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.

Adventure time in ZOORI, Tagaytay

ZOORI (Zoo at Residence Inn) is a perfect spot to enjoy a breathtaking view of the Taal Lake and Volcano while having some fun with exotic animals amidst lush surroundings.

Zoori,Tagaytay

Zoori,Tagaytay

Zoori,Tagaytay

I visited the place recently together with fellow bloggers as well as candidates of the Miss Tourism Queen Worldwide 2018.

First, we enjoyed a very Pinoy lunch of Chicken Pork Adobo, a Zoompia (their gigantic version of a spring roll) and Puto Bumbong.  We had our repast at the restaurant gazebo while taking in the majestic view.

Zoori,Tagaytay

Zoori,Tagaytay

Zoori,Tagaytay

Zoori,Tagaytay

Zoori,Tagaytay

Zoori,Tagaytay

Afterwards, we discovered that we were in for a treat: an animal show in which the Miss Tourism candidates from different countries gamely interacted with the featured critters which included snakes, lizards, a tarantula and more.

Zoori,Tagaytay

Zoori,Tagaytay

Zoori,Tagaytay

After the show, we explored the many attractions that the ZOORI had to offer: from the mini-zoo with an interesting collection of birds and livestock, the zip line which the beauty queens lost no time in trying out, and the cable car for us who were decidedly less adventurous.

Zoori,Tagaytay

Zoori,Tagaytay

Zoori,Tagaytay

Zoori,Tagaytay

Zoori,Tagaytay

Zoori,Tagaytay

Before we left, I went to the shops and scored some good finds: a wolf hat for my baby boy, a couple of scoodies and a long cardigan for me.

Zoori,Tagaytay

Zoori,Tagaytay

Zoori,Tagaytay

Unfortunately, we ran out of time. I would have loved to check out ZOORI’s other attractions such as Wall-Climbing and Horseback Riding, or had an eat-all-you-can Korean Barbecue at Samgyupsalamat.

But those are what return visits are for. 🙂

Still, it was a fun afternoon that showed me and my fellow bloggers more the entertainment and recreation possibilities available in Tagaytay.

ZOORI is located KM 65 Barrio Neogan, Tagaytay City, open daily from 8am to 5pm.  To commute going to ZOORI, take a bus ride from Cubao to Alfonso, Balayan or Nasugbu.  Alight at Residence Inn Tagaytay along the National Highway.

Rates:

  • Adult: Php249
  • Child (3 feet to 4 feet): Php199
  • Children below 3 feet free of charge

Special Packages:

  • Entrance with Paradizoo: Php299
  • Entrance with Paradizoo and Set Lunch at the Gazebo: Php499
  • Entrance with Paradizoo and Samgyupsalamat: Php699
  • Entrance with Paradizoo, Samgyupsalamat and Photo with Birds: Php799
  • Entrance with Paradizoo, Samgyupsalamat and Zipline: Php899
  • Entrance with Paradizoo, Samgyupsalamat, Dessert & Coffee and Zipline: Php999

Buy tickets to ZOORI here.

For queries, call +62 046 413 1244 or +63 02 847 0413.

Disclosure: Together with fellow bloggers, I was invited by the Zoomanity Group to tour and experience the attractions at ZOORI.  The tour was sponsored by the company and was not paid for by the attendees including myself.

Mother’s Day Brunch at Jaytee’s Tagaytay

Wanting to avoid the Mother’s Day lunchtime rush to Tagaytay, the family decided to leave Manila early in time for brunch at Jaytee’s Home of the Best Bulalo and Kare Kare.

Named after the initials of its proprietors, husband and wife team Jessie and Tess Mojica, the restaurant is located at One Destination, along Aguinaldo Highway, affording its diners a scenic view of Taal Lake and Volcano.

I recommend dining inside the resto as its interiors are clean and well-appointed. You can just take your requisite Taal Volcano family group pics outside while waiting for your meal.

The resto prides itself on its Special Beef Bulalo (Php650, good for 5-6 persons), which is what we drove all the way to Tagaytay for. It did not disappoint, the meat was tender, the soup flavorful, and the veggies crisp. (Of course, the sinful bone marrow is the star of the dish.)

We also ordered veggie dishes Chop Suey (Php220) and Fresh Lumpia (Php190 – a real winner with crisp ubod inside, light wrapper and a peanutty garlicky sauce!). For variation of viands, we also ordered Crispy Tawilis (Php220) and Grilled Liempo (Php360). The oldies ordered Buko Juice (Php85) and Green Mango Shake (Php110) while the rest of the fam sipped on Cucumber Iced Tea (Php180 per pitcher). We also capped off the meal with a scoop of Chocolate Ice Cream (Php45 – a must for my little boy) and Leche Flan (Php180 – a little too sweet but that’s what desserts are for huh?).

The food were served family style by attentive wait staff, however, I found the tables too small to accommodate all the food we ordered. (They certainly made taking foodie shots a bit difficult.)

Since we arrived so early, we were able to avoid the traffic going to the resto-with-a-view places along this stretch of Tagaytay. We were also able to park our cars with no problem.

For reservations, call:

  • (046) 443 1795
  • (0977) 745 8511
  • (0921) 319 3233
  • (0929) 613 0678

Jaytee's Filipino Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Want to go wandering around Tagaytay? Check out my post about Picnic Grove Eco Trail.

Check out my reviews of other Filipino restaurants:

Want to learn more about Filipino cuisine? Check out these books on Amazon.com!

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