Casa Mendoza Garden Resort

Casa Mendoza is the Stylishly Practical Venue for Group Staycation & Events

We visited the modern Casa Mendoza Garden Resort in Pansol, Calamba, Laguna last June 2017 for the overnight meeting/bonding of my mom’s team of Sun Life financial advisors. Whether it’s a family gathering, staycation with friends, a seminar, or a special event, I always suggest this private resort for eight main reasons. Read on below.

1. Spacious Rooms for 45-60 pax

They have a total of six cozy, air-conditioned rooms (3 standard rooms, 2 family rooms, 1 senior citizen’s room) that can comfortably accommodate up to 60 people. The standard rooms (with double deck beds and shared bathrooms) are located at the top floor of building A. They come with a balcony overlooking the swimming pools. The family rooms with private bathrooms, on the other hand, are located at the ground of building B.

2. Free Wi-Fi access

Sometimes, mobile data is not enough. Thanks to the generous owners of this resort, guests can access the internet faster via free Wi-Fi. Yay!

3. Conference Room Good for 70 pax

If you’re opting to conduct meetings, seminars and presentations away from the city, Casa Mendoza has an air-conditioned conference room with tables, chairs and basic sound system. You can also borrow their whiteboard and two microphones.

4. Hot Spring Swimming Pools

We’ve known Pansol as the ultimate place for hot spring swimming pools, and Casa Mendoza’s own two clean pools (1 for adults and 1 for kids) don’t disappoint. We like them especially at night because of their built-in dancing lights.

5. No Corkage Fee

Many resorts ask for corkage fee since they either have an in-house restaurant or they’ve partnered with a caterer. Well, Casa Mendoza has also partnered with caterers, but they allow guests to bring their own food and drinks sans the corkage fee. Plus, you can use their kitchen for cooking/grilling, and their gazebo for a buffet set up.

6. Cool Entertainment Options

Videoke, dart board, cable TV, chess board, badminton rackets – yes, you can use all of them for free. Meanwhile, if you’ll be coming with kids, you may rent their inflatables for a water park kind of experience.

7. Event Area for 200 pax

Casa Mendoza’s Instagrammable garden is open for events and celebrations. Make sure to schedule an ocular visit for the blocking of tables, chairs and decorations, and special requests.

8. Indoor Parking Space for 11 vehicles

Since it’s an indoor parking space, guests can be assured of their vehicles’ safety.

 

For reservations and inquiries, you may message them on Facebook or call 0908 820 8718. Casa Mendoza Garden Resort is located at #93 Dilag Street, Purok 1, Brgy. Pansol, Calamba, Laguna 4027.

Top 10 Things I’m Grateful For in 2017

Every end of the year, I try to look back and list down the things I’m grateful for just because I don’t want to take all the blessings I’ve received for granted. It also reminds me that those things happened not because of myself. The ultimate reason was God, His favor, and next to it were the contributions of the people around me, regardless if they’re big or small. For this year, I tried to list down as much as I can in my journal, and the following ten topped my list, in no particular order.

1. Life of My Loved Ones and Friends

My family, my loved ones, my VG-mates, church family, and my friends are my support system. Sometimes they know me more than I know myself. I thank the Lord every day for their lives because they’re my inspiration, and source of both encouragement and rebuke. I’m still a work in progress and it’s more fun to surpass this journey knowing that I have them just around the corner.

2. Travel Breakthroughs

I explored South Korea, Thailand, Macau, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, Bacolod, Puerto Galera, Bukidnon, Mt. Pamitinan, and Negros Occidental for the first time this year. I was also given the chance to revisit Hong Kong and Palawan. Aside from my own travel fund, some trips wouldn’t be complete without my mom, of course.

3. Scriptonym Writing Services

I know this sole proprietorship still has a long way to go, but I’m grateful because Scriptonym Writing Services has provided most for me this year. To my clients, just in case you’re reading this, thank you so much for trusting a 23-year-old girl. I’m looking forward to more years of business with you. May God bless your endeavors!

4. Bonding with the Indigenous People

For some reason, my heart beats for the indigenous people. I was ecstatic when Reach Manila conducted the medical and dental mission, and gift giving activities for the Aetas this year. Indeed, sharing the love of the Lord to other people either through service or sharing gives joy. What a privilege to see the simplicity and beauty of their culture! It was an experience I’ll treasure for a lifetime.

5. First Bylines in a Magazine

I’ve been a ghostwriter for quite some time now so seeing my bylines in a magazine was really a big deal for me. It was definitely a bucket list, kilig moment. I’ll forever be grateful to the creative director who trusted me with the Profiles magazine project. I can’t wait for more in 2018.

6. First Sponsored International Trip

Until now, I still can’t believe a travel agency really provided for my accommodation, van transfers and tours in Bangkok, Thailand. Thank you, BC Travel and Tours Corp! I can’t wait for my travels lined up with you in 2018! Thank you for trusting me again!

