Uniqlo comfort beauty

 

 

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A couple of months ago, I stocked up on some new dresses and separates from our sponsor, Uniqlo. I have been editing down my closet because what I needed 10 years ago isn’t what I need now. I pretty much live in basic clothes every day except if I have a function to attend. I was pleased to find some finer fabrics for work clothes this season.

In addition to the new wardrobe, I stocked up on some new inner wear. Uniqlo’s Comfort Beauty line has become a staple in my closet. The bras are so well-made and comfortable. Big plus that they are wireless, yet they offer good support. And I especially appreciate the skin-tone because it gives a good foundation to whatever clothing you put on.

It took a while for me to put this blog post up because I didn’t do a conceptualized photoshoot. Instead I documented my everyday life wearing some of the Uniqlo pieces that I got. Needless to say, in all of them, I am wearing Uniqlo’s Comfort Beauty undergarments.

 

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One of their best dresses this season (01). It comes with a separate camisole. Made of light rayon, it is so comfortable for our climate. This was taken at the lobby of the Raffles Makati.

 

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It’s that same black dress (01) that I love so much, I’ve been wearing it often. This was at the reception area of Flame in Discovery Primea.

 

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Daily life – messy hair, no make up, a loose dress (11) and Birkenstocks. This dress is so flexible you can wear it dressy or like me, for every day errands.

 

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At a Happy Skin event, wearing that black shift dress (04).

 

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These are Comfort Beauty bras that form the foundation of a good wardrobe.

 

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I also love this blush pink pleated dress (06). It’s similar to the long sleeve black dress. I wore this at a Lego event that UNICEF supported.

 

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Wore this (06) quite often. Here with best-selling author Anna Todd (who has over 1 billion reads in Wattpad) at the National Book Store writer’s fair.

 

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And in a corner of my home, wearing a comfy dress with built in bra pads (05).

 

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My favourite uniform – the white shirt (10). This was the day I got my hair cut by Alex Carbonell in Studio Fix Greenbelt 5.

 

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With my friend, Divine Gil-Reyes, who just wrote an entertaining and attractive history book, A Lolong Time Ago. My blue shirt (13) is from Uniqlo.

 

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This white eyelet dress is so comfy. It comes with a detachable camisole. Im thinking of getting it in black too. This was at Rockwell cinema.

 

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This photo was sent to me by reader, Jill Ramirez. I was running an errand and she introduced herself. Lovely to meet you, Jill. So about my blush cotton top (09), it’s so comfy and chic I can live in it daily.

 

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This is the reason Comfort Beauty bras are so, well…. comfy.

 

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And this is how Uniqlo works with built-in bras in their tops and dresses.

 

 

Flame at Discovery Primea

 

 

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US Black Angus Rib Eye Steak at Flame, Discovery Primea

 

One rainy Friday night, Patrick and I had a rare date at Flame in Discovery Primea. FLAME is Discovery Primea’s modern European restaurant on the 16th floor of the hotel. An interesting space, FLAME is the newest creation under the partnership of General Manager David Pardo de Ayala and Executive Chef Luis Chikiamco.

“Modern European cuisine is about cooking techniques, ingredients and flavor associations, rather than hard and fast rules. It is a style of cooking that experiments with ideas and influences from many different countries, reflecting the global palate of today’s diners. Restaurant FLAME balances familiarity and originality, comfort with surprise, local with global,” says GM Ayala.

 

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This “living chandelier” at the entrance of the restaurant is stunning.

 

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I love these air plants!

 

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The interior was conceptualized by Design Worldwide Partnership. There is an expansive marble-top open kitchen surrounds the entire restaurant.

 

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We had the US Angus Rib Eye steak. It warns you that it’s good enough for two. But in my world, it’s actually good enough for 4! It was excellent.

 

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Patrick also had the “Take Out” Lobster Fried Rice – with pork, citrus jasmine rice, egg, and lobster remoulade. Unfortunately, my shellfish days are over. About three years ago, I developed an allergy towards shellfish and other farmed fish. Oh my. But this looked so so good!

