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Estrellas de Mendoza Playa Resort : An Honest Review

A few days before our early summer family trip, I started searching online for a beach resort in Laiya, Batangas. One of my criteria is that it should have a nice pool and should be beach-front property.

We ended at Estrellas de Mendoza Playa Resort.


Situated at Laiya Ibabao, San Juan, Batangas, Estrella de Mendoza Playa Resort is a Mediterranean-inspired resort sitting on Laiya Beach. 

The Entrance Gate
 Price Points
We booked the premier room (39 sqm) for 2 adults and 2 Kids (below 12 yo) for 6,800, but we ended up paying an additional of 1,000 since my 15-year-old daughter is considered an adult already. It comes with a free buffet breakfast for 4 and the use of amenities including the pool and the beach.

I think that the rate of 7,800 per night for a family of 4 is too much if we consider the room and the buffet breakfast only.  It is a little expensive for me since the room is not that well-maintained. I can find a lot better 5-star business hotel in Manila for a price of 7,800.

The Facade

Rooms / Accommodation

Pros
-  Has a veranda facing the pool and the beach which we love. 
-  Spacious room
-  Good parking space
The view from our room
Cons
- Aircon too noisy in Room 309 (wahhhh!!! hirap matulog). They should replace it with a new unit immediately. I am not sure with the other rooms if ganun din. 
- The rooms are quite old and not well-maintained
-  Yes they have TV inside the room but you cannot use it. (pang props lang ata!)
- No wifi inside the room






The Beach

- We love the beach. We love it during high tide and low tide. I find it nice that I was able to walk about 300 to 400 meters first just to be able to swim during low tide. :-)
- Clean beachfront
- Kayak, Banana Boat, Jetski, Boat ride are available
- kid-friendly beach

High Tide

Low Tide

The Pool

Pros
- nice blue infinity pool

Cons
- sharp pool flooring. 


The Restaurant

The buffet breakfast includes standard Filipino breakfast such as bread, eggs, tinapa, corned beef, chicken adobo, sopas and congee. The breakfast comes with an unli coffee as well.

The food is so-so and nothing to rave about.

You can also order snacks and have it delivered in the poolside and beach area. 

We had our PM snacks delivered here.
Estrella de Mendoza Playa Resort is ideal for families, especially those with young kids. During our stay, we saw toddlers playing at the beach (during low tide of course!) and they were really having lots of fun playing and wading in the water.

More photos






 How To Get There


1. The best way to the resort is to drive via SLEX which connects to Star Tollway. This will cut your usual travel time by approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour by skipping the traffic in San Jose, Turbina Highway. This will be approximately 132 km from Magallanes to resort itself, and will take you about 2.5 hours depending on traffic.

2. Take SLEX all the way to where it connects with Star Tollway.  


3. After exiting, veer to your left for a 2.5 kms drive to reach an intersection with sign pointing to Rosario, then turn left at this intersection, while on this road, you will notice the municipal hall of Ibaan on your right, while the church will be on your left. After passing the church, you will reach a forked road. Turn right at the road sign poining to the town of San Juan. This will be an 8km drive on this road going to Rosario town proper.

4. At the town proper of Rosario, you will notice a Jollibee outlet. Drive past it and the road will lead you all the way to San Juan town proper which is approximately 23 kms away.

5. At San Juan town proper, you will notice a Dunkin Donut sign in your right and proceed straight  until you reach the Municipal Hall of San Juan. There is a road immediately to your right. Turn to it because this is now the main road to Laiya. This is a concrete road of about 20 or so kilometers going to Estrellas de Mendoza Playa Resort.

6. When in doubt, use waze :-)

Pag-IBIG Fund holds 'Araw ng Pag-IBIG' for more than 1,500 couples

PRESS RELEASE

Today, February 14, Pag-IBIG Fund holds its eight "I Do. I Do! Araw ng Pag-IBIG," a mass wedding for Pag-IBIG member-couples.  More than 1,500 couples are expected to participate this year in 13 venues nationwide.



"This is how we celebrate Araw ng Pag-IBIG on Valentine's Day.  The mass wedding is our way of helping couples formalize their union and reminding them that Pag-IBIG Fund membership comes with benefits that can help in their lives.  We are one with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's directive of helping  Filipino families make the most of social benefits provided by government institutions like Pag-IBIG Fund," said Eduardo D. del Rosario, who serves as the Chairperson of both the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and the Pag-IBIG Fund of Board of Trustees.


This year's " I Do. I Do! Araw ng Pag-IBIG" will be simultaneously conducted in Pasay City, Mandaue City, Davao City, General Santos City and Zamboanga City.


"Since 2012, Pag-IBIG Fund has assisted 20,297 Filipino couples through this activity.  The "Araw ng Pag-IBIG" is a lighthearted way to capitalize on our name but there is the serious objective of encouraging more Filipinos to enjoy the benefits of being a Pag-IBIG Fund member.  It is our vision for every Filipino worker to save with Pag-IBIG Fund, so they can have access to high-yield savings and affordable home loans," said Pag-IBIG Fund Chief Executive Officer Acmad Rizaldy P. Moti.


The "I Do. I Do! Araw ng Pag-IBIG," was awarded with the 1st Philippine Quill for a Government Communication Program in 2013.  It also grabbed the Bronze Award for Advocacy Communications under the category of Responsible Parenthood at the Araw Values Award, and cited by the TV show, Philippine Book of Records, as having the "most number of couples in a nationwide mass wedding'" in  2014.

