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



RoRo Schedule San Carlos City to Cebu ( Toledo)

September 7th, 2014


Tracking this blog’s traffic, my post on RoRo schedule from Bacolod to Iloilo (and vice versa) is a constant “hit” among visitors.

Thus, it gave me an idea to post the schedules from San Carlos to Cebu via Toledo. I know they’ll come in handy because it took me so much time researching online for the schedule when we drove all the way to Cebu last July.




Here is the schedule for the RoRo from San Carlos to Toledo, Cebu and vice versa.



We missed the 7:30am trip during our quick trip to Cebu because from their website, it says it only serves during peak season. As of this writing, there is a 7:30am trip. I suggest you call them first for reservation and for fees for your vehicles.

Again, their website gave the wrong number. We called this number , (034) 729-8040.

If you don’t have any car, there is a fastcraft to get to your destination quicker. I took this years ago. Just in case you would like to know the schedule for fast-craft from San Carlos to Cebu, here it is



Hope you find these information useful! Have a good trip!


Related posts…

RoRo Schedule Iloilo-Bacolod

Why I love Road Trip

Road Trip to Dumaguete


Celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival at The Promenade

September 3rd, 2014


One of Iloilo’s top restaurants, Days Hotel Iloilo’s The Promenade offers a gastronomic festivity to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival or the Moon Cake Festival with lunch and dinner buffet featuring Chinese specialities as well as moon cakes.

To give you a background of this Chinese festival, you may want to read this.


Moon cakes for you to love



…as well as to share with your loved ones



Ilonggos all look forward to The Promenade’s lunch and dinner buffet menu. For this celebration, all lovers of Chinese cuisine will be in food heaven.


Yours truly got a chance to enjoy the festivity with a lunch buffet last Monday.

Let’s start this virtual food tour shall we? Let’s begin with the appetizers.




They had Shredded Meat Soup, freshly baked breads, and this delightful Golden Shrimp Balls.



Love tofu? This is a nice nibbling treat – Stuffed Bean Curd! The dragon carving adds to the over-all flair of the plate.



Dimsum lovers -steaming hot siomai. They also have siopao.



If you want something light, go for salads. The Promade has an organic salad bar, fresh from their very own, Orchard Valley Organic Farm. For this celebration, they also present Chinese Shrimp Salad


and Chinese Bean Sprout Salad


For their Station of the Week, they have Soy Chicken, White Chicken, and Chinese Roasted Pork with special sauces for you to pick.


Let’s proceed to the main dishes, but let’s not forget the rice. Feel free to choose Steam Rice or this Peking Rice. It has pineapples, squid, and mushrooms.


Four Kinds Vegetable


Stir-Fry Fish Fillet


Hoisin Chicken


Braised Pork or Hong Ma


My personal favorite at The Promenade is their dessert spread. Take a look at this from egg tarts to hal-halo!


A popular Chinese dessert, Almond Jelly.



With its sweet aroma, this Steamed Banana Cake is hard to resist.



Sweet tooth alert!


Not to be missed is the Moon Cake



Dining out with family and friends? Reserve a table at The Promenade!




Read more..

Ayana Restaurant, Sheridan Boutique Resort

7 Ilonggo Specialties You Shouldn’t Miss

Home Sweet Home, Camiña Balay nga Bato


Quick Trip to Cebu

August 31st, 2014



My iPhoto has thousands of shots waiting for me to upload and share, just like our trip last July. Yeah I know, almost two months but hope you don’t mind me sharing.

Older sister came home from Japan for a much-deserved vacation with her own family, and my mother grabbed the chance to pressure me to go home to Cebu. Pressed for both time and money, I think we pulled it off and the kids had the best of their time with their Lolopops, Mamalo and their cousins.

Coming home is a wonderful time but my husband is traumatized with the lack of taxis in Cebu that we never go without our own transportation. And that simply means …roadtrip!

From Iloilo City where we are based, we traveled all the way to Cebu. It was Iloilo-Negros Occidental-Cebu road trip for the family.


