Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Winner Ka!

I’ve been very busy the past month that I can’t find enough time to squeeze my blogging. I have a lot to share but not now, perhaps. For now, I would just like to announce the winners of our Family Give-away sponsored by Firmo Eyewear. I said in that post that I’ll take 1 voucher for mi esposo but he decided to give-it-away too (he found a better sponsor for his eyewear needs.hehe)

Since it’s a family give-away, we did the raffle manually. Each family member picked out an entry. It’s supervised by a representative (from our kitchen) so you’ll know it’s a credible raffle. J

The 6 lucky winners already got their e-voucher code that they can use to save $20 on any frame at Classic Series (some frames are lower than $20), not including the shipping part. This however, expires in 30 days, so better use it now. They were:

1) Elaine Chua
2) Linnor Rapes
3) Glenda Barretto
4) Gerilen Polon
5) Marie Angeli Laxa
6) January Ferrera 

Congratulations! and thank you very much for joining. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Day 3 : The Family Escapade at Misibis Bay

Ah, the sweet life (or as Uno would say “the best day ever”, got it from Spongebob of course)! That’s was our experience during our Day1 and the Day2 in Misibis Bay. Our 3rd day was a little bitter though, because we all knew that sooner, this fairyland will vanish and real world will kick-in.

DAY 3:

Typhoon “Gorio” was mean to us. He decided to give his full rage that day, putting Albay on Signal No. 2. But Misibis Bay wouldn’t claim to be “Weather Proof” for nothing, though they stopped operations for their outdoor activities (for safety reasons). There are still tons of things to actually enjoy indoors (time was the one who’s KJ).

After our filling buffet breakfast, we headed immediately to the activity center. Uno and I played a little Ping-Pong. Err, we actually pushed the ball towards each other using the racket. It was so fun to see her giggle with laughter.

When Uno got tired, I left the kiddos inside the playroom and challenge the Esposo for a billiard match. We played 2 sets of 8-balls, 2 of which I lost.hehe Divided naman kasi ang attention ko between the kids and the game. #Palusot

After that no-match billiard game (kung makapagsalita, kala mo nanalo), we went upstairs for karaoke-time. There was also a Foosball table which got the curiosity of the little girl, but I told her we will sing “Maya Song” aka Please be Careful with My Heart, so she didn’t argue. There was also a business center which was calling me, but the call of Uno to sing was louder, so it's videoke time for all of us.

We wanted to dip in our private pool after, but changed our minds. Ang lamig kasi. I have to pack yet. Our luggage was picked-up on time (a schedule was given to us the night before). We were picked up next.  The rain was too strong that time that we have to wrap the kids with bathroom towels and soaked our feet in an ankle deep flood in front of the villa’s door. It was really tough because we have to hold the umbrella with one hand, carry the kids on the other and sling our hand-carries. That’s okay because I believe that they scheduled that to meet our flight schedule.

To my surprise we were just made to wait for almost an hour in the reception area. The van assigned to us was not there (or is it heading back to the resort from Legaspi yet). Worst when the van arrived, the rain has settled. See, sana, hindi muna kami sinundo. Sana tuyo lang kami at komportable yung mga bata sa villa since technically we’re still paid up to the 12pm - standard check-out time. I wish they’d be more sensitive next time. 

It’s our last minute, useless to complain. Anyway, that was a super minor glitch considering all the VIP treatments we received from them. And as we swore, we would definitely be back at Misibis Bay (considering I haven't set my feet on their sand). 

The service van was again, Super Grandia - all to ourselves. Accordingly, it’s the only type of vehicle they use as service to guests. As usual, the kuya driver made the long travel barely noticeable. He also showed us interesting fact. Apparently, there’s a part of the ocean that sea-vehicles use as resting station during storm rage. There was 1 passenger vessel when we passed that area, kuya predicts that later that day, it would be filled with vessels cautious in facing the storm.

We arrived at the Legazpi Airport on time, but our flight back to Manila was cancelled due to the storm. An adventure awaits the family anew. Extended vacation we’re ready for you. J

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Family Getaway at Misibis Bay : Day 2

I thought I can make 1 post about our Misibis Bay experience, but the photo overload proved me otherwise, there’s a story behind each one that can’t be ignored. You may want to know what happened on Day 1, before you continue reading.

DAY 2:

Our family anniversary fell on our 2nd day at Misibis. 

