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 enjoys 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.

South’s Coffee Drive-Thru

Have you gone into one of those sluggish evenings that you strongly crave for a hot coffee but you don’t feel like going down the store to buy a cup? Fancying over guiltless chocolate cake or caramel belgian waffle for a midnight snack?

The good news for caffeine-fanatics nowadays is that drive-thru is no longer exclusive for fast food chains.

What started as a kind of wishful thinking become a reality; sneaking out at 11pm almost-in-jammies and sipping a fresh brew from Starbucks or Coffee Bean is now possible!

Location: Starmall Prima, Daang Hari, Vista City, Molino, Bacoor Cavite

coffee-bean-prima-daang-hari-drive-thru-writenowna

Coffee Bean has finally opened its first ever drive-thru not just in the Philippines but also in Asia with Cavite as the premier store with such added feature. Now it’s way handy to grab an Ice Blended Latte and Greek Salad. The barista was nice based on our first visit and we appreciate the random act of extra effort even small; she volunteered to spread the blue cheese on our warm bagel and was polite handing over our beverage.

The easiest way to reach from Makati would be by taking the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and exiting at the new MCX (Muntinlupa-Cavite Expressway). Turn left on Daang-Hari after the toll gate and drive for about 5 minutes, immediately after All-Home on the left is Coffee Bean.

Location: South Hub Caltex, Mamplasan, Biñan, Laguna (along SLEX South bound)

mamplasan-starbucks-SLEX-coffee-drive-thru-writenowna

starbucks-drive-thru-video-screenNow you can see your Barista’s face alongside the ordering information with the drive-thru video screen. Starbucks says that they introduced the technology to maintain that customer-barista connection.

The barista sounds and looks enthusiastic during our first experience, she took our list of craving smoothly and our beverage was served as as we like it.

Espresso Frappuccino and macadamia cookie come quicker if going farther South, oh what about Tagaytay or Batangas?!

 

 

Location: Evia Lifestyle Center, Daang-Hari, Las Piñas

evia-starbucks-daang-hari-coffee-drive-thru-writenowna

The location is really good with stone-brick facade as if transporting you to another place. But the service is apparently poor here… not that kind of customer relationship which Starbucks guarantees.

“Our brand is defined quintessentially by the experience in our stores,” Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO, said at an investor conference earlier this year. “And our stores come to life by our people.”

Either coffee not properly prepared (too bland, too sweet, not just the right blend) and the rudest Starbucks baristas I’ve encountered (getting the wrong order and serving with a frown). They are the first drive-thru near our area so we have to settle with their low-grade, lousy output  simply because of proximity (driving to BGC or Libis is a bit far). And really, their location is worth the visit; Evia is an astounding place to go in the South.

Really hope they improve soon and aim to stand firm with how the global Starbucks promise to deliver.

Photo Source: Images via Facebook page of each Coffee Store.

Ramen House to Visit around Alabang (Part 2)

A bowl of hot ramen is always my anticipation and a meal desire over lunch or dinner (and yes even snacks). To our delight, more and more Japanese noodle chains are opening around Alabang. Feasting for a shoyu ramen overload, here comes the additional ramen indulgence Southies can explore at their liking:

Butamaru

Butamaru started a month-long ramen mission to Kyushu Island in Fukuoka, Japan and bringing their 40 years expertise in the Philippines. This is one of my favorites among my list today! Slurp the 16-hour tonkotsu broth inspired by the many variations of Hakata-style ramen; bite the chasyu (Japanese braised pork belly) in round, melt in your mouth slices.

There are just times that the taste of soup is not very consistent (too salty) so I hope they sort it out. But if prepared the right way, then ramen experience will make you go back here over and over.  Don’t forget to take a munch of Toriten, tempura style fried chicken, on the side.

butamaru-ramen-west-gate-writenowna-blog

Shoyu Ramen

Favorites: Shoyu Ramen, Tantanmen, Toriten

Address: CE405 Westgate Center, Commerce Avenue corner Filinvest Avenue

Branch: None

Hanamaruken Ramen

Get a bowl of of their Signature Happiness Ramen, a shoyu tonkotsu broth ramen topped with tender, slow-braised custom cut soft-bone rib. If the pork of other restos may feel not enough, then Hanamaruken’s portion is guarantee to fill the tummy at the fullest. It’s so huge you’ll get to think twice if you are burping for the delicious garlicky soup, the fine noodle, or the rib slab itself!

