F1 Hotel Manila Family Staycation + Pre-Valentine Blowout!

Excuse the shameless first photo. I rarely have my solo taken and this is one of the rare times I obliged because I really like this outdoor lounge (or is it a daybed?).  This was at the pool side of F1 Hotel where my friends and I stayed last weekend.  When F1 Hotel invited our families for an overnight stay, we took advantage of the long break during the Papal visit and it proved to be so much for the whole family.

Rewind:  Our first time at F1 Hotel was last November 30, 2012 when we celebrated our wedding anniversary, which also falls on a holiday. 
The hotel was under a different management then. I was scouting for a hotel that's kid-friendly and accessible. Luckily, I chanced upon a good deal for a City Suite at F1 Hotel, so I immediately booked for one. Though the hotel did not make much of a first impression, we still had a pleasant and relaxing stay. I was not able to take as many photos since my camera's battery died on me. Good thing I was able to capture some fun moments, as well the girl's "souvenir" when her wobbly tooth fell off before bedtime! =)
F1 Hotel - November 2012  
"F1 Hotel Manila gets the distinction of being the first hotel to open in bustling Bonifacio Global City. It is centrally located, within walking distance to corporate offices, shopping centers, upscale boutique shops, recreational facilities and renowned medical institution. F1 Hotel puts you at the center of where the action is, whether for business or pleasure, and is a major hub and meeting place within BGC."

Fast forward to January 15, 2015.
Check-in time is 2pm. We arrived a little past 11 in the morning since we were expected for lunch. F1 Hotel does not have the typical ground floor lobby like most hotels. Their reception area is located at the 5th level where you'll also find the Premier Lounge. But once you get there, you'll have that luxe feeling, with the wide open space, posh interiors, and a fantastic view of the cityscape. Worth mentioning are the iconic Cobonpue Yoda chairs by the floor-to-ceiling picture windows.

Upon arrival, we were received at the Premier Lounge for convenient check-in, with snacks and refreshments waiting for us, before we headed to our Premier Suite.

For guests billeted in any of the suites, the lounge offers a spacious waiting area, access to computers, a private library, as well as complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea and cocktails.

I have to thank F1 Hotel Manila's gracious marketing team, Ms. Twinkle and Pau, for warmly welcoming our families. Special mention to fellow blogging mama Jane for bringing us all together for this holiday staycation. 

Warning:  Photo overload ahead.
Do read until the very end coz there's an amazing surprise waiting for my loyal readers!

F1 Hotel Manila is a business and lifestyle hotel in BGC that boasts a total of 243 guest rooms complete modern amenities and stylish interiors, with several room types to choose from:
  • Superior
  • Deluxe
  • City Suite
  • Fort Suite
  • Executive Suite
  • Premier Suite

After our welcome snacks, we headed to our well-appointed Premier Suite.

I'm sorry I don't have a nice shot of the bed coz our kids invaded the bedroom even before I entered the room!

The suite features a king bed with reading lamps, a mini bar, and a generous living area.  I thought it would make for a great bridal suite for newlyweds.

Since we had two kids in tow, I requested for an extra bed and more pillows. I've experienced much softer pillows than theirs though.  Our usual arrangement at hotels is for J to sleep on the single bed, while the kids and I share the bigger comfy bed, heehee... =)

The Premier Suite is like a 1-bedroom unit with all the standard hotel amenities, and more:
  • 2 flat screen TV sets -- 1 in the bedroom, 1 by the living area
  • Spacious living room, work desk
  • Extra storage and closet space
The toilet and bath is modestly sized, with clean and modern fixtures, complete with toiletries. However, we all found it too dimly lit, especially in the shower area where brighter lights were lacking.

Time for lunch! Going down to the 3rd level, they have these eye-catching swirling red benches that are statement pieces on their own.  There's also a fully stocked wine rack on one side of the hallway.

To the side is the door leading out to the pool area and Canary Lounge. At the end of the bend is entrance to the restaurant.

F All Day Dining Restaurant is where we all had our lunch, and breakfast the next day. The buffet boasts of appetizing continental dishes that will delight the different palettes of discriminating guests, children included.

