Category Archives: Travel


Legazpi weekend getaway

Fact: I love to travel, and I especially love it when I get to visit a new place.

Family fun is far from over for us, as my mother-in-law is now in town. If you’ll remember, we had my FIL come home over the summer, and now it’s Mamabear’s turn. Their schedules weren’t quite in sync, hence the separate visits. But that’s all good because it only means extended happy days for us.

Mama Ayee’s first weekend back in Manila


This past Independence Day weekend was the first long weekend of the school year. We decided to make the most out of it by heading out to see the Mayon Volcano. This trip was something to look forward to because I’ve never been to Albay, and also because visiting local provinces helps me tutor Little MrC in social studies. See? It pays to see the sights in your own country!


As luck would have it, the kiddo and I found ourselves sick with a nasty stomach bug a couple of days before the vacation. We nearly didn’t make it, but in the end the boys and I thought it would be such a shame to miss out. So we decided to go, and to just make sure to watch what we eat on the trip. Quite unfortunate, as Legazpi has great food! But still, better than not being there.


  Oh no, we are sick. 😣😣😣   A photo posted by MrsC | Patricia Cuyugan (@mrspcuyugan) on


I’m excited to share the little details of our Legazpi weekend escape with you guys soon in a series of posts. Promise you’ll get to read about:

  • Our 7-hour trip to Albay by plane (I kid you not!) and how I really feel about The Orient Hotel
  • The Legazpi City Tour experience
  • Gata, gata and more gata, featuring Jasmine Restaurant, Small Talk Cafe and Rayben’s Resto Bar and Grill

But first, here are some highlights of our vacation, as seen on Instagram. These, incidentally, are also a few of my favorite things about Legazpi and our trip.

Apparently, wherever you go in Legazpi, you still get to see the beautiful Mayon Volcano. This view was the savior of day 1!


We did the Legazpi City Tour on the morning of day 2. Our guide, MJ, was really nice and had a lot of fun bits of trivia to share. I especially liked that he started us off at the Legazpi marker. It’s the perfect place for photo ops!


What a fun family weekend! 😃 #legazpicity #WhenInBicol #byahilo2015 #NoFilter #weekendescapade #travel #morefuninthephilippines A photo posted by MrsC | Patricia Cuyugan (@mrspcuyugan) on


The little guy and I enjoyed our visit to the Cagsawa Ruins. It was really hot when we went though, as it was close to noon. One look at his face will tell you just how sunny it was out there. Lol!


I really don’t think it’s possible to beat the heat with a spicy drink, but MrC went ahead and tried the sili shake anyway. Yes, it was spicy, as you can see.


Sa palagay ko maanghang yung sili shake ni MrC. Feeling ko lang ha. #WhenInBicol #byahilo2015 #legazpicity A photo posted by MrsC | Patricia Cuyugan (@mrspcuyugan) on


My idea of the perfect pasalubong from Albay is honey glazed pili. I particularly like this brand, which is what my brother’s girlfriend (who is from Naga) buys for us when she goes home.


Honey glazed pili is one of my favorite snacks. Sooooo yummy! #WhenInBicol #byahilo2015

A photo posted by MrsC | Patricia Cuyugan (@mrspcuyugan) on


So there’s our trip in a nutshell. Can’t wait to share the whole story with you guys. Now tell me, have you been to Legazpi? What was your favorite thing to eat, see or do there?

A Weekend of Happy Experiences at F1 Hotel Manila

My ABC Loves and I just cannot get enough of each other, as you will notice from my recent blog posts. We just love hanging out so much, that whenever we get the chance to we just go for it. Such was the case when Jane invited the boys and I to spend the weekend at F1 Hotel Manila in BGC together with her family, Joei and Timmy, and a bunch of other bloggers. This was a special invite from the Bossman of KTG, Spanky Enriquez, whom I was looking forward to meeting.

Family photo!
Family photo!


We drove to BGC after a football morning in Alabang, together with Joei who hitched a ride with us. Jane and Boss Spanky welcomed us when we arrived at F1, and we were given our itinerary for the weekend. I was excited to see that my mommy blogger friend, Jackie was spending the weekend at the hotel, too, with her beautiful family. 


Let the staycation begin! Thank you for having us this weekend, #F1HotelManila! I love the cutie detail you put into our itinerary 🙂

A photo posted by MrsC | Patricia Cuyugan (@mrspcuyugan) on


Our weekend started off with a short Halloween program with games and giveaways for the kids. There were snacks, refreshments and coffee, too, and the boys happily munched away. Football leaves us all hungry, so we were super looking forward to the yummy food we were going to indulge in during our staycation.

