Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Zeke's FIrst Strider Cup

Went to Malolos to participate in the Malolos Bike Festival.

It was Zeke's first Strider race and he was so adorable. We were surprised that he finished the entire course at the first try.

It was a 3 part race. In the first race he placed 3rd (yey). In the second race he was 5th because he was chatting up his opponents (lol). In the 3rd race we noticed that he was already tired so he was again 5th place.

We'd like him to join more races so we might register again this April.

He's no. 5

Zekezoned invades Boracay

Before all the news of Boracay being shut down for 6 months, we were able to visit in February this year.

Zeke's ninang Tin and Tito Alex went home from the states after a long time and since they love the nightlife, we decided to go to Boracay (instead of Palawan). We were also there with my high school classmates Melissa with her daughters Monique and Juliana; Portia with her son Zellig.

We stayed in 3 different hotels with Tin staying in Nigi Nigi Noo Noos. Although in a good location in Station 2 and generally cheap, I would not recommend this for families with children because the place is designed like a mini-forest with lots of trees. A wet market is also located at the back of the hotel which results in a lot of mosquitos in the hotel. Also very little privacy because they did not have curtains so light from outside comes inside the room.

Portia and Melissa stayed in Boracay Haven resort which was around 2 minutes walk to the beachfront but was a really nice place with a central location just across Hennan Regency. It's around 7,000 pesos per night during Feb so not so cheap but there is a pool for the kids.

Mac, Zeke and I stayed in Hennan Prime which was around 8,000, the hotel was less than a year old and I loved that the room had direct access to the pool. Buffet breakfast was also good and all the staff were really nice. Only downside was that it was in Station 1 which was a disadvantage since our friends were all staying in Station 2. Each tricycle ride would set us back at least P100.00

Although if its just a family all staying in Hennan Prime, the hotel is worth it, also the area since a bit far off from station 2 was relatively peaceful, the shoreline was longer and somehow the sand was finer.

3 days was a bit short to enjoy all the activities the island had to offer but we still had fun.

Part of the ATV tour we took which cost P500/head was a trip up to Mt. Luho to see the view

Zeke loved the champorado in the Hennan Prime Breakfast Buffet

Beds in Hennan Prime are comfortable

Hennan Prime's Pool

Island Hopping with my High School Friends and our kids

Brave little Boy

Pool at Boracay Haven

Boracay Haven room

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Zekezoned in Japan

December is always a festive month for the entire family because we celebrate our Wedding Anniversary, Mom and Dad's Birthdays. For this year, we decided to give as a birthday gift a trip to Osaka, Japan instead of a material gift.

Memories Mom and Dad makes with Zeke are more precious than any material gift we can give.

I decided on Osaka because it was more child-friendly and Senior Citizen friendly, it was more laid back. Every day of the trip, we would leave at around lunch time and get back dinner time. Unlike all our past trips where Mac and I would try to cram a lot of tourist spots in our itinerary, this time we had a relaxed trip (well, not so relaxed because we battled with stomach aches, diarrhea, constipation and toddler tantrums, haha). But it was still fun and memorable.

We booked the trip during Cebu Pacific's independence day sale and got each ticket at 8,000 pesos already with baggage. Be careful though in booking with Cebu Pacific, upon checking in on our flight back from Osaka, I found out I didn't have baggage allowance which was weird but apparently in my haste to book the flights I only checked baggage allowance for the flight going to Osaka. Hassle, good thing all our baggage still fit the baggage allowance of mom and dad.

Next step was getting Japanese visas for everyone. Since I work in Ortigas, we applied in Reli Tours Megamall, an accredited travel agency for Japan Visas. Compared to the first few times we had to apply for visas, this time, the lines were so long, I guess Japan has become a famous destination among Pinoys already thus the lines. It was relatively easy to get Visas for everyone since we had previous US visas. Reli Tours also recommended we apply for multiple entry visas, I only stated yearly vacation as the reason why and we were already given visas valid for 5 years.

And then the trip itself! I booked an airbnb within the Nipponbashi Area so we are walking distance to DendenTown, Shinsaibashi, Dotonbori & Namba. We had a total of 8 days which we spent:
Day 1 - Arrival in Osaka airport at 9pm. Checked-in at our chosen Airbnb. Bought snacks from the 7-eleven at the ground floor of our building
Day 2 -  Osaka Castle, Osaka Aquarium, Tempozan Ferris Wheel
Day 3 - Nara Deer Park, Shinsekai
Day 4 - Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Monkey Park, Fushimi-Inari Taisha in Kyoto
Day 5 - Kobe Steakland, Mt. Rokko Snowpark
Day 6 - Universal Studios Osaka
Day 7 - Shopping Day in Shinshaibashi, Dotonbori, DendenTown, Kurumon Market
Day 8 - Shopping again in Bic Camera, Namba area flight back to Manila at night

Where to Mama?

There's a priority lane for senior citizens and babies where you can check-in and avoid the lines

Side view, Osaka Castle

Fall/Autumn Season

They had a time capsule. I wonder what's inside

We survived the Tempozan Ferris Wheel

When you see the moving crab

Ichiran Ramen cannot be missed. Long lines in front.

Walking to the Bamboo grove you will pass by this stream

Kobe Beef

You cannot go to Dotonbori without taking a picture of the landmark Glico Man

Go to Bic Camera in Namba. Zeke met this robot that dances and talks to you

Since our airbnb cannot keep luggages, we kept our luggage in this coin locker in Namba Subway

Kurumon Market

Hiked up for 20 minutes to feed the monkey