F1 Hotel, Manila Philippines

Over a week ago, one of our friends gave us a voucher to the F1 Hotel in BGC. I've been to the hotel a couple of times to attend business and social events but haven't really stayed there overnight.  One recent weekend, our family decided to have a little staycation at the hotel.

The voucher was for a City Suite.  The room is usually priced somewhere from P7,650 to P10,200 per night, depending on the season, but my friend got it through Deal Grocer for only P4,800 which was such a steal.  

The room has two double beds which, honestly, can comfortably accomodate four adults. Although they just allow 2 adults and 2 kids in the room. It has a spacious living area with a separate TV.  
Bathroom and the baby girl
The hotel has a small foyer at the back of the building (facing the parking lot) so guests are asked the check-in at the Premier Lounge on the 5th floor. 
Photo from F1's website
The hotel also has a beautiful pool area on the 3rd floor. There are two pools and a jacuzzi on deck.  All of them are near the restaurant-bar which gives a nice relaxing vibe to the place.

The restaurant at the 3rd floor boasts modern interiors.
Elevator area at the 3rd floor
The hotel also has a nice gym and spa which, unfortunately, we were not able to enjoy during our stay. Maybe next time :)
Photo from F1's website
Photo from F1's website
The hotel is conveniently located within walking distance from shops and restaurants within BGC.  We walked across the parking lot towards Bonficacio High Street to grab some lunch and headed to S&R just across the street for some grocery shopping and a pizza dinner. It truly felt like a vacation abroad. 

Our family had a wonderful weekend at F1 hotel. Thanks again, Han, for the treat. We will surely be back.
My best hotel souvenir. A note from Troy :)
ALOVU 2, Anak.


What If You Stopped Sleeping?

Remember my 21-Day Challenge? One of my personal goals was to sleep my way to better health. Now, I've found more reasons to improve my sleeping habits.

Check out this fun science video --


Healthy Relationships

Coach Pia

 Do you have a healthy relationship with your spouse? We often freely answer 'yes' or 'no' depending on how frequent we fight or argue at the time the question was asked. But the fact is, our lack of argument does not automatically equate to a healthy relationship. Here are some questions that you need to answer before you confidently say you have a healthy relationship.

1. Can you be yourself while nurturing your spouse?
2. Can you trust him/her?
4. Do you feel respected? Do you respect him/her?
5. Do you feel undertsood?

Sometimes, couples can act civil towards each other but there is no empathy. That is not a healthy relationship.

Last month, the SoMoms had another life coaching session with Coach Pia.  She taught us three strategies that we can use to help build a healthier relationship with our husbands.

1.     Work on your willingness and ability to fix the following seven aspects of your relationship.
  • Willingness and ability to maintain and develop trust in the relationship.  A lot of times we don't feel that there is a lack of trust so long there is no infidelity.  This is exactly how i felt until Coach Pia cited an example that hits a familiar cord. She said that wives often don't trust husbands enough to care for the kids the same way we do. I used to give 1,001 instructions to Dens whenever i will be leaving the kids with him. He would always respond sarcastically saying that i might be forgetting that he's the father and he loves the kids just as much.  Apparently, that is already an indication that there is a lack of trust.
  • Willingness and ability to learn continously. 
  • Willingness and ability to communicate openly.  This includes suspending judgement on the other person.
  • Willingness and ability to cooperate and create a plan. There has to be a willingness to come together and define common values and principles. There is lack of cooperation in relationships where the one often jokes that 'sya naman lagi nasusunod eh'.
  • Willingness and ability to adapt and be flexible.  Acknowledging that the two of you have
    different personalities and values is an essential first step to adapting and being flexible.
  • Willingness and ability to let go and forgive. 
  • Willingness and ability to sacrifice.
In all of the aspects above, there should be a willingness (your positive disposition) and ability (your skill) to deliberately choose to work on one aspect at a time.

2. Understand and transcend my personal ego.

The 'Ego' is our natural instinct to preserve ourselves.  We should not be bothered by what others think. At the end of the day, that's just our ego being bothered.

I want to also share some insights from my devotion the past weeks. I read last our integrity is measured not by what we/others say about ourselves but by what God says about us. Seeking God's approval should be our top priority. 

