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When I was planning my trip to Hanoi last month I told myself I would splurge a bit. I wanted to relax and have a hassle-free trip. After all, it was my birthday and I felt like I was entitled to spend moolah. My options in mind were: Sofitel, Intercon, Movenpick and Lotte. I was initially leaning toward Sofitel because I could get a corporate discount, but then again I had this sudden interest in Lotte because I heard it has just opened in Hanoi (barely a year) so everything must be new.

Lotte is a popular brand in Korea; its products and services range from consumer goods to entertainment and hospitality. Lotte Hotels & Resorts is the largest hotel group in Korea. As part of expansion several branches were established across the globe, including one in Hanoi.

While I was browsing the internet though, I read in some reviews that Lotte Hotel is far from Old Quarter which is the touristy part of Hanoi. This made me hesitant for a while but I really wanted to try this hotel so bad I went on with my plan. Good thing I didn't change my mind because it's not really that far from the city. Even when people say it's far, I love the location. I love that the hotel has its supermarket and mall in the building (Lotte Mart) and an adjacent Observation Deck which is awesome. Cab fare to and from Old Quarter only costs more or less VND100,000 which is about USD5. Not bad at all.

Anyhoo, It was supposed to be a solo trip but then my friend from Manila decided to join me since it was also her birthday a few days prior to mine. We got our Deluxe room for about PHP16,000 (3 nights, without breakfast) and had a Club upgrade on our last day for only USD50+ for me and my friend (this entitles a guest to a breakfast, afternoon tea set at the lounge and a lot more). Too bad I wasn't able to enjoy the upgrade because I left for my flight just after breakfast.

Our room was on the 53rd Floor. Amazing view of the lake, isn't it? :)

I accidentally deleted the picture of the room from my phone so I'll just post a picture of me reading One More Chance in bed.. hahaha.

The most important part of a hotel room for me is the bathroom. Good thing they got state-of-the-art toilet facilities. I love it. Haha.

Lotte Hotel has great facilities too. It has 2 pools (1 outdoor and 1 indoor) but I prefer the indoor pool better. It is small but I love that it doesn't get crowded because not so much people stay here (or probably they are outside touring around Hanoi). Because our Halong Bay cruise was cancelled due to heavy rains, we just decided to stay in the hotel and relax. It was really a good move for me to book here since we couldn't go out much because of the bad weather, otherwise we could have been stuck in a crappy hotel somewhere in the Old Quarter.

Lotte Hotel has a few restaurants and bars in it. There's a grill house, a Chinese restaurant, the Lounge Sky, Tim Ho Wan and many others. But if you're craving local food there's plenty of restaurants at Lotte Mart (the adjacent mall). During our stay here, we would usually go out at night to have a drinks of two. However, when we saw this "After 6" promo of a bar called "Pharaoh's Bar & Upper" we decided to go all out. It's like an "all-you-can-drink" promotion. I think I only paid about PHP3000 (covers both of us) and I was literally picked up by my friend from the hallway (it's a long story why we didn't get back to our room together). I underestimated the power of wine (all types) so I was drinking nonstop. Sigh, it's never a good idea to mix drinks. I'm just thankful the people there are nice, honest and they don't take advantage of drunk women. My friend even told me I kept giving my credit card to the waiter when in fact I already paid them in cash. I am NEVER gonna do that again, I swear. Huhu. Anyway, this bar is located on the 63rd floor so we also got a nice view along with our bottomless wine. Haha.

What I liked best about Lotte Hotel is their service. The people are warm, polite and always put a smile on their face even when we couldn't understand each other at times. It is understandable though, because English is not their first language. I love that they are proactive. I remember when someone from the front desk called our room on our last day and told us we can check out late because we availed of their Club upgrade. Some hotels would rather wait for the guests to ask them, right?

If you ask me to rate their service - I'd give them 5 stars. That's how good they are to me. :)

Too bad it was raining everyday so we failed to check out Top of Hanoi (the rooftop bar/restaurant). I felt so bad because I was looking forward to drinking cocktails here while enjoying an awesome view that is Hanoi. Good thing we got an alternative which is the Lotte Observation Deck. It is open to anyone and not really exclusive/added privilege to Lotte Hotel guests so we had to pay for our entrance fee which is about VND130,000 (USD6) for night time. If you decide to visit during the day, the entrance fee is about a hundred dongs more (USD10+).

The Observation Deck is located on the 65th floor of the building. It had been raining all day long and the night was foggy so I wasn't able to take better pictures.

