10 Realities of Freelancers

There are really so many perks of being a freelancer; as most practitioners proudly claim—own your time, be your own boss, freedom to be when and where you want to work.

True that doing freelance has a lot of advantages especially in managing time but it takes beyond time to keep up. Before taking the leap into freelancing (a lot are considering it now with the turn of the new year and the option to shift a career), I would always recommend friends and colleagues to study the pros and cons on top of their evaluation of their emotional and financial status. Our own attitude plays a huge part in the process; connection with people who can help is also very useful especially on the first year (my first consulting job was from my fulltime employer). Someone has to be there to support you, give you an opportunity to handle projects while you are still building a portfolio. It is a must to bank on discipline, patience, and perseverance; delivering quality work given the deadline.

Hubby is also a freelancer and we have made a random list which others can surely relate across industries. Get ready to live these realities once you jump into the freelance world:

Working on Vacation is the life of a homebased freelancer

Work while vacationing (taken a Veue Cabins)!

  1. Get accustomed to working even on vacations.
  2. Do a Monday night gimmick as you wish! 
  3. Learn to market yourself beyond the beauty of your CV.
  4. You will miss the excitement of going to ATMs on the 15th and 30th plus the thrill of holiday bonuses.
  5. Good thing, you won’t be affected by “petsa de peligro” (days closer to salary and pockets of employees are almost empty).
  6. Seeing all your billings become a nightmare when there is no work in the pipeline.
  7. There are months you will be overloaded to the point of refusing a job (so as not to compromise quality) while there are also off-peak days when you just stare at your computer screen and no work is popping.
  8. Some clients are way too unreasonable, admit it. Now, you have the option to refuse working with dementor-like-clients.
  9. At several scenarios, getting your cheque on time is but a dream and sweet promises of the accounting department is the last hope.
  10. You will get a full-time offer that is so tempting you will have second thoughts if you are doing the right thing.

Do an honest analysis of where you want to be in terms of your career and finances along with your personal goals; the realization will help you stay as freelance or go back to corporate world, your choice. Stick to where you are most happy and productive. 

As the year ends and new plans will prosper for us all in terms of personal and career growth, let me thank you for staying with me through 2017 and looking forward to more of our adventures together this 2018!

Merry Christmas!

 

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Reviewing Veue Cabins at Bolinao Pangasinan

This long ASEAN weekend, we were able to sneak for a quick out of town at Bolinao, Pangasinan. It was a secluded place ( 5-hour travel time from Paranaque without heavy traffic) with our room fronting the beach.  Veue has a relaxing atmosphere with only six cabins for guests with swimming pool in the midst. There was no internet signal in the vicinity; it feels refreshing to detach to digital world sometimes. 

If the idea is an escape from the chaotic city traffic for a few days and go on a long tranquil drive without much stress, you can try to leave the Metro at 4am and enjoy the trip to Bolinao. Sharing the same thoughts of Hubby (with a few of my add-on comments in green italic font), here is the review he did (also seen on Veue Facebook) and credits to his photos too! 🙂

VEUE Bolinao Pangasinan

… We were booked in Veue Beach Cabins from November 16-18. They have 6 cabins, and we picked the nearest from the beach (they have 2), one of which is named Malang house. Yes, the drive was long, with some roadworks but, when you reach the place, it was all worth it.

Let me start off with how to go there. I followed Waze and used the TPLEX Ramos (Paniqui) exit. There were a few road constructions, but nothing fuzzy about it. From the Bolinao Hi-way, you will make a left towards Patar Beach (roughly around 18 kms). Waze then will say, you have reached your destination but no. You have to climb up and follow the “G” sign. It will lead you to a rough road. SUVs, Pick-up Trucks, and Vans can traverse the road easily; Sedans are another story. If your sedan is equipped with stock tires and stock suspension, please proceed with caution because the road is rough with pointed rocks. But if installed lowering springs and low profile tires, better think twice. You will then see Veue Beach Cabins after the G resort.

After the long and winding and a bit of rough road, you will eventually feel that your vacation will start instantly. You will have a break with your mobile devices, social media sites because there is no signal (there is phone signal, for calls only in one spot in G resort). So, grab a book, or better yet, just enjoy what is in front you. The view is majestic especially during the magic hours.

