Tag Archives: have kids will travel

Review: Flower Island Resort, Palawan


The first thoughts that came through my head as I approached the island resort, “Wow all of the photos I’ve seen don’t do this place any justice!”  You cannot capture the essence of Flower Island by mere pictures alone. Powder fine light brown sand, all hues of blue on the clear skies and in the clean ocean, and an island sanctuary all to your group… the experience is so dreamy it is almost ethereal.

Flower Island Resort proves to be a very special and secluded place that’s real hard to get but worth the almost 7-hour travel time. (Plane from Manila to Puerto Princesa-1hour, Van from Puerto Princesa to Taytay-4 hours and speedboat from Taytay to Flower Island- 1.5hours) The long travel is definitely not for the faint-hearted. But we’re willing adventurers so we are rewarded with this piece of paradise for 3 whole days!

  

We stayed in room 9 which is the second closest fan hut to the reception and dining area.

This trip was actually work for me, A Yin & Yang Yoga retreat by FLOW.  I roomed with another yoga teacher, a photographer and of course my little one who goes wherever I go! I was glad to see the spacious hut good enough for a family of 5!

I didn’t take a very good photo of our bathroom. It was very dark so I chose to open all windows to bring the light in.

My roomie taking a nap with that view. The breeze lulls you to sleep, really!

Family friendly activities include: Two hiking trails, kayaking and snorkelling. Maya, my 1.5 year old daughter is too young for both kayaking and snorkelling so we pursued the hiking trails instead. I’m a bit sad to have missed out on the snorkelling which was fantastic says Paul, one of our guests during the retreat. He saw a manta ray!!! And HUNDREDS of different fish. My husband would have enjoyed this so maybe I should schedule a return? 🙂

This is us in the beginner friendly hike trail around the island which took 45-minutes.

And this is the prize for hiking to The Peak, a 360 view from the top of the island.

They also have an island monkey to Maya’s delight!


The resort staff were very friendly, maybe it’s because we were the only guests there! Nevertheless, we enjoyed their service. And I applaud their chef’s baking skills. All of our desserts were made from scratch in the kitchen.

We had really good chocolate cake, pineapple pie, macaroons and the best sesame cookies I’ve had in my entire life. I’ll be craving for them I know it!

I hear that soon they will have the option for sea planes to cut the travel time short. Hmm..so very tempting!


FLOWER ISLAND RESORT

Website: www.flowerisland-resort.com

Mobile No. Viber/Whatsapp +639175045567

Email: reservations@flowerisland-resort.com / flowerisland.palawan@gmail.com

Instagram: @flowerislandresort_ph

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Hot News: Ethiopian Airlines Now Flying From Manila

Now Filipinos can choose to go to Africa for their next chosen destination because Ethiopian Airlines offers direct flights to Addis Ababa from Manila three times a week!

Apparently, Ethiopia is known as  The Land of The Firsts and The Land of The Awakenings. What beautiful names! One of the cradle’s of civilations, it is the intersection between North Africa, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. Did you know that it is the birthplace of coffee?

I found this sweet little Ethiopian girl playing with flowers. All of a sudden I missed my little globetrotter who I left for a few hours to be in this event.

I must admit that before attending this launch, my thoughts of Africa weren’t too bucketlist-worthy. When someone mentions the place, images of extreme poverty fills my head. Yes, I knew that Africa is probably the best place for an amazing safari. But beyond that concept,  all I knew about Africa was very little and fed to me by media: television, newsprint and movies! Then I discovered about the movement #ThisIsTheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou on Instagram.

This is Mozambique


One of the ancient churches in Ethiopia..


Rwanda!


And this is Sierra Leone 🙂


Seeing these photos and knowing better about the REAL Africa makes me want to book a flight to Ethiopia with my little tots! Who’s with me?

An Homage to Palawan, Philippines

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Boat Tour in El Nido

Once upon a time, long before Maya was conceived, the Manzanos attempted living in Philippine’s last frontier.. Palawan. You may read all about that here and why it didn’t work out here.

