Munting Buhangin is my favorite beach in Nasugbu Batangas. I don’t have to ride an airplane or travel too far just to enjoy the beach with my family. It is very budget friendly with only P380 entrance fee and reasonable accommodation rates. This year, I saved up to get their Single Aircon Family Suite. The rate is P8,000 from 3PM-12PM .
WATCH: Munting Buhangin 2017 Vlog
It pays to plan your trip and get to the road as early as you can. We left our house at 5AM and promptly arrived at Munting Buhangin before 7AM. We took the Maragondon and Kaybiang Tunnel route. Since our check-in time was still at 3PM, we used the free cabanas (tent with monoblock chairs) first. It was enough to accommodate all of us, we were 7 persons in total plus our baggages.
The beach is still wonderfully the same. It was not yet officially peak season and the beach has reasonable visitors. I felt great about my decision to go to the beach before summer starts. The sand was just as before, fine and very light brown unlike in other nearby beaches. The water and sand are both very inviting to swim and play in.
For our food, there are plenty of barbecue or grill stations that you can use for free. Although to be safe, I brought my own too plus my own charcoal. Charcoal on the beach costs P50 per plastic bag, mahal!
We enjoyed the spacious Single Aircon family room, the price is reasonable and all 7 of us slept comfortably with our own beds, pillows, etc.
The linens were clean so I am very happy! The room is not very new and could use updating but for the price I paid, it met my expectations.
We have our own bathroom, grill station, balcony, etc. Pwede na.
After we check out the next day, we were able to stay in this bahay kubo from 12PM onwards for free.
Munting Buhangin remains to be my favorite beach because of affordability, location, and family friendliness. I wish I can come back this summer but I’m sure it would be busier. If you like to visit Munting Buhangin in Nasugbu Batangas, check out their website http://www.muntingbuhangin.ph and I recommend you go now versus in March, April and on weekdays if possible so you can enjoy the beach more without too many people.
It pays to enjoy your summer outing early before everyone else. To save money, I schedule beach trips on January, February when the weather is sunny and while resorts and places like Batangas are not yet crowded. My husband was the one who recommended Playa Laiya Beach Club for our first “summer” getaway.
Getting Access to Playa Laiya Beach Club
The beach club is operated by Landco, now known as Anya Hospitality Corporation. It is a private beach club exclusive to property owners and investors. The good news is, with proper coordination from their office in Makati – you can enjoy the beach club with your family too.
Peak Season : Adults (700 on weekends, 500 on weekdays)
Lean Season : Adults (560 on weekends, 400 on weekdays)
Kids 3-10 years of age get 50% off
Going to Playa Laiya Beach Club
The resort is 3 hours away from Makati, we left at 7AM and arrived 10AM. It is better to leave earlier and if you are bringing friends or family, make sure they wake up on time. My son and I woke up 3AM but we had to wait for others. We drove by private vehicle and traversed SLEX, Star Toll Way, and the towns of Rosario and San Juan. In short, we followed the directions found on Playa Laiya’s website.
Playa Laiya Resort Club House
You will arrive at a club house where the reception area is, here you will be welcomed and assisted on how to enjoy your day tour. Note that Playa Laiya is a day tour only destination, they do not have overnight facilities or accommodation. The entire club/resort is open until 6PM only.
We were given the choice of where we would like to stay during our day trip, we chose the beautiful cabanas by the beach. My son and I loved it! The beach cabana has a futon which is like a thin mattress that you can sit, lie down on, etc. At the same time, this is where we landed our bags. The cabana is very huge and spacious, one of the best I’ve seen and it is very near the beach.
Beach at Playa Laiya
My son is more excited to play on the sand versus swimming on the beach. The beach and sand is okay, the area is clean with a few vendors, with a very nice view of the surrounding mountains. If you want white sand and clear as sky water, I recommend Terrazas de Punta Fuego in Nasugbu.
For this beach trip, we are satisfied with Playa Laiya’s beach since we will go on an island hopping activity.
There are two stops for the island hoping, one is Pampang Island and the other is a snorkeling site on the water (no island, just jump off the boat).
We enjoyed the adventure going to Pampang Island which looks very interesting to have your picture taking in.
There are lots of small hermit crabs to find and you can also enjoy the beach, although this island is a very rocky one.
