My Misibis Bay Experience

I was fortunate to have been invited by my brother’s family to tag along to Misibis Bay last March 25-27 for some much-needed rest and relaxation. They got a sweet 3D/2N package from DealGrocer and needed some company. Despite the short trip and the unfriendly weather, we managed to squeeze in as many activities as we can and still made it an enjoyable experience.

The Tour

The moment we arrived in Legazpi Airport, we went on a short city tour before checking in to the resort. We went to Lignon Hill, Cagsawa Ruins, Daraga Church and a pili nut factory where we bought pasalubong. From these short stops, I got to take snapshots of the Mayon Volcano from different perspectives.

Mayon Volcano as seen from Lignon Hill
Mayon Volcano as we were walking to Cagsawa Ruins
Cagsawa Ruins
Mayon Volcano as seen from Daraga Church
Daraga Church

After all these, we proceeded to Misibis Bay. The most interesting part of the trip was the barge or mini RORO. Our van went on it to cross the river. It was my first time to experience this type of transportation. Simplistic as it may seem, it was really cool for me.

view from the RORO (those are hints of the barge/boat at the bottom)
beautiful view from our van

The Room

We were given the One-Bedroom Deluxe Suite, which thrilled my nieces to no end. The room is massive, definitely big enough for 4 adults and 2 kids. What’s most awesome is that the back door leads directly to the pool!

receiving area where two beds are all ready set up
main bedroom
obligatory peek of the bathroom
back door leading to the lagoon pool. simply awesome!

The Activities

With the package we got, we were entitled to free snorkeling, play room access and different water sports. I tried the kayaks and the pedal boat; but my favorite among these would have to be the Hobie Cat sailing. I went on it twice! Since there was a bit of rain during our stay, the winds were pretty strong… Going sailing on the Hobie Cat felt like riding a speedboat. It was a lot of fun!

the beach on a rainy, windy and cloudy day... didn't stop us from having some fun
Hobie Cat sailing
(left) view from the kayak I was riding; (right) gazebo near the snorkeling area

For the most part of our stay, we went swimming in the pool. Misibis Bay has 3 swimming pools: kiddie pool, lagoon pool and infinity pool. The lagoon pool is the one that we had most access to; and it was a long stretch that passes through a number of villas.

the infinity pool
a section of the lagoon pool
the kiddie pool

Some Tips

If you’ve just availed of any Misibis Bay deals online, here are some tips:

– Breakfast buffet usually comes with the package; but the for lunch and dinner, I would advise you to go a la carte. Your total bill would cost much cheaper. The buffet costs Php1,200++ to Php1,400++ per head; and you don’t have that many choices. You could try it at least once, though, when the selection of food is better. Also, do try to strike a deal with the restaurant. We were able to get 4 eat-all-you-can buffets for the price of 3, plus the 2 kids got to eat for free.

– Must-try dishes: We availed of the buffet during our last day. It was Japanese. I enjoyed most of the food they served up especially the rare pepper-crusted tuna sashimi (yum!). Dessert highlights would have to be the sansrival topped with almonds. From the a la carte items, the pizza and pasta are good. I also loved their laing.

– Bring your own snacks. There is no other place to get chips and snacks other than those that are in the room. My nieces easily get hungry after some swimming. It was a good thing they brought some biscuits and cookies in their backpack. Still, we ended up buying some Pringles and Oreos from the room for ourselves. However, distilled water, coffee and tea are free.

– There’s a DVD player in the room. The resort’s selection of DVDs is pretty limited, and the channel choices on cable are pretty few as well. If you feel like bringing some movies with you for some late night viewing, please do so! Personally, I regret not bringing my HDMI cable for the LCD television. It rained a couple of times during our stay; so we were sometimes stuck in the room and entertaining ourselves became a challenge.

– Try as much of the free activities as you can. Rains didn’t stop us from participating in some water sports and snorkeling. We were already there, so why not try it? It was really sad that we didn’t get to go to the Eco Park or the Sunset Cruise due to weather conditions; but for the most part, it was still a relaxing and enjoyable experience.

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“Lucky” in Hong Kong

Early this month, I went on an unplanned trip to Hong Kong for project “Lucky.” It was one of the rare times that we get to do post production abroad. In this case, we did it in PixelBox HK. I was part of the team who spent a couple of days there to finish the material from grading (color correction) to final online (final release material).

This is officially my first time to handle a project with foreign post component; and it was a good learning experience for me. I met new people and got to know what goes on when we are the ones who fly out to do post production in another country.

I’ve been to Hong Kong a number of years ago; but Disneyland wasn’t built yet. I still wasn’t able to go there this time because I’m in Hong Kong to work. We had to focus on the job at hand, which was to finish the commercial. Still, we had free time to do some roaming; and I mostly spent it either shopping or eating!

We spent most of our time in the Causeway Bay side of Hong Kong; because our hotel and the post production house is there. We stayed at Lanson Place Hotel, which was in Leighton Road.

It is a fairly new hotel, which has a very modern design and nice, plush amenities. It’s in a very good location; because we rarely needed to take a taxi or MTR to get to where we want to go. Most shopping malls and restaurants are within walking distance, which is really… really great.

the library near the reception desk & waiting area near concierge
the room which served as my home for almost a week
i gotta show the bathroom, right?

The room is not massive; but it is big enough. The beds are comfortable. The bathroom is nice. They have great housekeeping services, good service. There’s really fast Internet; but you have to pay extra.

As mentioned, our place of work was PixelBox HK. It’s a post production house located in One Hysan Avenue. Similar to local production houses, it has a lobby/receiving area and several suites for editing.

PixelBox Headquarters (do you see the awesome Nespresso machine?)
inside the online and grading suites

Like I mentioned, our free time was spent either eating or shopping. Since we spent a couple of days there, I couldn’t possibly post every single shop and restaurant that we went to. For the purpose of sharing, here are some glimpses of the stuff I ate and the places I went to… at least the ones I got to take pictures of.

West Villa. first night in HK. first xiao long bao.
El Cid. late night meal -- a pint of Hoegaarden. shrimp and paella. yummy!
Peking Garden. peking duck and... other food. 🙂
Din Tai Fung. more xiao long bao.
Din Tai Fung. pork chop rice and drunken chicken.
IKEA. i loved going around this place... though I didn't exactly buy anything.
Times Square. here, i ended up buying two pairs of shows from Onitsuka Tiger. #shoeaddict
Lan Kwai Fong. we went around this place after a full meal at Peking Garden.

I really enjoyed my trip. It was mostly for work; but I had a bit of fun on the side… shopping, dining and roaming the streets. To top it off, the weather was chilly… a big contrast from our current hot weather in Manila.

foggy morning view from the hotel room

I hope to have more opportunities to do post work abroad in the future. This was certainly a great experience.

“LUCKY”

It’s rare that I get to be part of putting together a thematic ad or a corporate ad. These are usually the bigger projects that involve a number of scenes and a whole bunch of people. But when these types of projects come around, you may get extremely stressed and harassed during production; but by the time the final material gets aired, you feel really good about what you’ve accomplished. When people actually talk about it online and your colleagues are buzzing about the ad, it just feels awesome.

“LUCKY” is that type of project. This material was released yesterday as “Live More with Smart.” It’s directed by Franco Marinelli, with director of photography Geoffrey Hall and production designer Adelina Leung. Production house: Straight Shooters Media, Inc. Post house: PixelBox.

There’s a lot to say about this particular production; but now, I just want to share it with you. By the way, if you’re loving the music, it’s an original composition made especially for Smart. I’m positive it will be released as a song in the near future.

Stop waiting. Start living.