De-stress Yourself at Blossom Floral Spa

Have you ever felt so worn-out after a day’s work? Busy with tasks and client meetings or hectic schedule with a lot of school deadlines? Troubled by your relationship? Stressed? Desperate to take a breather? Well, you are not alone. We all experience these once in a while. The question is, how do you relax and de-stress yourself?

Stress has been recognized as one of the major illnesses in today’s society. It is cumulative, and the impact of amassing burden over a long period of time could be quite serious in a person’s mental, emotional, and physical health. Alas, there are various ways on how to separate ourselves from this social cancer. My favourite technique is through going to a spa.

SAYONARA, STRESS

Last month, I had the opportunity to try yet another spa in the metro. I visited quite a number already, and after my experience at Health Land in Thailand, I got more addicted to massage centres. Thankfully, numerous spas have been sprouting like mushrooms here in the Philippines, so I won’t have a hard time picking one which would suit my fancy. For today’s review, let me introduce you to Blossom Floral Spa.

HOW TO DE-STRESS YOURSELF

I. Go to a spa.

BLOSSOM FLORAL SPA

Blossom Floral Spa is strategically located at the busy and popular Maginhawa Street in Teachers Village. Freshly opened late last year, it has already created a sensation among students of nearby UP, Ateneo, and Miriam universities. Residents and guests along the neighborhood also flocked the spa. When I pursue further education, I will be residing somewhere near the area and possibly frequent the place, too.

II. Go to a place with a relaxing ambiance.

This de-stressor gives a long-lasting relief. Once you found a place where you can relax and forget about all your anxieties, go here anytime, anywhere when stress hits.

blossom floral spa, spa, massage, maginhawa, sauna, pamper, de-stress

Upon arriving at the location, Blossom Floral Spa exudes a dainty aura which appealed to me quite easily. A small fountain was there as a centrepiece of its mini zen garden. As I entered the establishment, I noticed that the furniture were more intricately designed when inspected closely than what I had originally thought when viewed from the outside glass walls. From the elegant curve of the chairs to the grand display of chandelier, the interior played with the feminine senses.

blossom floral spa, spa, massage, maginhawa, sauna, pamper, de-stress

blossom floral spa, spa, massage, maginhawa, sauna, pamper, de-stress

Also worth noticing were the abundance of fresh and artificial (painted and printed) flowers all over the massage center. Aside from its aesthetic purpose to make the spa more beautiful, I also thought that these blossoms actually serve as remedies for those who are suffering from mental and emotional baggage. As I once read in a scientific journal, stress was proven to be mitigated by nature. By surrounding people with beautiful creatures of the earth, the body and mind can be relaxed.

blossom floral spa, spa, massage, maginhawa, sauna, pamper, de-stress

blossom floral spa, spa, massage, maginhawa, sauna, pamper, de-stress

III. Go out with friends, family, and loved ones.

Being with someone makes us feel less isolated and alone, which will lower our anxiety level. Getting pampered with your best friend or sister is much better than doing it alone sometimes. In Blossoms Floral Spa, there is a wide array of massage and spa treatments to try together.

Some services offered:

24K Gold Body/Facial Scrub

Rose/Lavender/Green Tea Body Scrub with Petals

Thai/Maya Massage

Lanolin Whitening Body Mask

Jelly Foot

IV. Take a mental vacation.

SAUNA

When stressed, it is sometimes good to use one’s imagination and daydream. The activity is said to lower blood pressure, clear the mind, and reduce fatigue. In a spa, the best place to do this is in a sauna.

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Not all spa in Manila has a sauna. Thankfully, Blossom Floral Spa has its clients’ best interest at heart when it decided to add a sauna in its establishment. Here, a small Japanese style sauna complete with wooden timer and thermometer was built. Patrons are given a robe to wear inside the sauna and other spa premises.

V. Eat your heart out – in a healthy way.

Chewing is one great de-stressor. It releases tension from the jaw, especially to those teeth grinders. By choosing to eat, especially those sweet and carbohydrate-enriched, mood-boosting food, serotonin, the chemical responsible for the body’s calmness and relaxation, spikes up.

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Thus, it only follows that right after sweating out in the sauna, I was treated with sugar-free treats.

VI. Drink Green.

Soothing drink promotes relaxation. Perhaps it is through that reason that the biggest population in the world consumes tea. Though I am not Chinese, I also prefer tea than coffee. So, imagined my delight when a hot cup of Blossom Floral Spa signature Moringa tea was served to me after those handful of sweets. What a healthy and tasty choice!

Experience the calming effect of human touch.

MASSAGE

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With dim lights and comfortable bed, I went through a one-hour full body massage. It was with oil, but I couldn’t even get a whiff. The masseuse was well-trained and strong. In no time, I had my much needed stress buster.

VII. Surround yourself with beauty.

MANI AND PEDI

Beauty is all around us. By accepting our own appearance and noticing how special we are, we are getting relieved of tension. It also boosts our confidence.

blossom floral spa, spa, massage, maginhawa, sauna, pamper, de-stress

blossom floral spa, spa, massage, maginhawa, sauna, pamper, de-stress

Mani and pedi with Thai nail polish in blue

With my entire Blossom Floral Spa experience, I could say that it has been helpful in de-stressing and pampering me. With various ways on how to calm and relax people, I have come to realize why this massage parlor is getting all the buzz around the neighborhood. I highly recommend this to those who love themselves and value their mental and emotional health. Let’s all be stress free!