VEUE Bolinao Pangasinan

We stayed in Malang house, two of the cabins that are closest to the ocean. Now, let us go to the cabin. The Malang Cabin is roomy (all Veue Cabins are). They have a pantry with complete accessories (coffee press without coffee beans, hehe, plates, utensils, dual electric stove, refrigerator, sink, microwave, etc), meaning there is no food (not even a single water bottle), so you are allowed to bring whatever you want to cook. You can also order at the G Resort if you don’t want to problem preparing. But, if there are no guests in G Resort, tendency is, they do not stock up their inventory. Don’t get me wrong, they serve good food, but not just complete (I must say, a bit pricey too). The cabins are also equipped with sofa bed and a king size bed. The toilet/bathroom is spacious too. By the way, you have to bring anti-insect patches when traveling with kids (we caught a spider in the room so stay alert for all types of crawlers). The cabins have enough spacing for privacy as well. Imagine, there is an ongoing construction just on the vacant lot near us, with backhoe and all those hammering, but once you got into your cabin, the noise was isolated (if no Spotify and TV is off, construction sound can be bothersome as it comes persistent in the morning until afternoon).

The pool is child-friendly; my son loves it. He even said, the best pool ever (maybe because he can touch the floor, and on our second day, he owned the pool since no other guests checked-in)! The view from the pool to the ocean is breathtaking. My wife and I literally stared at it for hours, just eating chips and drinking (coffee/)tea. God’s work is truly amazing.

VEUE Bolinao Pangasinan - Malang

The beach. Ah, the beach. My wife loves it only because of the white sand. But, you can’t really jump and swim right away because of sea rocks. It is filled with sea rocks. It is like a maze going to spot where there are no rocks. If you are into snorkeling, then it could work for you guys.

My observation, there was a security hut near our cabin, but never did I see any security guard on duty. There were occasional vendors that can go inside the premises. Privacy check here guys. We also wanted to extend our stay for another night and the staff suggested to just call the owners but we will go back to the problem of mobile signals. Opportunity lost there.

Overall, it was a great escape for us and worth the long drive. Are we gonna go back? Definitely. Thank you again Veue Beach Cabins.

Sunday Visit at Taal Basilica

Last Sunday, we agreed to have a long drive farther South and attend a mass somewhere in Batangas. Just a whole day escape from the City and to have a glimpse of the greens and seas—Batangas is filled of such sceneries.

We went to Taal Basilica, around 65km far from BF Homes, Paranaque. And yes, it is worth the drive. Truly amazing to see the old-majestic facade of the church with intricate exterior designs. The history and the initiatives to preserve the holy structure is also very interesting to know. The struggles and the will of the Church to stand firm despite many trials is so inspiring. Here are some great historical information worth noting.

·       It takes pride as the oldest church in Asia; it started construction beginning 1575—3 years after the founding of Taal town in its old site near the shores of Taal Lake with Saint Martin of Tours as Patron Saint.

·       The church was rebuilt and improved in 1642 using stronger materials but in 1754, it was destroyed along with the town of Taal in the largest recorded eruption of Taal Volcano. This event led to the transfer of the town and the church 7.5km west away from the volcano to its present site atop an elevated hill facing Balayan Bay. The ruins of the previous church can still be seen in San Nicolas, Batangas.

·       The construction of the new church started in 1755 to 1782 but yet again damaged by a natural calamity by a strong earthquake on September 16, 1852.

·       Construction of the present church began in 1856 and was completely finished in 1878.

·       A small tower on the left side of the facade contained the large church bell, which in 1942, was destroyed by an earthquake.

·       The church was then restored in 1953 and then the following year on December 8, 1954, the church was declared as a Minor Basilica, the third in the country to be given such honor.

·       The church was again restored in 1972 by the Taal Quadricentennial Council for the 400th anniversary of the town’s establishment and on January 16, 1974 was declared a National Shrine.

·       In April 4, 2017, the Basilica was damaged by a 5.5 earthquake that struck Tingloy, Batangas. The Basilica was significantly damaged again caused by twin earthquakes (magnitudes 5.6 and 6.0) that struck the neighboring towns of Mabini and Taysan that occurred on April 8. The National Historical Commission of the Philippines is undertaking some precautionary measures in order to preserve the Basilica.

