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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Dealing with Grief INSIDE OUT

Holidays and special days have been really tough for me and today is one of those days. 

The past 6 months had been a blur. I am not really sure how I was able to go through with it but here I am still breathing. I am thankful for everyone who cried with me and had been checking on me from time to time. I appreciate you. 

It has been really hard but I am thankful for this special person who shared a secret with me. She said that when the time comes when I have more control over my grief, I will be able to talk to my mom and we will have the same conversation as when she was alive. There is no explanation for this but one will know when that happens. She is just waiting until I am ready. 

I have been praying for my Mama every night but honestly, I haven't really tried talking to her since the day she left. I don't have any good reason why but I guess I wasn't ready to accept that she is now in heaven. Perhaps my mind is still trying to trick me into thinking that she is just on vacation that's why she's not at home. However, since it was her birthday today, I greeted her and talked to her for the first time. I am not sure if it was just my imagination but I felt her holding me again just like in this photo. I cried a river after... 

"Mama, thank you for loving me unconditionally. Your arms were always open when I needed a hug. Your heart understood when I needed a friend. Your gentle eyes were stern when I needed a lesson. Your strength and love has guided me and gave me wings to fly.

You may not be here physically but I feel your love everyday and this is why I miss you more.  A lot of people have been telling me to stop crying because you won't be happy seeing me this way but I just really miss you. 

How I wish I was ordering your birthday cake and lechon today instead of the flowers and candles I bought for you.

Happy Birthday in Heaven, Mama! 


Dealing with grief has been a rollercoaster ride. There are days that you feel that you feeling a little bit okay and there are days that it slaps you hard that you are back on the bottom so low. 

We watched the movie INSIDE OUT 2 today and I am hoping that it can help me process my emotions since they have really been overwhelming. So far, here are my takeaways from the movie. 

1. Anxiety is there to protect ourselves but it can be destructive if not managed well. 

I know I have been anxious about losing my loved ones and it's actually starting to take a toll on our lives. This is something that I need to work on. 

2. The good and bad make who we are. We should never push back all the negative emotions and try to forget them. 

There are times that I have been in denial or I just want to forget everything that had happened but I know that there is a greater reason why we have to experience this. 

3. Despite what we go through, we should never lose ourselves. 

I have been starting to lose interest in the things I love. I  have been neglecting all my plans. It seems that nothing excites me anymore.  I realized that no matter how long it takes, I need to find myself again. 

4. When you are anxious about the future, think about the present. 

This one is self-explanatory but this reminds us not to let the fear of the future stop us from living at all. 

5. Happiness is a Choice. 

Remember the scene towards the end of the movie where gold particles were navigating towards Joy. That was Riley choosing to be happy. We have the choice to be happy despite all the problems, challenges, and pain that we have.

We owe it to ourselves and to our loved ones to try to live a good life and be happy. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Global call for proposals for “Go Green with Taiwan” campaign launched today

With the success of its “Sharing is Caring” campaign more than three years ago, the Taiwan International Trade Administration, Ministry of Economic Affairs (TITA, MOEA) and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) launched today another global contest where anyone can submit program ideas aimed at making the world green again through the use of Taiwan products.

Called “Go Green with Taiwan,” the global sustainability program concept contest, hopes to inspire any group to come up with interesting ideas that will foster technological cooperation in making an environmentally and economically sustainable future possible, using products and solutions from Taiwan, a country that has achieved global renown for technologically advanced and life-changing innovations.

“Go Green with Taiwan” contest is open to participants who are either part of a company or any institution, such as colleges or universities, non-government organizations, public associations, among others. Submission of entries is made convenient by just filling out the online form and questionnaire:

All submitted proposals will go through a qualification phase and will be reviewed further by a panel of environmental sustainability experts until the grand finals. Proposals will be evaluated for their excellence in four (4) categories: environmental and economic sustainability, feasibility, innovation, and the relevant use of products or solutions from Taiwan.

A total of Six finalists will get free round-trip tickets to Taiwan, including accommodations and other travel expenses. Three of the most outstanding proposals shall receive US$20,000 as prize money. The deadline for submission of proposals is on August 31, 2024. Winners will be announced by late December 2024.

