Uber for Traveling, Uber for Cebu!

I don’t know about you, but there’s something ‘off’ or ‘weird’ when getting a cab in another country. There’s a ton of things to worry about. Is this safe? Did I bring enough money? Should I tip? Did I give him the right directions? My anxiety levels are high when I feel vulnerable, as I am normally the one behind the wheel at home. Now I have to give my trust to a complete stranger.

I tried to avoid getting a cab abroad because it’s horrendously expensive (especially in London!). However there are times when you really need to cab it: when you’re carrying a giant backpack plus a 30 kg. luggage; and when you’re on the way to a party looking like a million dollars.

I thank the stars that the idea of Uber was conceived where you can hail a cab with a touch of a button. Moreover, there is no awkward exchange of cash (my least favorite thing, especially when you’re handling with alien currencies)–everything is tabbed to your credit card.

My First Uber Ride.

My first Uber ride was in Paris. I was living with a friend in Universitaire and transferring to another friend’s at Cite de Phalsbourg. I know getting there via Metro would be impossible–I did have my 30 kg. luggage this time, and the Paris Metro is infamous for their lack of escalators and elevators. Plus the last time I took the metro, someone stole my box of pizza.

Yes, someone took off with my pizza. That really happened. Everything happens in Paris!

I figured out it was the perfect time to try Uber for the first time. Interestingly, I later learned that the idea of Uber was conceived when the founders couldn’t get a cab in a cold winter night in Paris.

I used my friend’s referral code and got 10 EUR off my first Uber ride. The 10km ride cost me less than 20 EUR. If I had taken the traditional cab, I would’ve paid around 30-40 EUR.

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My Uber Obsession in Manila

If the Uber founders found it difficult to get a taxi in Paris, they haven’t been to Manila.

The cab drivers from hell live in Manila. The moment you arrive the airport, taxi drivers try to rip you off as much as they can. They will pretend to be oblivious on where the hell Greenbelt is even if they’ve lived in Manila all their lives. When you show them the map, they pretend to be stupid and will go around avenues just so they can charge you more.

Fuckers.

If you’re traveling to Manila soon, my advice is to just stick to Uber. Honest taxi drivers are mythical unicorns in Manila.

My stress levels are high every time I get on a traditional taxi in Manila, so I Uber almost everywhere when walking is not an option. Uber cars have a GPS so they can never say ‘I don’t know where that is’. And the tracking makes it harder for them to go around in circles so they can charge higher. All I needed was to get in the Uber car and not worry about anything.

Why Uber is Awesome

Uber is perfect in the Philippine setting for those number of reasons, and more. Philippine taxi drivers will rip unsuspecting tourists off any opportunity they can. With Uber, you have a rating system where riders can rate drivers (and vice versa) so customer satisfaction is optimally better.

Another aspect of customer satisfaction is the quality of the ride. Uber drivers own the car they drive, hence they take care of it and better maintained than the traditional taxi counterparts. A/C will be working, seats will be more comfortable and the car will be cleaner.

UberX, which is available in the Philippines, is the low cost option, which is generally 30% cheaper than getting a regular cab ride. The GPS app they use ensure that they will know where they are going and won’t drive you in circles just to mess with you.

Who says car owners can’t use Uber too? Studies confirm that it is a lot cheaper to Uber than to own a car in Manila, with the hidden costs of maintenance and upkeep. Plus, won’t it be awesome if we could just sit in the backseat, not worry about driving and play Pokémon Go? If you want to go out without the worry of parking or who will be driving after a few beers, just Uber it!

Uber’s advocacy is to have less cars on the road. Traffic is getting worse in the Philippines, and if you could lessen the quantity of cars, we make it easier for all commuters on the road. I myself personally hate driving even if I have my own car, so the convenience Uber brings make ‘owning a car’ a less priority to millennials than before.

More butts into the backseats for fewer cars in the road. The UberHop feature allows you to split costs and carpool with fellow Uber riders going on the same direction as you. I don’t know about you, but sounds like a grand idea.

Uber Celebrates Cebu

Uber is now available in 480 cities around the world, including Manila and Cebu in the Philippines.

Cebu City will be the first city in the Philippines to have a cash payment option for Uber riders! This is good news, as in the Philippines credit card penetration is only 2%. This makes it more accessible to more Cebuanos!