About the Spa

Blossom Floral Spa

103 Maginhawa Street, Teachers Village, Quezon City, Philippines

Website | Facebook

Mon-Sun 12 PM – 12 MN

For reservations and inquiries: 63 2 330 2291 / 63 2 330 2290

Email: blossomfloralspa@gmail.com / agora@blossomfloralspa.com

Thailand Travel Diary Day 5.2

Hello, friends! Since Day 5 seems too long, I am writing the second half of my travel diary here. To recap, I went to see the Maeklong Railway Market, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, The Grand Palace, Emerald and Lying Buddhas in the morning. After that interesting and exhausting trips, Kimchi Man and I went back to Nuovo Hotel in Khao San Road for check-out. It was time to go to Modern Bangkok.

Since we went to Thailand when there was a political turmoil between administration and opposition parties, many main roads were blocked by protesters. There were also some rumors/news of attacks. To get to our destination quick and safe, Kimchi Man decided for us to take a train.

BTS SKY TRAIN

It was my first time to ride a train in Thailand. Carrying all my luggage, I initially thought that it would be such a very inconvenient experience. I was wrong. There were escalators in the station and the security guards didn’t check our bags and frisk us. Tickets were affordable though more expensive than in Philippines. The train carts were spacious enough to accommodate even the biggest of trolleys, I must say! I also noticed that there were a lot of foreigners taking BTS, too.

Thailand, travel, Bangkok, Grand Centre Point Hotel, Terminal 21, Health Land Spa, tourist, travelblog

We came from Phaya Thai N2 and alighted at Asoke-Sukhumvit. Conveniently, our hotel was connected to the station. Excited to see my third hotel accommodation in my entire Thailand trip, I hurriedly pulled my bags toward our next destination.

GRAND CENTRE POINT HOTEL TERMINAL 21

I saw Terminal 21 Mall first. Confused, I looked at Kimchi Man with my trademark “What’s this?” facial expression. He asked a Thai guard where our hotel was, and he directed us to a space on the right side of the mall. Interestingly, we found a small, private door connecting Terminal 21 to the hotel.

Thailand, travel, Bangkok, Grand Centre Point Hotel, Terminal 21, Health Land Spa, tourist, travelblog

Grand Centre Point Hotel Terminal 21 is a luxurious hotel offering Thai hospitality with Western amenities. After going through the connecting door and down to an escalator, I was satisfied with how grand and sophisticated the main lobby was. It was huge, filled with classy chandeliers and crafty art pieces. It only took less than two minutes to settle our reservation and once done, we headed toward to see our accommodation.

Thailand, travel, Bangkok, Grand Centre Point Hotel, Terminal 21, Health Land Spa, tourist, travelblog

view from my room

Now, I can say that it was the best hotel and room that we got. Kimchi Man planned it well. We had a Grand Deluxe room, if you are curious. We had it booked via Agoda to get a cheaper rate. :)

The hotel has state-of-the-art facilities: outdoor infinity pool overlooking the buildings of Asoke; outdoor and indoor Jacuzzi, sauna, and steam bath; fully equipped gym; aerobics and yoga room; spa; restaurant; entertainment room; pond with gazebo; kid’s room; jogging track; tennis court; putting green; and mini golf driving range. Of all these, we tried the infinity pool first.

HEALTH LAND ASOKE

After swimming in the cold pool water, Kimchi Man suggested to try one of the must-dos in Thailand: get an authentic Thai massage. As a frequent tourist in the country (more than five times), he already knew where to go. In fact, I was surprised we already got a reservation. It was along Asoke road, so we only walked to go there.

Health Land Spa is a grand and luxurious massage centre with branches all over Bangkok. It is one of the best, if not the top, recommended places to get a Thai massage. Though it has its own building exclusive for spa services and impressive interior designs, Health Land offers affordable price in the same level with others.

Thailand, travel, Bangkok, Grand Centre Point Hotel, Terminal 21, Health Land Spa, tourist, travelblog

Thailand, travel, Bangkok, Grand Centre Point Hotel, Terminal 21, Health Land Spa, tourist, travelblog

We were seated for less than ten minutes when the receptionist called us. Our two therapists greeted us and had our shoes changed to slippers first before they ushered us to an elevator. A small and simple room with two thin mattresses welcomed us next. Then, we were given privacy to change in to the spa’s PJs.

We opted for a two-hour Thai massage. The therapist assigned to me was excellent. That’s the only way I could describe her. She strongly massaged my body and put more pressure to points which I feel pained before. I was punched, slapped, and kneaded like a dough, stepped on, and contorted the entire time, but I felt absolutely better after. I daresay it was the best massage I ever had! I highly recommend it!

Thailand, travel, Bangkok, Grand Centre Point Hotel, Terminal 21, Health Land Spa, tourist, travelblog

TIPS: To experience a premium yet affordable massage in a heavenly place, it is best to have a reservation as slots are usually fully-booked easily. Don’t forget to take a sip of their tea, too!

V8 DINER

Walking distance from our hotel, we chose this restaurant because 1.  It has a number of diners, and 2. Among them are tourists. We assumed that it was good. Being in a foreign country, we judged a place mostly by these two categories. Haha!

Anyway, nothing spectacular happened in this dinner except:

  1. We decided to take a break from Thai food for the night.
  2. The first slice of my pizza fell to the ground and no staff ever picked it up.
  3. I saw this sign in the restroom:

Thailand, travel, Bangkok, Grand Centre Point Hotel, Terminal 21, Health Land Spa, tourist, travelblog

How did you like the second-half of my fifth day? Do you also like massage?

***

ANNOUNCEMENT

The winners of my Aaron Hair Salon Giveaway are

Lovelyn Pagulayan

Gen-zel Habab

Congratulations! Please wait for my email on how to claim your prize.

Didn’t win? Try your chance to party with me at Club Manila East Resort with my summer giveaway. There will be three lucky winners!

