June 2014 | Lady & her Sweet Escapes

Jun 28, 2014

Hair and Nail Care at Orange Beauty Center

"I feel pretty na!" That's the first ever Whatsapp message I sent to my husband the moment I stepped out Orange Beauty Center last Saturday! Forgive the vanity, but I was feeling really low the past week. My weight gain, my eye bags, my dry hair and all those girly dilemmas were haunting me. So, off I went to the salon! Every lady needs a day of rejuvenation to recharge not mainly the physical strength but the self-esteem! :) 

Orange Beauty Center in Al Garhoud Dubai

Jun 25, 2014

KaLui: A Must-Try Native Restaurant in Palawan

A vacation in Puerto Princesa is never complete without dining in KaLui! This I have learned after a series of travel-related conversations with my friends and after reading several blog posts on Puerto Princesa. KaLui seems to be the most popular and the most recommended local restaurant in the province. I heard it is a native restaurant just like the others, but I was curious on what makes it different from the rest. 

So, on our first day in Puerto Princesa, just as soon as we dropped our bags at Marianne Home Inn, I immediately asked the receptionist about KaLui. She gladly made a call and reserved a table for four at 6:30pm. Having an early dinner wasn't really our choice, but KaLui was fully booked at 7:30pm that night and 8:30pm would be so late for us.    

KaLui Restaurant Palawan

Jun 22, 2014

Puerto Princesa City Tour: Sightseeing at The City in a Forest

Excitement and goosebumps ran over my body when I stumbled across a grand seat sale on flights to Puerto Princesa a couple of months before our homecoming. Puerto Princesa in Palawan is on the top of my Dream Destinations in the Philippines list, but it was never on my vacation plan this year, not until the Piso Fare promotion! It came as a surprise, a chance that I immediately had to take. 

So, a spontaneous budget vacation in Puerto Princesa happened. We got our plane tickets at half the price and stayed in the most affordable accommodation, yet still had a full load of fun! Puerto Princesa, fondly called by many as the City in a Forest, did not disappoint. Our half day City Tour on Day 1 doubled as an amazing nature trip.

Puerto Princesa City Tour with the family

Jun 19, 2014

Waray nga RUN 2014: A Solidarity Mile

It's been more than six months! No one could ever forget the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan, popularly known in the Philippines as Yolanda. One of the world's strongest tropical cyclones left my husband's hometown, Tacloban, all knocked out. Super Typhoon Yolanda may have ravaged Tacloban's beauty, but not the people's strength. Through the efforts of the Taclobanons along with the support given by the international community, the government and non-government organizations, Tacloban is starting anew. It has been a struggle, yet the city is slowly making its way back on its feet, ready to rise again. 

Jun 16, 2014

Seafood Lunch with a View at Badjao Seafront

When our flight to Puerto Princesa was confirmed, Ed immediately mulled over the adrenaline rushing activities while I meticulously decided where to eat! We only had three days, and that simply means I had to choose only three from the long list of must-try restaurants in the city. After a thorough deliberation (with myself), I wrote down Badjao Seafront, KaLui and Kinubuchs on my foodie itinerary.

First on the foodie list is Badjao Seafront; a floating restaurant built in a mangrove area offering picturesque views of Puerto Princesa's seascape. I heard the restaurant is crowded during sunset and darkness swallows the stunning scenery at night, so I guessed it would be a perfect lunch venue.
Badjao Seafront Restaurant in Palawan

Jun 13, 2014

Marianne Home Inn: Budget Accommodation in Palawan

I'm not a huge fan of accommodation + guided tour packages as I always want my freedom whenever I'm on vacation, but on our recent family trip to Puerto Princesa I had no choice. Getting the Underground River entry permits on our own seemed quite a hassle and I couldn't spare an hour of our short vacation on a DIY tour mishap. So, six month prior the trip, I went Puerto Princesa tour package hunting online. 

I shortlisted three budget accommodations and sent them an email. The first reply that I got was from Marianne Home Inn. The prompt and polite reply had me. So, when a rate tad cheaper than the online price was offered, I felt I need not to look any further. I immediately booked our stay and confirmed it by paying 50% of the total package.               

Marianne Home Inn Puerto Princesa

Jun 10, 2014

BurgerFuel: Fresh, Healthy and Unusual Gourmet Burgers

I have a 3-year old love affair with a burger! It all started at JBR-The Walk. Ed and I were heading to the beach when we passed by the odd-looking burger joint with outlandish burger names. Hot Rod. Ford Freakout. BF Monster. Those names had me bursting with curiosity! Though I found the whole vibe too masculine, I still wanted to give it a try. The simple case of curiosity eventually became a case of love at first bite. And from then on, BurgerFuel became an all-time favorite. 

In 1995, in New Zealand, BurgerFuel gave the ordinary big bad burger an overhaul. It was the year when the world's most wicked food turned healthier and a much better fuel to the human body. Since then, BurgerFuel has been engineering the ultimate burger; offering freshly built burgers with 100% pure grass-fed beef or hormone-free chicken with fresh and natural ingredients, as well as gluten-free and vegan options. It fascinated not just the Australasia, but the Middle East as well.

BurgerFuel eye-catching logo along Jumeirah Beach Road

Jun 6, 2014

Traveling with a Tampered Philippine Passport

Speechless and in an extreme panic attack, I stood there contemplating how, when and where it happened. My passport is damaged! What made the situation worse is that I only discovered the damage half past midnight at the UAE-Oman border, in the middle of nowhere, right after I got my exit stamp at Dubai Immigration. 

The immigration officer asked me a question which I didn't clearly hear. I thought he was asking when was my passport renewed, so I said 2012. He handed back my stamped passport while his finger was pointing at the photo. It was terribly damaged that I couldn't even identify myself. I look creepy just like Voldermort! :( The details and all the other pages look perfectly fine. It was just the photo and some sort of a fluid droplet (or is it moisture?) behind it.

traveling with a damaged Philippine passport

Jun 3, 2014

Dubai-Manila Budget Flights via Cebu Pacific

Last Christmas, Ed and I got ourselves the most fantastic holiday present: the cheapest Dubai-Manila round trip tickets! We were actually experiencing the usual holiday blues until we discovered that Cebu Pacific, a popular low-cost carrier in the Philippines, launched a grand seat sale on Christmas morning. Nothing can ever beat the excitement of booking a homecoming flight, and getting it at half the price was surreal. It was our Christmas miracle.

Months later, our highly anticipated homecoming day arrived. It was our first long-haul flight with Cebu Pacific, so I have been telling myself not to expect too much from a budget airline. I know, it will be totally different from our previous airplane rides. After all, we always get what we pay for.

Cebu Pacific aircraft at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila
Cebu Pacific aircraft at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila