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Friday, January 16, 2015

SILYA – Comfortable Chairs for the Elders

Gay Aida Dumaguing - Friday, January 16, 2015
SILYA – Comfortable Chairs for the Elders

Last month, I was invited my Summit Circle Cebu Hotel for their holiday specials and one of the guests for that day is Tito Lorete Alcala, a social entrepreneur and the founder of S.I.L.Y.A. He shared with us his advocacy and mission for the past years, and I would like to share it with you guys here in the Exotic Philippines blog.

Not all people (yet) can relate to this, but if you have grandparents or your parents are on that stage of their life where they’re (err… how would I say this?) not that strong anymore, you’ll totally feel the importance of this program.

Like for me example, my Mama will be turning 60 this year (and she’s so excited because she’ll be able to apply and get benefits of the senior citizen) and lately I’ve noticed that she’s getting and feeling a lot of pains and is easily get uncomfortable. I know not just because I’m always with her, but because I’m also her immediate masseuse whenever she’s in that kind of pain.

One of the things I’ve also noticed that she’s starting to prefer to sit down at our plastic chair rather than our comfortable and soft sofa. And I did not realized all this until Summit Circle Cebu Hotel have Mr. Tito Lorete Alcala share the story why SILYA is his mission and advocacy in life now.

SILYA (English: chair) stands for Sa Iyo Lolo at Lola Yantok aming Alay, wherein Mr. Alcala will be donating his rocking chairs in public places that is design for the elders. These rocking chairs will be distributed all over the country, targeting public places such as the airports, terminals, restuarants, bookstores, coffee shops, and hotels – and Summit Circle Cebu Hotel have one!


Yes, Mr. Alcala will be donating these chairs and putting it in public places for public use. And yes, he won’t make money, but for him being able to pay back to his parents, to our elders is more than a ROI (return of investment).

Won’t you agree that our elders deserves these kind of gifts? Take a look at this video which was also shared to us by Mr. Alcala. Go on!


I’ve almost cried, well I was going to but I’m trying to stop my tears. I’ve lost my Dad and I’d wish I have that moment with my Dad.

But anyway, if you feel what I mean and Mr. Alcala’s advocacy, then share it with everyone. I think every malls, and public places should have this chair. Want to help? If you have a business, know someone who has a business why not suggest to have the chair? Or, contact SILYA and find out more about them through their website www.tbpi-artistshop.com

Your small action, can be a great help.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

AirAsia Returns Flights from Cebu to Davao and Cagayan de Oro

Gay Aida Dumaguing - Thursday, December 18, 2014

December 12, 2014 - AirAsia Philippines invited me to come to Mactan Cebu International Airport to witness the inaugural of their flights in Cebu to/from Cagayan de Oro and Davao Philippines, and fly with the SOS Philippines teens who’ll be flying and riding a plane for the very first time to Cagayan de Oro.

With Chanel Imperial and SOS Philippines Kids at the AirAsia Philippines in Cebu Event

There were other 10 kids from street kids from Batang Opon Foundation, andCebu City Task Force on Street Children Foundation who will fly to Davao City, and spend a couple of hours at the People’s Park, and other 10 kids from Tambayan Center for Children’s Right from Davao also went to Cebu.

 I’ve also got the opportunity to meet female Pilot Capt. Gisela Bendong Boniel and the AirAsia Zest Director for Flight Operations Captain Dexter Commendador who said, “We’re extremely excited to celebrate the return of AirAsia flights from Cebu to Davao and Cebu to Cagayan de Oro – and what’s more memorable is that we celebrated our inaugural flights by fulfilling the dreams of 30 kids. Like these kids, AirAsia started with a dream – to make flying affordable to everyone.

It was a fun experience to be with the kids who have ride and tried the plane for the first time. It mostly reminds me how it was like for me back them when I ride the plane for the first time with my parents.

So, I’ve decided to document everything with my Sony Bloggie camera (not an HD camera but it can do the job. Anyway, check out the short video I made.


I’d like to grab this opportunity to give my big thanks to AirAsia Philippines for this opportunity not only for me, but also for the kids – for thinking about them.

With fellow winners of FREE flght to Cagayan de Oro/Davao

 I’ll be flying again with AirAsia soon, since I’ve won a flight ticket from Cebu Philippines to Cagayan de Oro. Wooohoo!

Monday, December 15, 2014

5 Summit Circle Hotel Cebu Holiday Promos to Watch Out For

Gay Aida Dumaguing - Monday, December 15, 2014

December 11, 2014 – I was one of the lucky bloggers in Cebu who was invited to come over to Summit Circle Hotel Cebu to try out one of their holiday promos, which I wish to share with everyone here today.

The Summit Circle Hotel Cebu that is previously known as the Midtown Hotel is strategically located at the heart of Cebu city, just right above the Robinsons. They also have their very own C2 Classic Cuisine (the hotel’s restaurant), a pool, and function rooms. With these hotel amenities, they have the following holiday promos to offer you, which I think you all will be interested with.

Christmas Eve Glitters Buffet

Want to bring someone on Christmas Eve somewhere special to fill up your tummy full, but still within the budget? Summit Circle Hotel Cebu offers you their Christmas Eve (December 24) Glitter Buffet at their C2 Classic Cuisine for only P499 per person. Their buffet starts at 6:00pm and ends at 10:00pm, this is open to all hotel guests and walk-in guests.


If you’re bringing a date, then that’s great! They’ll be giving you a gift certificate of Unli Salad Buffet and Christmas cookie for the kids for a minimum of two (2) persons.

Twinkling Christmas Day Dinner Buffet

If you already have a plan on Christmas eve, no worries, they also have their Twinkling Christmas Day Dinner Buffet.


The price is still the same price of P499/person, but with a different set of menu.
The buffet also starts on the same time, from 6:00pm to 10:00pm on December 25, 2014.

Bubbly Dinner Buffet

The third promo from Summit Circle Hotel’s C2 Classic Cuisine is their New Year’s Eve dinner buffet for P599 per person on December 31, 2014.


What’s great when you do celebrate the New Year’s Eve at this hotel is that there might be fireworks on the area, free to watch! It’ll be a great view!

Cebu Boarding Pass Promo

Other than their restaurant’s promo, they also have offers for their hotel rooms.


With their Cebu Boarding Pass Promo, you’ll get a P1,000 for your room. Just present the Cebu pacific Air boarding pass that you got on your way to Cebu Philippines.

Longer Stays Get Better Deals

The promo name says it all. But the promo is until December 31, 2014 but started on October 1, 2014.


For any more inquiries and questions, please feel free to contact Summit Circle Hotel Cebu.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Degustation at Davao City's the White House

Gay Aida Dumaguing - Wednesday, December 10, 2014
The White House Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge Davao City Exotic Philippines

What's Degustation? If it's your first time hearing the word, then don't worry. It was my first time to know the word too when I was invited to come over and dine at Davao City's The White House Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge.


In a usual restaurant, we usually place our order all at once, we pick what dish we want and the price is per dish. Then it will all then be served all at once. Then we eat anything we want to eat among the dishes served.

Degustation on the other hand is that you'll pick a degustation you wherein eight (8) or more dishes are included. But then, these dishes are not served all at once and they're served in small portions. You might feel almost full after a few dishes, but you can still take another one until you've finish the whole..errr. degustation course? - not sure with the term.

The White House Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge


I, along with other bloggers who are invited to the BIMP EAGA IMT 2014 was invited by Jef Tupas and Ben (didn't get his full name - I'm not even sure if his name is Ben, sorry!) at The White House Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge.

The White House Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge Davao City Exotic Philippines
From left: Ben, Jef Tupas, Tonyo Cruz, Ruben Licera Jr. , and Maria Irene Aserios

It was raining that night, but when we arrived at the White House, it was beautiful. It was dark but the place is beautiful and romantic. A great place to bring your date, have a talk and be that romantic guy.

Anyway, chef Cathy Binag actually arrived and we chitchat a bit. She welcomed us at her White House but since she have to fly back to Manila (I think) she have to leave. But we're very thankful that she did make a full effort to come over even just for a moment to welcome us, and of course have us at the White House.

I really don't know what to have, so we asked Jef and Ben on what they'll suggest. They said that Burgundy and Champagne is their favorites and they'd recommend it. So I checked out both.