 

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Dinner menu

 

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I enjoyed the olive oil infused with garlic, rosemary, peppercorn and lemon.

 

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I’m not a big dessert person. But give me chocolate soufflé any time. This is their Hot Chocolate Souffle – with Colombian coffee foam, caramelized bananas, and vanilla ice cream. So good.

 

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Other menu highlights: Pan-Roasted Duck Breast Pumpkin Puree, Charred Leeks, Radishes, Spiced Honey Glaze

 

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Taleggio – Homemade Apricot and Cherry “Mostarda”

 

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“Quezo de Bola & Hamon” Inspired by Massimo Bottura Textures of Cheese, Glazed Ham and Gelée, Asparagus

 

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With Mildred A. Amon, Director of Marketing Communications.

 

Flame is a lovely dinner spot. I really enjoyed the food and the space. I felt like I was transported to a very cosmopolitan city. The dining area allows for the creation of smaller spaces for more intimate parties. They also have an interesting lunch menu, you may view all the current menus here.

This brings me back to Discovery Primea’s wonderful restaurant on the ground floor – Tapenade.

 

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Last February, my family had a staycation at Discovery Primea. Sophia celebrated her birthday at Tapenade.

 

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We had a semi-private dining space at Tapenade.

 

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It was a rare occasion that both my parents were in town.

 

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We loved this — Stone-baked feta cheese with tomatoes, capers, Greek Metaxa brandy and honey

 

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The Salad Room was a hit. I was happy with that alone. But grateful that we also had incredible mains and other goodies.

 

 

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New at Tapenade, the Mediterranean Grilled Platter includes an indulgent selection of specialty skewers, with the freshest Beef, Lamb, Chicken, and Prawns. Traditional Mediterranean sides of tabouleh, pita, cucumber raita, and spiced rice complete this abundant platter.

 

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Good news, Tapenade Salad Room has Throwback Thursdays. Every Thursday, they’re rolling back the clock to when you first fell in love with The Salad Room. They’re throwing back to the original price of Php 620++!

 

Restaurant Tapenade’s Salad Room offers the freshest salad bar in Makati, filled from top to bottom with healthy greens, fresh oysters, exotic cheeses, and so much more. All your favorites, and new additions will be available, at the original price. Throwback Thursdays at Restaurant Tapenade. Available for Lunch and Dinner

Click here for more information on Tapenade’s current menu.

 

 

Prêt-a-PorTea at Raffles Makati

 

 

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We were invited by Raffles Makati to try their “New York State of Mind”, the fourth in its Prêt-a-PorTea series, with the legendary Tiffany & Co. at the Writers Bar. My girls and I love afternoon tea. So we took them up on the offer and made a date of it. We dressed up in our lovely clothes on a rainy Saturday afternoon, and had a mommy and daughters day.

The Prêt-a-PorTea sweet and savoury creations are inspired by Tiffany and the Big Apple.

 

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I can’t tell you enough how much joy it brings me to be able to spend slow days with my three daughters. I savour every moment.

 

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The kids had cold chocolate drinks.

 

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It’s not high tea if there are no scones and clotted cream.

 

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With my three little women.

 

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Savoury teacup sandwiches like bagels and lox, pastrami, mini-hotdogs, and soft pretzels were served.

 

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I loved this mini bagel with lox.

 

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Macarons and cupcakes designed with that trademark robin’s egg blue.

 

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So much loveliness – the iconic Tiffany Blue Box caramel cake, a white-chocolate bracelet inspired by Tiffany’s iconic T collection, bite-sized apple coated in chocolate-caramel, a sweet take on the Big Apple, and the famed cronut.

 

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The kids were so charmed by the setting, they kept taking pictures. Each of the Tiffany-inspired afternoon tea three-tier pastries is good for two people. It includes other treats like the classic New York cheesecake and all-American favorites, like the lemon meringue pie, creamy strawberry-shortcake, and sour-cherry whoopee pie.

 

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Me and Lily

 

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Making memories with my lovelies.

 

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Again, those Tiffany blue boxes and a reminder of the Big Apple.

 

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My bookworm girls were in heaven at the Writers Bar.