According to TAITRA Chairman James Huang, they collectively promote the stories of Taiwanese enterprises' pursuit of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) aspects to the international community. Go Green with Taiwan serves as an important gateway for international partners to first understand Taiwan's path to sustainability, where people around the world can learn how to find suitable partners in Taiwan for the future.

“Through the global call for proposals, we aspire not only to pursue business and technical cooperation but also to encourage Taiwanese industries to understand global sustainability issues and go international, creating more touching stories,” TAITRA Chairman Huang added.

Ms. Cynthia Kiang, General Director of TITA, emphasizes that with the specter of global climate change and rising energy demands facing the world today, many countries agree that developing green energy and a sustainable economy has become even more imperative, with carbon reduction and green sustainability as vital components in this crucial mission.

“To achieve this important goal, the government will actively collaborate closely with industries. Facing the climate crisis, we must resolutely implement the net-zero transition and promote ‘net-zero emissions’ and ‘clean energy’ without delay,” TITA General Director Kiang said.

She pointed out that Taiwan’s green industry boasts of advanced technologies, abundant software and hardware resources, a well-established R&D environment, and high-quality talent, that can produce stable and high value-added green materials and related products, making it an ideal partner for the international development of green energy and a sustainable economy, Ms. Kiang said in her remarks during the launch.

Dir. Kiang also emphasized that “Go Green with Taiwan” will fully showcase the joint efforts of the international community and Taiwan towards the sustainable development of the Earth, while the government will also continue to assist businesses and strive for more green business opportunities for them. “We firmly believe that Taiwan can contribute more to the international promotion of the sustainable green energy industry and make its significant contribution to environmental sustainability.”

For more details about “Go Green with Taiwan,” visit For updates on “Go Green with Taiwan” activities, follow Taiwan Excellence on Facebook and InstagramInstagram.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

8 Things You Need to Know about Citadines Bacolod

Citadines Bacolod is finally open! This is a huge win to have world-class service apartments and another culinary destination in the city. In fact, this is the biggest hotel now here in Bacolod since the property has around 200 rooms. (I think the other hotels have approximately 150+ only)  and I am sure this can make a huge difference as we celebrate the Masskara festival this October. 

In case you are planning to have a big event, Citadines also has a ballroom that can accommodate 640 persons for a round table set-up. They also have four (4) function rooms for smaller events and 5 food and beverage restaurants.

Anyway, let me share with you 8 things that you need to know about Citadines Bacolod

1. ART INSTALLATION - There is a beautiful and huge art installation (around 6x3 meters) in the hotel property called BUGLAS that is a must-see and it's IG-worthy. 

According to the FB post of the NVC Foundation, this mural is a modern Buglas--a slice of the province’s history and culture: Rising from the once monocrop industry of sugar that was both blessing and the opposite for the province, new ways of earning have emerged. Giant shrimps and fish jump out of the waters of Buglas. Weeds and leaves are intertwined and transformed into functional forms and art. Food that graced local tables of old has become fare for the world’s palate. New ways and movements are present from cycling up its hills to diving deep into the province’s waters. Yet the glory of structures of the past and the stories of its people weave through this piece of art, topped by the majestic Mount Kanlaon.

This masterpiece is a livelihood project of NVC Foundation which was especially created for Citadines Bacolod City. It took artisans four months to complete this project and it was crafted out of broken ceramic tile pieces, discarded Nespresso coffee capsules, capiz shell trimmings and broken glass. 

2. FLEXIBILITY AND OPTIONS - One thing I noticed is that Citadines offers a lot of options for the guests, giving you room for flexibility even with the "smallest" things. 
  • ELEVATOR OR ESCALATOR - They actually have both in the property so, everyone can move with ease. (By the way, the elevators are fast) 
  • FOOD OPTIONS - Aside from the hotel's 5 different food and beverage restaurants, most of the rooms are equipped with a kitchenette with a full size refrigerator, an induction cooker, microwave, water kettle, plates and utensils. So, you also have the option to cook your favorite meals without restrictions. There's even a can opener and cork screw for your convenience. It's just like bringing your home kitchen with you. It is so complete that I am impressed with their attention to detail. 
  • SERVICED APARTMENT OR HOTEL ROOM - If you just want a regular hotel room without the kitchenette and other amenities, then, their studio room is perfect for you. 
3.  TOILET FACILITIES - We know that this is a deal-breaker for some and yes, we'd like to confirm that they have a bidet available. Toiletries such shampoo, conditioner, dental kits and even a razor are provided. 

