It’s almost 4 years ago since the last holiday we had in the Philippines. Reimer was only 1 year old then. I think it’s about time to have another holiday again to visit my family, especially now that Ruby is already a bit bigger. I have to say, I’m desperately longing for it.
It was March-April this year when the plan finally happened. We went to visit Philippines for 3 weeks where our main purpose was to spend as much time as possible with my family, for these two little kiddies to bond with their grandparents, cousins and other relatives as well.
We flew through Qatar Airways and it was smooth flowing, until we were at Korea Airport waiting for our flight to Cebu, where Ruby had a nosebleed, which was terrifying. Fortunately, she was absolutely fine afterwards when the bleeding stopped. It was just one of these scary things we have to deal with when traveling with kids.
When we arrived at Cebu Airport, it was already midnight so it was best that we just went straight to the hotel and hit the sack as soon as we checked in. Hence, this gave us a fresh new start the following day.
There had been a lot of adjustments for the first few days especially for the kids, both the temperature and food alike. Furthermore, the 8 hours time difference didn’t help at all. Sleeping pattern went chaotic. However, being on holiday has exemptions too, there’s no need to follow our usual sleeping routine. Well, that’s one of the few perks of going on a holiday, sleeping whenever you want and eating whatever you want. Basically, no strict rules at all, just having an easy going moment.
We first stayed for 2 nights at Montebello Villa Hotel.
Hotel room was a bit outdated but their garden and pool area were beautiful. Unfortunately, we didn’t really managed to try the pool as our stay was too short.
In spite of us staying in hotel, we still tried to spend time with my family everyday. It was either we visited my family home or they came over for a visit in our hotel or we met up somewhere else specifically in malls. That was more or less our arrangement for the entire trip.
After 2 nights, we checked out and moved to Radisson Blu Hotel.
That was actually our first time in this hotel and the 4 of us loved it, especially my husband because he got an office space where he used his tablet peacefully while the kids were away in the living room area watching television or playing. Our room was very spacious which was very ideal for a family. Cleanliness all throughout was outstanding. Most of all, the customer service in this hotel was impeccable.
The kids and their dad went in their pool one afternoon when I nipped out to SM mall nearby to buy something.
After 5 nights, we checked out and moved to Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa.
Honestly, we were a bit disappointed with this resort when we checked in because it was far too busy as it was towards Holy Week, they weren’t able to anticipate and cope with the peak season. Hence, our room wasn’t ready until 4pm which was 2 hrs. late.
In fairness, the resort’s breakfast buffet was excellent, there was a wide variety to choose from. I had enjoyed my local delicacies the most, while my husband and the kiddies enjoyed some food that they were familiar with like hash browns and the freshly baked Petit Pains au Chocolat.
The best part of staying in this resort was going for a dip in their pool, especially playing in their kiddie pool and slides too. The little kiddies loved it and didn’t mind the heat of the sun at all.
After 4 nights, we checked out and moved to Plantation Bay Resort and Spa.
I’ve always wanted to stay in this resort ever since because when I was in college, we had a school tour and this was one of those resorts we visited which was so impressive then. Actually, as soon as we went in the resort, I held my breath in awe, as it certainly remained as amazing.
In spite of the wonderful appearance of the place, we were a bit dissatisfied by their food, both the breakfast and dinner. It was far too pricey and yet there were not a wide food selection, it definitely failed our expectations. It was also true to some of their themed dinner buffets, apart from the Filipino Fiesta night where I must admit, I was overly stuffed afterwards. I think I just missed Filipino food terribly.
On the other hand, Reimer and his dad did try their jet ski ride and they both had fun, it was an extraordinary first time experience for Reimer. However, he wanted to go back to the shore earlier than expected, because we forgot to put on his goggles and the splashing of salty water made his eyes sore. In spite of it, I was still proud of him for being brave and for giving it a shot!
After 4 nights, we checked out and moved to Quest Hotel.
This hotel was very accessible to Ayala Center, Cebu which was just across the road. There were also a lot of Spa places nearby which were very convenient as my husband and I spent a lot of times getting a good relaxing massage. We stayed in this hotel until the day of our flight back home.
Most of the nights, these little kiddies were out like a light as soon as they hit the bed as they’re too tired with all the long walks and the heat as well. We can’t help but took a shot of them that way one night. I wondered what they were dreaming of that time, hmmmm!
The day before we depart, we celebrated Ruby’s 2nd birthday and it was sort of a leaving party as well. We’ve invited my family, relatives and friends. It was a good celebration, kids had loads of fun so as the adults. It definitely was a memorable experience for Ruby too.
I was truly upset on the day we depart because it will be a long while until I can visit my family again. The 3 weeks just flown by so quick. However, what matters most was how we spent good quality time together even at the shortest time.
My family in Philippines might be miles apart from me but they always remain the closest to my heart.
Disclaimer: The comments I’ve mentioned above with regards to the hotels are only my honest personal opinion based on my experience during our stay. The links attached are for reader’s purposes only.
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