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Zayne: I wonder where we're going!

I love to travel. My Instagram and Twitter handles won’t be @dahwanderer for nothing. I spent the first half of my adult life WONDERING how it felt like to see the world. But because I was born sickly and I desperately wanted to save more money for a wedding, a car and a house, traveling needed to wait. I got really sick around 2007, and from then on, I decided to stop WONDERING and start WANDERING. I started having frequent road trips with my best friends – Subic, Baguio and the likes.

Around 2010, I had the privilege to fly to USA for an onshore assignment. My wandering feet got even itchier! Boyet and I started traveling together as soon as we got married. Most of the time, we traveled with our constant trip buddies slash best friends.

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travel

From having road trips, our travels got a notch higher - from on-the-spot purchases of bus tickets to always being on the lookout for airline seat sales and meticulously comparing hotel prices while reading travelers’ reviews at the same time. Nag-level up ang travel, kaya level up din ang preparations! Booking and preparing for a trip became quite tedious.

Now, almost all of my trip buddies are married. And to add spice to that, we now have a baby (Zayne) and a toddler (Skye) in tow. Once again, traveling needed to take a back seat. Aside from the babies, another reason is that nobody has the time to organize a trip. Gone are the days when we could spend hours “analyzing” what would be the best deal for plane tickets and accommodations. Fortunately, we recently discovered Traveloka!

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Consider Traveloka as an online travel agency (OTA) that provides hotels and air tickets booking. The site allows travelers to conveniently book flights and hotels in Southeast Asia. A few mouse clicks and keyboard strokes, and you are off to an adventure.

It offers competitive prices which allows travelers to get the best deals that suit their needs. No need to go from one website to another. Traveloka also brags of honest pricing so users are guaranteed of paying without any hidden charges. No more scenes like this:

Wow, SALE! 
This is destiny! 
Book ko na agad agad!
Click NEXT
Tax...
Booking fee...
Website maintenance fee...
Other eklavu fees...
Chenes chenes fees...
Voila! 
Ubos ang pera. 
Nganga! @_@

traveloka_hotelPhotos grabbed from Traveloka


So ze trip buddies and I have been planning to go to Bacolod towards the end of this year. Our Viber group has gone crazy as we discuss our plans for our first trip with the kiddos.

I’m glad that parents who love to travel now have a lot of tools to aid them in pursuing their passion. I received quite a number of negative reactions from “oldies” who found out that my husband and I wanted to go back to traveling. But I firmly believe that traveling is one of the best gifts that I can ever give to Zayne. Plus, I don’t want her to grow up thinking that learning is limited to books. There are a lot of things to learn while traveling!

My friends and I love to mix adventure and comfort when traveling. Because we have been trip buddies for years, we already know each other’s “requirements” in traveling. Joie would always prefer a hotel with a swimming pool. And my workaholic husband cannot live without an internet connection. But this will be the first time that we will be traveling with the kids so it feels like we will be going on a trip with new trip buddies with different sets of “requirements” and probably DEMANDS, too!

I have started talking to parents who have already tried traveling with kids. I am bombarding them with questions like:

How do you pack?
Do you bring a stroller, a baby carrier or both?
What do you do when a baby decides to throw tantrums in the middle of a busy tour?

So far, my fellow wanderer parents are generous enough to share some tips.

1. Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. Research. Research. Research.
Gone are the days when you can go on spontaneous trips. Although it is still possible, it’s now extra challenging because you now have a child to consider.

2. Know the purpose of your trip.
Are you going on a food trip? Shopping trip? Do you want to have an adventurous or laid back trip?

3. Make sure that your itinerary is age-appropriate for your kids.
My husband and I have never been to Hongkong. Our initial plan was to go to HK for Zayne's first birthday instead of throwing her a party. But we realized that we would not be enjoying it. We can’t go on rides together, and Zayne might freak out if she sees a giant Mickey Mouse! Hahahaha!

4. Manage your expectations.
All the parents I talked to told me that the itineraries they prepared were not 100% realized. The baby decided to nap a few minutes before the scheduled tour. It started to rain before the outdoor show. The baby had a diaper leak in the middle of a food trip. These things happen so be prepared to have your plans changed at the last minute. If an unforeseen thing happens...