Look at this majestic ham! I was a bit full from the snacks so I only had a light lunch and was not able to try this ham and the mongolian rice that my friends were raving about.
Thank you for these gorgeous food shots, Jane!

Here's a peek of the buffet, with a varied mix of offerings, like savory Asian dishes, seafood grilling station, cheese platter, salad bar, and this colorful sugar-pumped candy bar that the girl went ga-ga over!

My "light" lunch plates: (1) fresh tuna and salmon sashimi, maki, and zesty pomelo salad; (2) fried rice surrounded by mouth-watering bagnet in kare-kare sauce, tender crabs in aligue sauce, roast beef, and ebi tempura. The kids also had tempura, and pizza.

I held off on the decorate-your-own-doughnut, and instead targeted the cake station with slices of red velvet cake, tiramisu, leche flan, and fresh fruits in season. Happy mommy tummy!

Here's our gang of (noisy) mommies with our hosts. We just can't stop chatting, considering this was the first time that the four of us (Tina, Cai, Pam and I) met Jane in person, together with her family. We clicked instantly and genuinely enjoyed each other's company. Riot talaga with Jane's bubbly persona!

After our long lunch, it's the kids' turn to swim so we headed to the outdoor lounge. 
This was my favorite place in the hotel coz the atmosphere was very cool and relaxed. The mommies' kwentuhan continued while the kids were in the pool. 

There are several seating areas where guests can find their own spot to have drinks, nap by the pool, dine al fresco, or even get some work done with a laptop or handy tablet, like what my hubby did.

You can order snacks at the The Canary Lounge, as well as bar chow and cocktails too.

If you're wondering where Jane was during this time, well, she's enjoying an afternoon pampering at the hotel spa.  I scheduled my massage after dinner.

Another feature(s) that my family liked at F1 Hotel -- the 3 pools!
There's a lap pool on the side of the hotel, for those who really want to swim and practice their strokes; a shallow pool, and a smaller wading pool that's safe even for toddlers.

Aside from the three pools, outdoor lounge and restaurant, F1 Hotel also has:
  • Spa and Wellness Center
  • 24-hour Fitness Hub
  • Ballroom
  • Functions Rooms
  • 4-lever car park and valet service
  • Free Wi-Fi in all rooms and public areas (though there are certain spots where connection is weak)

If I'm not watching the kids swim, I would have wanted to walk around BGC since the weather was so nice for a stroll.  F1 Hotel has a central location so food outlets and shops are just a skip and a hop away! Guests can also request for babysitting and shuttle service if needed.

One of the highlights of our overnight accommodations was the outdoor barbecue dinner that F1 Hotel has prepared for us. The weather was perfect that evening, cool and breezy.

The dinner spread included a salad bar, grill station with an assortment of tasty meats and fresh seafood cooked on the spot, thanks to the personal assistance of the chefs.  As you can see on our plates, we loved the chicken barbecue and grilled prawns.

Another "star of the night" was the S'mores corner.  Yup, DIY S'mores for everyone! They brought out the sticks, the marshmallows, the graham crackers, and piping hot chocolate for dipping. Mmmmm... Thanks to Jane's gwapito for being our model while he toasted the mallows. =) 

Cocktails for the parents, mocktails for the kids. Cheers! And that's my gooey s'mores down there.

My nightcap was a soothing one-hour full body massage at the spa.  Cai went ahead of us, while Tina and I booked at the same time.

The massage room was huge, with an inviting bath tub, and a cozy lounge area. They also have a jacuzzi and sauna.  The downside is that there's only one (1) room.  It's an ideal set-up for couples, but not for strangers to be having treatments so close to each other.  For me, I prefer a private room, or at least dividers between beds for privacy and convenience.  I think the room is big enough to accommodate another massage bed and can support at least some curtain dividers.  But the treatment was amazing!

I was relaxed and sleepy after that Swedish-Shiatsu massage, however, the kids did not make me sleep soundly with their flying arms and legs hitting me during the night. =)  I was just thinking of the hearty breakfast waiting for me when the sun comes up.

This was my happy morning plate -- runny eggs, crunchy bacon, pancake, bun, cheese, apple juice and hot chocolate.  For the record, I took more photos during our stay but it's upsetting that some files got corrupted and this is the only shot left of our filling breakfast.  J and the kids all had an American brekkie too.

