All The Way To Tagaytay

Another long overdue article here. 😀

I did mention in my previous articles I have quite a pile of article drafts for editing and publishing and I am in a rush to publish them all (hopefully) while I am in a period of waiting and time is still on my side.

The summer escapade for me and hubby along with his family for this year was in the cool breeze of Tagaytay. We just had to take advantage of the summer season before the rainy days start to fill the last quarters of our calendar. It was a short holiday break thus the rest of the family members were all free to have this short family time and get-together.

It always is a privilege to spend some quality time with the family despite the busy schedules and varying demands of priorities in life – something that is far too precious to waste. My parents are in Bicol which is a 17-hour land travel to get directly to our hometown. Now that is something that I don’t have the privilege to do. Going to my hometown meant allotting 1 day for travel time then another day to rest which, after doing the Math, requires at least a week if you want to make the most and the best out of your family get-together. Simply put, visiting my family in Bicol is synonymous to careful planning ahead of the scheduled visit.

But well, this is the part where I need to thank God for technology. Skype made the term “homesickness” just a term. Again, family time meant quality time and this requires we set aside time for this despite the busy schedules. If most of us have the same free time, my family and I are able to Skype with one another once a week. And Skype-ing in the family means this – the minimum talking time is 4 hours starting at around 9 or 10pm.

Wuhaaat?!?! 😀

Yep, you can already hear the rooster crowing and we’re still on our “high” conversing with one another. Well, that’s for us, women in the family. For the men, 2 hours is the maximum and they bid their “goodbyes” in the middle of our conversation. The ever popular difference of men and women, eh? 😀

Anyway, going back to the Tagaytay escapade, we tried the Pamana restaurant with its awesome overlooking view of the Taal Lake and the food was superb too. I only captured shots of some dishes though, the long trip sure made us all pretty hungry.

I also loved the interiors which exude the ambiance of an old Hispanic house. Indeed, the concept of the restaurant matched with its name “Pamana,” a Tagalog term for heirloom/inheritance.


Captivating, isn’t it?


We also scouted for anything new in the area which includes this food park called “StrEat.” We didn’t get to try the food stalls though as it’s flocked with a huge crowd when we got there. The next day, there was no plan where we will have our summer escapade. We’ve been traveling without a destination actually and we came to that point of giving up and just head back home because all the resorts we’ve inquired were fully booked. Well, it’s summer so we kind of expected that.

When we were on the verge of turning back, voila, God gave us one resort that’s not so jam packed with visitors but the place was nice (and budget friendly) enough to bond with the family. Hotel Monticello was indeed “heaven sent”  hubby and I actually thought it’d be perfect for a wedding reception too. We couldn’t spend overnight though as we’re only geared up for a day tour. When we arrived, we had all the pool to ourselves which means this – LOTS OF SELFIES! Hahaha 😀

Nope, don’t get me wrong, I seldom take selfies. You can actually check my Instagram account for that. I just choose moments best for selfies and those moments that are not. And I only take selfies when nobody’s around, not even my hubby. 😀

Hotel Monticello

Selfie moment. My ever seldom selfie moment. 


But really, when it comes to moments, there are just those that a camera snap isn’t enough to capture them all. I guess that’s the reason why God created our memories, an infinite storage at the back of our heads where every single memory is captured and safely stored.

So this one article is up in the memory of my head, but in case I have amnesia days or years from now, I have WordPress to retell and rewind them for me. Ah yes, the joys and perks of blogging – your online journal indeed. 🙂


WordPress, please don’t ever shut down. Like, EVER. 😀

Oh and check out this amusing video of my hubby and sister-in-law. Reminds me of my brother and I – siblings moment, they are. 😉



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I Love BICOL (Part 2): Siama Hotel

(Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.)

My family and I visited the city of Sorsogon regarding an urgent matter last June 2, 2015. Having read about Siama Hotel in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, my sister, my Dad and I thought it best if we could drop by the hotel and check it out since we will be passing it by going home.

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Siama Hotel

After finishing everything, we headed off towards Brgy. Bibincahan which is just a few miles away from the city proper along the diversion road. Thank God for Google maps, we need not ask around for specific directions and found ourselves looking at the gates of the Siama Hotel.

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Hotel lobby.

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Long wooden table and black leather chairs.

If you are in need of a breather away from city life and opt to enjoy the bounty that nature has to offer, this would be the escape you’ve been needing. The hotel is situated in a secluded estate which is primarily cultivated as a coconut plantation. We already had an idea how the place looks like seeing the pictures in the local newspaper but to see is to believe.

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Reception area.

We arrived after lunch time and the first thing that came into my mind when I saw the minimalist exteriors of the hotel lobby is that they wanted to enhance the interior decorations and furniture which was designed by one of the owners, Mr. Milo Naval, a well-acclaimed interior designer.

Indeed, the interiors of the hotel lobby from chairs, tables, lamps, and cabinets are all a work of creative art and truly a masterpiece. What is interesting about it is that Mr. Naval came up with the idea of using indigenous raw materials such as rattan, native coconut products as well as wood from local trees depicting so much of the Bicol region.

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Wicker chairs.

Their very modern pool is the highlight of the hotel. It is just a striking fusion of having this beautiful modern pool nestled at the center surrounded by giant ferns and tall coconut trees in contrast to the minimalist, local design of the hotel’s exteriors.

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Siama Hotel

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The pool and the hotel rooms in the background.


They also have a hall for events and this is just suitable and perfect for wedding receptions, conferences, birthdays and other special occasions. Once again, the interiors, as well as the exteriors of the hall, did not fall short in evoking that subtle and yet sophisticated style – definitely no grandeur, shining, and shimmering designs everywhere. But if you ask me about elegance, Siama Hotel nailed it.


Event hall exteriors.


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The event hall.

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Cabinets with antique bric-a-brac.

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More wicker chairs.

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Food/bar lounge.

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The event hall.

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Hanging capiz shells as a glass curtain.

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The function room.

They are currently constructing an outdoor spa which is one of the things I am looking forward to when they are done with it. I must say it is going to be a one-of-a-kind outdoor spa which, once again, exemplifies designs made from local materials such as bamboo.

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The outdoor spas are those surrounded by bamboo stilts behind the coconut trees and there are 3 of them being constructed as of writing.

This is going to be one of the best and state-of-the-art hotels in Bicol especially if you are in the city of Sorsogon and you plan to have your vacation in class and in style. Surely, your vacation will be worth it. 🙂

This is their website:


You’ll also find this very peculiar but creatively designed “eco-padyak” which is but a magnificent piece of art and a rarity.


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