Psalm 86:11 says "Teach me your way, O Lord, that i will walk in Your truth; Give me an undivided heart, that i may fear your name"

3.  Fill the relationship with unconditional love and acceptance.

Be humble.  Be open to choose to nurture and help your partner to be the best that he can be. Love him beyond words.  

Beautiful reminders.  A lot of times we are so focused on the faults of our husbands or wives that we fail to see the things that we should also correct ourselves.  As Matthew 7:3 says "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

Thank you, Coach Pia.  Here's to another step towards a #BetterMe.

You can learn from Coach Pia too by signing up for One Core's seminars. Check out their faebook page here - click One Core

Our seminar was held in the new Sequoia Hotel in Quezon City. They have nice function rooms that are ideal for parties or seminars. The hotel restaurant, Ombu, caters all events. They serve great food at reasonable prices. Check out my review of the restaurant - click Ombu.

Finally, i'd like to also thank BPI (https://www.facebook.com/bpi) for sponsoring our event. Do you know that they are the first commercial bank in Asia and was the first institution to print Philippine Peso? Cool, right?


The Havaianas Philippines Story

Over 10 years ago, if you approach any Filipina and ask if she is willing to pay over P1,000 for a pair of tsinelas (flip-flops), what do you think would she say?  In 2003, Anne Arcenas-Gonzalez thought out of the box and brought Havaianas to the Philippine shores. Learn about how the Filipinos' mindsets were changed through proper brand positioning and marketing.
The 2nd Mompreneur Summit is happening tomorrow at the Blue Leaf Events Pavillon from 9am to 4pm.  There will be a lot of other speakers who will be sharing their success stories as mom entrepreneurs.

Tickets are at P3,000 per head. You may call 470-9925 to reserve.


To eBook or Not to eBook?

photo from amazon.com
 With the growing popularity of eBooks, do you still buy books?

I have always been partial to buying actual books instead of downloading them. There is something magical about holding an actual book, turning the pages, and getting lost in the story.  However, the convenience of downloading an eBook and being able to access and read it anytime is just too tempting.  The past year, i have been converted convinced and have slowly transitioned to downloading e-books instead of buying them off the shelves.

I have always loved reading and that is one trait that i want my children to inherit. I am a believer that reading books regularly is the best way expand your knowledge and improve your communication skills. Troy is now five and is learning to read books on his own. He is excited about this newfound skill and have been trying to read and spell different words every day.

This made me think. My dad loves to read but i cannot remember a time when he explicitly encouraged me to read. So I wondered how i gained this love for reading.  Then i remember seeing the excitement of my dad each time he would buy a new book from the bookstore. He has now accumulated enough books to set up his own library. Ever since i was small, National Bookstore would be my dad's default shopping place. I would stay there with him until he is ready to go. I would grab some Archie comics and read them while i was there. Eventually, my dad noticed my love for reading and would usually ask me to choose a book each time we visit the bookstore. I felt like a kid wandering excitedly in a toy store looking for a newfound treasure.  My mom supported this hobby and also purchased newly released Archie comics or Sweet Valley books for me as she sees them.  Before i knew it, i already had a mini library of my favorite books at home.  As i grew up, i gained the habit of going to the bookstore and scouting for new books to read as we visited the malls.

The years passed and this habit slowly stopped with the advent of the internet and eBooks. You can now easily read interesting stories and ideas online. Books can now be downloaded as eBooks. The publishing industry is slowly becoming obsolete.

Then i had a thought. How can i instill the same love for reading to my children? I can encourage them as much as i can but if they don't see me reading books myself, i doubt how much of an impact my encouraging words would have on them. I still read a lot these days but it's usually through my iPhone. That doesn't tell the kids much, does it? For all i know, they are probably thinking i am just playing some new game or checking my Facebook account. Not much parental modeling here, people. So this is my new plan. Every once in a while, i will buy a book to read. Not download it as an eBook but go back to the bookstores and purchase some books once again. I'd like my kids to see me read. I don't want them to see me so engrossed on my gadget wondering whether i'm surfing, texting, or playing games. I want to teach them by example just as my dad did with me.

What a small price to pay in my continued quest to be a supermodel to my kids.

Deuteronomy 6: 6-7
 "These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."


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