How I Celebrated February 2022 (and 2021)

Nag-browse ako ng birthday blog ko last year . . . and oh my! Wala nga pala akong blog last year because the next days after my birthday were so busy. I decided na isama ko na rin dito, kaya pasensiya na. Haha. So . . . long post ahead kasi pinagkasya ko na rito.

How I Spent My 30th Birthday Last Year

Aside from getting my first tattoo and getting a haircut, I also went to Tagaytay for a staycation. Grabe, it seems like a long time ago, as in parang 2019 nangyari, not 2021. What happened last year felt like a blur.

A Trip to Memory Lane

I stayed at a room in Prime Residences, Tagaytay. I’m not sure if the meal I had at Memory Lane was lunch because the check-in time, I believe, was 2:00 p.m. I could still remember how rustic Memory Lane felt. It looked like one of those rural houses on American shows.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter anymore. What matters was how delicious the baby back ribs was at Memory Lane, even though the staff seemed cranky. The meal I ordered was worth PhP 580.00.

Proof of Tsokolateria’s Greatness

After dinner naman, I went to Tsokolateria, one of Tagaytay’s well-known restaurants. Sadly, I don’t have much pictures of the resto itself kasi maraming taong tulog on the sofas kahihintay ng turn nila. Ayoko namang picture-an. May limit kasi since pandemic. I swear, pupunta ulit ako rito.

Anyway, pagkakaalala ko, nag-ramen yata ako before kaya I opt for a dessert. Basta busog ako that time. Super worth it ng inorder ko, which I already forgot. Basta . . . I want to try this again. Nagulat lang ako na ang laki pala ng drink hahaha. Pang-apatan, mga beh.

How I Celebrated My 31st Birthday This Year

Ang unang plan ko was to hire a photographer para ma-picture-an ako with my full Angela floral elf cosplay, but I had problems with the wig. Mas nagmukha akong He-man kaysa sa Angela. Here’s how I looked like:

My shots didn’t pass my own standards, as you can see. “Hala, Ate, maganda naman, ah!” For one, mali talaga ang color ng hair. Naloko ako ng lighting ng Shopee. Haha. Two, hindi makita ang pakpak and the accessory at the back. Three, in the picture na nakaupo ako sa kama (which I think was better between the two), the choker was not attached to my neck. Pinaayos ko naman na ‘yung wig, but it will take a lot of time hehe.

Peach Lolita Pictorial

And because of that, I decided to hire one pero for my peach lolita pictorial. Hindi na ako pabata, and wrinkles start to show. So before I lose my young-looking face, I’d taking pictures of the self I dreamed to be. Anyway, sakto, my dream dress by tailored by Dolly Kaye was already delivered.

I only carried three concepts with me tapos portrait shots na, I told Fil. I discovered him via Facebook ads when I was looking for an outdoor photographer, and sakto namang lumabas ang ad niya. Anyway, so my three concepts were “my love for writing,” “my love for coffee,” and “my love for taking pictures.” Saka ko na lang nilagyan ng dalawa pang concept, “my love for travel,” upon seeing the photos.

Anyway, ayun. Magsawa kayo sa mukha ko. Haha. These are my favorites; actually, multiple pics talaga since same poses naman, but I had to choose unique photos para di naman nakakaumay. I had them printed para maisabit sa kuwarto ko, panakot ng mga masasamang espiritu. Char.

Sitting Shots

Bust-Level Shots

Knee-Level Shots

Whole-Body Shots

“Peach Loves Writing” Concept Shots

“Peach Loves Drinking Coffee” Concept Shots

“Peach Loves Taking Photographs” Concept Shots

“Peach Loves Traveling” Concept Shots

There were like more than a hundred, I think, pictures, and I had to trim down to this number para di naman nakakaumay. I just wished I had a a car para hindi ako pawis-pawis during pictorial, pero gano’n talaga. Haha.

Follow Fil on his Facebook page, Fototronic! He’s accepting photography commissions.

Prebirthday Celebration at Laiya

I miss the sea and the sound of the waves so badly, so I decided to go to a resort that is near a sandy beach with calmer waves. I had many options, but Laiya was best for my budget and time (since I have to travel for 4 hours and I had 4 hours of work remaining at that time).

