Monday, March 06, 2023

6 Best Luxury Hotels Recommendations in Sentosa Island

I have many happy memories of Singapore. It's possibly my favorite city in the world after Manila. It's like London (my third favorite city) but tropical like Manila. And everything is just a thousand times better when the weather is summer all year round! And, like, Manila, the food and shopping is sooo good! That's Singapore! I still use the pewter bowl I made at Royal Selangor as my catchall for my everyday jewelry. Every time I take off my earrings and rings, I remember Singapore. So now that my boys are vaccinated against COVID-19, I'm hoping we could go to Singapore soon! 

So here's a thorough guest article on Singapore hotels in Sentosa. Sentosa is a 500-hectare island located off the south coast of Singapore and a very popular tourist attraction. Previously, Sentosa was a British military stronghold tasked with protecting the port of Singapore. After the Japanese Occupation in World War II, Singapore returned to British rule, and the island was named "Sentosa" which translates to "peace and tranquility".

If you want to enjoy nature tourism, you can visit Siloso Beach and Palawan Beach. Here you can relax or play on the beach at a very affordable cost. Apart from that, you can also visit Fort Siloso which is a war fort built in the 19th century. Here you can see various war equipment used at that time and get to know more about the history of Singapore.

Don't forget to visit the Sentosa Merlion, one of the famous symbols of Sentosa Island. Here you can see the Merlion statue which is located right on the beach with a beautiful view. Apart from that, you can also visit Tiger Sky Tower, one of the largest amusement parks on Sentosa Island. Here you can climb the tower which is at a height of 110 meters and enjoy the beautiful view from the top of the tower.

On Sentosa Island, there are also many accommodations such as hotels and resorts. You can find many Sentosa hotels that offer great services and facilities. Below are recommendations for several hotels on Sentosa Island that you can try. Check out the full reviews below.
Hotels For Holiday Trip in Sentosa Island

1. Resorts World Sentosa – Hard Rock Hotel

The first hotel recommendation on Sentosa Island is the ideal luxury hotel, Hard Rock Hotel Sentosa Singapore, the right choice for travelers like you.

This resort is directly integrated with Sentosa Island. It's also close to Universal Studios, Jurassic World, aquarium attractions, and so on. The facilities provided at this resort include spacious and comfortable rooms, an outdoor swimming pool, a spa, a fitness center, and a restaurant serving international cuisine.

Around this resort, there are also many entertainment venues, such as playgrounds, maze parks, and water parks. In addition, this resort also provides water sports activities, such as jet skiing, water soccer, and so on.

Address: 8 Sentosa Gateway 098269 Singapore

2. Shangri-La Singapore

This beachside resort will enliven your vacation even more. The rooms at this resort are elegantly designed, comfortable, and equipped with the best facilities. You can choose a room with a sea or garden view, according to your preference.

At this resort, you can also enjoy various interesting activities such as snorkeling, jet skiing, or fishing. You can also enjoy the nightlife on the beach, or try delicious dishes at the restaurants in this resort.

If you want to enjoy a quieter atmosphere, you can visit the spa at this resort. Here, you can enjoy various treatment packages that will make you feel refreshed after having a great holiday.

Address: Shangri-La's Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa, 101 Siloso Road. 098970 Singapura

3. Capella Singapore

Guests staying at this 5-star hotel will be offered a choice of comfortable and luxurious rooms. There are standard rooms, suite rooms, and executive rooms which are all equipped with the expected amenities.

The hotel also has fun recreational facilities, such as an outdoor swimming pool, spa, and fitness center. For dinner, guests can enjoy delicious food at the hotel's famous restaurant with international cuisine.

For those wishing to hold a business event, this 5-star hotel also provides spacious meeting rooms complete with presentation facilities. In addition, guests can also enjoy free wifi service throughout the hotel.

