Billy Crawford is Burger King's newest endorser!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Yesterday, I was treated to a beefy and cheesy filled afternoon.  Caught up with blogger friends and met some new ones.  We were all entertained as Sam YG hosted, he was charming and funny as always and kept the crowd on it's feet. 

The highlight of the event was the launch of Burger King's newest endorser - the ever talented Billy Crawford!  I have known of Billy Crawford since he was small, as I used to watch him when he was little in That's entertainment.  I also followed his career as a pop singer that hit charts in the UK, hahaha!!  Yeah, I was so showbiz when I was younger.  

BK Press Brief:

SeoulFun: Shake Shack Gangnam

Saturday, April 22, 2017

It was by pure accident that we passed and saw Shake Shack in Gangnam.  I didn't even know that there was a Shake Shack in Seoul, South Korea.  I have been wanting to try it since learning about it a few years ago from friends who have gone to New York.  While we were in London last 2015 - I was aware that there was a Shake Shack that recently opened that time, we just didn't have time to visit, and then that same year, we went to Tokyo - we still didn't get to visit.  It wasn't a place that we needed to visit, but it was a place I *wish* to visit, alam mo naman my Panget!

It was right after our Samgyupsal dinner, we came from Everland and got dropped off at Gangnam.  We were quite tired and dreading the commute back to our Airbnb apartment as it was 20 stops from Gangnam to our nearest stop.  The travel time was more than an hour, it was a really long commute considering it was just one line.  We were just walking and figuring out where the subway stop was.  Google Maps works differently in Seoul, for the first time - the app was useless.

When we reached the main Gangnam street, I turned around to see what was behind us, you know to figure out where we were, to somehow have a grasp of where everything was.  Then I saw these big bold letters and neon signage said SHAKE SHACK.  My heart leaped a bit and it was that exact moment that my Panget said out loud SHAKE SHACK!  We were both suddenly alert again.  My Panget said for us to try their burgers, I told him that I didn't want to eat anymore.  We effing just literally came out from a dinner a few minutes ago!  But you know what, since there wasn't a line AND the servers were speaking English, I gave in.  Hahaha!!  So we ordered one burger each for me and my Panget and a milk shake.  The milkshake *special* that time was Matcha, my Panget's favorite.  He was more than happy to try that flavor.

So we ordered and waited.  We got the Shack Burger because it had 3 stars and the 'Shroom Burger because I liked mushrooms.  Hahaha!!

Finally, the buzzer was lighting up, it was time to get our orders from the counter.

This is Connor thinking, *What?  Eating, AGAIN?* Hahaha!!

I totally forgot to order fries!  Blame it on my already filled tummy.  I honestly don't know which is which, but here are that the burgers looked like:

The burgers were Ahhhhhhhh-MAZING, they were really REALLY good.  In tagalog, pikit mata sa sarap!!  The patties were juicy and the buns were also really good.  The toppings weren't scrimped and look at that presentation, nice diba?  I would have wanted to get another burger to try but we were already full.  I gave Yaya Belen pieces to try, and she also said they were very good, she said it was different from what we are used to in Manila.  It was so refreshing to eat this real burger amidst all the Korean food, it was something different and it was really worth it.

We had the kids try the milkshake.  It took them a while sipping because the milkshake was so thick.  This was already when Kailee was successful in sipping the milkshake.  Connor had his first try and it took him more than a minute trying to sip it.  I had to sip it for them first.  Hahaha!!  It was real Matcha, not the really sweet one, but the sweet and bitter Match.  It was wonderful.

Finally, I can say - I've tried Shake Shack, and it's truly good!  Nothing of those, good just for the sake of saying its good.  Masarap talaga.  I'm glad that I didn't have to line up, I don't think I'll have the patience to.  Hahaha!  I hope there will be a next time - maybe in Tokyo?  Hahahaha!!  I promised myself thought that I won't forget to get the fries next time, and MORE milkshakes!

Shake Shack Gangnam
Official Facebook Page of Shake Shack Gangnam

Earn rewards with the Philam Vitality Active App!!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Just by walking, you will earn you rewards.

Really?  Seriously.

I am dead serious.