4. LAUNDERETTE - If you are staying with long-term or you are traveling with kids, having laundry service is very helpful. Though most hotels offer this, let's admit it that it is quite expensive since they charge per piece. Citadines addresses this concern by providing a common laundry area that you can use for a minimal fee per load and not per piece of clothing. There's also a flat iron and ironing board available. 

And what's even better - if you book their one or two bedroom deluxe, it has a washing machine inside so, you don't have to pay extra and you can just do the laundry inside your room.

5. COMPLIMENTARY WATER - They don't just provide you with two small complimentary bottled water like what most hotels do. Instead, they provide you with a 2.5L water gallon that you can use both for drinking and cooking. We actually love this idea since it minimizes the need for single use plastics + they are refillable. (So, yey for eco-friendly initiatives) 

6. SWIMMING POOLS - Their swimming pools are family-friendly. The kiddle pool is around 2 ft deep while the adult pool is around 4 ft. There's also a bar near pool area. We are yet to try their pizzas but they look really delicious. 

7. BOOK DIRECT -  Looking for the best rates? It's best to book direct. We compared all the other hotel booking websites and yes, it's cheaper if we book directly with Citadines. Not to mention, they also offer a price guarantee. 

This means that in the unlikely event that you find a lower rate through another booking website within 24 hours of your confirmed booking, Citadines will honour the lower rate and reward you with 10X ASR Points. 

Just go to this link:

8. ASR POINTS - Lastly, let us not for get about Ascott's loyalty program called Ascott Star Rewards which allows you to earn points and redeem rewards, access exclusive discounts and enjoy late check-out privileges and a lot more. The best part? Joining is absolutely FREE and you can register right now via this link: 

P.S. We are adding this here since someone messaged us --- 

Though they served lobster during the grand opening, currently, they DO NOT have lobsters in their regular menu. We will keep you posted once we get a copy of their menu. 

Friday, June 14, 2024

Newest Destination: Citadines Bacolod City Brings Exciting New Restaurants

Citadines Bacolod City, the Ascott Limited’s newest addition to its property roster, is the next go-to destination in the Visayas region, offering modern and comfortable accommodations for both business and leisure travelers.

Standing tall in the heart of Bacolod, this sleek urban oasis beckons guests with its contemporary design and unique island hospitality. Offering modern amenities, stylish interiors, and the distinct Negrense warmth, travelers can seamlessly transition from the bustling streets of Bacolod to the serene comfort of their accommodations at Citadines Bacolod City.

The property offers an array of accommodation options tailored to meet the diverse needs of guests. From Studio Apartments to Two-Bedroom Deluxe Rooms, each space is thoughtfully designed to provide the utmost comfort and convenience and ensures there’s accommodation suitable for any type of stay. Additionally, guests can take advantage of the inviting communal areas, which include a stylish lobby lounge, a well-equipped fitness center, and versatile event spaces.

During the sneak peek into Citadines Bacolod City, guests can savor culinary delights at the property's in-house restaurants. Options encompass the Lobby Café which is Pureza, Grab and Go with Tam-is, Namit for all-day dining, Fuego Bar and Lounge for bar and lounge experiences highlighting steaks, and Adlao for poolside refreshments.

"Tam-is," a charming corner on the ground floor, is named after the Hiligaynon term for sweet. Providing a quick grab-and-go option for food, like coffee and pastries, for guests who are always on the move, Tam-is greatly lives by the ideal that 'life is sweet’ and is a nod to the joys and richness of life's experiences. “Puerza” completes the lobby's artisanal bakery and café experience by offering finely crafted European-style boulangerie and French viennoiserie for a sit-down and relax experience throughout the day.

