Life lately and my latest read (It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover)

I learned a bunch of new keyboard shortcuts today hahaha it's the shortcuts for ♥, ♦, and • respectively. That's a heart, a diamond, and a bullet point. I can't believe it took me this long to discover the correct alt codes for them. They're ALT + 3, ALT + 4, and ALT + 7 respectively yeheyy.

If you're wondering why it matters, they're my most used symbols when writing Youtube descriptions. And all these (two) years, I'm freaking copy pasting it from Google or from my old descriptions. So yeah, I'm pretty happy about it! And to make it easier to remember, the ♥ already looks like a 3 as in the <3 emoticon, a ♦ has 4 points, and I don't know about the • I guess the 7 looks like a gun or something, so may bullets haha or maybe connect the dots? Idk I think I've thought hard enough to not forget about it haha.

I finished reading It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover before going to bed this morning and I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads.

(I just used the kb shortcut for ♦ I'm so happy wahahaha)

I've never read anything like this before. One thing I liked about it is the perspective it gave me on domestic violence and abusive relationships. How it's not that easy to leave immediately once you start getting hurt physically. It starts once, then you forgive, because maybe it was an accident, or he was so sorry about it and promised not to do it again. Then it happens again and he's more sorry and your heart can't take it. You're bruised and confused but your love and compassion keeps pushing your limit further and further 'til it disappears into the brink of tolerance. Then one day you get slapped and you think you're lucky you just got slapped. It's awful. This book made me feel really hurt about the reality of such relationships. And the fact that it's drawn from Colleen's mother's personal experience only fleshed it out even more. It's a painful tale which ends right. I can't say it ends happily, but the ending is right and makes sense. I actually love it.

What I didn't like though are the characters. I didn't really care much for them. I struggled to read the first half cos it's fucking smut and I usually don't mind tropes granted they're explained well and makes sense. This book exhibited tons of it but it's super boring and cliche, there's insta-love, a love triangle, I'm-not-like-most-girls, and lots of sex I want to throw it off

It's my third CoHo and now I'm getting used to her style. She likes to mix young/new adult tropes with traumatic backstories, if only to make the plotline more emotional unlike most YA's. I actually like it as it's more psychological than fantastical and her storytelling tugs more at your feelings than your imagination. 


Yeahhh so that's my life lately? Keyboard shortcuts and a book? HAHAHA daming ganap no but I hey i just uploaded a new vlog, check it outt

PS. I was supposed to work for real today but guess what huhu please pray for me. Half the time I think I should go work in the office already to regain motivation but I'm not ready to commute again huhu


Our Okada Manila Experience

Heya! Before you dive into this lengthy post with me ranting and raving about our Okada stay... here's a video I uploaded on YouTube about my birthday celebration...

Watch: My Okada & Nobu Birthday Celebration

Soon! Okada Manila Tour - Deluxe King Bay View, The Retreat Spa, In-Room Dining

I turned 31 on Tuesday and Jeckie and I celebrated it by spending the weekend at Okada Manila and having Omakase dinner at Nobu Restaurant. This post is just gonna focus on Okada. We stayed for 2 nights starting November 13, 2021.

First of all, I was never attracted to Okada Manila. Specially with how it looks in photos. With the obnoxiously pink lobby and the amount of drapes covering the wide columns, it's totally unrelaxing and kinda overkill. For me ha. Had they picked red for a motif, then it's a circus. And it's even more stressful in person cos the lobby is actually smaller than it looks in photos. I'm both overwhelmed and underwhelmed at the same time hahaha.

Nevermind that they placed an enormous Christmas tree at the center, it's all washed out by the glaring pinkness of it all. It's a Casino complex naman daw and not really a hotel per se so every garish design decision at the lobby is probably science-backed to invite as much high rollers as they can.

Alert Level 2 situation yikes

Anyway. Ako lang naman to and it's not like tatambay kami sa lobby wahaha

To my slight dismay the deluxe room is yet another splash of pink.

Good thing there are some muted elements and half the room is occupied by the bathoom which has warm marble tones so yes to familiar elegance!

Oh, the hallways are beautiful too and a far cry from the agressive fuschia lobby. The Retreat Spa is also very very relaxing. I wish they designed it more cohesively. But after learning that Okada is patterned after Macau, the arresting lobby suddenly made sense hehe.

Sorry I'm overreacting. But you know, part of me kinda regrets this staycation decision cos we could've booked somewhere quieter, less busy, and cheaper too... but I must admit, the jacuzzi with an ocean view kinda snagged my attention. At least now I can say I've stayed at Okada!