My boys 🙂
The kiddo really liked the Green Lantern and Hulk cookies!


Next on our itinerary was lunch at the hotel’s F All Day Dining, where we were given a sneak peek at their Christmas buffet. I’ll be writing about our breakfast, lunch and dinner at F1 in a separate post though, so suspense muna


Full and sleepy after lunch, we were ready to head to our room. When we walked in and I saw the sofa bed set up in the living room, I got so excited because I knew right away that MrC and I would have our own room for the night! After 8 years of the 3 of us sharing a room, it felt so nice to have a room to call our own, even just for a night.

MrC was happy about having our own room, too!


Truth be told, it felt a little weird, too, not being able to see what the kiddo was doing on his own bed and what he was watching on his own TV. We also stayed with him until he fell asleep, then we moved to our bed after. Hello, separation anxiety! I know for sure that the little boy had fun with our setup, too, though.

I also know that MrC really liked the Batcave-ish color scheme of our room and bathroom


Two beds, two airconditioners, two TV sets, wired and wireless internet connectivity, and a big writing desk. All these made me very happy with our room. I also noticed that there were a lot of power outlets, and that’s something I appreciate. We always seem to have so many gadgets that need to be charged all at the same time, and I’m happy we were able to plug everything in all at the same time. The whole suite was super spacious, and that was such a welcome change from our usual cramped and cluttered room. Plus, there was a Quezo de Bola Cheesecake waiting for us inside! Oh my gosh, way to make me happy!

Missing my usual photobomber in my requisite hotel mirror selfie


Our room was a Fort Suite (PHP 13,100 per night). This room can accommodate a maximum of 2 adults and 2 kids, and includes breakfast. Here’s a tip from our friendly hotel housekeeping guy – when booking, ask for a corner room because these are generally bigger than the middle rooms, with no added cost. Other room types available at F1 Hotel are the City Suite Room (PHP 10,700 per night) and the Deluxe Room (PHP 9,500 per night).


MrC and I signed up for massages, but unfortunately I fell asleep before my schedule so I missed out on what would have been the first massage of my life. The husbandry was able to get one, though, and judging by how soundly he slept, it looks like it was a relaxing massage. We actually spent most of our staycation in the room because it was a rainy weekend and the weather was perfect for snuggling and being lazy. And because we got to do just that, the boys and I were happy with our F1 Hotel experience. 

If you’re planning to visit F1 Hotel, you may want to avail of their Thrills and Treats promo which runs from October 27 til November 2, and already includes 2 tickets to their Marvel Madness Halloween Party happening on November 1. Sounds like something fun to do with the family!

Thrills & Treats


THANK YOU so very much, Mr. Tony Co and Pau of F1 Hotel for taking care of the boys and I during our visit. Thank you also, Spanky and Jane, for inviting us over for the weekend. We really appreciate it! 🙂


F1 Hotel Manila
32nd Street, Bonifacio Global City
+632 928.9888 / +632 908.7888
Instagram @F1Hotelmanila

Enjoying My Little Mommy Luxuries at Crimson Hotel Alabang

I’ve been dealing with a lot of domestic drama lately because our helper has been very un-helpful. I won’t get into details because just thinking about her makes me angry. She did something unacceptable again today, and this really made me wish that I could escape to one more staycation this weekend. But alas, we are going to be mostly home over the next couple of days, and so I will write about a past staycation instead to make myself feel better. 

I love the look of Crimson Hotel’s reception desk


I love staying at hotels for one simple reason – I get to feel like a donya for 24 hours. I know that it sounds bratty, but it’s true. I have this list of mommy luxuries that I like to indulge in, and an overnight stay at a good hotel automatically gives me at least 5 of those things. Let me explain by showing you which of these indulgences I got to enjoy during our recent staycation at Crimson Hotel in Filinvest, Alabang.

Welcome to Crimson!


A nice, clean, spacious space all to ourselves

Home for the weekend


As you know, we live in a really full house. As in, full of people and full of stuff. Our room is bursting at the seams with all of our things, and we even have stuff stored in the living room and outside the house. I get to leave all that clutter behind when we stay at a hotel. I know it doesn’t solve the clutter problem, but at least for a couple of days, we actually have our own space that is clean and quiet. 

I especially loved this makeup mirror, and that it was placed in front of the window. Natural light FTW!


Long, uninterrupted (well, mostly) showers 

Bidet = +1! Hot water = +1!