hanamaruken-ramen-alabang-town-center-writenowna-blog

Favorites: Signature Happiness Ramen, Prawn Tempura

Address: 2L New Wing, Alabang Town Center

Branches: Trinoma and the Grove by Rockwell

Asahikawa Bangaichi Ramen

This is the first international branch of the Tokyo Station Outlet that has been in Japan’s operation for 45 years. Soup for a shoyu-flavor is clear and simple, the noodle is just plain okay but I think the store is worth visiting for it still has that unique, no-frill ramen goodness. It kept a delicate distinction that I’m sure ramen-seekers would want to try. The location is very nice too as it sits beside the river with such refreshing view.

asahikawa-ramen-bangaichi-festival-mall-writenowna-blog

Shoyu Ramen

Favorites: Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen

Address: The River Park, Festival Supermall

Branch: none

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

Born in Japan back in 1988 and serving in international cities as Taipei, Malaysia, Singapore, Hongkong, Indonesia, USA, Canada and the Philippines. It has reached 7 branches in the country including the newly opened last October 15 at Alabang Town Center. Despite the consistent expansion, I did not find anything special on their shoyu ramen, the soup is somewhat sweet, milky and creamy (not a usual criteria to address my craving) and there is nothing legendary with the quality of noodle. Maybe next time I will try the chicken ramen instead, a light chicken soup with a hint of fish(?).

hokkaido-ramen-santouka-alabang-town-center-writenowna-blog

Chicken Ramen

Favorites: Tori Karaage

Address: Ground Floor Alabang Town Center

Branches: Glorietta 4, MOA, Greenhils Old Promenade, Trinoma, Eastwood Libis, Ayala Serin Tagaytay

Photo Source: Image via FB page of each restaurant

Attend a Workshop to Unleash Your Writing Skill the Write Way

To establish a strong online presence for companies, services, or personal brands, I always recommend my clients to write—write about industry issues, give tips, answer questions, and share stories that capture the interest of the target market. Creating fresh articles can drive more traffic to a website, build a better connection to a specific community that can lead to sales, and become one of the many signal for Google to rank up the page.

Without a question, writing has so many proven benefits but the process seems to discourage a lot of people for content creation; perhaps they feel that writing is not their forte while some lacks the confidence to start the effort.

Therefore, HealthJunkie.ph, together with Not Your Ordinary Mum, came up with a writing workshop, especially created for the community of writers, digital marketers, and more! The event is happening at Festival Mall, Filinvest City. Save your slot now!

unlease-your-writing-skills-paumes-pastryhouse-bf-homes-writenowna

  • WHAT: “Unleash Your Writing Skills the Write Way” writing workshop
  • WHEN: October 17, 2015 (Saturday) | 2 PM – 5 PM; registration starts at 1:30 PM
  • WHERE: Hog’s Breath Cafe, Civic Drive River Park Festival Mall, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa
  • FEE: Php500 inclusions: Workshop fee, snacks, certificate (to be emailed)

Quoting the organizers: Everyone has an “author” in him. We know as we’ve taken the leap of faith of becoming writers. We’ve converted our paper journaling online and it is extremely fun! Little did we know that through our words, we were able to help people find their voice, build their portfolio, and finally become a writer themselves!

We don’t claim to “know it all” but just like you, we understand the value of community – by creating this simple but fun workshop! The goal for this workshop is for aspiring writers to unleash their innate writing skills the “write” way by producing quality and meaningful content.

We’ve invited talented and accomplished writers to share their expertise and journey to make it even more effective and incredible workshop for YOU!

