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!

Celebrating with the When In Rizal Family at Balconahe Resort

The When In Rizal family had been planning for a get-together since 2020, but circumstances had the event postponed. But last March 2021, Ms. Richelle Perez-Ragay, founder of When in Rizal, finally got the team a venue for the event—Balconahe in Baras, Rizal.

What to Expect in Balconahe

Balconahe is a private resort in Baras, Rizal, that is perfect for family gatherings. If you plan to stay overnight, you can choose from their villas and cabanas, depending on the number of guests. The nature surrounding the whole venue gives off this homey and serene vibe that relieves stress.

They have one large pool free to use for all the guests, a jacuzzi located in their villa, and outdoor lounges. Board games are also available. I love the vibe at night, especially when they opened the hanging lanterns. As you can see, our team was able to enjoy these perks.

This wasn’t all for nothing, however. As soon as we arrived, we started shooting to help promote the resort in our Facebook page. More details about Balconahe can be watched in our virtual tour video.

They also have a thirty-minute trail, if my memory serves me right, wherein you can view a majestic scene at the top. Sunrise goers would probably love this. We just didn’t have the time (and energy) to continue with it.

The When In Rizal Team

When In Rizal was founded by Ms. Richelle Perez, and our first ever meetup happened in 2019 with only less than thirty people. Most of them are already knowledgeable on travel and tours as well as advertising and marketing—careers I wanted to explore—so I learned a lot from them and enjoyed their company.

When In Rizal promotes tourist spots, local products, and local businesses in Rizal through informative and engaging posts. Visit our Facebook page and join our online community to get to know more about the latest and renowned travel destinations in Rizal.

A Day Tour at a Relaxing Resort in Antipolo: Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa

Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa is a resort that has been showing up in my ads feed every time I try to look for instagrammable spots near me or whenever I redownload Klook, Agoda, and other online travel agencies. Finally, I had the opportunity to go during my birthday month. The package available for us was Hanging Gardens Retreat, which is inclusive of the following:

  • Access to spa’s facilities (locker, sauna, jacuzzi, hydro-massage pool, infinity pools, Dr. Fish spa, mediation lounges)
  • Traditional bathrobe and towel
  • Antipolo’s best suman

This package is originally worth 1,150 pesos, but you can avail of it for 895 pesos when you get a voucher from Klook. You need to, however, email them at least three days in advance for reservations, as they limit the number of visitors per day.

If you want to try a dish for your lunch at Luljetta’s, I recommend that you get their Hanging Gardens Getaway. Originally, this costs 1,750 pesos, but you can get it for 1,575 pesos on Klook. Both packages are not inclusive of the massage. They also have suites available for overnight stays, but these are more expensive than the day passes.

How to Go to Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa

The best option from my place was to ride a jeepney to Antipolo with a “Tanay” signage—basically, jeepneys going to Shopwise Antipolo. You can even tell the driver to drop you off at Unciano Medical Center, which is the closest landmark to the road leading to the venue.

There is a tricycle terminal there. I suggest that you grab the tricycles parked at the terminal as they charge less than the tricycles randomly asking you to ride theirs. Then, have them drop you off at Loreland Farm Resort. Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa is just inside. It is advised to be there an hour before your scheduled time.

What to Expect in Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa

You will have to get your data ready to sign up for different health and safety protocols before entering. As we had extra time, we took pictures in their outdoor lounge. Then, a van delivered us and all other guests to the hanging gardens and spa, even though I estimated that it was just a ten-minute walk.

Upon arriving, you will be given a key to your locker and a basket containing a towel and a bathrobe.

If you want to take your time when taking pictures and enjoying the spa perks, then you need more than a day pass. There are plentiful of interesting and worthwhile locations and experiences that you need to choose wisely which ones you want to try for a longer time, as you only have, say, four hours (if, for example, eating and dressing up takes an hour).

There were hammocks, massage rooms, and saunas (which we opted not to enter). The pictures below also show two of their jacuzzis, one of their many fish spas, and their hydro massage pool.

They also have meditation lounges and areas where you can play billiards, sungka, and chess. Below are pictures of two of them.

There are two infinite pools, from what I remember, but the larger one offers a more scenic view of the other side of Antipolo.

Since Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa is located inside Loreland Farm Resort, you may also want to tour around but not too far from the spa area itself.

Where to Eat in Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa

The first place you will see aside from the outdoor lounge is Luljetta’s cafe. Though since we only availed of the day pass, we weren’t able to eat there. Here is the menu, in case you’re interested.

This is the extension of the cafe in the spa area. The design changes every season. If you availed of the Getaway package, you can eat your chosen lunch here.

Here is a picture of Antipolo’s suman ala Luljetta. The nuts and the rice cake blended well with the sweetness of the caramel sauce. Definitely a must-try. This merienda came with an iced tea, though it had an unusual flavor so I was not able to finish it. I suggest that you bring your own water.

Favorite Picture

Luljetta Hanging Gardens and Spa
Sitio Loreland, Barangay, Antipolo, 1870 Rizal