Enough about how I hated the lobby hahaha... let's move on to other things I hated about our stay hahahaha. Actually there's just one thing but this very basic thing affected our entire stay and that is...

Very high turnaround time...

✖ Checking in? Wait at least 30 minutes in line...
✖ Request for bay view room? If there's none readily available, prepare to wait for another hour...
✖ Wanna call the operator? Wait at least 5 minutes on queue...
✖ In-room dining? Wait 1 hour for your food...
✖ Want extra pillows? They're complimentary but you gotta wait 5 fucking hours for it. I'm serious.

That's how understaffed they are. I guess.

This is the most expensive place we've stayed at (so far) but the response time beats that of cheaper hotels. I'm entitled to feel this way but I also can't get mad at the people because I know they're just trying to deal with the chaos one guest at a time. And I felt that, cos once it's finally our turn to be attended to we were treated professionally and with empathy naman so it's hard not to simmer down.

They knew their guests are struggling with impatience so I appreciate that they don't rush to get to the next guest and is proactive with meeting our needs. Placing requests is a breeze. But it's the eternal waiting that gets to you talaga hahaha. It's just that they're faced with an overwhelming amount of guests, hello Alert Level 2, and they're pretty darned understaffed. That's the only explanation I see fit, otherwise why would my fucking pillows take 5 hours to get delivered lol.

There's nothing 5 star about having to wait too long for a service but I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt because we're still in the middle of suriving a pandemic and every ounce of consideration goes a long way. Plus, they just pretty much reopened after alert levels went down so maybe they haven't fully adjusted yet, what with the sudden surge of overexcited guests (like us haha). 

Now that the negative things are out of the way... here are my favorite things about this staycation...

Ay wait may isa pa palang negative but I'm not sure who's to blame. I woke up with a stye on my left eye for some reason so feeling ko may ipis hahaha. I saw a vlog where it showed there's ipis in the room eh so I can't rule it out. Pero kebs naman at least I wasn't awake to face the horror lol and I brought mefenamic so it helped with inflammation. But it ruined my birthday dinner makeup eh so grrr. 

Osya ito na, my favorite things about our stay...

1. DigiValet - your in-room ipad control panel

This big and heavy ipad controls everything in your room and it's a service portal for everything you wanna request

✔ You can control the TV from it and choose from various channels
✔ They have Netflix, Youtube, and you can cast your Android and Apple device too
✔ You can open and close the curtains
✔ You can adjust the lights and AC
✔ You can order food
✔ You can reserve at the spa
✔ You can request for extra pillows, baby stuff, and PWD assistance
✔ You can settle your bill and check-out without having to go to the lobby

2. Jacuzzi facing the sunset

It's really the experience I'm after and it did not disappoint specially with the sunset view! I have a timelapse in my vlog and it's a splendid sight. The way the sun's reflection shimmers on the roof panels of Cove Manila, the slow turning of colors, haaay it's pretty romantic. 

3. Drip coffee!

I brought my own coffee grounds and pourover but their coffee is also good :)

4. Built-in bidet at the toilet

You know the high-tech stuff with bum sensors and all sorts of nozzle spray options. This one even has a deodorizer and a pwet dryer.

I love it but you can't wash with soap and water like a normal person so I brought a tabo with me para sure wahaha.

5. In-room dining

The food we ordered is so good we got room service three times during our stay. Ibang level guys. I really enjoyed in-room dining because walking to the retail area can get really tiring considering how massive Okada is. 

We ordered Buffalo Wings and it came with pineapple slices. It's new but it works perfectly so I hereby declare this as my new favorite buffalo wings.

We also ordered Butter Chicken. We're big Indian food lovers so our eyes literally zoomed in at the sight of a familiar dish. After confirming that it's indeed Indian, we punched in our orders and waited excitedly! Butter Chicken is served with Naan and Biryani but when it came to us the bread is actually Roti, but no biggie. Grabe to ang sarap diiiin! RICH levels Makhanwala sya guys. 100% recommend.

Comes with assorted bread

Finally, another new favorite. This wet cement looking hodge podge is the best mushroom soup I've ever had I swear it tasted so rich and heavenly I might have gotten a high from this soup. What kind of mushroom is this? o_O

6. The Spaaaaa

Dear Lord I had the most amazing spa ever. Booked Bespoke Therapy in a couple's room for Jeckie and I and we had an extremely relaxing experience. We had a massive private suite just for the two of us with a steam shower, toilet, jacuzzi, and a spacious dressing area. The massage beds are unlike anything I've ever laid on. It's reclining, heated, and there's an entertainment tablet beneath the face hole. I don't know why anyone would use the tablets though. We mostly slept during the whole session. My husband was drooling haha and I was close to sleep talking. It was that heavenly.