  1. Isabelle “Isay” Yason – Newspaper Standards and Techniques in Writing (Social Media)
  • Social media reporter and writer, Philippine STAR
  • Graduate of Political Science from DLSU
  • National Model United Nations (NMUN) – New York delegate
  1. Angeline Rodriguez – How To Land a Writing Gig: An Editor’s Perception in Writing
  • Managing Editor, WheninManila.com
  • Writer/Blogger, LilMissWonderWoman.com
  1. Irene Enriquez – Blogging: Finding Your Voice; Blogging Engagement
  • ‎Head of Communications, Veems
  • (former) Editor-in-Chief, Adventour Magazine
  • Writer/Blogger, GirlyGeek.ph
  • Core Member, Philippine Bloggers Network (PBNet)

Bonus TopicA Blogger’s Journey by Azrael Coladilla: On Getting Noticed by Readers and Sponsors

  • Azrael is a Core Member of PBNet
  • Witer/Blogger of Award Winning Blog, Azrael’s Merryland

This workshop aims to impart valuable tips and tricks to becoming a better writer like Angeline Rodriguez, Managing Editor of When In Manila, Irene Enriquez of GirlyGeek.ph and Veems App, and Isabelle Yason, Social Media Manager/Writer for the Philippine Star.

About Health Junkie

Health Junkie (HJ Online – www.healthjunkie.ph) is a health, fitness, beauty and lifestyle community of fun-loving and active women who want to live a stronger and happier life, one healthy habit a day.

About NotYourOrdinaryMum.com

NotYourOrdinaryMum.com is an extraordinary woman, balancing being a mother of 4, a wife, and working as a freelance writer and blogger.

Movie Date around South

Blockbuster Films = long queuing line at the ticket booth, sold-out seats

But you just got to watch the movie on the first day of screening!

The Cinema of CommerCenter Alabang is a tranquil refuge versus the nearby crowded theatres of Alabang Town Center and Festival Mall. The establishment just opened last November 2014 with four state-of-the-art premium cinemas managed by the Cinema 2000. Each is equipped with Dolby Digital 7.1; two of which are 3D capable and all with guaranteed, comfortable seating (at Php230-Php250 regular rates).

CommerCenter-Alabang-Cinema

The mall is not so big (two floors only) but it exudes an upscale feel and makes you enjoy the stroll with less crowd. True to their catch phrase: Discover a sweet escape for an intimate bonding experience with friends, families and loved ones.

Enjoying his me-time

Enjoying his me-time

The promising dining selections of varying cuisines is also something to anticipate before or after watching. Here’s just a few of our favorite spots: Maple Tree’s all-day breakfast, CocoHut’s fried chicken, Kessaku’s maki rolls but there are so much more to try (burp)! Been reading good reviews of other restaurants in the area too. Next stop…

CommerCenter is near Acacia and Parque Espana Hotels, Commerce corner Filinvest Avenues, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa.

Where to go, Molito or Evia?

Sometimes it happens on dinner time that no one feels like cooking, needs a bit of relaxing, and the little kid likes a little strolling. When this occurs, either we go to Molito Alabang or Evia Daang-Hari to cap the night with what we enjoy the most—eating, walking, and chatting while drinking coffee.

Molito is in Madrigal corner Commerce Avenue Alabang, Muntinlupa City. It has a lot of establishments from restaurants to banks, health & beauty, retail & services even grocery store (Puregold). But 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.

Molito

Molito

There are also plenty of dining selections in varying cuisines (Japanese, Filipino, Korean, Thai, American, Italian, Mexican). Some of our favorite spots are here too—Yushoken, Omakase, Chairman Wang, Recovery, Draft, Hermanos, Mr. Parks, Starbucks!

The Evia Lifestyle Center is located in the roads encompassing Daang-Hari and Daang Reyna, Las Piñas near the posh village of Portofino. This is another venue that just makes you want to linger over an afternoon siesta or a night out with a quick walk around the area while the kids stay at the mini play ground.

evia-daanghari-playground-writenowna

Evia Playground

Restaurants do not offer a wide array and exclusive line-up of cuisines yet but we always look forward to come here despite the ongoing mall construction. We usually visit Racks, McDonald’s, Coldstone, Shakeys, Serenitea, Coffee Bean, and Starbucks (with drive-thru). Rustan’s supermarket and some retails stores are already in operation. Evia offers such a vibrant set-up, high-end feel environment.

evia-daanghari2-writenowna

Evia

The first phase of the development is called the Everyday Building but there are still more to anticipate according to Vista Land. People can also look forward to the Global Village Building; the Club; Serenity, where the cinema may be; Evia’s river development, a feature the developer claims to be definitely unique throughout the country.

So where is going to be your next stop? Why not both? A dinner at Molito and a dessert at Evia?

7 Ramen Indulgence Around Alabang and BF Homes

Yes, we love ramen! We would always go to any new ramen restaurants in the Metro even if we have to drive along the consistently-heavy-traffic stretch of Edsa just to eat.

