Saturday, December 29, 2012

Fontana Experience

My husband and I used to frequent Fontana back in the early 2000. We stopped visiting the place when I gave birth to twins Julia and Rafael in 2002 because we explored other resorts and hotels. As early as October of this year, I was looking forward in bringing the kids, nephews and nieces in this place. Finally last December 26 to 27 we were able to go do our post Christmas getaway at Fontana. 

I liked that the villa we stayed on has 3 rooms, each with bathrooms and televisions. The rooms have 2 single beds and big enough for us, I must say.



Living Room

The Porch needs repainting job, it looks so old and dirty!

Dining Area

The excitement ended though when the room service failed to give us complimentary newspaper, no internet connection or wifi.  When I called up, I was told by the operator that an internet connection can be requested for a whole day fee of P500.  A conduction cooker is set-up but there weren’t any pots and pans inside the villa. The operator told me, "di po kayo nagdala ng gamit pangluto?. I answered. "I called up the hotel 3 days prior to my booking but I was not told to bring if we want to cook. Then the operator said, pwede  kayong padalhan dyan, may rental fee nga lang pots and pans. The male customer service telephone operator was very rude about my queries on  the list I was given.  The checklist enumerated 6 bath towels, 4 bathrobe, 4 face towels, and 4 hand towels., but only 6 towels were available. When asked, this rude operator even bothered to say, "hintayin nyo na lang pag check out nyo, may listahan naman sila nyan.

To top it all, we got a call at 10am reminding us of a 12nn check-out. By 10:30am we were all packed and ready to go. And by 11am, I was already at the front desk for check-out. It took them an more than an hour to finish the transaction because there were no available room service to check the room we vacated. 

We got dizzy, had migraine and suffered from sinusitis inside the hotel lobby because everywhere is a smoking area. Just like the photo below. This man was standing beside me, he was smoking like a chimney! I wanted to take photos of all the guests smoking but they were too many.

Though highly dissatisfied with the customer service, I'd like to mention a commendable employee, Front Liner Lyza,  for being very patient and helpful in locating the person in-charge of my booking and finding us a villa near the water parks. Thank you, Lyza! 

Plus the 6 welcome drinks we were not able to consume the day it was supposed to be consumed was validated by the Front Desk Supervisor so we were able to have it to go on our check-out.

I am not sure if the treatment given are the same with foreigner guests and the locals.  With our case, we felt that the old Fontana service that we used to like is not the same anymore. Sana maibalik, sayang e. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Casa San Pablo - Just Like Home

Visiting new places is our family bonding but we do have an all  favorites where we keep gong back to, namely Baguio Country Club, Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar and The Legend Villas. 

We headed South last November 3 and 4 to enjoy the kids semestral break. Our destination, Casa San Pablo. The place is not faraway from Manila, just an hour and a half drive from Makati,  but we actually made it in hour because we hit the road very early. 

We didn't know what to expect as this place looks unassuming from the outside. From the main road, you will see bushes and walls and a sign that says 'Kay Inay'. While parking, we saw a big pool, just the pool.  Silently questioning myself if this place is worth our time, the guard courteously led us inside, to the bridge and then to the lobby or the restaurant where the owners, An and Boots, met us. While An was orienting us about Casa San Pablo's guidelines, my eyes wandered at the beauty of this place. It's like going to the three places mentioned above.  The pine trees and the greens reminded me of Baguio Country Club. The paintings, sculptures and all artworks scattered around is reminiscent of Las Casas  Filipinas De Acuzar, though smaller in quantity and size. The gracious and warm accommodation is very much like The Legend Villas.

What more can I say about Casa San Pablo's Bed and Breakfast? It's definitely a new family favorite!  Going here is like going to a new yet familiar place. The ambiance gives you a feeling of nostalgia. That feeling you get long ago during younger and better days while vacationing on a relatives house. The place feels warm, familiar and comfortable,... just like home.

My eyes feasted in the beauty at every corner of Casa San Pablo.  I got to really enjoy and relax during our stay. The serenity of the place refreshed my senses thus prepared me for the pressing schedules of the coming Christmas season.