Address: 1 The Knolls Sentosa Island, Sentosa Island, 098297 Singapura

4. Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa

Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa is a 5-star hotel offering beautiful views of the South China Sea. In addition, this hotel also provides spa services that will pamper you after a day of work or relaxing at the beach. The rooms at this hotel are also quite spacious and so luxurious, and equipped with modern facilities such as a flat-screen television and speedy internet access.

If you want to enjoy the beauty of the sea, you can visit the beach around the hotel which is famous for its fine white sand. You can also enjoy water activities such as snorkeling.

Visit the shopping center which is located not far from the hotel. In addition, there are many tourist attractions that can be visited around the hotel, such as Universal Studios Singapore, S.E.A. Aquariums, and many more.

Address: 2 Bukit Manis Road, Sentosa (Sentosa Island) 099891 Singapura

5. Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa

The next recommended resort on Sentosa Island is Amara Sanctuary. This hotel has the best service and facilities for every guest.

The facilities available at Amara Sanctuary are a fitness center, spa, restaurant, and outdoor swimming pool. You can also enjoy the beautiful scenery around this resort from the rooms that are open to the entire resort.

This resort also provides a wide range of stay package options, from weekend packages to honeymoon packages. If you are looking for a romantic place for a vacation with your partner, Amara Sanctuary can be the right choice.

Address: 1 Larkhill Road, Sentosa, Sentosa Island, 099394 Singapore.

6. Oasia Resort Sentosa By Far East Hospitality Singapore (formerly Le Méridien Singapore)

This 5-star hotel has many facilities ranging from a fitness center, and swimming pool, to a restaurant. Not only that, but Oasia Resort Sentosa also has spacious and comfortable rooms and is equipped with complete facilities such as a flat-screen TV, internet access, minibar, and so on. Guests staying at this hotel will also be pampered with friendly and professional service from the hotel staff.

Oasia is perfect for tourists who want to enjoy their holidays with luxurious facilities and services. In addition, the hotel's location close to tourist attractions makes this hotel the right choice for tourists who want to explore the area. So, if you want to stay in a hotel that has the best facilities and services, then this hotel is the right choice for you.

Address: 23 Beach View, Sentosa, Sentosa Island, 098679 Singapore

Those are some recommendations for star hotels on Sentosa Island. Find various other hotel options on Traveloka. On Traveloka, you can also find recommendations for tourist attractions on Sentosa Island. Visit Traveloka now to get various attractive promos and discounts.

Sunday, March 05, 2023

Job hunting tips for moms going back to the workforce

A stay-at-home mom DM'd me asking how it was looking for a job after 10 years as a work-from-home mom, and I was honest. I said it was disheartening.

There was one HR person who kept asking me what my college course was and how it was relevant to the editing job they advertised. And I said, "Look, I'm 46 years old. College was a lifetime ago. In college, I wrote erotica. That's sex stories. I wasted my time and my mother's money. But I have more than 20 years' experience as a writer and editor, even when I was - as you like to bring up - unemployed. That wealth of experience is what you should be asking me about."

Don't let HR discourage you. They ask from a list of questions. That list also told me they didn't even read the CV and sample work I sent. So just keep emphasizing your skills and experience. Downplay whatever flaw they find (in my case, being a devoted mommy was my flaw). 

And don't be desperate, I guess. It's hard not to feel desperate and discouraged but it makes you panic and not think. I was getting really sad! Then I remembered my self-worth is not tied to any job. So I just opened myself up to anything! And now I have a job in an industry I'd never been in! 

Oh, that job earlier? I got the job. But I turned them down because of the low offer. Because I was "unemployed" for 10 years, even as I insisted I earned more money as a freelancer than any job ever (including my current one) 🙄

So, yeah, job hunting sucked but I'm happy with the job I did get. So if you're looking for a job, just don't quit. Tell people you're looking. Don't be shy. People will help but they need to know you need help.

And, yep, I'm still working as a freelancer and blogger. Still getting offers to write and edit. And do other things I've never done before! And I'm in the middle of 2 books, too. Exciting!

So getting past HR can be tough (I really wish they come in AFTER the department manager shortlists you), but don't be discouraged.