Fortunately, our area is surrounded by spots for Japanese cuisines serving one of the best ramen in town. To our delight, do you know that there are two authentic ramen restos inside BF Homes? One just outside the village at Molito? Some more around the nearby malls?

Writing this makes me hungry already while anticipating a hot bowl  and so to sum up the craving, here goes my top 7  ramen indulgence around South.

  1. Ramen Yushoken

Don’t be intimidated by the long line; it’s worth the wait for a bowl of ramen at Yushoken. They offer the best slice of pork in rich, sumptuous broth. My frequent pick is Shoyu (soy sauce) Tonkotsu (pork bone broth), a salty pork bone ramen with shoyu and drizzled with Mayu (roasted garlic oil) with freshly made noodles. It is topped with chashu (Japanese braised pork belly), bamboo shoots, black fungus, sesame seeds and spring onions.

ramen-yushoken-molito-alabang-shoyo-tonkotsu

Yushoken’s Shoyu Ramen

Favorites: Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen, Tantantmen, Gyoza

Address: Molito Commercial Complex, Alabang, Muntinlupa

Branch: Mendokoro Ramenba, Makati

  1. Ramen Kuroda

Their ramen has a distinct flavor and you won’t confuse it with other brands. I particularly enjoy the Kyusyu Tonkotsu Garlic/Kuro Ramen because of its addictive garlicky taste. If one serving is not enough, you can request for one extra noodle for free.

ramen-kuroda-bf-homes

Kuroda’s Kuro Ramen

Favorites: Kuro Ramen, Aka Ramen, Ebi Tempura, California Maki

Address: #96 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque

Soon to open branches: RCBC Plaza Makati Branch and ASEANA Branch

  1. Mensakaba Geishu

In operation only last February 2014,  they managed to gain followers quite quickly. Nothing fancy here but just real good delicious noodles! You get to watch how your food is done by the owner/chef via its 12-seater restaurant fronting the kitchen itself.  Their yakitori is also yum to try especially the enoki bacon maki (bacon rolled enoki mushroom).

mensakaba-geishu-bf-homes-chashumen

Mensakaba Geishu’s Chashu-men

Favorites: Chashu-men, Tantanmen, Enoki Bacon Maki

Address: Southland Apartelle, Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque

  1. Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen

They serve a wide selection of tonkotsu ramen while continuously adding more variety to their menu. We enjoyed trying different order for every visit and each one promises a hearty delicious Japanese noodle.

Ikkoryu-Fukuoka-Ramen-ATC-Aburi -Chachu

Favorites: Aburi Chashu Tonkotsu Ramen, Black Garlic Tonkotsu Ramen, Karaage

Address: LGF, The Garden, Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa

Other Branches: Shangri-La Mall, SM Aura Premier, Powerplant Mall, Century City Mall, Bonifcio High Street, Estancia Mall

  1. Kenji Tei Ramen House

I recall eating on their first-ever branch along President’s Avenue, BF Homes but it was such a small nook. Eventually they close this store back in August 2012 to relocate to a bigger venue. Ramen is not the only reason why we come here, other food variants are also worth a try!

kenji-tei-ramen

Favorites: Shoyu Ramen, California Maki, Ebi Tempura, Katsudon

Address: Ground Floor, Alabang Town Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa

Other Branch: Greenbelt 5

  1. Shitamachi

I prefer a really hot ramen soup but sometimes I fail to have that slurp when I need to feed my son first. Apparently Volcano Ramen won’t get cold in a snap. It is served in sizzling broth but keeping the “al dente” texture of the noodles.

shitamachi-volcano-ramen-bf-homes

Shitamachi’s Volcano Ramen

Favorites: Volcano Ramen, Ebi Tempura, Cereal Prawns

Address: Second Level, SM City BF, Sucat, Parañaque

Other Branch: Podium

7. Ramen-Ya

We had a pulse of hunger late last night and opted for a take-out. While driving around BF, we pulled over a crowded, small-corner, opened-restaurant indicating “Ramen Gyoza” plus Japanese writing on their banner. We brought home a simple, hot noodle soup with full egg, 3 pieces thin chashu, spring onion toppings garnished in spices. Now if you are game for a quick, more affordable ramen fix then try it.

ramen-ya-with-takeout-bf-homes-

Ramen-Ya’s Special Ramen (photo taken at home over a to-go order)

Favorite: Special Ramen

Address: Along Aguirre St., Phase 1 BF Homes

Check the next listing for more ramen adventure: Ramen House to Visit around Alabang (part 2)

Photo Source: Image via FB page of each restaurant except from the last photo.