7. Mistakes and Lessons Learned

Mistakes and failures teach me most about life. This year, I’ve said things I probably shouldn’t have said; I’ve hurt a few people; I’ve abused myself; I’ve disappointed God. The biggest lessons I think I learned this year were: (1) to avoid being impulsive, (2) take care of your health, (3) be patient, (4) practice humility, (5) pray about anything, (6) wait on the Lord, and (7) to really look on the blessings rather than the sad plights. Of course, no one is good and perfect apart from God, but I try my best to pray about the things both other people and I don’t like about myself. I’m sorry to the people I’ve hurt in any way, whether I know it or not. Please help me pray to also overcome my weakest points.

8. New Friends

Shout out to Team Arayat, #OnHigherGround roommates, churchmates, new friends from RRD, and the people I’ve spent memories with this year. As cheesy as it sounds, I’d like to thank you guys for simply coming into my life.

9. Redirection and Revelations

Receiving a personal word from God is incomparable. It helps you grow in faith and it gives you direction, knowing that God is leading you somewhere and He wants you to do specific things. I always experience awe whenever God tells or reveals something to me through the Bible, the Holy Spirit, and other people. I mean, who am I to even receive a word from the One who created this world? This year, I have received several personal revelations again. They required sacrifice, obedience, audacious faith, and above all, trust in the Lord. They weren’t easy and until now, I still plead God would give me the capacity to obey Him when He tells me something without negotiations and reservations.

10. Exciting Opportunities in 2018

During the last quarter of 2017, God has opened doors and has given me new opportunities to continuously grow as a person, a daughter, a sister, a writer, and a young entrepreneur this coming 2018. I can’t wait to reveal them soon! I worry about things sometimes, and it’s comforting to know that everything is falling into place because Someone up there is controlling everything.

 

How about you? Have you listed the things you’re grateful for this 2018? Go ahead and thank our Lord for them because He’s the ultimate source of those blessings. Have a blessed and wonderful new year ahead!

11-hour Macau Day Tour with Klook

We’ve known Macao (traditional) or Macau (modern) as the casino capital of the world. With a land area of 30.5 square kilometers, this Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China has about 650,000 population. Quite ironically, Macau is composed of 36 casinos and 17 Catholic churches. It’s widely influenced by the Portuguese culture as it was colonized by the Portuguese from the 1500s to 1999. 

For the second time, I went to Hong Kong with my family last November. Since we weren’t able to visit Macau during our first visit in 2014, I decided to avail a Macau day tour from Klook. This post is not sponsored by Klook, but I decided to mention them because I really learned a lot from this tour. Our tour guide, Mario, mentioned numerous noteworthy facts about Macau, its history, their current way of living, the people, the government, future improvements, and more.

Listed below are the places we visited on our 11-hour Macau day tour, plus other inclusions.

 Macau Tower

                                        

Standing 338-meter tall, this tower holds the “highest bungee jump spot in the world” title. It has 63 floors and is also known as Macau Tower Convention & Entertainment Centre. If you’re not that into an extreme adventure, you may opt to shop, dine or watch a movie in Macau Tower.

 Grand Emperor Hotel

  

Owned by the rich and famous superstar Jackie Chan, this casino-hotel exudes luxury as it has 78 pure gold bars in the lobby. Each gold bar weighs 1 kg. and is embedded on the floor. Another “attractions” here are the physically attractive Roman guards. Oops!

 A-Ma Temple

We also visited a Chinese temple of the sea-goddess Mazu. The best part of dropping by here is being able to buy a box of mouthwatering Portuguese egg tarts nearby. I’m not a fan of tarts but I was able to finish three of those in just one sitting. Yes, it’s that good.

 Senado Square

Senado Square

This UNESCO Historic Centre of Macau World Heritage Site is a must-see for tourists because of its picturesque architecture. The 3,700-square meter square has a business and a religious zone. It’s ideal for shopping, although you might need to brave a sea of people during weekends so be cautious of pickpockets.

 The Ruins of St. Paul’s

Another spot that holds the UNESCO stamp in Macau is The Ruins of St. Paul’s. It was built in 1602, and was burnt down on 1835, leaving only the granite facade, some artifacts, and 68 stone steps.

 St. Dominic’s Church

st. dominic church

You’ll see this yellow Catholic church in the middle of Senado Square. Built by Spanish-Dominican priests, it’s considered the 31st world heritage location in China.

 The Venetian Macao

                                     Macau Day Tour

This is probably one of the most popular casinos in Macau. It’s a close replica of Venice in Italy – both in structure and ambiance. We stayed here only for a few minutes to explore and take some photos.

