Marzon Hotel in Kalibo

November 26th, 2014





Oops, I miss featuring travel stories here – hope you are not bored from of all the events posts . Sorry, this has been my day job and events are pretty part of this gig. So here I’m back, looking at albums in my iPhoto, checking for stories that might pique your interest.

Would you like to know about Marzon Hotel?


I choose to write about this hotel in Kalibo in case you’ll be in town for the holidays. First, a disclaimer – this is not a paid post.

So far, this property is good enough for me especially for my kids.





There is a new hotel just across Marzon, but I need to stay there before featuring it here.

So let’s start…



For a small town, it is easy to reach Marzon Hotel. It is still a work in progress, a little bit of eyesore here and there, but I can see improvement like they have a elevator now – a must since they are raising up their building – and a new restaurant at the back of the main building.

This hotel in Kalibo has two buildings, the rooms in the main building are great. My eldest likes it there because of the small veranda but I prefer a more open outdoor space since I have kids who love to run around.

We opted to stay at the smaller building, for the boys to play while I work outside.



Yes, I can’t show you room photos – I’ll try to check my other album for room photos from our previous stays. Blogger parents can surely understand how hard it is to take photos of hotel rooms with your kids. They just attack the bed, while you are tired from the trip. I tried to “fix” it but, my boys have trashed it already.

Well the rooms at Marzon are neat and visually fine. Amenities are simple and basic but I love the mahogany touches of the rooms. Still, way better compared to other hotels in Kalibo. And yes, Wi-Fi signal is stable.

Parents should check the rooms for hyper active kids. Just be warned not to disturb other guests :)




Another reason to stay at Marzon Hotel is the pool – according to my eldest son. Best to swim early morning to avoid the crowd. Thanks to the lifeguard for lending Liam these cutie puppy floaters.



Marzon’s pool. You can see the new restaurant as well.



For the food, nothing superb especially for the breakfast but Cafe Latte ( same company) makes up for the not-so-impressive meals at their in-house diner. Just walk from the hotel and enjoy great food from Latte.

So that’s it. Hope you find this post useful.

Till next time!



Related posts..

Piña Village in Kalibo

Sailo Cuisine: Where to Eat in Kalibo

5 Things to Do in the Town of Tangalan, Aklan


Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in Iloilo..finally!

November 14th, 2014


At long last, we don’t have to wait for pasalubongs to enjoy melt-in-your-mouth doughnuts from Krispy Kreme. Formally annouced via press conference today, Krispy Kreme in Iloilo will open on November 30 – the 59th store in the Philippines.

The world’s favorite doughnut brand was founded by Veron Rudolph in 1937 in North Carolina with his “Krispy Kreme Original Glazed” doughnut. Until today, the glaze doughnut is the top-selling variant across all KK stores.

Krispy Kreme came to the Philippines in 2006 and one of the reasons is how KK observed Filipinos bringing home boxes of Krispy Kreme as pasalubongs. With its flagship store in Bonificio High Street, KK has opened all over the country as far as Davao and Cagayan de Oro.


Ilonggos have been waiting for years to enjoy Krispy Kreme. I remember one flight back to Iloilo from Manila with my son — you can count the passengers who don’t have any KK box with them.

That familiar box…


The first store will be in SM Iloilo’s upper ground floor, just beside the main entrance.


According to Krispy Kreme, the Iloilo store will be a hotlight store, ” ..which means that once you see the hotlight sign to come on, you’re sure that you will get that melt in your mouth doughnut freshness that Krispy Kreme is known for!


And here’s an exciting promo for the opening of the Krispy Kreme in Iloilo!

We will carry the tradition of the Golden Ticket promo, giving our guests as chance to enjoy a 1-year supply of Original Glazed doughnuts and 8 oz. Signature Coffee, on us! Here’s how it works:

-GOLDEN TICKET : The first person in line on opening day gets a certificate that entitles him/her to one year supply of doughnuts and coffee.