Tell everyone you know you need a job. Don't be ashamed to say it. I was, for 3 months, and so I bounced around unhappily. The minute I posted on Facebook that I needed a job, my inbox was flooded with offers to help. People want to help. Just ask for it 😊

Good luck!!!

"You have not because you ask not." James 4:2

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Tuition fees are going up. Good luck to our budget!

I went back to the corporate world this year after 10 years as a freelancer/business owner and I got asked a couple of times if I got tired of the hustle culture. Partly yes, but mostly because I have 3 kids to educate and tuition is crazy expensive and needs to be paid quarterly. Unfortunately, when you’re a freelancer, the income is erratic. Sometimes, it pours when it rains. Most of the time, it’s dry season. And that's the real reason I got a regular job with a regular income. It allows me to create a budget for their education. 

I wrote an article for Wyeth ParenTeam, 5 Steps to Save for Your Child's College Tuition. It has an equation there that predicts tuition years and years from now. It’s all estimates but you get a good idea of how much you’re going to suffer and for how long hahahaaa huhuhu.

The equation goes: Current tuition multiplied by 1 plus Interest [P x (1+I)] raised to number of years (N).

In my article, the financial expert I interviewed said, “On your phone, just type 300,000 x 1.10 then press the equal sign 8 times. We have just projected that if tuition fees increase by 10% a year for 8 years, then Php 300,000 today will be around Php 644,000 in 8 years, or around Php 778,000 in 10 years.”

That's where I spent 4.5 years of my life, the College of Arts & Letters

Boy. Almost a million pesos for one year in college. A short-term financial solution is to get a loan. My mother got tuition loans from her job all the time so she could send our eldest brother to school. My and my younger brother’s education was free (thank you, Philippine taxpayers!) while my younger sister’s education wasn’t that expensive either. All our college was subsidized because we went to that state university in Diliman (thank you again, Philippine taxpayers!) so Mama didn’t have to borrow so much anymore.

Some schools accept credit card payments but that’s something I want to stay away from because I was a credit card-aholic (but my marriage saved me). Plus, credit card interest rates are jumping this March! College tuition is just too big an amount to put on a card.

I’m not going to think of college because we already have a college fund for them (that’s another solution: invest in a mutual fund or an insurance policy with regular endowment payouts!). Also, I’m hoping my boys go to my alma mater and be a scholar like me.

So let’s just compute for high school since my kids are 12, 10, and 8. Let’s do my eldest son’s tuition. So his Grade 6 tuition now is Php 150,000. So if tuition increases by 10%, I’ll need to pay Php 165,000 for 7th grade. That means my tuition budget is Php 13,750 a month for a year. Doable!

But then I have 2 more kids. That means Php 495,000 a year. That’s okay. I just need to set aside Php 41,250 every month. Thanks to my new job, this is still doable.

Now my kids go to a school near our place so we don’t spend a lot of money on the school run. Not a lot of time on the road either. It’s a big deal because they used to go to another school just 5 kms away and the school bus service cost me an additional Php 9,000 a month (or Php 90,000 a school year). Plus an hour and 2 hours in traffic, morning and afternoon respectively. Transferring to a nearer school made such a huge difference in time and money saved!

But then here comes the crazy part: We’re thinking of sending our boys to that boys’ school in Katipunan. We have our reasons although they pale after I tell you this: That school is almost 12 kilometers away from our home and difficult to get to because traffic to and fro is hellish. Since my husband also has a full-time job, he won’t be able to do the school run (he can do this now because our current school is very near).

So if the boys go to that boys’ school, we’ll have to get them a bus service. I asked my friend who lives near me how much she pays for her son’s bus service from our city to that school. A whopping Php 10,000 a month! That’s Php 100,000 x 3 = Php 300,000 a year just on the school service!

I don’t think I can afford Php 495,000 tuition + books + uniforms + baon + Php 300,000 bus service, mommies. It's just illogical. 