In line with that, all first-time Uber riders in Cebu get 50% off their first five rides from today until July 17. Simply enter the promo code: CELEBRATECEBU upon sign up to avail of the discounted rides.

cebu bloggers society smartlife
CBS with Uber PH heads, Laurence Cua, Uber PH GM and EJ dela Vega, Uber Cebu City lead

How to Use Uber

Simply download the app and register for an account to start using Uber.

Uber How-to JPG

How to use the Cash Payment Option in Uber?

Choose the uberX option in the app. Before requesting a ride, change your payment option to cash on the confirmation page. The payment bar is located at the lower half of your screen. Enter your destination and request a ride.

You’ll see your driver’s details straight away–name, photo and the details of the car. These drivers have professional driving licenses and have undergone an extensive screening process.

At the end of your trip, the app will reflect the fare that you need to pay. Hand your payment to your driver and you’ll receive an electronic receipt via email.

Download Uber now and use my promo code to get your first free ride!

My promo code: rachela5448ue

Or just click this link! https://www.uber.com/invite/postcardpretty

Mum & Baby: My Toddler’s First Trip to the Movies

Caleb knew how to get my attention.

He wasn’t that subtle, either. After half a dozen times of sitting on my laptop and GMAT books, I gave up any hope and concluded no studying is going to happen for the rest of the week.

We need to do something. Mum and son are quickly getting cabin fever at home. I’m the kind of human who gets bored of routine and I have all the reasons to believe that my offspring is the same. The rest of the family were in USA, his nanny went home to the province–what else was there to do? I decided to take him to the cinema.

Finding Dory is already showing, and Caleb already loved Finding Nemo–that movie has been on replay since he was 12 months old. In fact, Caleb can identify more marine animals than land animals. Sharks are his favorite. Finding Dory will make the perfect first mother-and-son movie date.

finding dory

Plus, I already had some Ayala Center Cebu credits that we could use, by being featured at the A Guide (Ayala’s Shopping Style Guide). So I’d like to thank Ayala Cebu for making our first movie date possible!

As we queued up for tickets, I started getting a mini-panic attack. Caleb was already running around back and forth and pretending not to hear me. Was this really a smart idea, to take a 2-year-old to the movies? Will he cry, shout and annoy the other moviegoers?

This should be interesting. Knowing my little man, I was sure he wouldn’t cry or shout–but he’ll probably run around in the movies. I decided to take the 2:00pm schedule and the front row seats for my two-year-old’s viewing purposes.

After buying the tickets, we got the snacks. A lot of patronizing parents will judge me for getting him unhealthy Potato Corner french fries, but it’s his favorite snack and I wanted to indulge him once in a while. If you want a healthier alternative, I also got us Tater’s tofu chips. I tried to feed him these but he barely touched them. I also got Tater’s sugar-free lemonade for our drinks.

Of course, the success of movie-going depend largely on the parent, the child and the movie. Not all kids are the same, and some may find the loud sound and darkness overwhelming. I’m thankful Caleb is unfazed by most things (I am more scared of the dark than he is!) and he tries to help me by carrying the food and drinks. He likes having a role, it makes him feel responsible and has a purpose in life (to take care of this absent-minded adult who calls herself ‘mom’).

Upon coming inside, the cinema staff asked if we would want to have a high seat for Caleb. I didn’t know cinemas offer this because it was my first time taking a kid out to the movies, but it was great. So even if we were sat at the front I still decided to take one. I also took a snack tray because we brought a lot of food!

two year old baby first trip to the movies

The movie is around two-hours long, so I didn’t want to strain Caleb too much. We went outside during the ads and trailers part–I didn’t see the point of him watching the trailers. For toddlers, they don’t see the difference between film and ad content, so I had him run around outside the cinema to entertain himself before the movie starts.

There is a animated short skit before the start of Finding Dory about a baby bird in the beach. The visuals are so impressive now, I couldn’t believe even a single grain of sand is well-defined and high-def!

Caleb was smiling like silly from the first scene to the last. He kept on saying ‘Dory!’ ‘Nemo!’ He was pointing at the sea animals he knew–whales, turtles, octopuses and fish. He was laughing at all the appropriate scenes, and imitating the famous Dory whale talk. One thing about Caleb–he has a great sense of humor, that kid.