7 Hotels in Alabang

Summer staycation starts now! Here comes the fun of canvassing for hotels and this time focusing around Alabang for a possible third week of April weekend-stay. We usually go to Manila or Pasig but now it’s hard to resist the accommodation in Muntinlupa area—it’s near our place in BF Homes, offering cozy and even affordable rates. You won’t even run out of activities too because all these hotels are walking distance from the malls, food establishments, and parks or you may avail the free shuttle service for hotspots within the vicinity.

I summarized the five basic “must” to simplify the research, as follows:

  • Overnight stay for 2 adults and a kid
  • 1 Deluxe Room (Standard room)
  • Breakfast
  • Free Internet
  • Booking done directly from their website

Also included a quick personal comment for the hotels that we’ve stayed before although there is a need to freshen up some of the experience since visits have been done more than a year ago or we haven’t been there at all!

Rate: Php2,501.00* inclusive of taxes and fees (weekend promotion)

Overview: The B Hotel is a luxurious 4-star property conveniently located near the center of Muntinlupa; owned and managed by Bellevue.

b-hotel-alabang-writenowna

About the room: Approximately 28 square meters, equipped with energy-saving power-controlled switches; choice of either a king-sized bed or twin beds.

Nearby place: Molito, Madrigal Business Park and Alabang Town Center

Amenities : no swimming pool and no gym

Quick personal note: Room is nice but bed/pillow not so comfy, breakfast is better compare to other hotels but servers are not really attentive. Coffee is good!

Rate: Php3,700.00* vat and service charge

azumi-hotel-alabang-writenowna

About the room: Guests can enjoy simple modern living in this Japanese fusion-inspired room with comfortable Queen size bed and a customized Day bed.

Nearby place: Molito, Madrigal Business Park and Alabang Town Center

Amenities : swimming pool

azumi-hotel-alabang-swimming-pool

Quick personal note: The room feels and looks unique. It also has an enticing Infinity Lap Pool at the rooftop but just don’t let kids swim without a close adult supervision. Breakfast has limited selection. Coffee is just okay.

Rate: Php4,000.00* inclusive of taxes and fees (weekend promotion)

Overview: The Bellevue Manila gives businessmen and travelers a 5-star destination experience.

bellevue-hotel-alabang-writenowna

About the room: 33-square meter space with a choice of king or twin beds.

Nearby place: Festival Mall

Amenities : swimming pool and gym

bellevue-hotel-alabang-swimming-pool

Quick personal note: We stayed at the Tower Wing (the new building) and the room is comfortably pretty. There is an individual swimming area per tower with similar pool size; each one is an exclusive use for the guests depending on which side they are staying. Check-out process is quite long and miserable but overall, we had a memorable stay. And yes, breakfast buffet is a thumbs-up but don’t rely on the extremely busy servers. Either way, they  serve a good quality mugs of coffee.

Rate: Php4,000.00* tax and service charge (special weekend offer)

Overview: The newest 5-star luxury hotel in South of Metro Manila

crimson-hotel-alabang-writenowna

About the room: 28 square meters room with customized beds and air-conditioning system that is equipped with an Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) technology that allows improvement of in-room air quality by way of continuous circulation of fresh air. Choose from king or twin bed layout.

Nearby place: Festival Mall

Amenities: Swimming pool and gym

crimson-hotel-alabang-swimming-pool

Quick personal note: Children’s pool is huge and  a sure delight for kids. Breakfast service not very friendly and food on the trays are running empty without immediate refill. Coffee served not fresh.

Rate: Php4,900* vat and service charge

Parque_España_Residence_Hotel_-alabang-writenowna

About the room: 55sqm queen bed plus dining area and kitchen with complete dining/cooking facilities.

Nearby place: Commerce Center

Amenities: Swimming pool, fitness center, jacuzzi

Php5,388.00* inclusive of taxes and fees (summer promo)

Overview: The hotel boasts of cutting-edge design that offers a fresh new take on 5-star luxury hotels in the Philippines.

acacia-hotel-alabang-writenowna

About the room: Rooms are bask in a restful ambiance and peerless comfort that are elegantly designed to offer both luxury and convenience. Available via king or twin beds.