- SILVER TICKET: The second person in line on opening day gets a certificate that entitles him/her to six months supply of doughnuts and coffee.

- BRONZE TICKET: The third person in line on opening day gets a certificate that entitles him/her to three months supply of doughnuts and coffee.

-fourth to 100th customers: The 4th and 100th customer will win one-month supply of Original Glazed Doughnuts


Imagine enjoying one dozen doughnuts every single week! Now that’s a box you  gotta share! Each customer, to get their prize must purchase at least one dozen doughnuts.

Thank you Krispy Kreme for helping me spreading the joy…

Best shared with your loved ones..

Namit guid ya!

See you at Krispy Kreme Iloilo!!


SMART Launches “Doon Po Sa Amin” for Iloilo

November 11th, 2014
doon po sa amin

Photo from Doon Po Sa Amin Facebook page


Tourism now shifted to focus on going local.  And who are the best people to promote these destinations, events, and flavors that locals themselves, right?

SMART Telecommunications have launched a very promising tourism platform called, ” Doon Po Sa Amin“.


Translated as ” At Our Place”, the program encourages everyone to be their hometown’s ambassadors for tourism.

How do you celebrate Christmas in your town? What are your local secrets? These are just some of the questions that can be answered. Local tourism from the locals.

A user-generated platform to promote food, festival, cuisine, history, and other events related to local tourism. You will be surprised that there are still more to learn and to discover in the Philippines. Do you know that there are tarsiers in Cotabato? I learned that from one of the articles in the site.

Doon Po Sa Amin (DPSA) is a project initiated by Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) under its corporate social responsibility program Kabalikat, and is aimed at encouraging teachers and students to use computer and Internet technologies to generate web-based information and educational materials about their respective communities. This project is in line with Smart’s thrust to promote information and communications technology (ICT) integration in basic education.

doon po samin

Photo from Doon Po Sa Amin Facebook page


Officially launched in Iloilo, #HelloIloilo with local press people and bloggers at Bavaria Restaurant. Speakers from local tourism were also present.



Ben Jimena of the City Tourism Office giving us what to expect for Dinagyang Festival 2015.



A very insightful night from different speakers sharing about Iloilo’s traditions and hidden gems.

Got a story to share for your hometown? Check out for articles, contests, and many more!


In Photos: Tacloban, A Year After Haiyan/Yolanda

November 4th, 2014


Less than a week to go and it will be a year after one of the world’s most painful tragedies hit Tacloban and other areas in the Philippines. I am blessed to have a friend who is working with one of the many humanitarian organizations in Tacloban. I get real time  updates especially when it comes to rebuilding the towns and survivors moving forward.

The stories I hear are of healing, hope, and gratitude. I asked my dear friend, Junalie, for some pics to share to you.

How’s Tacloban a year after Yolanda ( international name, Haiyan)?

Welcome to Tacloban
tacloban pics

Moving on with their daily lives

more tacloban pics



more tacloban pics

more tacloban pics

Rebuilding lives. Constructing school, homes, and other essential infrastructures.

more tacloban pics


Not all may know that there are still many organizations working on rehabilitating Tacloban, even foreign groups. Here’s the barracks of the Korean contingents.

more tacloban pics

more tacloban pics

Mass grave of the lives lost during Haiyan in Palo, Leyte.
more tacloban pics

more tacloban pics

It is just outside, a Catholic Church in San Joaquin, Palo, Leyte.

tacloban pics


Mass graves will become memorial sites. I hope Pope Francis will bless all mass graves during his Papal Visit this January 2015. I know he will.

tacloban pics

Let’s keep praying for the survivors and all humanitarian workers in Leyte and other places affected by Yolanda/Haiyan.

Big thanks again to my friend, Junalie for the photos.

Related articles

Images, Three Months After Yolanda

Reaching Out To Yolanda Survivors

How to Help Yolanda Survivors


Your $100 free gift from TRAVEL SET GO

October 25th, 2014


Modern travelers will always look for ways to get savings because traveling doesn’t have to cost a fortune.  Wouldn’t it be nice to stay in a luxurious hotel for less?