So yes, when Sia was already heard singing ‘Unforgettable’ and the credits rolled out, I sighed in relief. Wow, my two-year-old actually sat throughout the whole film! I didn’t even notice the 120 minutes pass by. Sure, in the middle of the film Caleb took out his high seat (it was actually very hard and uncomfortable) and he spilled the lemonade towards the end, but other than that, it was a gratifying experience for both of us!

I would recommend Finding Dory to even little kids like mine. The movie is colorful, funny and full of lovable characters–Dory, Nemo, Marlin, Hank, Destiny, Bailey… and even the hugging otters, they were all so adorable.

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 11.23.51 PMFor doing a very good job in behaving at the movies, I treated Caleb to some post-movie treat, The Suite Room matcha ice cake.

So yes. It is possible to take a two-year-old to the movies. Did he enjoy it? Yes. Will he remember it? Probably not most of it. It was a great experience nonetheless!

As a recap, here are some tips and pointers on what to expect on your little one’s first trip to the movies:

  • If possible, choose an afternoon schedule on a weekday. Choose a not-so-busy movie schedule.
  • You can miss watching the trailers. Your child can’t tell apart movie and ad or trailer content, so why bother?
  • What’s a movie without snacks? You can get the usual popcorn and soda, but there are also healthier alternatives such as the tofu chips and sugar-free lemonade that we got from Tater’s.
  • Your child will be slightly disadvantaged by height, so choose the front row seats whenever possible, or avail of the high chair.
  • Know your child’s interests and preferences as well. Caleb loved aquatic animals and the film kept him interested all throughout. He would also probably love animated movies about cars and animals.
  • Be mindful and respectful of other moviegoers. If your child starts crying or screaming, or kicking on the front seat, don’t pretend like it’s normal. Apologize, and if you can’t control the situation go out of the cinemas to calm your child.

 

Postcard Eats: Zark’s Burgers Now in Cebu!

Update Aug 2016: Zark’s Burgers now has two branches in Cebu–SM City Cebu and in IT Park Eblock Tower 1!

My New Year’s Resolution for 2016 was the same as most people: to get fit and healthy. I was awesome for the first few weeks of the year, started with a strong diet plan, regular exercise and minimal alcohol, until I relapsed on the third week of the year. Sinulog happened.

It’s not too late to redeem myself, I comforted myself as February rolled. After getting over my guilt trip, I quickly rebound and paraded another #newyearnewme promise, because it’s Chinese New Year anyway–even if technically I’m not Chinese, the occasion helps call for restarting my resolution.

After CNY, I worked out almost everyday, doing yoga and crossfit consequently in one session–it felt like I was angry with myself. On my fifth day of the sweat life, Justinne a.k.a. the Babe for Food texted me to come with her to the opening of Zark’s Burgers, if I wasn’t busy. Except for yoga at 7:45pm, I’m pretty much free. Hmmm. Yup. I’ve heard of Zark’s.

This should be interesting.

zarks burger now in cebu

zarks-now-in-cebu

And it was an eventful day. For one, I got into a minor car accident before arriving to Zark’s in SM City Cebu. For another, when I got there (in one piece!) I was welcomed by the Zark himself, who flew in from Manila for the opening of their first Cebu branch.

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Thank you for having us, Zark!

The SM City Cebu branch will be their 15th branch nationwide and 2nd branch in Visayas. They also plan to open another Cebu branch within the year, location to be confirmed.

Zark’s mantra was, ‘the greasier, the better’. One look at the menu and I knew I’m in trouble. Everything was like food porn. Someone’s going to be naughty tonight… The menu was fun to read; it was hard to choose which burger to devour.

A big fan of bacon, I finally decided on the Deep-Fried Bacon Wrapped Burger.

zarks-bacon-wrapped-burger
Deep Fried Bacon Burger with Barbecue Rum Sauce
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This is what the Bacon Wrapped Burger looks like inside

And I wasn’t disappointed. Bacon is bacon after all. But the barbecue rum sauce that came with it pleasantly surprised me.

Justinne chose the infamous Jawbreaker, as her friend The Pickiest Eater has been staunchly recommending it.

zarks-luther-burger
The Jawbreaker. Make love to the food.

The burgers were massive for a duo of girls. It wasn’t easy to have greasy burgers between your fingers and trying to devour them with feminine grace and composure. We could hardly finish it all, and then their manager Julio returned and said, ‘So those were your appetizers–are you ready for your main course?’

