Friday, November 25, 2011

Cherifer Forte Syrup

Hubby and I came from a family with "not so tall" genes ... at least we are taller than our parents ... so most probably our children will just be a little taller than us ... but wait a minute ... I have seen this brand of food supplement that claims to have a height booster formula so I did not hesitate to try this to my children.

The food supplement I'm referring to is this Cherifer Forte Syrup,  manufactured by Gruppo Medica, Inc.

As per their package information, Cherifer Forte Syrup contains double strength Chlorella Growth Factor, a growth promoting and cell nourishing substance that is rich in nucleic acids that serve as building blocks for growth.  Cherifer Forte Syrup also has Taurine which help in the mental and visual development of children, L-Lysine which enhances appetite and gives energy to the body and now it's fortified with zinc which helps build a stronger immune system and increased body resistance against diseases.

Cherifer Forte Syrup has an orange flavor which my children loves.

My children are taking this food supplement for less than one year now and they'll continue to take this supplement until the age of 12.  With proper diet, exercise and with the help of Cherifer Forte Syrup, I hope they'll grow taller, smarter and free from diseases.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Peotraco Muscovado Sugar

It's been a while since I stopped using white sugar or refined sugar to sweeten our coffee, freshly squeezed juice, champorado and oatmeal, instead I use muscovado which is a healthy, unrefined sugar made from sugarcane.

I knew about this muscovado when I was still small because it was commonly used for native delicacies in our province ... my mother also used this to sweeten the salabat (boiled ginger) which I really liked.  When I transferred here in Manila many years ago, I haven't seen any muscovado sold in the market but early this year I saw this Peotraco Muscovado in the grocery store and I did not hesitate to buy a pack although the price is almost double than that of the refined sugar ... later on I discovered that it is more economical to use because you just need a little to sweeten your coffee or juice.

So what's good about this muscovado ... well as I have mentioned, this is an unrefined sugar made from sugarcane and since it is unrefined, it retains the many essential vitamins and minerals found in sugarcane which makes it more nutritious.  As per studies sugarcane has a lot of health benefits.

Muscovado has a very strong flavor, a little sticky and is dark in color because of the high content of molasses and the children were against its flavor before but with constant use, they learned to love this muscovado taste especially with freshly squeezed calamansi juice.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pediafortan AS Syrup - Appetite Stimulant

Two months ago, my son got sick.  He had cough and runny nose that he can't sleep well and his appetite decreased.  In a matter of just a few days his weight decreased by two kilos.

My son's normal weight was just right for his age and height so when he lost almost two kilos, his pediatrician prescribed Pediafortan AS syrup, a multivitamins with appetite stimulant.  This is to make him eat more so he can regain his normal weight.

Pediafortan AS has an orange flavor which my son loves so I had no problem in giving him this multivitamins.

After a week of taking Pediafortan AS, my son's weight returned to normal, his appetite was more than normal ... it seems that he was always hungry ... good thing he is also active that's why he had maintained his normal weight.

The doctor recommended this vitamins for only two months so I'll just have my son consume this vitamins and give him back the vitamins he was taking before. I'm afraid that because of his increased appetite, he would gain more weight which is not also normal for his age and height.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Corelle Dinnerware Set

I had a chance to use a Corelle plate when I visited my husband's cousin. 

I was amazed because Corelle plates are lightweight with simple yet elegant designs.  It is also easy to clean because food particles especially rice doesn't stick to the plate.

From then on, I have this desire to own a set of Corelle dinnerware.  I checked on Corelle products at department stores and online stores and it cost more than the ordinary dinnerwares ... costs more that it did not fit my budget so I did not push through on buying a Corelle dinnerware that time.

Last September, we went to S&R membership shopping at Fort Bonifacio Global City because it was their last grand sale for this year.  I spotted this "buy-one-take-one" offer for a 16 piece Corelle dinnerware set for 6,499.50 pesos (approx. 152 US Dollars).  Hubby agreed to buy the Corelle dinnerware sets and I was happy because at last, we are using this stylish square Corelle Vitrelle Glass Dinnerware. 

The plates and bowls are made of glass and the mugs are made of porcelain.  Compared to other dinnerwares, even if we bought these items at sale prices, it is still pricey but it is all worth it.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tortillos Corn Snack

Once in a while, I'm craving for salty foods and one of the foods that satisfies my craving for salty food is this Tortillos Barbeque Flavored Corn Snack.

I love this Tortillos Corn Snack since I was in high school.  So thin, crispy and delicious.  Yes, I know this is a junk food but it won't hurt if once in a while we indulge in this so-called "unhealthy foods".

The best partner for this Tortillos Corn Snack is Coca-Cola, their flavor just compliment each other that they are so perfect as snacks for all occasions but since I'm limiting my intake of sodas and colas, I just partnered this small pack of Tortillos with pineapple juice.  Hmmm ... yummy ... I just love the flavor of Tortillos Barbecue Flavored Corn Snack.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Safeguard Antibacterial Soap

I was using Safeguard as bath soap since I was young and I can say that my skin has gotten used to its formula so when I got married and have kids I try to protect my family against diseases brought about by bacteria by regularly using it as bath soap and hand soap.