Nearby Place: Filinvest Tent, South Supermarket, and Commerce Center

Amenities: Swimming pool and gym

Quick personal note: We were here back in July 2012 with no swimming pool yet but the room itself was a good reason to stay; front desk office not yet very accommodating then so I hope they are better now.

Rate: Php7,000.00 taxes included

Overview: Vivere Hotel in Alabang is a towering 31-storey 5-star deluxe hotel.

Vivere-hotel-alabang-writenowna

About the room: The Deluxe Suite’s 35 sq. m studio type interior accommodates guests with amenities such as an intimate living area, functional kitchenette, bathroom, and a comfortable writing desk.

Nearby place: Festival Mall

Amenities: Swimming pool, gym, jacuzzi & sauna, and kiddie playroom

Quick personal note: One of the first hotels in Alabang that we’ve stayed long time ago, rooftop lama pool was cold and cozy but I don’t exactly recall the other details.

Wherever you plan to stay  from this list, I can surely guarantee an enjoyable and worthwhile Alabang vacation!

*Rates usually vary depending on the date of booking and date of stay.

Image Sources: Each room photo is c/o the Hotel website.

Planning the 2015 Visita Iglesia

There are about 86%  Filipino Catholic  and most will be doing Visita Iglesia this Holy Week. As Pope Francis highlighted on his Lenten message, lent is a time of renewal for the whole church, for each community, and every believer. Above all it is a time of grace. (http://visitaiglesia.net/ph/?p=1212)

With this devotion in mind and heart, we are known to flock 7 (some even 14) separate churches on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday to commemorate the Stations of the Cross. Either visit 14 churches for each of the 14 station or pray 2 stations in each of the 7 iglesia. Way of the Cross refers to a series of images depicting Jesus Christ in the day of his crucifixion accompanied by prayers.

And every year our family makes sure to practice our faith and do our own share of visitation. This time we are planning to be around Sucat and Alabang areas for the 7 visits.

I prepared a list of 11 parishes  just in case it gets extremely crowded or parking space becomes unavailable that we need to skip. Hope the line-up can also match part of your itinerary.

 BF Homes

Address: J. Cabarrus corner Gng. E. Gatches Sts., BF Homes, Phase 1, Parañaque

Resurrection_of_Our_Lord_Parish-Bf_homes-sucat

  • Jesus, Divine Healer Parish

Address: #12 Lily Street Tahanan Village, Sucat, Parañaque

Jesus-Divine-Healer-Parish-Tahanan-Village-Sucat

Address: Corner F. Cruz St. and Aguirre Ave., Phase 3 BF Homes, Parañaque

Presentation of the Child Jesus Parish-BF Homes-Sucat

  • Joseph the Worker Parish

Address: Mariposa corner Georgia Sts., BF Mariposa Subd., Talon 3, Las Piñas

Dr. A. Santos Avenue (Sucat Road) Stretch

Address: #139 San Antonio Ave., San Antonio Valley 1, Parañaque

San-Antonio-de-Padua-Parish-San-Valley-Sucat

  • Our Lady of Peace Parish

Address:  Press Drive corner Headline Street Fourth Estate, Parañaque

  • Our Lady of Grace Parish

Address: Ireneville I Subd., Sucat, Parañaque

Our Lady of Grace Parish-Ireneville-Sucat-

Posadas

  • Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal National Shrine Parish

Address: Posadas Village, Sucat, Muntinlupa City

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal National Shrine Parish-posadas-sucat

Alabang

Address: Cuenca corner Ibaan Sts., Ayala Alabang Village, Muntinlupa

st-james-the-great-parish-ayala-alabang

  • Jerome Emiliani Church

Address: Commerce Ave., Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa

  • St. Benedict Chapel

Address:#8 Don Manolo Blvd., San Beda College, Alabang Hills Village, Muntinlupa

Also sharing the photos that we have personally taken from last year’s Visita Iglesia farther South, Sta. Rosa Laguna.

visita-iglesia-2014-sta-rosa-lagunaHave a blessed Holy Week!

Photo source: Facebook page and/or website of each Parish, if any.