Summer Blog Party

REVEALED: Things You Must (or not) Know About Me

Thank you for continuously reading Impressions of a Princess. After celebrating my second blog anniversary, I think it is only fitting that I share more about myself. To my loyal readers who have yet to meet me in person, I hope I can create an image (hopefully beautiful) with these confessions I am going to make. I trust that you won’t judge me with my eccentricities.

NERD

  • Periodic Table of Elements always amazes me.  Kimchi Man and I usually test each other by guessing the chemical names, symbols, atomic numbers, and physical samples. I sometimes dislike that being a chemical engineer, he has some advantage over our games.
  • When my driver suddenly steps on the brake, I always smile and internally say, “inertia.” Kimchi Man and I also like to discuss Physics and Newton’s Universal Law of Motion.

jamy, fashion, style, outfit, world balance, forever 21, OOTD, OOTD Philippines

  • When brought in a science museum, I talked non-stop about Earth Science and Biology that I could pass as the curator or at least a guide.
  • Until high school, I finished reading my textbooks a month after the semester began. I was a bored child.
  • I graduated with honors in university. I blame my best friend (also a cum laude) and two other friends (with distinction) for competing with me in school.

POLYGLOT WANNABE

  • Learning foreign languages is something I really like doing.

jamy, fashion, style, outfit, world balance, forever 21, OOTD, OOTD Philippines

  • I know and/or studied four Asian languages (Filipino, Japanese, Korean, and Mandarin).
  • Instead of doodling, I write nonsense words in Hangul (Korean characters).

HABITS

  • I write poems whenever I feel utterly sad.
  • I drink water first before taking medicine.
  • After locking the door, I turn the knob at least twice to check that it is indeed locked.

jamy, fashion, style, outfit, world balance, forever 21, OOTD, OOTD Philippines

  • I like re-reading books.
  • I like creating folders within folders in my computer.
  • I like cracking my knuckles.

FACTS

  • I have natural wavy hair, but had it permed a year ago.
  • I can read 100 books in a year.
  • Being a diplomat is my dream job.
  • I am scared of dogs other than my own.1969189_830650606952423_1866561478_n
  • I just have my orthodontic braces five months ago.
  • I don’t go to clubs.
  • I strongly dislike people who are late and don’t value others’ time.
  • I sometimes talk when I sleep.
  • Spaghetti is the only thing I can cook.
  • Blue is my favourite color, not pink.

1011273_830651023619048_1353778678_n

  • I am myopic, but refuse to wear my eyeglasses all the time.
  • I don’t know how to swim. Or bike.
  • I self-diagnosed myself with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
  • My colleagues look at me like I’m crazy whenever I sing along with Korean or Japanese songs
  • The first concert I attended in my whole 23 years of existence was last month.

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Think you know me?

Beanie: OASAP | Top: JAMY | Leggings: FOREVER21 | Shoes: WORLD BALANCE

ANNOUNCEMENT

The winner of Sammy Dress International Giveaway is

Veena Vinyas

Congratulations! Please wait for an email from Sammy Dress on how to claim your prize.

Get Fit this Summer with Zumba and Pure Jus

For those who know me personally, you would have noticed my natural thin frame. Until now, no matter how much I eat, my body mass index is always underweight for my age. I have tried loading myself with protein and exercising through zumba and yoga, and I hope there will be positive results soon.

Last April 1, I was invited to attend a zumbathon at Amber Ultra Lounge in Bonifacio Global City.

pure jus, zumba, zumbathon, cleanse, detox, juice, healthy, fit, exercise, purejus

Nope, it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke. As much as I like my one-hour latin-inspired, calorie-burning dance workout in Planaforma, I haven’t tried a marathon of it, which usually takes two to three hours non-stop. Since I can do an hour’s worth of energetic dancing, why not push through my limits?

SWEATING IT OUT

pure jus, zumba, zumbathon, cleanse, detox, juice, healthy, fit, exercise, purejus

Even before the workout started, I found the songs being played quite familiar. It was not surprising when both of our instructors for that night would be from Planaforma, too!

pure jus, zumba, zumbathon, cleanse, detox, juice, healthy, fit, exercise, purejus

Pink Ladies. My blogger friends and I were all wearing pink training shoes!

REVITALIZING WITH PURE JUS

In between the change of songs and after finishing a two-hour worth of sweat, I was refreshed and boosted by drinking Pure Jus. Pure Jus are 100% pure, natural, and health-giving drinks made out of fruits and vegetables.

pure jus, zumba, zumbathon, cleanse, detox, juice, healthy, fit, exercise, purejus

Each bottle contains all organic produce without preservative, filler, sugar, or water. Only pure juice. All drinks are made of a state-of-the-art cold-press juicers to retain both the nutrients and vital enzymes from all the ingredients. After being bottled and sealed, these will be delivered fresh to one’s doorstep.

DRINKING HEALTHY

pure jus, zumba, zumbathon, cleanse, detox, juice, healthy, fit, exercise, purejus

By drinking juice made out of fresh and all-natural produce, I help the process of removing toxic from my body by nourishing it with vitamins, antioxidants, enzymes, and minerals. Organic drinks also improve my immune system and charge my energy. Also, they maximize my body’s healing power, fight diseases, pump up my metabolism, and lose weight. I always feel and look revitalized after!