Lately, there have been a lot of antibacterial soap available in the market that I was tempted to try these other brands.  Actually, we are already okay with the protection provided by Safeguard but just to satisfy my curiosity I tried other brands.

At first, there was no problem using other brands of bath soap but later on my son developed some rashes on his hands and legs, those skin part at the back of the joints.  I thought it will just heal after a few days but I was wrong.  The rashes kept on spreading so I decided to stop using the new brand of bath soap we were using and went back to Safeguard.  After a day, the rashes started to dry and was gone after few more days.  Now, I have proven that Safeguard is really tough on germs but mild on the skin so I don't have to experiment on other antibacterial soap.

Safeguard antibacterial soap has a lot of scent which are now available in the market but whatever scent we choose, it still gives us the same protection that we get from the original scent.  For now, we are using this Safeguard white with a touch of Aloe.  I bought this at S&R Membership Shopping at Bonifacio Global City last weekend and I was happy because it was on a buy one take one promo.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Johnny English Reborn

Picture from IMDb website
Yesterday my family and I went to see Johnny English Reborn.  The children were waiting for this movie to be shown in cinemas and they were asking us again and again if we can watch this movie so yesterday hubby and I gave in to their request.

Rowan Atkinson more popularly known as Mr. Bean plays the lead role as Johnny English and since we enjoy watching Mr. Bean, we were sure that we will also enjoy Johnny English Reborn ... true to our expectation, we really enjoyed watching the movie.  The children just can't stop laughing and my son who usually don't finish a movie and falls asleep, this time he was wide awake the whole time.

The story line is simple but with the antics of Rowan Atkinson, we just can't stop laughing from start to finish.  There's just no dull moments with this movie.

So if you want to have a good laugh and enjoy watching a movie with the whole family, Johnny English Reborn is just the right movie for you.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Dutch Mill Yoghurt Drink

Whenever I do my grocery, I always look for some other drinks to give my children.  Aside from the chocolate drink, pineapple juice, yakult and freshly squeezed calamansi juice that I serve my family, I'm still on the lookout for some healthy drinks that I can offer them.  This is to give variety to what they are drinking.

I saw this Dutch Mill Yoghurt Drink when I was looking at the beverage section of Parco Supermarket.  Dutch Mill is a yoghurt drink which is combined with fruit juices like orange, blueberry, strawberry and mixed fruits. 

Being a yoghurt drink, I know that Dutch Mill is good for our health.  The taste is loved by my children and even if this product is imported from Thailand, it is not so heavy on the pocket.  The 90 ml pack is priced at 7.70 pesos at Parco Supermarket.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock

When I turned thirty-five few years ago, my face started to show signs of aging.  I noticed a small dark spot on my left cheek and it started to grow wider and darker.  I thought it would just fade away but it didn't so I went to a dermatologist and have it checked.

The doctor said that dark spots or hyperpigmentation are common skin problems that usually appear at middle age.  A lot of factors contribute to this problem but the common one is too much exposure to sun.

When I was younger I was exposed to so much sun because of a lot of outdoor activities ... mountaineering, hiking, swimming ... there's just a lot of fun things to do under the sun but my big mistake was, I never use sunblock in any of these outdoor activities.  Once you are young you won't feel the ill effects of too much exposure to the sun until you reach that middle age.

The doctor gave me several choices to get rid of my dark spots and she also advised me to use a sunblock to protect my face from further damage caused by the sun.  She prescribed Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer has a SPF of 50 (the doctor recommends a minimum of SPF 30) and protects the skin from the harmful UVA and UVB rays which damages the skin.  Most sunblock offers protection only for UVA rays but the doctor said that the sunblock should protect both the UVA and UVB rays.

From then on, I used Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock and I'm happy that my dark spot did not widen anymore.  I apply it everyday after I clean my face in the morning even if I'll just stay at home. It is so light that there's no greasy feeling and no shiny finish.  I just love using this product.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Sunblock is a little expensive at 500 plus pesos for an 88 ml tube but it's worth it.  If we want to delay the signs of aging, we should take good care of our skin and better start while we are young.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Combat Roach Killer

Several months ago, we have a problem with cockroaches inside our cupboards and cabinets.  The children were really freaking out whenever they see cockroaches no matter how small these roaches are.

We tried different types of insect killer ... we tried the chalk type and the spray type and they just seem to be effective for just a few days and after that, cockroaches are there again.

One time, we were looking for a new insect killer at ACE Hardware when we found this Combat Roach Killer.  The formula is specifically for roaches and since our problem is on roaches, we did not hesitate to buy this product.

Combat Roach Killer is a gel type roach killer which according to its label attracts roaches in search of food and once these roaches ingest the gel, they return to their nest and die there ... no wonder we don't see any dead roaches inside our cabinets and cupboards.

It's been months since my husband applied the gel at certain locations and until now roaches are nowhere to be found inside our cabinets and cupboards.  Combat Roach Killer is really effective and it lasts for a long time.

Combat Roach Killer is also easy to apply since it is contained in a syringe type container so you just have to remove the cap at the tip then depress the plunger to apply the gel.  Once you are done, just return the cap and store it in a dry and safe place which is out of reach of children and pets.

