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Monday, April 21, 2014

KL - Vietnam Trip Prelude

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It's been a while since my last backpacking trip. I think the last time I was out carrying my backpack for so lang was when PHL 360 happened. PHL 360 is an online reality travel show, go check it out :)

Let me tell you about the nature of this trip. April 3, 2013, Air Asia had a super seat sale and my blogger friends from Malaysia invited me to join them for a trip to Vietnam. Gaaah!!! I was so excited that I booked a ticket from KL - Vietnam immediately. The travel date is from April 5 to 12, 2014! Booked exactly 1 year before travel date. The ticket just cost me Php 3k ++ (USD 65). I know that Cebu Pacific already has a direct flight from Manila to Vietnam, but having a stop over in KL doesn't sound like a bad plan at all.

I just had to wait for Cebu Pacific to have a seat sale from Manila to KL. I think somewhere in May, it happened, I booked my MLA - KL ticket for Php 2k ++ (USD 50). Amazeballs!

Traveling need not be expensive!

Now I just had to wait for 1 year.

Fastforward to April 2014 yaye!

Quick trip to KL

I arrived at 1am and finding the right hotel for me was a bit tricky. I decided to book at Sri Enstek Hotel through Agoda.com.

Sri Enstek Hotel
Overall verdict: Would recommend to friends, click here to book!

I booked this hotel through Agoda and based on the reviews, it was clear to me that this hotel is a little bit far from the city center but that this hotel is quite near to the airport and great for people in transit. Overall, it was an AMAZING experience! I booked a shuttle service for only MYR10. They picked me up at the airport even in the wee hours (1am), the driver and staff asked me if I want to stop by 7/11 if I'm hungry. I really appreciate this. The staff were all friendly. The breakfast was decent (bread, jam, coffee and nasi lemak). The area is a little bit away from the city, but not to worry, you can take the shuttle going to the airport or to the nearest train station that will take you to the city.

There is a 24 hour restaurant just across the hotel. Rooms are clean, they had flat screen TV, I was able to watch a movie and a Filipino soap they air on MY. The shower was awesome, they have heated shower and the water was abundant. Despite the fact that my friend in Malaysia found Sri Enstek really secluded, I had to disagree. I was there just to stay 24 hours, and leave the hotel to go straight to the airport. They also had a computer and printing machine that could print your boarding pass. Plus, wifi is awesome! Bottomline, I would recommend this hotel to friends and I really am so impressed with their service.

Around Petaling Jaya and Klang

After this, I met with my friends :) We went around Petaling Jaya to eat some crispy chicken with curry sauce and bean sprouts! Yum! That was one good fried chicken. Then we went around Amcorp Mall to pick up the new camera my friend bought and later eat at A&W restaurant to eat some pancakes and rootbeer!

After that went to friend's house to fix things before we finally head on to the airport!

Some flower juice thing :) Thank you Alvin for the treat!

They serve a lot of rice here! Like 4 times my usual consumption.

I don't think we have one in the Philippines

Strawberry pancake with vanila ice cream!

Root beer float

Meeting Yenty for the first time at Mary Grace Hotel (inside joke)
I meant to say Mary Brown in LCCT airport in Malaysia :P

Bolu Gulung Meranti

Specialty in Yenty's place in Medan, Indonesia. It is made of some sort of angel cake with cheese inside!

Thank you Yenty!

Up next, our first day in Hanoi, Vietnam :D

Friday, March 28, 2014

Francis Libiran Fashion Show at Century City Mall's Launch

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Congratulations Century City Mall!

Last night, March 26, 2014, Century City Mal celebrated the grand opening with a grand gala featuring a collection of modern and futuristic fashion of Francis Libiran. Manila's stylish personalities were gathered on the 4th level al fresco area.

As the highlight of the gala, the collection by Libiran introduced fashion forward features, including a number of pieces that promise to be some of the most visually arresting creations that graced the country's runways.

With a construction cost of Php 1.4 billion, Century City Mall is called the Mall of Modern Makati for its unique architecture and good mix of Filipino and global retail and dining establishments. The five-level lifestyle center is accessible via Kalayaan Avenue near the corner of Salamanca street, as well as General Luna Street coming from Makati Avenue (near A Venue). This is the mall where CaliBurger is! This mall also has Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen, Kimukatsu, ChaTime, Toby's Estate cofee, IHOP, Greek Yogurt, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, XO46 Bistro Filipino, Pepper Lunch, Early Bird Breakfast Club, Starbucks, TWG Tea, Isla Cafe, Azurro Bistro and Restaurant, 12 Cupcakes, Mochi Sweets and Taters on Level 3 where the cinemas are at!

I can't wait to try their cinema! They have four 100% digtal projection cinemas, one of which is the Premiere Cinema equipped wit 60 fully-automated leather seats, and a 7.1 Dolby Atms Surround Sound system. This is directly connected tot he Premiere Lounge - a space for cocktails and parties with optional butler service.