WHY I LIKE PURE JUS

In the event, Pure Jus emphasizes that everyone deserves and needs to be healthy. In order to do so, a choice must be made. By living a healthy lifestyle, one must not only focus on getting thin or shedding those annoying fat. Instead, staying fit, eating clean, and drinking pure will help in reaching optimal health.

pure jus, zumba, zumbathon, cleanse, detox, juice, healthy, fit, exercise, purejus

Thank you Ms Kristal Reyes of Pure Jus for accommodating us in your fun and entertaining zumba party. To those energetic Planaforma instructors, you made us all sweaty for a good cause! Most of all, a shout out to all the Pure Jus drinks which help us stay lively and energetic during the entire workout. I am looking forward to another zumbathon!

Pure Jus: WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM

To Order:

PHONE: 02 519 8095

SMS/VIBER: 63 917 8086781

ONLINE: Form here

ANNOUNCEMENT

My Summer Party Giveaway in a resort is still up! Join here

Banzai: The Great Teppanyaki Theater | SM Mall of Asia

As a person who loves Japanese cuisine, it is inherent for me to try as many restaurants as I can to find that authentic taste of Japan. Outside the Land of the Rising Sun, it is a challenge to discover where to dine in and experience gastronomic delight that is faithful to the original Japanese palate. After a lot of misses and few hits, alas, I think I finally found a gem right under my nose.

Introduction to Banzai

Claimed as the biggest teppanyaki buffet restaurant with a total area of 1200 square meters and capacity of 300 people in one sitting, Banzai: The The Great Teppanyaki Theater has started and continuously capturing the attention and appetite of locals and tourists here in the metro. Strategically situated in front of SM Mall of Asia and along the Bay Leisure Park, Seaside Boulevard, Banzai is bringing the Little Tokyo experience in the core of Metro Manila by serving almost all the most-celebrated and famous Japanese dishes.

Banzai: The Only All-authentic Japanese Buffet

How can one assure the authenticity of the taste of a foreign cuisine? Banzai prides itself by using ingredients all imported from Japan. They do not use alternative spices; the restaurant requires the use of only Japanese materials.

banzai, japanese, buffet, authentic, teppanyaki, unlimited, ramen, sushi, mall of asia, japanese food

Also, I saw that only several pieces of food were displayed on each counter. Then it hit me that I had the same strange observation when I was in Japan. As it turned out, Banzai also prepares food the Japanese way – cooked upon request without warming of dishes. That explains the limited food on display. It seems that the restaurant values quality of food over quantity – an attitude quite uncommon with their competitors these days.

banzai, japanese, buffet, food, cuisine, authentic, teppanyaki, unlimited, sushi, ramen, mall of asia

Moreover, to ensure that the dishes served are of the best quality and taste, Banzai is proud to have its two in-house Japanese chefs who train and supervise junior cooks, and prepare dishes by themselves.

banzai, japanese, buffet, authentic, teppanyaki, unlimited, ramen, sushi, mall of asia, japanese food

I was very fond of seeing those two and how I wished my Nihongo was polished so I could’ve started a conversation with them.

Banzai: The Great Japanese Buffet

Banzai is proud to have several food stations to cater almost every Japanese dishes people love – from Teppanyaki, Sushi, Sashimi and Rolls, Pizza, Takoyaki and Kaniyaki, Gohan, Noodles and Ramen, Yakitori and Grill, Tempura and Tonkatsu, Salad, to Desserts and Beverages. Each has a unique appeal and organized in such a way that is appropriate to the food being served.

banzai, japanese, buffet, authentic, teppanyaki, unlimited, ramen, sushi, mall of asia, japanese food

banzai, japanese, buffet, authentic, teppanyaki, unlimited, ramen, sushi, mall of asia, japanese food

banzai, japanese, buffet, authentic, teppanyaki, unlimited, ramen, sushi, mall of asia, japanese foodbanzai, japanese, buffet, authentic, teppanyaki, unlimited, ramen, sushi, mall of asia, japanese food

SG104838

banzai, japanese, buffet, authentic, teppanyaki, unlimited, ramen, sushi, mall of asia, japanese food

With a wide selection of food, an eat-all-you-can meal here in Banzai is totally worth every peso. Weekday lunch costs Php 699 and Php 899 for dinner. Weekends and holidays lunch and dinner charge Php 1088 per person. For a group of diners wishing to experience an authentic Japanese buffet, regular promo is also available.

Banzai: The Great Japanese Restaurant Experience

Authentic and tasty food fills the stomach, but great ambience makes an entire trip an unforgettable experience. Here at Banzai, I had the chance to have both gastronomical delight and intercultural understanding.

banzai, japanese, buffet, food, cuisine, authentic, teppanyaki, unlimited, sushi, ramen, mall of asia

Upon entering the restaurant, the interior made my jaw dropped to the floor. Or so I thought. Picture frames were located in some pillars, exuding a minimalist design typical in Japan. When I looked up, red and white Japanese hanging lanterns decorated the ceiling. I really felt I was back in Tokyo!

banzai, japanese, buffet, authentic, teppanyaki, unlimited, ramen, sushi, mall of asia, japanese food

Also, in my entire buffet experience, I freely interacted with the chefs in various food stations. When I wasn’t sure of the ingredient of a dish, I openly asked them and they were very accommodating to answer.

banzai, japanese, buffet, teppanyaki theater, authentic, cuisine, unlimited, teppanyaki, ramen, sushi

Chefs performing the great teppanyaki show

banzai, japanese, buffet, food, cuisine, authentic, teppanyaki, unlimited, sushi, ramen, mall of asia

One of the Japanese chefs, Hiroshi-san, even showed us how to cook tempura. Lucky me to end up with the plate he made!