Combat Roach Killer is a product made in the USA and it is priced higher than other insect killer available in the market.  The 30g packaging we bought (shown on the picture) costs 399.75 pesos but since it's really effective, it is worth it, besides one packaging is good for many more applications so we can still use it for a long, long time.

We are thankful to have found this product, the problem with cockroaches is now left in the past.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Vaseline Shampoo for Thick and Shiny Hair

My family is a Vaseline Shampoo fanatic.  We change variants every now and then so when I saw this new variant of Vaseline shampoo available in the market, I didn't hesitate to buy one.

Last week we started using this new Vaseline Shampoo for thick and shiny hair.  Just like the other variants, this new variant's scent is also mild which is what I like about Vaseline shampoo.

As for my understanding, this new shampoo from Vaseline is to make one's hair thick and shiny but to my dismay, it didn't work for me.  When I rinsed my hair, lots of hair went down the drain.  It was not normal for me to loose that much of hair in one washing.  The next day I tried it again getting the same result so I stopped using it.

I think the formula of this new variant from Vaseline shampoo, did not match my type of hair that's why I get a bad result.  My daughter also used the shampoo and she liked it so maybe it's just me that has a problem with this shampoo.

Monday, August 29, 2011

La Grotta Cucina Italiana

La Grotta  Cucina Italiana is located at the ground floor of ETNA Bldg. along V.A. Rufino St., Legaspi Village in Makati City.

The entrance to this restaurant is so small that you can pass along Rufino St., without noticing them.

Hubby learned about this restaurant when one of their clients invited him here.  It is near their office and he loved the pasta that he ordered so he wanted me to try it too.

We went to this restaurant around 11:30 in the morning, just after their 11:00 o'clock opening.  There were no customers yet, it seemed that we were the first ones.  The place is cozy with dimmed lights and Italian music on the background.

Marinara Rosso Pasta, 370.00 pesos per order

As expected, hubby ordered his favorite Marinara Rosso which is a tomato based pasta with seafood and I ordered Gamberetti, an olive oil based pasta with shrimp and herbs.  I also ordered fresh vegetable salad to complete our meal. 

I loved all the pasta we had ordered, the pasta is firm and the sauce is great.  I'm a little disappointed with their fresh vegetable salad because some of the lettuce are not that fresh.  I love my vegetables to be fresh and crispy so when I make it at home, I really check the vegetables one by one so whenever I eat out and order fresh vegetable salad I expect them to serve it fresh.

The price is a little expensive but since their service is good and their place is relaxing, we will still visit them every now and then to try the other pasta they serve.

Gamberetti, 340.00 pesos per order

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Organikka Care Products

Organic products are popular nowadays that more products are being labeled as organic ... maybe the reason is that people are now aware of the health benefits these organic products are offering.

Speaking of organic products, a friend introduced me to Organikka, a local manufacturer of organic products from Binan, Laguna.  Organikka's main products are organic vegetable juice and now they are also producing organic body care products.  I was interested with their body care products with moringa extracts.  I'm well aware that moringa or malunggay in filipino is a nutrient rich vegetable and I love it as food so my curiosity hit me when I saw Organikka soap, hair and body wash and conditioner.

I love the fresh scent of Organikka soap and most of all, after several days of using it on my face, my pimple scars lightened.  I continued using it and I noticed that I am pimple free during my period ...  it was already normal for me to have pimples before and during my period.  A bar of Organikka soap is 75 pesos but with the effect on my face, it's worth it.  Anyway a bar lasts for a long time because it doesn't melt easily.

I also tried Moringa hair and body wash and conditioner but I think the formula doesn't match my hair type.  I had hair fall and my hair was not easy to manage so I stopped using it.  The hair and body wash is 150 pesos for a 250 mL packaging and the conditioner is 180 pesos for the smallest packaging available.

Organikka's Moringa hair and body wash and conditioner.
If you are into organic products, give Organikka care products a try ... you may find products which are compatible with your skin or hair type.

Organikka products are available at Cash and Carry Mall at Makati City, South Supermarket at Filinvest Alabang, Muntinlupa City and at Humana Wellness Center at Tagaytay-Paseo Road at Sta. Rosa City.

For more information on Organikka products, click here for their flyers.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dragon Fruit

Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit is now a common display in fruit sections of supermarkets.  I have read a lot about the nutritional value of this fruit which includes vitamin C, phosphorous, calcium, fiber and antioxidants but I haven’t tasted this fruit yet.  Frankly, I don’t even know how to eat it.

Yesterday, finally I was able to buy one dragon fruit which cost 33 pesos.  The fruit was already cut into two with the outer covering still on.  I don’t know which part is edible but common sense dictates that the inside flesh is edible.

Dragon fruit is a little slimy.  It is not so sweet … it tastes like water with a little sugar in it but it is soft to the bite and the small seeds are crunchy.  I don’t find it delicious and it has an aftertaste but it is tolerable.

I made a smoothie with half of the dragon fruit, added yoghurt and honey … it was perfect although my kids won’t try it.  I hope their taste buds mature soon and that they will be adventurous enough to try foods which are new to them.