With the Philam Vitality Active App, being on the go and active gets your rewarded!  It's the coolest thing, not only will your body and being be rewarded - you'll be rewarded when you reach certain goals!  To give you an idea on what these rewards are:

Just download the Philam Vitality App on the App Store or Google Play.  Fill in the details and answer a quick questionnaire about yourself and health and voila - you're good to go.  Since I am on a Fitbit tracker, I have connected my Fitbit app with the Philam Vitality Active App, so they can sync my day to day activities.

How I wish I had learned of this app last week.  I could have gotten so many rewards with my highest record of 29,244 steps in one day!  But you know what, I'll try and reach that goal again.  Haha!  I know it'll be a long process, but it's a good process for my health and being.  Walking your way to a more healthy you.  I read somewhere to maintain your health, you'll need to walk at least 5,000 steps a day.  Then to lose weigh, you'll need to walk at least 10,000 steps.  My daily goal is really just 5,000 - but when I reach 10,000 steps, I feel like I've won a contest!  Hahaha.. Let's be conscious of our health with the help of the Philam Vitality Active App, walking can earn you rewards and more!

So what are you waiting for?  I'm sure you guys have those fitness wearables already.  Download the app from Google Play and App Store and start getting rewarded!  I pride myself whenever I see that I do at least 5,000 steps a day, with the Philam Vitatilty App, you'll get more rewards when you sync it the apps together!  It's hitting two birds with one stone - health rewards and freebies!  I bet you won't find that in any other health app in the market!

So keep walking, like I will be.

Hurry as you have only until June 2017 to claim your rewards! 

This is for a limited time only.

What are you waiting for?

Get the Philam Vitatlity Active app NOW!

Hong Kong: The Excelsior Hotel

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Above and beyond is what I can say about my recent stay at The Excelsior Hotel.  The hotel really made our stay very comfortable and special.  I don't think I remember any other hotel doing this to us in the recent years.

The Excelsior Hotel has been our go-to hotel when I was still young.  My mom would always pick this hotel or The Park Lane when we were younger.  My brother and I have memorized the streets of Causeway Bay like it was Manila because of our frequent stay here.  It was only when the rates went up and cheaper hotels sprouted that we stopped staying at The Excelsior.  I honestly think it has been more than 15 years since I last stayed there.  It was only last October 2016 that I was able to stay there again.  The lobby, the elevators, the hallways and the room looked the same, it was exactly how I remembered it to be.  All the memories came rushing back - the old World Trade Center mall, how it was a smaller shop then and the small restaurants that filled the streets.  Only the streets were different, everything else was the same.

When I emailed the hotel directly to reserve a room, I informed them that we were arriving earlier than the check in time, they replied saying they will try their best but cannot guarantee it.  During our stay in October of last year, they were able to give us a room immediately.  I was secretly hoping they'd do the same.

Our check-in was a breeze, I think because it's early in the morning - and also, I just learned that Good Friday, Black Saturday and Easter Monday are official holidays in Hong Kong.  My friend Cubie told me before that most Hong Kong-ers go out of Hong Kong when there's a long weekend.  But last weekend, it was the HKTDC's Electronics Fair Spring Edition, and that was my Panget's main purpose.

At the check-in counter, I was kidding with the staff to upgrade our room, he apologized and said there were no upgrades.  After a few clicks, he smiled and said a room was available for us right away, I was really happy since I wanted to freshen up before going to the exhibition.  He also said right after handing the card keys to me *Oh, we've also upgraded you to a harbor view room*, I was ecstatic!  I have long wished to have a harbor view in all of my hotel rooms in HK, but I think it happened just a few times when I was younger, we mostly got city view rooms.

This was what greeted us when we entered the room:

I was floored - it was a REAL harbor view room, it wasn't a semi-harbor view room, it was a LEGIT harbor view.  My Panget caught me smiling and I was just staring at the view.  The room looked really different too!  I mean compared to our room last October 2016.  This room had a bay window (I learned of this bay window from watching Peter Pan the cartoon!  Wendy always sat there when she looked outside).  I think I spent about 15-20 minutes sitting there and admiring the view.  I can't explain it, but it was such a magical moment for me.  My Panget was laughing at me saying how *babaw* I was, I didn't care - I loved the view, I really loved it sooo much.  So you can just imagine, I would spend my morning having breakfast inside the room - looking out the window.  I don't think we even opened the TV in the morning.

