Migs and Alaine

Chronicles of a Happy Married Life

Tag: Blissful life (page 2 of 3)

Canyon Cove Review

Last March 25, I called Canyon Cove Reservations office to book a room for April. The earliest date given to me was April 16 – 17. Since it was Tuesday and Wednesday, I had to ask my husband’s opinion. When I got a go signal from him, I immediately called Canyon Cove to confirm. But I kept on getting busy tones. So, I just opted to send an email to the address posted on their website. I didn’t know that their staff do not answer emails real time so, I had to call their reservations office again the following day. I asked the specialist if there are other dates available. I was offered April 15-16 which I grabbed. I got a confirmation number and marked my calendar.  Surprisingly, when I checked my email address, I received a response for my previous booking request. I was given a different set of confirmation number and a different date! I immediately replied to the email asking Angela (reservation specialist) to cancel my April 16-17 reservation and gave her my confirmation number for April 15-16. I waited for days, but no response was received…not even an acknowledgement.

A week before our visit to Canyon Cove, I called their reservations office and was transferred from one person to another.  They kept telling me that I was giving them a confirmation number with a missing digit. Someone even hung up on me. I was lucky to get hold of someone who is willing to help me on my fourth attempt. The confirmation number given to me was for a room reservation at Canyon woods! How did that happen? Well, that’s also my question that was never answered. I had to tell them several times that I already filed a vacation leave  for April 15 and 16 and that I could no longer extend my leave so they need to do something about my room reservation… and before the day ended, I got a call from Angela asking if I want to reschedule our visit to April 14-15… thinking that I have no choice, I said YES.

April 14 came and when we got to Canyon Cove, there were a lot of guests who are trying to get a parking slot and that includes us.  We were directed by the Security guard to a parking area near Canyon Cove’s kitchen. We even saw some kitchen personnel (four of them) having their break and watching guests as they enter the resort’s premises. There were many people walking around the lobby as expected. But the queuing at the check in counter was bearable.

As soon as we entered our room, I looked around trying to check if the place was safe for kids and for our belongings. And to my dismay. There was a cigarette butt on our veranda and a hotel key card holder on our TV rack from the previous guest. Towels are nowhere to found. For crying out loud, even the cheapest motels in the metro provide towels to their guests. Doors are also an issue.  We requested towels at around 4pm, an hour after we checked in.  At 8:45 PM we got the towels from a bell boy who after ringing our door bell, knocked on our door like a rock star. Yeah, talk about manners.

Our room.Walang WIFI. Dead spot for Sun Cellular.

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Hello daw sabi ng mga alikabok. LOL
nakakatakot lumbas pag sira ang pinto :(

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When I took a shower, the water seemed to love the flooring and took a while before it got drained. Tooth paste and tooth brushes are also not provided. Good thing, we brought our own toiletries.

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Food wasn’t exemplary. Buffet is Php600/head for adults and Php300/head for kids.

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I never expected this. Canyon Cove claims that they are a  “premier resort” and boast their “deluxe amenities” on line. I expected more… a laudable customer service at least.

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Alaine Alejandrino

Childless Stepmom

Being a wife and a stepmom is challenging but being childless is another story. My husband and I had been together since Pablo was three and his bio-mom is already happy with someone else.

I was surprised that Pablo and I instantly became close the first time we met…

spitting image of his father
Spitting image of his dad

Pablo, who just turned 7 this year is finally moving in to our own home!
I am very excited but still nervous. I never had a baby…zero experience to measure by.

Although we have spent countless weekends with Pablo since he was three, there are still things that I need to know.

isn't he adorable?
Isn’t he adorable?

I am lucky to have such family and friends who are there to support me with this  role that I literally signed up for. 😀

Kids are blessings and Pablo will always be a blessing to me and my husband.

XO,

Alaine Alejandrino

R&J Bulalohan

R&J bulalohan is a famous 24 hour restaurant in Mandaluyong City.

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They have a wide variety of food that you can choose from,mostly Filipino dishes.

It seems strange to say but although they are famous for their bulalo,it doesn’t overwhelm my tastebuds.If you’ve tried Mang Vic’s and  Tagaytay public market’s bulalo then you know where I am coming from.

The place is always over crowded probably because they serve beer and their food aren’t over priced. They have this small area where people can dine and sing their hearts out with the “shared” videoke.
Parking space can accomodate 4 cars.

What we love about them? Majic 20. Each number (1-20) corresponds to a hefty meal.
Price range:Php89 – Php120.

fried tilapia, tortang talong and salsa

pancit & beef with broccoli
For ala carte, my personal favorites are lumpiang shanghai, chopsuey and beef salpicao.

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As for the sanitation, I am giving them a 6/10.