Dos was awake as early as 5am. As much as I want to sleep more, I just can’t resist the smile of this adorable baby. So I took him to the day-bed where we had nanay-baby bonding.

I was hoping to see the sunrise so I asked Dos to wake his Tatay and Ate, but only his Tatay fell on his bait aka smile.

We went out to feel the morning breeze for a while. There we saw the beach staffs were already gearing up for the day and doing their morning exercise. We promised we’ll meet them in a while.

Uno was starting to wake-up when we went inside, I whispered we’re going to swim and her eyes twinkled with excite.

After our buffet breakfast, we explored the Misibis’ amenities for a while. The infinity-pool, lagoon pool and the rest were also ready for the day. Noticed that stone speaker? So, creative. It provided soothing music for the guests to enjoy while basking the sun. Each sunbed was also ready with individual towels and throw pillows. All you have to do is seat-back, relax and take the plunge. Misibis Bay Motto #4: “Wala ka nang hahanapin pang iba”.

But we’re not ready for the pools yet, we were scheduled to explore the Marina (the snorkelling spot) and I am yet to experience the zip-line which I wasn’t able to do on Day 1.

It was actually my 1st time to do zip-line, I am a thrill seeker so I was not intimidated. Zip-lining was so much fun, but that high post that I have to climb took my energy, so as a revenge, I zip-lined again. Wala akong pakielam kahit maglakad ako pabalik at umakyat uli, makaganti lang.hehe

Of course, hindi papatalo si mi esposo, he also took the course twice.   

Eh, papatalo ba mga bagets? They took the line too.

Before you hate me for mistreating the kiddos, it was only for photo ops. It would be more fun if they were with us, the course was safe for kids actually, but no helmet fits them yet.  Next time, perhaps.

We headed to the Marina after. It was equipped with snorkeling gears, I shouldn’t have brought life vest for the kids because it was readily available and it fits perfectly. Dos enjoyed the water, although he didn’t actually snorkel. Hehe

Uno was the opposite, she didn’t have the guts to dip (too dirty, daw), she settled with the company of this Korean girl who was fond of her. She was also contented in feeding the fish by the breakwater.

Snorkeling was complimentary with our stay too. But don’t expect too much though, it was not Palawan. There was nothing there but few species of fish and huge rocks. But I enjoyed snorkeling with the help of the friendly diver, nevertheless. Again, towel and BMW (refer Motto # 1) was readily available.

After snorkeling, we explored the infinity pool. Life-vest for the kids was automatically handed to us, refer to Motto #3. We also tried the lagoon pool. We had so much fun until we felt that the little boy needs to sleep.

As if they still haven’t had enough water, Uno and esposo dipped in our private pool again before transferring to the bathtub. Walang bang ganyan sa bahay nyo?hehe

We were about to try Misibis’ beach that afternoon but the heavy rain and strong wind hindered us. Apparently, Typhoon Gorio made a landfall that day putting Albay on Signal No. 1. We took the time to rest and sleep, instead.  
Luckily, the rain stopped sooner than expected. We were given a chance to try Segway. I was not listening to the history of this, all I remember was that it’s an auto-balance ride. See, even Uno can ride it.

I was the 1st to try Segway. For safety purposes, there was a tutorial/briefing before the actual ride. After the briefing, I hesitated to explore the whole resort, I thought the practice  ride was enough, but Jonas (our instructor) was good in boasting my moral and patiently encouraged me to brave the ride.

I’m glad I did. It was so fun. I was even driving with 1 hand, “tignan mo, ang yabang ko na”, was my exact words to Jonas in this photo.

Esposo was next, he was beyond thrilled with this experience. He was ecstatic when he said, buti nalang nagSegway tayo. I couldn’t agree more. It was the best activity we had in Misibis.

Segway was charged separately. It costs P2,400 for 30 minutes ride. An instructor will be there to guide you along the ride and to take pictures, too. Jonas knows where the picturesque spots were, kahit nakapikit pa siya.lol

After our Segway, we hit the pool again. There we saw some staffs preparing a private dinner set-up by the beach. I asked mi esposo, if that was the same set-up he was referring that costs around P10,000. He nodded. He was clueless that it was intended for him, for our family.

Backgrounder: When I booked for our trip, I already coordinated (via email) for a possible surprise for him, but I was not answered. So I disregarded the idea. But on our 1st night, Dette (our activity specialist) called me regarding my query. She said she can give us complimentary cake and a song number during dinner at the Spice Market. I told Dette, the singing part may not be a good idea because we’re a shy couple. Since esposo was beside me during that time, we didn’t come up with a plan, I told her I’ll call back. I fell asleep and wasn't able to call her that night.