Last dip in the pool before we packed and checked out. This boy did not last 30 minutes in the freezing pool and ditched his sister for his favorite order of ripe mango shake while drying up.

Our family staycation at F1 Hotel Manila was one for the books, mainly because it was a very laid back two days spent with wonderful friends. It was a long break last week so we were all very relaxed and well-rested after our fun-filled overnight stay at F1.

Big, big hugs and thanks to our gracious and generous hosts at F1 Hotel.

The bigger news is... 
F1 Hotel Manila will treat one of My Mom-Friday's readers with their very own staycation!!! *scream* Woohoo!!!

As we usher in Valentines, and Chinese New Year too, I am launching my
#F1HotelxMyMomFriday Blowout

That's the actual F1 Hotel Voucher for one very lucky blog reader! 

I really wanted my oldest and most loyal followers to have a chance at this very special treat. 
You know who you are, so please join and get a chance to win an overnight stay for 2!

Do ALL 3 steps fo qualify:

1. Like and Follow us (if you haven't yet). Honesty system na lang tayo ha. =)
Instagram: @f1hotelmanila
Twitter: @F1HotelManila

Instagram:  @mymomfriday
Twitter: @mymomfriday

2. Leave you name and email in the comment box.

3. Tell me, in a very short paragraph:  
  a. What do you like most about my blog?
  b. Why do you want to win this staycation package from F1 Hotel?

1. #F1HotelxMyMomFriday Blowout will end at midnight of Feb. 3, 2015 (which happens to be J's birthday).
2. I will screen and select the top five qualifying entries.
3. F1 Hotel Manila marketing team will pick one (1) lucky winner.
4. I will announce and contact the winner before Valentines Day.
If schedule permits, I would love to personally meet my winning blog reader to award this F1 Voucher. =)
5. Winner will be posted here.
Good luck everyone!

F1 Hotel Manila
32nd Street, Bonifacio Global City
Tel: (632) 928-9888 / 908-7888
For reservations and inquiries: www.f1hotelmanila.com

I'd love to know your thoughts on this post.  If you enjoyed this, feel free to share it!
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I try my best to reply and answer any questions you may have on each entry so check back if you've left one. Thank you and do visit again!
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Fun Friday: Quick Trip to Museo ng Katipunan in San Juan

I enjoy going to museums, maybe even more than my kids coz I like learning about history, which has fascinated me since I was a student. My boy is now a fifth grader and we are currently studying Philippines history as part of his social studies subject. One important aspect of our history is the Katipunan, and luckily, the only museum dedicated to that topic is in our home city of San Juan.

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Family Weekend Destinations and Staycations

Metro Manila will enjoy a long weekend starting tomorrow until Monday, in the event of the Papal Visit. It is truly an honor for the Philippines to have Pope Francis and for sure, millions will join the celebration and the mass to be held in Manila and in Palo, Leyte.  For most of us observers and non-participating section of the population, it's a good opportunity to travel or plan a getaway with the family.

If you can go abroad, why not? But a leisurely road trip would be just as pleasurable. I have compiled some local destinations that we've been to that I know the whole family would enjoy. You might want to check them out and plan a quick trip during this long break.

Click on the names of the places to get full details and locations.


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Family Friday: Cherished Holiday Gatherings

Second Friday of the month:  Friendship / Family

I love the holiday season.  I think all of us do, even if it's also quite stressful. Christmas is our favorite time of the year because of the festive mood, and bonus of having a cooler weather. It's when family members near and far come together, old and new friends wine and dine, children are showered with loads of presents, and a time for more generosity and thanksgiving.

With my oldest and best-est friends -- together since 1988!

We've only been into the first week of the new year, which means I still have a holiday hangover, heeheehee...it's just so hard getting out of bed when the weather is still chilly, and erasing the Christmas mood while our tree is still up (yes, until Chinese New Year)! Maybe next week I'll be back to "normal". Maybe. =)

Blogging mamas... real friends online and offline

Anyhoo, since I'm just easing back into blogging, I just wanted to share this short post on memorable moments with friends and loved ones over the holidays.