I was also glad that they've renovated the rooms.  The rooms are more modern now, the colors are softer on the eye and the furnitures, are more practical.  The bathroom stayed functional as it needs to be.  The hallways are more brightly lit and I loved the new scent of the hotel.

On our last night, we were surprised to see this.  We were also given complimentary white wine.

Did we look like lovebirds to the staff?  Hahaha!!

After packing, I called the Front Desk wanting to ask for a late check out.  I was merely hoping for a 1pm check out since that's the usual leeway that most hotels give.  After a few seconds of hearing clicks here and there, the Front Desk staff told me *Sure, we can extend your check out time to 3pm*, I had to ask again, and I did because I wasn't sure that I heard it correctly - and I did hear it correctly, it was at 3pm - 3PM!  Wow!  The person I was speaking to told me, *since you're flight is at 6pm, we'd be glad to extend it to 3PM*

This is the FIRST TIME EVER that a 3PM check-out time was extended to me in my lifetime.  I was floored.  I guess my Panget heard the surprise and enthusiasm in my voice that he asked why.  So I told him that we extended till 3PM to check out.  He gave an impressed laugh, I guess he was also surprised.  Hahaha!

We were smiling to each other saying, that the staff has gone above and beyond.  We were really impressed.  We really didn't expect anything out of the ordinary for this stay, but we were amazed, surprised and impressed with the kind of service that was given us.  We felt genuine warmth and hospitality during our stay.

Thank you The Excelsior Hong Kong, you're unforgettable.

SeoulFun: Skin Care - Laniege Waterbank

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

South Korea is the land of skin care products.  My Panget noticed on this trip that the skin of the Koreans that he has seen were mostly flawless.  I told him, it's because of the their 10 step skin care regimen.  He looked at me and repeated - 10 steps?  I said yes!  I am one who is very very very lazy in putting on moisturizer.  I have been told to start doing so as early as my teens, but well - I'm lazy.  I am very masipag though, when it came to washing my face.  My mom introduced me to Shiseido when I was in my teens - I used the Pureness line, it was for younger skin.  I swear by it and up until in my late 20's I was still using it.  I guess when I was younger, I didn't have a problem with acne or dry skin.  It was only when I got pregnant that, well - I needed to use moisturizers.

One thing I dislike with moisturizers is the feeling that my face is sweating after I put them on.  I only have one moisturizer that I like - it's a local brand, Celeteque and the reason is because, when I put it one, my face absorbs it immediately.  I'm very lucky that I don't experience any irritation.  But as the years passed, I felt that I needed to up the dose of the moisturizer I put depending on the weather.  When I travel, I bring a small tube of Celeteque and an imported brand, for the past 3 years I have been using Clinique when I go to somewhere cold.  But late last year, I noticed some bumps on my forehead and cheeks when I used Clinique.  A HS batchmate who's a derma told me to stop applying it, and within a day or two, the bumps disappeared.  I still use Clinique when I feel that my skin is extra dry.  I still rely heavily on my good old Celeteque.

So on this trip, I asked friends on recommendations.  Most of them recommended Innisfree, it's a brand that is not found here in Manila.  They were raving about the toner and moisturizer and make-up.  It was a good thing that my friend Kath asked me to buy a toner for her, the staff gave me samples to try.  I tried it when we got back to our Airbnb apartment, the next day - there were bumps.  My skin was irritated - so I stopped.  I then asked my beauty guru - Rowena her recommendation, she said Laniege.  I have been reading about that brand from her for years.  So when my Panget and I saw a store, we went in.  I only asked the staff to give me a toner and moisturizer for dry skin.  She handed me the Water Bank line.  I didn't try the product anymore, I thought to myself - bahala na.  It was only when I got back to Manila did I try the product.

The toner and moisturizer are AMAZING.  What I have been looking for in a product most of my life - the instant absorbed feeling?  I got it with these two products.  They didn't feel heavy at all, not at all!!  In fact, after a while of putting them on, I would touch my skin and think - *did I apply moisturizer already?* that's how natural it feels to me.  It's light on the skin, and the products is absorbed quickly.  I was impressed, I was really impressed that I messaged Rowena!  Hahaha..  Finally in my X number of years asking dermas why my face sweats when I put popular moisturizers on (and most couldn't give me a straight answer) I finally found one without much research!

