Hyatt Manila Staycation

I love the whole STAYCATION idea and I find more and more Manilenos are getting into this fad of vacationing in-town. Although, I'll always be a fan of out of town trips---for those who don't have the luxury to take a long leave from work, a staycation in the metro could be the next best thing! 

As soon as we got the staycation invitation from HYATT MANILAwe scrambled looking for a free weekend! After being thoroughly impressed during our The Fireplace dinner, I was really sooooo excited to actually check in for the weekend!:) Between Me&Patrick and Cecil&Jonsy (all 4 of us with different jobs and work scheds), it was really hard for us to pin a date. Thankfully, a weekend in April opened up for Patrick so we went ahead and booked the date. We also planned this staycation to fall just a few days before leaving for our NY trip so we could spend time with our nieces, Audrey and Natalie! I'm sure being apart for two weeks from these two cuties will make Patrick feel so homesick :( 
Patrick and I were billeted at the 10th floor in a spacious suite---so spacious in fact, I think it's even bigger than our apartment! Hahaha! I kid, I kid! Best of all, it was just a few steps away from the Regency Club lounge! Guests who book for this special suite get complimentary buffet breakfast for 2 AND get to enjoy the FREE cocktail hour from 6-8PM!!!! Whatta treat!!!:) I went gaga over the cheese and desserts (as usual!). 
To cap off our Hyatt experience, Cecil and I were treated to a luxurious massage and Moor Mud body wrap by Pevonia Botanica at the Club Oasis Spa. When it comes to spa-ing, I always look for the Pevonia brand so I'm glad Hyatt is also one of their spa partners. 

It was a fun GIRL BONDING session for me and Cecil. Patrick joined Jonsy in babysitting the girls, but I have a feeling tinulugan lang sila ng asawa ko! I guess he still needs more practice :) Hehehe!

Aside from being my sister-in-law, it's no secret that Cecil is one of my best friends. Aside from seeing each other almost every week--we're always on WhatsApp almost everyday chatting up a storm about everything and anything. HAY, WOMEN. We never seem to run out of things to talk about, huh?:) We were talking and talking during our treatment, I even caught the masahista laughing sheepishly at my jokes! Hehehe :)
The next morning, we woke up early to maximize the BIG, BIG, BIG buffet breakfast at Market Cafe. They had quite a spread! They had everything from waffles, pancakes, bacon, omelettes to tapa, tocino, daing and even a whole area dedicated to Chinese food. And they even had ice cold YAKULT!!! All you can drink Yakult!!! All lactobacilli shirota strain you can take!:) :) 
After breakfast the plan was for us to change into our swimwear and meet the others at the pool. Patrick and I, the lazy sloths, decided to take a nap and before we knew it our alarm was ringing for lunch!!! Eeeeeep!!! Kain tulog--kain ulit?!?! Don't worry, Cecil will be blogging about their family pool escapades so stay tuned for that. :) They're obviously the more active Filarts. Put me in a luxury hotel suite with plush pillows , switch on the AC, and BOOOM it's over!!! "Patty! Orlando Bloom, Brad Pitt, and Ryan Gosling are just across the street! Let's gooooo!!!!" But, But, But the pillows---they need meeee...they're just sooooo fluffffyyyy!!! Showering, Sleeping, Eating---these are my three favorite things. So if I'm able to do these 3 in a five star hotel like Hyatt, then that would make me one happy camper. FYI, my fourth favorite activity would be interpretative dancing, I just like how the message flows through my bodehhhh!Hehehe! 

For lunch, the rest of my in laws joined us at Hyatt. It was full blown Filart family invasion at the LiLi Restaurant at the 5th floor. They booked the Bai Ling room for us to enjoy the order-all-you can Chinese buffet. No wonder LiLi has become such a big hit! It's the perfect restaurant for family get togethers, reunions, and birthday parties. Our assigned waiter James was very helpful, he gave me recommendations and assisted me in ordering the right amount of food for our group. All our dishes were freshly cooked upon ordering---and since it was a buffet (with one fixed price per head) we ordered and ordered to our hearts delight!!!! SARAP!
We'd like to say thank you, thank you, thank you to the whole HYATT MANILA 
family for arranging this wonderful staycation for us!!!! Hooray for family weekenders!:)

Two Crazy Monkeys

We loved our Hyatt suite THIS much!!! More staycation photos in the next post :) Weeeee!