We left Iloilo at midnight and we arrived in Negros in time for sunrise. Done this road trip countless times; it was like going to school every morning. haha.

Kids were asleep throughout our Roro trip ( boat ride), perfectly waking up when we reached the verdant scenery of Don Salvador Benedicto.


Traveling during early morning is a beautiful experience. Peaceful especially when the kids are asleep. haha!

We did a few stopovers like watching Malatan-og Falls and for our 2nd breakfast, since we had a lot of time to spare before our trip from San Carlos City to Toledo, Cebu. Once in San Carlos, we grabbed antihistamine because Aki got allergy from the shrimp crackers I bought in Murcia.


The beauty of road trip is that you are not in a hurry, which is perfect for lazy people like me.  Once in Cebu, we drove via TransCentral Highway.

It was nine in the morning and it was still foggy. Lovely place. Sorry, I didn’t take photos, I was enjoying my ride.

In case you missed, we stayed at Marco Polo Plaza Cebu. Did a little work and met my friends, as well as new friends from Marco Polo.



Marco Polo Plaza is the best place to enjoy the cityscape of Cebu.


Quiet time for father and sons at the Continental Lounge


The next day was family day! Before that, this PAREF student made sure we go to church first.



It was a muggy day but we completed the Holy Mass. And off we went to my parents’ “mansion”.

Five children, our parents have 12 of now. We planned to have our family time in a resort however, the kids just wanted to go to Lolopops’ house, leaving my mother to feed us all.

Chaotic and tiring, but our parents are the happiest. The screaming and the laughter made our time together more memorable.



We didn’t go somewhere touristy except for Ayala and the Basilica, yet I have maximized our time, from our staycation in Marco Polo to our family bonding over dinner and then lunch before we went home.

A weekend trip, my boys wanted to stay longer or want to go back to Cebu right away.


Till next time Sugbu!


Related post

Staycation at Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

Marco Polo’s Sabores de España

RoRo Schedule Iloilo-Bacolod and Vice Versa


TGIF at Kusina Tsina

August 30th, 2014


One of my favorite restaurants in the city has offered a dinner buffet for their loyal diners. Kusina Tsina ( Chinese Kitchen) is well-loved by Ilonggos who want great Chinese cuisine at affordable price.

My family often comes here as much as we can. I’m a patron for the past 4 years, dining with my brood almost every Sunday, after mass.

Yesterday, yours truly was invited along with fellow bloggers for their Payday dinner buffet.


For just Php288, you can treat your family and barkada! Just want to tell you though that expect a lot of people at Kusina Tsina during their buffet. But it simply means people love it. The whole place was packed that this is the only photo I snapped for my main meal.




My sons would love the eat-all-you can dimsum. Less people that time that I was not shy to take out my bulky camera..


I love the cake, it balances the taste of the dimsum since I rarely eat them with sauce – just a sprinkle of calamansi.

I made a fool out of myself when I thought this is sapin-sapin – obviously, it doesn’t tune in with Chinese cooking. Turns out this is jelly. Yummy. I love anything with ube.

Blogger friends and I left Kusina Tsina at quarter to eight and there were more people pouring in. I really didn’t mind the crowd, the food was just great and affordable. Next time, I will reserve a seat that is away from the “traffic”, somewhere a little bit tucked.

So we met other bloggers who were just having their dinner at Wawa Heritage Restaurant. I haven’t been to this restaurant with a flamboyant impression on me. So let’s give it a try.

We only ordered their guyabano juice and turon. More on hanging out and enjoying chill-out Fridays.

The interior is nice. I was told it is best to come here at 4-5pm and stay till night but not during the day when the sun is blazing.

Nice right?



I didn’t get any superb food review for WaWa but I’m thinking of bringing the husband here and review this restaurant.



So that was my Friday night. I love spending time with fellow bloggers. No mommy talks and more lessons on blogging. A quick break from my mommy routine.

How was your Friday? Hope you had a good one.

Thanks for reading!



Related posts..

Repackaging Kusina Tsina

7 Ilonggo Specialties you Shouldn’t Miss

Old Mansions in Iloilo City


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

  • Categories