So we were prepared enough to save for college but I don’t know if we can even get them there because grade school and high school are so damn pricey! 

Lots of thinking to do.

*Photo by Kat Fernandez on Unsplash

Saturday, February 18, 2023

7 reasons he’s pulling away just when things are getting serious

You’re thrilled at how things are going great with the guy you’re dating. He’s funny, thoughtful, and cute. Best of all, he seems really into you! But just when you think he might be “the one,” he becomes distant. Now you’re thinking if the reasons why he’s pulling away are your fault. (Note: Don't you ever blame yourself for his problems!)

Photo by Zhu Liang on Unsplash

Before you get worried about these reasons, take a deep breath. Maybe he’s just busy at work, tired from a trip, or spending time with family and friends. After all, he has a life, too. Remind yourself from this day and forever that people - family, friends, significant others - are allowed to have a life separate from your relationship. This is a good time for you to focus on your friends and interests. If it’s only been a few days of him acting distracted, then it’s probably nothing to worry about.

However, if he’s acting withdrawn for a week or so and he’s not telling you why or reassuring you, then you may be onto something. Here are 7 possible reasons why he’s pulling away:

1. He’s feeling rushed.

The good news is he’s realized he’s falling in love and he’s reeling from the intensity of his emotions for you. It’s all new and scary for him and he needs to slow down and take it all in. Be patient.

2. He’s scared of getting hurt.

Maybe he’s putting the brakes on because his heart’s been broken before. Be gentle and show him he can trust you.

3. He feels he doesn’t deserve you.

You’re everything he’s ever dreamed of… and he thinks someone as amazing as you might be better off with someone better than him. Okay, insecurity is a possible red flag, so reassure him of your admiration but watch out for constant low self-esteem. Believe me, you don't want to be with someone with low self-esteem.

4. He’s afraid of losing himself.

He could be wondering if he’s still the same person if he’s only doing things you like, wearing outfits you picked out, eating your favorite food, watching your favorite Koreanovela when he hates those shows, and so on. If you’re controlling everything you do together, give him space to be himself.

5. He needs a break.
You’re simply spending too much time together. His friends want to hang out with him, his family misses him, or he wants to play the videogame he bought months ago. Let him have fun without you!

6. He’s wary of commitment.

Your relationship started as just fun for him but now he’s thinking if this is serious enough to lead to marriage and kids. Maybe he’s not ready for that yet. If you’re willing to wait, assure him you’d like to take your time, too.

7. He’s losing interest.

Ouch! Don't waste your time. Just move on.

Everyone reaches a point where they take stock of their relationship. If he seems distant, don’t worry about it too much since all he needs is time to process how he feels for you. He needs to do this on his own so give him space.

Let him work through the reasons why he’s pulling away. If he breaks up with you, then it’s not meant to be. But if he comes back, then you know he’s serious about you. Now it's up to you to decide if he was worth the wait. 

* * * * * * *
P.S. I wrote this as a test article for a job I applied for last year (it didn't work out because stuff were piling up in my life). It's such a waste to not use it so I published it here but edited it so it sounds more like me and not like the website I wrote it for (they didn't publish it and I retain all rights to this article). Gosh. All the test articles I've written over the years! All the job search stories! Maybe I'll do a story on my job search. Let me know if you'd like that!

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Calculating what I need to save for emergencies, college, and retirement!

We're done with homeschooling this 2023. We had to choose homeschooling during the pandemic but now that the boys are vaccinated and the world seems safer (fingers crossed!), we're going to send all of them to a brick-and-mortar school again. Meet new people, learn different world views, learn to navigate society. It's very exciting!

Of course, homeschooling is much more affordable than school-school. That's why I went back to the corporate world so we can pay the tuition and save money for college.

I've been doing a ton of calculations recently because a good education in the Philippines is so expensive. 

Well, it doesn't have to be. I'm proud to say that half of my education was spent in public schools (thank you, Filipino taxpayer!). And I just want to put this out there: many people I know who studied in exclusive private schools have atrocious grammar. My fellow public school classmates? Never made a grammar mistake. It's not the school. It's the student. I'll leave it at that.

