Friday, February 12, 2016

TRAVEL | 6 Tagaytay accommodation ideas for couples this Valentine's (or on any other occasion for that matter)

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Magnificent view of the Taal Volcano and Lake from The Lake Hotel Tagaytay.

So it's Valentine's Day yet again this weekend and you still have no plans. How about spending the night in Tagaytay with your special someone? The cold weather there, especially at this time of year, makes it perfect for a quick romantic getaway.

Here are a few ideas on where to stay, all from personal experience. Hopefully they're not fully booked yet, though. But at any rate, you can always celebrate post-Valentine's. Or on any other day for that matter.

1. The Theodore Hotel
A 10-room bed and breakfast with nice interiors and a lot of character, The Theodore Hotel is perfect for couples who just want some quiet downtime together. Although they only serve all-day breakfast items, it's quite near a few restaurants. They do have a spa, too. Rooms are on the pricey side of things, however.

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The lobby at night.

2. Moon Garden
I really don't know anymore whether I should call it Moon Garden or Lily Pond but if you want something relatively inexpensive, then this could be the place for you. With spacious rooms, lush gardens, Moon Garden is as rustic as it can get. What I also love here is the food, along with its generous servings. Be forewarned, though, that there's no air conditioning here. And oh, frogs.

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Romantic dinner setup amid lush greenery? Check!

3. Domicillo Tagaytay
With only 8 rooms in all, there's very little chance that this place will get unpleasantly rowdy. That said, Domicillo Tagaytay presents itself as an ideal romantic option for couples. With a commanding view of the Taal Lake and Volcano, spacious rooms, handsome furniture, and tasteful decor, you can never go wrong with this one. Just prepare your wallet, though, because rooms here are quite expensive.

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The view from the common area at Domicillo.

4. Sonya's Garden
A place Martha Stewart would probably like, Sonya's Garden offers spacious, homey rooms with lovely curtains and fresh, crisp embroidered linen. It's one of very few pet-friendly B&Bs in the area and there are trees and flowers everywhere that dance beautifully with the cool Tagaytay breeze. They serve up healthy organic food and they also have a spa for you and your significant other to enjoy. Just don't go looking for television or air conditioning here.

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Well, what a bathroom!

5. T House Tagaytay
Not a big fan of this place but I have to say it really ain't that bad. With nice exteriors and trees offering lots of shade, T House Tagaytay presents a relaxing option for couples, especially since they have a spa. They've also since added a pool into the mix. There's much left to be desired with their rooms, though, particularly in terms of space utilization.

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Very relaxing atmosphere here.

6. The Lake Hotel Tagaytay
I have some reservations as to suggesting this place for couples because being one of the "bigger" hotels in the area, The Lake Hotel Tagaytay is frequented by families. That of course dilutes much of its romantic appeal but try getting a room on the upper floor to escape some of that noise. After all, this hotel lays claim to one of the best views of the Taal Lake and Volcano.

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Hands-down, this hotel has one of the best views of the Taal Lake and Volcano.

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Tagaytay too crowded for you already? Bummed with the traffic there? How about venturing into Laguna instead? There's Sitio de Amor in San Pablo City where it's much quieter and where you'll have lots and lots of wide open space to enjoy--especially for doing nothing. Together.

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Waking up to this doesn't hurt at all.

Happy Hearts Day, y'all!

Monday, February 8, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Camo coordinates

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I suppose I needed the sunshine to wake me up. Although already showered and dressed up for work on a casual Friday, I was still sleepy.

I managed to get through the day, though, and elicited a lot of attention with my outfit. A rather bold choice, wearing matching shirt and pants isn't exactly a common practice among us guys. But the idea appealed to me, especially after trying it already while on vacation last December where, incidentally, it was also a camo coordinated set that I wore.

While that matching camo sweatshirt and joggers outfit was in a desert camo print, you can very well say that this is Camo on Camo Part 2. The print this time, though, is in a darker, jungle pattern with some blue thrown into the mix.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

LOOKBOOK | The velvety suit

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I realized I've been buying suits for the last two months or so. It's a bit weird if I really think about it because where I work we don't really wear suits. Heck, nobody even wears a tie anymore! But in an irrational attempt at rationalizing my purchases, I only went after the ones that were on sale (okay, save for one). Less guilt, I guess?

