Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Charming Country Styled Hotel called Camp John Hay Manor

I have always wanted to stay at Camp John Hay Manor (CJHM) eversince I can remember.  I wanted to see first hand what so many, have been raving about. 

That opportunity finally came last Holy Week, when my family decided to do a North Luzon road trip, with a Baguio stop over before heading to Vigan.

As I was welcomed to the hotel's elegantly designed lobby - I began to see why travellers fall in love with CJHM and keeps coming back. 
CJHM carries with it, the charm and allure of old Baguio.

The hotel interiors ~ beautiful!

My boy doing the usual bed test!!!


Bath spic and span as expected!


Well stocked minibar. Prices surprisingy lower than what I expected.

We stayed in a forest view room, despite recommendations from bloggers to get a room with the garden view. 

I have not seen the garden at night  (although I can attest to its beauty in the morning) so I would not be able to compare, but I confess to falling in love to the tranquility of the night and spent hours looking at and smelling the pines. 

The forest view room we stayed at is located away from the lounge area near the hotel's garden (but I could hear some loud music from the hotel lobby vibrating through our room walls until almost sleeping time) I could just imagine, how loud it might have been for those with rooms facing the garden. 

Oh yeah, more jumping!!!

Loved the seating in the balcony, just perfect for an after dineer coffee with hubby as the kids cozy themselves  watching tv.
Price is quite steep compared to other Baguio accommodations, but a night stay is really worth it.

Loving Azalea Residences

I was truly amazed at how much more we got for only a little over P2,000.
I initially reserved a deluxe room with no view, but got an email from our booking agent, that we have been upgraded to a with view room (talk about luck!), inclusive of  "buffet" breakfast for two.
It was a true bargain!   
Charming escape in Baguio

I was pleased to see the place.  Room was huge, decent and new! 
The room has a kitchenette - a working kitchen and comes complete with utensils and dinning wares.  There is also a full size refrigerator, glass stove tops and microwave oven. 
The place is  perfect for vacationing big families who wants to save a little by cooking instead of dining out.

Our deluxe room (with kitchenette, dining and seating area).
Bathroom was basic, but spic and span. They were likewise fairly generous with the toiletries.

This grand fountain was a hit with my kids! 

Play ground was small, but my boy ain't complaining. 

Lovely well kept garden surrounds the mini play ground!

The view from our room.
Azalea Residences Hotel's location is a little difficult to find and we got lost looking for it. 
Tip: The hotel is located on the other side of the Botanical Garden. Also don't hesitate to ask for directions, locals will be more than happy to assist.
Since it is located outside Baguio's center, it is free from noise and pollution. Azalea's Location is ideal for some real quiet R&R.  Getting around is not a problem, since taxis are plenty and may even be coursed through the hotel front desk.
Food was just okay,  there were few choices, but we are fine with that.  With the money we spent, we weren't really expecting much.
If you are looking for  a safe and clean place to stay, while in Baguio ~ without having to shell out that much cash,  Azalea is highly recommended!!!

Azalea Residences is located at #7 Leonard Wood Loop, Bgy. M. Roxas, Baguio City 2600, Philippines | Phone Number: +632 579 4890


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Ocean Park Manila

I accompanied my four year old son during his school Manila Ocean Park (MOP) field trip last November 2012.
The park boasts numerous atractions, which will surely keep your kiddos busy and occupied ~ you would be begging your child to leave, when it is time to go home.
The park has 15 Attactions:
  1. Aquanaut Voyage
  2. Shark Encounter
  3. Jellies Exhibit
  4. Fish Spa
  5. Glass Bottom Boat Ride
  6. Revolution - Musical Fountain Show
  7. Marine Life Habitat
  8. All Star Bird Show
  9. FantaSea
  10. Penguin Talk Show
  11. Bird of Prey Kingdom
  12. Back of the House
  13. Swimming
Since we were there for a school field trip  ~ we were only able to see:  the Oceanarium, Trails of Antartica, Jellies Exhibit and the Penguin Talk Show (which was a big hit with the kids). 