The Taal Basilica canonically known as the Minor Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours (Filipino: Basilika ni San Martin ng Tours; Spanish: Basílica Menor de San Martín de Tours) is a Minor Basilica in the town of Taal, Batangas in the Philippines, within the Archdiocese of Lipa. It is also considered to be the largest catholic church in the Philippines and in Asia, standing 88.6 metres (291 ft) long and 48 metres (157 ft) wide. St. Martin of Tours is the patron saint of Taal, whose fiesta is celebrated every November 11.  (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taal_Basilica)

 

Visit their small gallery, light a candle, attend a mass, enjoy the sudden blow of wind at the entrance door, or just simply pray. Coming here is spiritually uplifting.

7 To-Do’s on a Singapore Weekend Trip

Plan a productive weekend when in Singapore while taking note that it has similar hot weather like in the Philippines (it was also bipolar during our stay as it was so sunny in the morning then a strong rain in the afternoon) but the place is completely clean and the highway traffic is way too bearable even during a Friday night rush hour. Special thanks to my Father-In-Law who treated our entire stay as his birthday gift to my Son! Where to go? Here are some of the places you may consider while on a 3-night vacation with a kid onboard.

  • Sentosa – an island resort off Singapore’s southern coast, connected to the city by road, cable car, pedestrian boardwalk, and monorail. Depends on how many attractions you wish to explore but you can spend a day here to just simply roam around (ride cable car and tour the Sentosa Island via Bus) or visit S.E.A Aquarium (large aquarium featuring 800 species of marine life in a variety of habitats; one-day ticket at SG$34 for adults and SG$24 for kids) and Universal Studios (one-day ticket at SG$76 for adults and SG$56 for kids), among many other activities that you can pick.

  • Gardens by the Bay – nature park spanning 101 hectares of reclaimed land in central Singapore, adjacent to the Marina Reservoir. In the afternoon, you can take a look at the Flower Dome, Cloud Forest, and Heritage Gardens. Comes night, stand in awe of the amazing SuperTree Grove uniquely designed vertical gardens of 25 to 50-metres tall with a light display (7.45pm and 8.45pm daily). Bring a thin blanket or a long shawl to spread on the floor so you can lie down and watch the effects for free.
Gardens by the Bay Light Show

SuperTree Grove Feels like in Avatar World

  • Marina Bay Sands – walk at the huge and intricately-designed mall;  enjoy your coffee at the DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe. Well, nothing really spectacular about their latte but a Superman-designed mug and a cookie shape Batman is fun to try. The kids would surely fancy DC-character ice cream stick! Then go up to the paid viewing deck of the boat-shaped top floor soaring 57 level; observation deck entrance fee is SG$23 for adults and SG$17 for children.
DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe

Superman Latte and Batman Americano, please!

 

What’s on the high boat?

From Marina Bay, you can just walk to the ferris wheel and stroll at the Merlion Park.

  • Singapore Flyer – the Flyer has an overall height of 541 feet and takes about 30 minutes cycle. (Only second to the highest ferris wheel in the world, first being High Roller at Las Vegas at 550 feet.) The ride offers a nice 360 panoramic view of Singapore. The ticket is priced at SG$33 for adults and SG$21 for children.

Singapore Flyer from the Marina Bay POV

  • Merlion Park – you’ve probably seen images of Singapore’s national icon, the mythical Merlion with the head of a lion and the body of a fish. She is the Mama Merlion and the body symbolizes Singapore’s humble beginnings as a fishing village when it was called Temasek, meaning ‘sea town’ in Old Javanese. Her head represents Singapore’s original name, Singapura, or ‘lion city’ in Malay.
Mama Merlion

Side view of Mama Merlion (The Daddy is on Sentosa Island)

  • Orchard Road – a 2.2 kilometer-long boulevard and Singapore’s retail heart with discount outlets, department stores, and upscale boutiques, alongside luxury hotels. Duration here is based on your shopping appetite, you can spend a whole day at Orchard to (window) shop and eat. As for us, we eyed on the eating part and found a really good ramen place at OrchardGateway! if you are Japanese noodle lover, have a slurp of shoyu or the black garlic at Kanshokuramen.
Ramen!

Ramen!

 

Starwars at Orchard

Starwars Product Launch at Orchard

  • Clark Quay – historical riverside quay (a structure built parallel to the bank of a waterway for use as a landing place) in Singapore, located within the Singapore River Planning Area. Drop by late afternoon or evening then jump to a dinner treat as there are a lot of mouth-licious food spots! If you are a seafood lover, get a reservation at Jumbo along the RiverWalk and make sure to order their crabs and shrimps! Or if you like cook-your-own steak done on a small-square stone grill, check Hot Stones. The extreme-adrenaline seekers might want to try  G-Max Reverse Bungy (I did NOT even think of riding it)!

