Tag Archives: Beach

Amorita On My Mind: A Gorgeous Sunset Wedding and the Morning After

After her catholic wedding at Villa Escudero, my sister in law got married again in a beautiful christian ceremony at Amorita Resort in Bohol. The garden of Amorita has got to be the perfect spot for a sunset wedding, with its amazing view of the sand and sea. You literally have the sun sinking majestically into the water as your backdrop while you say “I do.”

See what I mean?

You also get to spend your first night together as husband and wife in this really nice villa, which overlooks the ocean as well. Bonus: It has it’s own private plunge pool! I don’t have photos of inside, but my friends Joei and Patty both stayed at villas during their visits to Amorita, and have really nice photos in their blog posts.

The villas at Amorita

The reason why I don’t have pictures inside my sister-in-law’s room is because the place was a mess from the wedding preparations. One of the downsides to having a garden wedding in the Philippines is the heat + humidity combo, and so we all decided to camp out in the airconditioned villa while waiting for the ceremony to start.

Minutes before the ceremony – Me with the boys, and the Cuyugan siblings
Friends and family at the wedding

The food was superb, as expected. There were grilling stations where skewered meats and super fresh seafood were cooked on the spot. There was a salad bar, an assortment of breads, a fish taco station, desserts, and one of the yummiest cakes I have ever tried. No pictures, still, unfortunately. I promise to share a link to the official photos though, once they’re available.

Because I was so impressed by the food prepared in the kitchens of Amorita, I was looking forward to meeting Saffron’s executive chef, Raphael Ongchiong. Like I said in my previous Bohol post, I got to do just that. Luckily, he came out at the end of the reception to check that everything went well, and that provided us with the opportunity to chat for a bit. A bunch of us had our photos taken with him, me for the blog, and the others because they thought he was cute. Lol. Then someone from our group started calling him Sir Chef, and the name just stuck.

Sir Chef and me!

The staff of Amorita was able to grant all but one of the wedding party’s requests that day. In fairness to them, they had to decline that one request because it violated one of the hotel’s policies, that proper swimwear is required for swimming. If you’re thinking that we were planning to jump into the pool in our dresses and makeup, well, you’re right. Kinda like this:

Yes, those are the Kardashians/Jenners [photo source]
They gave us a free round of sangria’s to compensate for declining our request, and that kind of made things better. Since we couldn’t cool off in the pool after the reception, we decided to head back to our rooms, shower and sleep instead. The following morning, we woke up bright and early to make the most out of our last half day at Amorita. Breakfast buffets are my favorite, as you will notice when you browse through my other vacation and staycation posts. Saffron’s breakfast spread did not disappoint at all. The mere sight of danggit was enough to make my morning.

Breakfast is definitely my favorite meal of the day!

Three of my favorite things about breakfast time at Amorita were: The flowers they placed in every female guest’s hair, the cheese plate with honey, grapes and walnuts, and the hot chocolate, which was so rich and creamy and unbelievably good.

I love cheese
Best hot chocolate ever

We hung out in the pool area for another hour and a half or so, and then it was time to get cleaned up and pack our bags. I had the best time with the Cuyugan and de Jesus families in Amorita, and I am totally looking forward to finally coming back with my boys. I really want us to stay at a villa, too, next time, coz it’s just so pretty!

One last attempt at getting a tan
Missing this already

Til we meet again, Bohol. And thank you, Amorita, for showing us a spectacular time. 🙂

Homeward bound

Check out Amorita Resort’s website, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter to learn more about this spectacular Bohol getaway.

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Amorita On My Mind: Welcome To Bohol, And A Pool With A View

2013 was a year of many firsts for me, and for us as a family. On top of my list of favorite firsts was our trip to Bohol last November. I’ve been to many different places all over the Philippines, but for some reason, never to Bohol. This was a first-time trip for me, and for the boys, too. It was also the first time that we rode a plane together as a family. I have traveled by air before with the little boy, during a family trip to Ozamis, and also with MrC, for our Boracay anniversary trip last year. This flight was the first that the two experienced together, and that made it even more special.