Dragon Fruit cut in half
Dragon fruit smoothie

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fucithalmic 1% Ophthalmic Drops

5 mg Fucithalmic Ophthalmic Drops
Fucithalmic (generic name Fusidic Acid) ophthalmic drops is an antibacterial eye drop manufactured by LEO Pharmaceutical Products of Denmark and is locally distributed by Zuellig Pharmaceutical Corporation.

My five year old son was diagnosed with conjunctivitis popularly known as sore eyes and the ophthalmologist prescribed Fucithalmic ophthalmic drops for him.  It would be a one week treatment with one drop two times a day application.

The content is not watery as what my perception of an eye drop is.  Instead it’s a little creamy but not that thick so it’s still easy to drop.  Fucithalmic stings a little because every time I try to apply it on my son’s eyes, he feels uncomfortable.  He is already on his third day of medication and so far the swelling and the redness subsides a little.

Fucithalmic is a prescription drug so you need a doctor’s prescription before you can buy it.  A 5 grams tube is available in drug stores and it costs 458.50 pesos at Mercury Drug Store.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Acuvue Clear Soft Contact Lenses

Acuvue three pairs in one pack
I had been wearing soft contact lenses for a long time now and so far I have tried different brands of contact lenses available in the market.

One of the brands I tried was Acuvue Clear contact lenses.  This brand of contact lenses is recommended for one month use (of course you have to take off your contact lens every night) but as usual, I used a pair for more than one month.  I change to a new pair of contact lenses once my eyes feel uncomfortable with the old one and usually it is one or two weeks longer than the recommended length of use.  

Of all the contact lenses I tried, Acuvue Clear contact lenses is the thinnest.  It’s so thin that sometimes it is hard to handle, it keeps on wiggling whenever I try to put it on.  Most of all because Acuvue Clear contact lenses is so thin, it easily sticks to my eyes whenever my eyes get dry making it hard to take off and irritating my eyes in the process.  So it is advisable to always wet your eyes regularly if you wear this brand of contact lenses.

The price of Acuvue Clear contact lenses is cheaper than other brands.  I got mine for 785 pesos for three pairs.  I usually get this brand whenever I get short of the regular contact lenses that I use before my scheduled yearly eye check-up.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Kaspersky Internet Security 2011

After the anti-virus software that came free with my laptop expired, I have been using free software in protecting my laptop from virus and malware.  I used free trial packages offered by developers and one of them is Kaspersky.

Satisfied with the trial package that I tried with Kaspersky, I decided to buy their Internet Security 2011.  I’d been busy with my online activities and it’s best to invest on legitimate software to protect my computer.

My husband through a friend purchased Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 from an authorized distributor here in the Philippines.  The package we bought was good for three computers for one year which was a good deal because we have two laptops and the other one was bought by my husband’s officemate.  We bought the package for less than 2,500 pesos.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 is very easy to install.  The package comes with an installation code that once you have already installed the program in three computers, your attempt to install to another computer will be invalid.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2011 gives me a peace of mind every time I surf the web, giving me warning whenever I open new websites.  Sometimes it’s just irritating once I’m in a hurry and the site I’m opening takes time to open because Kaspersky is still scanning it.  Well, that’s the downside of having an anti-virus software but it’s just a little downside compared to the damage those virus and malwares can create once they have infiltrated your system.

If you are interested with any Kaspersky products, feel free to visit their site.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Laughing Cow Cheese

I was looking for some dairy products in the grocery last week when I saw this brand of cheese which was advertised on TV.  It is the Laughing Cow Cheese.

I’m quite amused at the brand name of this cheese and out of curiosity, I bought one.

Laughing Cow cheese has a packaging similar to most of the imported cheese available in the Philippine market, well as written on the label this cheese is from France … so this is an imported cheese no wonder it’s a little expensive.  A circular box which contains eight individually wrapped cheese cost almost sixty pesos.

My son who is fond of dairy products loved this Laughing Cow cheese.  It is so creamy, milky, soft and smooth which makes it easy to spread on bread.  Most of all, it is not salty like most of the cheese I tasted.  I love eating it on its own just letting it melt inside my mouth … hmmm, yummy.

I’ll be buying more of this Laughing Cow cheese.

It did not take us long to consume this milky and yummy cheese.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Raddisson Blu - Cebu City Philippines

Radisson Blu Hotel

Looking for a place to stay in Cebu?  Try Radisson Blu Hotel, located at North Reclamation Area, Juan Luna Avenue, Cebu City, just beside SM City mall.  It’s a new hotel which opened only September of 2010.

Radisson Blu Hotel is just 11 kilometers away from Mactan International Airport and you can reach it by hiring a metered airport taxi which is parked just outside the arrival area of the airport.  Expect that these taxis cost more because the flag down for these taxis are a little higher than the regular taxi.  Depending on the traffic, the travel can take from 30 minutes to 45 minutes with a taxi fare of 200 pesos to 300 pesos (around 4 to 7 U.S. dollars).

Being located just beside SM City, going around the city is easy by taking a taxi or a public utility jeepney which has a terminal just outside the mall.

Radisson Blu Hotel offers a lot of amenities where you can just stay around the hotel premises and still enjoy yourself.  You can choose to take a dip in the pool, enjoy the food and drinks at the restaurant and bar, burn calories at the gym and sauna or just relax, read or surf the web at the executive lounge.  They also offer spa services and treatment.