Whatta Funny Little Girl

My 2 year old niece, Audrey. Bow. 

Rapoo

My husband has a new addition to his video editing suite. Thanks again so much Rapoo for sending this sleek keyboard and mouse set. Best of all, they're both wireless! The keyboard is unbelievably slim at only 5.6mm thick. It has a reliable 2.4GHz wireless connection with up to 10m working range. According to the website, "With Rapoo's latest energy saving technology and power switch, can use your keyboard for up to 24 months and the mouse for 18 months without power interruption."




Beautiful Inside and Out

After months of exchanging emails, I finally met Alena, the lovely bride who won the bid for my wedding gown. It put me at ease knowing that my pre-loved gown is now in good hands! Alena is a sweetheart with the kindest spirit and I was so blessed by her wedding story. On behalf of the community in Davao Oriental, I'd like to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to Alena and her fiance for this big sacrifice. I'm positive that the Lord will bless your marriage because you've been such a blessing to others :) And to all the other brides who emailed me for this dress, I just wanted to thank each and every one of you for having such generous hearts! Maswerte ang mga lalaking mapapangasawa ninyo! Maraming Salamat!:)

Packing Guide

This is an incredibly helpful visual aid! 
I'll definitely use this as a guide for our upcoming 2 week trip!:)
Image from Pinterest

Where you lead us, we will follow.

My heart has been beating so fast. I didn't think this would be such a hard post to write. Putting these thoughts into words and pounding them into this keyboard adds an air of finality---something that I have trouble reconciling with. But the Lord has brought me here at 10:23AM and I am compelled to write about it. In a few days, our dear friends Deedee and Noel will be leaving for good.They are not leaving the country to better themselves (seeking career opportunities abroad, improving their lifestyle, taking up a Master's degree,etc). They are leaving the country to let go of themselves and better OTHERS. These two perfectly happy, perfectly healthy, financially stable and fulfilled individuals have decided to sell all their properties and possessions and give up all the comforts of life here in Manila to serve an impoverished community in Africa. 

Deedee is one of Patrick's closest friends. They've known each other since grade school and she has been like a big sister to Patrick all these years. My husband is not one to express any mushiness but yesterday as he spoke in front of the CS congregation, he shared how much he admired Deedee and her husband Noel's mission. I was on the verge of tears. I could feel that Patrick's heart ached upon saying this, knowing that the possibility of never seeing his dear friend was just too real for him to hack. But I also could sense how proud he was to call this person (and her husband) his friend. Just the honor of knowing someone who would choose to serve the Lord so bravely and passionately was more than enough to compensate for the feeling of loss. 

The other day Deedee and I were exchanging text messages and joking about what to pack for Africa. It brought me back to a few weeks ago where I was faced with a dilemma for packing for a 5 day trip---can you imagine packing for LIFE?!?! How do you manage to squeeze in your essentials and your life memories into a 20 kg suitcase?!?! 

Deedee and Noel showed us a video of the community they will be serving in a remote region in Africa--so remote in fact that I had to ask three times how to pronounce the town's name. Until now, I can't pronounce it--so wag kayong aasa that I will be able to spell it! Hahaha! The video felt like it was a clip from a CNN special and I'll admit I've seen images like this all my life. But I watched this video with fresh new eyes and a whole new perspective thanks to Deedee's careful explanation. I felt the connection. I regained consciousness about the issues of abuse, sickness, grave poverty, malnutrition, lack of education, absence of water, electricity, and shelter. 