So why am I intent on giving my kids a private school education? For the connections? The prestige? The hope that going to an international school will give them a foot in the door to a life out of here? Sigh. I'm still figuring it out. 

Anyway, I've been playing around with these tools on They have a calculator for savings goals, college savings, and retirement planning. You can change the currency. The site says that the calculation for figuring compound savings is the same almost everywhere, especially as their calculators allow different compounding frequencies. 

So I tried them out. They look like this:

I want to save 500K just for, well, nothing. I just want it there. For emergencies like medical (I had to have surgery last year, remember?) or deaths (both my parents' deaths were a surprise expense). The saving goals calculator says I need to set aside just 8K a month. Doable!

Hehe sorry, this college calculator is empty. I can't show you my figures! But I also realized I didn't have enough information like the annual school costs inflation rate and the tuition fees of the colleges I hope my kids will go to. Well, I want my kids to go to just my alma mater, UP Diliman. And since it's a state university, it's very cheap! 

We actually have insurance policies for their education. So college is pretty much in the bag! 

We're also already setting aside money for retirement via insurance policies. But I still wanted to try out their retirement calculator. I made a mistake and wrote 3% as our inflation rate. But actually, it's...
Good luck, Pilipinas!!!

Anyway, if you're in the mood for figuring out the future, check out! It's helped sober me up haha Boy, I should stop buying books and ordering food! There's a lot of money we need to save!

Friday, February 10, 2023

Frances Finds: A game on managing a grocery store!

I've been using our grocery trips as part of our homeschool lesson. It's math, home economics, social studies, and health! Plus, I think they're old enough to learn how to feed themselves. And they should know about the prices of the food they eat and so they'll not waste food. So to make it more fun, we've made grocery shopping a game! Like I'd tell them "Here's your budget. You have 30 minutes. Go!" They love it!

With all the skyrocketing prices on just about everything, however, let me tell ya that it's not been fun to go grocery shopping lately. Having to see my kids' faces when they go, "These cookies are more expensive than those cookies if you compare them by weight!" is just sad. But it's also gratifying when they go, "Let's buy this brand of fresh milk, Mama. They all taste the same anyway!"

Teaching kids about life. What an experience!

So when my boys saw me playing a game called Tap Supermarket, they were intrigued. "Are you doing the groceries, Mama?"

"Nope. I'm managing the supermarket!"

And that's how my boys took over my game and learned about supply and demand, customer service, replenishing stocks, making money, and figuring out what to do with that money! 

Check it out:

So this is basically what it looks like. You have a supermarket and you have 1K and half the store stocked to start.

It's super simple. You need to make sure the shelves are stocked well and the lines at the cashier moving. But it may be simple but it gets really complicated!

You have lots of customers coming in, they're emptying your shelves, demand for new products is going up, and you're understaffed --- ahhhhh!!!

My kids LOVE it! 

Depending on your attitude, it's either so exciting or stressful haha

There are lots of other games on this online games site if Tap Supermarket proves to be too exciting for you. It's a money and finance site and they use fun games to make money and finance more fun and not so intimidating. I was quite impressed with my kids' mental math skills!

Here are a couple more games we like to play:

LEGO City Adventures Build & Protect teaches the kids about running a city by collecting taxes! They don't understand why we need to pay taxes and I always say, "Well, the streetlights need electricity, the roads need to be maintained, the garbage needs to be collected. We pay for those with our taxes." This game illustrates that practicality well.

Mahjong Solitaire is a great memory and matching game. Plus, the mahjong tiles show famous landmarks all over the world, like the Eiffel Tower, the Hollywood sign, Mt Fuji, Merlion, Stonehenge... and I'm ashamed to admit I don't recognize the others!!! 

Anyway, if you aren't doing anything this weekend or you'd like your kids to play online games that will teach them about math and money, check out! Happy weekend of fun and learning, mamas! 