With our friends and family, it's all about spontaneity and simple get-togethers. No frills. It's really what I treasure most during this time of the year -- enjoying the company of people near and dear to me, reconnecting with old friends, or having a rare chance to get together with those who live across the seas.
With my balik-bayan cousins

With J's friends and our growing families 

Who had the most fun during the break?  These four kids!

I think this last holiday break was the busiest and most fun for them, having spent more time together playing, going on outdoor adventures, having a sleep-over, and trying new things -- like doing a song and dance number during our new year's eve dinner! That's something to look forward to, hopefully every year na!

How about you, what are your cherished moments during the recent holidays? =)

I'd love to know your thoughts on this post.  If you enjoyed this, feel free to share it!
Get instant updates:
My Mom-Friday on Facebook
Follow @mymomfriday on Twitter and Instagram
Also on Google Friend Connect, or Subscribe Via Email.
I try my best to reply and answer any questions you may have on each entry so check back if you've left one. Thank you and do visit again!
(Comments with links will automatically be flagged by Disqus.)

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5-Step Canon SELPHY Family Portrait Project

I'm a self-confessed pathological picture-taker, even with our old reliable film camera. After every event or trip, I immediately have my rolls of film developed, printed, and then distributed to family members and friends who are in the photos. Then came the digital cameras. There was an avalanche of digital photos in CDs, hard drives, and USB. Horror! I'm stuck with 10 years worth of pictures! I only use our lowly printer for photo prints whenever I need to frame portraits and memorable events, or submit for school. Here's where a Canon SELPHY comes in handy.

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Thank you 2014... Hello 2015!

Welcome 2015! Thank you for being a part of my journey this 2014.  I'm counting my blessings and wishing you more this new year.

I've had many ups and downs in the different aspects of my life this past year, but they've left me with a better perspective on parenting, friendship, marriage, family life, and personal growth.

With a grateful heart, I hope and pray that this year will be better and brighter.
I pray for courage, faith, and wisdom to face the new challenges and obstacles this year.
I pray for lesser disasters and calamities.
I pray for good health, stronger family ties, and the realization of our dreams.

For My Mom-Friday, what do you like and don't like? What changes can I do to make it more interesting for you? What are your favorite topics or features from this blog? Feel free to comment, okay? Don't be shy. :) Your inputs would really help me a lot in improving the blog this year.  I would love to hear from you, even on FB and Instagram. Share your thoughts!

Join me on my new adventures this 2015!
May this year bring you peace, hope, prosperity, and a renewed spirit! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

I'd love to know your thoughts on this post.  If you enjoyed this, feel free to share it!
Get instant updates:
My Mom-Friday on Facebook
Follow @mymomfriday on Twitter and Instagram
Also on Google Friend Connect, or Subscribe Via Email.
I try my best to reply and answer any questions you may have on each entry so check back if you've left one. Thank you and do visit again!
(Comments with links will automatically be flagged by Disqus.)
read more


Easy Cheezy Party Appetizers

Party season once again, and many homes will surely be open to welcome family and friends to celebrate the holidays. Usually, I find myself stressing out on what to serve our guests whenever we host get-togethers at home. I want to keep things simple and hassle free, especially for me. I'm really just a lazy cook. More often, we just order so it's fast and convenient. On top of delivered meals, I add one or two finger foods to complete the buffet.

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Day 2 at Seda Nuvali Lifestyle Hotel and Solenad

I still can't over our recent family staycation in Seda Nuvali last December 5 to 6. We considered it our post-anniversary celebration and it was such a pleasurable overnight accommodation. You have to read about our first day here to have a better appreciation of what the hotel can offer.  The kids are bugging us to go back.

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Staycation at Seda Nuvali Lifestyle Hotel in Sta. Rosa, Laguna

Second Friday of the month: Family / Kids / Staycation

We celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary last November 30 and we did not plan anything special. It actually became a family movie date, and I was spared from cooking for the day. That is why, I was thrilled when we were invited to have a staycation at the new Seda Nuvali in Laguna. I quickly accepted and considered this getaway as a belated anniversary treat for us -- yes, with kids pa rin! =)

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