At “Fuego Bar and Lounge,” guests can enjoy a menu featuring a variety of steaks, antipasti boards, sides, and cocktails that draws inspiration from the flames of the majestic volcanoes that surround the Negros region. Located on the second floor alongside the “Namit” all-day dining restaurant. It promises an unforgettable dining experience through its various unique ala carte dishes inspired by local and Southeast Asian cuisine.

When it's time to unwind by the pool, retreat to "Adlao." From fresh fruit platters to savory appetizers, guests can savor a tempting selection of snacks, refreshing juices, and expertly crafted cocktails all while enjoying the peaceful nature of the space.

"We are excited to offer guests a sneak peek into Citadines Bacolod City and provide them with a glimpse of the modern urban oasis and the different culinary offerings we have been working on," said Jose Mari Medrano, Citadines Bacolod City’s Executive Chef.

Citadines Bacolod City's signature program, City Hacks, and its staff, known as Citazens, offer guests an authentic local experience. With personalized recommendations and insider tips, Citazens help guests take full advantage of the city’s authentic local experience. These can include immersing in the city’s culture, cuisine, and hidden gems. Furthermore, for those looking to dive deeper into the food culture of Bacolod, the property’s Citazens are well-equipped to offer city hacks to help navigate the culinary scene with ease, guiding guests to the most authentic eateries and culinary hotspots.

For reservations, advanced bookings, and property updates, guests can visit Citadines’ official website and their following social media pages, Facebook and Instagram.


About The Ascott Limited

Since pioneering Asia Pacific’s first international class serviced residence with the opening of The Ascott Singapore in 1984, Ascott has grown to be a trusted hospitality company with more than 930 properties globally. Headquartered in Singapore, Ascott’s presence extends across more than 220 cities in over 40 countries in Asia Pacific, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the USA.

Ascott’s diversified accommodation offerings span serviced residences, coliving properties, hotels and independent senior living apartments, as well as student accommodation and rental housing. Its award-winning hospitality brands include Ascott, Citadines, lyf, Oakwood, Quest, Somerset, The Crest Collection, The Unlimited Collection, Preference, Fox, Harris, POP!, Vertu and Yello; and it has a brand partnership with Domitys. Through Ascott Star Rewards (ASR), Ascott’s loyalty programme, members enjoy exclusive privileges and offers at participating properties.

A wholly owned business unit of CapitaLand Investment Limited, Ascott is a leading vertically-integrated lodging operator. Harnessing its extensive network of third-party owners and in-market expertise, Ascott grows fee-related earnings through its hospitality management and investment management capabilities. Ascott also expands its funds under management by growing its sponsored CapitaLand Ascott Trust and private funds.

For more information on Ascott’s industry record of close to 40 years and its sustainability programme, please visit Connect with us on FacebookInstagram, TikTok, Twitter and LinkedIn.


About CapitaLand Investment Limited (

Headquartered and listed in Singapore, CapitaLand Investment Limited (CLI) is a leading global real estate investment manager (REIM) with a strong Asia foothold. As at 30 June 2023, CLI had S$134 billion of real estate assets under management, and S$89 billion of real estate funds under management (FUM) held via six listed real estate investment trusts and business trusts, and more than 30 private vehicles across Asia Pacific, Europe and USA. Its diversified real estate asset classes cover retail, office, lodging, business parks, industrial, logistics and data centres.

CLI aims to scale its FUM and fee-related earnings through fund management, lodging management and its full stack of operating capabilities, and maintain effective capital management. As the investment management arm of CapitaLand Group, CLI has access to the development capabilities of and pipeline investment opportunities from CapitaLand’s development arm.

As a responsible company, CLI places sustainability at the core of what it does and has committed to achieve Net Zero emissions for scope 1 and 2 by 2050. CLI contributes to the environmental and social well-being of the communities where it operates, as it delivers long-term economic value to its stakeholders.

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Independence Day Travel Sale with Discovery Hotels and Resorts

You might have read our recent beach trip so, are you ready to explore more beautiful destinations in the country?

