This huge concoction of crisp and fresh seafood descended on us when Sustainable Seafood Awarene...

Catch Ocean’s Harvest at Marriott Café this February


This huge concoction of crisp and fresh seafood descended on us when Sustainable Seafood Awareness was launched last January at Marriott Hotel Manila. That night my tummy was really happy!

February is Sustainable Seafood Awareness Month, and how quickly it flew us by. View the launch here.

But you can still push for sustainable seafood awareness this weekend.

Ocean's Harvest at Marriott Café has gone bigger this February, and you wouldn't want to miss it!

Seafood on ice selections are twice as delicious with choices of Whole Tiger Prawns, New Zealand Mussels, White Shell Clams, Curacha and Slipper Lobsters. Hand-pick your crustaceans and have it cooked quickly your way. Sailing through the Asian corner are the rare Live Mud Crabs and Abalone which are best eaten with their home-made sauces such as salted egg, X.O. and Singaporean chili. More selections at the same price of Php 2,500 nett every Friday and Saturday evenings.

Live Abalone station is added on the fresh seafood selections...

Drool over this Cru Steak 4-course set menu.

Appetizer: Tuna Nicoise
Line caught Palawan tuna tartare, baby romaine, French beans, olive soil, quail egg, potato, tomato confit

Soup: Seafood Consomme
Cuttlefish linguini, butter poached Selva shrimp, coconut-lime custard, spicy ginger relish

Main Course: Barbecue Wahoo Mackerel
Asian barbecue glazed Wahoo, baby corn tempura, pineapple salsa, brown butter-popcorn puree

Dessert: Ube MaClair
Purple yam macaron, crème patisserie, Chantilly, jellied dalandan coulis, Good Shepherd ube cream, pili nut crumble

You may also want to drop by quickly at Marriott Manila, better grab from their “Sea Bites” menu at the Greatroom. Easy-to- eat snacks like House-smoked Wahoo Mackerel Sandwich, Spicy Yellowfin Tuna Tartar, and Kataifi Wrapped Selva Shrimps. These will keep you company whether you are lounging for a business meeting, finishing up a presentation, or hanging with friends.

Greatroom Sea Bite
Kataifi Wrapped Selva Shrimps with Asian slaw and sriracha aioli

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20 December 2016 | Bellevue Hotel, Alabang I didn't have a debut (party) when I turned 18 b...

Debut at Bellevue Hotel Alabang

20 December 2016 | Bellevue Hotel, Alabang

I didn't have a debut (party) when I turned 18 because I was in university and away from home. I just had a tall round torte cake from a restaurant in Vinzon's Hall to celebrate with a few classmates and friends.

So, I was really happy when Wizheart took me to a bar with dancing and booze on our debut last month. We had a fun time remembering our BF-GF days when we went out almost every night to meetings that ended with drinking and some dancing and singing, LOL.

20 December 2016 | Vue Bar, Bellevue Hotel Alabang
He had beer. I had sangria. :)

Yes, we turned 18 with our hearts filled with love and gratefulness.

I still remember the time I realized that he was the one for me. How did I know? One word: safe. I felt strongly that everything will be fine in my world if I ended up with him. I was right!

So, when he asked me to marry him, I said yes. We went into the marriage in our later years (I was 29, and he was 42) but still with no set goals in mind--or at least for me. What I was thinking then was that after our wedding day, I could finally go on trips with him without worrying about my parents waiting or wishing for me to be home at a specific time before midnight or a little after midnight, lol.

22 December 1998 | On to Pearl Farm, Davao
21 December 1998, we spent the night at Insular Hotel Davao, now Waterfront Hotel Davao, before crossing to Pearl Farm

That was exactly what happened after our wedding day. From Iligan, we hied off to Pearl Farm Davao for our honeymoon, then to Iloilo, then to Manila and settled down here.

We were very happy being together, and we prayed every day that we would be blessed with that togetherness for the rest of our lives. To this day, we are each other's best friend.

But the Lord God has other plans for us--better plans, in fact.

He blessed us with two boys, both kindhearted, good looking, and smart.

Our first born. 
20 December 2016 | Attending a debut at Bellevue Manila Alabang, thus the choice of staycation.