The next day, as the esposo and Uno was swimming at the plunge pool, I took the opportunity to call her but I didn’t get her local so I coursed thru the operator. The operator was reluctant in connecting me to Dette, so I was forced to tell her the whole story. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise because she gave me to Ms. Lory (the Recreation Unit’s Supervisor) instead. Ms. Lory has the same plan, I told her honestly that we cannot bear to be stared by the whole restaurant once the crew started singing for us. I passingly said, if there could be a private sulok at Spice Market, then why not. She then brought up about a special set-up by the beach. I asked her how much would it cost me then stopped (I remember the P10,000 minimum esposo told me) I just said, “ay wag nalang, romantic set-up or something nalang kaya dito sa room”. She said, we can prepare a complementary honeymoon set-up for you in your room. Libre, as in? I wanted to jump for joy.

But that’s not all, a few minutes after, our phone rang and Lory was on the line again, she said she talked to the F&B Supervisor and they agreed to give us complementary set-up by the beach, too. I was estatic. Libre ulit? Misibis Bay Motto # 5: “Gusto ko happy ka”. 

Imagine that, a super expensive resort was willing to give all-in for the satisfaction of their guests. Misibis Bay Motto # 6: “We will not take advantage”. J

So moving on..

After our swim, we changed clothes for the dinner. I forgot to ask Ms. Lory of how we are going to be known. But as we stepped inside The Spice Market, a crew confirmed our room assignment, then ushered us by the dinner set-up. Misibis Bay Motto # 6: “Alam na namin ang gagawin”.

Esposo was still in-denial. He repeatedly asks the staff if he was sure it was us. He only got the cue when I said “Natouched naman ako, ginastusan mo pa talaga”. He said, “Ikaw no, magkano to?” I teasingly answered “P10,000 mayaman ako eh”. Haha 

The food that we ordered was on us, sobra naman kung pati yon ililibre pa nila. Hehe We enjoyed our romantic dinner by the beach, we were on Cloud 9 actually.hehe

And yes, when we returned in our room, the honeymoon set-up surprised him too. He loved Misibis na talaga.

The waiter forgot to give us the complimentary anniversary cake during the dinner. I let it go, it was too much to ask. But to our surprise, he delivered it in our room few minutes after. What a way to close the celebration.   

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Family Getaway: Our Misibis Bay Experience

It took me longer to write our Misibis Bay experience because I felt like I’m torturing myself. Not that I (we) had a bad experience whatsoever, but the more I recall our experience the more I long to go back to that paradise - sooner.  I actually had hard time thinking of how to write this but eventually decided to share our detailed experience rather than make a review. You can always check on their website, anyway. This is more of a personal account on our grandeur vacation at Misibis Bay.

DAY 1:

We went to NAIA Terminal 3 way ahead of our scheduled flight. Excited lang si esposo, but to my surprise even the kiddos were awake by 3 AM, but the long wait was not felt because these kids entertained me.

Uno was so excited, she watched the planes come and go. She explored the waiting area and gamely posed for me. She asked me every minute if it’s time to board yet. So cute.

Dos, of course, stayed still in his Tatay’s arm. He took a nap from time to time until it was time to board.

On board the plane, the 2 were curious and explored their surroundings a bit but not long before sleep won them over.

At the Legazpi Airport, the kiddos automatically opened their eyes, as if they knew that F-U-N starts at that moment.

We were greeted by the cheerful staff of Misibis Bay inside the airport and assisted us all the way to our service van. You know by then that luxury starts here.

Our service van was no less than the top-of-the-line Toyota Grandia – with all leather captain seats and super spacious leg space, we can actually lie down and sleep but the views along the way was so hard to resist. Travel time from the airport to Misibis Bay can be as long as 45 minutes to an hour but barely noticeable. Your eyes will not get bored with non-monotonous views, there’s the ever beautiful Mt. Mayon, the Pacific Ocean and urban to rural dwellers. Plus it also helped that we had chickadorang Kuya driver, who from time to time shared relative trivia about Legazpi and Misibis Bay. Did I mention there’s a bottle of cold water waiting for us inside the van which was given to us for free and I also saw candies and cookies by the dashboard nakalimutan siguro kami alukin daldal kasi naming lahat. Oh and btw, the van was all to ourselves, I can see the esposo was hiding his smile at that point.