In an email thread to Patrick's high school barkada, Deedee shared how Acts 23 spoke to her. "Take Courage" Just two words that summarized this whole new journey for them as missionaries. It is the same courage we could only dream of having someday---courage to stand up for the oppressed, courage to speak boldly for justice, courage to make sacrifices for the good of others, courage to live a life FOR CHRIST. Wow. How do you wake up with that courage?!?! Because of Deedee and Noel's testimony, I had a complete change of heart. I know now what to pray for as I enter my 30s. It seems that good health, career plans, financial security and all these things seemed too shallow to pray for---now, I want to pray for COURAGE! Courage to live boldly and passionately for the BIG DUDE up there!:) Thank you Noel and Deedee, we love you!!!

Unilever PC Summit in El Nido

A month ago, this popped up in my inbox and I just HAD to do my celebratory chicken dance. To give you a proper mental image, this dance involves a lot of hip movement and arm flapping. Needless to say, I was THRILLED that I was invited! I had NO idea where it would take place or what to expect--but the words "Conde Nast" and "Limitless Possibilities" were enough to convince me that I had to clear these dates on my calendar. I had a few things lined up for work but I knew a few adjustments here and there would be worth it!
And wow, UNILEVER really made it worth our time! We were whisked away to the brand new and already award-winning resort Pangulasian Island in El Nido, Palawan. There has been a lot of buzz around this island for the past few months, in fact, a lot of industry insiders claim that this is could be the island that could give the Maldives a run for their money. And after spending the entire weekend there, I'm convinced of this bold prediction too. From the moment our boat docked on the island it was VIP treatment all the way!!! 

I'm a sucker for details and it's always something I keep an eye on when attending events. We were quite a large group but surprisingly Unilever managed to make everything so personal! We received customized tote bags, welcome packs with handwritten notes, even my paypay had my initials. And of course a whole kaboodle of Unilever personal care products filled every crevice of our gigantic bathroom. A big shout out of course to Apples Aberin and her team for plotting out each and every detail! I really appreciated the thoughtful details injected throughout our weekend in El Nido.
To add to the fun, they assigned me the best roomie---my good friend and fellow newlywed, Kelly Misa-Fernandez. Aside from being a well-known Pond's beauty, she is possibly one of the most grounded and sensible people I've ever met in the industry and I'm so proud to call her my friend. We spent our free time in our luxurious villa, chatting about our newlywed adventures and mishaps! It's so nice to be able to share these life experiences with someone who's going through something very similar. I'm just so happy that her husband Carlos has been taking such good care of her and vice versa. 
I felt so undeserving to be in this PC Summit because all the who's-who in the industry were seated right next to me! From celebrities like the Younghusband brothers, Raymond Gutierrez, Heart Evangelista, Tweety De Leon, Catriona Gray, Rissa Mananquil Trillo to top magazine editors, to newspaper columnists, and of course the famous bloggers like Jenni Epperson, Laureen and Kryzz Uy, and Ingrid Go! Just looking around the room made me feel so kiligggg!!! Why am I even here?!?! It was definitely THE EVENT of the summer and by some stroke of luck, I managed to get a seat! Wow! I can imagine Manila was completely silent for a whole weekend because Unilever plucked out all these influencers and flew them to Palawan! Hahaha :)

The group was officially welcomed by Chariman and CEO of Unilever Philippines, Peter Cowan. After which, Gina Lorenzana, VP for Personal Care, shared their mission and vision: "Unilever Personal Care has the widest reach and greatest depth of brands that reaches Filipinos from all walks of life. As such, it is our responsibility to come up with products that can positively impact Filipino lives. In Unilever Personal Care, we aim to put people first." And of course the stunning PR Head for Unilever Personal Care, Apples Aberin, shared a few words and also revealed the first ever PC Brand Council.
After lunch, we were broken down into small groups. We were treated to a fun and insightful Summit Experiential Discovery Tour around Pangulasian. The different Unilever PC brands set up little pavilions scattered across the island. Each brand had something uniquely prepared, allowing the guests to have a concrete and tangible experience with the products. The specially designed tour took us through the Dove Between Us Girls Lounge, the Vaseline Summer Skin and Style Pavilion, the Rexona Do:More Pavilion, the Hair Supremacy Pavilion (with TRESemmé, Vaseline, Sunsilk, Clear, Dove, and Cream Silk), and the Fresh Lounge (with Close up and Pepsodent). 

