Let's tour! Staycation at Marco Polo Hotel Ortigas

Spent the holidays at Marco Polo Hotel Ortigas for the first time and what can I say, I was truly impressed! I didn't think so highly of this establishment because the hotel sits tight inside a CBD and barely has any perimeter clearance for any outdoor amenities. I'm kindof partial to 5-star hotels with spacious outdoors like Sofitel or EDSA Shang but yeah I'm starting to look deeper than the facade and really look at the overall service and value of each booking hahaha! So without further adieu, let's tour you!

Lobby
Ground floor lobby

Marco Polo is actually part office space and part hotel so the ground floor lobby isn't the actual hotel lobby.

Reception counter

The real hotel lobby sits on the 24th floor. And it's gorgeous.


It's wide and spacious and the lighting is so beautiful specially in the morning. It's peak season during the time we checked in so the lobby is full of people in the morning.


Rare time I caught the lobby space empty. It's the wee hours of the night after all.


The earth tones remind me of Seda Vertis North hehe.

Premiere room
We booked a Premiere room with a king sized bed via Agoda. The room description says it's 51sqm but I managed my expectations. It can't be that big.


Boy was I wrong. It's hella big for a hotel room. It's so darned spacious I can't even! Just look at my Sofitel shots, I had to squeeze myself in a corner to get a decent shot of the room. You could see from where I stand how big the room is. I LOVE ITTTTT.


What the heck, this room is even bigger than our house. We got a room at the 36th floor. Guest rooms start at 27th floor I think? So obviously everybody gets a high floor. View from here isn't that great though, we're surrounded by taller buildings so I can't really appreciate the height haha.


Here's one side with the TV and desk. One of the drawers houses a safety vault.


All sockets are universal and there's also a USB port and and HDMI to TV port (which doesn't work). There's a total of three phones in the room. On the desk, on the bedside, and in the toilet.


Here's another side of the room with a small lounge and the minibar section.


Moving on! As usual, there's complimentary tea and coffee. But not just any coffee,


Freakin Nespresso man! The coffee capsules are complimentary as well. It's my first time to try this and I'm pretty amazed at the technology. It's cool, but I prefer the good old brewed coffee haha.


The closet area is super spacious, they didn't scrimp on the hangers lol.


There's an iron and ironing board, laundry bag, and slippers. The usual. I love how there's a lot of storage space for you to really hide your things in sight. I hate it when we stay in hotels and all our things scattered on the tables and chairs. It doesn't make for a relaxing stay when you feel so at home, alam mo yun?! Hahaha

Let's go to the bathroom!



We've got two sinks, a bathtub, and a really good shower space.



Toilet is enclosed as well. I'm loving this place more and more.


As usual, we have the basic toiletries. Dental kits, cotton buds, shower caps, sanitary bags, body lotion, and sewing kit.


Let's also not miss the hair dryer, which is mounted in its own drawer. How cool is that.


Shower essentials are brought to you by Trussardi. Never heard, sounds posh, fragrance pallette smells a bit too masculine for my taste.

Pool and gym

The pool and gym is situated on the 22nd floor. Being that there's no outdoor space in this hotel, the indoor pool is kindof expected. Althouuuughhhh, I didn't expect it to be this nice! It's super no frills straight rectangular infinity lap pool with an amazing view. It doesn't look like it has some fun areas for kids? I'm sure there are shallow areas but I never got to swim hehe.


The gym is also super spacious. I can imagine running on that treadmill with a view of the CBD.

Now let's take a peek into the changing areas.


Lockers over here.


Very elegant vanity counter on this side.


Equally impressive line of sinks. It's getting hard describing hotel amenities lol.

That's pretty much it for this pic spam! Marco Polo Hotel Ortigas is now definitely one of my favorite hotels. It's centrally located and you won't starve lol. There's Jollibee beside it and Metrowalk across, plus a whole array of restaurants just around the block. The overall feel of Marco Polo is serious and luxurious. Like it's for one of those snob bachelor businessmen wanting to take a break and enjoy being alone. Anuraw?

If you're curious about the breakfast buffet at Cucina, I'm saving that for another post! Stay tuned!
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Hey Monday!

This day was interesting.

Everybody knows about the earthquake earlier. It was probably the strongest I've felt so far. I was at the office that time, and looking out the window I could see people swarming down below observing the swaying buildings. We weren't told to evacuate so we just stayed in our seats and even tried to make light of the situation. We were gossiping and making chika pa nga to each other, as usual. We were scared but we weren't in panic. Which is wrong. Whatever happened to duck, cover, and hold?!

