Spontaneous Tagaytay Getaway: The Charm of The Carmelence Lodge, A Toddler’s Sky Ranch Experience

It really was an unplanned trip.

Well, the trip to Manila was totally planned as I needed to report to the company headquarters for my orientation and training for my new role. But the weekend getaway to Tagaytay was spontaneous. It was our last weekend in Manila and since the past days were more of business (as it should), we wanted to go somewhere special for our toddler in tow.

Initially we considered the zoo or the ocean park but since we were all late sleepers and therefore woke up at noon, it was impractical to go to those places for only half the day. So, my sister suggested that we go to Tagaytay! I have to be honest, I was really hoping she’d suggest it but I didn’t want to bring it up because of the bad weather. It was so sweet of her to offer to drive us there even if she did not intend to stay overnight with us.

So before she changed her mind, I instantly went online to book. I ended up booking a quaint cottage-designed inn, The Carmelence Lodge. To save my sister from driving long hours back and forth, my husband volunteered to be behind the wheel instead. He was already enjoying the drive in a new environment anyway.

Because it was already late in the afternoon when we decided to take the trip, we arrived at our destination past dinner time. The lodge did not disappoint. Beneath the dark sky, it still stole my heart. I felt like whoever designed this place had me in mind.

We headed to grab dinner, which was easy since the lodge was located in the town proper.

My rule when in another city is to only eat at places that are not found at home. Hap Chan offered good comfort food amid the windy evening.

Despite the evening’s light rain, the morning that followed was lovely! Blue skies were hovering the now vivid purple structure. Breakfast was served at the patio. The food itself was nothing extraordinary, but the ambiance was perfect. It was extra lovely, thanks to the fact that Continue reading

Cebu Food Trip: Breakfast at Camden

A fancy breakfast was definitely at the top of our list when we finally got a new nanny for our toddler just a few weeks ago. It had been a crazy period of keeping my sanity as I literally juggled work and motherhood in the past four months after the old nanny suddenly left us. I seldom use literally, so I really mean literally having one hand on the keyboard and the other feeding my child.

But that episode felt like a lifetime away when the husband treated me to a breakfast date before hitting the movies the other day. We are such huge fans of breakfast that we’re always on the lookout for new spots to check out. We’ve been hearing a lot about Camden Cafe and decided to see what the buzz was about.

And boy, were we not disappointed!


This quaint door makes a striking first impression.

Camden Cafe is the brainchild of longtime friends Jacqueline Ma and Hannah Lim in May 2016. They also run a branding firm, the Camden Three. I’ve had the pleasure of working with these ladies in the past so I was able to witness firsthand just how driven and creative these two are. Needless to day, it’s quite evident in the work they have done in this cozy breakfast and brunch nook.




You can tell that every corner in this place has been well thought of. Nothing excites me more than Continue reading

Sun and Rain

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“Uwan-init, pista sa langit!” a local rhyme that we fondly chant whenever it rains while the sun is out. It’s simply translated as “Rain, sun, there’s got to be a feast in heaven!”

This week’s Scenic Sunday attempts to capture the rather recurring rain over the weekend at home. This one during sunset was naturally a captivating moment for me. ♥ 


Road to De-stressor

Drop everything, let ’em go
I need a breather, let’s hit the road
Take the wheel yet hold my hand
Turn up the music and I’ll sing with the band
Take me anywhere, I don’t care
Let’s make this our private road affair

                                                              – Q

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Barely having enough time to do anything together anymore, road trips are always a much-appreciated breather that Mr. DM and I both enjoy. He loves driving (or has no choice but to) and I love being a passenger on long drives! Thanks to Philippine August holidays, we were able to hit the road and head on to the west side of Cebu to brave the windy weather and literally stop to smell the flowers (and some carabao poop). ♥

In Search of That Elusive Prince


Grabbed from Pinterest.

They say you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince. This would have been a very handy tip had the author been more specific in defining “a lot.” At least it would give girls an idea of how many more mistaken decisions they would have to endure before they can finally be with a tanned, gentle man whose biceps and triceps would gladly carry them into the sunset.

For Therese, however, it wouldn’t have mattered either way now. Single at thirty-four, Therese is convinced that she has seen it all—all types of men, that is. From immature twenty-something guys to we-should-get-married-now mid-thirty men, life has taught her that despite the many facades of the male specie, the truth of the matter is, they can all be frogs and princes at the same time.

Just right before she reached the big three-oh, Therese was in a serious relationship; serious enough to Continue reading

Lab Love

Full name: Chandler Stark M. Bajenting

Full name: Chandler Stark M. Bajenting

Being an uber healthy, full-grown Labrador today, Chanchan’s puppy days are ones that I often long for. He was still so small and frail when he would struggle to catch up with me on the stairs. But his imposing paws were already noticeable, especially each time he would playfully knock his small big brother, a Shiranian, out. Today, Chanchan is the only XL classified dog among the small ones in the house. But everyone can agree that he’s the sweetest! ♥