From posh accommodations to gourmet dining options, travelers can fully immerse themselves in the freedom of exploration with Discovery hotels and resorts. Enjoy up to 60% savings on travel adventures across the country from June 3 to 16, 2024.

Among the several Idyllic Havens with Discovery Resorts, top of our list is Manami Resort. 

Experience seaside serenity in a secret paradise here in Sipalay, Negros Occidental and discover hidden jewels that offer new yet quaint experiences and stories to tell.

Serene ambiance lingers in the luxury nature estate of Manami Resort. Where time slows to a gentle rhythm, cocooned from the bustling world outside, unwind and reconnect on this off-the-beaten path in Sipalay, Negros Occidental. 

You can book an oceanview suite for as low as PHP 14,500 nett a night and this already includes daily breakfasts for 2, in-room welcome massage, complimentary refreshments at the pool, complimentary spelunking trip in their in-property cave and complimentary use of snorkeling gear, rashies and other non-motorized equipment and many other amenities. 

Chema's By The Sea 

Ofcourse, my hometown in Davao also has something to offer. Where the sand is warm, the water is inviting, and worries are left behind, it's time to answer the call for a charming beach getaway at Chema's By The Sea. This charming resort may be located right across Davao City, but the calmness of its natural surroundings kindles a personal abode. Discover this new spot with stays starting at PHP 7,750 nett. 

Discovery Boracay

There are reasons why Boracay is named one of the best beaches in the world, and the island's pulsating vibe is one of them. Revel in unbeaten fun activities paired with the first-hand experience of unmatched luxury island hospitality at Discovery Boracay, starting at PHP 14,986 nett.

Discovery Coron 

An exclusive island paradise beckons right in the middle of the Philippines’ “Big Lagoon," Coron, Palawan. Offering the perfect canvas to unleash a discerning traveler’s inner explorer more than the tall limestone formations from the town’s postcards, Discovery Coron is the perfect spot to channel carefree spirit while savoring the wonders of flora and fauna. Stay in this paradise starting at PHP 14,278 nett and catch nature’s wildlife within reach.

Discovery Samal 

Whether on a journey to seek the thrill of water sports or serene moments amid tropical surroundings, experience the finest luxuries and unique Samal Island experiences that Discovery Samal has to offer. Stay in a Junior Suite for PHP 12,000 nett and explore this dreamy tropical haven while having a view of the Davao metropolis.

Not really ready to hit the beach? Enjoy Cosmopolitan Comforts with Discovery Hotels

Take a reward on the weekends or spend quality moments with loved ones in the elegant comfort of Discovery Primea. This towering gem brings a lavish city staycation designed for indulgence amid the vibrant Makati City life. A night in the Business Flat at PHP 8,000 nett is paired with an array of treats, such as special rates at the Gin Library and savings on select spa treatment.

A few minutes of drive away is another leisurely accommodation, perfect for some slow-down moments. Rediscover the charm of a city getaway while recharging at Discovery Suites, starting at PHP 5,000 nett a night.

Embrace the spirit of freedom and adventure for up to 60% savings on stays and special recreational offers this Independence Day Travel Sale! My Discover Elite members get to enjoy an exclusive sale from June 3 to 16, 2024. Special rates will be open to everyone from June 10 to 16, 2024. For more information, visit DTI Fair Trade Permit No. FTEB-193946 Series of 2024

Saturday, June 1, 2024

8 Things You Need To Know Before Going to Lakawon Island

Lakawon Island is a beautiful beach resort in Negros Occidental with clear waters and pristine white sand. 

Though you may see several bad reviews online the past few years, I can say that significant improvements had been made and it's way, way better than it used to be 3-4 years ago.

The water is very clear. We saw small fishes without the need for goggles. The sand is fine and the beach is clean where I enjoyed walking barefoot (a.k.a natural exfoliating) 

In fact, we had a really nice time when we went there a week ago. We initially just planned to stay for 2 nights in the island but we extended for 2 nights more because we really don't want to leave. 


Anyway, let me share with you 8 things that you need to know before going to Lakawon Island. 