5. Breathe and just enjoy the ride!
After all, when traveling, it’s more important to collect memories rather that those Instagram-worthy photos.


Are you also planning for an upcoming trip? For parents, how different was it to plan for a trip when you were still single versus now that you already have kids? Do you have any tips for traveling with a baby? Please leave your comments below. We badly need tips and suggestions! Hahahaha!

And oh, in case you have already been to Bacolod, where can we find the best:
1. Chicken Inasal?
2. Napoleones?
3. Butterscotch?

Hihi!
Waiting for a child for almost four years gave me more than enough time to research almost everything I needed to know about parenting. Although no amount of research can fully prepare a woman to motherhood, I have to say that the things I read on those long years of waiting somehow made me more equipped in being a neophyte mom. I formed a habit of reading some mommy blogs. But more importantly, I made sure to be surrounded with trusted mommy friends. One of the things I learned even before I got pregnant was SIDS.

I initially thought that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is just a rare occurrence, but I was so surprised to find out that it is actually one of the leading causes of babies’ death. More online reading led me to articles that relate real-life stories of parents who lost their babies due to SIDS! You kiss your baby good night, and then you wake up in the morning that your little one is already gone?! That scared the hell out of me.

According to studies, there are some practices that can reduce the risk of SIDS. I decided to stick on the said practices despite having oldies around me who kept on bugging me why Zayne’s crib looked so bare. Dapat may unan baka ma-flat ang ulo. Dapat may padding sa gilid kasi mauuntog. I patiently told them that it’s actually safer for babies to sleep on a bare crib with tight-fitted sheets. Si Zayne lang ang laman ng crib. No pillows. No blankets. No stuffed toys. We don’t hang clothes or lampin on the crib. (One time as I was looking for my baby pictures to convince my husband that Zayne really looked like me, I saw some of my baby photos. Ang dami kong unan sa crib with matching thick blanket! Was Mama trying to kill me? Hahaha! Thank God for the Internet. Parents now know better!)

Aside from these practices, I made sure that I was buying the safer alternative for my baby. I was given some blankets and swaddles, but I used them as a towel instead. I only used Halo SleepSack for swaddling Zayne. Yes, I am that kind of a praning mother.

A photo posted by Jerellt Abenoja-Andrade (@dahwanderer) on
One-day-old Zayne wearing a Halo SleepSack Swaddle

I went to a baby fair and bought two pieces of Halo SleepSack for Zayne. When friends asked me what I wanted as a baby shower gift, I would always say, “HALO!” My office mates gave me another Halo SleepSack. Don’t ever think that you’ll have too many of Halo SleepSack. Zayne soiled all three on her first two nights at the hospital! (She was a five-pounder baby so the diaper was still too small for her. Major poop tagas on the first day! Got the picture? Haha! :p)

Halo SleepSack was my lifesaver! This is not a sponsored post, ha! But I believe that it really is a great “tool” for parents. It is safer than using a blanket. Zayne was very ginawin. We even had to turn off the hospital’s AC because Zayne was crying non-stop. Giniginaw lang pala. The nurses put her in a double swaddle on her first night. The following day, I put her in her SleepSack with the AC still turned off. Ang sarap ng tulog! And because it’s a wearable blanket, I could just put her inside the sack and zip it. Medyo dumugo ang groggy ko pang utak with all the many folds that I had to do with the conventional swaddle! And I almost had a heart attack when I saw a part of the swaddle covering Zayne’s nose!

People were always surprised when we tell them that Zayne had already been sleeping through the night as soon as she turned a month old. Yes, there were times when she would wake up to feed or to demand for a diaper change, but she never woke us up for no apparent reason. I really have to thank Halo SleepSack for that. (The first time it happened, my husband and I jumped out of our beds asking, “Bakit hindi tayo ginising ni Zayne?!” Hahaha!)

I also loved the versatility of the design of Halo. I bought a newborn Halo SleepSack swaddle that lets the baby’s hands be covered, too. Iwas ginaw. Iwas gulat. Babies have the tendency to wake up with their own movements. ‘Yung anak ko pa naman, akala mo naka 10 baso ng kape sa sobrang magugulatin! A few weeks later, she started to discover her hands so I stopped using the arms wrap of the SleepSack.