Me and my son Ashton enjoyed exploring the island.
Watch our Vlog: Swimming Pool at Playa Laiya Beach Club
There are many pools to choose from at this beach club, all with an infinite view of the beach. You can choose from a toddler’s, kid’s, and adult swimming pools. These are located just in front of the clubhouse area, we were able to use another cabana to rest our things in. Other guests had fun grilling their own food in their own cabanas.
Everything in the beach club is orderly and clean, so we really enjoyed our day trip to the maximum. The resort has a huge bath house, each cubicle so spacious that it has a special area to rest your dry clothes and towels in. This way, they do not get wet or soiled. First time to see this setup and it made me very happy. Usually, it’s the shower time that frustrates and stresses me but not here in Playa, Laiya.
Food at the Playa Laiya Clubhouse
Our day trip included breakfast, lunch, and PM snacks. All of them were served inside the clubhouse at the second floor. It was a very relaxing, simple, but elegant space to relax in. It’ll make you feel like you’re in a resort-hotel. We enjoyed the lunch buffet that was curated very well, it had vegetables, steamed fish, rice, korean beef, seafood kebab, and even dessert.
Relaxing, Comfortable, and Worth The Trip
Overall, Playa Laiya is such a relaxing beach club to spend one of your summer getaways in. Mommies like me will appreciate the attentive security and staff that can watch over your belongings and help while we multitask. It is not a crowded resort, maybe because it may be a little more expensive but comfort & convenience comes with a reasonable price that moms like me would be willing to pay for, especially if it means we also get to relax and enjoy while the kids and other adults are having fun!
Here, you will not have to worry about the cleanliness of facilities, the child-friendliness, and enjoy a private setting for your family to enjoy.
Do you have questions about our Playa Laiya experience? Please post them below
Thailand is one of the world’s most rewarding destinations for families. With the unparalleled natural beauty, rich culture, friendly people and high-quality amenities, Thailand is one of the best ways to explore the Far East with children. From some beauty spots not to miss, and some tips to help you have the best time possible, we’ve compiled a short guide to family holidays in the country.
Be prepared for attention
Thai people love children especially foreign children, and be prepared for your child to become a near celebrity while you’re there. You’ll find even the grumpiest looking local light up into beaming smiles when there are little ones around. While this is a great way to break the ice with the locals the attention might be too much for your children at times, especially in the busy urban area. Though by telling any friendly locals that your child is shy they should happily leave them be.
Be wary of food poisoning
The fastest way to a spoiled family trip is with a sick little one. Food poisoning is the single biggest cause of sickness when travelling abroad, but there are easy ways to avoid it. Make sure your children avoid ice as this can often be made from untreated tap water. Also be sure to avoid salads as you have no way of knowing what they were cleaned with. It is also wise to stay away from buffet-style food as well as street food, and be sure to only drink fizzy juice and water that came in a sealed bottle.
Choose Chang Mai over Bangkok
The Thai capital is one of the most beguiling cities in Asia, with its heady mix of bright lights, nightlife and Thai culture. But in truth this unique city can initially even be overpowering for adults, so your children might find its intense hustle and bustle too much. A perfect alternative is to visit the north city of Chaing Mai. With its compact size and laid back pace of life it makes an ideal alternative. It is also full of historical sites such as the famous golden temple Wat Phra That Doi Suthep to engage your children.
Visit Khao Sok Natural Park
There is no shortage of beautiful landscapes in the country, but one of the finest to visit is at the Khao Sok Natural Park. The mix of blue waters, dense greenery and stunning limestone karsts is sure to mesmerize your little ones and provide them with lifelong memories. The park is full of flora and fauna and the wildlife includes bears, tapirs, gibbons, elephants and even tigers!
Can you really enjoy summer during the rainy season? If you ask mothers like me, of course you can! In fact, doble pa ang enjoyment because of all the savings you can make. Seasoned travelers know how prices of hotel accommodations and resorts drop post summer. For families with small kids, an out of season getaway means less crowd and more space to enjoy.
In this post, I am sharing some budget finds which you have the chance to win and enjoy for your own “summer in July” experience.