The walk at Clark Quay

 

WriteNowNa in Singapore

Ready to crack the crabs!

These are just some of what you can do in SG and are guaranteed to leave memories! Have an amazing trip!

When is the So-Called “Ghost Month”?

Many freelancers and enterprise owners take extra precautions on their decision-making and spending during the so-called “ghost month”. Some would say that the entire August (even calling it “Aughost”) is actually a dangerous month so expect people with strong superstitions to avoid work transactions and to not initiate new business ventures.

Have you experienced a drop of income? Or a slow turn-around of your finances? Or you just feel so unlucky? I have not gone into that “Aughost” scenario but met many people who lay low and undergo a downtime. Thankful that work comes normal and at times better compare to other months but I respect those who believe otherwise.

An ABS-CBN news article says that “This year, ghost month starts on August 22 and ends on September 19, 2017. According to Chinese legend, ghost month is when evil spirits are unleashed from hell and roam the earth, bringing bad luck wherever they go. This is why superstitious businessmen, and there are surprisingly many, lie low during this time.”

Dates vary annually according to the Chinese calendar (a lunisolar calendar), the Ghost Festival is on the 15th night of the seventh month (14th in southern China). In Chinese culture, the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar is called Ghost Day (For this year, it is set on September 5) and the seventh month in general is regarded as the Ghost Month (鬼月), in which ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower realm. (Source: Wikipedia)

Coming from the traditional Buddhist and Taoist origin, note that the date does not cover all of August (10 days) and includes more days in September (19 days) so the timeline assumed by many as “ghost” is not when it should be.

Waiting for the Ghost Month?

Are you going to wait and restructure your activities?

Will the so-called ghost month alter your work schedule? Should you procrastinate an endeavor? Should you be more careful and not take risks? Should you suspend the planned expansion? Or just live normal with a focused and optimistic mindset driven to try over and win non-stop regardless of what month it is?

Image courtesy of saphatthachat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

10 Honest Tips When Going To Parts of Europe

Our trip to Europe last summer is totally memorable; the sights are breathtaking and the experience is surreal. With the aim not to stress the vacation that much and avoid following a day-to-day loaded schedule, we planned our own itinerary (traveled without a guide or group) with our kid as the top-of-mind concern. We arrived in Austria (Vienna, Hallstatt, Salzburg) then Czech (Prague), Switzerland (Zurich), to Germany (Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt). Pan your eyes from left to right and the view is a guaranteed beauty.

View from the Castle

#AustriasInAustria

But getting too engrossed with what we are seeing might not be ideal as we still have to be on guard. Excited with your European tour? Here are a few reminders before you fly.

1. Get ready to walk for kilometers. Forget the fancy shoes and just pack your most comfortable pair. Appreciating the place is way better on foot and get up close with the intricate details of the surroundings. If you are visiting on a summer (end of May to August), do not wear flats with a thin sole. Remember, you will walk on cobble stones/brick floors and you will feel the roughness of their pathways if your feet are not properly equipped.

#PraguingLakadSaPrague

2. Water bottles are so expensive (depends on where you buy but ranges from Php100 to Php250 per 500ml) so make sure you pick the right one—purchase the “no gas”water; they are mostly selling “with gas” (imagine flavored water and sparkling).

3. There are pickpockets so stay alert. We’ve met a few tourists who lost their wallet or an item, especially in Prague. Avoid leaving pieces of stuff unattended, put your money/passports closest to you and your credit/debit cards secure with RFID blocking wallet.

4. Bring usable, foldable tote bag as they don’t give paper or plastic on to-go purchases (even at grocery stores).

5. There are taxi cabs and Uber rides but trains and buses are good to explore.

Train ride at Marienplatz Station, Munich, Germany

6. If you get a chance, drive at Autobahn and enjoy the speed. You will not need to apply for a driver’s permit if you have a valid Philippine license. More treat for car fans as there are the Mercedez-Benz, Porsche, and BMW Museums to linger on.

Hubby enjoying his 220 drive at Autobahn

7. They speak English but not all are very fluent so be patient when you converse. A lot are really nice (especially warm with kids) but there are rude people too so keep the calmness and don’t let these few ruin the trip.