All their SleepSacks also have the words BACK IS BEST in front. This is a good reminder for parents to always put their babies to sleep on their backs.

I also find it ideal for babies who are super active! There was this one time when I was too sleepy to put Zayne on her SleepSack. I ended up waking up in the middle of the night because her feet got stuck in between the spaces of the crib. Alam niyo ’yung sabi ng mga tanders tuwing makukulit ang mga bata dati? “Isasako kita e!” Ayun, less kulit while sleeping with Halo SleepSack! Hahaha!

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Starting Position :p

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‘di ba, tulog pa rin?!



A SleepSack was also a staple in our diaper bag for the first six months. It would come in handy during our monthly visits to the pediatrician.

My husband and I were too scared of co-sleeping with Zayne so she stayed in the crib for a few months. She started sleeping with us when she was around four months old. That was the time when she was aggressively feeding at night. I still put her on her ever reliable SleepSack. I only stopped using it when she was around six or seven months old. That is because she would wake up and immediately sit or stand up. Ayun, para siyang laging talo sa sack race! Hihi.

If you’re an expecting mother who just stumbled upon this blog, believe me when I say that Halo SleepSack is a very nice investment. Yes, I consider it an investment because it is quite pricey, but I am pretty sure that my future babies can still use the SleepSacks. My husband and I specifically bought neutral colors. When one of the sellers at the fair gave us pink, Boyet said while laughing, “Huwag pink Ate, susundan ko pa agad ‘to ng lalaki!” Hahahaha!

If you’re still single and clueless about what to give a friend as a baby shower gift, consider giving her a Halo SleepSack! You’ll definitely get the Best Tita for Life award! Hahaha!

But seriously, I consider Halo SleepSack as a newborn necessity. To know more about Halo SleepSack and the safer way to sleep for babies, do check out their website and Instagram page.
Hello, my lovely readers! I hope you are safe and dry wherever you are. Parang forever na ang ulan ‘no? We’ve been having such gloomy weather for a couple of weeks already. I hope that your mood won’t get even gloomier after reading this Kolokoy Household post! Hahahaha!

My best friend, Aubrey, and I work in the same building. Madalas, sumasabay siya sa amin umuwi. Kaya naman pagsasamantalahan ko na ang pagiging user-friendly niya. Guest siya ngayon sa episode na ‘to! Hahaha!


SHIFT

One time, we were talking about her sister who was applying for a new job in Makati.

Me: O, kamusta naman ‘yung application niya?
Aubrey: Ok naman. Tanggap na yata siya e.
Me: So hindi na siya night shift?
Aubrey: Hindi na. Ang ganda nga ng shift niya e. 6AM-3PM.
Me: Wow! Ayos ‘yun! Walang traffic papasok at pauwi.
Aubrey: Oo. Tapos parang ang haba pa ng araw mo.
Boyet: Panget kaya ang 6-3!
Me: Maganda kaya!
Boyet: Panget yun!
… … …
… … …
… … …
Boyet: Ang mas magandang shift, 10-3!
Aubrey: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Oo nga naman!


FERRERO RONDNOIR

Aubrey asked me if Ferrero Rondnoir is expensive. Actually, hindi ko alam kung ano ‘yun. Nag-Google pa nga ako e! Hahahaha! After ko mag-Google, sinagot ko naman ang tanong niya. :p

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May point naman ako, ‘di ba?! Bwahahahahaha!!!


SELENA

A couple of weeks ago, a radio station was having a contest, and the prize was a concert ticket.

Me: Concert daw nino?
Boyet: Ni Selena.
Me: Ahhh.
Boyet: DALRYMPLE!
Me: Wow! Bagong bago ‘yung joke mo!


BILINGUAL

We’re trying really hard to raise a bilingual child, that is why my husband and I agreed that we should speak either in straight English or straight Filipino. Bawal ang adulterated English. Bawal ang conyo.

One time, I was telling Zayne to stop holding the curtains. Maalikabok na kasi.

Me: Zayne, do not touch it. It’s dirty!
Boyet: Zayne, don’t! Don’t… don’t…
Me: O, ano’ng don’t?! Tagalugin mo na lang kasi kesa nahihirapan ka.
Boyet: Don’t, don’t lang naman talaga ang gusto kong sabihin.
Me: Huh?!
Boyet: In Tagalog, HUWAG! HUWAG!