In addition to that, Banzai also considered Filipinos’ love for taking pictures. In one corner of the establishment, a trick art gallery was settled to provide photo opportunities for guests. Moreover, diners can also borrow Japanese costumes like yukata for free and pose against the creative backdrops in the gallery.

banzai, japanese, buffet, food, cuisine, authentic, teppanyaki, unlimited, sushi, ramen, mall of asia

banzai, japanese, buffet, food, cuisine, authentic, teppanyaki, unlimited, sushi, ramen, mall of asiabanzai, japanese, buffet, food, cuisine, authentic, teppanyaki, unlimited, sushi, ramen, mall of asia

Banzai: The Great Teppanyaki Theater

Banzai is by far the best Japanese buffet restaurant I ever had outside of Japan. Not only does it have an authentic Japanese taste, but it also offers a wide array of dishes to sample with. For all the positive things I have experienced and noted in this post, let me have some suggestions for improvement:

  • Have a huge printed map or kiosk for food stations. I was given a pamphlet with a map, but I left it at my table.
  • Offer additional beverages. As a tea person, I suggest different kinds of tea.
  • Hold a tea ceremony for guests – complete with thin matcha tea (usucha), sweets (mochi), and diners in Japanese traditional clothes.

banzai, japanese, buffet, authentic, teppanyaki, unlimited, ramen, sushi, mall of asia, japanese food

Special thanks to Banzai: The Great Teppanyaki Theater Marketing and Public Relations Teams for warmly welcoming us. 

banzai, japanese, buffet, food, cuisine, authentic, teppanyaki, unlimited, sushi, ramen, mall of asia

With my fellow bloggers

Banzai, The Great Teppanyaki Theater, buffet, japanese, cuisine, unlimited, authentic, teppanyaki, ramen, sushi

To cap it off, I had a very filling and culturally entertaining trip to the best and only all-authentic Japanese buffet, Banzai: The Great Teppanyaki Theater. Can’t wait for my next visit!

Banzai: The Great Teppanyaki Theater

Building J By The Bay Leisure Park,

Seaside Boulevard, Mall of Asia complex

Pasay City

Open Monday to Sunday 10 AM ~ 9 PM

For inquiries, reservations, and corporate bookings please call 5527368 / 09177067328

Visit Banzai’s Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Do you also like Japanese food? Which is your favorite?

Blooming for Spring | SheInside

A breath of fresh air always follows a dry, frigid winter. After everything has been covered in white and snow, green is starting to sprout everywhere. With the warmer weather and bloom of colorful flowers, it couldn’t be denied any longer that spring has arrived.

One of the best things most people look forward to in this season is the cherry blossom viewing. All over the globe, several countries have the fortune of witnessing these magnificent trees burst forth into blossom. From the United States of America, to Korea and Japan, these trees make spring worth waiting for. Festivals are even made to celebrate this wonderful gift from nature.

HANAMI

Spring is the most glorious time to visit the land of the rising sun, Japan. Hanami is a Japanese word which literally means “flower viewing”, but which generally indicates cherry blossom viewing. From March to May, local and foreign tourists alike travel to all over the country and take part in Hanami festivals. During these celebrations, people marveled at the beauty of sakura or cherry blossoms by usually having a picnic under the trees. They bring home-cooked meals, do barbeque, and drink sake or rice wine.

sakura, cherry blossoms, hanami, japan, spring,

[credits to owner]

Shimmering blossoms of Japanese most popular tree make everyone gather each year in parks, gardens, and temples to herald the coming of another spring and rebirth. Tea ceremonies held under the trees are also popular for locals and tourists as well. A lot of presentations of arts can be watched nearby.

SPRING OUTFIT

Philippines is a tropical country with only two seasons – wet and dry. However, it did not stop Filipinos in adoring spring and its flowers. When I was in Japan few years ago, I had my first spring season and what a wonderful experience it was! Everything was vibrant and colorful, fresh, and youthful. Even people are smiling and with a happy disposition. How I wish it is spring every time!

sheinside, dress, floral, spring, fashion, style, gongjumonica, ootd, yellow

“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.” 

- William Shakespeare

To go with the season, I ordered this yellow floral polka dot lapel chiffon dress from SheInside. For everyone’s information, SheInside is one of the first online fashion stores helping those fashion conscious to look more chic and fabulous. Offering the latest trend in formal and street style fashion, the shop has been home to thousands of customers worldwide.

sheinside_5

sheinside, dress, floral, spring, fashion, style, gongjumonica, ootd, yellow

“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.”

- Pablo Neruda

I certainly love the print of this dress. Yellow always reminds me of spring and wearing something in this color makes me particularly cheerful. The material used is also comfortable to wear. I got the smallest size, but the sleeves are still big and long for me. I know I am just too small. :)

sheinside, dress, floral, spring, fashion, style, gongjumonica, ootd, yellow

“Life stands before me like an eternal spring with new and brilliant clothes.”

- Carl Friedrich Gauss

With the sun brilliantly shining above the earth, I admired the beauty nature has provided us. Although my country doesn’t have four seasons and cherry blossoms, I am glad to be one of the sunny and cheery flowers for today.

sheinside, dress, floral, spring, fashion, style, gongjumonica, ootd, yellow

Do you also look forward to Spring? Which season do you like the most?

***

Dress: SheInside | Shoes: SM Parisian and Accessories | Hair and Makeup: Angel | Photography: Ismael Philip Binos

ANNOUNCEMENT

It is finally April. My March Second Blog Anniversary Giveaway Series is all out. Please take your time and join three of my gifts to you.

