Our Family Weekend Getaway in Tagaytay

After church service last Sunday, we hopped into my sister’s car and headed straight to Tagaytay. We would be using our last voucher for a complimentary stay in a Deluxe Room at One Tagaytay Place Hotel Suites (One Tagaytay Place). This was one of the benefits of being an Emerald Card holder.

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We couldn’t help but notice how our room this time was smaller than what we had at One Tagaytay Place seven months ago. Also, these amenities were not included in our Deluxe Room now: hair dryer and cooking facilities. When we used our first voucher last September 2014, our room had a built-in stove, an oven toaster, a rice cooker, a blender and a microwave oven. Oh well.

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Our son requested his two cousins who live nearby to spend the night with us at One Tagaytay Place, so my sister had to fetch them from their home, too.

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After dropping off our things in our room, we all went out to have lunch at S&R Pizza at Ayala Malls Serin.

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Lunch for the adults was chicken and rice meal, while the kids had pizza.

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After eating, we bought some snacks to bring to the hotel, mainly for the kids.

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The cousins planned a long night of playing Clash of Clans in their cell phones. That’s all they could do because my son’s EENT doctor forbade him to swim in the hotel’s pool due to ear infection. Sigh! But judging from their many laughs, the cousins seemed to be having a great time.

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We had sumptuous late dinner at One Tagaytay Place’s Azalea Restaurant where hubby and I also had our complimentary buffet breakfast the next morning.

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We checked out of One Tagaytay Place at 12:00 noon the next dayand went to Diner’s Original Bulalo to have group lunch. Please watch out for my review of this restaurant in my food blog soon.

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While waiting for our food, we kept ourselves busy chatting and taking pictures.

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And then my sister brought us to Skyranch. Entrance fee was Php80.00.

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Flea Market

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The Sky Eye

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Express Train

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Horseback Riding

We didn’t try any of the rides at Skyranch because it was still very hot when we arrived. All we did was take pictures, lots of them.

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And then it was time to leave. Like always, our son didn’t want to go home yet because he said he’d be missing his cousins, but we assured him that he’d see them again before school opens in June.
Posted in Ayala Malls Serin, Azalea Restaurant, Diner's Original Bulalo, Family, Family Trips, One Tagaytay Place Hotel Suites, S&R Pizza, Sky Eye, Skyranch, Tagaytay, Weekend Getaway | Leave a comment

Our Family Summer Vacation at Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa: Part 3

We went to the beach early on our last day at Dos Palmas. That’s because we meant to snorkel and avail some of their spa services. We didn’t have time to do those, however. That’s because my son had other plans at the beach.

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We spent more than an hour at the beach before deciding to have breakfast at Kara-e-nan Restaurant and Bar.

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Our buffet breakfast was delicious as usual.

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After eating, we went back to the beach again because my son wanted to catch a kolokoy (seashore crab).

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He managed to find a few kolokoys, but he set them all free before we left Dos Palmas. On our way back to our room to prepare our things before going home, we managed to take pictures of birds on trees and a school or fish in shallow water.

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And then we’re ready for more picture taking.

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And more…

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And then, just like that, our 3-day, 2-night vacation at Dos Palmas is over.

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What We Like about Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa
• It is very clean and well-maintained.
• It is not crowded.
• The staff are respectful and friendly.
• The food at Kara-e-nan Restaurant and Bar is generally good.
• There’s an abundance of fresh fruits at the resort’s restaurant.
• The beach is beautiful with its powdery white sand and clear blue waters.
• The infinity pool is gorgeous.
• The Jacuzzi is so relaxing.

What We Didn’t Like
• There was no TV in the Beach Villas. Only the Executive Villas have TVs.
• Wi-Fi is available but limited to the restaurant area, and it usually has a weak signal.
• There is a 1-hour brownout in the morning and another hour in the afternoon, so ordering any food item with ice, like Halo-Halo, during these hours is not possible.
• • Hair conditioner is not included in the toiletries provided for the guests.
• While bicycles are provided for the guests to avoid the long walk from their villas to the restaurant, pool or the beach, they are not always readily available and also, not all the guests know how to bike, so another mode of transportation for the guests will be highly appreciated.

Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa
Arreceffi Island, Honda Bay
Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Manila Office: (632) 637-4226, 637-4236
Palawan Office: (6348) 434-3118
Email: info@dospalmas.com.ph

Posted in Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa, Palawan, Summer, Summer Vacation | Leave a comment

Our Family Summer Vacation at Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa: Part 2

My son and I didn’t sleep well on our first night at Dos Palmas because we’re both namamahay (can’t sleep at someone else’s place), but his Dad had a very restful sleep, which according to him, was one of the best he’s had in years. Our Beach Villa was located a little far away from the resort’s restaurant, pool and the beach, so to save time, we’re already dressed to swim every time we leave our room. The first thing we did on our second day at Dos Palmas was to have our buffet breakfast at the Kara-e-nan Restaurant and Bar.

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We enjoyed their breakfast buffet spread, especially the Palawan Lamayo Danggit (I’ll blog about this soon in Delight My Appetite, so watch out for that) and the fresh fruits, but I wasn’t able to take photos of all the breakfast food we had. Our next stop was the beach.

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The scorching summer heat didn’t prevent us from frolicking in the powdery white sand beach and plunging into the clean, clear blue waters. There weren’t a lot of guests at Dos Palmas when we went there, so there were instances where the only people in the beach or in the infinity pool were us.

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It was pool time again after the beach.

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And of course, there’s the Jacuzzi.

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After swimming, we headed straight to Kara-e-nan Restaurant and Bar to have lunch which consisted of Crispy Kare-Kare, Pan-Roasted Laman ng Sariwang Isda, Golden Brown Waffle, Mais con Hielo and Halo-Halo.

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We rested for a while after eating, and then it was non-stop swimming again. Before we know it, it was already dinner time, and yes, we tried their buffet offering again because it included grilled blue marlin and squid, among other things.

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I went to our room ahead of the others, and that’s when I got to browse the resort’s Guest Services Directory which lists the following guest facilities and services of Dos Palmas:
• Kara-e-nan Restaurant and Bar
• Paranarian Spa with a lap pool
• Swimming Pool
• Tabu-an Souvenir and Sundry Shop
• Function Room
• Laundry Service
• Marine and Outdoor Sports Center
• PADI Certificate Diving Courses
• Fun Day and Night Dives for Certified Divers
• Introductory Dive
• Snorkeling/Skin Diving
• Bubble Maker
• Kayaking
• Basketball, Beach Volleyball and Soccer, Tennis, Badminton
• Indoor Amusement (Billiards, Table Tennis, Darts and Fusbol)
• Board Games and DVD Movie Library
• Computer Work Station and Printing Services
• Art Center
• Research Center
• Safety Deposit Box
• Medical Assistance

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Dos Palmas licensed tour operators likewise offer an Underground River Tour, Honda Bay Islands Tour or a City Tour, all of which are subject to availability and prevailing weather conditions.

We went to bed earlier than we did on our first night at Dos Palmas because we wanted to get up early the next day to maximize our last day at this resort.

Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa
Arreceffi Island, Honda Bay
Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Manila Office: (632) 637-4226, 637-4236
Palawan Office: (6348) 434-3118
Email: info@dospalmas.com.ph

Posted in Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa, Kara-e-nan Restaurant and Bar, Palawan, Summer, Summer Vacation | 3 Comments

Our Family Summer Vacation at Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa: Part 1

Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa (Dos Palmas) is a 20-hectare private island resort located in Honda Bay, Puerto Princesa, Palawan. It is an island paradise that boasts of pristine natural environment, white sandy beaches and crystal clear blue waters. Hubby wanted us to go to a nice place to relax and chill, somewhere away from the city, and he had his eyes fixed on Dos Palmas. He arranged everything online (our airline tickets and hotel reservations), and all I needed to do was pack our bags.

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Riding the resort’s private banca or native outrigger boat

We left Manila via Cebu Pacific at 10:20 a.m., reached Puerto Princesa Airport a few minutes before noon, went to the municipal wharf in Sta. Lourdes, rode a native outrigger boat for an hour, and finally reached Dos Palmas before 3:00 p.m.

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Our view of Dos Palmas from our boat

Upon arrival, we were warmly welcomed by the resort’s staff with wooden bead leis. We were then led to the receiving area where we were given welcome drinks and where the guests’ itinerary was discussed and the key to the rooms given.

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My sister wearing a wooden bead lei around her neck and wrist from Dos Palmas

At Dos Palmas, rooms are called “villas.” They have Executive Villas (the pricier ones) and Beach Villas (the less expensive ones). Our room was a Beach Villa. Our group consisted of three adults (hubby, me and my sister) and one kid (my son).

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Our Beach Villa

Our Beach Villa has the following amenities:
• three beds and one sofa bed
• a bathroom with hot and cold shower
• a private outdoor terrace or balcony with sitting area
• air-conditioning
• in-room safe
• a full-service mini-bar

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Beach Villa amenities

Our package included buffet breakfast and free snorkeling and kayaking.

