One Busy Saturday

Saturday is laundry day so we usually just stay home. The kids spend time with their Papa or do crafts while I wash our clothes.  Last Saturday though was an exception.  Right after hanging the last piece of clothing to dry, we all prepped for going out.

First stop was a quick lunch before the kids’ dental appointment.  The kids now go to My Dentist in SM where a pedia dentist is available on weekdays.  It’s also more convenient going there since it’s much closer to our place than PCMC.  Both kids had oral prophylaxis and fluoride application. As always, it was fuss-free and cavity-free. Yup! Both kids have stayed cavity-free up to now.  Want to know how they’ve managed to have healthy gums and teeth?  Click here to read my post from last year.

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Who’s not afraid of the dentist?

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chillin’ coz there’s no drillin’ (still cavity free! woo-hoo!)

After getting their “good patient” stickers from their dentist, we bought a couple of gifts for Jakei’s best friend in school who was celebrating her 6th birthday.  Then off we trooped to Antipolo.

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Jakei wouldn’t miss BFF Sam’s birthday party for anything in the world!

The kids had fun playing party games but we had to leave before the magic show started.  I had dinner plans with mommy blogger friends and had to be at the train station before 6pm.  Instead of going home, Papa Jay took the kids on a movie date. The kids had been waiting for the movie Big Hero 6 to be shown on the big screen so this naturally was the movie of the night. 🙂

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Kids were raving about this movie on the way home!

After the movie, they waited for me halfway to the house so I wouldn’t have to walk home all by myself.  We arrived home a little after 10pm with Papa and I exhausted and the kids, as always, still full of energy.  It definitely was a long busy Saturday for us, not the typical in-bed-by-seven-o-clock weekday sched. 😀

Care to share how your weekend went? I’d love to hear your stories too. 🙂

Have a Jolly Good Time at the Jollibee Family Bee Day Grand Picnic

Still have no plans this weekend?  Well, you still have until tomorrow to get your tickets for the Jollibee Family Bee Day Grand Picnic.  Just visit your favorite Jollibee branch, purchase any of your fave food, and grab tickets for only P150.  A ticket will give you entrance to the grandest picnic ever, a Jollibee picnic meal (Jollibee Yum with Cheese, Peach Mango Pie, bottle of mineral water, and tetra-pack juice), and a special Family Bee Day cap.

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The Jollibee Family Bee Day will be held simultaneously in five venues – Quirino Grandstand in Metro Manila, Bayanihan Park in Pampanga, Nuvali Football Grounds in Laguna, Plaza Independencia in Cebu, and Crocodile Park in Davao.  With families gathering across the country from 2-5pm on May 10, the Jollibee Family Bee Day will undoubtedly be the grandest family picnic ever!

For over 35 years, Jollibee has played a significant role in the lives of Filipino families by serving as a place where they bond and relish one another’s company over superior-tasting food. The Jollibee Family Bee Day grand picnic is a fun venue to celebrate our strong love for family which also extends to people who have been part of our daily lives.

– Harvey Ong, Jollibee Vice President for Marketing – 

Celebrity families and performers will be joining the grand family picnic. There will also be exciting performances by our fave bands Callalily(Manila), 6 Cycle Mind (Pampanga), Moonstar 88 (Laguna), Spongecola (Cebu), and Imago (Davao).  To make the event more fun, Jollibee has prepared great raffle prizes and side activities for the kids and the kids-at-heart.

Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind family picnic!  Get your picnic mats ready and take the entire family to any of the five venues on May 10.  Visit www.jollibee.com.ph for more details.

Cinema Savings for the Whole Family

Cinema has been a favorite pastime of family and friends for many years.  However, with the steady increase in both ticket prices and cinema kiosk food prices a family trip to the cinema can feel less like entertainment and more like an encounter with a ring of professional pickpockets. Fortunately however, family treats can still be attained by borrowing some extra funds, but always check that you are getting the best possible rates available. There are ways for you to enjoy a great deal of films within a sensible family budget.  Taking the time to plan family cinema outings can not only make visits to the cinema enjoyable once again, but can also save a family a substantial amount of money.  Many tips about saving money at the cinema focus on what times of the day or week a film is playing. However, how a family chooses to watch a film can have an even bigger impact on the amount of money that can be saved.