The White House Burgundy

When I saw the word "steak" on Burgundy, and Burgundy wins! LOL.

We chitchat while waiting for our meal and get to know each other. But just few minutes later, the degustation started!

The White House Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge Davao City Exotic Philippines
Amuse Bouche Of The Day
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Don't know what's the exact name of this (or maybe I totally forgot the name). And yes, that's a glass filled with crushed ice, with the ingredients on top.

All you have to do is put the quail egg and the small circles on the small glass, stir, and drink up! It's small, cold, but delicious. I was surprised with the taste actually. It can be an exotic food but I love exotic food, so I loved it! I actually want another round but was thinking maybe there are more something better coming.

The White House Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge Davao City Exotic Philippines
New Style Tuna Sashimi
Tuna Sashimi Served With Onion Salsa and Julienned Cucumber
Rating: 3 stars out of 5

I am not a fan of raw food, but I do eat Kinilaw (a Filipino food). But I was able to finish this, it's delicious when you eat the tuna along with the salsa and cucumber.

The White House Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge Davao City Exotic Philippines
Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad
Mixed Greens, Orange, Grape, Walnut, and Radish
Rating: 3 stars out of 5

There are only few restaurants (or maybe I should say chef) who can make me eat a vegetable or salads like this. But I ate everything in the plate. The rating is not bad for someone who's not a fan of vegetables, right?

The White House Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge Davao City Exotic Philippines
Cream Of Asparagus Soup
Topped With Shiso Froth
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Make someone who's not a fan of vegetables sip this green soup. It's cute, it looks delicious but the word "asparagus" itself made me think not to take a sip. But then, I have to - it's an insult not to. It's food!

So I did, and surprisingly it's really really delicious that I finish everything and sip everything in it. I also did want another round of this. LOL.

The White House Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge Davao City Exotic Philippines
Pan Seared Salmon
Served With Sauteed Vegetables In Orange Butter Sauce
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

I think my only favorite fish in the world is Lapu-Lapu and Bangus, and yes I'm not a huge fan of salmon or even tuna. But the way this one looks, I must take at least a bite. But that one bite leads to finishing the whole dish.

It's perfectly cooked, and the sauce was perfectly delicious.

The White House Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge Davao City Exotic Philippines
US Hanging Tender Steak
Served With Pumpkin Risoni, Buttered Vegetables, and Red Wine Reduction Sauce
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Of all the dishes served, this one is my most favorite. The steak was beautiful, cooked well, the sauce is perfect.

The White House Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge Davao City Exotic Philippines

Got another view for you guys to see what's behind the steak.

I love everything in the dish. I "usually" eat vegetables, but then again I ate everything on the plate and savor everything.

The White House Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge Davao City Exotic Philippines
Durian Yema Cheesecake
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

That day, they served their Durian Yema Cheesecake - their dessert of the day. And it's really delicious, unique but delicious and I'd say it's a must try.

I actually wonder if there's a whole pan of this. LOL. I want to bring home some to the hotel.

Will I recommend coming to The White House Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge and try it? Of course, it's a must try. The one I tried, Burgundy is only P1,090 for all the meals posted above. I'd say it's one of the must try in Davao Philippines, especially with food lovers or lovers. If you want to check out other choices for degustation or their menu, just click here.

Want to know the Exotic Philippines rating for The White House Fusion Cuisine and Wine Lounge? I'd say it's 5 stars out of 5 stars. It's a great place not only to date, but it also a great place to be alone, to be with friends, and even to be with a family while enjoying the delicious dishes of chef Cathy Binag.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

3 Nights 4 Days Stay at Boracay Holiday Resort

Gay Aida Dumaguing - Thursday, December 04, 2014

PROS:
* Few minutes of walk to the beach (station 2)
* Pool! For pool lovers
* They have their own restaurant
* Big rooms
* BIg bathrooms
* Cold, well maintained air-conditioner

CONS:
* Slow service at the restaurant
* Wrong orders
* The food is not that delicious for the price

Book the Hotel

Coming to the Beach Capital of the Philippines and the world's most beautiful tropical island have been always a part of my bucket list and dream. Luckily, just last week, I was finally able to visit the beautiful island of Boracay.

For years, I was actually thinking twice to come and visit Boracay. Since the hotels are mostly expensive, the transportation (going to Boracay) is also expensive, and the food are mostly expensive.

Luckily, I won this year’s AsiaRooms.com Blogger Awards for the Hotel Review Guru category, and as a winner I am given a 300SGD worth of stay to any hotel in Asia - that is hotels that are on their site. So yes, I did use that prize in Boracay to have less expenses.

Of all the hotels in Boracay, I choose to go to the Boracay Holiday Resort, located in Station 2 of Boracay, mainly because they have a huge pool – I don’t like to swim much at the beach, simply because it’s too salty and if I drown it might be hard for them to find me. LOL.

The Boracay Holiday Resort

Along with fellow bloggers, Mary, Chanel, Princess, and I stayed at Boracay Holiday Resort for three (3) nights and four (4) days.

When we arrived in Boracay, there’s no one (from the hotel) who picked us up in the port but you may request for them to do so – for an additional fee of course.

When we arrived about 6:00pm, the ladies at the front desk greeted us with a smile when she saw us coming in, the guard and the hotel boy didn’t also think twice to help us with our bags when they saw that the tricycle we’re on is stopping in front of the hotel. The waiter also came to us and gave us some welcome drinks - great timing! We're thirsty!

They asked for my name, but for some reason the lady wasn't able to find my name. So they asked for my voucher, I did receive it from AsiaRooms but I totally forgot to print it out. I told them that it must be under a different name (since I didn't pay for it, AsiaRooms did).

I told them maybe it's under AsiaRooms or Milda of AsiaRooms. The other woman at the desk looked at me and said "she's our guest!".

Aha! I guess AsiaRooms was the magic word. LOL.

The Hotel Rooms

Since I was with three (3) other bloggers from Cebu Philippines, I booked the Boracay Holiday Resort’s Suite room which costs P4,000/night during the low season.

I know, if it’s P4,000/night then we’ve gone more than 300SGD, but that’s what’s great with AsiaRooms, they got the lower rates for you.

When I was actually looking for a hotel in Boracay, they have a number of hotels offering lower rates because it's low season. But other than the low season rate, they have another lower rate or discount rate.

Awesooooome!


The hotel's air-conditioned room has a huge space (in my opinion), there’s one sofa, TV, refrigerator (under the TV), table with two (2) chairs, and two queen-size beds - love the curtains. There’s a pull-out bed on the second bed, in case you have an extra person. The cabinet for your things is also huge, and the cabinet door is a mirror.

A photo posted by Gay Aida Dumaguing (@agigil) on

So basically, the room can handle a maximum of 5 people though there’s still more space for another bed to add. But hey, where are you going to put your things if the space is all used up with beds?

Each of the queen size beds comes with 4 big pillows, plus 3 small square pillows, and a comforter with a blanket underneath. Hotels that provides big and comfy pillows is a total plus for me.

At home, I have 4 pillows, 2 for my head, 1 in between my legs, and another one for hugging! So, having 3 more small pillows to cuddle with is a total plus – no worries, I shared one of the small pillows with my bed mate Chanel. But I wish they have a bit thicker comforter though, just to keep me more warmer.

As for the room temperature, the hotel’s air-condition is well maintained that it looks brand new (or maybe it is) and can totally make the whole room cold. We’re like freezing in the room when we wake up - but we love it!

The only complain I think I can give is the bed, I think it’s brand new that’s why it’s not that soft, or maybe the bed is not supposed to be like that. Mary loved the bed. So still, it’s not much of a problem, you can still sleep well and get a good night sleep.

The Bathroom

The bathroom size is great, they also have a sliding door for the shower area (which is great and ideal). They did provide us with 4 towels, but they just placed 2 glasses for the 4 of us.

Their water are all hot and cold for both the shower and the sink, the water flow is not that fast but the just enough. Let's conserve water!


I love the fan that absorbs the odor (so that it won’t come out to the room - I don't know what you call that, what do you call that by the way?) and the window slide was great. I think having the fan and at least a small window to let the air out is necessary these days to help with the odor.