Me and my son Ashton on a frugal weekend staycation
Affordable Swimwear: Pink Belter
I only buy swimwear once a year and most of them I purchase online. Why? Because they are cheaper and I find swimwear from the department store not just pricey but limited in terms of style. For a mommy like me, I look for a swimwear that’s attractive, classy, but will allow me to run after my son without any malfunction.
My cover-up and swimwear from Pink Belter looks very classy for its price
Pink Belter offers these kinds of swimwear, not just for moms but for many kinds of ladies who like to enjoy swimwear like bikinis, bandeaus, one piece suits, and versatile cover ups that you can use for other occasions. I discovered them on Instagram, placed an order for this P850 two piece Antonette bikini and it arrived a couple of days right on time for our weekend. If you want to see for yourself, you can visit Pink Belter stores at Exhibit Area, Greenhills Shopping Center, Slimmetry 2/F Fashion Village at Tiendesitas and The Good Find, 2/F Cash & Carry Mall in Makati City.
The quality of Pink Belter’s fabric is very good for its affordable price. The thickness is decent so you don’t need to worry of feeling exposed in wet or dry situations. For the bikini I purchased, Antonette bikini – the fabric hugs the body in the right places, you don’t need to worry about the top or bottom slipping off. Note that it comes in free size yet feels like it’s a custom fit.
WIN a Pink Belter Swimsuit
I like this swimsuit brand so much that I would like to share my Pink Belter experience to one lucky reader of Mommy Lace. Here’s how to WIN, just visit Pink Belter on Instagram, follow them and tell me which swimsuit you like and why via comments below. Please put PINK BELTER as the subject of your comment because there’s another giveaway below. Deadline of entries is already this Sunday, July 31.
*Note I cannot guarantee that I can get you the swimsuit of your choice, this would be based on what’s available.
Naturally Healthy Skin with Cocoline Naturals
On the same weekend getaway with my son, I treated myself to a new brand and line of all-natural products. I discovered Cocoline Naturals while shopping for my son’s vitamins at Watson’s. I am a new fan of organic and natural products but most of what I use I have to order online – until I discovered this brand, Cocoline which is easily accessible and available in many department stores and supermarket nationwide.
Since it’s my first time to try it, I got the smaller versions of the following:
Cocoline Instense Moisturising Coconut Milk Licorice Bar Soap 75g
Cocoline Instense Moisturising Coconut Milk Licorice Body wash 90ml
Cocoline Instense Moisturising Coconut Milk Licorice Body lotion 90ml
I really planned to use the body wash and lotion right after swimming. Chlorine can be very drying and harsh to the skin, using natural & nourishing products thereafter is better than using ordinary soaps. Coconut is naturally moisturizing and has antibacterial, moisturizing, and anti-fungal properties.
Cocoline Naturals Instense Moisturising Coconut Milk Licorice Body Wash
It’s difficult to choose between the bar soap and the body wash, but since I wanted to treat myself to a long peaceful bath – I chose the body wash. Note that you will need a puff or bath sponge to use the body wash otherwise, you will use more than you need. I use two coin sized body wash, squeezed on the puff and then I press it before application.
The body wash has a gentle scent of coconut oil and vanilla (but is actually licorice). Ang sarap gamitin because it will remind you of expensive coconut based spa treatments. The product is very soft and gentle on the skin and creates a good amount of lather. I really enjoyed bathing with Cocoline, it’s affordable too so it’s something I can enjoy not just on weekends but everyday.
Washing off the body wash is easy, the lather or foam slides off the body right away. I use tabo (water dipper) and lukewarm water. The skin feels soft and moisturized even after drying off with a towel. I appreciate that my skin did not feel dry after that long bath, I thought twice if I still have to apply lotion but of course I did, I am excited to try their lotion too.
Cocoline Naturals Instense Moisturising Coconut Milk Licorice Body Lotion
Right after bathing is the best time to use Cocoline’s natural body lotion. This is my NEW favorite body lotion, it is all natural, has coconut oil, and it smells like virgin coconut oil! The lotion is thick but easily spreads onto the skin. It smells very good, you feel like you just got a massage on the beach or walked right out of a spa. Ang bango talaga, I really like the natural scent of real coconut oil.
