De-stressing at Villa de Mercedes Resort

Hello! I'm still kicking, crawling, jumping. I am still alive. Back into blogging.

I was really stressed for the past months for so many reasons. Work. Motherhood. National Election...Work. Motherhood. National Election.... (Nope, I did not run in any position, I was just an avid supporter of a certain candidate hehe) Aside from that, the weather is getting hotter which is not helping at all so I decided to sit back awhile and research online a superb place just within the Davao vicinity to de-stress.

Until I found Villa de Mercedes Resort website. Upon looking at the nice pictures posted, my gut feeling told me that this place might be worth a visit. Of course, you can't justify how nice the place is by experiencing it first yourself.

Situated 535 feet above see level, you will be delightfully greeted by the hypnotic view of Davao gulf and Davao city that instantly eases away your stress and worries. Please note that Villa de Mercedes is an exclusive resort subdivision, which offers recreation to its members and lot owners such as infinity pool, coffee shop, and other amenities. However, walk-in guests are welcome to enjoy and relax.
At Cafe's Veranda
Wonderful Scenery of Davao City
Uncrowded Infinity Pool
Acting like Senyorito and Senyorita
Infront of the Cafe
 Cottage View
Infinity Pool
Outside the Cafe
Outside the Cafe

A little expensive, Villa de Mercedes is one of the resorts the family should not miss to visit to especially during summer season. I am extremely picky as what places to go on vacation for my family. As much as possible, I wanted a resort that is less crowded, cool, child-friendly, clean and having excellent customer service. I guess, all the criteria I had been wanting for were satisfactorily met.

Entrance Fee with Free Use of Cottage

Weekend: 250
Weekdays: 200

Take note that bringing of foods is not allowed. The resort itself has a cafe where you can order foods but I have to tell you in advance, they are super expensive . The burger alone is worth 250 pesos, and 1 liter of soft drink is 150 pesos. To make your vacation worth spending, bring as much money as you can so you will enjoy the resort's amenities to the fullest.

The resort is located at Catigan, Toril Davao City. For inquiries or reservation, call (082) 226-8695/301-1751 or you may visit their facebook page.

The Simplest 4th Birthday Celebration

Only the Sophia-inspired tarpaulin looks fabulous but, I swear,  the celebration was entirely simple.

It has now been a week since we celebrated Chesska's 4th birthday. Sorry, I lost track to keep you updated due to my tight schedule. I now remember that I am regularly sharing Chesska's birthday each year,  so I never miss the opportunity today (since I am 2-hour free) to share with you my tot's 4th birthday last week.

Of all Chesska's birthdays, I guess, this was the simplest birthday celebration ever. Unlike on her 1st, 2nd and 3rd birthdays, I really exerted tons of effort mentally, physically and financially where I almost ran out of money and energy.  This time around, I came to the point to just celebrate Chesska's birthday in more practical ways, far off from the usual (bongga) celebration .  I see to it that birthday is being celebrated with sentimental value rather than material worth.

The first thing my husband and I did as soon as she woke up on January 14th was kiss and greet her Happy Birthday. We reminded her that "today is your 4th birthday, and whenever I ask you how old are you?", you must answer I am four years old".  She nodded without complain (hehe).

Here are the most memorable things we did on Chesska's birthday.

As early as 6:am, we attended the first mass at Santo Rosario church to thank God for everything. 
Then before lunch, as promised, I brought her to Wonderland playhouse because she kept begging us, weeks before her birthday that she wanted to play there.
As if she owned the entire playhouse for she was the first kid to arrive. 

You see? She got tired playing and just lay down on the floor to drink her milk. 
In the evening, mom and I prepared some foods for people of 10 who we invited for dinner, mostly neighbors.

Opening her one and only gift from us.

This was the least stressful birthday celebration ever, yet the most memorable one.