Oh gosh. We had to choose two more burgers to try. I was already eyeing on the Luther Burger–which is double cheeseburger with honey-glazed donuts as buns. I thought it was a weird combination–sweet and salty? Donuts and meat are from two entirely different food categories–is Zark sure about this?

zark-burger-donut-luther
Luther Burger. Glory.

When it came, it was a glory box.

The taste was, in summary, ‘interesting’. For the more adventurous set of tastebuds, opt for this baby. I mean I’m not quite sure what it tastes like, but it was an explosion of flavors of sorts.

My friend got the Candy Bacon Burger, which is essentially cheeseburger with caramelized bacon. The Candy Bacon Burger tasted good, but after trying daring choices such as the Jawbreaker and the Luther, it felt a bit tame compared to the previous ones.

more zarks burgers

So did two ladies finish it all? We may look like gluttons, but we had to call reinforcements. Thank God Apollo and the Quibranza brothers arrived!

luis quibranza justinne go apollo santos
Our reinforcements! Wasn’t so fun being seventh wheel though.

The best thing about Zark’s is they don’t scrimp on ingredients and give you everything they have in the kitchen. It feels good value on your money. Zark’s burgers are big boys, they probably eat other burgers for breakfast.

We were too chicken to try the Tombstone though, which is a two-pound cheeseburger with an equivalent of eight patties covered with cheese sauce and 500g of fries. If you finish the behemoth burger in ten minutes, you get a free t-shirt and your photo on the Hall of Fame. Hmmm. Maybe another time!

Price range is around P110-P150 for their Minor League Burgers, P210-P555 for their Major League Brugers, P80-P150 for their other meals and P120-P150 for their desserts.

Here’s the menu, click on image for high-res:

zarks-burger-menus

zarks-menu-2

It’s ironic that my licensed nutritionist friend ruined my whole week of sweat work for me– she was a foodie first; and when it comes to good food, I trust her with my life.

Ah well. Zark’s Burgers has since haunted me with burger dreams for the last few nights, but it was the perfect cheat meal for the month.

postcard pretty eats zarks
My tastebuds enjoyed it. You can see it in my inflated cheeks.

Zark’s Burgers is now open in Cebu at SM City Cebu by Sunburst and Motoworld, and in IT Park E-block Tower 1. Follow Zark’s Burgers on their Facebook Page  and Instagram and Twitter @zarksburgers.

My Wanderlust Kid Turns Two Today!

4 countries, 10 cities, 2 continents. All before turning two years old.
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My son and best friend Caleb was born on Christmas day. Unfortunate for the poor boy–he will end up having a combo present a year, with a card attached ‘Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday! Love, Tita’. (which, even his own mother is guilty, hehe)
Everyone says he looks so much like his dad, but I know he got one thing from me: the gift (or curse?) of love for travel. He’s probably had more passport stamps than I did when I was 18. I hope traveling too much doesn’t make anyone dysfunctional in any way?
My kid’s first trip in Bantayan at 3 months old


Caleb in the UK at 11 months


Caleb’s numerous trips in Hong Kong / Macau, his first at five months old


Caleb in Disneyland / Ocean Park at 22 months


Caleb in Dubai International Airport
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One of our recent trips was in Siargao, 23 months

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Caleb at 23 months in Siargao

It’s amazing how we are both so blessed to be given the opportunity to see the world like we can now. We’re backed up by amazing family, friends and godparents who care for him so much–they assist us in any way to make our journeys easier.

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Chilling with the gang and Oscar the dog, Boardwalk, Siargao


Caleb is so used to travel he is often unfazed in long journeys on the road, train, sea or air! He loves the journey as much as the destination.


He was getting too small for his bike. For Caleb’s second birthday, I got him a push scooter. Maybe next year, he can be ready for a skateboard. or a surfboard, perhaps.
Happy birthday, kiddo. (and shame you’re no longer lap child-free.)

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Caleb and Rachel Sunstar feature for the Mother’s Day Special. We saw our faces on the magazine in the Cebu airport!

Here are some blog posts related to traveling with baby that may help fellow mom readers:

Around Cebu: Design Center of Cebu

As a design professional and lecturer, design is an innate need. I appreciate good taste, especially when backed up with practical aesthetic and functionality. Hence why, I am a big fan of Japanese and Scandinavian design.