I don't know how to feel about the lack of alarm in our faces. I felt like oh wow this is a strong earthquake but I know it's gonna stop soon so should I worry? I clearly underestimated the situation. The truth is I may not know how to react properly if something more grave hits us. Oh Lord. :( I was imagining if the shaking didn't stop for more than 5 minutes I'd be freaking out for real. Yikes. Back at work, we had a meeting about RPA. My manager informed me this afternoon that he couldn't make it so that made me frkn worried. What if they ask questions I can't answer? There are some meetings I can't take without my manager because how am I to survive without his guidance and his bigger grasp of things, you know what I mean, the top level managerial stuff I'm obviously oblivious to cos I'm just the downline who takes orders and does things?! lol

And his protection too, like you know I'm a big 'yes man' and I could really need a hand that says "STOP, my resource is getting overloaded let's talk about this some other time" --- things like that! I knew he was an important part of the meeting, I think he's supposed to be the main guy in that discussion but oh well. Good thing he brought in my senior. I was so relieved to share the burden of explaining things I'm not too confident about hehe.

Turns out the meeting was about something else. Something bigger. Maybe exciting. Definitely puts pressure on us as the technical resource. The ideas I got on the table were pretty overwhelming. Whew.

On another note, I had quite an eventful weekend!

We attended a wedding!

At Estancia de Lorenzo

Yesterday, Jeckie and I attended the wedding of one of our good friends in college, Bon and Edlaine. It was a happy moment finally seeing them tie the knot! The wedding was beautiful, they were both so stunning (I'm more partial to Edlaine of course haha), and the venue was perfect. ❤

Staycation at Marco Polo Hotel Ortigas!


Jeckie and I decided to book a biglaang staycation at Marco Polo Hotel Ortigas for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. I'm a fan of staycations and this one's just 5 minutes away from home so I was sold. I used to underestimate this hotel. People say it's a 5-star hotel but I couldn't believe it because from the road the lobby looks really small and at night its exterior walls are decked with these multicolored LED lights that always makes me cringe. Doesn't look elegant to me tbh! 

But boy was I wrong. The place truly impresses. But more on that on a different post! :)

New hair color!

L'Oreal's Ultra Light Golden Brown on me

I bought a different shade this time and had my husband color my hair ❤. It's pretty easy anyway it's just hard to do it yourself! A box is enough for my medium length hair so I didn't think of having myself serviced at a salon. That's around ₱2,000 versus this box which is ₱399 only hehe. On the color though, I don't totally like it cos I think it looks too light for my face but kebs. I wanted it more brownish but I guess I was wrong picking a "golden" brown shade huhu. Will try another color next time!

Bought a faucet-mounted water filter!


This one's a great purchase! I can't believe we just learned about faucet-mounted water purifiers. This invention saves us a lot of effort going back and forth to the water station to fetch our provision. This also saves us money from sourcing drinking water outside when the water station is closed during holidays or whatever. Best of all, it's freaking space saving seeing that I don't have to keep our ugly blue water container on the table anymore! Will review this one on a separate post! FYI this unit is called the IVO Faucet Mounted Water Purifier, got it for ₱1,980 at TrueValue. Also available on OShopping :)

How was your week so far? :)
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Hair Regrowth Doesn't Mean Surgery

A lot of individuals suffering from hair loss mistakenly believe that their only solution is surgery. Understandably, many people do not want to go down this route. However, what they do not realise is that there are other options available.

Photo from Pixabay

You can treat your hair loss and feel confident again via utilising medical methods of hair restoration. That’s right; there are several different types of medication available to deal with various kinds of hair loss. Therefore, the chances of you needing surgery are minimised.

From being one of the more common ovarian cancer symptoms to occurring purely through stress, so many people suffer hair loss today for different reasons. However, there are options when it comes to treatment. Keep reading to discover more about the medical options at your disposal…

Minoxidil

Let’s begin with one of the most popular medications for hair loss; Minoxidil. This option is utilized both to slow balding and to stimulate hair growth as well. It is believed that it is most effective for individuals who are under the age of 40 and have started using the medication as soon as possible. This medication comes in a liquid form. Individuals who utilize it are supposed to apply it to their scalp two times a day. It is extremely important to be aware of the fact that if you exceed this recommended dosage you won’t actually promote faster growth of hair. In fact, the only thing you are doing is increasing your chance of suffering from side effects.
Propecia 

In addition to Minoxidil, Propecia is another popular medication utilized for hair loss. Nevertheless, this is only used to treat male pattern baldness. It should never be taken by women as it can have serious implications on pregnancy. You may also commonly see this medicine called Finasteride. So, how does it work? You will take Propecia in the form of a tablet and it has the effect of reducing hair loss rather than stimulating growth. This type of medication is not for everyone. As is the case with all types of hair restoration, it is important to make sure you have a proper consultation beforehand.