Visit them soon!

XO,

Alaine Alejandrino

Happy Easter

I am happy to spend Easter Sunday with my parents. I love spending weekends in Antipolo.

My mother’s cooking skills is always the lure for me to go home. Whenever she misses us, she’ll send us text messages asking us to pick up a dessert that she prepared for us or just simply tell us what she cooked for lunch/dinner. Who can resist such a sweet and thoughtful gesture? This Easter Sunday, I thank the Lord for giving me the sweetest parents.

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Happy Easter, everyone!

Blood Letting

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Year 2004 at our school quadrangle, I got curious with Red Cross’ Blood Letting program. I signed up, passed the interview and waited for my name to be called. I wasn’t sure if I can endure the process but I was determined to donate blood just to feed my curiosity. When it was finally my turn, the staff of the Philippine Red Cross assisted me all the way. The blood donation lasted for about 15minutes. After which, I was advised to rest and was given some crackers, orange juice and a bottle of distilled water.

My curiosity was satisfied but it also made me more aware of the help we’ll be able to give to those in need.

My ninth blood donation took place at our office which was also hosted by Philippine Red Cross. I am happy to see familiar and new faces who selflessly donated blood for people they don’t know. March is my birthday month and saving a life is the best way of thanking God for another life that He has blessed me.

If you’re interested in donating blood you can find ways by visiting their Website: http://www.redcross.org.ph/

Manila Bay Dinner Cruise

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My first time to write as a guest blogger. Thank you so much,Rachael!

( http://lettersfromamermaid.blogspot.com/ )

One of our friends gave us vouchers for a Manila Bay Dinner Buffet Cruise. I’ve read several reviews about it before we asked for an appointment.

After two weeks of trying to get a Friday schedule, we gave up and booked the next available date…Monday! We arrived at 4:30 PM; parking was OK…and was only a few steps away from the dock.

At exactly 5:30 PM, a staff was stationed at the registration table. We immediately stood in line along with the other passengers to claim our stubs. Luckily, we got numbers 7 and 8. When it was time to board (6:00PM) our numbers were called and we were given the privilege to choose our seats. We chose seats at the second level so we could have a better view.

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As soon as all the passengers were boarded, a crew welcomed us and safety measures were explained. 6:15, the singers started serenading the passengers

A waiter handed us a menu for their drinks. Their drinks come in a very reasonable price. We had refillable Ice Tea which only cost Php 75.00

When it was announced that the buffet table is ready, we headed to the ferry’s first level. The line was a bit long but was bearable. It was a managed buffet and there were about 5 main courses. Conventional jello was also offered for dessert.

We enjoyed the cruise especially when we got to the part of Manila Bay where you could see Mall of Asia and some establishments around it. The scene was picture perfect! If you wish to book for a weekend cruise, you better be planning at least a month or two in advance so you could witness Mall of Asia’s fireworks display.

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It was a fun experience and a good way of promoting Manila…

For those expecting a grand buffet and some gourmet food, this cruise is not for you.
You always get what you pay for. 😀

XO,

Alaine Alejandrino

Lunch Date with Anne

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Self – confessed food addict, I celebrated my birthday with Anne at Sambokojin – Eastwood.
This is the first time I saw Anne after our Wedding and it feels good to be re-united. We spent hours eating and sharing everything that had happened to our lives in the past months.
As for the buffet… it is pretty affordable for only Php659/head but you better be planning your lunch or dinner accordingly.

Operating hours for Sambokojin – Eastwood branch:
Mon-Fri 11am – 2pm / 6pm – 10pm
Sat –Sun 11am – 2pm / 5:30pm – 10pm
To avoid the long queue, book in advance!
Check out their website for their contact details:

http://www.sambokojin.com/index.html

29th

Today marks my 29th birthday. I thank God for a blissful life that He has given me for the past 28 years and I am excited to know what He has in-store for me.

I welcomed my birthday with my dear friend, Carlo at Sellah since it was the only decent restaurant near our office that operates until 2 o’clock in the morning.

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Carlo reserved two seats for me and my husband for a dinner buffer at Dad’s. My appetite is perfect for Dad’s “Ultimate Buffet”…and what could be more appealing than a free buffet? Yes! You read it right! Free buffet from Dad’s!!!  It’s my birthday and I got a treat from them…

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My husband was the only one who paid for his plate which he upgraded to cross-over (with access to Kamayan and Saisaki). We ordered 2 glasses of refillable Iced Tea. It was a sweet treat for only P1,070.00! Not bad, huh?

So to you all birthday celebrants out there…why don’t you grab a partner or your family members and dine at Dad’s? Don’t forget to bring an ID with your birth date printed!