8. Most hotels do not include a pair of toothbrush and toothpaste to their personal hygiene compliments pack so make sure to bring your own.

9. Try their local food and don’t be intimidated by goulash and schnitzel. Spoiler alert: they are our Pinoy versions of kaldereta and breaded porkchop/chicken.

10. It is okay to get lost. You will surely find spectacular and wonderful corners along the way.

What to Wear while Visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque?

Our family had been praying to travel this summer of 2017 and we are thankful that it was granted for the most part of May including a stay to United Arab Emirates as part of the itinerary. We spent our five nights in Dubai and allotted one whole day at Abu Dhabi exploring Ferrari World and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in the morning.

We were lucky to go to Ferrari World on a Sunday afternoon which is part of their weekdays (Sundays to Thursdays) and had no problem with the queuing of rides as the theme park was not very crowded. So yes like in most amusement venues, prefer to go there on weekdays and not on weekends/holidays. Just a heads-up, some riders do not follow the line and would just pop themselves to get ahead. Be more alert of who’s in front of you and who is sneaking so you can secure your spot.

As you visit the grand mosque, it is a MUST to follow a dress code while within the vicinity as there are guards who consistently approach their guests if they are not abiding to the rules. If not in proper attire, female visitors will be provided an abaya (loose over-garment, robe-like dress) but you can still explore with no abaya and still wearing your own cloth.

what we wore at the mosque

At the Mosque

There are many resources telling what not to wear but not exactly what you can. Someone even told me to buy an abaya. But the mindset should just be conservative and simple, eye on what is readily available from our closet. Here’s a suggestion for ladies:

  • Wear long sleeves shirts
  • Cover your head with a black shawl
  • Wear long, not-tight pants or slacks (must be ankle length)
  • Open-toe shoes is okay but I recommend to wear flats or rubber shoes with socks as you will walk bare foot inside

For men visitors:

  • Half or long-sleeve decent shirt
  • Long pants
  • Rubber shoes

Sheikh Zayed Dress Code

Decorum must also be maintained, begin with these 5 reminders:

  1. It is a no-no for couples to show any sign of intimacy like holding hands or kissing
  2. Selfie is okay but stay within the areas of the mosque that are permitted and to not roam around
  3. Smoking and food are not allowed in the mosque area
  4. Out of respect to the worshippers, remain silent
  5. Not to touch the Holy Quran (Holy Book) and other architectural elements inside the main prayer hall

Opening hours are from 9am-10pm daily but close for tourism activities on Friday mornings. Sheikh Zayed Mosque is surely worth a visit!

Image Source for the “Dress Code”: http://www.szgmc.ae/en/plan-your-visit

Summer Somewhere in Batangas

And so the summer of 2017 is finally here! It did not come as early as usual (mid-March) but we are now feeling its fire. Are you ready for the heat? Planning to sneak an escape from the humid temperature? Dreaming of playing with a snowman?  For some yes, with their tickets ready and set to travel out of the country or to a top island destination (oh, Palawan). What about diving into the cold swimming pool and strolling in the beach without flying? That too, is possible without leaving the Philippines. No need to even travel long hours if you are coming from Metro Manila; just go down south and drive for about 2.5 to 3 hours all the way to Nasugbu, Batangas. It is going to be an amazing trip.

Punta Fuego

Punta Fuego Pool 1

Random thoughts at the Double Infinity Pool

Punta Fuego swimming pool 2

Pool at the Lower Beach Club

Coming here is like morphing to a different place and transporting yourself somewhere with the spectacular sunset view right outside your casita at the beach front or get caught-up at any of their lovely pool. Other than swimming,  make sure to include a time to bike or drive around and see the architecture of the houses built on the island—Spanish-Mediterranean style residential resort that masterfully combines natural beauty and modern luxury.

Pico de Loro

Swimming at pico de loro

His Me-Time at the pool

Boat ride at Pico de Loro

Boat Ride at the Cove

You will equally get a fair-share of beautiful sights while at Pico. The place is like engulfed by the lush mountains as it seems to cover the area;  the swimming pool gives a feel of the serene nature.  We love the walk around the man-made lagoon surrounded by the privately owned-condominiums. But just be careful when you submerge into the beach as there are occasional jellyfish that can really sting. You may still enjoy other activities like the cove tour, pony ride, and eco trail.