How to Go to Cocoons at Club Laiya

Bale, from where I was, nag-jeep ako hanggang LRT 2 Marikina–Pasig Station, bumaba ng Recto Station wherein may bridge toward LRT 1 Doroteo Jose Station. Ang baba ko e sa Gil Puyat na. Just look for the Alps Bus Station; it’s the only station I found going to San Juan, Batangas.

From San Juan naman, ride a tricycle going to the municipal tourism office so you could pay the environmental fee worth PhP 20.00. You can ask the same tricycle driver to lead you to Club Laiya (but it’s known as a different name, I forgot what it was). Just open Google Maps. May signal naman.

What to Expect in Cocoons at Club Laiya

The resort I went to was called Club Laiya. Though a majority of the area was still under construction (I assume this will be a larger resort later on), the Cocoons area seemed furnished already. The pictures above show what the resort looks like. If you only like to take pictures on the beach and not swim on it, you can always swim at the pool.

The pictures above are the ones taken pagtungtong na pagtungtong ko sa beach. Hindi muna ako nag-swimming. Pure pictures lang talaga.

They also have a private beach, but the whole area was crowded by morning of Sunday, which—it may seem—is the preferred day of Laiya residents to swim. Family day, ika nga. The pictures above are taken in the morning of February 12, 2022, Saturday, while the pictures below are taken the next day, Sunday, February 13, 2022.

Pero sa second day talaga ako nakapag-todo pasyal and picture-picture sa beach. After finishing a chapter, saka ako nag-picture ulit with my two-piece swimming suit. Haha first time ko, super nakaka-conscious, but embrace our perfections na lang talaga. Mamamatay ako na nakapagsuot ng two-piece swimsuit with all the confidence I could muster.

Third day, sa pool area naman ang focus ng pictures. Was really shy kasi there were kids. Napapaisip tuloy ako what they were thinking of me na nagpopo-pose. Hahaha. But anyway, once ko lang lang naman sila makikita. Wapakels. Awra.

I loved staying at the capsule. If it weren’t for the beach, I would stay there all day and work and write. Or baka hindi pala ako makakapagsulat sa sobrang lambot ng kama. Actually, after ko mag-swimming-swimming noong hapon, bagsak ako kaagad. Lambot ba naman ng kama, e!

The only inconvenience I experienced was the fact that the comfort rooms were separated from the capsules, but it was a given (or else they wouldn’t be capsules at all). I just got quite scared when I had to take a pee in the middle of the night. There’s a restroom near the capsule, but the toilets here in the main restroom were much more comfortable.

Visitors can either eat at their restaurant, which is open from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., or by the rib shack, which is open from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

To experience many different dishes, I opted to eat breakfast and lunch at the restaurant and then dinner at the rib shack.

What to Eat in Cocoons at Club Laiya

Marami. Haha. Actually—this is my bad—I didn’t track my expenses because I wanted to enjoy my prebirthday celebration (kasi may work ako ng mismong birthday ko). Basta may budget ako per day at natipid ko naman. Ang mali ko, ‘yung natipid ko the previous day, I spent the next day. Hahaha. Ayaw na, di ko na uulitin ‘yon. Dapat, tracked talaga.

Sa beach may nagtitinda ng taho sa morning and ice cream naman sa hapon. Huhu, I love the cheese and cookies and cream mixture. I just want to go back.

For my breakfast meals naman, I was able to taste both their Filipino and American breakfast specials, featuring San Juan’s longganisa + two sunny-side up eggs + garlic rice and corned beef + scrambled egg, buttered toast with strawberry spread, respectively. Both meals were served with coffee. From what I remember, one breakfast meal is worth PhP 250.

Lunch naman, once lang ako nag-lunch dahil sa kabusugan, I tried bulalo. Grabe, it was so, so, so delicious. Buti hindi tumaas presyon ko. Haha.

For my dinner meals, pinaka-bet ko ‘yung pizza (don’t ask why I had pizza at night). The others that I was able to taste were pork ribs and buffalo chicken wings (I tried liking buffalo wings, pero hindi talaga. I’m a parmesan wings person.)