Ako pa ang mali! @_@


FERN-C

I asked Boyet to go to the grocery because we ran out of cotton.

Me: Ay, Tatay. Pabili na lang din ako ng vitamins.
Boyet: Anong vitamins?
Me: FERN-C.
Boyet: Ok.

After 5 minutes.

Boyet: Bulak lang, Nay? Ay saka FRENZY pala!
Me: Anooooo????
Boyet: FRENZY?

May balak. Strike 1!

Me: FRENZY mo mukha mo!
Boyet: Bakit?
Me: FERN-C, Tay. FERN-C!
Boyet: Ano ba’ng sinabi ko?
Me: FRENZY.
Boyet: Bakit, ano ba ‘yung FRENZY?

Maang-maangan. Strike 2!

Hahahahahaha!


Enjoy the rest of the week! =)

A few weeks ago, I receive an email from Yen Ramirez who happens to be a Social Media Marketer for Taters Enterprise Inc. She invited me to try out Chimara Feel Good Kitchen, a newly-opened restaurant in UP Town Center. Chimara has shifted from purely vegan options to “feel good food.” That alone piqued my curiosity. I’ve tried several restaurants that have succeeded in breaking the stereotypes that healthier food choices are synonymous to pricey and bland food. I know that I belong in the generation of gastronomic adventurers that is why I was more than willing to let other foodies know that we can actually eat healthier alternatives without making our taste buds and pockets cry in vain.

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UP Town Center is quite a long drive for me. I’m glad that Yen allowed me to come with my husband. I also brought along my apprentice slash cutest future food blogger. Hihi!

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The moment I set foot on the restaurant, I already had a glimpse of the kind of dishes that they offer. Chimara’s interior is vibrant and very mesmerizing. The earthy colors with some touches of green hue here and there will definitely make you feel lighter and healthier. Haha! (Nope, I’m actually serious! Ang lamig sa mata!)

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My husband wasn’t really excited when I told him that we would be eating in a restaurant that serves healthy dishes. I can’t blame him. People automatically assume that healthy foods are tasteless. And to add to that stereotype, a lot of people associate the word HEALTHY to green and leafy vegetables alone. This is why we were both surprised when we scanned the menu of Chimara! They offer a lot of choices beyond the typical green salads. They serve wraps and sandwiches. They even have pasta dishes and rice meals!

We jumpstarted our meal with a plate of Asian Sesame Tofu Salad. Their menu describes it as “our rich classic with an attitude.” Yeah, right! This salad has an attitude! Sitting on a bed of lettuce are carrots, beetroot, snow peas and apples.

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Asian Sesame Tofu (Salad PHP210 / Wrap PHP200)

I am not really a big fan of beetroot because of its earthy taste, but I was actually quite surprised that it worked well with this salad. It was probably because the beetroot was thinly-sliced or it simply just complemented the sweetness of the apples and carrots.

I think it was my first time to eat a salad with snow peas. Akala ko pang-pansit lang! Haha! But its taste, color and texture were nice add-ons to this beautiful plate. The sweet and tangy sesame dressing also hyped up this healthy starter. And oh, those fresh sesame tofu slices were the B-O-M-B!

Boyet tried their Faux Beef Salpicao. As typical with a beef salpicao, Chimara’s take on it is served with tons of garlic. My husband offered me a bite while telling me that the beef is tasty and very tender.

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Faux Beef Salpicao (Panini PHP170 / Rice PHP180 / Pasta PHP180)

We got into a “heated” discussion because I kept on telling him that it’s not beef. I told him that FAUX means “not real”. E ayaw niyang maniwala. His plate was almost wiped out when he finally realized that I was right all along. I guess it only means that you’ll definitely get the same experience of eating real beef with less guilt. And a rice meal for PHP180 is not bad at all!

I opted to have their Spicy Tuna Pomodoro. Just like the Faux Beef Salpicao, diners also have the option among panini, rice and pasta. The pasta is cooked al dente, just the way I liked it. The sauce has the right amount of acidity. I only have one complain, though. Being a lover of anything spicy, it would have been nice if it were spicier. Even my husband who has a weak heart for spicy dishes agreed with me.