Celebrating New Year, My Niece's Birthday, and Outing at Japanese Tunnel Resort

Despite the total firecracker ban here in Davao City, I, together with my family, my brother and his wife and two children who came all the way from Bukidnon,  still celebrated the New Year with a BLAST.  With their presence, our house came into life again like a firework because ,  my child, Chesska, had a new playmate, her 6-year-old cousin. Both kids ' noise and mess temporarily broke the silence and tidiness of our house, as you know how "hyper" kids are. Also, I was able to chat with my older brother and his wife for the longest time. We barely saw each other due to the distance of our home place, so a holiday like Christmas and New Year allowed us to be complete once again.

Here are the best parts of our New Year Celebration:

1. To make their 4-day vacation worth spending, I brought them over to eat-all-you-can buffet during my mom's birthday on December 29th.

2. On the same day evening later, I strolled my family at the Davao Rizal park. My friends posting Christmas events at the Rizal park over Facebook have convinced me to pay a visit on that place very soon since it's been a long long time that I haven't been there.  Finally, we were able to take pictures behind these colorful and attractive Christmas lights. Our picture is a bit dim though..

3. On the 31st , we went to the mall nearby just to go around and buy cake for my niece for her birthday, luckily her birthday coincides with the New Year. Her family saves time and money. hehe

4. Heart (my niece) blowing candle on her birthday.

5. Finally the highlight of our New Year, January 1st,  was held at Japanese Tunnel.

My husband and 3-year old in front of the Japanese Tunnel swimming pool
From the top view

Mom and my brother together with his family
Japanese Tunnel Swimming Pool
Bucket Challenge (haha!)
Beside the Japanese Tunnel Restaurant
Japanese Tunnel Restaurant Front View
Inside the Restaurant
Entrance of the Hotel and Reception Area
Inside the Tunnel
Replica of a Japanese Golden Buddha
Gold Bars Replica
Japanese Soldiers Statues
Inside the Tunnel
Main Entrance to the Tunnel
Slaves ' Jail
Japanese Tunnel Hotel. This picture was taken during our first visit here.
Hotel Lobby 
Hotel lobby. This picture was taken during our first tour here.


Entrance for Adults and Kids ......100.00
Japanese Tunnel ...........................50.00
Hotel Rate......................................2,100 per night with breakfast


Every Viand.....................100.00
Soft drink.........................30.00

My New Year has been great so far. How about yours?

Contact Information:

D' Japanese Tunnel Family Resort
Hillcrest Subdivision
Diversion Road, Matina Balusong, Davao City
8000 Philippines

Tels +6382 299 0975 | +6382 298 3705

Saving Big Money with Homemade Cleaning Solutions

Guest Post

Cleaning is, as it seems, a burdensome job that eats up your free time and your budget. Most commercial cleaners lure you into thinking they are some miracle solutions that will remove grime and dust at once without the need to scrub and scour. Unfortunately, as soon as you use them you realize they are no different that the rest of the stuff offered in stores. The solution? Just go green. Here are a few cleaning recipes to try at home. Check this out.

It turns out that some simple home ingredients can work just as good as commercial products. The best thing about them is that they are anything but toxic and they cost next to nothing. With a little baking soda, lemons, vinegar, cornstarch, rubbing alcohol and even ammonia, you can make super powerful non-toxic cleaning products for around the home. Check out these recipes and make your own.

Sink Cleaner

Things you will need:
  • Baking soda
  • Water
How to make it:

Clear your sink of dishes and stuff. Run the faucet and wet the surface. Liberally sprinkle baking soda over it and let sit for half an hour. Baking soda has mild abrasive properties and is perfect for grime and stains. While you are doing other cleaning tasks around the home, it will work its magic on cleaning your sink. When the time is up, grab a sponge and scrub your sink. Rinse well. Cleaning your sink with baking soda will also help you to clear the drains. Two birds, one stone.

Glass Cleaner

Many people complain that some cleaning products leave streaks on their glass surfaces. If you are using soap to clean your mirror or windows, no wonder you are not getting the results you want. Truth be told, you need to steer clear of any products that create suds. So here is one simple recipe to deal with your cleaning woes.