I would like to introduce to you, TRAVEL SET GO, a new discount site exclusively for hotels.  Members will get exclusive savings and lowest rates.

How does it work?

Savings Passport from Savings Passport on Vimeo.


It’s really simple.


Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 9.39.27 PM


Imagine hotel savings you’ll get from TRAVEL SET GO.


Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 9.47.41 PM


And for the best part….a free gift to you my dear reader!


Following my blog has a new benefit, you’re entitled to a $100 Travel Savings Gift that enables you to receive discount travel savings exclusively from Travel Set Go, a world‐class discount travel service provider.

image004       You Can Start Receiving Your Travel    Discounts Immediately!

To redeem your new travel benefits online


                                                          Enter Password: caulin99

Thank you for your support to my blog! Enjoy your new perks!




My Personalized Photo Magnets from PicStick

October 10th, 2014



With digital cameras and smartphones, most of us have gazillions of photos. Personally, I still print some because there are photos that I want to be see as I traipse around the house. Mostly baby photos of my not-a-baby-anymore kids.

Imagine how thrilled I was when asked to review an amazing product called PicStick.

PicStick is based in England and they will transform your photos into photo magnets.The best part? They ship worldwide.



 PicStick offers glossy magnetic pictures measuring 50 x 65 mm and 0.75mm thick. When they arrive, they will be in one sheet composed of 9 photo magnets. Easy to separate. I let my boys do it.

So how do you personalize your photos into beautiful PicStick photo magnets? Easy! Very easy.

You visit their site, and dowload the photos that you like.





You can get photos from your computer or from your Facebook account. Here are my photos.  I chose two travel photos and family portraits. I’m showing the price and the shipping cost – FREE.

What I like and I want to stress for this PicStick review is that they accept PayPal – very convenient for international customers.









You will receive your PicStick photo magnets as early as one day ( for UK customers). For EU countries, it will take 3-5days and for the rest of the world, it would be 5-10days.




I got mine after 14 days which, I don’t mind because hey, I live in the Philippines! :)






Someone is very happy! Don’t mind the banana please..



They are not just fridge magnets, PicStick can stick in any metallic surface.

My kids putting their photo magnets.




PicStick photo magnets are great to keep your favorite photos. Turn your favorite travel photos into something more creative. Lastly, Christmas is coming and these are great Christmas gift ideas.

Here’s more! For you my dear readers, PicStick would like to give you 25% discount. Just use this discount code ” VALCAULIN25″





Visit to enjoy your personalized photo magnets!



Other product reviews

Apps I Love

10Monkeys Math World


Bucket List: Spain

October 5th, 2014




Spain is on my bucket list’s top ten. I love history and our own Philippine history is greatly shaped with Spain. Wouldn’t it be nice to see Barcelona and Madrid?

When the invitation for my husband came to join the Philippine group for the beatification of Bishop Alvaro del Portillo, I was more than thrilled. A trip for a lifetime and worth every euro.

Got my husband’s permission to share with you some of the photos from his 9-day trip from Spain and long as he is not in the photos.

Let’s start our armchair travel with Spain’s Palacio Real de Madrid ( Royal Palace)



With the caballeros


Finest architecture


My husband said the churches are beyond beautiful..


Spanish 101



This is the Sanctuario de Torrecuidad in Aragon, northern Spain. Built by St. Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei.


Torrecuidad is in the Spanish Pyrenees with spectacular view of the largest dam in Spain of El Grando Lake.



Massive church in Zaragoza – Basilica of our Lady of Pillar


Valencia’s Cuidad de las Artes y las Ciences ( City of Arts and Sciences)


Mythical creature


and the Arganzuela Footbridge, also known as the Perrault Bridge ( after the architect who designed it, Dominique Perrault)  back in Madrid


There are more than 3,000 photos here that I still need to organize, but I think it’s enough to virtually dip our toes. Have you been to Spain? What’s the best thing about España?