I'm a bit of a nerd so listening to the reports on their sales statistics, science and research, and other studies were really intriguing for me. Indeed, these people are the experts when it comes to personal care. And yes, it's clear that they do take it personally. I enjoyed all the little activities we were asked to do for the day but the most embarrassing was when I lost to Phil Younghusband for the Rexona DO MORE challenge! We were supposed to DO MORE animal sounds and on my tenth animal sound I was trying to do the dolphin sound but failed miserably. Nakakahiya! I sounded like a little pig getting lechonified. Hahaha!

Night time came and we were asked to wear our favorite sunset hues for the Pond's dinner hosted by the lovely Pond's girls. The take home message for this dinner was "When women feel good about themselves, they are able to do great things. This is precisely why inspiring women to look and feel more beautiful by taking care of their skin is at the heart of everything that is Pond’s."

The following day it was all about LIMITLESS POSSIBILITIES care of the CreamSilk team headed by their gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous endorser Heart Evangelista. Ok, let me put it out there at the risk of sounding like a crazed fan girl. All my life up until last weekend, I always thought I was exceptionally pretty. You know how all these celebrities have their standard press release "I always felt ugly as a child then an agent discovered me in the mall and I became a Victoria Secret angel." I didn't have that. I always thought I was SOOOOO BEAUTIFUL! Even if I had funny patches on my skin, an ever blossoming bundat tummy, looked like a beaver with my chiclet teeth, and blessed with baby fat--I totally rocked it and loved the way I looked as a young and awkward girl! My parents did a great job of building my self esteem despite my obvious flaws--basta feel na feel ko talaga na ako ay isang batang diyosa. Now as an adult, I'd like to think my features have refined and I feel even more beautiful. THEN I SAW HEART LAST WEEKEND. And BOOM. My gandang-ganda sa sarili streak came to a bitter end. So to all the people who I tried to convince that I was some sort of beautiful---I truly apologize. Nahiya ako kay Heart eh, siya lang ang may karapatan. HAHAHAHA! Of course, this is all in jest and I am just a huge admirer of this CreamSilk beauty. Just as Carlos, the Asst. Brand Manager of CreamSilk shared, it's the goal of CreamSilk to encourage all Pinays to believe that they can be not only beautiful but BEYOND BEAUTIFUL. So ladies, we can be our OWN kind of beautiful!

Each meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) of each day we spent in the island felt like a wedding! The tables were lavishly decorated by TEA (The Events Architects) with a different theme per meal! I was completely overwhelmed with all the pretty little details :)
The last day on the island was dedicated to the MEN. The Unilever PC brands Clear, Axe, Rexona, Master by Eskinol, Dove Men, and Vaseline Men hosted a special breakfast for all the guests reminding  us that the men in our lives need some attention too! There's a host of products available that were carefully engineered for the bodies and faces of our hunky dudes. 
Congratulations to the hardworking team behind the very FIRST Unilever PC Summit! The core members were very passionate about their respective brands, speaking not only about the numbers and statistics to back up their sales pitch, but they also spoke based on their own personal experiences as consumers. Their presentations were very relatable and non-intimidating which I thoroughly enjoyed. This summit was a very refreshing way to engage their partners in the press and media. 
"We, at Unilever Personal Care, aim to sustainably uplift the lives of Filipinos from all walks of life by providing the most trustworthy brands.
With the widest reach of brands, we take our pledge to serve Filipinos at heart by reaching out and listening to what they have to say--- their concerns, needs and wants. We invest in clinical research and product development to ensure function and unparalleled performance. We push beauty boundaries to deliver breakthroughs and innovations. And then we come up with products that show that we’re really paying attention.

