Burnout-busting staycation in Our Own Little Paradise

After a busy quarter into the year 2022, many of us may already be feeling tired, drained or stressed out.

Whether from work responsibilities, family duties or tasks we take on for our communities, the sheer magnitude of headspace and efforts we devote to so many areas in our lives can lead to burnout.

A great way to fight the effects of burnout is to take a break from the stressors in our lives. Over a recent long weekend, my extended fam and I took a staycation in a private home in Lipa, Batangas to do just that.

Staycationing in a time of pandemic

A portmanteau of “stay” and “vacation,” (and sometimes also referred to as a “holistay” from “holiday” and “stay”), a staycation usually involves a short trip to a local destination (as opposed to one abroad) to enjoy fun and relaxation without a lot of the effort and costs that long trips abroad usually incur.

Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”

Especially in this time of pandemic, staycations are a great way to get that well-deserved break. Staycations can also be planned to enable us to practice social distancing and safety measures such as:

  • Traveling via short drives that require no stopovers at crowded stops for meals and bathroom breaks
  • Staying in a private and self-enclosed area with little contact to people outside our immediate circles
  • Bringing food in, cooking onsite or ordering in to that eliminate the need to dine out
Sa Aming Munting Paraiso
Sa Aming Munting Paraiso

All the time spent together while traveling, eating or hanging out during staycations also prove helpful to family bonding.

A restful idyll in paradise

In Barangay Bulaklakan in Lipa City, Batangas is a picturesque private residence called Sa Aming Munting Paraiso (“In Our Own Little Paradise”).

Its location affords it with ideal vantage points with which to view Mt. Maculot and Taal Lake.

These natural wonders were formed centuries ago when volcanic explosions destroyed the previous Taal Cone, creating a depression that is now called the Taal Caldera. This caldera contains what is now Taal Lake and has Mt. Maculot has its highest rim.

Sa Aming Munting Paraiso
Mt. Maculot
Sa Aming Munting Paraiso
Taal Lake

This 6300 square meter property is built to combine the comforts of home and the gifts of nature to provide urbanites with a restful getaway from the stresses of city living where they can renew friendships or revitalize familial bonds.

Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Entry to the property
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Pool Area
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Steps to the house
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Main House

The ground floor of main house boasts of a luxurious yet tastefully furnished lounge (with a toilet and bath to the side) well-suited for conversations and family activities.

Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”

Equipped with adequate WIFI connection, it also provides spaces for work and entertainment.

Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”

A spacious dining room wrapped with large windows and sliding doors that gaze out into the surrounding rainforest is an ideal setting for delicious family meals.

Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”

A kitchen island (where dining ware and cutlery are kept) also serves as a surface for preparing salads or drinks, as well as a breakfast nook or buffet table during mealtime. Near it is a two-door refrigerator to house food and drinks.

Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”

Adjoining the dining room is a secondary kitchen equipped with rice cookers, an oven toaster, a microwave, a four-burner gas stove and other implements for food preparation and cooking.

Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”

Up the stairs is a master’s bedroom furnished a queen-sized bed and sitting area to provide guests with restful slumbers and an awesome view. Outside is a veranda that leads to a spiral staircase leading to the roofdeck.

Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”

Downstairs from the kitchen is a second bedroom furnished with two double-sized beds.

Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”

The family room next to it houses a single bed and three bunk beds to accommodate a larger group.

Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”

Each bedroom has its own en-suite toilet and bath (with hot and cold water as well as handwash, body wash and shampoo). Each bedroom is also fitted with air conditioning and electric fans while fresh linens, blankets and pillows are also provided.

Stepping outdoors brings guests to more areas for recreation such as a bahay kubo where they can find shade and a quaint yet comfortable place to sit.

Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”

They can take cooling dips in the two swimming pools with cascading water and given shade by the surrounding trees.

Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”

They can also take a dip in outdoor jacuzzi and let the cool water jets massage their aches and pains away.

Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”

A covered patio equipped with an outdoor grill, a karaoke machine, table and chairs as well as nearby lounge chairs provide a venue for barbecues and outdoor dining.

Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”

In the evening, guests can venture out to the property’s backyard and hang out around the bonfire pit.

Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”

They can also take a night-time stroll around the beautifully lit premises.

Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”

However, for the really spectacular views, guests should proceed to the roofdeck which is also accessible through an external spiral staircase.

Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”

It is the perfect spot for sunrise and sunset views of the local attractions Mt. Maculot and Taal Lake.

Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Mt. Maculot at Sunrise
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso (“Our Own Little Paradise”)
Mt. Maculot at Sunset
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Taal Lake at Sunrise
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso (“Our Own Little Paradise”)
Taal Lake at Sunset

A restful sojourn in this little bit of paradise is sure to rejuvenate and recharge city slickers, busting their feelings of burnout.

So why don’t you treat yourself and your family to a staycation here?

Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”
Sa Ating Munting Paraiso “Our Own Little Paradise”

Book your stay at Our Own Little Paradise via Airbnb where it is rated an average of 4.46 stars.

