this is about family and its ups and downs, living, and everything about life from a working mom's perspective.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Punta Fuego "Getaway"

I was recently invited to be a speaker to a group of government employees about a legal matter.  The venue? Punta Fuego at Nasugbu, Batangas!

I have not been to Punta Fuego and I was looking forward to the place, erm,  the workshop pala. Hehehehe.

Anyways, I was surprised na parang dulo na ng Pilipinas eh wala pa rin kaming nakikitang Punta Fuego. It's about an hour to an hour and a half's drive from Tagaytay.  In the middle of nowhere, there's a quaint arrow on the left side pointing you to Punta Fuego.

I won't talk about the seminar... I prefer talking about the place. hehehe.

We got lost there for 15 minutes or so, because there were not enough signs to the clubhouse.  Halos lahat ng bahay sa dulo ng mga cove eh akala namin clubhouse dahil sa laki. hahahahah! Puro false alarm.

Map of Punta Fuego

First note: There was lack of signages in the place. If it's your first time, you wouldn't notice the way to the clubhouse since from the entrance, it's immediately to the right but since it's blocked by some plantation, and it's below the level of the road, you would really miss it.

Cleaning time at the infinity pool.  See that white spot
at the upper left portion of the pic? That's where we got lost.
And yep, it's still part of Punta Fuego.
Second note: The receptionists weren't too friendly.

So trabaho muna, we held the seminar in one of the conference rooms there.

Third note: Mainit, the airconditioning is poor, and it's maingay too.  The sound system was okay. As regards free-flowing coffee, pwede na... The water was not refilled as often as one would like it and the dispenser was dripping.

Fourth note:  The food.
We dined at the San Diego Restaurant at the lower level of the Clubhouse. Our sweat poured like buckets when we saw the menu.  ANG MAHAL!

There was no beef tapa at that time, so I didn't order this.

Mas mahal siguro ang Japanese rice kaya mas mahal ng P50.00

One egg is  P80.00! Isang tray na yung eh!

This is not buffet, mind you.

My New York Breakfast

With 2 pcs of danish pastry, plain croissant, bread and jams

The bacon is too oily but I had to eat.

With a serving of fruit
Another note:

While waiting for our food, nagpicture-picture muna kami. And sadly, our coffee was served while we were still outside.  We went back to cold brewed coffee.  The servers did not offer a refill, nor did they offer to replace the cold water.

Ciel of Happy Blue Thoughts who invited me to be the speaker.
Thank you Ciel!
But I like the names of the Kiddie Meals.  Very kiddie.  :)

My verdict: The place is very intimidating.  The housekeeping personnel are nice though and friendly.  But the receptionists were not.  Even the waiters were not.  It's not too friendly a place for ordinary people like me.  Maybe it's just not my world.  I don't intend to go back there unless someone else is paying for it and it's a business trip.  I definitely wouldn't bring my family here.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Of Giveaways and Freebies

I love contests!

Ever since I was a kid, I've been joining contests - Spelling bee, Quiz bee, Declamation Contests, Singing Contests and now, the latest fab, online contests.

I admit, I have won a lot of prizes recently.  I think the two most expensive prizes I got was the Pevonia Combination Skin that I won from Kumiko Mae (Aus$ 115.00), the Restorative Line of Celeteque from Shen (almost P4,000.00).
My expensive Pevonia from Kumiko Mae

Winning really feels great, especially if you've worked hard for it. Oh yes, it doesn't mean that just because I win from time to time is that I'm lucky. Luck has some part in it, sometimes. Oftentimes, what counts is the entry.  I usually win when the the contest requires something to write about - like experience, expectation, stories, etc.

Wouldn't you be happy with this: a complete line
of Celeteque Products?
Believe me, not all prizes are so easy to get.  I spend time and effort joining giveaways.  For example, searching for the latest giveaways, reading the fine print in the mechanics, coming up with concepts and writing the entire entry all take a looooot of effort.  Oftentimes, the prizes are amazing.  There are some prizes, that honestly, are not so amazing, but it's the feeling of having won that counts.  The prize only comes second.