 

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OOTD info, Stella’s dress from Gingersnaps, shoes from Melissa. Lily wears a dress from her big sister’s closet and Saltwater sandals.

 

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My not so little Sophia now wears Just G (a subsidiary of Gingersnaps). Her purse is a hand-me-down from me, a cute Kate Spade bag. Her sneakers are from Paez shoes.

 

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Raffles Makati’s  “New York State of Mind” Prêt-a-PorTea series.

 

You may enjoy this delicately designed afternoon tea from September 1 to November 30, offered from 2:30PM to 5:30PM daily at Php 1500++ for two. Add a glass of champagne at Php 900++ for a sparkling afternoon. For more information and reservations, please call the Raffles Makati Restaurant Reservations at +632 795 1840, or email dining.makati@raffles.com.

 

 

Coffee, the De’Longhi way

 

 

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We take coffee seriously in our house. Patrick is very particular about the brewing process, the type of beans, the way they’re roasted, how they’re poured. We used to have an espresso coffee machine with special plastic pods of ground coffee. But after using it for a while, we felt guilty about the amount of trash it produced. Those plastic pods end up polluting the seas even if they promise to be biodegradable. So we went the extreme opposite and handcrafted every cup of coffee.

 

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Patrick’s daily love offering to me is my morning coffee. Haha. Because I missed the convenience of a coffee machine, he promised he would make my coffee for me. And he did everything from scratch. Newly roasted coffee beans (bought in small batches to ensure freshness) was ground by hand and poured over a canvas sieve.

 

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My kitchen started to look like a science lab. Sometimes Patrick used his Japanese siphon. These coffee stories made it to my book, CHIC, Tips on Life, Style, and Work. Sophia drew all the illustrations of her dad’s coffee paraphernalia.

 

A few months ago, I got a call from Anj Imperial, PR of Concept Specialist Inc. She asked me if I was interested to visit the De’Longhi showroom and see their newest top of the line machine – the PrimaDonna Elite. Before she continued, I had to ask her, “Does the machine use pods? Because if so, we won’t be interested because it produces too much garbage.” She said it does not. It uses whole or ground beans. And it has a built-in grinder. She told me more about the brand and that they had other kitchen appliances. So I made that special trip to Quezon City.

 

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At the De’Longhi showroom in Quezon City where I met Anj and the GM Joenie Hung.

 

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We talked all about coffee.

 

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I was introduced to the new PrimaDonna Elite which was then just about to launch. Since I wasn’t going to attend the launch because of a trip to Tokyo, they gave me a private preview and demo.

 

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The PrimaDonna Elite has an intuitive interface – 4.3” colour touch display – making it easy to choose any of the preferred coffee-based beverages in one touch.

 

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This is the PrimaDonna Elite. That carafe on the right is for hot chocolate.

 

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With the coloured touch display of the PrimaDonna Elite, you can personalise any drink to perfectly match any taste. You can also set-up your own personal profile by memorising ideal aroma, as well as temperature and quantity of coffee and milk for each drink.

 

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Perhaps what makes the PrimaDonna Elite even more special is that you can control the machine remotely by using your cellphone. Just download the Coffee Link App.

 

P7130052PrimaDonna Elite is the first De’Longhi machine with connectivity. You can select your favourite drinks, create new recipes with complete freedom and discover infinite personalizations.

 

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The De’Longhi LatteCrema System ensures dense and creamy milk froth with a silky smooth texture for any of the coffee-based milk drinks. The LatteCrema System always delivers best in-cup result: the perfect density – the perfect creaminess – at the perfect temperature, until the last drop.

 

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And here I was thinking I had given up milk-based coffee. After tasting the milk froth of the De’Longhi machine, I’m back to drinking cappuccinos and flat whites.

 

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Look at the layers and gradation. This machine allows you to create your favourite cup of coffee with exceptional standards, just like a Barista.

 

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With a De’Longhi bean-to-cup coffee maker, you can quickly and easily enjoy the experience of a perfect Italian espresso at home. Source: The Coffee Chronicle by De’Longhi.