A few weeks back, I got invited to the third year anniversary celebration of the Design Center of Cebu which is located in A.S. Fortuna, Cebu City. Design Center of Cebu houses high-end brands for interior design, furnishings and home products. And while you may have to battle the Highway to Hell to get there, the journey is well worth it: a little design utopia in the middle of the urban jungle of Cebu.

design center cebu
Photo from Sunstar

We were given a little tour around the complex were we got to know the tenants and their offerings. Here are the list of global lifestyle brands offered in Design Center of Cebu:

design center of cebu brands

From typhoon-proof windows to space-saving solutions, every brand specializes in solutions for a certain room in the house: kitchen, bed, bath, outdoor and more. Let’s run through them one by one!

1. Kitchen

Mobelhaus

mobelhaus cebu

Mobelhaus is a Cebu-based company offering modular system solutions for kitchen, cabinet and closet needs. Marrying Filipino craftsmanship with state-of-the-art German technology, Mobelhaus creates streamlined kitchen and storage solutions of high quality functionality and aesthetics.

Smeg

Smeg is the reputed Italian appliance brand that deliver products that truly express ‘Made in Italy’ style–design, technology and attention to detail.

smeg cebu fridge

I couldn’t believe the showroom also carried the iconic Smeg 50’s style fridges! I am a big fan of beautiful design that works well, so Smeg is an easy favorite among kitchen brands.

Focus Global

kitchen furnishing cebu design center

kitchen focus global

Focus Global offer a wide range of top-notch consumer and home furnishing brands for major department stores, appliance stores, wholesalers, as well as their own four unique retail and service stores. Some of the big names they offer include: Tempur, Sub-zero, Siematic, Miele, Oster, Coleman, Kitchen Aid, and more.

Hafele

Hafele is the premier supplier of German furniture, appliances and hardware from distinguished and world class brands for kitchen, bath, lighting and fixtures.

2. Bedroom

Tempur

I was surprised Focus Global offered Tempur pillows and mattresses on the second floor of the store. Tempur is a distinguished brand first developed by NASA scientists for astronauts. They would then perfect the technology in providing the best night’s sleep.

I gave the mattress a try and would never have woken up if I stayed in there for longer! It was too comfortable, it’s dangerous.

3. Condo Living

Dada

We immediately equate condo living to tight spaces. Thankfully nowadays there are smart and creative ways to maximize full use of what we have.

Dada provides smart space solutions for small spaces such as studio units and condo pads. Dada maximizes dead space into useful spaces for storage, and extra space (more usable space is always good in a condo!)

4. Outdoors

Eastman

eastman

If you’re planning on constructing a jacuzzi or swimming pool in your home, Eastman provides the latest water systems and technology to cater to your needs.

OHMM

ohmm

OHMM is a British-Singaporean furniture brand specializing in outdoor furniture. OHMM Furniture can withstand rain and other potential outdoor elements.

With their five-year warranty, their clients are provided with confidence in the durability and quality of their products. Even better, the brand offers complete freedom on customization over fabric, fibre and colors.

ohmm outdoor furniture cebu

5. Other Furnishings and Fixtures

Illuminazione

Illuminazione offers modern lighting, chandeliers, lamps, lighting fixtures and supplies. They also have a collection of beautiful porcelain pieces by Lladro, all imported from Spain.

Admittedly, I am more into minimalist than kitsch–but I fell in love with one of the pretty pieces; a 200,00o peso-worth sculpture inspired by Klimt’s ‘The Kiss’.

Design Source

wood panel

Nothing feels richer than wood panel floors on your feet. Design Source provides you with such luxury–offering luxury flooring that are also creative and sustainable. Some of they offer are Lamett, Prego and Steiger.

Kenneth & Mock

k&m

Kenneth & Mock offers top-of-the-line windows and doors according to your needs and specifications. In their showroom, they give a demo on how weather-proof and durable their products are; very important as we all know the Philippines is prone to earthquakes and typhoons. Kenneth & Mock proudly shares that many of their clients from 15 years ago still find their K&M windows good as brand new. With over 17 years in the industry and more than 3,000 clients, Kenneth & Mock is indeed the best in the industry.

6. Food

Design Center of Cebu doesn’t only offer home furnishing brands–they also house two of the best restaurants in the city, too! Tavolata is a traditional Italian Trattoria while Beqaa is a Middle Eastern Kitchen. Both are part of the esteemed Abaca Group of Restaurants.

tavolata as fortuna cebu abaca

tavolata dinner

Whether you own a ten-bedroom mansion or a humble studio unit, I’m sure there’s something for you in Design Center–especially if you are a stickler to getting the best quality.