I only applied it once for the entire day, my skin did not feel dry so I think it was absorbed nicely. But because I like the smell, I have the idea of bringing this small lotion in my bag and apply it on my hands from time to time so I smell like vacation every time
Cocoline also has a Triple Whitening line with Papaya + Kojic + Vitamin C.
Cocoline Naturals Giveaway
Obviously, I enjoyed using Cocoline Naturals so much and I wish I can share and pass the lotion to all of you. For this giveaway, I am giving 3 lucky readers of Mommy Lace a chance to win 1 set of Cocoline products each, yehey! Note I am giving the bigger versions, 190ml for the body wash and lotion, 135 grams for the beauty bar.
To get the chance to win 1 of the 3 Cocoline sets, just comment below why you want to try Cocoline Naturals (also based on the above review).
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and I look forward to receiving your entry. Good luck Mommy!
If you want to travel the world with your family, one of the best saving tips is to plan for your destination several months ahead. This allows you to not only save up but take advantage of promo fares. Take note that promo fares are not just limited to local destinations and neighboring countries anymore.
For instance, Singapore Airlines and MasterCard will offer all-inclusive round trip promotional fares for destinations like Dubai, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. Here is a list for the Economy Class promo fares starting July 8:
Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong USD230
Cambodia, Myanmar USD250
Dubai, Australia USD600
India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka USD650
Europe, South Africa USD850
New Zealand, Amriaca USD950
There are also premium economy and business class fares available. The travel period is from July 8 to March 31, 2017. Now you have to also remember that some of these countries require travel VISA so book dates that give you enough time to process this requirement.
How to book promo tickets
To avail this particular promo from Singapore Airlines, you must have the following:
1. Any MasterCard credit card which you will use in paying for your tickets
2. KrisFlyer membership – you can sign up for FREE anytime at krisflyer.com
On July 8, Singapore Airlines will announce the promo code on their Facebook Page. Once you get the promo code, you can now book your promo tickets online starting July 8 at www.singaporeair.com. I recommend doing this online versus braving the Travel Madness Expo on July 8-10 at the SMX Convention Center.
I am currently saving for a trip to Australia, it’s not the cheapest destination but my sisters are all there. The promo fares being offered by Singapore Airlines are indeed very attractive. Plus, I like how their economy class is a lot more comfortable compared to other airlines. Theirs have generous leg room and an LCD screen.
I flew to Sydney once (8 hours) for work and it was a relaxing flight even for someone who is afraid to fly like me. I slept very well and when I was awake, I distracted myself with shows available in the Krisworld Flight Entertainment. I heard that some flights even have Internet connectivity for economy class.
Good luck to all of us who are saving for travel and may we all get the best deal and flight experience!
For families who want to relive and enjoy the provincial, simple, and farming life – Dewi Sri Farm is a top choice and destination in Victoria, Laguna. Dewi Sri is a true working farm in the Philippines with real productive animals, trees, and vegetation that live in synergy.
WATCH: Dewi Sri Farm Experience
On a Friday, I took my son Ashton and Ate Musay (who recently celebrated her birthday) to Dewi Sri Farm. We only availed of the day tour due to the farm’s proximity via SLEX. From Bacoor, Cavite we took Daang Hari road, SLEX, and Calamba exit to the town of Victoria, Laguna.
It helped that we started our drive at 7.30AM and we arrived at the farm around 9AM, stops included. We enjoyed the travel since we passed by Pansol where there are plenty of mini resorts and salbabidas for sale – we instantly felt the summer & adventure vibe.
Dewi Sri Farm – Things to Do
When we arrived at Dewi Sri Farm, I was surprised at how it actually was a resort. I appreciated the organized layout of the place, the cleanliness, and the really relaxing atmosphere.
Ashton and I have been to other farm attractions which were also nice but Dewi Sri combined farming with comfortable resort-type areas where we can relax, chill, and eat comfortably. Facilities were all clean and attended, it makes you want to stay for more than just a day.
Little rabbits were at the entrance of the farm and instantly attracted Ashton. There was a ready basket of greens and rabbit food on the sides for kids to offer the bunnies. No additional fees for feeding the animals, no time limit, just Ashton with other kids and the bunnies.
The rabbit area is just beside the pool pavilion, kids can visit the rabbits anytime they like i.e. when the adults are still enjoying their snacks. This helped occupy the kids and parents to relax more.