Skip the Blockbusters

Depending on the age of your children they may or may not care about the latest and greatest film.  Even if the little ones do desperately want to see the latest Disney or DreamWorks offering, make a decision as a family as to which one you really want to see.  Also, consider seeing a film at a cut-rate second-run cinema and save your wallet from the premium purchases prices of the film tickets during the initial marketing blitz and rollout.

Take Off Those 3D Glasses

3D glasses have become a become a permanent fixture in the cinema going experience. Unquestionably, if 3D effects are used skillfully, they can add a significant amount of visual depth and excitement to a film. On the other hand, a great number of 3D movies being rolled out to cinemas are simply using the element of 3D to draw more people in at higher ticket prices.  If you are not sure whether a film warrants the extra expense of 3D Glasses, check with friends and colleagues who have already seen the film to get their opinion of the entertainment value of seeing the film in 3D. In addition, check the online forums and discussion boards to see if people feel the 3D glasses make a big enough difference to justify the additional cost. Most film critics today will discuss whether or not a film is paying extra money in order to view it in 3D.

Skip the Cinema Altogether

Certainly there will be some movies that a family will want to see on the cinema screen.  They may prefer going to the cinema for a visually spectacular action film or the latest Sci-Fi flick. However, films that do not rely on big budget visual effects are often just as enjoyable to watch on DVD. Even certain animated movies are perfectly fine to relegate to DVD viewing.

In fact, watching a film on DVD can often be a much more enjoyable experience than watching it at the cinema.  Parents do not have to miss sections of the movie while taking their children to the loo. The ability to pause the DVD player can come in quite handy in such situations.  If your family enjoys chatting during a film, there’s no need to worry about bothering the people around you.

Skip the DVDs

For the real bargain hunters,  there are plenty of good movies to see on many of the legitimate free film sites. Hulu and Crackle are the best known providers of free films.  Recently, YouTube also has made its foray into streaming both paid and free films. The biggest downside to these free options is that often all of them will show the same free movies at the same time. However, they can still be a good option to add into the mix of family film viewing experiences.

A Night at TAGAYTAY RESIDENCE INN

Before we took our mom to a pilgrimage of the churches in Tagaytay last December, I had already purchased two vouchers for an overnight stay at The Residence Inn.  I didn’t realize though that booking through the travel agency would take forever (oh, ok. just about half a dozen email exchanges) so we ended up staying at The Potters Ridge last December and having two rooms booked at The Residence Inn last March.

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Mom and my sister couldn’t join us for the March trip so we invited my friend and fellow blogger Arcee and her daughter. Check-in time was supposedly at 12noon but our rooms were already available when we arrived before 11am so we were able to settle in right then.   We were booked for two deluxe rooms for four people but were instead given the VIP suite with two connecting rooms.  Now, this may sound like a great deal but the rooms were not really that VIP-ish.  Two single beds were placed in what was supposed to be the receiving area of the suite.  So our room actually looked like a studio with an eight-seater dining table, a five-seater sofa set, two beds and a toilet & bath.  The other room had just a double bed and a toilet and bath.  The two rooms could be secured with locks and latches on both sides of the connecting door.  The last time I was at the Residence Inn was almost ten years ago and it seems that they’ve only started renovating rooms now.  The bathroom of the other room has new tiles and all but the cabinet isn’t done yet.  Ours looked like it had never been renovated.  Both rooms had televisions but there was no cable service.  We didn’t mind that much though as we were out most of the time.