Avodart

Aside from the two medications that have already been mentioned, you also have the option of utilising Avodart. This is also commonly labeled Dutasteride. Similarly to Propecia, this is a medical option which is effective when it comes to treating male pattern hair loss specifically. Avodart works via inhibiting 5-alpha-reductase. This is the enzyme which is responsible for producing dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – the hormone which is found in increased amounts when in relation to a male who suffers from male pattern baldness. By inhibiting this enzyme the result is that the formation of DHT is actually blocked and therefore this stops male pattern hair loss from occurring as a result.

Avodart, Minoxidil, and Propecia are definitely the three most common medicines used in order to treat hair loss. Nonetheless, you should never jump right in and purchase one of these medications. This is highly ill-advised. You need to have a thorough consultation with a professional who will talk you through your options and suggest the best medication based on your type of hair loss specifically.

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Friday's 10 Happy Things // 6

1. Mornings like this


Remind me how blessed I am. I have so much to thank God for but I'm guilty of failing to revere him every time I see his work in nature. I take this view for granted a lot. It's not always that you get an unobstructed view of the sunrise. Hope it stays this way where we live!

2. Coffee like this


Never fails to condition my mind for work. Always and forever, Primo Iced Mocha! ❤ I've been wanting to take a fresh photo of this when it hasn't been mixed yet. The way the milk slowly hovers upwards as coffee is poured into the cup, I could only admire the beautiful marbling effect.

3. I finally finished this lengthy test that's been eating my days out

3 months guys. I've never ran a test this long. You could say it's pretty exhaustive, which is against the 7 Principles of Testing lol, but they wanted data from an extended coverage that could justify a desktop security upgrade. Anyway. So glad it's over, for now.

4. We got our first Paiwi payout today!

And it's even ahead of schedule, to our surprise. Last year, after selling our condo in Makati, we decided to invest some of our profits to DV Boer Farm's Goat Paiwi Program. Through them we got a slot at Sorsogon Goat Ranch, where we shelled out some ₱300k to sit for 3 years, while they give out partial ROI in 11 months interval. I have very little doubt about this investment program in general, since it's been vetted by several investors in TGFI, even Nawies lol, and there are hardly any horror stories in this DV Boer Investors Group I'm part of in Facebook. But the first payout doesn't really prove much. I really have to wait out the entire 3 years to give them my full confidence. But yeah, kudos to SGR for delivering ahead of time!

5. I opened an account at COL Financial

My husband and I decided to split our first payout between our personal pockets, our dwindling emergency funds, and of course tithes. I have no immediate need for extra cash right now, except maybe to buy a desk on the off chance I find something nice that's within 90-95cm long, but it's not really urgent. Since I'm bad at keeping extra money, it has to go somewhere safe. Like stocks right?! Hence, COL.

I'm a noob at this but everybody says to start with blue chip companies, so we'll do that and do peso cost averaging. Oooh, how fun lol. 

6. I got my LTO registration hassle free, and cheaper too

Because I had a Toyota dealership do it for me. Overall it's actually cheaper. Why? Because I didn't have to waste a VL, or an SL (sinungaling leave) to go to LTO and wait maybe 2 hours. All I did was call the dealership, email my OR/CR, and deposit the computed amount to Toyota. Then I just have to wait and pick up my new OR and sticker at the dealership, which I did on a weekend

I was billed a total of ₱4,540.06, with the following breakdown:


If I had done it myself I would've spent a total of ₱2,990.06 only. But if I had to take a leave for this I should tally in at least my half-day's worth in the office too, and that's not gonna cut it. Dun tayo sa convenient haha.

7. I replaced the blog header



Actually it was an old blog header. I don't know, I just needed a change, even a slight one haha. I'm looking at another layout, but I'm not sure if it's a good idea to change to this,


What do you think? Should I go for this plain and classic serif layout? 😊

8. I got new guest posts!

They lowered my rate but that's fine, at least I get to be given posts more frequently. Which means my blog's DA is going to dip lower and lower urgh. It's the sudden influx of low ranking links, I know. How do you combat that?

9. Chia, honey, and lemon for weight loss

It's kinda working! My husband lost a few pounds this week even without exercising. The only thing that changed in his diet is that I feed him half a glass of blended honey, lemon, and soaked chia every afternoon when he wakes up. I do the same for myself too and I noticed that I don't feel so hungry throughout the day. Amazing!