1. PARKING - Overnight parking is available for Php 150 per night. They have an assigned caretaker (not really sure if he is connected with the resort) but they manage a gated area near the port where you can park. It is on the other side of the usual common parking area for day tour guests. 

2. BOAT TRANSFERS - It takes a 20-minute boat road from Cadiz Viejo going to island. They usually have three (3) schedules per day at 7am, 8am or 11am. Kindly confirm with reservations in case there are any changes. 

Sadly, we arrived a 10 minutes late and the boat had already left. We had to pay extra Php 1,000 for the special boat trip which the Lakawon ticketing office arranged. While waiting for the boat, more latecomers arrived and we just opted to share the extra fee since if they plan to go to the island, they would need to arrange a special trip too. 

By the way, it's a long walk going to boat from the ticketing office and most of the time, it is really hot. So, I suggest you to put on your sunblock* as soon as you arrive in the parking lot. If you don't feel like walking, you can take the tricycle at around Php 50 per person. 

*For the sunblock, we used the DERMPLUS Moisturizing Sublock SPF 80 and had zero sunburns for our 5-day beach trip. You can order here

3. INTERNET CONNECTION - Mobile signal is not that stable but there is free wifi all over the island available for guests. It doesn't require a password so, you just immediately connect once you arrive. 

Their internet service provider is Starlink, which is a satellite-based internet service and based on the speed test we conducted it runs around with a download speed of 9-10 mbps. 

They also have routers installed in each room so, you can expect to have strong wifi connection. This is very helpful for freelancers like me. Yes, we can have a workation.

4. TOWEL, TOILETRIES AND BIDET - I know some friends whose non-negotiable in a hotel or resort is the availability of a bidet and I am happy to share that the rooms in Lakawon have one. We stayed in a Junior Suite so, I expect the other bigger rooms which are more expensive to have one too. 

They also provide basic toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, lotion and dental kits. Fresh towels are also replaced everyday. 

By the way, the water in the shower is a bit salty so, I am guessing maybe it is filtered seawater (?) I am not really sure and I forgot to ask. 

5. WATER - Speaking of water, we had no problem with the drinking water from the restaurant and the bar. In fact, we never bought bottled water throughout the whole duration of our stay. So, I suggest that you bring your water bottles and just ask for a refill. Saves you money plus it's more eco-friendly. 

6. ELECTRICITY - The resort runs on generator 24/7 so, we never experienced a power outage. They are just times that the electricity goes off for a few seconds but I guess it has something to do with the generator changing or something. Not really a concern if you ask me. 

7. FOOD - The restaurant and bar is NOT open 24/7. Their restaurant is open from 7am until 8pm and the bar is open until 9pm. 

We had free breakfast as part of our accommodation and to be honest, I find the 7am opening a bit late. I guess Val and I just woke up so early around 5:30am to go swimming so, we're pretty much hungry by 7am. In this case, I suggest that you bring bread or snacks if you are used to having breakfast early. After all, there is an electric water kettle, cups and complimentary coffee, cream and sugar in your room.

Food is great but a bit expensive. We had seafood for dinner every night and it did not disappoint at all. We recommend their butter garlic crabs, kinilaw/ sinuglaw, calamares and grilled pork liempo. I think we had calamares and grilled pork 3 nights straight. LOL

We are skipping their shrimps and scallops next time though. It wasn't bad but we had it better somewhere else. Pancit bihon is good too. :)

Budget roughly is around Php 2k-2.5k per meal for 2-4 pax. You can check their menu below.

*Prices are subject to change. Example the street food platter is actually Php 250+

8. PAYMENTS - Credit card payments and other cashless transactions are available in Lakawon Island. 

If you are staying overnight, make sure to bring extra money because you will be required to make a Php 2,000 refundable deposit upon check-in. 


That's it for now. We hope that this article will help you plan your trip to Lakawon Island.

It's one of the nearest beach resorts from Bacolod City, just a 1.5 hour drive so, if you are in need of some vitamin SEA then go ahead a book a night or two.

For room accommodations, you can just check their website directly at

If you have any other questions, message us on our facebook page,