Free Range Poultry: Chickens, Peacock, Ducks, etc.
Kids will be amazed to see chickens, peacocks, ducks, and geese freely running around in their midst at the Dewi Sri Farm’s free range poultry area. They will also be given pellets that the animals really love that they will come rushing to the kids. It can get overwhelming if your child is not used to seeing animals up close so do stay by their side.
This feeding activity including the pellets are also free.
Elaine, the tour guide picks up a chicken for the kids to feel and explains how the chickens live a happy life at the farm.
Unlike other farms or zoo, the animals at Dewi Sri Farm are notably happier and are living in comfortable spacious areas. Their food are fresh greens picked at the same farm – just like these happy healthy goats that Ashton got to feed.
Small details like tied up grass being readily available for the kids make this farm experience very smooth and comfortable. Parents don’t need to fickle and just enjoy the sight of their happy kids learning.
This is the ultimate bukid experience that even I have not tried – riding a raft above the fish pond, by the pilapil and among the rice field. Because Ashton is very happy and relaxed in the previous activities, I was surprised he readily jumped onto the raft with other kids to experience this ride. This tour is one of the most stress-free I ever had, if you have a 5 year old I am sure you know what I mean!
With other kid visitors, my son pulled onto the rope to cross to the other side and back. The ride is safe and the water is just 3ft plus a resident farmer guides everyone across. This ride like everything else is free.
Vegetable & Fruit Juicing 101
When we went, Breville was promoting their juicers and offered free lessons on what juicing is all about. Juicing vegetables and fruits allows people (especially those not used to eating healthy) to get nutrients inside their body by drinking juice. It is similar to blending but without the pulp or fiber.
I was able to try one of their juicers with Ashton, it was so tempting to grab one machine (Php 9,000 up). The kids drank many of the healthy concoctions and other visiting adults also grabbed the chance to up their nutrient intake with all the juice samples.
Now this Breville juicer is on my wish list, I prefer blending but have to admit that it is challenging to ingest pulpy vegetables. Sometimes, I resort to freezing them before blending which may damage the nutrients vs. drinking them raw.
Swimming at Dewi Sri Farm
There are 2 interconnected pools at the farm, one for kids and the other for adults. My 5 year old enjoyed the safe 3 ft. pool as well as the inviting water temperature (not cold, not hot but just right). Ashton learned how to use arm floaters here at the farm, I guess all the positive activities prior to swimming increased his confidence.
I also enjoyed swimming with fellow moms who were also with their kids. I wish I can stay longer at the deeper pool but for Ashton’s safety I simply enjoyed waddling at 3ft.
After swimming, the kids enjoyed feeding golden or red tilapia at the fish pond. The feeds were free for all and the fishes jump towards the food. This was the perfect activity to calm and relax the kids down – just enough for them to focus on the next activity.
Hydroponics and Vegetable Picking
Dewi Sri Farm has a vast hydroponics farm where they plant greens like spinach. A resident farmer taught the kids what hydroponics is (growing plants in water) and how to harvest them properly. All the kids were all ears and were genuinely interested in this farming technique.
I also setup a small hydroponics in our backyard farm and learned how to improve it by listening to the stories from Dewi Sri Farm.
The best part of this activity was letting the kids pick as many spinach as they could. These were also given to us to take home. Hooray!
Then, the kids were also taught how to plant seedlings into hydroponics. The medium they are using are just cotton. I hope to involve Ashton in our own hydroponics setup at home soon.
Dewi Sri Farm Prices & Rates
The Dewi Sri Farm day tour costs P480 per person, this already includes 2 snacks and 1 lunch. I find this very reasonable especially with all the things we got to try and learn. Note that what the kids can enjoy, the adults can too.
This is our morning snack when we arrived
Lunch was kid and adult friendly, and even included dessert (not in photo, see video)
Our afternoon snack before going home
If you like you can bring your own snacks (limited to small packs of chips or biscuits) just in case.
Dewi Sri Farm is a sulit getaway that is very accessible and just near Metro Manila. There are not so many places like this that offer resort comfort with a true working farm experience. Note that before going to Dewi Sri Farm, you must make reservations and book. It’s very easy, just text or call the following numbers: (049) 5762651 or 0917 524 5155 .