Also open are Dimensione, Samsonite, Blue Carreon Home, Howards Storage World, True Value, Healthy Options, Sony, Studio Fix Salon, Myst, Alter to Fit, Shiseido, The Face Shop, Bench Edited, Le Optique and Dyson, Planet Sports, Nike, Res-Toe-Run, Desigual, Zen Nutrients, Fresh/H20, Beauty Bar, Watsons, Crabtree & Evelyn, Hush Puppies, Izod, Swarovski, Mark Coblen, TW Steel, Chibi Momo and Toys R' Us. I also saw that Uniqlo and Cotton On.

You can also start your grocery shopping starting 9am at Rustan's Supermarket.

Parking was decent with 3 basement parking floors and valet services.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Carmen's Best Ice Cream


The people who have tried Carmen’s Best just has one thing to say “delicious!” I personally tried Carmen’s Best because my officemates bought one for a birthday celebrant. When I tried it, I just wanted more and ever since, I’ve been visiting their shop at The Market along LP Leviste st. It is my favorite “pasalubong”, gift, peace offering.

The Story of Carmen’s Best

What started out as Paco Magsaysay’s hobby, turned out to be something people have been craving for - Carmen’s Best ice cream! He had access to pure and fresh cow’s milk from the family’s dairy farm in laguna and it just seemed natural for him to try to make his own ice cream.

This hobby soon turned into a successful small business. In 2013, the family established a fresh milk processing plant in the country. In the same year, Paco also finished Penn State’s Ice Cream Short Cours with the top prize: the Keeney Award.

Today, Carmen’s Best is poised to raise the bar on how premium ice cream should taste.

The Raw Materials

Carmen’s Best is made from 100% cow’s milk and cream, fresh from their own dairy farm every day. It is one of the best homemade artisanal ice cream you could every try. I personally got in touch with Paco and while I was commending about the rich, creamy and dense feel of the ice cream, he said that it is made of pure and fine ingredients. For example, their Pistachio flavour is made of full, real (no fake flavouring) pistachios. That’s why the flavour tasted legit.

Carmen’s Best is made the old-fashioned way. That means, no water, no additives, no mass-producing, all craftsmanship.


The flavours range from traditional Vanilla, made with vanilla beans from Madagascar, to the much-loved Malted Milk, made with childhood Horlicks malted milk powder from England and their Pistachio flavor made with pure pistachios from Sicily.


Best Choice Awards: Best Choice Artisanal Ice Cream Brand
Our Awesome Planet’s Ultimate Taste Test: Overall Winner
2011 Filipino Artisanal Ice Cream: Overall Winner
Manila Survival Guide’s: Five Best Artisanal Ice Cream Brands
Spot.ph’s: Top 10 Homemade Ice Cream

I think that’s enough talk everyone. Why don’t you just try it and experience the great taste of Carmen’s Best for yourself?

Carmen’s Best Contest

I am giving away a P1000 gc to 1 lucky reader. Simply follow these instructions:

1. Follow @flaircandy and tweet about the contest using hashtag #CarmensBest, tag @flaircandy

"@flaircandy is giving away #CarmensBest ice cream! Click here to join http://hannahvillasis.com"

2. Post the link of your tweet on the comment section below with the answer to this question:
"If you are a Carmen's Best ice cream flavor, what are you and why?" 
  • I will pick the one with the most creative answer
  • I will select my winner on April 2


I highly encourage you to join so you can try this premium ice cream with your friends and family!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Shen's Baby Shower

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One of my blogger friends is going to have a baby! The last time we spent a lot of time together was last year's Smart Live All Out event in Boracay. Check out her blog: Shen's Addiction.

Congratulations Shen!

The Baby Shower was hosted by SM Babies. I think Shen's baby will carry over her mom's love for style! Every budding fashion follower needs the best pieces to start their collection. From the most essential basics to cozy accessories and outerwear, SM Babies starts you off with a rundown of the top outfit picks for growing infants.

Check out the SM Babies’ Closet Classics for Tiny Tots at your nearest SM Department store. :)

*photo grabbed from shensaddiction.com

Friday, March 21, 2014

Smart Family Ties Graduation Challenge

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‘Tis the season for your child’s graduation! Share your child’s photo in his/her toga with the family and get a chance to be featured in their online ads! Plus a lot of cool prizes await you. The more you share, the more chances of winning! Don’t forget to tag @smartcares and use the hashtag #SmartFamilyTies!

Smart Family Ties is all about nurturing a safe and connected family. Now, you could not get "too busy" to get in touch with your family.

Called the Family Ties Plans, Smart’s new family-oriented offerings helps you stay constantly connected with members of the family, while ensuring a safe and protected environment for children when they use their mobile devices.

Family Ties Postpaid Lines

Families have two choices for their postpaid lines: Family Ties Plan 900 includes unlimited calling within the family circle, unlimited SMS to Smart subscribers and 200 all-network texts, as well as 100MB of free data for each line every month.