Wedding Suppliers

I got engaged last October 16, 2009 when my then fiancé and I were still trainees in a BPO company. Just like any other couple who came from average families, a grand Wedding like those of Celebrities is far fetched. But we sure wanted a Wedding that will be remembered by us and our guests forever. A solemn Wedding by the beach or a garden Wedding are the only two options that we have. We had a lot of time preparing for our Big Day…we just do not have enough money to go by it. And so, we planned our Wedding to be scheduled on our Third Anniversary (October 16,2012) but when we thought we still won’t be able to have enough money by then (since were paying for a car amortization up until July 2012) we figured that 12-12-12 will be a good date. This post is dedicated to all the Newly Engaged Couples who have limited budget like us. It’s true that a Wedding doesn’t have to be grand leading you to break the bank. I’d like to share with you how we managed to have a wedding with our Php300, 000.00 budget by choosing the right suppliers.

Make-up Artist – Diana Santos

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Diana Santos is a beautiful lass who has graced many print ads as a professional model.  When I checked her website, I knew she’s going to do a great job. She was easy to deal with, very polite whenever I get the chance to exchange emails or SMS with her. The only concern that she raised a day before our Wedding was that of the food. She won’t eat anything from a fast food chain. This was just OK. I asked my mom to cook for her and bring it to our Wedding Venue so that Diana and Hair Stylist, Adrian will have something to eat. I no longer have time to order food elsewhere. Diana and Adrian for some reasons came to the Venue an hour late from the agreed time. But I was surprised with Diana’s extra ordinary talent. She did my make up in less than 30 minutes! I specifically requested for Smokey eyes since I have small set of eyes. She also did my Mom,my mother-law and my Maid of Honor’s make up. It was a wrap in 2 hours… Fast, indeed. If there’s one thing that I didn’t like, is that Diana left before the reception started.

Shiela, our coordinator tried to call her but she never answered. Whatever happened to the “free re-touch before the reception”? To date, I didn’t bother asking Diana. Good thing, I have a sister-in-law who checked my make-up and did some retouch right after I ate dinner and went back to the party. Then I missed Lace Lacap, our Make-up artist during our Engagement photo shoot. Lace was such a sweetheart. She exudes extra ordinary charm and superb personality (read my previous blog about our Engagement Photo shoot). Lace had no qualms even if she had to drive all the way from Quezon City to Sierra Madre (Tanay). Very professional.

If you’re looking for a Make-up artist…try to look for these ladies’ folios and be the judge.

Photographers – 4DotJuanProductions

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Our official photographers were Gerald Celaje, Jeff Zapanta, Boggs Granada and Tristan Bello of ForDotJuanProductions. We love this Team. My husband and our coordinators are truly impressed not only with the quality of their work but also with their attitude towards work. They were always on time and would not interfere with whatever demands that their clients have. We are truly grateful. It is really important that clients are comfortable with their chosen photographers. With these photographers’ sunny disposition, I bet no one will feel uncomfortable working with them.

Suit – Francis Orlanes

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Cho is my husband’s dear friend. A promising designer who rooted from University of the Philippines. Exemplary – that’s how I define Cho. I instantly became a FAN when I got a glimpse of my husband’s suit before our Wedding. Who wouldn’t be mesmerized by a cashmere pants paired by a double-breasted patterned vintage coat?

Wedding Dress – Erika Obmerga

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Simple yet classy…this is how I wanted my Vintage dress to look like. I asked Erika if they could imitate a design that I saw online and I almost cried when I tried my dress on…it was an exact replica! Given a limited time of two months, they were able to finish my dress, along with the dresses of my Secondary sponsors, flower girls and the little boys.

Photo booth -RedGlassDigital

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The owners, Joy and Jay de Vera are super friendly and even gave us tips for our Wedding preparations. Our guests were delighted when they saw photos from our Wedding posted on RedGlassDigital’s Facebook page the following day. We never had a single issue with them.

Flowers –Ariel Subang

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Ariel Subang was referred to me by a colleague who is scheduled to tie the knot early 2013. Ariel is a florist based in Dangwa. We only met twice, first when we visited their shop to discuss the flowers that we’d like to purchase, and our second and last meeting took place when they delivered our flowers. I chose red tulips for my bouquet. A tulip boutonnière for my groom, 12 rose boutonnières,2 corsages, 4 head dresses, throwing bouquet, 30 table centerpieces, flowers for the altar with 2 large candles, rose petals, 3 baskets, 4 corsages for my secondary sponsors came with our P10,000.00 package. Ariel was very sweet to upgrade the flowers for my secondary sponsors from  corsages to bouquet for free!