 Kum Iam Statuegoddess of mercy

This bronze statue is located on the manmade island in Macau, the Outer Harbor. They call her Kum Iam, the Chinese Buddhist goddess of mercy.

 Other Inclusions

Aside from pick-up and drop-off from and to B.P. International Hotel in Hong Kong, the fare for the 1-hour ferry ride back and forth Hong Kong and Macau are also included in the package. Our buffet lunch at Metropark Hotel Macau was also included.

 

For less than P5,500 per pax, the tour is already sulit for us. So if you’re also planning to go on a side trip to Macau from Hong Kong, I highly suggest that you avail their 11-hour Macau day tour package. Again, this post is not sponsored by Klook, but I’m writing as a satisfied client. 🙂 I hope you learned something from this entry. Have a great day ahead!

Guimaras Day Tour

Travel Itinerary: Guimaras Day Tour

Hi, wanderlust!

Two of my friends and I went on a four-day tri-province Visayas trip a few weeks ago. We spent the first two days in Iloilo; we availed a Guimaras day tour on the third day and then explored Negros Occidental during our last day.

Guimaras is only 15 minutes away from the port of Iloilo. FYI, there are two ports in Iloilo that could bring you to Guimaras. Make sure to tell the taxi/tricycle driver to take you to Iloilo to Jordan port because it’s closer to the tourist spots than the other port. The fare costs less than P20.

Since we had limited time, we chose to avail the city day tour rather than the island hopping tour. As soon as we arrived at Jordan Wharf, a local welcomed us, asked us to register and offered us the city day tour package.

Shall we start the tour now? 😉

GUIMARAS DAY TOUR PACKAGE

Duration: 4 to 7 hours (It depends on the time you’d spend in the tourist spots.)

Cost: The amount varies depending on the vehicle you will rent.

  • P1,500 (tricycle)
  • P2,500 (jeep)
  • P3,500+ (van)

We spent only P500 each for the transpo since we chose to ride the tricyle and enjoy the fresh air.

 Smallest Plaza

Guimaras smallest plaza

As its name implies, this plaza holds the smallest plaza title in the Philippines. It’s the nearest spot in Jordan Wharf.

 Lopez’s Mansion

                    Lopez's mansion Guimaras

This mansion facing the ocean is owned by Fernando Lopez, the vice president of the Philippines from 1949 to 1972. Yes, he served three terms.

 Guimaras Church

Guimaras

 

Founded in 1180, this is the oldest church in Guimaras.

 Windmills

                                 

San Lorenzo, Guimaras is the home of less than 30 electricity-providing windmills. Established by Trans-Asia Renewable Energy Corp. (TAREC), these windmills have become a tourist attraction just like those in Ilocos.

 Lunch at The Pitstop Restaurant

                             

This is a popular hangout place in Guimaras – both of locals and tourists – because they serve almost everything with mangoes. The must-try is their range of mango pizzas.

 Guimaras Capitol

guimaras capitol

The featured photo of this blog was shot in the provincial capitol. Aside from the local government offices, you’ll also find several pasalubong shops in this area. But I won’t recommend you to buy there because they sell keychains, ref magnets, etc. more expensively than those being sold in other tourist spots.

 Trappist Abbey

trappist abbey

Run by monks of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance, Trappist Abbey is a sacred place for the locals.

 Mango Plantationmango plantation Guimaras

I won’t deny that I was quite disappointed because we weren’t able to see the trails of mango trees up close. The tour guide said it’s already privately-owned so we just gazed at the greens from a few kilometers.

 Guisi Lighthouse

                      

Built in the 18th century, this lighthouse stands in front of the Guisi beach. You’d need a three to five-minute trek to see it. In case you’d like a refreshment, some locals are selling buko (coconut) fresh from the tree.

 Alubihod Beach

Seeing the beach is part of the tour but we didn’t push through with it because we’re running out of time. After the trip, we headed back to Iloilo and then traveled one hour via sea to Bacolod.

 

I hope you’d enjoy your Guimaras day tour as much as I did. Take a lot of photos, alright? Have fun!

SML,

Patchicha <3

first-timers in South Korea

9-Day Itinerary for First-Time Visitors in South Korea

Annyeong, chingu!

I spent nine days in South Korea last autumn (Sept. 29 to Oct. 8) – 6 days with my family and 3 days alone. It’s my first ever visit there so I’ve tried the most recommended travel spots in Seoul and Suwon for first-time visitors. It was a fun, a bit chilly, and colorful escape. I listed down my itinerary below just in case you’re planning to visit this East Asian nation anytime soon. Hope this helps!

Airlines: AirAsia & Jeju Air  |  Accommodation: Bong Stay Insadong

DAY 1

 Tapgol Park
 Bukchon Hanok Village – This was a normal village until it became a shooting location of the K-drama Personal Taste. Nowadays, you will see restaurants, clothing stores and other businesses in the village. People also love strolling around Bukchon Hanok while wearing Hanbok, the traditional Korean attire.
 Insadong – This long alley is one of the cheapest shopping areas in Seoul, especially for crafts and art pieces.