Because the boys and I share a bathroom, we have this unspoken rule that we should leave the door unlocked in case someone needs to do something in there while we’re using it. Fortunately, ours is a big enough bathroom that we can all use it at the same time. One can shower while another uses the toilet, and the third person uses the sink. It works for us, especially on rushed mornings, but oh man do I miss my bathroom privacy. At Crimson, I got to indulge in a couple of long showers and other quiet moments in the super spacious bathroom. Oh what a treat!

This is what the boys look like while I take photos around the room


Drinks. Including alcoholic ones.

Just lounging around and enjoying the sorta view


We were given access to the Executive Lounge at Crimson during our stay. There, the boys and I happily cooled off with glasses of juice and cans of soda. I was hoping to stay there all the way through happy hour, but we were told that they don’t allow children to stay once they start serving alcoholic drinks. We had to forego the beer and cocktail buffet because there was no one who could watch the kiddo for us, and also because MrC and I didn’t feel right about leaving him somewhere so that we could drink. Yes, it was the responsible thing to do. Lol. I had a mojito with dinner instead. And speaking of dinner…


A delicious dinner that I didn’t have to prepare myself, complete with dessert!

Yes, I had all of these (and more) for dinner
Yes, I had all of these (and more) for dinner


And it was a Mexican dinner, too! One of my favorite cuisines! I wrote about our Sabores de Mexico dinner experience a couple of weeks ago, and you can check it out here


The ultimate cold air conditioning + comfy bed + fluffy pillow + thick blanket combo



If I had my way, my bed would be as lush as a hotel bed. Maybe someday, we can invest in a fluffy bed. (Hint, hint, MrC!) 

Funny story, at Crimson the boys decided to have me sleep in the middle. Between the two of them and the blankets, I was sandwiched in warmth! I would wake up every once in a while when it got too hot and wiggle myself out of the blankets. Then when I’d get cold, I’d wake up again and squeeze back in. This went on a few times til morning. I still felt pretty rested, though, thank goodness.


Breakfast and coffee waiting for me when I woke up

Little MrC fixed his own plate, and made a happy face out of his pancakes and French toast


Happiness is waking up to a cup of good coffee and a yummy breakfast. On weekends, MrC sometimes takes care of this for me at home, and for that I am really grateful. That weekend at Crimson, though, was a super treat because their breakfast selections at the hotel are really, really good! I especially loved the cheeses and cold cuts that they served, and their breads too. The cheese ensaymada and the cream filled doughnut were super winners.



My first (and favorite) plate at any breakfast buffet is filled with bread, cheese and fruit. This was the first of many plates from this morning’s breakfast at Cafe Eight. 7 hours later and I am still burping. The breakfast spread at @crimsonhotel_alabang is officially one of my faves in the south. #SouthEats #CrimsonHotel #FilinvestCityAlabang #BreakfastBuffet #InstaFood

View on Instagram


But wait, there’s more

The Gym and the Pastry Corner


Aside from my luxury list, there’s still so much more to do at Crimson. They have a really nice gym, which I probably should visit next time, especially after eating all that bread. They also have a really nice pool, which we were sadly unable to try out because it was so windy while we were there. That’s something to come back for next time. That, and happy hour at the Executive Lounge lol. Ah! And I also have to remember to take home some of that ensaymada from the pastry corner next time. So good, promise!

Crimson Hotel's gorgeous pool
Crimson Hotel’s gorgeous pool area


The best part about our Crimson staycation was that the boys and I were there with four of my favorite families – Michelle’s, Jane’s, Joei’s (yes, Joei and Timmy are counted as a family in my book) and Kaye’s. It’s always fun for all of us when they are around, and I love how we are starting to build such fun memories together as a group. Since Little Miss QC was with us that weekend, we were officially ABC+K! Cute, diba?



THANK YOU so very much (again) to our lovely hosts, Twinkle Lacsamana, Karina, and the wonderful staff at Crimson Hotel. The boys and I had the best time and we can’t wait to come back! And super duper thank you, Jane, for arranging this for our little sisterhood. We love you!

Entrata Urban Complex,
2609 Civic Drive, Filinvest City,
Alabang 1781 Muntinlupa City
Phone (02) 863 2222

Back-To-Back Tagaytay Weekend #FoodTrip Part2: Taal Vista Hotel

Have I told you guys how much I love Taal Vista Hotel?

A week after our dinner date at QiWellness Living, MrC and I escaped for a quick pre-anniversary lunch at Taal Vista. It was a great time to be there because Chef Fernando Aracama was in the house. He was Cafe Veranda’s guest chef on the first weekend of the hotel’s Culinary Gems: A Festival of Filipino Flavors event.