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Spicy Tuna Pomodoro (Panini PHP180 / Rice PHP190 / Pasta PHP190)

We also got to try their Juice Infusions. Being able to convince my husband actually came as a surprise for me because he is not a fan of these types of juices. I had I AM WISE while he tried I AM SUPER.

Chimara claims that I AM WISE is good for the memory. It is a mix of mango, apple and tomato. It’s perfect for my brain that was “scarred” by anesthesia due to childbirth. Hihi! On the other hand, I AM SUPER is for vitality. It has romaine lettuce and tomato. It’s ideal for husbands who need more energy in washing the dishes. Haha! But seriously, their juices are refreshingly tasty. You have to try it!

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Juice Infusions (Lean 500ml PHP80 / Large 1L PHP150)

The people from Chimara were generous to give us some tofu chips to take home. If you notice in my photos, all of our plates come with some chips on the side. That’s their tofu chips. I have to admit that I didn’t like it at first. It tasted… uhmmm… weird. But after our meal, every piece of it had been wiped out! I am actually munching some as I am writing this post! I gave one pack to my parents, and they also loved it! My best friends went over to the house last night. They liked the chips, too! Aubrey does not allow Skye, her two-year-old daughter, to eat junk foods. But I gave one piece to Skye, and she asked for more! It’s absolutely a healthier option than the usual salted chips.

If you happen to be in UP Town Center, try to swing by Chimara for some feel good treats. :)


Chimara Feel Good Kitchen
Ground Floor, UP Town Center,
Katipunan Avenue,
Diliman, Quezon City

* All photos were taken with a Nikon D60

Chimara Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
On July 8, our Little Kolokoy turned 8 months old. Like the previous months, we just had a simple celebration at home. We had pizza and pasta delivered for dinner. And of course, the staple in all monthly celebrations, a cake from My Sweets’ Haven, was present!

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Zaynes Ninang Joie made her a banana cake with caramel frosting. Grabe!!! I know that I already sound like a broken record, but the cake was really yummy! The base cake is thick and very moist. And the caramel topping was extraordinarily delicious!!! Joie kept on blaming me for the sudden spike of inquiries for her cakes. Sorry, guys. She said that she’s too busy and that she’s currently baking cakes only out of her love for Zayne. Don’t worry. I’ll launch a campaign in change.org so she’ll be forced to resume business soon. Hahahaha!

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Zayne: Nanay, my cake looks delish!!!
Nanay: I know, right?

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Zayne: Pengeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!
Nanay: Not until you’re two.

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Zayne: Aha! Nanay is not looking!
Nanay: No! And why did you remove your headband for the nth time?! 

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Zayne: @_@

Zayne wore this cute onesie from H&M. I’ve been going in and out of that store since it began its operation in the Philippines, but I always end up going home empty-handed. Thanks to my frugality! But when they went on SALE a couple of months ago, I bought some pieces for Zayne. Pero siya lang, ako waley. Kurips ako, bakit ba? Haha!

I have been doing this monthly thingy for nearly a year already, but I still get so surprised with how a baby changes drastically in a span of one month! Her biggest achievement the last month was probably being able to stand with support. But just a few days after she turned seven months old, she was already standing on her own!

She started with standing unsupported for around five seconds. But on a daily basis, Papa would time her. “O, ‘nak, 10 seconds na nakakatayo mag-isa ‘yan.” Then it progressed to 15 then 20 seconds. Hanggang sa nakatayo na siya habang nanonood ng TV at nagsawa na ang tatay ko na orasan siya! Hahahaha!

She’s also a fast crawler. But more often than not, she would rather attempt to start walking instead of crawling. She would stand up, fall and stand up again hanggang makarating siya sa paroroonan. Haha! Persistent ang lola! :p

A video posted by Jerellt Abenoja-Andrade (@dahwanderer) on

During one of our routine checkups with her pediatrician, the doctor was initially worried about her slow weight gain even if there was nothing wrong with her appetite. That worry was immediately put down the drain when he found out about Zayne’s milestones. He told us that Zayne should already be crawling slowly and trying to stand up with support. I said, “Doc, tumatayo na nga po ng walang hawak e.” The doctor looked at me and Boyet and said, “Mukhang mana lang talaga sa katawan niyo si Zayne.”

