open for delivery transactions from Mondays to Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. They also offer medicine delivery outside Metro Manila through LBC (pick-up at the branch only).

Posted in COVID-19, Delivery Service, ECQ, Enhanced Community Quarantine, Hassle-Free Healthcare, Medicine Delivery, Mediscount Pharmacy, Quarantine Life | Leave a comment

Online Grocery Shopping at LazMart During ECQ

Since the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was imposed in NCR last March 16, I haven’t really been out of our condo unit to buy the things we need at home. We totally rely on deliveries for our supply of groceries, fresh meat, fruits and vegetables, and even medicines. I have only tried two online grocery stores so far. First was Metromart and second was LazMart. It was hard to secure a delivery slot at Metromart. It took me several days of trying before I had a successful transaction. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t able to use Metromart’s mobile app again because the app’s update isn’t available yet on my mobile phone. Upon the recommendation of a fellow Pisay mom, I tried LazMart’s online grocery service, and just last Friday, we got our 6th delivery from them.

No need to secure a date for delivery – Unlike Metromart, LazMart doesn’t require you to secure a delivery date to successfully complete one transaction. There was always no available delivery date at Metromart. It took me almost a week of trying at Metromart before I was able to check out my purchases. On the other hand, every transaction I did at LazMart has been successful in one go.
Gives estimated dates of delivery – LazMart gives dates when customers can expect delivery of their orders. In my case, most of my orders came earlier than the dates LazMart provided. Our latest LazMart package arrived 11 days before the earliest estimated date of delivery.
Accepts different modes of payment – Debit and credit cards are accepted, as well as cash on delivery (COD). There are times, though, like now that we’re on ECQ, that the COD option is suspended.
• Easy tracking of orders – Once you successfully check out your orders, you will receive an email telling you that LazMart has already received your order. You will also receive a text message to inform you when delivery is on its way.
Well-packed items – LazMart boxes are properly sealed and labeled, and the items inside are well-stacked and well-packed. Bottled items are covered with bubble wrap to prevent breakage during transit.

Our recent orders from LazMart

Limited stocks only – Like most online groceries this time of ECQ, not all the items you need or want are available at LazMart. You’re lucky if you’re able to snag home essentials, like iodized salt and bleach, for example. I wasn’t able to buy those items in all my six transactions with them as they are always sold out. I guess it’s quite understandable given the high demand for those items from customers these ECQ days.
Constantly changing delivery fees – LazMart’s delivery fee keeps changing. Initially, they offered free delivery for a minimum total purchase of Php2,500. Later on, they charged Php150 delivery fee, and just recently, they changed it to Php250. As a customer who keeps coming back, I feel it’s quite unfair to do this without even explaining why. LazMart should stick to their free delivery offer to keep their existing customers happy and to entice more people to try LazMart, too.

Because the pros outweigh the cons, I will still continue ordering from LazMart even after the ECQ is lifted. Have you tried LazMart as well?

Posted in ECQ, Enhanced Community Quarantine, Lazada, LazMart, Online Grocery Delivery, Online Grocery Shopping, Quarantine Life | Leave a comment