The Shangri La, Cebu Mactan

Last summer my cousin Benita got married in Cebu, a beautiful island in the Philippines. I’d been to Cebu before but like any holiday, it’s a completely different experience with a baby/toddler. S was 2 years and 4 months when we visited last July. We stayed at the Shangri La Mactan resort which is pretty much the best one on the island (and only a 20 minute drive from the airport). Their facilities are second to none and having your own private beach is definitely a plus point.

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The pool

The people of the Philippines are renowned for being friendly and walking through the resort you’re constantly being greeted by members of staff with the biggest smile on their face. When I visited several years ago, I didn’t think much of the food but this is something they have most certainly worked on because there was a huge improvement. Breakfast at the Shang is fit for a king – there is everything from sushi and noodles to pastries, fruit and cereals. You can have broth any way you want it and eggs any way you want them – a food lovers heaven!

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The private beach

They have three pools. One is outside the Ocean Wing part of the resort and the other’s are a short walk away. The main pools have basketball rings at either end as well as slides and water fountains for the kids.

Sounds impressive? You haven’t heard anything yet! Before we headed to Cebu, I bought some sand toys for S but when we got to the beach, we came across this:

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And even better, there’s a member of staff there at all times just to hang out with the kids and build sand castles.

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As amazing as it all sounds for kids, they also have a lot for the parents as well. There’s jet skiing, snorkelling, banana boating, paragliding, underwater walking classes and lots more. And if it all gets a bit much down at the beach, parents can head up to play mini golf, go to the spa or to the gym while the children are entertained in an indoor soft play/arcade. Creative classes are also run hourly which children can attend for free.

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Although there are several eateries at the hotel, the prices can be on the higher end. One of the best things about Cebu is their seafood and I definitely recommend exploring the island and checking out their many amazing restaurants.

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If you’re looking for a relaxing beach holiday that takes some of the weight off travelling/holidaying with children then Cebu is a fab choice. It’s warm all year round, even during the rainy season which is June-September.

Typhoon Yolanda – How you can help!

As I was sitting and watching the news this morning, I felt a huge lump in my throat. The devastation caused to the little Philippine island is beyond belief. Thousands of families have been displaced, people are undergoing medical surgeries without anaesthesia and women are going into labour and giving birth in a cramped room full of people.

In the face of adversity, the women of Hong Kong are standing up and making a difference. I saw a post on a HK forum this morning and I thought I’d share. Hong Kong A-Freight Ltd. is accepting donations, only goods (no money) to be shipped to charitable institutions such as ABS-CBN Foundation and GMA Kapuso Foundation in Manila.  ABS-CBN Foundation and GMA Kapuso Foundation will dispatch all the goods and boxes to the affected areas.

All you need to do is collect a box (any size) from Hong Kong A-Freight and drop it off to any of their branches. Below is a list of all their locations as well as a list of items that will be greatly appreciated.

Locations:

CENTRAL
Shops 371-372, Worldwide Plaza,
19 Des Voeux Rd., Central Hongkong
T# 2522-4253

NORTH POINT
G/F #80 Wharf Road, North Point
T# 2503-4743

AP LEI CHAU (Warehouse)
4/F Oceanic Industrial Centre, 2 Lee Lok St.
T# 3583-1810

CAUSEWAY BAY
14-B Fairview Commercial Bldg.,
27 Sugar St., Causeway Bay
T# 2504-2468

KENNEDY TOWN
21-B Hong Kong Industrial Bldg.,
444-452 Des Voeux Rd West Kennedy Town
T# 2816-6254

KOWLOON CITY
Shop B, G/F, Yue Luen Mansion, 2-4 Junction Road
T# 2383-9377

HUNG HOM
Shop F-8, 1/F Planet Square, 1-15 Tak Man St., Hung Hom
T# 2330-7112

SHATIN
Stall #95, Ground Level, Shatin Market
T# 2606-4878

LAM TIN
Shop 7-B Laguna Arcade, Laguna City
T# 2717-3302

TSUEN WAN
Shop 254 Lik Sang Plaza, Tsuen Wan
T# 2417-3339

MA ON SHAN
Shop 60, 1/F, Fu Fai Garden, Ma On Shan
T# 2697-6092

WANCHAI
1/F Galway Court, #9 Cross St., Wanchai
T# 2836-3480

YUEN LONG
Shop 5-A, 1/F, Tung Yick Bldg., Yu King Square

Items Needed:

FOOD: assorted canned goods (sardines/tuna, corned beef, luncheon meat, pork & beans), rice, bottled water, non-perishable items (canned goods, bread & biscuits, sugar, powdered milk, bottled water, etc.)

NON-FOOD: blankets, clothes, hair & skin care (bath soap, anti mosquito lotion/body oil, shampoo, comb), toothbrush, toothpaste, feminine napkin, diapers/washcloth, cotton buds, school supplies, underwear for all ages.

MEDICINE: paracetamol, anti-diarrhea medicine, medicine for coughs and colds, hydration salts, water purification tablets, medicine for prevention of leptospirosis and vitamins.

For more ways to help, please see the poster below.

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“Love is not patronizing and charity isn’t about pity, it is about love. Charity and love are the same — with charity you give love, so don’t just give money but reach out your hand instead.”   Mother Teresa