With our second son.
20 December 2016 | Checking in at Bellevue Manila Alabang

When I look at these two grown up boys, I couldn't help feeling overwhelmed and proud. I just feel so blessed to be the mother of these two wonderful boys. And how did they grow up that big? Ha ha

Then the Lord blessed us with a house--a home of our own with a matching car to call our own. We didn't really plan on acquiring any more property because I have a house in Iligan, Wizheart has a house in Iloilo, and other properties. A good portion of our 13th month would go to real taxes at the end of the year. But an opportunity to buy a townhouse came along, and besides, we see our boys settling here in Manila (while Wizheart and I would most likely be retiring in Siquijor, Iloilo, Iligan, or even in Cebu), so we thought, might as well, get a house for the kiddos.

As if He couldn't bless us enough, for the past two to three years, the Lord helped us pay off 70% of our debts, which ballooned when my own income took a huge dive about three years ago. Good thing we have made fund investments (with protection) years before. If not for those investments, we would be hard-pressed to pay for the tuition of our first-born who is taking his Senior High in a big university. Plus a bonus of some inheritance.

There is a lot to celebrate. So, we surprised the kids with a staycation, our last one was in 2013 in Microtel MOA. Since the elder son had to attend a debut in Bellevue Hotel Alabang, we decided to check in--with no knowledge of how Bellevue handles their customer--at the hotel where the debut would be. That would save us from taking and getting him from the venue. But we had a pleasant surprise!


They have international buffet and so we feasted on Indian, Korean, Filipino, American, Japanese, European. I love that they have wine and cheese section and Filipino delicacies such as puto bumbong and bibingka!  The hotel even have two good restaurants: one Chinese and one Japanese.


... is impeccable! Initially, we planned on parking our car in the hotel cark park and just get a cab to go around the area. But when we asked the guards where to get the cabs or how to take that e-jeepney that we saw going around, he asked us if we were hotel guests. If so, then we have a van at our beck and call. Because of that shuttling to and from Festival Mall was really easy, which is a good thing as we were able to finish our Christmas shopping while on staycation!


Discovering their Vue Bar was really a treat. On our first night, and also our 18th wedding anniversary, Wizheart said that we would go up to to the Vue Bar after dinner. The elder son had a debut, while the younger son was wise enough to just stay in our room for his me-time, lol. So, we had an instant couple date of booze and dancing.


... is also just perfect for us. Comfy beds, nice bathroom and closet. The swimming pool area is also very strategic. At any time of the day, you won't get exposed to the sun. For those who are scared of the sun(rays), then it's perfect for you. For those who want to get a tan, there is actually a portion of space for you, too. What I like about their pool area are the comfy sofa chairs where you can just lounge around and read if you don't like to take a dip.


The hotel is located in the quiet area, even if it is surrounded by contact center companies. If you stay longer and would want to eat food other than hotel food, there is a small food strip in front of the hotel that you can go to. It has the usual suspectes: Starbucks, Jollibee, McDonald's, 7-11, and a few specialty restos.

It was our first time to stay in a Bellevue chain and we had a grand time. If you were to ask me if I would go back there again, my answer would a big YES!

See for yourself!


We at 18th! <3

Our biggest lesson as we turn 18 is to let go and let God. There are a lot of things that were unplanned, but given to us by the grace of the Lord. That makes it more special. 

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Photo credit: Today, January 9, millions of the Black Naz...


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Today, January 9, millions of the Black Nazarene devotees will once again flock, crowd, push, shove and what have you in feverish pitch to participate in this annual procession to express their devotion and reverence. The procession started early this morning and will pass by Manila's major roads as it winds its way to its home, Quiapo church.  This very religious ritual is called "TRASLACION'". The Feast of the Lady of Peñafrancia in Naga City holds similar procession ritual every September and it is also called "TRASLACION'". In TV, newspapers, social media, street banners- everybody heralds the "TRASLACION".

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TRASLACION holds a very very special place in my heart; for this is the name of my beloved mother. If only Nanay were alive today, she would have been very proud that her name is a religious feast and heard everywhere. Ironically all her life, she was puzzled and nobody could tell ( that was pre google-internet era) how and where her parents derived her "mysterious" name. 8 out of 10 persons would misspell and mispronounce her name. Two years ago, a major newspaper headlined a picture of the Black Nazarene but in the caption, misspelled it again as "translacion".

Until September 1995 when I came to Naga City. How pleasantly surprised and happy I was then that upon reading the hotel's brochures, Eureka",  I discovered  what Traslacion means. And it was beauty in her ear when I informed Nanay about it.

Today, as I join the millions of our countrymen in praying for the Black Nazarene, I also pay tribute again to Nanay.

TRASLACION- what  a beautiful name.

Note: This post is written by my husband who also blogs at Sporty Dad and Steel Connect.

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