DAY 2

 

 Gyeongbokgung Palace – This is the most popular palace in Seoul probably because it’s one of the most visible palaces in Korean dramas. Don’t miss the royal guard changing ceremonies as it’s the major traditional highlight in this tourist spot. Many locals and visitor also tour around the palace wearing hanboks.
 National Palace Museum
 Myeongdong Cathedral
 Changdeokgung Palace & Secret Garden
 N Seoul Tower – This 237-meter tower became famous because of the Korean series Boys Over Flowers and Rooftop Prince. You may hang love locks on the railings of the view deck while appreciating the beautiful sceneries.

DAY 3

 

 Everland – The Disneyland of Seoul!
 Myeongdong – Foreigners are all over this popular shopping haven for cosmetics & skincare products. You’ll also find nice fashion finds for discounted prices. It’s the ultimate pasalubong area.

DAY 4

 

 Grevin Seoul Museum  – If you wanna see the wax version of oppas and other influential people, visit this place!
 One Mount Snow Park – You can do numerous things in this indoor snow and water park. Aside from the ice skating rink and slides, I loved the dog sledding experience. The amount of entrance passes cost less than 20,000 won, depending on the day and time of your visit. You must also expect to pay for the rental of ice skating shoes.
 Gwangjang Market – This is a must-visit for food enthusiasts who’d like to try authentic Korean food. As a large traditional market, it’s also known for hand-made goods and quality linen.

DAY 5

 

 Nami Island – Do you remember this moon-shaped island in the K-drama series Winter Sonata? For me, it’s the most relaxing tourist spot in South Korea. The colorful trees, especially those of the ginkgo trees, the rides, and the peaceful ambiance are more than enough for a breather. You’ll understand whywhen you’re there already. 🙂
 Petite France – As its name implies, this park is a smaller version of France.
 Garden of the Morning Calm

DAY 6

 

 Cheonggyecheon Stream
 Dongdaemun Design Plaza
 Ehwa Woman’s University – This is the oldest all-female university in SoKor.

DAY 7

 

 Haneul Park (Another IG-worthy spot!)
 Digital Media City

DAY 8

 Hwaseong Fortress (UNESCO)
 Korean Folk Village (Quite expensive but worth the visit)

DAY 9

22382248_10203709145405922_9097674874055961916_o

 Every Nation Church Korea
 Last-minute shopping
 Incheon Airport

If you want to see my photos on this trip, view this Facebook album. Also, feel free to message me if you have questions and if you want some tips for first-time visitors in South Korea. Thanks!

SML,
Patchicha

Bangkok, Thailand

3-Day Itinerary in Bangkok, Thailand

Hola, peeps!

My family and I went to Bangkok, Thailand last June 16-19, 2017. It was an extra special vacation for me because it’s my first sponsored international trip as a freelance writer. Thanks to BC Travel and Tours Corp for the trust! <3 They provided the van transfers, tours, and hotel accommodation for us.

Anyway, I pasted our quick itinerary here just in case you’d like to know the best places to visit in Bangkok for first-timers. Yay! Enjoy!

Airline: Cebu Pacific
Hotel: Baiyoke Boutique
Travel Agency: BC Travel and Tours Corp

Day 1

 Wat Pho
 Grand Palace (King of Thailand’s Palace)
 Pratunam Market
 Street food 

Temples are sacred places for Thai people. The guards won’t let you in if you’re wearing shorts, above-the-knee skirts, and other “revealing” clothes. I was wearing shorts that time so I bought a pair of loose pants outside.

Day 2


 Wat Benchamabophit Dusitvanaram
 Wat Intharawihan
 Jewelry Factory
 Leather Factory
 Erawan Shrine
 Standing Buddha
 Siam Center
 Platinum
 Night Market
 Central World

If you’re looking forward to shopping in Bangkok, the best buys are clothes, bags, other authentic leather products, and jewelry. I bet you’ll go gaga over them because of the super affordable price tags.

Day 3


 Floating Market
 Elephant Village
 Thai Massage
 Night Market

I enjoyed our last day the most because we had an encounter with the elephants. I won’t deny that I was a bit scared of them, but they’re really harmless and friendly. As for the authentic Thai massage, I’ve noticed that Thai masseuses are used to doing it the “hard” way so if you’re more into soft or medium massage like me, you better tell them before they start.

 

The entrance fees and other costs could change anytime so I chose not to include the amounts here to prevent any form of misinformation or confusion.

Btw, I took a lot of photos in there so in case you’d like to see more of them, kindly visit my Bangkok, Thailand facebook album here. Thanks for reading!

 

SML,

Patchicha