Zayne makes it a point to showoff during her monthly checkups! Walang mintis! The doctor told us that Zayne should be able to find things that are hidden when she’s looking. Ganun na siya a month ago pa. E ang tatay, competitive din! He covered his watch, and Zayne removed the cloth covering it. The doctor was impressed! I then told the doctor that Zayne is fascinated with watches, necklaces and bracelets.

Doc: Aba, mukhang alahera paglaki!
Boyet: Or pwede rin pong snatcher!

Antokwa! Hahahahaha!!!

During the times that she’s on “chillax” mode, she would sit quietly on her Little Tikes walker. It was given to Zayne by our Ninong Mickey. She used it for a while to practice standing up on her own. But most of the time, it served as her “throne” when she’s watching TV.

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She’s getting noisier and her giggles are getting louder! Tatay and I would tell her stories like how our day at work went, and she would laugh and babble something. It’s nice to have someone in the house who can make us smile after a stressful (and sometimes crappy) day.




Zayne also learned some old-fashioned baby tricks like beautiful eyes, high five, ihip and gigil. I have to thank my parents and Zaynes nanny for these. Haha! I have a couple of other videos of her tricks, but I will file them on her ninth month milestones. For her eighth month kasi, GIGIL ang master niya! :p

A video posted by Jerellt Abenoja-Andrade (@dahwanderer) on

She continues to have a love-hate relationship with her headbands. There are days when she refuses to wear one, but there are days when she’s more than willing. There were times when she would grab the headband at sight and give it to whoever is with her. It’s her way of saying, “I want to be kikay today.” Minsan, mag-aalmusal o lalabas lang to get some morning sun, uma-aura pa si ateng! Hahaha!

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Zayne entered the “nangingilala” stage. The doctor said that it’s okay because it only means that her vision is fine. But if she already knows you, grabe! She’s so malambing! There are days when I find myself looking at her and asking what good I’ve done to deserve that kind of love.

Humahabol na tuwing umaga. Going to work has become extra painful. When we get home at night, we would hear her screaming as soon as she hears our voice. She would then stop at whatever she’s doing, giggle and rush to us the moment she sees us. Nakakalimutan niyang hindi pa siya marunong lumakad! She embraces me when I tell her, “Nanay is so tired. Please hug Nanay.” When I ask for a kiss from her, she puts her mouth on my cheek and shower me with her saliva! Hahahaha!

Tatay once said that Zayne is selosa. There were times when Boyet would hug me, and Zayne would forcefully come between us. Haha! Ayyyy, selosa like her Nanay! :p

She’s so fun to be with! Expanding ang Kolokoy Household! Hahaha! Minsan, gigising pa lang siya, tawa na kami ng tawa! :p

A video posted by Jerellt Abenoja-Andrade (@dahwanderer) on

Maloko na rin e! There was this one time when I caught her banging Tatay's mobile phone on the wooden headboard when we had a staycation with her Ninongs and Ninangs. I shouted, “Tatay! Si Zayne o!” Do you know what she did? She covered my mouth!!! Oh, yes she did! Maloko like her Tatay! Hahahaha! :p

Another key milestone on her eighth month is her ability to mimic words.

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EXHIBIT A: One time, I got so amazed at something, and I blurted out, “Halalalaaa!” Zayne gave me her emoji-like smile and said, “Halaaa!”

EXHIBIT B: During our wedding anniversary staycation, Zayne pooped while we were in the hotel’s play area. As I was changing her diaper in our room, I said, “Baho!” Zayne giggled and said, “ Bawoo!” Boyet and I looked at each other! Sabay pa kami nagtanong ng, “Baho daw?!”