Thursday, February 09, 2023

I'm back!

Hello everybody! I'm back. That's the longest I've not blogged, I think. So let me tell you what's been happening. 

Today marks my one month at my new job! I'm not announcing my job yet because I'm still on probationary status haha so I'll do a job reveal the second I get regularized. 

My job is very busy. Lots of writing! But I breathe writing so no biggie. Lots of meetings! Which badly drains introvert me. But since everyone is so nice, it's okay.

My biggest adjustment is working in a cold office. Yeah, surprisingly, I adjusted quickly to not being with my sons because the first three days of me at work saw me crying and saying I miss them. But my kids, bless their hearts, they said they don't miss me and, well, I suddenly didn't miss them that much, either 😅 Joking aside, I think they do miss me. They just didn't want to see me crying and so they did me some tough love. Those boys.

Anyway, I had asked HR at my initial online interview if the office is cold because that's, like, my dealbreaker. Cold pala is relative because she said it's not cold at all but here I am, freezing every day. But one month in and I'm better. I've decided to not be stylish and just bury myself in ugly but warm clothes. Plus, I commute. I go against the flow so it's an easy and super-fast commute, but ugly sneakers is the way to go. So no office OOTDs then!

I've also adjusted to my big neon, lime-green desk. I toned it down with a lot of industrial black and livened it up with a few touches of pink and a plant I named Chantelle. And since my youngest boy said he loves that shade of green, he helped me choose my desk stuff and so more of that green! I haven't put up photos of my husband and kids yet. Because seeing their beautiful faces makes me miss them and I don't want that.

The plan is to stay in this job till I retire - 14 years from now! Of course, plans change. I planned to be a magazine editor-in-chief till I die and look at what happened to that. Well, one month into this job and I'm optimistic. So let's see where this goes! 

I work in corporate communications. It's a big local company. We help Pinoys, Filipinas especially. I cry every time I watch videos of the women whose lives the company has changed ❤️

The team is cool. So capable. And hardworking. And terribly young. Today I told one of them when she was talking about her dad, "Gosh, I just realized I'm almost as old as your dad. You're young enough to be my kid." 

My husband told me to embrace being their mommy figure. So I will. I guess that says it all. I'm matronly 🥰

And yet, look at little old lady me. I have a new job. When you're 46, it's not easy to go job-hunting. It's so disheartening really, all the rejections. Then this came along because a former colleague referred me and now I'm doing what I do best and still learning more. My learning curve is slow in this industry that's so different from all my previous jobs. I'm always asking for explanations and clarifications (corporate lingo is a foreign language!). But everyone's been so patient because they know I've not worked for a corporation for a decade.

I didn't think I would get this job, to be honest. Those 10 years of being unemployed kept being mentioned during my interviews. I explained I wasn't jobless. I was working hard all that decade as a blogger, writer, editor, PR consultant, etc etc. I've never worked so hard in my life, these past 10 years. Then pregnant, breastfeeding, taking care of little ones pa! With no household help!!!

And that's why I went back to corporate. I got tired of the hustle. The endless prospecting. The chasing of checks. The working alone. 

The last 10 years was amazing. Best decade of my life! I learned a great many things and achieved what I never thought I would. 

Business owner. 



Newspaper columnist. 

Book editor. 


A frikkin' author!!! 

I still plan on continuing all I've done. I'm in the middle of writing a novel and a book of short stories. Yes, two books! We have big plans for Lean In Manila (yes, we'll be back with that, too!). I quietly started a Facebook group called Masayang Menopause. I'm now a bookstagrammer. And I'm also cooking up some stuff that's so exciting! 

So, yes, the last decade as a hustler will still continue but at a more relaxed pace now that I have a regular income. I can now focus on my passions! Oh, 2013 to 2022 was the best fun. But I'm old haha. I want to relax... by going back to being an employee in an industry I've never been in! What?! 

Life is full of surprises. 

I'm grateful. I've lived many lives. Here's to a new one!