Sammy Dress Fashion Giveaway: Win $30 worth of clothes

[1 winner; ends on April 4]

Aaron Hair Salon Giveaway: Win a Korean digital perm or full hair color treatment

[2 winners, ends on April 5]

Blogger Summer Party at Club Manila East

[3 winners of 2 invites each, ends on April 21]

Yoshinoya Philippines Re-opens at SM MOA

yoshinoya philippines, grand reopening, SM MOA, mall of asia, Japanese

Last March 26, Yoshinoya Philippines had its grand branch re-opening at SM Mall of Asia. Newly renovated with a larger area, the restaurant prides itself with its minimalist yet colorful interior design. To grace the event, Yoshinoya Century Pacific Incorporated president, Mr. Timothy James Yang, led the store’s blessing and ribbon cutting.

yoshinoya philippines, grand reopening, SM MOA, mall of asia, Japanese

yoshinoya philippines, grand reopening, SM MOA, mall of asia, Japanese

Special guests from the Japanese Embassy were also present to support the promotion of their culture promotion.

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I missed reading these!

They also gave out a huge bag full of Japanese magazines, songs, and even calendars.

As a previous student of Nihongo, I marvelled how I could still read the characters and understand what they meant.

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Of course, Filipinos didn’t let this opportunity to showcase their love for Japanese anime and manga pass. Several cosplayers dressed in their best costumes were lively entertaining guests and customers alike. They were all in character and even conversed in a Japanese sentence or two.

For lunch, guests, media, and bloggers were all served with Yoshinoya’s signature beef bowl, tiramisu, and red iced tea. I immediately stuffed my hungry stomach with all of these!

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yoshinoya philippines, grand reopening, SM MOA, mall of asia, Japanese

Aside from getting filled with my favorite foreign cuisine, I also got the chance to meet new blogger friends. It was amazing that we were interacting with each other online even before we personally met! No wonder we felt like long-time besties already! We immortalized the moment by availing the unlimited photo booth service at the restaurant.

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yoshinoya, philippines, mall of asia, grand reopening, japanese, restaurant, gyudon, beef bowl

Yoshinoya Philippines Activities

Yoshinoya 4th Gyudon Eating Contest

Eat all you can in five minutes

Finals on June 14

The grand winner will get a free roundtrip plane ticket to Japan

Yoshikido Summer Workshop

For ages 4-10

Classes from April 22 to 26, and April 29 to May 2

Registration fee of Php 800 inclusive of uniform, meals, and certificate of graduation

Yoshinoya Philippines Facebook Page

***

On the same day, I uploaded a photo of the beef bowl I ate for lunch at Yoshinoya, and my Japanese host father commented, “Oh, I like Yoshinoya-gyudon. I often eat it. (^^”

yoshinoya

I was a student diplomat in Japan four years ago and had a wonderful opportunity to stay with a Japanese family. Since then, my foster dad and I kept in touch.

Do you like Japanese food? What’s your favorite dish?

Blogger Summer Party at Club Manila East

It is officially summer! Here in the Philippines, that is. Just yesterday, the city went up to 34 degrees Celsius in actual temperature, with real feel of 38. Living in a tropical country could be paradise if one is in the beach, but residing here in the city could prove to be sometimes hellish. As Mr. Sun is starting to warm-up in its purpose of providing heat to everyone, I expect that Manila would experience hotter days to come.

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To bear the heat, Filipinos have various ways of cooling off. For those who like to eat, there is a wide array of cold desserts to choose from. For people staying indoors, usage of air-conditioner 24/7 seems a necessity. For others who want to hangout, a stroll in a mall would be enough. For most people, a trip to a beach or water resort would be the best.

GETTING COOL THIS SUMMER

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Let’s admit it. Even before the summer season, we were already planning our next holiday vacation. Something with water would be one of our criteria in considering a place to stay. May it be a beach, lake, river, or pool resort, we simply want to be near somewhere refreshing. We want to feel the cooling sensation whenever our warm skin touches the water and that feeling of freshness whenever we drink some.

To end my second blog anniversary giveaway series, I am happy to announce that I will be hosting a Blogger Summer Party this April. To know the details, please read on.

THE GIVEAWAY

 

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Blogger Summer Party at CME with me!

This summer, Impressions of a Princess will be holding a Blogger Summer Party at Club Manila East Resort at Taytay, Rizal. THREE lucky winners will get a chance to go and bring ONE of their friends with them in my first ever meet-and-greet. To show my appreciation to all my readers and followers who are continuously supporting my blog for the past two years, I am going to host a swimming party for those who will win!

Are you excited for my summer party? Let me tease you more with these photos from Club Manila East Resort!

Club Manila East, summer, resort, vacation, holiday, ocean waves, surfing, zipline, kayak, travel, giveaway

Club Manila East, summer, resort, vacation, holiday, ocean waves, surfing, zipline, kayak, travel, giveawayClub Manila East, summer, resort, vacation, holiday, ocean waves, surfing, zipline, kayak, travel, giveaway

Club Manila East, summer, resort, vacation, holiday, ocean waves, surfing, zipline, kayak, travel, giveaway

Note: To read a review of Club Manila East, visit my post here.

To join, simply go to the Rafflecopter widget below. The more tasks you do, the higher chances of winning. This giveaway will last only for two weeks and the winner will be announced here and in my other social media accounts.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

REMINDER: Please be honest with all your entries in this giveaway. All mandatory tasks are needed to be completed to be an eligible winner. I do verify entries. :)

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To my dear readers, I hope to see you in my Blogger Summer Party this April. Join and share this giveaway among your friends, too. Let’s swim and have fun playing CME’s water activities!

Are you feeling the summer heat already? What are your vacation plans?

Thailand Travel Diary: Day 5

I still can’t believe that I am diligent enough to write my entire Thailand trip. After a visit to Ayutthaya, the Ancient City, and a romantic dinner cruise along Chao Phraya, let’s continue re-visiting my adventures in Bangkok on my fifth day.