Things you will need:
  • Distilled water
  • Vinegar
  • Spray bottle
How to make it:

Fill half of your bottle with vinegar and fill the rest of it with distilled water. Give it a good shake. Spray your windows and mirrors and wipe down with a lint-free, flat-weaved cloth. Work in a zigzag pattern, starting from the top of the window/mirror. And the reason you want to use distilled water is because it doesn't contain all those minerals that can leave streaks on your glass surfaces. The recipe is used by many cleaning companies like HouseCleaners N6.

Tip: If you notice any stains on your window/mirror, it's best to treat them in advance. Grab a cotton pad, add a little rubbing alcohol and wipe down all stains and spots. When you are done, use your 50-50 solution of water and vinegar to clean the whole mirror/window.

All-purpose Cleaner

Things you will need:
  • Dish soap
  • 1/3 vinegar
  • 2/3 water
  • Spray bottle
How to make it:

Start by filling 1/3 of the spray bottle with vinegar. Fill the remaining space with water and add a few drops of dish soap. Give it a good shake. This is a very good all-purpose cleaner that works on many surfaces around the home, the only exception being granite countertops. In general, you want to use a special cleaner for your countertops, depending on what they are made of (check with your manufacturer).

Toilet Cleaner

Things you will need:
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • ¾ cup borax
  • 15-20 drops of essential oils (lemon, lavender and tea tree)
How to make it:

Mix together all the ingredients in a bottle and shake well. Wet the toilet bowl and pour the solution. Let it work for a few hours. Scrub well and flush.

Contrary to what many people think, borax is not toxic unless used in extremely large amounts. It has many household uses as it removes stains, deodorizes and whitens. It is ideal for toilet bowl cleaners.

As you can see, all of the ingredients mentioned above are dirt cheap. Switch to using make-at-home cleaning products to save big on house cleaning and you will be fine.

Halloween Spooktacular Costume Party

I was hesitant to register my child in the Halloween Spooktacular Costume contest held last week but for the sake of developing my child's social skill, I gave it a try! Unlike some other kids who are very sociable, Chesska doesn't seem comfortable with groups whom she's not familiar with. That is one of the concerns, as a mother, I need to address to.

However, Chesska loves dressing up. While at home, rarely would I see that her closet was well-arranged for she loves pulling her tops and pairing them with leggings or shorts, or whatever idea she has in mind. I admired her creativity! So I haven't had a hard time to dress her up in Halloween costume.

So before we went to the venue held at Gmall Toril, approximately 15 minutes from our place, I had her wear her costume to see how she looks. She made a cute pose while taking pictures of her (costume idea here.) I likewise oriented her that she would be meeting lots of kids later, wearing scary costumes (she was a bit terrified). Read the full story here.

Rancho Palos Verdes Sports and Country Club

I've never heard of this place before until a friend of mine recommended Rancho Palos Verdes for our family getaway last weekend. A lovely place indeed, near the crocodile park! Never have I seen such place, the fact that I had gone to crocodile park for a few times.  Rancho Palos Verdes offers multiple amenities, but we just intended to go swimming since my 3-year old kept begging us for quite a long time. So this time, her persistent request was granted. At long last!

Rancho Palos Verdes Swimming Pool Rates with Free Use of Cottage:

Adult: 110
Children: 100

Since I was unable to take picture at the main entrance, because we were so excited,  I just borrowed some photos online. 

Our photos

If it makes you lazy to bring foods along, there is a restaurant nearby where you can order according to your taste, though the foods offered are a little expensive. 

So we ended up ordering two platters of pizza because it was buy one take one (hehe), which is only available from 2pm - 5pm. 

Walk-in guests like us are welcome to enjoy every splash of the swimming pool and experience the delightful view, however, if you are a member  of the country club, you can enjoy lifetime use of their beach-typed swimming pool and other amenities which are lawn tennis court, indoor badminton & basketball courts bowling, table tennis and billiards.

I don't know when the country club opens but am pretty sure it closes at 8pm.

Rancho Palos Verdes
Maa, Diversion Road Davao City
Tel. No. 082-221-5281

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