After less than an hour (which seems like 5 minutes to me), we were welcomed by Ibalong Dancers at the drop-off area. Then a receptionist gave each one of us (kiddos included) fishlike-necklace made of leaf and cold face towel (which was so refreshing) and ushered us to the reception area where a welcome drink (lemon with carrot and cucumber juice) and kropect was waiting.

We were made to feel some VIP hospitality as we listen to the welcoming remarks of the front desk officer assigned to us. After her spill, she introduced us to the Guest Activity Officer assigned to us, oh diba, personalized lahat. She then planned with us on how we are going to spend and enjoy the rest of our stay there. Hassle free, all you have to worry is how to contain that giggling feeling.

Since we were too early for the standard check-in, we requested for an Eco-Park Tour right-away.

Our 1st stop was the High-Rope Course, there’s a 150 and 400 meter zipline waiting for the guest to try on. Sadly, the 400m line was close for maintenance, the esposo immediately tried the 150m, I on the other hand, stayed on the ground drooling because I was wearing maxi dress. I promised to be back the next day.

Next was the Cathedral. It was divine but there’s nothing there but for photo opps, unless of course you're planning to get marry there. 

Uno was more interested with the golf cart that she wanted to drive it herself which Kuya Manuel (our cart driver) gamely agreed.

The famous pit-stop of the Amazing Race Asia was our next stop. This Amphitheater with Stonehenge has a majestic view of the Pacific.    

Our tour (zipline ride, included) was complementary with the stay, btw. On the way back to the main resort, Kuya Manuel suggested we check Marina 1st so we can get a glimpsed on what to expect for the next day’s snorkeling activities.

Again, there’s free BMW (that’s bottled mineral water, Ms. Dette, our activity specialist, got us there.lol) was given during the tour. Hinding-hindi ka mauuhaw sa Misibis. Hehe

We paid a visit to the playroom after. The kiddos especially the bunso (aka Tatay) was so thrilled. Imagine toy overload plus a Nintendo Wii, Playstation and PS3 (I told you, the Tatay enjoyed as much).

Kahit hindi pa kami masyado gutom dahil sa dami ng nainom namin, we decided to have lunch at The Spice Market, since it’s still early for the check-in (more food stories here). 

Few minutes before 2 pm, a staff approached us and told us our room was ready. Finally, since we were all tired and sleepy and kiddos were getting cranky. A golf cart took us to our room, we thought it was far, we were surprised that it was only a good 2 minutes walk from the reception area. Another Misibis motto: "Bawal mapagod ang guests".

Welcome to our humble abode for 3 days, Villa No. 15. 

Our villa has all luxurious amenities tucked under 1 room. It truly speaks for its name. 1st class bed, linens and pillows, L’Occitane kit for bathroom, bath tub, huge LCD TV, mini-bar with hi-tech coffee maker (which esposo needed to call for operational guide.hehe), day-bed, verandah, beach-bed, our own access to the beach and to top it all, a private plunge pool. We can live and enjoy by just staying inside. 

All the things you need was inside. Noticed that weighing scale, would you really need that?

I was wrong when I said that we were tired and sleepy because the moment we smelled that fresh scent inside the room, nabuhay kami lahat and became energetic. So after putting our luggage into place I invited Uno to try the plunge pool right away.

The only advantage I saw in having a private pool was that I was able to wear my 2-piece bikini shamelessly, other than that, no more.lol The private pool was a Jacuzzi after all, that I didn’t know until a staff who just passed by turned-on the machine that makes the pool bubbles. May effect palang hindi ko nalalaman. That's another plus point about Misibis' staff, they can read minds. Motto #3: "Bago magtanong ang guest, sagot agad".

After we swam, the kiddos and I slept the afternoon away. Since the esposo was still overwhelmed by the VIP treatment (feeling artista daw siya), he explored the whole place by himself. He then saw some staff preparing for a private dinner set-up by the beach. He inquired about it and thought he could surprise me with a romantic dinner on our anniversary night, ang sweet diba? But upon hearing the “P10,000 minimum” he changed his mind. Asa pa ko.lol
We skipped dinner on our 1st night, busog pa din sa tubig.hehe Seriously, we still have my lunch’s take-out and the complementary merienda untouched, so we didn’t really starved. We watched the peaceful sea at the comfort of our day-bed, munch some snacks, played around, enjoyed our villa until it’s time to call it a day.