I am now thinking, maybe I should be getting the whole line!  Hahaha.. Let's see if I can convince my Panget.  Hmmmm....

Thank you Rowena for the reco!

I am so loving Laniege's Water Bank line and it's just been a few weeks!  I look forward to putting the products on everyday.  Hahaha!! :)

SeoulFun: Skin Care - Innisfree Sunscreen Cushion

Saturday, April 08, 2017

I am sooooo lazy to put on sunscreen.  I only put them on when I got to Subic during Holy Week.  In all other places that I go to even if it's sunny, I don't put them on at all.  I hate the feeling plus my skin gets all bumpy afterwards.

I have read soooo many articles saying how important sunscreen is even if you're inside the office.  Apparently, there are still UV rays found in indoor lightings.  I would always tell myself, I'm inside the office anyway.  Bahala na si Batman.

I am very loyal when it comes to skin care brands, so for sunscreen on my face I only trust a few brands, namely Shiseido and Neutrogena.  Shiseido is expensive, while Neutrogena well, it's not as pricey but finding it in Manila a few years ago was impossible.  I remember ordering all of my sunscreen in Amazon just in time for it to arrive before the Holy Week.  I was so happy when I saw Neutrogena sunscreen/sunblock being launched years ago here in Manila.  At least I won't need to order in Amazon anymore.

A day before I was to go back to Manila, Tanya, a friend messaged me asking me if I can buy her refills of an Innisfree Sunscreen cushion.  I got curious and started asking her all sorts of questions.  When I heard cushion, I immediately assumed it was a tinted sunscreen, but I was wrong - this one, the Innisfree Sunscreen Cushion is not tinted at all.  I'm easily convinced, especially if friends swear by a certain products.  So on my last day, I was eagerly looking for an Innisfree store or counter.  Sadly, I couldn't find one.  So I told myself, you know what - if it's meant to be, it's meant to be.

After our last lunch in Seoul, I was already telling myself, *lower your expectations* - if you don't see a store, then it's not meant to be.  On the way to the airport, I was secretly wishing that I'd see an Innisfree store or counter.  Imagine, the days before my friend messaged me, I was seeing Innisfree EVERYWHERE!  Hahahaha.. How ironic, noh?

When we were done checking in our bags, I still had to return my KT Olleh pocket wifi.  It was quite a distance to the Korea Telecom kiosk, so as I was walking there, I noticed a brightly lit store in the middle of the check in counters.  The store had no signs whatsoever, but I had a feeling that it was a beauty store.  As I walked closer, I saw the word Innisfree!  I decided to return my pocket wifi first before going to the store, I mean, I didn't know how long I'd take looking at the products!  Hahaha..  So I went back after leaving my pocket wifi.  The first thing I did was show a picture of the Innisfree Sunscreen Cushion refill to the staff.  I honestly didn't know what I was looking for, luckily she pointed to the products!  They had it in the store!  Yahooooooo!!  I looked at the price and it was 12,000KRW, I got 2 pieces for my friend Tanya and then decided to add another one for myself to try.  Since I only got a refill, I had to buy a compact to place it into - I let the Innisfree staff choose a design for me because I didn't want to think anymore.  Haha!  As I was about to pay, she then told me that some tinted lipbalms were on buy one take one, I picked a light shade and got a pair, one for me and one for Kailee.  Hahahaha!! :)

When I got home, I opened the refill and placed it on the compact.  I just looked at it and it was so cute and girly!  Hahaha..  Then last Sunday, because the kids were going swimming, I decided - why not try the sunscreen cushion to see if it works (para hindi naman sayang pera diba?), I was impressed that it was so easy to put on, it didn't feel greasy and heavy.  I even did retouch after an hour and it was so easy to do!

I was telling myself, sana pala these Koreans thought about this sunscreen cushion 10 years ago!  Hahaha.. But in fairness, I'm so glad that Koreans are very innovative when it comes to skin care products.  It's really considerate of them to think of a more convenient way to put on sunscreen without the icky icky feeling on the hands.  This is a great option for those always on the go.  I read also that you can put this on first, and then your foundation.  Galing diba?????