Fountain located in front of the hotel's entrance.  Just perfect for some picture taking.
View of the outdoor swimming pool from our room.
The rooms are spacious, clean and smell good.  The beddings are crisp and clean.  The room given to us has a good view of the swimming pool below, the nearby international sea port and Mactan island and channel.    Free internet connection, a refrigerator, safety deposit box, iron and ironing board are provided in each room.  This is the first hotel I stayed where they are providing an iron and an ironing board which is so convenient.

The hotel lobby is grand with its unusually high ceilings and beautiful interior decorations … you just can’t stop clicking that camera.

Upon check-in, they require a 5,000 peso (around 117 U.S. dollars) cash or credit card bond.  I don’t know if this is their standard rate for all types of rooms but don’t worry this will be returned upon check-out. 

Also, a proximity card is issued to guests to give access at the elevator going to their assigned room.  The guests can’t just roam around other guest’s floor because the elevator is designed to service only guests on their designated floors.  The elevator is equipped with a card reader where you have to have your card read first before you can push the number of floor where your room is located.  At first we were not aware of this, good thing there's another guest who already know of the system and he taught us. 

It was really a great experience having stayed at Radisson Blu Hotel.  Next time I'll be in Cebu and if my budget permits, I'll choose to stay in this hotel.  It's so convenient and relaxing. 

If you are interested, click here to know more about Radisson Blu Hotel in Cebu.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Cebu’s CnT Lechon

1/4 kilo CnT lechon
Cebu is known for their tasty and crispy roasted pig popularly known as lechon.  With my recent trip in Cebu City together with a friend, the first thing that we looked for is their lechon.  As soon as we have checked-in at our hotel, we asked the staff where we can find a place to eat lechon.  We don’t know any specific brand then so when the staff directed us to the nearest place where lechon is served (luckily it was just a walking distance away from our hotel), we immediately went there.

At first glance, the place is not so inviting.  You won’t know that there’s a restaurant at the second floor, thanks to the big letters written on the wall of the building which says “CnT Lechon”.

The ground floor of the building is used as parking space with a narrow ramp going to the second floor at the side.  We didn’t notice that it was the access going to the restaurant at the second floor, good thing there was a group of people who walked down that ramp.     

As soon as we reached the second floor, the delicious aroma of roasted pig greeted us and at the counter we see a long line of people waiting to get their order of lechon.  It’s a self-service restaurant where the main menu is lechon.  Half of the counter is a space dedicated for chopping lechon.  Two full length lechon are laid on the long table with a big wooden chopping board on the side and a weighing scale hanging from the roof.  Two women are doing the chopping and I was amazed at how energetic these women are despite their small physique.

Customers are waiting to get a portion of this yummy lechon
After standing in line for a while, we were able to get our order.  I ordered one-fourth kilo of lechon, 1 cup of rice and bottled water.  All in all, my bill was 124 pesos.

Our wait was worth it, CnT lechon really tastes delicious, the skin is so crispy and the meat is so tasty, tender and juicy.  I don’t need any sauce to make it taste better however there are portions which are salty but I don’t mind, I just took off those portions easily.

Another good thing about CnT lechon is that they have more branches which are accessible.  They have branches at the mall (SM Cebu and SM Ayala Center) but we love to visit their branch just across SM Cebu and Radisson Blu Hotel. 

So if you happen to visit Cebu, don’t forget to try CnT lechon.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Punta Fuego Beach Resort

Punta Fuego Beach Resort

Punta Fuego Beach Resort is an exclusive resort for Club Punta Fuego members and their guests.  It is located at Nasugbu, Batangas and is a two to two and a half drive from Metro Manila.

Last summer, through a member relative of our department manager, we were able to hold our department summer outing at Punta Fuego Beach Resort.  It was only a one day outing so we left early in the morning so we can maximize our time at the resort.

Travelling from Alabang to Punta Fuego Beach Resort was really great since there were still no traffic early in the morning, the scenery is awesome and the road is in good condition.  We drove through South Luzon Express Way, took our exit at Sta. Rosa Exit then went straight to Tagaytay, then Nasugbu town proper.  From Nasugbu town proper, it is still a few kilometers drive before we reached the Terrazas De Punta Fuego gate.

Main Gate
Upon reaching the Terrazas De Punta Fuego gate, we still have to travel downhill for a few minutes to reach the parking area near the beach resort entrance.  If you are a new driver or your car finds it hard to go uphill, you may opt to park at the parking space just near the Terrazas De Punta Fuego gate and ride their service vehicle going to the beach resort entrance.  This way, you will save yourself from driving uphill later which is a little scary for new drivers.  By the way, using bus as means of transportation going to this resort is prohibited.

Punta Fuego Beach Resort is a beautiful and relaxing place with a lot of scenic views.  Just perfect for the nature lovers and photographers who love to capture the beauty of nature … and because it’s an exclusive resort, there are only few people around so the place is not crowded. 

The beach is clean although the water is not that clear.  The sand is white and fine and the beach front is long although there’s a part where it’s already owned by other resort.  Aside from swimming, there are still a lot of water fun activities which can be done.  Banana boat ride is one … of course additional fees applies.