Manila to Bohol via AirAsia Zest!
Daddy Cam!

Our trip was loads of fun, despite it being a short one. We were only in Bohol for the weekend, and that meant that we missed out on the tour and other activities outside of the resort that we were staying in. Because we were there for my sister-in-law’s wedding part two (you can read about part one here), which was on the Saturday that we arrived, there really was no leaving the resort. Then on Sunday, our flight was just a little past noon, so we obviously had no more time to go around. That’s okay, though, because it only means that we have a reason to come back!

The fact that we were staying at Amorita, which just happens to be on my life list of places to visit, definitely made the trip more than worthwhile. We were welcomed by the hotel driver at the airport, and I loved that there were bottles of cold water and candies waiting for us in the van. On our way to Panglao, we saw one of the churches in Dauis that was damaged during the recent earthquake. That was about it for our sightseeing outside of the resort.

Panglao-bound

Check in was quick and easy, particularly because the rest of our group was already there. I noticed at the reception that they had pink and silver decor for the holidays. So pretty! If the boys will let me, I would love to have that color scheme for Christmas at home someday. They also had bottles of really nice-smelling insect repellent, massage oil and a list of available massage services on a small table beside the check in counter. On the desk in the room, there was a welcome note and postcards with beautiful photos of the resort.

Welcome to Amorita

It was a short walk from the reception area to our room, which was really cozy and super spacious. Too bad I don’t have any photos. Our roommates had spent two nights there before we arrived, and since they were already settled in, they had their things in place already. Of course, I didn’t want to move anything just so I could take pictures.

As soon as we put away our stuff, the little boy headed straight into the pool. MrC and I, on the other hand, went straight to breakfast. The buffet was actually closed already when we got there, but the servers at the restaurant were nice enough to put together plated meals for us. The food was simple, homey and really yummy. We had rice and fried eggs, bacon, longganisa and a bunch of other things. Saffron restaurant is definitely one of the highlights from our stay at Amorita because everything was just so good!

This kid loves the water. He really enjoyed swimming with his favorites, Tita Minette and Tito Phil

I got to chat a little with with my friend, Martine, after breakfast. Coincidentally, she and her family were also booked at Amorita that weekend. You can check out her posts about their vacation (and her gorgeous photos, too) here, here and here. After catching up, the rest of my morning was spent with the family, enjoying the pool, the beach and the magnificent view.

Swimming, beaching and sunning
Isn’t this view breathtaking?

Before we knew it, it was time to get out of the water, shower and get ready for the wedding ceremony, which was scheduled at 4pm. We had lunch at Saffron while waiting for our turn for hair and makeup, and oh my gosh, I thought breakfast was good, but nothing could have prepared me for lunch. I am not exaggerating! There was a basket of bread with butter and spreads, kinilaw na tuna, chicken barbecue with atchara, grilled stuffed squid, and a unique deep fried kare-kare. I have no words.

Lunch time with Lolo Bach and Tita Minette

Our first few hours in Bohol were unbelievable, and the entire weekend continued on to be completely spectacular. Not only was the place beautiful, it also really felt like home to us during our stay. The staff made sure of that by being as accommodating as they could possibly be, taking care of all of our requests and going all out for the wedding preparations. I swear, I am completely in love with this place.

Sharing more about our Amorita vacation – the beautiful sunset wedding, meeting Sir Chef (Saffron’s Chef Ralph Ongchiong), and the morning after – in my next post. In the meantime, go and check out Amorita Resort’s website, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter to learn more about this spectacular Bohol getaway.

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Togetherness at Laiya Coco Grove

It’s been pretty quiet on the blog so far this month. That’s because I’ve been quite busy. Aside from the blessing of new clients and new projects I’ve also been spending a lot of time with family. My cousin and her husband and kids came home from the US for a few weeks, and all of us cousins have been getting together for fun Togetherness Sessions.