My Toddler’s First Month at LEAP Play School

Last month, I enrolled my 1.8-year-old to play school at The LEAP School – Learn, Explore and Play. Caleb isn’t a homebody and gets cranky cabin fever if he stays inside the house for too long–even when he was just a few months old (can’t blame him, his parents are the same).

So last month, I decided to enroll my toddler to LEAP so he could be exposed to new experiences and environments. While some people think it’s insane to put a one-year-old to school, we decided to give it a try. I’d like to share Caleb’s experience and developments after enrolling my toddler for a month at play school.

What is LEAP?

LEAP is a play-based learning experience for children ages 1.6 to 4 years old. With a good interplay between Progressive and Traditional approaches, this child-centered school will focus on each child’s optimal learning capacity.

At LEAP School, they value your child’s individuality and independence. At school they are taught to do things by themselves: from washing hands, brushing their teeth, having their snacks and to packing away toys, they are taught to act independently.

In addition to that, the child’s parents and guardians are encouraged to stay outside to foster the child’s independence, for the child to be comfortable during the absence of his carers.

Here’s a slideshow on the LEAP School facilities and area:

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Caleb’s First Week: Separation Anxiety

Caleb did really well during the free trial and was participating and playing with his other classmates. He was certainly alright during his first day at school. On the second day however, he would not let go of my hand. He would not come in the school unless I held him, and when the teacher distracted him I escaped (yes, that’s the proper word for it). On the third day he noticed the pattern and would not let me out of his sight. He would play and do activities while sitting on my lap and any move I make he would notice. I finally got to leave the room but not without tears and cries from Caleb.

As a mom, you feel your heart wrench every time your kid cries and looks for you. The school teachers reassured me not to get too affected and he will grow out of his separation anxiety in time. I do notice that once I leave the room he no longer cries but still feels a bit restless. Every time I pick him up from school, he is always the last to leave the room and look just a tiny bit pissed at me for leaving him…

Caleb’s Second Week: Still a Little Unsure…

Caleb is still a little unsure. He gives me that ‘sad puppy dog eyes’ look every time I pass him off to his teacher, Teacher Ericka.

They did plenty of fun color and painting activities, and to design Caleb’s scrapbook covers they did hand and foot painting. Caleb is a bit anal about some things and hates getting his hands and feet dirty. So despite loving Cheetos to a fault, he would rather wait for me or his yaya to feed him than to hold one. He got mad when the teacher put paint on his hands! When he saw the final result in the cover, he liked it though!

scrapbook for kids

They had a picnic on the second week of school. The kids brought food to share to everyone and they were all sat on the mat Indian-style, singing, playing and having their snacks while Indian-seated.

picnic leap school

Caleb loves story time, he sits down attentively and behaves when the teacher opens a book and tells them a story.

Caleb’s Third Week: Excited for School!

Just when I was sure that Caleb officially hates me now, he started warming up to the idea of school! They had more art activities and the teacher taught them to write their names. Caleb still needs some assistance but through constant exposure he can already identify the letters of his name.

caleb colors

balloon activity play school

Every month, the school has a specific theme surrounding their classes. This month was all about animals. They made an octopus headdress (which Caleb would not wear), animal activities, and on one class they brought in a turtle for the kids to enjoy! Caleb was hesitant at first but eventually kept on observing and laughing at the turtle.

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Caleb’s Fourth Week: When Are We Coming Back?

On the last day of the month, parents meet with the teachers to discuss about their child’s development. Teacher Ericka told me Caleb was the ‘little comedian’ in the class, with a very loud voice and infectious laugh. His favorite part of class is ‘play time’, which I already expected. His closest friend is 4-year-old Jake.

toddlers snack time

Here are some things I noticed about Caleb’s development, after a month in school

  • More patient when I tell him to ‘wait’
  • More sociable towards kids, very playful towards them
  • When I say ‘time to go to school’, he gets visibly excited now
  • No more separation anxiety
  • Loves looking through books and story time now
  • Familiar with some animals and their sounds
  • Knows what to do with coloring and painting materials–paints, brushes, crayons, paper, scissors and tweezers! (On the down side, he likes to use crayons on any surface now, from the floors to the walls)
  • Enjoys building towers independently
  • Knows the routine of washing hands and brushing his teeth before and after meals
  • Attempts to change shirts and put on shoes on his own, assists me when changing clothes
  • Says ‘A,B,C’ and attempts to count from 1 to 6
  • Recognizes the letter ‘C’, the first letter of his name