An exciting banana boat ride

Aside from the beach, we also had fun swimming at the resort’s infinity pool.  Here, the water is cool and there are lots of trees around which gives a little protection from the direct heat of the sun.

Punta Fuego's Infinity Pool

If you are not in the mood for some water activities then you can just walk around and feast your eyes with the beautiful sceneries or just lie on one of the benches provided and relax.

For our food, it was already inclusive with the entrance fee we had paid and it included a welcome drink, a morning snack, buffet lunch and an afternoon snack.  Well, there’s nothing special about the food ... just plain and simple.

Overall, our day tour at Punta Fuego Beach Resort was worth it.  We had enjoyed the place and had fun with our colleagues and families.

For more information and inquiries about this resort, you can contact their sales office here.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Citiseconline - My Online Stock Broker

Citiseconline is an online stock broker listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange and as of this writing, they rank 9th in PSE’s Brokers Ranking Report.

I learned about Citiseconline and stock market from Bro. Bo’s articles from Truly Rich Club so when I decided to start investing/trading in the stock market, I also tapped the services of Citiseconline as my online stock broker.

Now, after two years of being with Citiseconline, I am happy and contented with their service.  Their staff is accommodating … whether you call them, visit them at their office or e-mail them, you can always look forward for their quick response.

Citiseconline’s website is very user-friendly.  Before I opened an account with them, I tried their 7-day free trial and it didn’t take me long before I get used to their system.  Aside from the trading platform, their website also offers a lot of information which you can use for your trading/investing strategies. 

Citiseconline updates client’s record daily so you can always check your account and be assured that it is updated. 

Citiseconline offers free seminars which is very informative and helpful for new stock market investors/traders.

Since Citiseconline is an online stock broker, I can always check on my account anytime, anywhere as long as I have my internet connection.  I’m very grateful of their off-line transaction because even if the stock market is closed, I can still input my orders (buy or sell) and it will just be queued at the stock exchange the next day the market opens so even if I can’t be online when the market is open, I can still buy or sell my stocks as long as the prices reached the target I set.

So, if you are interested to invest in the stock market and you’re looking for a stock broker, I suggest you try Citiseconline.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Raymen Beach Resort

Raymen's Air-Conditioned Rooms
Raymen Beach Resort is located at Alubihod Cove, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras Province.  At present, there are four resorts located along Alubihod Cove but so far, Raymen Beach Resort is the most developed and the most visited resort in this area.  An advance reservation is needed especially if you're planning to stay during peak seasons like summer.  Reservation can be done through telephone with no advance payment required.

We stayed at Raymen Beach Resort for two nights staying in their air-conditioned room which is good for 4 persons.  The room was provided with two double-sized beds, a small cabinet for our belongings and a bathroom.  Nothing fancy about the room and the beddings and towels provided were old and may already be considered for disposal. 

There's a corkage fee for foods brought outside but they are not really strict in inspecting the visitors' baggage.  Anyway, even if you don't bring food, they have a restaurant inside with a lot of menu to choose from.  I really liked their adobong pusit (squid cooked in vinegar and soy sauce), the squid is so fresh and tender ... yummy.  It will save you time if you'll just order in advance and tell them the time you want your food served.

Fresh catch direct from the local fishermen.
There is also a common grill area provided and some guests have brought their own cooking utensils.  They cooked rice and noodles using charcoal.  If you wake up early, around 5:00 in the morning, you can wait for local fishermen on the beach unloading their catch for the day so you can buy fresh fish at a cheaper price.

The easiest way to cook the fish.  No utensils needed.

The beach front along Alubihod cove is just a short span (less than a kilometer) with rock formations on both ends.  The water is calm and clear with fine (not as fine as that of Boracay though) and cream colored sand.  Just perfect for swimming both for the young and the "young once".

A view of Raymen's beach front taken at their sundeck.

Raymen beach front at dusk.

Overall, we had enjoyed our stay at Raymen Beach Resort, we enjoyed the beach and the fresh seafoods.

How to get there?

From Iloilo City, you can reach Raymen Beach Resort by taking a 15 minutes ride in a passenger pumpboat from Ortiz Wharf to Jordan Wharf which costs 14 pesos per person.  From Jordan Wharf you can ride a jeepney going to Nueva Valencia town which costs 30 pesos per head and from there, take a tricycle ride going to Raymen Beach Resort which costs 10 pesos per person.  From Jordan Wharf to Raymen Beach Resort, it will take you about 45 to 60 minutes of land travel.

If you travel by group you may opt to rent the service of a mini jeepney from Jordan Wharf going to Raymen Beach Resort.  We took this option and we paid 400 pesos for the service.  We also asked the driver to come back for us two days after.

If you have an extra budget and you want to skip the land travel, you may also opt to rent the service of a pump boat from Jordan Wharf going straight to Raymen Beach Resort.  It would take you about an hour to reach the resort at a price starting at 2000 pesos.

For more information, see their leaflets here or contact them at 0918-5207271/(033)3960252/3960383.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Our Air Philippines Flight Experience

I booked for a round trip ticket for 4 persons at Air Philippines thru their on-line booking.  For our mid-April flight for Iloilo, I booked our flight as early as January so we can avail of discounted fares and of course to make sure that we already have our flights reserved for our planned vacation in the province.