Now, I wish I had someone with me to peer pressure me into buying these stuff.  Hahaha!! :)  Thanks Tanya, you were instrumental.  Hehehehe...

SeoulFun: Lotte World + Caricature

Friday, April 07, 2017

When you say Lotte, it's automatic that it's Korean.  I learned this in the 90's when my mom and I went on a mother daughter trip.  I remember seeing a huge skating rink - and during that time, it was the height of ice skating in Manila because of Megamall's ice skating rink in building A.  I remember my mom buying me a pair of white ice skates.  I loved them very much to the point that I never used them.  I just opened them, admired them, held them, wore them and pretended to skate in my carpeted room.  Hahaha.. I never did lessons.  I honestly, don't know where my skates are now, but wherever they are, I wish them well.

So when my Panget planned a trip to Korea, well - he mentioned going to Lotte World.  All those memories of my *once* white ice skating shoes came rushing back.  Hahaha!!  I honestly don't have any recollection of what the place looked like.  When my Panget said it was far, I didn't believe him - I mean, I knew it was in Seoul, so for sure it wasn't that far.

When I used Google Maps, I was surprised to see that the travel time is 48 minutes!  I thought to myself, was it THAT far?  I didn't think so, I didn't want to believe it.  So the night before, I already tried looking for a train route, well the fastest train route.  There wasn't any, the fastest was 38 minutes - I guess, Seoul is really a big city and Lotte World was really far from where we were staying.  

Since Lotte World opens at 10am, we decided to leave at 9:30am - we thought that was more than enough time.  We didn't want to leave too early too.  So we started our journey to Lotte World.

Waiting for the subway/train in Seoul takes time.  It wasn't unlike in Hong Kong or Japan, that the trains were arriving every few minutes.  We found ourselves waiting for about 5-8 minutes for the train to arrive.  And when it did, we had to wait a few stops to change trains.  In total, we had to change about 3 trains.  In theory - well, it was fairly easy right?  Wrong!  Changing lines in Seoul did not mean just walking across the platform.  It meant leaving that platform and walking about 3-5 minutes up and down the stairs to get to the right platform.  When you think about it 3-5 minutes is quite short, but when you actually do the 3-5minute walk with strollers and going up and down the stairs, well - it's not as easy.

We got to Lotte World at 11am.  What we thought was only 38 minutes progressed to 90 minutes because of the walking and waiting for trains to arrive.  I guess, it was really far - well commuting via trains, that is.  We then decided to have a quick lunch before entering Lotte World.

Image grabbed from THIS site

I honestly couldn't imagine what an indoor theme park looked like.  In my head it seemed odd, but when I saw Lotte World, I realized that it was a small theme park that was enclosed in a mall.  It was impressive because there was a hot air balloon ride that was hanging from the ceiling.  Imagine the magnitude of this enclosed mini theme park.  Lotte World is really for kids - I didn't feel very excited (like I felt when we went to Disney Sea) I wasn't as excited but the kids were.  We rode the carousel, did an almost VR ride, the hot air balloon and the kids did this.  Watch Connor closely.  This is the first time the kids did rides without adults.

My Panget, Yaya Belen and I were laughing sooooo hard!  The good thing was that -  Connor enjoyed the ride.  I was fearing that they'd cry!  Hahaha..

Lotte World has an indoor and outdoor theme park.  The indoor is mostly for kids, the outdoor is for older kids and adults.  The lines were long and I wasn't keen on waiting for a ride.  We spent a good 15 minutes just walking around.  The kids were quite bored at the outdoor park because they all saw rides for bigger kids.  There were two rides for kids, but they were closed.

So when we decided to leave, we had to go back to the indoor park, as the subway station was below it.  While walking to the subway station, I spotted a caricature artist.  I remember when I was younger, we had our own - but it was in Japan!  Hahaha.. So I told my Panget that I wanted the kids to have one made.  Kailee willingly obliged while Connor, he wasn't too happy with it.  Connor has issues of seeing people draw him, he feels they are all ugly!  Hahahaha..

So here are the caricatures.  These cost 10,000KRW + 4,000RW for laminating.

What do you think?