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We didn’t want to go out into the stifling heat of the noon sun and opted to just have lunch served in our room.  This was when the huge dining table was much appreciated. Lunch consisted of crispy fried tawilis, inihaw na liempo, inihaw na pusit, sinigang na baboy, ensaladang mangga at kamatis,  and fish fillet with sautéed vegetables.  I found the sinigang na baboy a bit bland (I like mine really sour) but everything else was good.  Hubby was quite happy to have been able to eat  tawilis which he had been craving for.  I don’t remember the exact bill but I do know that it was less than 2K which was not bad at all.  We actually had plenty of leftovers which would have gone to waste had they not offered to store it in the refrigerator and heat it for us for breakfast the next day.

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After spending an afternoon exploring Paradizoo and taking a peek at the attractions in the newly opened Sky Fun, we had dinner at Memory Lane before going back to the Residence Inn.  Our bodies were tired and sore ( the grownups’ bodies that is) after a long afternoon and we were really yearning to have a massage. I was a bit disappointed when I found out that the hotel does not have any in-house masseuse to provide massage services.  Good thing that the hotel attendant we asked offered to contact a spa outside the hotel so we can get our much needed massage.  The kids were already fast asleep when the massage therapists arrived so hubby and I were able to enjoy our massages and with our muscles relaxed, we were all able to sleep soundly.

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Mornings in Tagaytay are definitely incomparable to the ones that welcome us in Manila.  There are no busy honking of horns or hot humid morning air.  It was the perfect sound of silence…well, until the kids woke up and the room was filled with their laughter – which was still a wonderful sound to wake up to!

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Breakfast consisted of tapa, tocino, danggit, longganisa all served with rice and egg.  We also asked for some of our leftovers to be reheated and served.  After a filling breakfast, we toured the mini-zoo before trying out the zipline which was undoubtedly the highlight of our stay at the Residence Inn.

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The zipline was amazing!  It was only about 500m long but we got to try it with our little kids.  Not only once, but twice!  There was something wrong with the cable car which was supposed to carry us back after we ziplined so they instead gave us a free ride on the zipline.  Of course, we had to walk back from the front of the hotel all the way to the back but we didn’t mind at all.  I’d rather have two rides on the zipline than take the cable car.

 

OUR VERDICT

Overall, our stay at Residence Inn was fine.  The rooms we stayed in need to be renovated which I think they’re scheduled to be or have started to be renovated already – must be the reason why there was no phone in our room.   I saw one room near the zoo’s entrance that’s almost fully renovated already.

Although the rooms have much to be improved on, the view of Taal Lake and Volcano was wonderful. The rooms were far from the main road also so we were all able to sleep peacefully without the sound of engines revving.  Another thing that makes staying at the Residence Inn is that you get to go around the zoo anytime – even past midnight.  Unfortunately, we weren’t able to explore during the night  as both kids were sound asleep after a fun afternoon at Paradizoo. Families with bigger children or those spending the night with friends may find exploring the zoo at night a one-of-a-kind experience though.

All the staff were also nice and accommodating – everyone greeted you with a smile. Would we go back to the Residence Inn? Hmm…perhaps, after they’ve renovated all the rooms already.

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Fun Family Bonding Activities You Can Do At Home

Staying indoors shouldn’t be a bore.  There are plenty of things you can do together as a family.   Here are some fun activities you can do at home:

  1. Play Board Games.  Got some bored grade schoolers at home?  It’s time to bring out those board games and gather the entire fam for a game or two.   Monopoly, Scrabble, Boggle, and Snakes & Ladders are just some of the classics we grew up with.  Older folks would definitely have a blast playing Taboo, Cranium. Pictionary, Battle of the Sexes or Scattergories.
  2. Sing Your Hearts Out.  Set the volume of your karaoke players on high and have a blast belting out ballads, pops, blues, and rocks.  Just make sure you don’t annoy the neighbors.
  3. Get Into The Groove with Gaming Consoles.  Can’t take your kids off their games?  Join them as they play Kinect or Wii.  These games get you on your feet and moving around it actually makes for a great workout.