World Class Glass Sculptures at Museo Orlina

Pagkailangan natin na mag quick get-away at kailangang makatakas sa gulo at ingay ng Meto Manila, hindi mawawala ang Tagaytay sa listahan. 

Just 1.5 hrs away from the Metro, we can now experience the cool breeze of Tagaytay. More than the weather, the food, at sa napakaraming convents in Tagaytay for soul searching, matatagpuan din dito ang mangilan-ngilang art galleries tulad ng Museo Orlina.

It was my former boss who introduced me to the artistry of Ramon Orlina. One time, he hand me over this blueish green glass and told me to display it in his office.  I remember him saying, "JLo, ingatan mo yan, Orlina yan!" 

Fast forward 15 years later, here I am standing inside the Museo Orlina in awe while looking at the wonderful crafts of Mr. Orlina.



About Museo Orlina

Museo Orlina is the showcase of the artistry of internationally acclaimed Ramon Orlina, pioneer and foremost practitioner of glass sculpture in the country. Before Orlina, glass was largely appreciated only for its utilitarian function: as drinking vessels, window glass panes or automotive windshields. A visionary, Orlina saw beyond the humble origin of this industrial glass residue. The result is an exultant body of works that, through the decades, have dazzled the art scene and prized by numerous collectors. Triumphantly, Orlina has transformed the medium by elevating it to the dignity and respectability of art.

The Museo Orlina opens its door to the public, where they can view superb examples of Ramon Orlina’s scintillating artistry to their delight and enchantment.




Admission 
General - Php 100.00
Students and Senior Citizens with valid ID - Php 80.00

Address 
Museo Orlina
Hollywood Subdivision Road,
Brgy. Tolentino East, Holywood Subdivision 
Tagaytay City

Mobile  : 0995-7354462
Tel No. : (046) 413-2581
info@museo-orlina.org
www.museo-orlina.org

_________________________________________________________________________

Here are some of the photos during our visit. Syempre hindi mawawala ang mala-pictorial kong mga shots. :-)











Seeking Hiroshima : 8 Things To Do / Places to Visit in Hiroshima, Japan

If you have a day to spend in Hiroshima, chances are you will have difficulty in deciding where to go to first. One day is not enough to enjoy what Hiroshima has to offer, but let me help you with my Top 8 things to do / places to visit in Hiroshima.

1. Ride a JR Ferry to Miyajima Island
Are you a JR Pass holder? Then you can get to Miyajima island by riding the JR Ferry for free.  Miyajima island is one of the top three spots in Japan and if you are visiting Hiroshima for the first time, make sure to check on this island.


2. Try Hiroshima Oysters
Hiroshima is famous  for Oysters and Miyajima is a great place for oyster lovers.  How can you not resist a big, succulent, sweet Hiroshima oysters? 


3. Take a selfie at O-Torii Gate
Spend a picture-perfect morning in Miyajima island and have a photo with the sacred O-Torri Gate on the background.

4. Say hello to the friendly local deer
Deer and human in Miyajima live together side by side, and they are really really friendly and kawaii.


5. Shop for souvenirs and Foods at Miyajima Traditional Craft Center 
A kilometer walk street offering different kinds of foods from fishcakes to oysters for your discriminate taste and also offers souvenirs for your eyes to feast on.


6. Understand the effects of Nuclear bomb at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, visitors can learn about the bombing of Hiroshima and the city's restoration from the countless number of artifacts that were left in its wake.


7. Learn history at the World Heritage Site, The Atomic Bomb
Approximately 160m from the Hypocenter, the hall took severe damage from the bomb and resulting fires that swept the city.


8. Pay tribute to the victims of war at the Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims
An underground hall dedicated to the victims of the A-bomb, visitors can see a collection of memoirs and views of the city from the hypocenter. A panorama of tile representing the total number of victims the first year after the bomb dropped can be seen.

A Guide to See Mt. Fuji in its Full Glory

Our 10-day trip to Japan includes Mt. Fuji in the itinerary. We decided to stay for a night at Fujiyoshida so we can be early and grab a nice spot in anticipation of that perfect moment with Mt. Fuji.


So we travel from the City lights of Tokyo to the Country-side, to the laid-back Fujiyoshida.


How To Get There:
Take the JR Chuo Line and go west to Otsuki Station, then transfer to Fujikyu Line. If you are a JR Pass holder, the Fujikyu Line is not covered by your JR pass and you need to pay 960 yen each from Otsuki to Gekkoji Station. Travel Time from Otsuki to Gekkoji is about 45 minutes.


Where to Stay:
We stayed at Mt. Fuji Hostel Michaels. The hostel comes with a view of Mt. Fuji and is a 4- minute walk from Gekkoji Station and 3-km from Fuji-Q Amusement Park.

We stayed at their ryokan style room with futon-style beds and chabudai dining table.


Best Spot to see Mt. Fuji:
They say that there is a higher chance of getting that picture perfect moment with Mt. Fuji in the morning. As early as 5:45am, we trekked to the iconic Chureito Pagoda on the hilltop facing Mt. Fuji in Arakuyama Sengen Park.

After 400 steps, the snow white-capped Mt. Fuji welcomed us in its full glory.