Welcome to the Oceanarium :D

Sorry, camera flashes strictly prohibited inside the Oceanarium..
Posing with the sharkies :P

There is an activity corner at the Oceanarium - my kiddo ain't taking a rain check :P


MOP has a spectacular view of Manila Bay. I am sure the view is better at sunset!


On the way to the Trails of Antartic!
Pakitang gilas si Mr. Penguin.  My kiddo's eyes were glued to the baby penguins as they swam.

Temperature freezing... brrr!

Ma look, its Santa :P


My kiddo quite amazed to see jellies for the first time :P


I was too engaged with Mr. Penguin, I forgot to take pictures - I got this one though!  My kiddo enjoying the show!!! 
 A trip to MOP is educational  and entertaining!  We would definitely be back.
Next time will bring the entire family and stay at the H20 Hotel to make the most of MOP!
MOP: Rated A for kiddos and kids at heart  :D
Address:Manila Ocean Park behind Quirino Grandstand Luneta Manila
Trunkline: +63 2 567 7777
Facsimile:+63 2 567 2309

Friday, April 5, 2013

BenCab Museum - For the Love of Art

BenCab Museum is located some 30 minutes from the crowded Baguio City.   
Travel could be a little difficult since it is not found in any of the Baguio maps sold in bookstores.  Travel was, however, all worth it! 
The museum is home to the masterpieces of one of the Philippines National Artists - Mr. Benedicto Reyes Cabrera — or BenCab.  The museum has about eight (8) galleries showcasing different art pieces
We found the art pieces to be quite engaging, well except for the Erotica and Print Gallery, which were off-limits to children, but was a complete hit to my husband!

The museum fascade! 


Seated on this huge trunk bench while admiring Ben-cab's creations.
My son admiring art :P  promising...
Armed with his own camera - the boy took photos non-stop!

This was my favorite... dumb founded to learn it is the sign leading to a common restroom!
Cool backdrop for a cool picture shot!

Amazing statues and art pieces filled the museum galleries! 
My son grew a fonding of this native chair (just about his height!)

Love this table... simply unique and one of the kind!
Who says museum tours are boring? 
A visit to BenCab's museum will prove them wrong!!!
Some Tips:
(1) The museum charges P100 per person, there is student rate, but you need to present your kid's school ID to avail of the discount.
(2) While at Bencab's visit and try out Cafe' Sabel (see my related post).  It has the most wonderful garden.  Food - quiet special!
BenCab Museum is located at Km. 6 Asin Road, Tadiangan, Tuba, Benguet
Tel /Fax: (+63 74) 442 7165
Email: bencabartfoundation@gmail.com


Baluarte ni Chavit!

Welcome to Baluarte!!!

Baluarte - owned by Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson is a sight to behold. 

It is like a mini theme park. Entrance is free and so are the rides, shows and face to face encounters with animals roaming the grounds.

We were welcomed to a small chapel located infront of the park.  There were plenty of tourist inside the park, but the chapel was obviously quiet.
At the entrance are different breeds of birds. These ones gaily posed for photo opps.
Not to be missed is the free miniature horse rides.  Would you believe this mini-horse is already 12 years old (that is about 39 years old in horse's years).

My 4 year old playing cow boy :P

Yo! Cowboy... (he wont leave the souvenir shop without a cowboy hat)!

Great background more picture takings. Looked real alright!

Mid-way, uphill to the Lion's cage is a small pool for the ducks.  My boys love ducks!

Yup!  I was surprised to see reindeers in Vigan too!

Mini horses freely roam the park...

The famous Chavit lion - has appeared in various tv shows as we were told by attendants.

Show-off Peacock... begging for a picture!

This one is a Sarimanok.  I always thought they are just mytical, never knew they really existed until I saw this one.  At first I though it was dead, then it moved.  Awesome!!!  I wonder how much Mr. Singson paid for this one....

Told you those dinosaurs are good for picture taking :P  
My boys gamely striked a pose!!! I had to say sorry to my little one when he begged to take one home... (hindi po kakasya sa sasakyan :P) 

BALUARTE is a must visit when heading to Vigan.  Be warned, however, that it could get awfully hot noon time especially during summer.  So buying those cowboy hats (@P90-120) could very well come in handy!!!

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