As mentioned in Travel Diary Day 4, Kimchi Man and I went to a Korean travel agency to book us some slots in tour groups. For today, we availed the “Floating Market Tour” because he knew this was included in my bucket list. As always, I am touched by his thoughtfulness.

MAEKLONG RAILWAY MARKET

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The tour guide told us that the floating market would be few hours away from Khao San Road, so I was surprised when our van took an abrupt stop nowhere near a river. He guided us towards a railway, which actually reminded me of one in the Philippines – it has vendors selling various produce. I initially thought we were brought here to do some local shopping, so I walked along the railway and looked what Thais usually have in their market.

Ever the knowledgeable tourist, Kimchi Man informed me that it was no ordinary market for it lies along an active railroad. Few minutes later, I correctly heard alarm clocks going off, and soon, the unmistakable horn of an approaching train. What happened next was both amazing and terrifying.

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Vendors scrambled around to pull back their baskets of goods and undo their shops’ awnings. Customers hurried up to find a safe place far from the rail, while excited tourists prepared their cameras.

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The train then appeared from the curve and proceeded chugging down the entire stretch of the market, brushing stalls few inches away.

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As soon as the last part of the train rolled through, vendors quickly unfolded their stall umbrellas, and like magic, the market was active again like nothing had happened.

TIPS: The Maeklong railway is famous for its one of the largest seafood markets in the country, more commonly known as the “Umbrella Pulldown Market”. It was fun to witness such bizarre yet dangerous display, but just stay on the safe side of the railroad.

DAMNOEN SADUAK FLOATING MARKET

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I have watched several movies with scenes filmed at this world-famous part of Thailand. After that, I started wishing that one day, I would be able to try shopping at the largest and most popular floating market in the country, Damnoen Saduak. Now, I was very happy to scratch one more item in my bucket list!

At first, Kimchi Man and I walked around the area and took some obligatory tourist photos. I noticed that aside from vendors selling in boats, a lot of stores were already situated on either side of the canal. From souvenirs, to fruits, vegetables, and local cuisines, we found a wide array of things to buy.

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Finally, we decided to take a boat and have a tour around the river market. I immediately found the humor in our boat’s name as soon as I sat – the inscription said “F1”. Like other boat “drivers”, ours was a woman whose name I couldn’t correctly pronounce and recall now. She was wearing a plain blue long-sleeve shirt, and I found it amusing that both Kimchi Man and I had the same color.

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The smurfs

Like the photos I saw in Google, boats were full of colourful fruits and vegetables; some were even dedicated to only one fruit, e.g., banana boat. Pun intended. I also saw some selling Pad Thai and other dishes.

damnoen saduak, floating market, thailand, bangkok, travel, tour, tourist, itinerary, blogger

Getting hungry, I glanced at Kimchi Man and pointed at a lady selling delicious-looking snacks. We passed her boat since our boatwoman was paddling fast. However, it was amusing when the lady vendor paddled to us and offered her services.

damnoen saduak, floating market, thailand, bangkok, travel, tour, tourist, itinerary, blogger

There were a lot of things to buy, but we ended up loading ourselves only with fruits. I was happy to personally shop through the busy floating market, but wasn’t able to take a lot of photos while riding the boat. The canal also got congested especially in the shaded area, so the traffic made it impossible for me to get good pictures to share. Nevertheless, the experience was special and fun. I loved that we had our own private boat, unlike others who shared in a group.

TIPS: Although it will give you a traditional market experience, Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is becoming tourist-oriented as of late. Prices are also higher compared to outdoor markets. If you don’t like to bring a heavy camera, just remember to prepare a waterproof case or sling bag for your camera phone. I didn’t think of this, so I didn’t take much photos in fear of my S4 swimming in Thailand waters.

THE GRAND PALACE

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It was after lunch when we were dropped off at Khao San Road. Though a bit tired, we proceeded with our next stop for the day – the must-see Grand Palace.

the grand palace, bangkok, thailand, travel, tourist, tour, itinerary, blogger

Bangkok’s most famous landmark, The Grand Palace is a complex of impressive buildings laid very similar to that in Ayutthaya. With its imposing and striking interior, ceremonial occasions like coronations are done within these walls.

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Your Majetsy

the grand palace, bangkok, thailand, travel, tourist, tour, itinerary, blogger

Kimchi Man and I are so tiny in this picture!

Any Bangkok or Thailand trip will not be complete without a tour in The Grand Palace. Make sure to take a lot of photos!

WAT PHRA KAEW

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Within the grounds of the Grand Palace lies Thailand’s most important Buddhist temple, the Wat Phra Kaew. Enshrining the highly revered Buddha image carved from a single block of Jade, this temple is also one of the attractions in the palace both for tourists and locals alike.

wat phra kaew, emeral buddha, the grand palace, bangkok, thailand, travel, tourist, tour, itinerary, blogger

TIPS: With the King’s Palace and Bangkok’s most sacred site, it also follows that there is a strict dress code when visiting here. Visitors must be properly and modesty dressed – no tank tops, bare shoulders, see-through clothes, sandals and flip-flops. If you came unprepared, there is a booth near the entrance where you can rent clothes.

WAT PHO

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Directly adjacent to the Grand Palace, Kimchi Man and I walked under the scorching heat of the sun to Wat Pho. The temple enshrines the largest single Buddha image about 160 feet long, The Reclining Buddha.