Venue – Callospa and Resort

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Mrs. Garcia, the owner of Callospa is one of the easiest suppliers to deal with.  Although we only met her on our Big Day, she made sure that her assistant will be able to answer all of our queries. They offer a worry-free package  but you can also create your own package based on your Wedding needs/preferences. The venue is perfect for small weddings and they also have enough rooms if you wish to book your family the night before your event. If there’s one thing that Callospa missed to check for us on our Big Day that would be the restroom for our guests. The restroom was a mess in the middle of our Wedding party.

 Caterer – Vernisse Grill

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If I am to rate this supplier from 1 to 10 (10 as the lowest)…I’ll give them a 10. Vernisse Grill is one of Callospa’s in-house caterers. When we had our food tasting last October, the food presented to us was placed in Styrofoam containers. I was able to check Vernisse Grill’s website and I assumed they know how a proper food tasting should be since they had a lot of events. But no…good thing, their food taste better than other caterers who offer P380/head for a buffet. Like Mrs. Garcia of Callospa, we only met Mr. Bernie Santos (the owner of Vernisse Grill) on the day of our Wedding. Our coordinators sent them couple of emails asking if they could meet for the lay out. Mr. Santos expressed that he was pre-occupied and instead sent a hand-drawn lay out to our coordinator. We we’re all disappointed because we waited for weeks and didn’t expect a lay out like what Mr. Santos has sent. But well, we have already paid in full a month before our Wedding so we are left with no choice but to deal with it.

On our Wedding day, the staff of Vernisse Grill were already at Callospa around 10 AM. They were pretty early to set up the tables and chairs.

We paid for buffet for 150pax so our 100 guests will have plenty to eat. We wanted a feast!

But the day after our Wedding, some of our relatives told us that our food was just “good enough” for a round of food and drinks. That really surprised me! How can that be? Our guest list and photos would only show us less than 100 guests. I asked other guests and Wedding Coordinators for feedbacks and was devastated with their answers. Some of our guests saw Vernisse Grill’s waiters packing our food  before 10pm when some of our guests were still eating. 4 of our 5 coordinators were not able to eat and some went back to the buffet table and saw that the only left food were some rice and chicken ala king for the main course. The rest were just sauces.

It was December 16 when I decided to send an SMS to Mr. Santos about what had happened. At first, he seem very apologetic but as I dig deeply on what caused the food shortage, he became more and more defensive but still willing to give us a refund. He sent me a letter telling me that it wasn’t their waiters’ fault but our coordinators’ because they didn’t meet before the event. It was such a lame excuse. How can someone point fingers to other people rather than taking responsibility for his staff’s actions? We demanded a refund for 50pax and after a week of sending SMS to Mr. Santos, we received the refund last December 24,2012.

Five minutes before the refund was handed to my husband, Mr. Santos sent an SMS to our Wedding Coordinator telling her that we blackmailed him. WOW!

Wedding Coordinator – Merry me!

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Being a hands-on bride, it is very important for me to have someone who can understand all my demands and of course who can help me find suppliers who could offer us the best package at the lowest possible price. Exactly 10 months before our wedding, we booked Shiela Surban of Merry Me! Shiela is a friend who is armed with experience. I have a thousand details that I wanted to keep an eye on to ensure that our Big day will be a success but Merry Me! took charge of everything. Shiela organized our Wedding in the same meticulous diligence like those of her previous clients’ Weddings. She was still there, asking if there’s anything she could do help us when we were dealing with Mr. Bernie Santos of Vernisse Grill. Shiela, Yann, Diane, Mayflor and Gregor of Merry Me! went beyond our expectations…making us believe that there are still suppliers who are truly concerned with their clients more than the money that they’ll earn. Well, I must say there wasn’t a chance that I was skeptical about booking Merry Me! for our Big Day.

XO,

Mrs. Alejandrino

Wedding Invites

The recent “Habagat” made us decide to cut our budget for our Wedding. And as we looked closely into the details of our Wedding, invitations are what we thought wouldn’t have to be paid that much importance. After all, there are only few people who will keep Wedding invites.

Few months before our Wedding, we created a Wedding website at mywedding.com where we posted all the information for our then upcoming wedding. Mywedding.com is one of the most user –friendly among the Wedding Websites that we’ve checked. Plus, if you’re using an iPhone, you can download an app so you get to update your details anytime, anywhere.

Of course there are guests who still prefer to receive a hard copy of our Wedding Invite. I (Migs) downloaded a program where you can create your own Invitation in a matter of minutes. I borrowed a printer, bought a paper cutter (for only P800.00), envelopes, papers, and started printing our Wedding Invites. We only printed about 30 copies and distributed them to some friends and sponsors.

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A little creativity saved us time and money.

Migs and Alaine Alejandrino

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