I am the odd blogger who is not keen on any Stay-cation locally.
Stay-cations have been a huge trend with Singaporeans in recent years, with more locals staying the weekend at a local hotel, enjoy its buffet selection and the use of the amenities. In fact, it is common-place to have stay-cations offered to bloggers, for a blog post in return for a night stay and some meals covered at the hotel.
I think it is too much of a hassle to pack a small luggage for a night stay. And I have issues getting used to a new bed each time when I am away from home. It takes me at least one sleepless night, before I am able to sleep well in the hotel bed the next night. Then, it feels all too anti-climatic to have the check-out of the hotel after 2 nights, just when I have got used to the hotel bed to get a night of restful sleep.
The last Stay-cation I took in Singapore was in 2010, a short ‘vacation’ away from home, without having to leave Singapore, complete with free accommodation, with no strings attached (i.e., not obligated to blog about it). We had fun together as a family, since there were plenty of activities to do in Sentosa. Even then, 3 days was too short.
So this time round, K and I are taking the ‘Ultimate Stay-cation’, of a grand total of 15 days or 1/2 a month.
From the Land of Banana and Mangoes…
K and I hopped on a plane last weekend to spend some family time with daddy, who is now based in the Philippines.
Manila Philippines might not be the top destination that families will travel to for a vacation. But for us, the quality time spent together as a family is what matters.
Most people have the impression that Manila is not a very safe city, but I think if you are in the hub of the business district, it is relatively safe. As long as you don’t wander into some quiet alley or obscure areas, away from the business or shopping areas.
K and I spend most of our days in hb’s apartment, right in the heart of Makati City, 2 minutes walk away from his office. Hb still has to work on the weekdays, while K and I will walk to his office to have lunch with hb daily.
As for what K and I do in the day while daddy’s at work?
Manila is not exactly a very child-friendly place, and I am not a fan of wandering around malls, so we stay home most of the time.
We don’t have any problems keeping ourselves busy in the day, even though we rarely leave the apartment. Just doing the things that we enjoy, very much like what we will do on rainy / hazy days. Besides watching TV, playing board games and drawing, these are the things we have been doing;
- K is still in his ‘Legolas-warrior-mode’, so he all he needs is a bow and arrow for pretend play.
- We build Legos…
- Discovered something to do with beads that helps keep little hands and minds busy, that doubles up as a hand-made Fathers’ Day Gift. One creation from Hama Beads can take up to 2 hours or more to complete, which is great for training his attention span, fine motor skills and spatial awareness.
- And for some exercise daily, he swims in the swimming pool in the apartment building.
One of the best parts about Manila has to be how affordable eating-out is.
We eat out for lunch daily and for dinner on alternate days. Lunch in cafes are about $6 – $10 per head, while for dinners, the international selections in Makati City are diverse and at least 30% cheaper than what we get in Singapore. Even grocery shopping in their hypermarkets is cheaper.
So we get to eat well, sleep well and stay well, pretty much all the elements that are needed for an enjoyable stay-cation.
And to complete this ‘Ultimate Stay-cation’? It is having the family re-united and we are just content spending quality time together as a family, just doing mundane things.