Favorite Pictures

Ayun. Happy 31st, self. Kahit nakalimutan mong originally na 31 ka pa lang, hindi 32. Excited? Hahaha. More blessings to come! I love you!

Rizal’s Little Tokyo: Sakura Circle

My cravings for takoyaki (and adventure) led me to Sakura Circle, a venue filled with Japanese-themed stalls, including restaurants, mini-marts, and a salon. Its “title” kind of reminded me of the Little Tokyo in Makati, although this one had more reds and pinks.

How to Go to Sakura Circle

From any point in Ortigas Extension, ride an Antipolo-Tanay jeep (not Antipolo Simbahan). Sakura Circle is just nearby Ynares Center, before Unciano Medical. You can ask the jeepney driver to drop you off at Sakura Circ; other landmarks include Padre Pio and Jollibee.

What to Expect in Sakura Circle

Standing up to its name, Sakura Circle is filled with artificial flower decorations that looked like cherry blossoms, as well as Japanese lanterns and LED lights to complement the whole place. It had two floors, the first containing the restaurants and the garden, the second containing inuman tables.

What to Eat in Sakura Circle

There were numerous restaurants to choose from, but we chose to eat shoyu ramen (Php 215) and takoyaki (Php 90) from Nobuan, teriyaki spam musubi (Php 214) from ABCT kitchen, and cream cheese dark chocolate milktea (Php 120) from Tea Straw Milktea Hub.

If I had to rank our food, the takoyaki from Nobuan will gain the highest spot, followed by ABCT’s teriyaki spam musubi. I’m not sure if the logic behind this ranking is my craving, but the takoyaki tasted good. Swak, kumbaga, especially when I’m reminded of how the cheese inside complemented the crispy, sweet batter. The teriyaki spam musubi had me full (it can be shared by two people), though I wished I knew how to eat it without gloves. I understand that the meat was already salty and the whole dish was already poured with teriyaki sauce, but I wished the rice had some unique taste in it as well.

The ramen and the milktea was okay, but if you’re there to taste something new, I would recommend something else.

Favorite Picture

Sakura Circle
11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
11A Circumferential Road cor Sumulong Extension, Antipolo, Philippines

Las Casas Experience in the City

I had gone to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bataan, and it was one of the memorable tourists destinations I’ve been, I must say. When I heard that there is a Las Casas in Quezon City, going there during my birthday month was one of the things I decided to do.

Note that you still need to reserve your slots by contacting them using proper channels. Our reservation was confirmed, I think, days before the actual date. You can check their Instagram and Facebook for more details.

How to Go to Las Casas QC

We went there via Grab, but at least I could tell that—from where I live in Cainta, Rizal—the nearest and fastest public transport that could drop me anywhere near the venue was MRT 3. From Quezon Avenue Station, there are tricycles nearby that could take you to Las Casas. There may be also be jeepney routes, but I wouldn’t elaborate here since I was not able to experience it first hand.

What to Expect in Las Casas QC

Las Casas Quezon City is smaller than the one in Bataan, as expected, but it has its own charms. You will be greeted by a fountain and a garden filled with angel sculptures that would seemingly take you into another country.

For one hundred pesos, you can also tour around the plaza wherein you can see constructions that may remind you of the Spanish colonial architecture in the Philippines. One of these is St. Joseph Chapel, a well-known venue for weddings.

Both the garden and the plaza could be used for wedding receptions.

What to Eat in Las Casas QC

We arrived an hour earlier our schedule so we toured around the venue first before proceeding to Kusina Marina to dine in.

Our main dishes were bistek tagalog and tortang talong and then taro ice cream for dessert. I could not remember the prices, but these are, altogether, less a thousand. I would recommend the main dishes, but I could not say the same for the dessert.

As a sweet tooth, I felt betrayed that they recommended me this instead of the ube-flavored dessert; thus, I never wished to order something of taro flavor again.

Favorite Picture

Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar Quezon City
134 Roosevelt Ave, San Francisco del Monte, Quezon City, 1105 Metro Manila