I enjoyed taking photos, there were too many actually that it took me 24 hours to edit for this video. I suggest that after watching, make sure you pre-book your own adventure at Casa San Pablo, it'll be worth it, I guarantee. For more info about this delightful place, visit by clicking, Casa San Pablo.

| Barrio San Roque, San Pablo City, Laguna, Philippines
Mobile: +63 920 962 4083 or +63 917 812 6687 | Phone: +63 2 211 2132 | Fax: +63 2 724 7023

Getting To Casa San Pablo Using Car, using the ACTEX (Alabang-Calamba-Sto. Tomas Expressway)

1. We advise you to set your tachometer to 00 kilometer once you've reached the South Super Highway Toll Plaza (Merville Park) Entrance.

2. Drive straight you will pass by the following exits:

Getting To Casa San Pablo By Bus

1. Take any bus to Lucena.
2. Get off at San Pablo Medical Center along the highway, a few meters before Chowking.
3  From the Medical Center take a tricycle to Kay Inay Resort (accross the Community Hospital).
4. Casa San Pablo is inside Kay Inay Resort.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

PK Caliraya Paradise Resort - A Place To Go Fishing

Via the invitation of friends Arnold and Honey, we headed early last November 1 in Caliraya to catch  fish.  If fishing is your thing, I highly recommend you go and visit PK Caliraya Paradise Resort. If not yet into fishing, this place is still a great place to enjoy with family and friends. 

Going there is easy if you start very early as the traffic starts to build around 8am.

If not staying in the hotel, guests have to pay an entrance fee of two hundred pesos. If fishing, another three hundred pesos fee.

Arnold  and John were able to catch 2 big fishes, enough to feed a family of two.

This nipa hut is available for rent for a minimal fee of one thousand pesos, which is already good for overnight. The space is comfortable enough for 2, or maybe 3.

 The nipa hut's bathroom is equipped with hot and cold shower, toilet tissue and a soap. 

The hotel rooms maybe a bit old but at two thousand pesos, it is budget and family friendly.

Just like the nipa hut, the hotel's bathroom is equipped with hot and cold shower,
toilet tissue and a soap. 

The stairs and hallways leading to the hotel rooms

Other activities that one may enjoy at PK Caliraya Paradise Resort:

Boat ride, which they actually call the swan ride, at P250 (whole day rate).

Swing while enjoying the beautiful scenery


Bird watching

Ant watching

Dragonfly Watching

And when the kids get tired catching fish, they can swim in the big pool

PK Caliraya Paradise Resort is located at Caliraya Lake , Cavinti, Laguna
To book or inquire, call/txt: 0927 364 1067

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pawikan Conservation Center

Before heading to Bataan I googled tourist attractions and Pawikan Conservation Center in Nagbalayong, Morong, Bataan is included. My husband knew how much I was looking forward  to see this place so he drove us there before proceeding to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.  From Dunsulan Falls, it took us 40 minutes to reach  Pawikan Conservation Center. Getting there was easy. They have enough signs along the road that says "Pawikan Center, straight ahead".

We were warmly and apologetically greeted by volunteer Arnold Santos saying we're late to see the 150 hatchlings which they have released a week earlier. Nevertheless, he was happy to be of service to introduce us to the three remaining pawikan and educate us all about the importance of pawikan. 

Hawksbill, who is also called kuba (hunchback). He cannot be released in the sea because of its deformity.

Green Turtle, can be released but they chose to keep it  so that guests can see the different kinds of pawikan.

Olive, for Olive Ridley, was donated by its original owner to the center when they  found  it difficult  to care for.
 Olive cannot also be released in the sea  because it does not know how to dive or swim
beneath because it grew up living in a batya (big basin)
Kuya Arnold told us that the volunteers of the center used to be pawikan poachers. They are now educating people, locals and visitors alike to help not just the pawikan but the ecosystem as a whole.

Entrance or viewing fee is twenty pesos per head. The best time to visit Pawikan Conservation Center is during Pawikan Festival (November 29-30) when and where you can view the turtles lay eggs at night.

The beach here is quite nice. 
If you wish to stay for the night they have accommodations starting from P3,500