 

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Each time you make coffee, it is guaranteed to be fresh because the beans are freshly grounded by the integrated grinder and the professional brewing unit takes care of preparing full-flavoured expressos. Source: The Coffee Chronicle by De’Longhi.

 

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Imagine all the coffees you can create with just the touch of one button. Latte art, not included. Source: The Coffee Chronicle by De’Longhi.

 

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De’Longhi’s International Commercial Director for Asia Pacific and Americas, Paul Accornero, together with Concept Specialist Inc.’s President, Joseph Hung, PR Manager Angela Imperial, and celebrity guest, Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo celebrated the launch of De’Longhi PrimaDonna Elite last July 20, 2016.

 

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Judy Ann unveiled the PrimaDonna Elite at an elegant event at the Shangrila Fort.

 

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De’Longhi’s Regional Manager of South East Asia and Pacific, Vincent Cheng teaches Inah Estrada how to do a latte art while TV Host Suzy Entrata looks on.

 

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Tessa Prieto Valdes and Patty Laurel Filart taste hot chocolate.

 

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Broadcasters all in attendance – Julius Babao, Gelli Rivera, Janice de Belen, Tintin Babao, Nelson Canlas, Luanne Dy, Rhea Santos, Nina Corpuz, Lyn Pascual.

 

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Patty Laurel-Filart, Tracy Ayson and Andi Manzano-Reyes

 

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Angel Aquino, Vivian Hung, and Concept Specialist Inc.’s General Manager Joenie Hung.

 

 

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Then it was my turn to welcome De’Longhi in to my home. After our Japan trip, De’Longhi delivered this beautiful PrimaDonna DeLuxe XS.

 

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Unboxing is always a thrill.

 

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PrimaDonna XS DeLuxe is the compact version of the PrimaDonna Elite. It does everything the same way, minus the touch screen, App capability, and chocolate carafe.

 

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Space is an issue in my kitchen. The De’Longhi’s slim, space-saving bean to cup coffee maker sits perfectly in my kitchen counter. It no longer looks like a science lab.

 

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The PrimaDonna DeLuxe XS is so sleek. I love Italian design. Now we can make cappuccino, cafe latte, cafe macchiato, espresso , steamed milk using freshly ground coffee beans. It is so easy to use.

 

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The PrimaDonna Deluxe XS features a patented Autocappuccino System for the perfect cappuccino, latte macchiato, caffe latte and hot milk, automatic cleaning integrated in the froth regulating knob, extra cappuccino device for steam and hot water, personalizing from short, medium or long. You can try a strong or extra mild aroma, enjoy it piping hot, medium or low temperature. The machine can be used with either coffee beans or ground coffee. The coffee bean container can hold 150 gr. There is an active cup warmer with dedicated button. You can prepare two cups of coffee with a single brewing. The coffee grinder has 13 adjustable settings. To top it all off, it is so easy to clean.

 

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Patrick and I are back to using a coffee machine, and not just an ordinary one. We have De’Longhi’s top of the line compact machine. His other coffee gadgets are still there for times he wishes to make hand-crafted coffee, but that doesn’t happen too often.

 

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That visit to the DeLonghi showroom in Quezon City opened up a whole new level for our appreciation of the art of making coffee. I also saw their complete line of kitchen appliances like – low-oil fryer and multi cooker, electric ovens, stylish kettles and toasters, bread makers. I ended up with an amazing mini convection oven that makes bread. Will blog about that next.

 

Concept Specialist Inc. is the official distributor of global brands such as De’Longhi, Sanremo Coffee Machines, Thermoplan and Fetco, and is the first in Asia to launch De’Longhi’s PrimaDonna Elite at the new Shangri-La at the Fort in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

For more information about Concept Specialist Inc. Like De’Longhi Philippines on Facebook and follow @delonghiph on Instagram.

Visit the De’Longhi showroom at 72 Sct. Dr. Lascano, Brgy. Laging Handa, Quezon City and the concept store at D&K Kitchen Essentials at L/G East Wing, Shangri-La Mall, Mandaluyong City.