The view could have been so lovely if it weren't for the rain. I swear, it is a good spot to propose. WTF, did someone just try to propose to me?! Hahahah. Kidding! :D


So, Singapore celebrated its 50th birthday last weekend. Because it is a milestone for the city-state, the celebration was so grand that 2 days of non-working holiday were declared. It was a 4-day weekend so most of the residents (especially foreigners) went on holiday overseas. I stayed here in Singapore because I just got back from a trip so I don't have any funds to go on another anymore. Hahaha. Anyway, I wanted to witness how the celebration would be so I didn't leave. Another friend was here as well so we were together for couple of days to party with the rest of Singapore.

As mentioned, it was grand. And by that I meant simultaneous parties all over the island, free travel (by bus and train) on the National Day itself which is on the 9th of August, free entries to theme parks, free concert and carnival by the park, lucky draws and merchant discounts, fireworks every single night, an amazing aerial display by the Singapore Air Force and a looooot more.

Allow me to share with you what I did on SG50 weekend..

Watched a symphony concert at Botanic Gardens.

Watched another concert at Marina Bay Sands.

Witnessed the fireworks display on Saturday at Marina Bay Sands (they had fireworks display for consecutive days prior to the actual National Day).

Partied with my friends at a bar in Buona Vista (they had this SG50 countdown party).

The next day I went to Marina Barrage to watch the aerial display of Black Knights (Singapore Air Force). It was so awesome I didn't mind the extreme heat and my solitude (because my friend was stuck somewhere she wasn't able to reach my spot in time for the event).

This photo is not mine. I got it from the internet, taken by Lisa Hee. Just wanted to share how awesome these Black Knights are through this photo. :)

Anyway, here's a video of the aerial display..

Isn't amazing? Paulit-ulit ako noh? Hahaha.

Anyway, it was a tiring yet fun weekend..

Happy 50th birthday, Singapore!!!! :)


If there's anything in my life that I'm very thankful for, it is having awesome family and friends around. I have a loving and supportive family, parents that always give me freedom and trust to pursue my dreams and friends that always got my back. I'd also like to believe I'm a good friend, daughter, sister and aunt that's why I always get so much love on my birthday. Heheh.

A week before my birthday, we had a simple celebration here at home with a few colleagues and close friends in Singapore. I never wanted to have a party because; (1) I'm too lazy to prepare; (2) I didn't want to get drunk because it makes me feel ugly.. hahaha; (3) I have so many friends here in Singapore some might feel bad if not invited. But then again, they insisted (I guess because they love me so much hahaha) so... here are some photos from that night.

At work, we had impromptu "celebration" a day before my birthday.

And on my birthday, I went to Hanoi, Vietnam. I traveled alone, but my friend from the Philippines joined me the next day.

I was already at the gate of my flight when I saw my boarding pass. It's 1A. But I didn't pay for extra leg room.. how come they gave this to me. Hahaha... Anyway, I am keeping this because it may not happen again unless I choose this seat when I book my flight next time. I am a fan of destiny so it probably says something. Hahaha. I'd like to believe 1A meant August 1 (my birthday) and it was a gift to me by fate. Hahaha. Getting 1A was a good thing because I took a budget airline and I might have had discomfort sitting on a regular seat.

Upon arrival in Hanoi, I headed straight to the hotel. I checked in at Lotte Hotel, which is a very nice hotel (will write a separate post about it). Took a rest for a bit, explored the hotel and nearby area and had my birthday drinks... alone. Hahahah. 

While it may seem that I was lonely on my birthday, I was not. I was alone but not lonely. Because so many people remembered my day and sent their greetings. Here are my favorite ones:

My dad (upper) and my mom (lower), you see.. opposites attract noh? :D

Believe it or not, about 70% of people in my social media accounts (even family and close friends) call me Senyora, after that fictional character on Facebook and Twitter. It started with my colleague telling me she really believes I am the person behind that online character, because we have the same wavelength, wit (sila maysabi nyan ha hahaha), the way she speaks (through text, of course), our punchlines, Facebook statuses and tweets and... we're both evil (in an amusing way hahaha). 

My birthday didn't stop here... because last weekend, when I met with former flatmates in a bar, I was greeted by the band with a cake. It was already a week past my birthday and surprises were still coming in..

And of course, my funny friend Ryan's birthday greeting.. he's getting more famous each day!!!! Gosh!!!!

Happiest Birthday to me!!!!! :)


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Thank you for being my home for the past 4 years. I will forever be grateful. :)

Beautiful fireworks captured by @skylinejuicebox (Instagram)

Photo grabbed from The Republic of Singapore Air Force official Facebook page

To see the full video of the National Day fireworks that light up the Singapore skyline, please click HERE. It's amazing!!!!


On a lighter note.. please support my friend Ryan Rems Sarita on his quest to become the Funny One on Showtime (ABS-CBN). I still can't believe he's become so famous that even kids nowadays throw his signature rock and roll line. Hahaha.

And oh, he greeted me on my birthday. But I had to edit some parts because... nevermind. Hahaha. :)

Proud of you, brother! See you soon! :)

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