On the day of our flight, we arrived at the airport at about 9 AM, just enough time to check-in for a 10:50 AM flight.   NAIA 3 terminal was not really crowded that time and there are two check-in counters open for our flight.

It was already our turn to check-in when the person in-charge at the counter got our e-tickets same also with the other passengers at the back of the line.  She brought the tickets to her colleagues and they had a little conversation.  After a while, she went to us and told us that our flight was overbooked and that we cannot be accommodated anymore.  She offered us their late afternoon flight which is 5:30 PM.  Whhaaaat???!!!

That means we will be arriving in Iloilo at about 6:30 in the evening and we still have to travel on land for 2 to 3 hours to get to Antique, our destination.  Wow, that’s already late, thinking that we have children with us.

I really want to flare up but I was thinking, getting mad won’t do me any good.  If the plane was already full, then there’s no way that we can be on that flight no matter what I say or do.  So I just remained calm just like the other passengers.  There were about 12 of us that can’t be accommodated on the flight.

We asked for other alternatives aside from what they were offering us, which is the 5:30 PM flight.  After several discussions with her colleagues, the person in charge went back to us and offered us the 11:30 AM flight to Kalibo, which is a 2 to 3 hours land travel from Iloilo.  The land travel will be at their expense and as a way of saying thank you for understanding their incompetence, they will give us a voucher which can be claimed for a free round trip ticket in any Air Philippines destination here in the Philippines.  The voucher will be valid for one year after issue.

At first I was hesitant because I never been to Kalibo but later on we decided to take their offer since it’s their remaining morning flight and it’s still early so maybe we can check if there are trips going directly to Antique ... if none, then we will just go to Iloilo and travel again going to Antique.

Air Philippines plane at Kalibo airport
Air Philippines plane going to Kalibo is just a small one, there are only 4 seats per row and 2 seats at the last row.  I felt like I’m riding an air-conditioned bus.  There are two flight attendants checking on the passengers and in the middle of the flight, they sell snacks.  At first I thought it was for free … I was wrong … it was for sale.

Anyway, we arrived at Kalibo Airport and overall, the flight was great.  Though it’s a small plane, yet we didn’t feel any bumps, maybe because the weather was great.  It was a 1 hour flight and my children enjoyed looking at the cottony clouds and the large body of water below. 

Our return flight (one week after we arrived at Kalibo Airport) from Iloilo to Manila went smooth.  We arrived at Iloilo airport very early so we have to wait before the check-in counters opened 2 hours before the flight.  Air Philippines plane from Manila to Iloilo (the same plane that will fly us back to Manila) arrived on time so we have boarded the plane on time and we took off right on schedule.  The weather was great that we arrived at NAIA 3, 15 minutes earlier than the estimated arrival time.

Air Philippines plane arrived at Iloilo airport on time.
This time Air Philippines plane was much bigger than the one we boarded going to Kalibo.  There are 6 seats per row with more rows available.

Aside from the over-booking issue, flying with Air Philippines was such a great experience for us.  I won’t have any second thoughts flying with this airline once again.  Until our next flight Air Philippines.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sun Maiden Plus

Sun maiden plus is a packaged life insurance offered by Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc. which gives emphasis on female critical illness and maternity benefits.  The policy’s coverage is until the age of 65 and the premium is adjusted every fifth anniversary of the policy. 

At my age, Sun Life’s offer starts at 12,207.50 pesos annual premium and adjustments will be made every after 5 years of the policy until I reach the age of 65 where the policy automatically terminates.  Calculating the total premium I’ll be paying to Sun Life until I reached the maximum coverage of 65 as per their proposal, it will sum up to 382,937.50 pesos.  There is no money back guarantee in this package.

This packaged life insurance policy has the following benefits:

1.      Female Critical Illness Benefit which includes the following (first five benefits can be availed if the diagnosis occur 90 days after this policy takes effect):
a.       Cash benefit of 125,000 pesos once the policy holder is diagnosed with a stage 4 cancer of the breast, cervix uteri, uterus, ovary, fallopian tube or vagina or carcinoma-in-situ of the uterine corpus, ovary, fallopian tube or vagina must actually undergo required operation.
b.      Cash benefit of 125,000 pesos for systemic lupus erythematosus (S.L.E.)
c.       Cash benefit of 75,000 pesos for rheumatoid arthritis
d.      Cash benefit of 50,000 pesos for severe osteoporosis
e.       Cash benefit of  25,000 pesos for hysterectomy or dilation and curettage
f.       Cash benefit of 50,000 pesos for plastic surgery due to accidents
g.      Cash benefit of 50,000 pesos for skin transplantation  due to accidental burning
2.      Maternity benefits which include the following (can be availed  12 months after this policy takes effect):
a.       Cash benefit of 50,000 pesos for pregnancy complications such as disseminated intravascular coagulation (D.I.C.), ectopic pregnancy and hydatidiform mole
b.      Cash benefit of 10,000 pesos for every child delivered (maximum of three)