Meanwhile, the Family Ties Plan 1800 comes with unlimited calls and texts to all Smart subscribers, 200 free all-network texts and 300MB of free monthly data for each line.

Both plans come with three lines and three smartphones of their choice. Initial phone models include the O+ USA 8.2, O+ USA 8.31, Lenovo A269i, Alcatel Magic, Lenovo A369i and the O+ 8.37. 
But families with more than one child can also enjoy these perks as subscribers may add up to six additional lines per subscription by just adding P300 per line for Plan 900 and P600 per line for Plan 1800.

To maximize their postpaid plans, users can subscribe to various call, text and data packages through Smart Postpaid Flexibundles, which can be easily availed of via SMS.

Online Safety

But aside from providing call and text features within the family circle, Smart’s new Family Ties Plans also provide a unique way of protecting children when they go online on their mobile devices. With the popularity of the Internet and various social networking sites, children are more exposed to various online threats such as cyberbullying and online scams.

Which is why in partnership with telco leader Vodafone, Smart will be exclusively offering the Vodafone Guardian App as a pre-installed app on smartphones available under the Family Ties Plans. Moms and dads can rest easy even if they’re not physically present to guide their children’s use of smartphones as the Vodafone Guardian App does all the work for them. 

With just a few taps on the app, parents can set call and text-messaging filters and ban certain numbers from contacting their children, which helps prevent the risk of cyberbullying and untoward incidents with unscrupulous individuals.

They can also help balance their children’s time online as the Vodafone Guardian App allows them to block certain features at certain times, such as banning the use of games while they are still doing their homework. The app offers enough flexibility so that parents can tailor-fit how the app protects their children based on their unique parenting styles.

Interested families who want to avail of Smart’s Family Ties Plans may contact 8488877 or dial *887 on their SMART mobile phones. They may also proceed to the Smart Store nearest them or visit smrt.ph/familytiesplans for more details.

Smart Live All Out: Araw ng Dabaw

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It's a shame not to experience the different festivals we have in the Philippines. I take such great pride that I live in a country where every town hosts fun festivals that are rich in culture and well - food! Every city has something special to offer. This year, is my first time to ever set foot in Mindanao, first stop - Davao city for the Smart Live All Out: Araw ng Dabaw!

My first impression of Davao City: 

No traffic
Friendly people

We arrived at Park Inn Hotel which is just right behind SM Lanang. Meet my room mate Ynnah, the famous Twitter manager of @TheseDamnQuote. You can also follow her personal account at @YnnahBonina.

When you find yourself in Davao, you gotta try the notorious/controversial fruit DURIAN! I have tried the real pulp of the real durian fruit and it was not something I jumped in joy for :P Durian shake sounded friendlier and interesting so I ordered it.

The smell is strong... and I bravely took a sip!

Uhm... well, they say it is an acquired taste, and it does not taste that fascinating for my tongue. But it is not unpleasant either. The smell was just too strong for me.

But hey, don't let this stop you from eating durian! I tried to research and I found out that though this fruit is high in energy (calories), it does not have saturated fat and cholesterol. It also helps in controlling blood pressure, and well a lot of other nutritional benefits like Vitamin C. It also has a complete set of B vitamins that are rare to find in a fruit.

We ate lots of seafood! This one is their local "tanguige" and I ordered it buttered, on a sizzling plate! YUM!

You also have to try their famous tuna belly and tuna jaw (panga).

After dinner, we went out to party! First stop is the Step Up party, somewhere in the city (Davao is a big city).

Next stop is the Liberalia Neon Glow party at Crocodile park. Got some neon paint to glow and this was before it rained!

Smart Liberalia party is one of the highlights of this years celebration for "Araw ng Dabaw"! The party started at 3pm on March 15 thrown by the country's top DJs Ace Ramos, Aliana Jimenez, Clyde Harris, Curse and Bless, Reo Mendoza, Erwin Edralin, Surf, DJ Wacky Masbad and Torch Gacuma.

Then, it rained... party didn't stopped! 

DJ Surf had a party robot with him!

DJ Surf spinning

Awesome crowd!

Everyone here is generous! DJ Ace giving someone a drink!

Up the stage :P

Me, Ynnah and @lancedeocampo with DJ Ace spinning at the back!


Thank you Smart for inviting us to this one awesome party!

In the morning, we wanted to participate in the day activities of the festival - PARADE! The Smart Store on Wheels was there to participate as well!

Ynnah and me up at 7am for the party! We don't want to miss the fun!

I feel so safe in Dave, there were military men everywhere!

Time for the parade! Smart has their own drum beaters!

That was an awesome weekend! I will definitely come back to explore more of Davao!

Giant Durian by the airport - the last photo I got from Davao :P

For now.

Follow Smart for updates on their latest events and promos: Facebook: www.facebook.com/SmartCommunications Twitter: @smartcares Instagram: @smartcares