Last weekend was the big outing for the year, a trip to Laiya Coco Grove. Usually my cousins and their families go to Boracay over the holidays and we get left behind because of work or school and prior commitments. This year, since a lot of us are working, and since the trip got moved to January instead of the Christmas season, we opted for just an overnight beach getaway that didn’t involve flying.

After weeks of planning, we ended up at Laiya Coco Grove simply because the tree houses looked so cute on the website. Mr C and I went there about 8 years ago, and I remember the place being nice and quiet and quaint. You can tell from our old photos that the trip happened before we became parents, at a time when I actually had some sort of waistline. LOL.

Read about our first ever trip to Laiya Coco Grove

We drove to Batangas bright and early on a Saturday morning and arrived at the resort before noon. Our rooms were available early, which was great. We all got to settle down and freshen up before lunch. Mr C, the little boy and I shared a tree house with my mom, my sister and her boyfriend. I noticed as we walked from the reception area to our tree house that there were a lot of ongoing renovations in the resort.

Walking to our tree house
Walking to our tree house
Under renovation
Under renovation

Continue reading Togetherness at Laiya Coco Grove

Sun Protection: Beach Essentials for Parents and Kids

One of the best things about living in the Philippines is having beach weather almost every day of the year. I love the beach, and if I could only afford to go on an ocean getaway monthly, I totally would. Maybe then I’d have an amazing tan instead of my pasty Twilight-white skin. Either that or I’d be permanently lobster/lechon colored, like I usually am after a beach trip.

Did somebody say sunburn?
Did somebody say sunburn?

Yes, I burn easily, and so sun protection is a really big deal for me. Luckily, my boys brown nicely and don’t get sunburned as easily as I do. Still, I make sure to take three very important things with me on every beach trip.

1. Sunscreen

Exposure to the sun results in skin damage, and may lead to even bigger, badder things like skin cancer, premature aging and wrinkles. So remember to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun, especially if you like to tan like me.

I love using Nivea and Beach Hut because both are available in spray form, super easy to use and re-apply! I also pack an extra bottle of sunblock for kids for my face and for my little boy who has sensitive skin. Mustela is my brand of choice for kids’ sunscreen. 

Mustela Sunblock
THE BEST sunscreen for sensitive skin. Promise!

Here’s a tip: Go for a high SPF and re-apply often. To tell you the truth, I don’t know how to compute for SPF effectiveness, and how long before you should put a new layer of protection. I just make it a point to put some on before going out into the sun, putting some again after swimming and after taking a break to eat or shop. I also usually apply a layer of sunscreen before I put tanning oil. I don’t really know if it makes a difference, but I hope it does. 

If you don’t believe me on the sunscreen thing, listen to this guy.


2. After Sun Gel or Lotion

Nothing feels as good on your skin as a cooling gel or soothing lotion after a day out in the sun. Since I have extreme sunburn capabilities, I like to use Ocean Potion’s instant burn relief with Lidocaine. This saves me each and every time. I just wish it smelled better.

3. Hats and Sunglasses

A hat is something I know I should always have, but for some reason I keep forgetting to bring one. The boys, on the other hand, always make sure to have hats with them no matter where we’re going.

MrsPCuyugan Boracay
Hats and shades are on our list of beach essentials.

MrC and I both had prescription sunglasses made, and we always keep them in our bags. I never used to wear shades because I’d get headaches and bump into things, so God knows how thankful I am to finally have graded, tinted lenses. Pretty soon we’re gonna have to have a pair made for the kiddo, too.

Here I am with my Firmoo sunglasses in Boracay during our anniversary trip.
Here I am with my Firmoo sunglasses in Boracay during our anniversary trip.

At the beach, I always make sure to have a water-resistant tote bag, an extra pair of flip-flops, a microfiber towel and a bottle of drinking water with me. I also pack mosquito patches, insect repellent, calamine lotion, Betadine, band aids, paracetamol and antihistamines.

It’s always best to be prepared, especially when you travel with kids! Don’t forget to leave room for books and a few magazines for those quiet moments, and of course a few toys for the little ones.

Do you go to the beach often? Which sun protection products do yo and your kids use?What are your beach must-haves? Let me know in the comments!