Chef Fernando Aracama with Taal Vista Hotel's Executive Chef Edwin Santos
Chef Fernando Aracama with Taal Vista Hotel’s Executive Chef, Edwin Santos
Photos courtesy of Taal Vista Hotel


We arrived just in time to catch the opening ceremonies. Instead of the usual ribbon cutting, Chef Aracama and Peggy Angeles of SM Hotels and Conventions Corp. (and my seatmate at lunch!) broke a clay pot over an arrangement of fruits and vegetables. I’m not sure if this is symbolic, but if it is, it probably means something nice. Lol.

Opening ceremony


The boys and I had lunch at Cafe Veranda during our weekend staycation at Taal Vista last year. I was excited to see what the hotel’s Executive Chef, Edwin Santos had prepared, and of course how Chef Aracama’s creations would accent the Filipino food buffet. 

Scenes from the buffet table


As always, Chef Edwin did not disappoint. Everything from the hotel’s signature Lumpiang Ubod to the Brazo de Mercedes were so delicious. Chef Aracama’s Ilonggo creations we also extremely good. I couldn’t get enough of how tasty all of his dishes were. I couldn’t get enough of the Beef Adobo sa Tuba and the Sigarilyas Gising Gising Style. 

Sigarilyas Gising Gising Style and Chicken Inasal by Chef Aracama
Photos courtesy of Taal Vista Hotel
Sinanglay na Isda en Papillote by Chef Aracama, and the good chef carving his amazing Porchetta Negrense
Photos courtesy of Taal Vista Hotel


I started my meal off with a plate of assorted appetizers. My favorites among everything I got was Chef Aracama’s Malunggay Dip and Pan Tostado, the Salted Egg Brulee, and the Ginataang Langka Triangle.

Assorted appetizers


Plate #2 was loaded with all of the Aracama dishes that I found interesting – Kalkag Fried RiceSinanglay na Isda en Papillote, Chicken Inasal, Beef Adobo sa Tuba and the Sigarilyas Gising Gising Style. I would seriously have gone back for a second helping of the exact same plate if I had the space for it in my stomach.

Plate #2 loaded with Chef Aracama’s specialties


Yes, I had a third plate, but it was a small one. I had forgotten to get Porchetta Negrense during my second round at the buffet, so I took a bite off of MrC’s. It was so good that I of course had to go get a few slices for myself. The husbandry had his with the uber delicious vinegar that they were serving that day, while I opted for the lechon sauce. I was expecting the usual lechon liver sauce, but this one had an extra hint of spice and a bite of sourness to it. Oh my golly, so good. I also had some Dinuguan and Puto, a Filipino meryenda favorite that I can never skip, no matter how full I already am.

Oh that porchetta…


I wish that I could have eaten some more but I was just about ready to burst. So, it was time to end things with a selection of sweet desserts. Chef Aracama’s Chocnut Ice Cream was the highlight of my sweet treats. I split a Buko Panna Cotta (also by Chef Aracama) with MrC because I just couldn’t finish one whole on my own. It was one of those non-jello-ish panna cottas, so I was happy. And, I couldn’t say no to Chef Edwin’s Frozen Brazo de Mercedes, because it really is superb.

Desserts shared with MrC


The promise of an amazing cultural show and excellent Pinoy food is a really great excuse to make the trip up to Tagaytay for a special lunch or dinner meal. Chef Aracama’s weekends at Taal Vista Hotel are over, but there are other celebrity guest chefs lined up who will bring their unique interpretations of Filipino cuisine to Cafe Veranda. Here’s the schedule so you can decide which weekend to visit:

  • Chef Sau del Rosario – September 27 & 28 (That’s this weekend!)
  • Chef Babes Austria – October 4, 5, 11 & 12
  • Chef Edwin Santos – October 18, 19, 26 & 26
  • Chef Bruce Lim – November 1, 2, 8 & 9 (I am definitely planning a visit on one of his weekends)
  • Chefs Jackie and Rolando Laudico – November 15, 16, 22 & 23
An amazing cultural show and excellent Pinoy food. What more could you ask for?


THANK YOU so very much, Celine Arenillo and Treena Tecson for having me and MrC over at Taal Vista again. We love celebrating anniversaries and birthdays with you guys hehe! Thanks also to my fun to kwento with seatmate, Peggy Angeles for letting me know which dishes I really ought to try. See you guys (hopefully) this Halloween! 

Busog and happy!
Busog and happy!


The Culinary Gems Festival of Filipino Flavors continues on until November at Taal Vista Hotel’s Cafe Veranda. Saturday lunch and dinner buffet, and Sunday lunch buffet costs PHP1350 nett per person. For inquiries, you may call +632 917-8225.


Kilometer 60, Aguinaldo Highway
Tagaytay City, Philippines