Our first Airbnb experience: Citiland Tagaytay Prime Residences

In celebration of my parents' 28th wedding anniversary, I booked us a place at Tagaytay via Airbnb. For the unaware, Airbnb is "an online marketplace that enables people to list, find, and rent vacation homes for a processing fee" (from wiki). Pretty much like an online hotel booking system, except you're not booking from hotels, but from locals. I highly recommend it because it's a cheaper lodging alternative, and if you get to rent a nice condo with complete amenities, and a trustworthy host with good reviews, I swear it's better than staying at a hotel.

Looking for the best place to stay at Tagaytay wouldn't be so hard if I weren't so maarte with the interiors. Most of the listings I saw are filled with surplus couches and horrible draperies, so I skipped those. Char. In fairness to Tagaytay, there are tons of places to choose from if you're not as maarte as I am nga. But anyway, it didn't take me long to find the perfect place, I enjoyed gawking over at Airbnb naman and filling my wishlist in the process hehe.

We stayed at Norman and Joanna's unit overlooking Taal (Citiland Tagaytay Prime Residences) and boy was it worth it! The photos are nice, the reviews are good, the view is amazing, and the room is complete with everything we needed and more, even bath towels are provided. Also, the price point for a Sunday is really affordable at ₱2,000/night (varies depending on the day and season) so that's really sulit for the four of us. :D

Orayt, pic spam!

Cabled TV, wifi, and landline phone: check. That wall was actually a major selling point for me, and I wasn't even disappointed when I learned it was just wallpaper.

Another angle with the bedroom divider in view. The unit is some 30sqm big, spacious enough for four adults. My parents slept in the bedroom, and my sister and I stayed at the sofa bed. My goodness, that sofa bed easily became my favorite part of the stay because you know what? It extends to queen size without having to push the sandalan! Soooo perfect, you know those sofa beds that are a pain against the wall 'cos they can't be flattened against it, and when you want it turned to a bed you have to push it forward to give space for the sandalan to be reclined? Gaaaahd, not for me.

This sofa bed, which I learned is actually an IKEA Karlstad 3-seat sofa bed, is my dreeeeaaam bed. Unfortunately, the model is already discontinued and only the sofa version is in stock at their warehouses. I became so obsessed with it because look how functional it is:

It starts off as a big boring couch

But when you pull out the underside,

It reveals a slatted bed base that also doubles as a storage compartment for bed linens

And when you fold out the seat cushions, you get yer bed!

Now just lay out the sheets and throw in some pillows and you're ready for a movie marathon. I love this sofa bed huhu. Any ideas where I can buy one or have one customized?

Okay, back to the room tour.

Here's the bedroom. My parents loved it.

Kitchen: check! Ref, microwave, electric kettle, single top induction cooker...

Pots and pans, rice cooker, cooking utensils, 16oz imported looking Starbucks mugs (char)... check, check, check! I mean they're not really in my checklist but you get my excitement? haha

The kitchen may be small and I wish we had more countertop space, but it's good enough for us. My mom was able to cook nilagang baka for dinner, and I was able to prepare tapsi for breakfast (na pinag-puyatan ko 'cos I had to tenderize the beef and cook it in boiling water to make it soft). We're that family who likes to bring baon and buy fresh food from the market whenever we go out of town. For this trip, dinner and breakfast is courtesy of Mahogany market yey.

Another angle

Aaaand the bathroom! I love how the toilet and shower areas are separate but are essentially in a single room divided by a half wall.

Clean and cute, and with heated shower yey.

And now, the view.

From the balcony

From my selfie stick, struggling to get a wider view of the living room. Don't you love that fake brick wall? 

At the viewing deck, 24th floor. You can also jog here or simply chill out watching the sun rise or set. I was busy preparing breakfast so I wasn't able to watch the sunrise but my parents did and it was sooooo foggy. Sige romantic na rin daw. :P

I came to the deck after breakfast and was glad that the fog has cleared out already and the lake is visible na. So pretty.

Here's the view from back side of the condo, facing Tagaytay Executive Village. Still a pretty sight if you ask me specially if you're on the higher floors, and units are significantly cheaper than the lake facing ones. In case you're interested in getting a condo unit haha.

As for amenities, there's not much aside from the viewing deck, only a decent sized 4ft deep pool that's good enough for a light swim. That's all. Not complaining though 'cos even if they had more areas to play with, we wouldn't have the time to try them all. On our next visit, we're probably gonna try SMDC Wind 'cos they have bigger pools and lots of courts haha. Yep, will check-in longer too!

Overall we enjoyed our stay, it's even bitin cos we checked in at 2pm and next thing we know, we have to check out already at 11am. The only downside is the TV wouldn't recognize my hard drive or any of our USBs. I'm figuring it's a format issue but oh well.

Now, if you haven't tried Airbnb, go ahead and sign up so we'll both get incentives hehe! Sign up using my link: www.airbnb.com/c/ybirog and get ₱850 off when you take your first trip worth ₱3,500 or more! :)

Tip: you need to have a credit card to pay for your accommodations. But if you don't have one (like me), and is only travelling locally, you can ask the host if they accept offline payments. Mine did, so I paid via bank deposit and they blocked the date for me. Downside is, the trip will not appear on your profile. :)

Lately, Airbnb has become my new Pinterest for interior design pegs. Will probably share my wishlists soon! :D

Have you tried Airbnb? How was it for you? :D

Taiwan Excellence Experiencing Zone at SM MOA on July 8 to 10

Do you want to experience some of the most exciting and innovative products from Taiwan?