Next will be photos from Rome and the Vatican. I still need to ask husband’s permission. :)

Thanks for reading!



Take Me Back to Tibiao, Antique

September 28th, 2014






While locals of Panay island and its neighbors are aware of the beautiful province of Antique, the rest of the country and the world are still unaware of this province. No doubt, an unseen destination.

Antique is a nature-lover’s destination. I recommend Antique for those who want a break from the usual grind of work and family duties, and to those who want to get out of their comfort zone. It is also the best side-trip you’ll have if you are visiting Boracay.

One of the top local spots in the province of Antique is Tibiao.

My overnight travel in Tibiao a year ago is one of the best, not just because of its scenery and attractions, but more because of my companion – my college friends.

From the island of Malalison, we ended our Antique tour in Tibiao. Very provincial and I love the way of living of the locals.

We stayed in this house. The only inn in Tibiao was fully booked when we arrived; luckily, one of the motorcycle drivers are the caretakers of this hut.




It proved to be a blessing. I find our accommodation better and we were taken cared of pretty well.

Our suite room..;)


Manang also cooked for us. The family bought supplies for us like fish and pork. Their son, Yohan was our guide and instant friend.

We arrived early in the morning and wasted no time to swim in the river. My first time. haha! Felt great! Tibiao River is famous for white-rafting but it was summer, not really good for kayaking.


After lunch, with our legs still tired from our trek in Malalison, we headed to Bugtong Bato Falls. The trek is only for 30 minutes but it was tedious for overweight people like me and hey ,we just came from our trek in Malalison!

Still it was fun. It was drizzling, but with my two friends and new-found friend, Yohan, we were laughing and having a blast.




Never miss to experience their Kawa Bath. Here is a separate post I wrote.




Like any adventure, it is best spent with people you love. Haggard looking but happy! Yohan is the abs-man. Look for him in Tibiao!




Tibiao is a good destination to expose your kids to nature. There are new activities in Tibiao; for me Tibiao is a place to just  laze around, enjoy an-hour of bathing in its spring water, and enjoy aswang stories at night!

Hope to visit Tibiao again! Have you been here? Share you story!




Related posts

Tricked to Trek Mararison Island

Golden Beach of Antique

How I Define Luxury


Finding Time to Work at Home (With Kids!)

September 20th, 2014




More and more individuals choose to work at home. It is more than just the freedom to be with your child or less commuting, but the promise of exponential wealth. Working-at-home for some is like building their own business.

No matter how sweet it may sound, there are many things that you have to think about this style of working. One of them is how to be productive while taking care of your family. It comes as an irony that majority chose to work-at-home to spend more time with their kids, yet here they are, trying to organize their schedule to actually work..and earn money!

There are many tips that you can read and to be honest, they don’t work for everyone. I have learned in the past  six years that there is no single formula on how to work. It is a struggle for me write without being disturbed by a wailing child.

I’m writing this post not just for freelancers but for stay-at-home moms to be productive. Be it for fitness, a new hobby, or socializing.

Yes, my kids are trained that when I’m upstairs facing my laptop, that means I’m working and I can’t be disturbed. However, that also means I have to expect a messy room with papers, toys and empty bottles of Yakult. Sigh!

The best way to find time to write, work at home or simply to have time for yourself is to mix the following “free” times. What I can share to you is to grab the opportunities that you can ACTUALLY work.

Write before they wake up

You often get the tip that you work after the kids go to bed. This didn’t work for me and I think it simply doesn’t. I bet you often find yourself snoozing as soon as the kids are tucked in bed. Particularly among writers, your mind needs to be well-rested to create a wonderful piece. I may still have the energy but my mind is  tired.

My solution? Wake up ahead of others! I think all moms should wake up at least an hour before everyone else to avoid the rush and to enjoy your morning coffee. I like it when I get up at three or four o’clock, enjoy my cup of joe while browsing the net, checking emails and my Twitter.