There are other facilities you can enjoy in The Retreat Spa like the pool and lounge which is way better than the hotel pool to be honest haha but the water is shallow like 3ft lang.


Yeah I guess that's it, despite a lot of waiting, I can say we still generally enjoyed our stay. Grateful for the experience!

Tips in consideration of the current restrictions in place:

✔ Get the Bay View room cos the Fountain is closed and the pool is empty. You can request this upon check-in. Sea view is better than city view for me plus you get to watch the sunset colors shimmering on the roof of Cove Manila! It's beautiful!
✔ Avoid the weekends cos it can get really crowded hehe
✔ Be patient!
✔ There are currently a limited number of guests allowed at the Coral Wing Pool, so you have to line-up before 8am to get ahead.
✔ Sign up for Rewards Circle membership (it's free!) at the Casino to get discount vouchers. We got 30% off vouchers on spa and dining upon signing up. Sadly we registered too late huhu
✔ Complimentary water is capped at 4 bottles per day. But according to front desk, there's unlimited water at the Casino hehe. Actually we ordered 8 more bottles but it didn't reflect in our statement so... thank you? Hehe

If you reached this part, thank you for bearing with me!


Everything hurts

I'm frustrated about a lot of things lately...

★ ATRAM / SeedBoxPH won't send my COP/COR emails

I didn't know ATRAM has a notoriously unreliable email notification system and it sucks that I have to message them every fucking time just to ask for my order confirmation. It's disappointing because I thought SeedBox PH has a better system than GInvest since it's linked to ATRAM (being their official digital investment platform) but heck at least GInvest provides more transaction information on the app. If only they had more products I wouldn't need to pull out from there.

★ Apple taking a while updating my pencil's purchase date

My request has been forwarded to two teams so far as they can't figure out what purchase date to use in my case.  The receipt I got shows the date in this format: MM/dd/YY and they can't decide whether I got the item on October 9 or September 10 lol. I'm perplexed that this is an issue and I wonder why they can't just take my word for it, which is October 9. If anything I don't care what they put as long I get my warranty, one month lang naman difference argh.

★ Can't decide on my leaves

I wanted to go on a week long vacation for my birthday but I know my remaining leave credits won't cover it. There were a couple of changes for my birthday celebration. I don't want to tell this blog cos I know it will jinx it lol just like it did the last time I mentioned it. So heck, not sharing anything specific so hopefully whatever bad juju this blog has can leave me alone.

★ Currently reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Hopefully I get to finish the book by this month. I'm one book short of completing my Goodreads 2021 challenge, and this highly acclaimed novel is something I've been wanting to read for so long. I bought a physical copy years ago, and that is currently browning and foxing in a cart somewhere here. I'm reading on my Kindle now and I can't say I'm that enthralled by it. Anyway. 

★ Everything hurts

There's a gym that opened up at SM Light which has a badminton court. Despite the low ceiling, it's a delightful discovery for Jeckie and I as we've been hoping for a court to open up nearby. We've been casually cursing the Ethan Allen showroom everytime we pass by it in hopes it would go back to its previous form (a badminton court) lol, but that's just wishful thinking. One court with a low ceiling is good enough. Thank you Lord!

We played with a couple of friends yesterday and maaan was it a real workout! It's my first real workout since we went on a diet. My entire body hurts right now but I'm happy to report that my knee doesn't seem to be that traumatized anymore. I've been avoiding physical strain on my knees for more than a year now, even though I know I'm already fully healed. I learned that in order to regain normal functioning I have to move it like usual so it doesn't get stuck in a cautious state. Yikes. To be honest, I still can't step in the car the normal way because I'm afraid of twisting my knee, but I'll try hehe.

My waist, back, arms, thighs, and calves are terribly hurting right now. I didn't know playing badminton could be a full body workout. I was so dead beat last night that I almost slept through my entire shift. Shhhh

★ Need to work on my airfyer review

But really, I don't even know now. I need to cover a lot of things with our Philips airfyrer in order to make a valuable review but it's such a tedious thing to write and record haha. We'll see, we'll see, I need to get this out so I could work on my next review (my mechanical keyboard).

★ Still not on track with my work deliverables

I have KTs and UAT fixes that are long overdue. If this continues I'll be escalated and fired. Char. Hopefully not. Okay fine let's work.


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