 

 

Discovery Shores Boracay

 

 

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Kids have been back to school for a month. The rains are here. Even though we had the longest summer break, I don’t know where our “summer” went. We didn’t do any major long trips. We did Tokyo on the last week of July, but for most of the summer break we were just home. June was the most action-packed for us, with my sister Johanna and her family visiting us for three weeks.

The highlight of my sister’s visit was our trip to Boracay. We wanted pure tropical bliss and an easy and safe destination for our kids. Discovery Shores Boracay was all that and more.

 

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Very nice Discovery Shores welcome

 

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Foot bath in our room, with 5 minute foot massage for each of us.

 

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We stayed in a one bedroom suite.

 

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Coffee machine and a nice kitchen counter.

 

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The living room was huge, with a balcony that led to our bedroom. Here is Sophia, receiving her welcome foot massage.

 

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The kids slept on the daybeds at the living room.

 

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The kids never stopped doing their art.

 

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My sister and her family stayed right next door. We kept our door open and shared our huge living room.

 

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Discovery Shores Boracay is very well-maintained.

 

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The second-floor corner room was our room. It had a wrap-around balcony.

 

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Sandbar during the day.

 

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I loved the landscaping, especially with these anahaw plants.

 

It is the service and personal touches that make a hotel special. The décor and maintenance of Discovery Shores Boracay were superb. But it was the service of the very well-trained and happy staff that made our stay most memorable.

 

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Every night they made these towel sculptures.

 

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Turn down service was lovely.

 

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And all over the resort, the staff was pleasing, knowledgeable, hospitable. They offer face sprays while you’re lying on the beach. Very refreshing.

 

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They give chilled cucumber slices for your eyes, which Lily loved.

 

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And they also offer to clean your sunglasses!

 

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At the pool, there are free snacks for all. We had muffins, cookies, halo halo!

 

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Free halo-halo

 

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Every afternoon the kids have activiites.

 

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We particularly loved the T-shirt painting activity.

 

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While the kids played, we did our thing… happy hour.

 

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The location of Discovery Shores right on the beach at the end of Station One makes it one of the more exclusive sites with the ultimate luxury of having the softest, whitest, finest sand in Boracay.

 

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Boracay is beautiful no matter what time of day. I particularly love how silvery the beach gets during midday.

 

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My lovely sister

 

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This is my favourite “attraction” in Boracay. When everything and everyone slows down for the greatest sunset show on earth.

 

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Magic hour glow.

 

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My nephews.

 

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Night scene, lighting design is beautiful at Discovery Shores.

 

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Lighting is everything.

 

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Food in Sands Restaurant was so good. We always looked forward to their impressive breakfast buffet – with continental, oriental, Filipino dishes.

 

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I loved this incredible chicken pork adobo. Oh my. I don’t know how many hours they slow cooked this. It was soo good. Best adobo I’ve had ever!

 

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Seriously!

 

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The kids’ meals were generous. Most of them were shareable sizes.

 

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Burger…

 

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Lechon kawali…

 

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It’s always Happy Hour when you’re on vacation.

 

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Room service was fun too. We loved the hotdog and fries! Comfort food!

 

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Discovery Shores Boracay’s Indigo Restaurant was featured twice in the Philippine Tatler’s Best Restaurants List, and shortlisted for the 2010/2011 MIELE Guide to Asia’s Best Restaurants.

 

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The other half of the resort fronting the beach is Sandbar.

 

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Sands Restaurant and Sandbar.

 

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Back to Indigo… They prepared a wonderful dinner for us by the beach.

 

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This was our view.

 

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Dinner at Indigo, Discovery Shores Boracay with my sister, the boys, and our family.

 

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The servings are big, family-style. Plating was so creative.

 

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Comfort and great service even til the end.

 

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Our boat transfers to Caticlan.

 

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The boat ride was just five minutes long, and the attendant made sure we were comfortable. She offered water, cookies, a cold towel.

 

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Three nights in Discovery Shores Boracay. Perfect.

 

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Thank you, Discovery Shores Boracay.

 

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Transportation: Air Asia
Accommodation: Discovery Shores Boracay