If I have an assignment, I can write them faster and the output is way better!

Work while they are at school


Obviously, this won’t do with babies. The joy in my heart when finally Liam can be dropped at his playschool without a single tear! Few hours but it is enough for me to craft an article for the magazine.

Work during weekends

This works for me. My help goes to college fulltime therefore, I do most of my writing on weekends. I don’t have to wake up early,  I can shut the door ( just like what I’m doing right now), and work.  Quality time. No interruptions.

Give them gadgets. Seriously!


Did you just raise your brow? I honestly give my kids gadgets. My kids enjoy monitored screen time and so far, it is not a battle. If they are grounded for some reason, so be it. I install educational apps for them too.

When pressed for time, I let them enjoy their games longer than they should and I tell them honestly, ” Mama is working, I’ll let you play more. Please behave. okay?“. Nuff said.

Accept worthy-of-your-time assignments

The most challenging part of my writing is when I gave birth to my second child. A new baby, a four-year-old without any help. It was struggle for me to earn money. My husband told me to stop feeling like a superwoman because I just end up frustrated. I think he is right.

I worked my way up and I don’t do the 5-article-per-day working schedule anymore. I simply can’t do it. If I can, I will be yelling at my kids and feel guilty about it.

To all freelancers, never undersell yourself. As what I emphasized in my article for Entrepreneur Magazine on freelance writing, KNOW YOUR WORTH. Click here for the article.

I only write less than 10 articles per month yet I’m earning more. Raise your rate. It makes me happier because I’m not exhausted and I have more patience with my kids.

Staying at home with kids doesn’t mean our lives must revolve around them 100%. You need to have your own time. Find new hobbies. Earn money. Meet with friends.

Especially for moms..remember this, ” A happy mom is a happy home.

Thanks for reading!!

Related posts…

Apps I love

How to Write for Magazines

Six Annoying Things to Think, Say, and Do to Freelance Writers


Another Reason to Love Davao

September 13th, 2014


How’s your weekend so far? From where I’m writing, it’s drizzling and I don’t like it.  Had a long week with two assignments, a blog advertising job ( yes!), and of course, my perpetual duty as a mother that I was hoping to get out of the house.

Unfortunately, I’m doomed to stay indoors. Well, maybe some armchair travel will elevate my drowsy spirit this Saturday.

Would you like to join  me?

I’ll take you to an island that I’m hoping to be close to where I live. Dreaming of going to the beach, images of Samal Island keep scrolling in my hazy mind.

The Garden City of Samal as it is known, is one of the reasons why everyone should visit Davao.

Take me here right now please..



We live in a country that undoubtedly has the best islands. Too many count to be honest but hey, not all of them are conveniently located. Not Samal, it is less than 15 minutes from the wonderful city of Davao.

This is my second time to visit the island yet. It still impresses me to enjoy the island without spending too much time. Left Radisson Davao at 10, took a cab with fellow bloggers to the pier and in a few minutes, the beach!

By the way, this is where we took a boat to Samal. Literally beside an oil depot, but not a sight of oil swimming in the water. Davao is very clean.


Because I’m getting older and I don’t have extra clothes, no swimming for me. I’m fine with the sight of the sea, the gentle breeze, the soft sand underneath my feet, and great good company.


If you are in Davao and you happen to be free on a morning, let us say, you’re appointment is still in the afternoon, you can absolutely get away and be back in the city in no time. With this, there is no reason to skip Samal Island whenever you’re in the city.

Till next time Samal Island! Thanks to be my fellow bloggers – Chamee, Renz, Sarah, and Glen for tagging me along!



I would like to take you back to my first Samal adventure..if you are like, here are the links

Davao Day 2 ( Samal Inland Tour)

Davao Day 3 ( Samal Island Tour)

Samal Island’s Hagimit Falls


  • Hi! I'm Valerie Caulin. Welcome to my blog!

  • Categories