EXHIBIT C: Eto pinakamatindi! We recently had a staycation with Aubrey, Joie and Erlie. Aubrey brought Skye with her. Everybody was calling Skye, “Kakay!” And yes, Zayne blurted out KAKAY! Oo, KAKAY talaga! Diretsong diretso! Nauna pa sa Nanay at Tatay! Muntik na kaming mag-cartwheel ni Aubrey sa gulat! :p

As of this writing, Zayne already learned a lot of other things. After all, she’s turning nine months old in a few days. I feel really blessed when even online friends tell me and Boyet that Zayne is making them smile. I guess our little poop machine has turned into everybody’s ball of sunshine. :)
I wasn’t expecting to be back in Ortigas for our planned staycation. My husband and I knew that we were still not yet ready to travel to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. Aside from paying two mortgages, we were not sure if we could handle the stress of travelling with a milk monster in tow. A few days before our anniversary, we simply agreed to book a hotel so Zayne could experience having a staycation for the first time.

Staying in Discovery Suites was a last-minute decision. Our initial plan was to book an Aqua Room in Hotel H2O, thinking that Zayne would definitely enjoy looking at the fishes. But our internet connection at home was acting up. By the time I was about to book, the hotel was already fully booked. I almost panicked until I realized that one of my best friends, Joie, mentioned a nice hotel in Ortigas.

We scored a room for PHP4,000++ which already includes buffet breakfast for two. The cost is not bad at all considering that there are pricier hotels in the Metro. I wasn’t expecting much from Discovery Suites, but my first impression was immediately changed even before I made an online booking! I was looking at the different rooms when something that looks like a chat box popped up from the lower right side of my screen. I was having second thoughts on what room to book, so I decided to send a message through the chat box. Much to my surprise, I actually got a reply! We talked for a few minutes, and the Virtual Concierge was very helpful. Talk about having a good start, eh?! :)

We arrived at the hotel a little past 2PM. It was the peak of people trying to check-in, but I was surprised that we didn’t wait that long. One of the staff members immediately handed us two bottled water. I also saw a corner at the reception where iced tea is being served. We were ushered to our rom after a few minutes of signing papers and paying for the incidental deposit.

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I loved the personal touch. Although I am actually jealous that the welcome message was addressed to my husband. I booked the room so the odds are high that they’ve mistaken JERELLT as a guy’s name (as always). But still, I appreciate the thoughtfulness. Hihi!

Going on staycations for years, my husband knew that nothing should be “touched” until I’m done taking photos. But times have changed. We now have a new boss. When she says she wants to sit on the bed, she’ll sit on the bed. Hahaha!

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Now that we’re already talking about the bed. Ohemgeeeehhh, their bed! And their pillows!!! Gusto kong iuwi!!! I remember Joie kept on telling me that Discovery has the best pillows evahhhhh! She’s absolutely right! ‘Yung parang nangolekta ka ng feathers ng pakpak ng anghel tapos hinigaan mo, ganun e! Char! But seriously, their comfortable bed, fluffy pillows and nice-smelling linens are just few of the many good things that Discovery can offer.

Our room’s AC is outstanding. I’ve read some hotel reviews from bloggers complaining about the hotel’s air conditioner. I’m glad that we didn’t have an issue with Discovery’s AC. It worked hand in hand with the bed and pillows in giving our family a good night sleep!

I really love the lighting of our room. It’s not too dim and not too bright. What sets Discovery apart from the other hotels that I’ve been to is the book lamp that’s attached to both ends of the headboard. This is perfect for bookworms like me! (My husband immediately inspected the book lamps. I need not to ask him because he already knew that I was crushing over the lamps! Haha!)

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If you’re an avid reader of this blog, then you probably know that aside from the bed, I’m also very particular with the restroom. Hotels get plus-plus-plus points from me if their restroom has a bidet installed. Congratulations, Discovery Suites!!! And thank you for making our butts happy. Hahahaha!!!

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The bathroom is very spacious! I honestly love the design and aesthetic of their bathroom. The bathtub is separate from the shower area. And there’s a large gap from the bathtub to the toilet. The bathroom is also well-lit. The bathroom is so nice that even I won’t mind to sleep inside! Hahaha!

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The hotel also provides basic toiletries. I love their toothbrush holder, tissue holder and cotton dispenser! I think it’s such a brilliant addition because it’s functional, and it’s also a nice accent to the bathroom. The bathroom also has a hair dryer and a mirror perfect for women who do their makeup. And yes, there is another bottled water on top of the sink!

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Placed near the window are a couch and a table. I was surprised to see some ripe mangoes and another bottled water waiting for us. Too bad I forgot to eat the mangoes.