But while we are proud of all the products we’ve developed, at our core, we know that this success has come only because we always have the people we serve in mind. In the end it’s about more than just our products, but about how our products can positively impact the lives of our fellow- Filipinos"

My happy problem: Trying to squeeze in all the Unilever PC products into my tiny maleta! I had to pack and unpack three times until I finally figured it out!:) I shared the goodies with my friends and family as soon as I got back to Manila. 
Homeward bound in our cool El Nido jeepney with Heart, Raymond, Lourd, and Kelly.
Special thanks to Sandro Paredes for the awesome photos!:) Again, my deepest thanks to the Unilever PC and Bridges PR team for inviting me to the very first PC SUMMIT! It was a great pre-birthday treat for me :) :) I'm definitely looking forward to the next one!!!

Underarm Power

Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the past year (though with this heat, I really can't blame you for taking shelter!)..I'm sure you've seen the beautiful Anne Curtis in all the Belo billboards scattered all over the metro. She looks absolutely stunning, almost other-wordly in fact! One thing that I really admired was her...are you ready for my answer??? HER flawless KILI KILIs!!!! Hahahaha, yun pa talaga yung napansin ko diba?! Maganda na siya, maganda pa kili-kili niya?!?! You gotta be kidding me! But seriously though, having beautiful underarms will allow you to reach for greater heights (both literally and figuratively) with more confidence. You'll be able to wear those nice summer tank tops with ease when you're confident about your "arm caves"! 

Anne Curtis swears by Belo Essentials Deodorant line which has been called "The Beauty Deo" by industry insiders. The Belo group sent me a few samples to try, including their new baby, their Belo Essentials Deo Spray. If you're not a roll on kinda girl, this new spray form might do the trick. The product claims to go beyond what other “whitening deo” brands do. Belo Essentials Anti-perspirant Deodorant does NOT stop at whitening alone. It also smoothens by effectively minimizing pores, soothes skin from plucking or shaving, and gives 24-hour protection against sweat. Of course, each skin type is unique---hence, each kili-kili is unique as well so I urge you to give it a try first and see if it works for you too.
This is a sponsored post.





Fashion Friday: MIRANDA

Thank you so much Miranda Clothing for sending me some flirty and ultra feminine pieces! I wore the floral skirt to an event I hosted this week and received lots of raves. :) Simply visit their Facebook Page here to browse through their collection. And to make your shopping experience even better, they're giving away 10% off for all my blog readers! How awesome is that? Just place your order and include the discount code: "PATTYBLOGSMIRANDA" to avail of the special price cut! Happy Shopping girls!

My 30th Birthday Surprise


TOTALLY AND UTTERLY SURPRISED!!!!!
All photos by Sheila and Jorem Catilo (and I'm sure you already knew that)

This birthday surprise party was truly a validation of GOD's love for me---in the form of my husband, my friends and of course my Laurel and Filart family. Early this year, I was really looking forward to celebrating my 30th--I didn't have a bongga party planned but I wanted it to be special this year. Then life happened, I had some health issues and we had to sort of align our financial priorities for the year. On top of that, I also had a very unsettling feeling about the people back in my mom's province (victims of Typhoon Pablo who to this day are displaced and in need of help) so I prayed about it for days and even consulted Patrick about it. And after a ping-pong discussion, I decided to just abandon whatever plans we had so we could set aside a bit of money for Davao. Sa totoo lang, katiting lang naman ang naitabi ko and I don't even know if it'll even make a dent of change--but hey, it's what I have and what I am able to give at this point so bahala ka na Lord!Hehehe!

A few days before my birthday, I was sort of half-regretting my decision to not celebrate my 30th. I was starting to feel sad just realizing that this was actually a big milestone in my life and I didn't have anything creative or purposeful planned for the day. It didn't have to be a big party--just anything for me to say "So this was what I did when I turned 30!". Though God was kind enough to keep whispering to me that I made the right decision and it made my heart feel happier the more I thought about it. 