As Caleb and I are going to be away for three weeks, we decided to cease playschool for a month and will be reenrolling him for November. That’s one good thing about The Leap School–there is no big commitments with time constraints for the kid, as you can re-enroll your kid on a monthly basis!

leap schoolLEAP School is located at E-Park Bldg, A. Miñoza St. Sitio Tigbao, Talamban Cebu City. You can contact them at 032-350-5327 to book for a free trial. They have morning (9:00AM-11:00AM) and afternoon class (1:00PM-3:00PM).

Seriously Crushing: BLOQ Residences and Divine Maitland-Smith

‘Even a constant traveler needs a home base.’ As a travel blogger in her mid-20s, I can attest to that.

No one wants to grow old living under their parents’ roofs. And yet this may be the reality most of us are facing now. It’s not impossible to have your own ‘home base’ though. The millennial’s disposable income are expanding, new careers and opportunities are launched in Cebu.

RFK Holdings Inc., understands the growing needs and lifestyle of the millennial generation. Last 2013, they announced their first development in Talamban–BLOQ Residences aimed for the Cebu young professionals. Their branding and strategy was fresh, and offered their units at a very affordable price and convenient location, their units got sold out like pancakes in just a few months. BLOQ Talamban will be ready for turnover on the first quarter of 2016.

bloq residences talamban

bloq residences

On a recent press con at their showroom in Panagdait, Mabolo, last September 22, 2015, BLOQ Residences announced 400 more units in three convenient locations around Metro Cebu: Banawa, Sikatuna and Plaridel branch. All locations are close to Cebu’s urban areas, safe, livable and with easy means of public transport. All developments will be ready for delivery by 2017.

fiona king and divine maitland smith

The press con was graced by BLOQ founder Fiona King and BLOQ’s newest brand ambassador, Divine Maitland-Smith. Fiona King said that BLOQ prices are designed to be affordable for every working Cebuano. Their studio unit prices starts at Php 980,000, while our loft unit prices start at Php 1,400,000.

The 24-monthly equity starts at Php5,000 a month for studio units and Php10,000 a month for loft units. You can also get financing through banks and PAG-IBIG, which will cost around Php 7,000-10,000 a month. Monthly rent fees can cost roughly the same, so why rent when you can own?

showroom homebase
That yellow door though ❤

All BLOQ units are delivered with a fitted bathroom, kitchen countertop, painted walls, and straight-to-finish concrete floors. BLOQ encourages unit owners to personalize their space to match their own tastes and preferences.

In fact, one of the first questions they ask when you get a unit is the color of the door you prefer for your space! (I would personally love a yellow door!)

bloq showroom

bloq

divine maitland smith and postcard pretty

Some things can be charming without even trying. I say the same about BLOQ Residences’ quirky pads and their brand ambassador Divine Maitland Smith.

Divine perfectly speaks the voice of the millennial youth–a DJ, tattoo artist and public figure, Divine is always busy and on-the-go. BLOQ perfectly matches her busy lifestyle and at the same time provide a sense of comfort and stability that a home should provide.

For more info on BLOQ Residences, you can visit their FB page or official website.

Around Cebu: 5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Try Salsa

You get tired of Cebu’s club scene after a while: same crowd, same scenario, same cliché dance moves. I’m not really a creature of habit so after a couple of Saturday night outs that already feel like routine, I was ready for a change of scene.

I heard of a weekly salsa event at Maya Mexican through a friend, and finally decided to see it one Wednesday evening when I had nothing to do. And it’s just what it’s name means: salsa is hot, and I’m not talking about the dip!

salsa night maya cebu

Not convinced and still a little shy? I’ll give you five good reasons why salsa dancing should be mainstream!

1. Salsa is sexy.

Salsa is sexy. A guy friend I brought there said: “This is cool. It’s like a scene from the Dirty Dancing movie.” It unleashes the inner latino/a in you. Without noticing it, your hips start to do the talking.

It’s not that difficult too–and this is coming from someone with admittedly two left feet.  After learning a few basic steps from one salsa night, you can already look like you know what you’re doing. If your lead is exceptional, you’ll look just as awesome as well. Just go with it!