3.      Critical Illness benefit is a cash benefit of 250,000 pesos once the policy holder is diagnosed with the following (must be diagnosed 90 days after the start of this policy):
a.       heart attack
b.      stroke
c.       cancer  (other than female related cancers)
d.      kidney failure
e.       dissecting aortic aneurysm
f.       end stage lung disease
g.      progressive muscular atrophy
h.      major burns
i.        multiple sclerosis
j.        paralysis
k.      total blindness
l.        loss of limbs
m.    aplastic anaemia
n.      bacterial meningitis
o.      benign brain tumour
p.      deafness
q.      encephalitis
r.        amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
s.       progressive bulbar palsy (PBP)
t.        meningeal tuberculosis
u.      cerebral metastasis
v.      loss of speech
w.    coma
x.      parkinson’s disease
y.      terminal illness
z.       medullary cystic disease
aa.   alzheimer’s disease
bb.  fulminant hepatitis
cc.   major head trauma
dd. end stage liver failure
ee.   motor neurone disease
ff.    guillain-barre syndrome
gg.  major organ transplant
hh.  coronary artery bypass surgery
ii.      surgery for disease of the aorta (aortic surgery)
jj.      replacement of heart valve

4.      Total Disability Benefit waives all the premium balance once the policy holder becomes permanently disabled.

5.      Five(5) free diagnostic procedures can be availed within the first 10 policy years to be performed at medical clinics appointed by Sun Life.

The coverage for each benefit under the female critical illness benefit and pregnancy complications terminates once the said benefit will be availed.

In cases where two or more diseases and/or surgery occurred, only one with the highest benefit will be paid.

To know more about this Sun Maiden Plus offered by Sun Life of Canada (Phils.), visit their website and contact them so they can give you a proposal suited to your needs.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Premier Expanded Health Package

Premier Expanded Health Package is a health package offered by Caritas Health Shield, Inc. which can be used only at CHSI accredited doctors, clinics and hospitals.  This health package is payable in 5 years and you can choose for a coverage of 6 or 10 years.   Depending on the plan and number of units you want to avail, the annual payment ranges from 15,408 pesos to 157,530 pesos.   This range is effective as of this writing. 

This health package offers the following benefits:

1.      Out-patient services at any diagnostic centers designated by CHSI which includes:
a.       up to 12 consultations per year
b.      up to 10 pre/post natal consultation per pregnancy
c.       treatment of minor injury or illness
d.      minor surgery (not requiring hospital facilities)
e.       eye, ear, nose and throat treatment

2.      Annual physical examination six(6) months after this policy takes effect at any diagnostic centers designated by CHSI.  The annual physical examination includes:
a.       taking of medical history
b.      medical examination
c.       chest X-Ray
d.      complete blood count
e.       fasting blood sugar
f.       urine and stool examination
g.      electrocardiogram (ECG) and pap smear for 35 years old and above

3.      Dental care at any dental clinics accredited by CHSI which includes:
a.       four consultations per year
b.      Annual oral prophylaxis (can be availed three(3) months after this policy takes effect)
c.       Tooth extraction
d.      Temporary filling
e.       Treatment of oral pain, lesions, wounds and burns

4.      Hospitalization benefits which have a maximum coverage depending on the number of units a member will avail.  This benefit includes:
a.       room and board
b.      services of an accredited physician or specialist
c.       laboratory and special diagnostic procedures such as X-ray, CT scan, basic mammography, 2D Echocardiography with Doppler, treadmill test, ultrasound, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), EMG, Nuclear test and other procedures deemed appropriate by CHSI
d.      use of surgical or medical equipment and facilities
e.       administration of anesthesia and/or oxygen
f.       transfusion of hospital-provided whole blood or plasma
g.      dressing, plaster cast and other medical supplies
h.      prescribed drugs and medication used in the hospital

5.      Insurance which includes:
a.       Term life insurance amounting to the initial expanded benefit limit.  The expanded benefit limit referred here is the maximum amount a policy owner can avail, first year after the policy matures.
b.      Accidental life insurance amounting to the initial expanded benefit limit.
c.       Credit life insurance which will provide the health care benefits to the principal beneficiary once the policy holder dies.
d.      Waiver of installment balance in case of permanent disability of the policy holder.

6.      Others
a.       up to four(4) consultations per year at any designated clinics for one(1) pre-designated dependent.
b.      Discounts on non-covered health services at selected hospital, clinics, laboratories, drug stores or optical shops.
c.       A yearly increase of 5% or 8% with the initial expanded benefit limit will take effect from the first year of expanded period until such time when the policy will be terminated by the policy holder or when the maximum age is reached.
d.      The health benefits can be assigned up to a 2nd degree relative at the start of the expanded period of coverage.
e.       A money back guarantee equivalent to 70% of the initial expanded benefit limit can be claimed if you wish to terminate the policy after the coverage period.

This package was offered to me by CHSI when I inquired about their product.

What is good about this package is that there is a money back guarantee at the end of  the coverage period and you don’t have to cash-out if you will be hospitalized unless you exceed the maximum coverage of your plan.

The downside is that you are limited to the services of the accredited doctors, clinics and hospitals so before you avail of this package or other packages offered by CHSI, be sure to know first if the hospital or clinic near you is accredited by them.

For the list of hospitals, clinics, laboratory and dental clinics accredited by CHSI, click here and click on the "medical service network".