Midnight came and as I was brushing my teeth I was already psyching myself to be cool about having just a regular day. "It's just a birthday, you'll have lots of birthdays", I thought to myself. "Celebrating birthdays are overrated anyway", I said to the girl in the mirror. Then I stepped out of the bathroom and found a few things lying on the bed.  EEP! MY FAVORITE THINGS!!! A Dr Seuss book, a journal, and green tea kitkat---and a love letter!!!! A love letter that I've been begging Patrick for months to make! From my cool "I don't want to fuss over my birthday" attitude I just started bawling and hugging Patrick so tightly!!!! It just made me so happy that he made the effort to get me all those sweet little gifts :) :) That night I knew I was the luckiest girl in the world and the life I had now was the life I've always wanted---regular days are worth celebrating already and I didn't need to have a birthday to remind me how blessed I actually am!

For my birthday we did the regular stuff, we went to the mall, I accompanied Patrick to the barber, had some Pepper Lunch for lunch in a peppery way, moved to another resto for some chocolate cake then went home so I could take a nap. YES. I took a nap on my birthday. It was the best siesta ever! Lolang-lola na ang peg ko!:) I set the alarm for dinner with my parents--which of course turned out to be a surprise party instead. 

It must be the hormones--or my old age (hahahaha, 1 day palang akong 30 feeling wise old owl na ako!) but I was completely overwhelmed with emotions upon seeing all the details of my surprise party. ALL MY UTIMATE FAVES were there: Jamaican Patties, Fish balls, Sorbetes, Dunkin Donuts munchkins, Polly's chocolate cakes, Waffle Time, Potato Corner, and more junk food&food cart favorites!!! Isa lang ang naisip ko upon seeing that whole spread of food---WOW, these people actually KNOW ME. Would you believe my buddy, RG, brought the actual Potato Corner kiosk (na may kasamang babae pa ha!) because he knew I was gaga over their french fries! That's what you call a true friend! Sheila made the props, Alessa baked me a cake, each guest actually made the effort to bring something I would actually LIKE! I could enumerate them all but it would take all day. Hahaha! The common trend really was this..my friends KNEW ME. And that alone was such a grand epiphany for me! These people have seen everything and have chosen to welcome me into their lives wholeheartedly without any  judgments.  If you make the extra effort to keep your friendships genuine, no matter how crappy life is--it'll be ten times less complicated if you surround yourself with authentic connections. Naks, deep tayo. Aba syempre, 30 na ako noh!

I looked around the room and saw all these familiar faces and I was reminded of God's goodness in my life. These people have crazy work schedules, some even have children, yet they made the time for little ME. Sino ba ako?!?! Bakit ako mahalaga sa kanila?! What did I do to deserve this love and affection from these wonderful people? They actually sat down and thought of what would make me, their silly old friend, happy and put themselves out there to make it a tangible experience for me. 

So let me close this nobela with a big THANK YOU to my friends and family members who have filled my heart with so much love!!! MARAMING SALAMAT! To Patrick's accomplices our moms, Sheila, RG, Marge, Team Gonz, Jonsy, Ces, Ale and all our other friends---THANK YOUUUU!!!!!! Indeed it was a Happy Birthday for me..all thanks to God's orchestration!:) Where's the LIKE button, I soooo want to LIKE this post already!!! HAHAHAHA!!! 


Fashion Friday: Island Girl

A few days ago I got some beach worthy sandals from local brand Island Girl. They have lots of classy but beach-y pieces that would be perfect for your getaways this summer! They also make custom sandals and accessories for destination weddings so be sure to check out their site now! :) Thanks so much Island Girl!

Mrs. P.F.

Thank you Sandro Paredes for sending me this photo. Check out the cute tote Unilever made for me---PF for my brand new initials as a MISIS!!!:) Kiliiiig!!! I'll be posting about my El Nido getaway in a few days! :)

 

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