The site was originally a center of education for traditional Thai medicine and it was here where Thai massage was born. After the image in Wat Phra Si Sanphet (see TD Day 4) in Ayutthaya was destroyed, King Rama I built a temple to enlarge and restored a reclining Buddha statue.

wat pho, reclining buddha, bangkok, thailand, travel, tourist, tour, itinerary, blogger

wat pho, reclining buddha, bangkok, thailand, travel, tourist, tour, itinerary, blogger

wat pho, reclining buddha, bangkok, thailand, travel, tourist, tour, itinerary, blogger

Being the largest and oldest wat in Bangkok, Wat Pho is home to more than one thousand Buddha images. Yes, I have seen enough Buddhas here to last a lifetime.

wat pho, reclining buddha, bangkok, thailand, travel, tourist, tour, itinerary, blogger

After seeing all these marvelous Thai architecture, Kimchi Man and I ended our tour rich in knowledge of the country’s history and beliefs. Having few hours to spare before sunset, we hailed down a cab to go back to Nouvo Hotel and checked out.

Oh no, is this the end of my Thailand trip? Stay tuned to know more!

Have you tried shopping in a floating market? Visited religious sites different from your beliefs?

Of Bows and Arrows | Kodanda Archery Range

If you have read the entire Hunger Games trilogy or have enjoyed the first two instalments of the series in the big screen, then you most probably have also envied Katniss Everdeen’s skill in archery. Before that, I had a secret crush on Legolas from The Lord of the Rings, and fancied being Princess Merida in Brave. Recently, I even imagined myself as Artemisia, Artemisia I of Caria, in 300 Rise of an Empire. It seems like my fascination for bows and arrows go way back and it is only high time for me to quench this thirst.

WHY ARCHERY

People who know me can testify that I am not a sporty person. Far from it. However, I have always wanted to play archery. Aside from the thrill of holding a bow (and the instinct to kill, haha), this can also be a form of exercise, albeit not as strenuous as others. Still, it can strengthen one’s arms, shoulders, chest, and back. With constant practice, it can develop upper body strength and improve posture and balance.

I also like that this exercise can help people focus. With enough mind into the game, players can easily hit the target. More importantly, I observe that this can also be a stress-reliever. If others want to have an outlet for stress and frustration, I think archery is a good way to let off some steam.

KODANDA ARCHERY RANGE

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In the Philippines, archery is yet to be a common sport for everyone. It isn’t easy to find someone who plays and even harder to know a location where one can practice. Last week, I was lucky enough to have found a hidden treasure right in the heart of the metro.

Kodanda Archery Range is a seven-lane, fully air-conditioned range located in Makati Cinema Square, Makati. With Kodanda being a Sanskrit word for “he who has a bow”, a companion of Rama as he overcomes evil in Ramayana epic, the range prides itself as the only indoor (versus open air) and open to the public (versus membership required) venue in Makati for archery enthusiasts.

I LOVE KODANDA

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with my namesake, Monica twin

Why do I love Kodanda Archery Range?

  • Kodanda is a venue for those interested to try archery and who also don’t want to spend a fortune for playing.
  • Kids as young as seven years old can take beginner’s lessons
  • Has the most affordable hourly rate and already includes range rental, international-standard equipment and protective gear usage, and archery basics coaching from expert instructors.
  • The staff are all friendly and attentive
  • The range is accessible from people living in Manila.

DO’S AND DON’TS

Done with my first archery lesson, here are some tips I would like to share with you, so you prepare when you take your classes.

  • Do follow your coach’s instructions – he/she is always right. I like that this sport doesn’t need any athletic level, so with practice, I can easily gain mastery in archery.

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Left arm stretched, right arm a bit higher angled, strings near the jaw, left eye closed.

  • Do stretch first. My upper left arm was sore after practice.
  • Do bring your eyeglasses, especially if you are myopic like me. I couldn’t see the yellow, red, and black circles in my target paper when I wasn’t wearing my specs.
  • Do pick up your arrows only after all the players are done. Otherwise, you might end up with an arrow sticking to your head.
  • Don’t go to the archery range intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Common sense.
  • Don’t walk in front of other archers while they are playing. Or you might be the next target.
  • Don’t point your bow at people. Unless you really want to hit them with your arrow. Kidding.

 

WHAT TO WEAR

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It is a requirement to wear a pair of rubber shoes or sneakers when you go to Kodanda. All other safety gear such as arm guard, finger tab, chest guard, quiver, and recurve bow will all be provided.

PUBLISHED RATES / LESSONS OFFERED

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Rates

Hourly rate is Php 550/person inclusive of the usage of international-standard equipment and safety gear, as well as basic archery coaching by expert teachers.

Php 200 range rental per person for those who already have their own gear.

Additional Php 30 if archers want to take home the target paper for souvenir.

Lessons

Php 6000 for ten one-hour sessions. Students will be issued a Certificate of Completion after the classes. Basic and advanced archery will be taught by Syd Fraginal (Philippine SEA Games record holder), Ronalyn Alvarez (Palarong Pambansa winner), and Ronna May Alvarez (former member of developmental team of the Philippines).

REMEMBER: It only takes a lot of practice! I don’t have any athletic bone in my body, but look what I managed to accomplish on my first class. Not bad, right?

kodanda, kodanda archery range, ilovekodanda, archery, Philippines, makati, range, makati cinema square

Are you interested to be an archer? For reservation and further inquiry, you may reach Kodanda Archery Range through:

Contact numbers: 02) 621.9109 and (0932) 843.6614 – look for May
Operating hours: 10:30 AM to 7:30 PM, Mondays to Sundays
Email: kodandaarchery@gmail.com
Facebook page: Kodanda Archery Range

 

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Who wants to shoot some arrows? I hope we can play together! If you want to try out archery, I highly recommend that you go over Kodanda Archery Range and see for yourself. Let them know I sent you!

***

ANNOUNCEMENT

There are few more days left before the end of my giveaways. Please join!

Sammy Dress Fashion Giveaway

Aaron Hair Salon Giveaway

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