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Our room also has a study area. Before we had Zayne, I would usually spend a couple of hours in this side of the hotel room so I could catch up on my pending blog posts. I brought my laptop with the hopes that I could squeeze in some time to blog. That didn’t happen because I was too busy chasing Zayne who got so excited crawling in the carpeted floor. (My surface cleaner came in handy, haha!)

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I mentioned in an earlier post that my husband said in jest that our TV at home is bigger than the one in our hotel room. Haha. But it’s a good thing that they have a good cable TV reception. Believe me, I’ve been to other hotels with limited channels and horrible reception. I'm glad that we didn’t have that problem in Discovery.

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The bar in our room has the usual essentials – chips, nuts and water for sale. They have an electric kettle, utensils, and complimentary coffee and tea. And oh, they provided more complimentary bottled water! More chances of winning ang peg! :p

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The room has a personal refrigerator with juices, soda and beer for sale. They even have a microwave oven.

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Our room has a large closet. It houses the safety deposit box, flat iron, ironing board, flashlight, umbrella, bath robes and slippers.

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I asked the hotel reception if they have a baby bath tub. She smiled shyly and said that they don’t have one. I guess this is something that the hotel can work on in the future. Anyway, the receptionist offered me a cot instead. I’m glad we accepted her offer even if Zayne sleeps with us. Zayne wanted to take it home! Hahahaha! Look how happy she was!

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Zayne: What?! I cannot take this home?!

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Because our wedding anniversary also happens to be the Philippine Independence Day, we got to avail of their Independence Day promo. We were entitled to a free pizza! If I’m not mistaken, the offer is limited to bookings made directly to their website.

We were given three choices. We made ours based from the receptionist’s suggestion. Sorry, I forgot the name of the pizza. Haha. The receptionist told me that this is her personal favorite, but she warned me that I might not like it if I’m not a big fan of garlic. Well, I’m glad that I followed her suggestion! My husband and I loved it. It has mushrooms, bacon (or was it ham?) and tons of garlic. Since the garlic pieces were already caramelized, more than the pungent flavor, all we could taste was the sweetness of the garlic and a distinct kick at every bite.

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I thought the pizza was the end of it. Around dinner time, we got knock on our door, and one of the hotel’s staff members arrived with a plate of sweet treats and a cute cupcake!

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Our accommodation comes with a buffet breakfast for two. I wasn’t able to take photos of the food. We waited for Zayne to wake up so it was already past 8 AM when we went out for breakfast. The restaurant was already in full swing when we arrived. The last thing I would want to do was to get nasty stares from hotel guests who could not get food while I was busy taking photos of the buffet station. Haha!

Their food is ok. I don’t have any complains with the taste and presentation. As a matter of fact, I loved the different kinds of bread and pastries I tried. However, the hotel can definitely improve on the food choices. The buffet spread is a bit limited. It would have been nice if they serve the usual Filipino breakfast staples like tapa, tocino or dried fish. :)

After breakfast, we got the chance to check out their swimming pool. We still don’t allow Zayne to swim in public pools so we left as soon as we took some photos.

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Zayne was not able to enjoy the pool, but she had a blast in the hotel’s kiddie/play area. We were the only ones at that time so we had the area all by ourselves. If you think I’m a praning parent, wait ‘till you see my husband! That’s why I was quite surprised when he allowed Zayne to crawl on the carpeted floor. Haha. Naniwala na yata siyang ok lang magka germs si Zayne.

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Our fun was cut short because we smelled (literally and figuratively) that Zayne was up to something! This is probably why Zayne suddenly changed her mood (See photo below! Haha! :p) I was trying not to giggle while we were inside the elevator with two Korean hotel guests. Hahaha!

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Overall, I highly recommend Discovery Suites. They can probably improve on making their hotel more baby-friendly (I’m surprised that this is now a factor in my reviews, haha) and extend their breakfast choices. It will also be great if they do something with their parking spaces. It’s quite steep. While I was checking out, I heard another hotel guest who also gave the same comment. :)


Discovery Suites Ortigas
25 ADB Ave. Ortigas Center,
Pasig City

* All photos were taken with an Asus Zenfone Selfie