For the health and safety of its guests, Our Own Little Paradise is committed to Airbnb‘s five-step cleaning process.

Our Own Little Paradise is located in Barangay Bulaklakan, Purok 4, Lipa City, Batangas. Check in is from 2pm to 7pm while checkout is at 11am.

6 reasons to staycation with the fam at Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay

Summer is just around the corner, and pretty soon, we urbanites will be feeling the heat.

It will be high time to hie ourselves and our fam off somewhere cool for a bit of R ‘n R.

How about a sojourn in chilly and breezy Tagaytay? A staycation in this popular destination would be just the ticket when the mercury rises.

May I recommend a place my extended fam stayed in recently? Jennifer’s Abode just may be your ideal staycation venue in chilly Tagaytay, especially during a time when we need to maintain physical distancing due to the still present threat of the pandemic.

1) It’s within driving distance from the metro.

Located along Raflores Street, Tagaytay Country Homes 1 along the Tagaytay-Calamba Road (near Ayala Malls Serin and Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Church), Jennifer’s Abode is an easy two- to three-hour drive from Metro Manila.

The extended fam were able to travel safely and comfortably using our family cars, avoiding the risks entailed when using public transportation. The relatively short driving time also precluded the need for stopovers in crowded areas for meals or bathroom breaks.

2) It has everything the fam needs for a restful break from the metro.

If a relaxing stay is what your family is looking for, there are many opportunities to do just that at Jennifer’s Abode.

You can spend a quiet time taking in the morning sun in its lush garden.

Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay

You may also catch up with each other or enjoy family game time in its spacious and comfortably furnished living room.

Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay

Take a few steps up the stairs and sit back at the family room for a movie marathon. Here’s a tip: the house’s internet connection is actually strongest here so maximize your browsing or streaming time when you’re hanging out here.

Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay

Meal preparations are hassle-free with a kitchen equipped with a refrigerator, a three-burner stove, a microwave oven, a rice cooker and water dispenser, as well as various kitchen implements to help you cook from scratch or reheat your prepared food, as well as clean up after your meals.

Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay

You also have the option to visit nearby restaurants and order food for takeout such as our Korean feast from Neul Bolm located a little over three kilometers away.

Jennifer’s Abode
Samgyupsal and Woosamgyup
Jennifer’s Abode
Bibimbap
Jennifer’s Abode
Seafood Pajeon
Jennifer’s Abode
Banchan

You may also opt to just order from food delivery services such as our Bulalo dinner from Farmer’s Table which was ordered via FoodPanda.

Jennifer’s Abode
Bulalo
Jennifer’s Abode
Bulalo

These meals can be enjoyed family-style in the well-appointed dining room equipped with dinnerware and flatware.

Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay

To take your rest during your stay, retreat to the Master’s Bedroom furnished with a double bed and has terrace overlooking the pool and a view of the surrounding pasture.

Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay

The second bedroom is a cozy space as well with a canopied double bed and windows that let in the cool breezes.

Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay

One of the place’s shared bath is also located in the second floor.

Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay

Step up the stairs to the third floor and you will find the attic which is furnished with four single beds laid out dormitory-style.

Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay

The attic also includes an extra bedroom with a double bed.

Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay

Stepping outside will bring you to a gazebo where you can enjoy the cool Tagaytay breezes.

Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay

A small pavilion equipped with a karaoke underneath the gazebo brings the perfect opportunity for you and your companions to rock out and have a great time.

Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay

You may also take a dip in the swimming pool and wash up in the house’s second bathroom just up the stairs.

Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay

With all the facilities available at Jennifer’s Abode, you and your fam can have fun yet relaxing stay, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

For any concerns you may have about the place, a caretaker lives just beside the house and can be immediately reached for assistance.

3) The family can enjoy the great outdoors in a nearby park

On the other hand, if you are in the mood to venture outdoors, you can take the kids out to the nearby park, also located inside Tagaytay Country Homes 1. Inside this sprawling grassy enclosure which houses various playground equipment such as slides, seesaws and swings, young and old alike can enjoy spending time outside.

Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay

4) You can go on a food trip with great al fresco dining options.

You want have to travel far if you want to explore the gastronomic possibilities that Tagaytay has to offer as Jennifer’s Abode is conveniently located near top foodie destinations such as:

Lime and Basil for a delicious taste of authentic Thai cuisine…

Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode
Jennifer’s Abode

… or at Mozu at Ming’s Garden for the delectable comfort of classic homegrown dishes.

Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode
Jennifer’s Abode

5) Nearby attractions provide you with a view of the scenic Taal Lake and Volcano

Tagaytay became a tourist destination because of its scenic views overlooking the Taal Lake and Volcano. Staying at Jennifer’s Abode also places you within easy distance of attractions that provide such views. These include:

The Picnic Grove, where you can go for a walk along an eco-trail…

Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay

… or Zoori, where you can take a ride on the cable car or go zip-lining as your take in the view.

Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode
Jennifer’s Abode Tagaytay

6) You have nearby options to shop for supplies and pasalubongs

Should you want to sample the local wares or bring home some pasalubongs for the folks in Manila, you can easily drop by popular shopping destinations such as:

The Mahogany Market located behind the new Tagaytay City Hall where you can shop for fresh meat, produce as well as herbs and flowers for the plantitos and plantitas back home…

Jennifer’s Abode
Jennifer’s Abode
Jennifer’s Abode
Jennifer’s Abode

… or Rowena’s, with three branches in the Tagaytay area, where you can shop for its famous fruit tarts, buko pie and other pasalubong favorites.

Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay
Jennifer’s Abode, Tagaytay

So when are you planning your next staycation in Tagaytay?

Book your stay at Jennifer’s Abode via Airbnb where it is rated an average of 4.46 stars.

For the health and safety of its guests, Jennifer’s Abode is committed to Airbnb‘s five-step cleaning process.

Jennifer’s Abode is located at the end of Raflores Street in Tagaytay Country Homes 1, Maitim 2nd West, Tagaytay City. Check in is after 3pm while checkout is at 11am.

Socially distant staycationing at Casa 1254 in Pansol, Laguna

Nearly two years into the pandemic, we can’t help but feel like we need a break from the stresses and hassles we encounter while quarantined in the city.

We also want to be able to spend time with our extended family after being separated for them for so long.

With quarantine restrictions loosening just a wee bit, we can now enjoy some time with our loved ones through socially distant staycations such as what I had with my in-laws at Casa 1254 in Pansol, Laguna.

Casa 1254
Casa 1254

Casa 1254 was deemed as the most suitable venue for our socially distant staycation-cum-family outing, as it ticked off the requirements that will enable us to keep ourselves safe during our trip:

  • It should be within driving distance. Casa 1254 is less than two hours away from Metro Manila by car. Traveling by car is a lot safer (in terms of social distancing) than traveling by plane or other public transport systems. Also, given the short driving time, we didn’t need to have stopovers in crowded areas for a meal or to rest from the drive.
  • It should be in a private, self-enclosed area. Casa 1254 is a single, detached house enclosed in a perimeter wall with parking slots for up to four cars inside the compound. We had the place all to ourselves, allowing us to minimize contact with anyone outside of our family circle.
  • It should have its own kitchen. We expected dining out options to be quite limited, and, since we didn’t plan on going in and out of the venue often, we brought enough food for the duration our stay which we either cooked or reheated in the kitchen.
  • It should have good internet connectivity. Since we didn’t plan on going out and will spend the entirety of our time within the property, we needed to have fast and reliable internet access for work and entertainment.

With those important considerations addressed, the entire extended family was able to enjoy our stay at Casa 1254 and maximize its amenities for family bonding:

Living Areas. We congregated at the living room and adjoining sitting area for lively conversations and catching up. The kids were also able to set up their mini tents and use their toys in this sprawling space between the two areas for their playtime.

Casa 1254
Casa 1254

Dining Room and Kitchen. Family bonding was made even more enjoyable with good food. We dined in style in the well-appointed dining room on dishes re-heated or cooked in the spacious kitchen which are furnished with a large refrigerator/freezer, a stove with oven, as well as a hot and cold water dispenser.

Casa 1254
Casa 1254
Casa 1254
Casa 1254

Plates, cutlery, cookware, cleaning items are already provided.

Swimming Pool. The heated pool was the piece de resistance for the kids who had lots of fun splashing around. An outdoor BBQ and patio with a cabana was available for poolside dining.

Casa 1254
Casa 1254
Casa 1254
Casa 1254

After pooltime, the kids washed up at the 3/4 bath in the ground floor.

Bedrooms. At the end of each fun-filled day, we retreated to our respective bedrooms to rest and recharge. Each air-conditioned room conveniently has an en-suite bathroom, complete with toilet and shower.

Casa 1254
Casa 1254
Casa 1254
Casa 1254

Bed linens, pillowcases, towels, shampoo, body wash, hand soap and toilet paper were also provided.

View. Upon waking up, we basked in the cool breezes and calming view of the mountainside from the wrap-around balcony of the second floor and the roof deck of the poolside cabana.

Casa 1254
Casa 1254
Casa 1254
Casa 1254

Our stay was fairly trouble-free as a caretaker who lives in a separate building was available to help us in operating the pool and other concerns during out stay.

Casa 1254

Planning your own socially distant staycation? Book your stay at Casa 1254 via Airbnb where it is rated an average of 4.98 stars.

For the health and safety of its guests, Casa1254 is committed to Airbnb‘s five-step cleaning process.

Casa 1254 is located at Purok 1 Bridge, 1-254 Kaimo, Calamba, 4027 Laguna. Check in is from 3pm to 8pm while checkout is at 12pm.