SeoulFun: Egg Pocket Wifi Rental

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

They call it Egg.  I don't know why, but - that's what they call it.  I have this insatiable need to be online all the time whenever I am out of the country.  I know it's odd, but that's how I feel.  I rely on it heavily when it comes to directions and communication.  And so every country that I go to, I try and look for a pocket wifi rental or how to buy a tourist/local simcard.

While searching for one in Seoul, I kept on seeing the word *Egg*, I was honestly confused because, what the hell does an egg have to do with a pocket wifi?  After much reading, I realized they called it an egg because the device is mostly white in color and if I am not mistaken, it used to be an oval shape?  I am not sure, I know I've read that somewhere, but please don't take my word for it.  Haha!!

So the search was on.

I asked a couple of people on their recommendation and they gave different opinions.  Our Airbnb host discouraged it as *there's wifi everywhere in Korea*.  A friend told me that she bought a local sim card.  Two friends recommended the KT Olleh pocket wifi.  I decided on the KT Olleh because of CM and Trixie.  Hihi.. So I googled.

This is the site where I rented my KT Olleh pocket wifi - Korea Telecom.  I felt that this was the most complete of all those I got to search.  They offered sim cards for voice and data and pocket wifi rentals.  Unlike in Japan where you rent a pocket wifi with sim, here - you'll have to pay extra for the pocket wifi unit.  But while reading through, if one books online, the rental of the unit is FREE!  Yehey!

I had one issue though, we were arriving at 6 in the morning!  I was worried that their counters would be closed, since - I mean - who was open at 6 freaking in the morning?!  Well, well, well - apparently KT Olleh had a counter that is open for 24 hours!  BRILLIANT!  I was starting to love the efficiency of the Koreans.  Cool right?

Reserving online is fairly easy.  You'll need to fill out the forms and then submit them.  After a few hours, you'll receive a reply from them with a payment form to fill up.  After that, you'll receive a confirmation number, make sure to keep it.  An idea would be to take a picture of the confirmation number on your phone.  I didn't need to print out a confirmation letter, as my friend Trixie said that I just needed to show the confirmation number at the counter and give them my passport.  I was honestly quite nervous, I mean - I didn't have any confirmation letter, but I trusted the efficiency of Korea Telecom.  I made sure to print out the location of the KT Olleh kiosks, so I won't get lost.

Cost was at KRW5,500.00/day.  Roughly that's about PHP275.00/day, that's definitely cheaper than the data roaming rates of Globe and Smart (which are at Php600+ a day).  And since it's a pocket wifi - you can have 5 gadgets connected at the same time.  Good deal, right?  I know that there are other options available locally, but I am too paranoid that they won't work while I'm out of the country, so to be safe - I'd rather go with a certain country's local telecom company.  At the very least, their signal will be efficient and consistent.

We arrived in Incheon Airport a little before 6am, I was surprised that the airport was filled with arriving passengers.  I guess most flight arrive very early in Incheon.  I searched for the KT Olleh booth with my print out (location) map and when I saw it, went to the counter and just presented my cellphone with the pic of the confirmation number.  They then asked for my passport and proceeded to hand me a small packet.  I was too much in a rush to have taken a picture of what was given me.  I got this on the site, they pack is exactly what is in the picture:

This egg worked great while we were in Seoul and in Everland.  The signal was always high and there wasn't a single time that I had to reset it (turn it off and on, like what we are always asked to do here in the country - that I really don't understand).  As for the battery, well - we had 2 gadgets connected the whole day, I turned on the pocket wifi from 9:30am until about 10:00pm and it was still okay.  There was just one day that I had to connect it to my power bank.

So, overall - I was very very happy with my pocket wifi rental.  I would recommend this to friends and family renting this out.  It's very convenient, signal is always good PLUS you can connect multiple gadgets at the same time.  Another plus point, is that there is no data cap, meaning it's unlimited, really unlimited!! :)  Speed is also fast, at least 5mbps!

Returning was quite easy too.  There are numerous counters in the Departure Hall for you to return the units.

I talk to these pocket wifi units before I return them (to the counters or before I drop them off their mailboxes).  I say thank you to them because they have helped me during the trip.  I know, it's odd but I still do it every time.  Hahaha!  They have served their purpose and they need to be thanked for serving me and my family.  I really appreciate these gadgets very much.