Anyway, I've since made a resolve to put in a little more effort into dressing up for work. That includes wearing more long-sleeved shirts, neckties and bow ties, and yes, suits. I mean, I gotta wear all the stuff I've been buying, right? You see, I usually fall into this trap where, due to sheer laziness, I simply wear a pullover or sweatshirt with whatever pants that requires the least amount of ironing.

So today I'm wearing a suit. A velvety suit.

Monday, February 1, 2016

LOOKBOOK | 75 years of Bruce Lee with Giordano

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Clothing brand Giordano has been revving up its image of late, which includes licensing deals for producing limited edition t-shirts. After getting hold of a couple of shirts from the Giordano x Voltes V collection, now I got another one, this time from the Giordano x Bruce Lee collection. (Well, Kwittiegirl also got one.)

Sunday, January 24, 2016

TRAVEL | Kowloon Harbourfront Hotel (Hong Kong)

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Our living room for two nights at Kowloon Harbourfront Hotel.

Most budget-friendly hotels in Hong Kong can be, well, small. You get what you pay for after all. But on a trip there last month, we got a very spacious room at the Kowloon Harbourfront Hotel at a steal. We booked what was described as a two-bedroom suite through Expedia and which also already included airfare. But my, when we saw the breakdown, more than 80% of the amount went to the airline! That makes our hotel quite an inexpensive find so to speak.

Monday, January 18, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Hands in my pocket

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As I'm writing this I'm wondering about where the "cold" weather has gone. Not that we have winter or anything even remotely close to it but the Philippines usually gets to enjoy a wee bit of cold air courtesy of the northeast monsoon. But I haven't felt it at all.

I got a taste of it elsewhere, though, last month. On a day set for a whole lot of walking, I prepped myself with a sweater, light brown jeans, and sneakers. Now lugging a coat around while going about town can be a bit of a hassle. Good thing it was cold enough throughout the day to allow me to just put it on practically the whole time. I was ready to elbow my way around all these tourists.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

LOOKBOOK | The camo on camo dare

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Such a douchebag pose, right? It sure has the makings of a douche: bathroom mirror selfie, duck face, and wait, matching camo sweatshirt and joggers!

We first found the joggers at an H&M store and thought it was cute. But lo and behold, it had a sweatshirt to match! Kwittiegirl asked me if I can wear both, and I said yes. But will I, she asked again. Without much hesitation I accepted the dare and bought both pieces.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

LIFESTYLE | Enjoy Netflix today with PayMaya

I think it's safe to say that watching movies and TV shows is a common pastime for Filipinos. I don't even need to look far because it's a common scene at the office, especially during lunch break. And with Netflix now available to more than 130 new countries around the world including the Philippines, Filipinos can now enjoy streaming thousands of popular movies and TV shows such as The Dark Knight trilogy or How to Get Away with Murder on their devices--even without a credit card, thanks to the leading digital payments app PayMaya.

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Watch unlimited movies and TV shows on Netflix
Netflix is an internet TV service that lets you instantly watch unlimited movies and TV show episodes, including original series, documentaries, and feature films, anytime, anywhere, over almost any Internet-connected device without commercials. As per their announcement, there are three plans available, with the minimum at Php 370 for the Basic Plan, Php 460 for the Standard Plan, and Php 550 for the Premium Plan.

Subscribers get 1 free month to try the ultimate binge-watching experience and can cancel their subscription anytime. Payments for subscriptions, however, can only be made through credit card or PayPal. So for movie buffs and TV show aficionados who don’t own a credit card or a PayPal account, this is where you can use PayMaya.

LOOKBOOK | The tourist

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Forget about that debate on whether a person is a traveler or a tourist. Fine, I'm a tourist. While it certainly wasn't my first time here, it was my first in December where temperatures are much cooler. That in mind plus the anticipation over a whole day of walking led me to come up with this outfit.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

LOOKBOOK | Tough and mushy

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Clearly I'm holding on to the last two days of the Holidays. It's gonna be all over soon and I'll be back to work once again. Oh well.

Anyhow, I just got back from a short vacation with Kwittiegirl. It was nice to be able to go someplace and enjoy a much cooler climate even if it was just for a few days. And of course it was the perfect excuse to wear a coat. It's a much welcome relief for someone who has to live with temperatures between the high 20s to 30s (Celsius) every single day.
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