These two are clubs and exclusive for members but the hotels/casitas are open to the public. You can book your stay directly through their websites (check availability at Punta Fuego or Pico Sands) or via Agoda and other online booking sites.

Finding the New Coffee Spot in and around BF Homes (Part 3)

Excited to share the third batch of a good coffee spot around BF Homes. Coming from my first two lists, some café shops are still around, some moved to a new location while some are now close. It just shows how tough it is to maintain the operation in the midst of so many coffee stores (from foreign to local to niche artisan competition).

To my disappointment, some of my previous lists fail to brew consistency. During the time of writing them, they were good but we have a couple of visits since then with a frustrating cup. One day, coffee is great; the next, bland. But this new line-up seems to remain consistent so far with the three stores opening last 2016 and the other back in 2014. Taste is espresso-strong with a fair hint of milky-richness. Venue is also ideal for an intimate meet-up with friends, polish a work deck, or just study and get a corner for reading.

Here’s the new pick with flat white (an espresso based coffee beverage prepared by pouring microfoam, a steamed milk consisting of small fine bubbles with a glossy or velvety consistency, over a shot of espresso. It is somewhat similar to the traditional 140 ml cappuccino or latte although smaller in volume, therefore having a higher proportion of coffee to milk—allowing the espresso to dominate the flavour*) as the common order for the first three and hot latte for the last two.

Address: #29 Presidents Ave, BF Homes, Sucat, Parañaque

Bowen 24 Cafe at Presisent Avenue - BF Homes

Address: #196 J. Elizalde Ave. BF Homes, Sucat, Paranaque (beside Scooter Depot)

Lusine Cafe at Elizalde St BF Homes

Address: Molito Commercial Complex, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

Exchange Alley Coffee House Molito Alabang

Address: 273 Aguirre Ave, Parañaque, 1720 Metro Manila

It took a while before I get to drink my latte, coffee art is just way too adorable.

I should have included this on my earlier list but we haven’t really decided to try and go up to their second-floor store until just recently when we’ve learned that they supply the same dessert at Toby’s Estate. Apparently the brownie which is “not a brownie” has their own coffee shop and it’s good!

Address: Mezzanine Level, JJACC Building, 169 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque

Not a brownie dessert at Toby's Estate

 

Update as of August 2017 – Bucky’s corner already closed.

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_white

Photo Source: Images via the FB page of each Coffee Store except Farmer's Orchard.

A Walk in the South Park

If work load is just too much and people around are just becoming dementors, what calms you? Shopping? A Sneak at the movie house? Dining out with a good friend? Doing a teleserye marathon? Finding a corner to meditate? Drafting stories to write? Taking a visit at the nearby chapel? Or a walk in the park?

Park stroll at Molito AlabangIt is a Yes to most of these possible escapes for me but drinking coffee while walking in the park is my favorite kind of de-stresser. It clears the mind, taking out unnecessary worries and rush; helps to see the bright side of dark scenarios.

Take a quick look at the four parks worth the walk around Alabang. They are near each other so you can drive from one place to the next and if you get hungry, various food choices are available too.

 

1. Molito – Quoting from my old blog post: “What draws us to come here regularly is the casual, calming ambiance. There is enough space for children to run around as they play with the colorful floor fountains and vacant seats for people to just lounge amidst the night breeze.”

..or just take that afternoon solo moment to relieve stress.

Molito Alabang

Location: Madrigal corner Commerce Avenues, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

2. West Gate – The now park was formerly a road/car parking at the center of  West Gate. It was a good idea to restructure the place so more people enjoy it with an open-air retail concept that challenges the confines of the mall setting, creating a main-street ambiance conducive to relaxation and recreation.

West Gate Alabang

Location: Entrance via Commerce Avenue, Filinvest Avenue, or Alabang-Zapote Road, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

3. Spectrum Center

This spot takes just a few stride from Filinvest Tent and Acacia Hotel with floor fountains and scattered round benches. It can be windy here in some afternoons, making the walk more relaxing.

Spectrum Center

Location: Commerce Ave corner Spectrum Midway, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

4. River Park, Festival Mall

Festival Mall continues to expand and this part of the development is very refreshing with the sound of gushing water, charming bridge, nice theater, and green scenery in a neat al fresco setting.

River Park, Festival Mall

Location:  Civic Drive, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

Images c/o the Parks’ Facebook pages.