10. Happy long weekend! 😊


What's your 10 Happy Things this week?
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Driving Up Efficiency

For most of us at least, driving is something of a necessity. Whether we’re part of the daily commute, dropping the children to school or carrying out errands without our cars we’d all be a little lost. That doesn’t mean we don’t find it an expensive necessity. What with the cost of insurance, petrol and not to mention wear and tear, running a car is quite the investment. That’s why a small saving here or there pays dividends. Watch them add up and year on year get the cost of your motoring right down. We take a look at cutting your driving costs, without cutting corners.

Photo from Pexels

Fuel

Making your fuel go further isn’t just about finding cheaper pumps, it’s just as dependent on making your car as fuel efficient as possible. There are quite a few ways you can achieve this: always have your tyres inflated to the correct pressure. Flatter tyres cause drag which in turn forces the car to use more fuel moving them forward.

You might also want to consider opening a window, rather than cracking up the air con. One of the worst culprits for fuel consumption, air con burns through petrol. This only applies at lower speeds, at higher speeds the drag from an open window takes effect.

Finally, remove anything extra that’s weighing your car down. Take off the roof box or luggage rack and clear the boot. Making your car lighter will help it become more efficient and not have to work quite so hard to keep you moving.

Insurance

Quite simply you need to shop around and find out what the average car insurance cost is. Then look to beat it on price comparison sites and so on. You might even find talking to a broker scores you a cheaper deal with some extras thrown in.

Whoever you choose to go with for insurance, you’ll need to make sure that you read the small print. As time consuming as this is, this is where you’ll find out that your amazing deal is cheap for a reason. Check that you’re adequately covered when driving abroad and if you’re entitled to any legal/breakdown assistance in the event of an accident. 

Lastly, shop around. Save up and use supermarket offers on fuel and look for online offers, such as Groupon, for servicing that keep your car in great condition. The more efficiently it runs, the less fuel you’ll be wasting. Learn to drive smoothly and avoid over accelerating, come to a halt and speed up again slowly and think about your road position to reduce unnecessary mileage on your clock.  Try and drive in as high a gear as you can. Keep your vehicle light and the tyres pumped up for better performance and less cash spent out.

Shop around for great insurance deals but make sure you know what value you’re getting for your money when you sign on the dotted line.

Driving is necessary but expensive, use these tips to reduce your costs and you’ll be cruising into a fuel efficient future.

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Singapore Day 5: Gardens by the Bay, Satay by the Bay

Our last agenda for our Singapore trip is visiting Gardens by the Bay. Again, we got our tickets from Klook. Super duper helpful app if you're traveling! Tickets are separate for the Cloud Forest and Flower dome and each cost around ₱600-800.





There's a lot of walking involved in this visit so make sure to wear comfy clothes and shoes!

Cloud Forest

This man-made conservatory is conditioned to imitate the humidity and temperature levels of tropical mountain highlands creating a viable environment for lush vegetation and a variety of flowers!


This is truly an amazing place. Everything just puts you in awe. The waterfalls, the mist, the ferns and trees growing inside. Everything is magical.







Flower Dome

Singapore's Flower Dome is actually named as the largest glass greenhouse in the world as of 2015. You can find several gardens inside. There's an array of succulents, baobabs, olive groves, and a vast flower field too. 



When we visited the theme is still Chinese New Year so the place was full of lanterns, flower arcs, and other CNY things.





Satay by the Bay


After touring the two domes we decided to eat somewhere. There were a couple of restaurants at the Gardens complex but Jeckie was intrigued by Satay by the Bay. I wasn't up for some satay specifically but we still decided to follow the signs leading to it, in hopes of finding something good to eat.


Lo and behold, Satay by the Bay is actually a hawker. They could've added a description you know! It was a loooong long walk from the dome but who cares, we're hungry!


If this wasn't such a long way from the city center this would have been my favorite hawker instead of Lau Pa Sat.

Supertree Grove


By the time we finished eating, it was about time for the Garden Rhapsody lights and sound show. There are several supertrees planted around the Gardens but 12 of them can be found at Supertree Grove. The place is free to access since it's at one of the open areas, unless you want to walk at the OCBC Skyway to get up close and personal with the trees.





The trees are gorgeous. You can see them even if you're outside the Gardens but it's still a different experience looking at them up close. They're so mesmerizing.


Aaand that's it. You can probably say I was rushing to finish this entry because it's been long overdue, AND YOU'RE RIGHT. I wanted to get over my SG diary already because I know I'll forget about it soon! 

Nonethess, this was one of my favorite days. We were Manila bound the following day and it was great to cap off our trip by visiting one of the country's top landmarks. 

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