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Kara-e-nan Restaurant and Bar

Our tummies were already rumbling because we hadn’t had lunch yet, so we headed first to Kara-e-nan Restaurant and Barand ordered dishes that were easy to prepare (French fries and breakfast meals).

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Our first meal at Dos Palmas

Located near Kara-e-nan Restaurant and Bar is the infinity pool of Dos Palmas.

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Dos Palmas Infinity Pool

After eating, we went back to our room to change into our swimming clothes and take a dip in the infinity pool.

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Trying the infinity pool

We also enjoyed staying in the Jacuzzi, which wasn’t too hot, anyway.

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At the Jacuzzi

We were also able to watch the Fire Show from where we were swimming.

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Fire Show

During dinner, there was a cultural program staged by the resort’s staff that showcased the traditional folk dances of the Philippines.

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Cultural Program by Dos Palmas Staff

We opted for a buffet dinner, but I was only able to take a photo of my first plate. Lol!

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First plate of my buffet dinner

And then it was time to call it a night.

Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa
Arreceffi Island, Honda Bay
Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Manila Office: (632) 637-4226, 637-4236
Palawan Office: (6348) 434-3118
Email: info@dospalmas.com.ph

Posted in Beach Villas, Dos Palmas Island Resort & Spa, Executive Villas, Infinity Pool, Kara-e-nan Restaurant and Bar, Palawan, Summer, Summer Getaway, Summer Vacation | 9 Comments

Me and My Bloodshot Eye

Last Sunday afternoon, while my son and I were about to take a nap, my son noticed something peculiar in my left eye. He asked me to look up because he wasn’t too certain what it was. And then he said there’s a red spot in my left eye. I was alarmed but dismissed any negative thought and told my son that my eye just needed to rest, so we slept. When we woke up after an hour, I asked my son if the red spot he saw earlier in my left eye was still there, and he said yes. I also showed it my left eye to my husband, and he said it was so red. If you’ve been a regular reader of this blog, you would know that both my eyes were badly damaged after I had craniotomy in 2004 for the removal of my pituitary tumor. After the surgery, I was left with no peripheral vision in my left eye and only 10% vision in my right eye. Because my eyes are severely impaired, I have been trying my best for years to protect and preserve what’s left of my eyesight. So you could imagine the panic I felt when something strange suddenly appeared in my left eye. Out of fear, I did not dare look my eye in the mirror. My son actually served as my mirror the whole day as I kept asking him from time to time if he’s seeing any improvement. I texted three doctors – our EENT doctor, my cardiologist and my son’s pediatrician – to ask for medical advice, and all of them said that I should have my blood pressure checked. Two of them suggested that I see my eye doctor, too.

On our way to my ophthalmologist’s clinic the next day, I saw a familiar face in the hospital and showed her my red eye, and she said, “Oh, bloodshot eye.” That’s how I came up with the title for this blog post. But technically, I didn’t have a bloodshot eye. According to nativeremedies.com, a bloodshot eye or a red eye is a condition where the “small blood vessels on the surface of the eye (sclera) become enlarged and congested with blood.” My ophthalmologist said what I had was subconjunctival hemorrhage. Subconjunctival hemorrhage is bleeding under underneath the conjunctiva or white of the eye.

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Subconjunctival hemorrhage in my left eye on Day 2

According to allaboutvision.com, some causes of subconjunctival hemorrhage are as follows: (1) eye trauma; (2) a sudden increase in blood pressure due to heavy lifting, coughing, sneezing, laughing and constipation; (3) blood thinners (e.g., aspirin and warfarin); (4) a blood clotting disorder or vitamin K deficiency; (5) eye surgery.

Having learned these things, I think I already know the culprit for my subconjunctival hemorrhage. A few days before the blood blotch appeared in my left eye, I lifted several heavy objects at home to save them from getting wet from the water spilling out of our 5-gallon container that accidentally dropped to the floor. Therefore, I think, and my doctor agreed with me, that the probable cause of my subconjunctival hemorrhage was increase in blood pressure caused by heavy lifting. I will not do that again, promise! Also, because my doctor said I had nothing to worry about, I bravely inspected my eye in the mirror when we got home and asked my son to take a photo of my eye for this blog post.

My eye doctor did not give me any medications for my subconjunctival hemorrhage because he said it will disappear in a few days, and sure enough, on the 5th day, it was gone. What a relief!

Posted in Bloodshot Eyes, Health, Red Eyes, Subconjunctival Hemorrhage | 4 Comments