2. It will never be a cock fest.

Maya has a lively and more international crowd. At any given salsa night, male to female ratio is 1:3. What are the chances to having that ratio in any other party or event? Close to none.

So if you’re tired of dancing with other dudes and need more female eye candy, you’re always welcome to check Salsa Wednesdays out.

3. Salsa Nights also mean Buy 1 Take 1 on Mojitos!

Yes, you heard it. Maya Mexican Restaurant also offers Buy 1 Take 1 on Mojitos and P395 on all burritos all night long, only every Wednesdays.

4. There will be some respect of personal space.

I don’t like a lot of things about clubbing: the sweat, the smell, and the ‘accidental’ groping. Good thing you won’t have to deal with these with salsa. Sure, you’ll still be sweating(salsa is good cardio workout!), but at least you won’t come out smelling like smoke and a mixture of other people’s smells.

5. It’s free.

Oh shat, I had to wait ’til the end of my post to announce the most important thing: it’s free! Grab your most comfortable heels and check it out.

Salsa Wednesdays are every Wednesdays at 8:30PM to 12:00 midnight at MAYA Mexican Restaurant, Crossroads, Banilad Cebu City.

If you’re interested to learn salsa dancing, you can learn within a month with Cebu Salsa Club at Epic Performance and Fitness, every TTh at their Escario Branch from 7:30pm-9:00pm, and every Sun at their Oakridge, AS Fortuna branch from 10:00am-12:00pm. For more information, you can check Cebu Salsa Club’s FB page.

Postcard Eats: 10 Dove Street Confectionery

A place where Pinterest dreams are made of.

ten dove street as fortuna cebu

Early last week, I was invited to the Grand Launching of 10 Dove Street Confectionery in Oakridge, A.S. Fortuna. 10 D.C. is one of Cebu’s best dessert places with their charming homemade cakes and pastries.

Everything inside is eye candy–or in today’s generation, ‘Instagram-worthy’. Set in nostalgic Victorian candy shop interiors with a creamy white palette and pastel blue details, 10 D.C. is the perfect place for a breakfast club, a Sundate with mom, or a quick catch-up with the girls over English breakfast tea and cake.

breakfast-club-cebu

I couldn’t choose which of the cakes to try (everything looked so good!). So I was told by staff that the Chocolate Decadence, Ube Cake and Fruit Medley are their ultimate bestsellers. I chose the latter to go with my Chocolate Shake, and later commended myself for the wise choice.

chocolate-decadence-cebu-cake
Chocolate Decadence
fruit medley cebu 10 dove street
Fruit Medley Cake
Slice of Fruit Medley Cake with Mango Shake and Chocolate Shake
Slice of Fruit Medley Cake with Mango Shake and Chocolate Shake

I like how 10 DC cakes are full of flavor but doesn’t feel heavy nor sinful. The cakes taste real and homemade–something your beloved tita would make.

Aside from their usual bestsellers, they also have interesting cakes for more daring tastebuds. On my next visit I might try their Red Velvet Cheesecake, Green Tea Layer Cake and Carrot Pineapple Cake.

Seriously, who needs friends when there’s cake?

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Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 12.55.32 AM

Congratulations to the first ten people for winning the Golden Ticket to 10 whole cakes for the next 10 weeks; and the next hundred people for winning 10 free cake slices for the next 10 weeks! Cake lovers are pretty serious about their cake game here.

Congratulations fellow blogger Babe For Food for winning a 10DC Silver Ticket!
Congratulations fellow blogger Babe For Food for winning a 10DC Silver Ticket!
Thanks for the love, Ten Dove! (it rhymes!)
Thanks for the love, Ten Dove! (it rhymes!)
  • Address: Oakridge Business Park, AS Fortuna Street, Mandaue City
  • Opening Hours: 10am to 10pm daily
  • Contact Numbers: (032) 418 1010 or 0917 625 7013

If you fancy more than just desserts and want a full meal such as pasta, sandwiches, soups and salads, check out 10 Dove Street’s restaurant, also located in Oakridge Business Park.

AFAM

I always thought the word ‘afam’ is just a gay lingo word for a foreigner. A more informed person told me it is actually an abbreviation, A.F.A.M. or ‘A Foreigner Assigned in Manila’ or expat. Now you know too!