Source: www.twexcellenceusa.wordpress.com

Come visit the Taiwan Excellence Experiencing Zone at SM City Mall of Asia Atrium on July 8 to 10, 2016. Organized by the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) under MOEA of Taiwan government, the Taiwan Excellence Experiencing Zone will showcase Taiwan’s most dynamic brands, which bears the Taiwan Excellence seal that confirms their high quality and product superiority. Covering the ICT, Home and Living, and Sports and Leisure industries, mall goers will get the opportunity to discover Taiwan's best brands and purchase from a wide selection featuring more than 200 products from 54 brands like Acer, ASUS, D-Link, Sakura and Transcend.
For this mall event, variety of Taiwan’s sports and fitness equipment will also be showcased including KYMCO’s motorcycles that redefine transportation means; Pacific’s bikes that continuously provides inventive ways to make biking more exciting; and Johnson’s fitness products that can be your partner in maintaining your personal health.

For added excitement, there will be a dance group performance by Coven PH and a fashion show to keep you entertained while going through the assorted items on display. Watch Daryl Ong, Morissette Amon, and KZ Tandingan as they render a show-stopping performance. Model actor Mikael Daez and cosplayer sisters Ashley and Alodia Gosiengfiao will also be present to greet exhibit guests.

Join the booth navigation tours and brand presentations, and see how the featured products can complement your lifestyle. Brands such as Asus, Heartway, and MSI will offer their products at a discounted rate. There will also be games and lucky draws, wherein prizes will be raffled off to lucky guests.

Save the date and discover the possibilities that Taiwan brands can bring to your life!


About Taiwan Excellence
The symbol of Taiwan Excellence honors Taiwan’s most innovative products that provide tremendous value to users worldwide. All products carrying this symbol have been selected for specific Taiwan Excellence Awards based on their excellence in design, quality, marketing, Taiwanese R&D and manufacturing. Initiated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), R.O.C. in 1992, the symbol of Taiwan Excellence is recognized by 100 countries.

Organized by Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT), MOEA
The Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), R.O.C. is responsible for implementing policies and regulations governing foreign trade and economic cooperation. Established in January 1969, the BOFT's role and position have been adjusted regularly to meet the needs of the ever changing international economic and trade environments. The BOFT has been guiding and working with the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) in numerous promotional trade projects and activities both internationally and domestically. Having worked closely with TAITRA for many decades, the BOFT continues to commission TAITRA for various critical government projects relating to business, trade and investment, while promoting Taiwan internationally.

Implemented by Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA)
Founded in 1970 to help promote foreign trade, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) is the foremost non-profit, semi-governmental trade promotion organization in Taiwan. Jointly sponsored by the government, industry associations, and several commercial organizations, TAITRA assists Taiwanese businesses and manufacturers with reinforcing their international competitiveness and in coping with the challenges they face in foreign markets. TAITRA boasts a well-coordinated trade promotion and information network of over 1,200 international marketing specialists stationed throughout its Taipei headquarters and 50 overseas offices worldwide. Together with its sister organizations, the Taiwan Trade Center (TTC) and the Taipei World Trade Center (TWTC), TAITRA has created a wealth of trade opportunities through effective promotion strategies.

Fat issues

I never thought it'd affect me like this but I guess I wasn't too affected considering my laziness to get in shape. Earlier though I felt a different kind of disgust with the way I look. I was having a terrible headache and I suddenly thought of buying some ice cream, specifically espresso gelato from Caramia, to relieve the pain (like it would, but you know). It didn't take long for me to decide on it. In a matter of minutes I was out of the resto with a larger than usual cup (bought medium), relieved at the taste of coffee in my mouth, and at the same time surprised at how big the cup is, how much ice cream is in it, and how pathetic a fat girl like me looks like holding a big cup of dessert like she hasn't had enough stored in her body.

Then I felt ashamed. Sure I was overthinking, and it was all on me. I may have graduated from not caring about what other people think, but have I just entered a more terrible phase? I'm kindof hating myself right now. For all the choices that led to a 10 lbs heavier me. Oh great, 10 lbs isn't that much, even though I was already overweight before that. But because I couldn't bring my sorry ass to exercise regularly and eat properly, here I am. Turned my body into a nice big cozy abode for fats. If I could only charge em rent, I could've saved enough for a liposuction. The irony.

So what gives? I don't know. Should probably start motivating myself to lose weight again. Arg. I'm so bad at this. Last week I was excited to start this 30 Day Challenge my colleague showed me, told him I'll start right at the first of July but heck all my resolve started to drain when I craved for donuts and cakes. Lord, help me.

There's something about Mondays and the first of every month that makes you want to start something. I wonder why it's more exciting that way, starting something at the start of something. But then when it passes and you've done nothing, you get the illusion you have to wait a week or a month before restarting or doing something else, instead of getting back on track immediately. First of July has left me. Now it's the 4th and it's a Monday. Wonder what'll I do.

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