We took a video of 4 of us inside the bathroom, we fit!

The Amenities


This hotel in Boracay have a gym, a restaurant, mini bar, function hall, and of course the pool. We were not able to use the pool because of the activities we booked, hopefully I’ll be able to do so one day (if I get the chance to come back to the hotel). And of course, we were not able to use the gym too. The hall though was used by Miss Earth 2014 pageant (not the coronation night!), so I’d say it can be a huge area.

The Restaurant

When we arrived at Boracay Holiday Resort it was already raining, we decided to eat at the hotel instead of going out and find a place to eat. We ate around 9:00pm and their restaurant closes at around 10:00pm, we’ve ordered the following:

Carbonara
Food Rating: 3 stars out of 5

 Eggplant
Food Rating: 2 stars out of 5

 Ribs
Food Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

Grilled Pork
Food Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Sadly, the service was really slow. We were really hungry, and it took more than 30 minutes to serve us. At first, the waiter did not gave me my garlic rice, then next thing we know he added one more grilled pork when we just ordered one (1).

Our order should be just one serving for each 3 dishes above and the Carbonara, 2 garlic rice, and a plain rice. What the waiter gave us was 2 servings of the pork, 1 garlic rice, and 1 plain rice - I think he wants me to go on a diet.

We waited for more than 30 minutes for my rice, and I asked him where's my garlic rice, and he said we didn't ordered 2 garlic rice. Sheeesh! I was really hungry already!

So, the total amount we need to pay is more than we’ve expected, and the waiter missed my rice (so it took about more than 30 minutes when I get to eat).

As for the breakfast they served, they serve a maximum of three (3) viands, some breads, rice, eggs, (powder) juice, fruits, brewed and instant coffee, fresh milk, and cereals.

Boracay Holiday Resort Rates

Please take note that these rates below are the rates they’ve provided me, since I asked the front desk before I left. These are the current rates for 2014:

Rooms
Low
High
Peak
Apartelle
8,000
10,000
13,600
Bachelor’s Pad
4,500
5,850
7,650
Suite
4,000
5,200
6,800
Deluxe
3,500
4,550
5,950
Standard
3,000
3,900
5,100
Rates are in Philippine Peso

We got the low season rates, since we were there from November 27 to 30, if you wish to add an extra bed it’s only P600/person (and I believe this is for low season). Since the hotel just give a free breakfast for 2 for our room, the other 2 of us either paid for 280/person for the buffet breakfast or just go to McDonalds which is just few walks away from the hotel (going to the beach).

Exotic Philippines Hotel Ratings

Time to rate Boracay Holiday Resort!

We don’t have much of a problem with the room. For the rate we got, the room is already huge and cheap for the group of 4 people. So, we’re like paying P1,000 each to be that comfortable.

As for the location, to be honest I didn’t know that it’s that near to the beach. That we could just walk. Most of the hotels in Boracay that I found are worth more than that, because they’re either near to the beach or beachfront, or probably a luxury hotel. It will just take about 5 minutes to walk from the hotel to the beach. 10 minutes if it's raining because the road going to the beach is not good.

For me, the hotel location is great for its price.

The food of their restaurant is okay, most of the food we tasted we (individually) rated it from 1 to 3 stars. Plus, the service is slow and the waiter messed up with our order. So make sure that you’ll be able to clarify your orders with the waiter, I totally forgot to check the waiter’s name though.

I believe they have a pool for kids, since when we eat our breakfast, there are kids in their swimming attire all wet and happy - or tired... and crying.. and sleepy.

Exotic Philippines rates the Boracay Holiday Resort with 3 stars out of 5 stars. It's not a luxury hotel but the hotel can serve your needs - a good place to sleep and rest, big rooms, pool.
Book Boracay Holiday Resort
Click Here to Book the Hotel

Will I recommend the hotel? I’d say yes, if you love going to the beach or want to be near to the beach but want a bit cheaper price than other hotels then go for Boracay Holiday Resort.

Will you find other cheaper hotel? Yes, but most likely it’s not as near as this hotel to the beach or far from station 2 - where the party and goes.

Got something to share or ask about Boracay Holiday Resort? Please do feel free to leave it as a comment below. 

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