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Honda Bay
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leading a Yin Yoga class in Nagtabon Beach
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photo by Katherine Jack
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Montible River
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Taytay
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El Nido Town

Nevertheless, I keep wanting to come back as homage to what I consider my second home. Last February, with 11 month old Maya in tow, I organized two back to back retreats in Bahay Kalipay, Puerto Princesa for Flow and a Sacred Pregnancy Conscious Birth Retreats.

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photo by Tabitha Fernan

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In less than a week, we will be wading the waters of another tropical island paradise, Flower Island Resort in Taytay, Palawan for FLOW’s first ever Yin and Yang Yoga retreat I am co-leading. If you’re from Manila, it’s officially announced as a long weekend so, grab your chance to join us! Let’s see how creative I can be with managing 1.4 years old Maya without a nanny this coming weekend.

 

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Saigon in September!

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photo from theydrawandtravel.com

For my birthday month, I chose an Asian destination we haven’t been to yet. Vietnam is just a short flight away so I booked tickets before my husband  could even change his mind 😂 
Who has been and what are your tips for travel with kids? I have not booked any hotels yet and I’ll be making my itinerary soon based on prior travels by fellow wanderlusts. 

Stay tuned for more details on this birthday trip!

Bambu Indah: A Gypsetter’s Mecca

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One of the reasons why I fell in love with Bali many years ago is because of green architecture. Most properties in Ubud like Bambu Indah use local indigenous materials to build. Bamboo structures are very famous over there and I wish that we could follow suit in the Philippines because we do have an abundance of it, too!

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The entrance itself is a sight to behold. John Hardy and his family, the creators of this gypsetter’s mecca have executed their vision impeccably. First at Green School, and then with this beautiful tropical piece of paradise you may call home for a few days, if you book here for the duration of your vacation.

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IMG_0038Our first meal in Ubud was in their restaurant called Dapoer which promotes slow food. Most of their ingredients are sourced organically, locally and fresh, if not, from their very own gardens.

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On this trip, my little globetrotter Maya got to spend precious moments with 3 of her fairy godmothers! How cool is that?

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As expected, the food was delicious! Although if you’re dining with kids, be vigilant about spice levels in local Indonesian dishes. My order was too spicy for my daughter!

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After eating, we asked for a tour of their eco-luxury resort. This is our almost-complete shot of the #FlowBali crew. Missing Woochae from Seoul here!

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It was a hot hot day so I wished I could’ve swam in their natural spring water pool. Maybe next time we book a room here!

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It’s nice that all their rooms are actually antique teak wood Javanese designed huts which have been crafted over 100 years ago by the Indonesian locals.

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My friend’s son, Kai just had to climb their gigantic bamboo tree-house that resembled a mothership! Oh, how liberating it is for a child to climb and enjoy nature’s wonders! I told my son Santi that I wil ltake him here one day….
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BAMBU INDAH

http://www.bambuindah.com

banjar baung, desa sayan, ubud, gianyar, bali 80571
telephone +62 (0) 361 977 922 /  +62 (0) 361 974 357
WhatsApp +62 812 38 34 31 74

Northern Thailand and BKK in August!

When Noelle, my business partner in FLOW, traveled solo to Northern Thailand years ago, I knew I had to visit. So, I am making it happen! This August, we bring to you two very unique Yoga + Adventure retreats. The first will be in Northern Thaland: Chiangmai and Pai while the second leg will be in vibrant Bangkok City!

Flow Northern Yoga Retreat

Flow Urban Yoga Retreat

And like a true attachment parent, I always bring baby along with me. Top reason is because we are still breastfeeding, then there’s always because she is less than 2 years old which means she is a lap child = almost free airline ticket!

If I could afford it by August, I will also be taking my 8 year old son. He’s never been to Thailand and since #TheWorldIsOurClassroom , this is another chance for me to introduce him a neighboring country in Asia. I’ve picked up this cool map from www.theydrawandtravel.com of 11 Things for Kids to Do in Bangkok which can serve as my guide for when we have free time in the city!

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Join us? Kids are welcome, of course!

Registration at www.flowretreats.com