I was even called "serial joiner" by a blogger who I personally met.  "Joke lang" daw. Pero may laman diba?Deadma lang ako.  She even commented na ang dami ko naman daw oras sumali.  So what diba? I like joining eh. Why hold a grudge against me for just wanting to win?

Anyways, my favorite favorite prize is what I won from Nature Valley.  I won two all-you-can-ride passes at Fun Ranch, two mini golf tickets, two dragon coaster tickets, a shirt, six pieces of their luncheon meat and P500.00 gift certificate at the Big Red Barn for our food. Ang saya diba, pati pagkain, naisip nilang ibigay sa amin. Yan ang bongga!

My favorite prize from Valley Farm

But, one thing I am not crazy about is picking up prizes. Oh I understand that when prizes are a bit bulky, meeting up to get it is no problem at all. I once won in a contest a tub of hair cream, and I was supposed to pick it up in the middle of Mandaluyong.  It was written in the fine print that prizes will be picked up in Mandaluyong.  Since I didn't have the time, nor do I have any inkling where Mandaluyong is in the map, I contacted the sponsor and asked if I could just pay for the shipping and have it shipped. Good thing they said yes.  But the problem was, I couldn't find a courier that would first pick up that tub of hair cream and deliver it to me and then get my payment upon delivery.  Alas, the prize was forfeited.

I picked this up since it was understandably bulky for shipping.

I won this for just playing their game 25 times
and earning a high score (effort ah!)

I also won this pack of Hopia, that cost around P150.00.  Since I didn't have the time and energy to pick it up in Mayon Ave. within a week, it was forfeited.

Recently, I joined a contest where I won a dealership in a body/beauty products that are made of organic materials plus P700-worth of their products.  I was told that I would be contacted. After a month of waiting, I contacted the blogger and told them I have won and how I can claim my prize. She then told me to go to the dealership office in Old Balara on a Saturday.  I requested if it would be okay to go there on a weekday since it is near my office and since I am not from Metro Manila, it would be cumbersome for me to go all the way to QC when I am from the far south.  She said she'd ask.  After at least three weeks, without an answer, I sent her a message again on whether I can go to the dealership office on a weekday.  She then answered after a few days that they are both busy and that no, that her sister and I (since the sister will assist the winners in the dealership) still hadn't talked about it and that "yun na yung last talk".

I waited for their message for eons and yun lang yun?

So what was that? My prize was forfeited kasi pa-special ako? Or should I just wait for further notice? Or were they just too busy to hold contests then forget about their winners? Duh?! Nakakapikon diba?

I totally understand the "busy" part. But to make one wait for a long time only to get strips of an answer, is not really respectful of the winner at all.

Parang ako pa ba ang magmamakaawa to get my prize? No way, kanila na lang yung prize nila! Sa sobrang inis ko, I joined the dealership of the same product line in their provincial branch.  Till now, I still haven't gotten a detailed answer and I don't intend to claim it anymore.

The thing is, people like this blogger request the public to join. Mega-hype pa, kasi you have to like or follow this and that, retweet, etc., etc., for the contest to get better mileage. Tapos ayan na yung mga sumali and mga nanalo, tapos deadma lang pag nanalo? Nakakaasar diba?

I admire those who don't make it really hard for winners to get their prizes. There's Truly Rich Mom who informed me soonest that I won and asked me about my mailing address and sent my prize the same day I emailed to her that.  

Prize from Truly Rich Mom

There's Mrs. Martinez who also contacted her sponsor right away that they sent me my prize the next day I gave them my shipping address.  

Prize from Mr.s Martinez c/o Myra

There's also Carizza Chua who very willingly does meet-ups for her prizes or ships them immediately without undue delay.  

Prize from Carizza Chua

There are still some others who give due regard to their winners' time and effort (I cannot mention all of them).  Hanga ako sa inyo!!! :)

In short, lady luck may have been on my side during contest time recently (this was not so years ago, kasi super malas ako sa raffle) but for other non-raffle contests, pinaghihirapan ko yun. Effort talaga. So if you are one of those who benefited from my prizes (yes, shineshare ko ang lahat ng winnings ko sa iba para mas maraming happy), please always remember, these prizes were hard-earned, kaya enjoy our winnings!

Sana marami pang sumunod, at sana huwag na akong mahirapan sa pagclaim.