Bayview Park Hotel

Checked in with my boys at the Bayview Park Hotel for NYE. I would have preferred checking in at the Hotel H2O since we were having dinner there, but it was fully booked, and the other hotels were too expensive so I just settled for Bayview, where I got the standard room for only $65 (around Php2,700) over at Asiarooms.com. Lucky us, when we got there, our room got upgraded and we got free buffet breakfast for two. Happy New Year indeed!
As usual when staying at hotels, the first thing Joey does is to check the beds. Tons of jumping, or as Joey and I like to call it, “boinging”. This time, Joey was more hyper as he kept jumping from one bed to the other that I almost had a heart attack.

Getting ready to jump to the other bed
Not much really to report on the room – the only good thing was the bed. It was clean and comfortable and the pillows were soft. But overall, the hotel is old and it reflects on everything: the furniture, the flooring, the carpet. There was even a huge stain on the carpet and I felt quite icky walking around barefoot so I made do with the thin slippers that came with the room.
One queen and one twin bed

The CR, while just fitted the basic necessities such as shower, sink and toilet, is at least clean and bright.

A good thing Joey didn’t ask for a bath tub; this is the first hotel we’ve stayed at that doesn’t have one

The buffet breakfast was nothing spectacular as well. It’s a good thing we got it for free as I wouldn’t want to pay Php495 for it (Php295 for kids). At that price, I was expecting a feast with cold cuts, cheese, and many choices. I only saw tocino, meat loaf, sausage and egg. Oh, and congee and two types of cereal. There was salad, but it didn’t look appealing – just the leafy greens and tomato and boiled eggs. The fruit juice selection was also kind of disappointing: cheap pineapple and orange juice (suspiciously like the powdered kind, or the concentrate one which you buy by the litre and mix with gallons of water). 

The kid disliked it so much he didn’t eat at all. A good thing he got in totally free otherwise, I would have had to demand a refund. As it was, we had to go to the Starbucks outside to eat some chicken pandesal.

The only redeeming factor for this hotel is its staff – they were all so nice. Not stuffy at all and all the bell boys were so helpful. So for that, I would consider staying again at this hotel.
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Movies to Watch: 2012

Here are my top picks for the year, in no particular order. I’ll update this list with the release dates as I come across them.
  1. Wrath of the Titans – sequel to the Clash of the Titans (2010). Hey, even if critics shunned the 2010 movie, let’s give this one a second chance, shall we?
  2. The Avengers – the movie practically everyone’s been waiting for: Iron Man, Captain America, Thor… this makes for one serious eye candy. I would watch this, regardless of the story.
  3. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – again, this needs no introduction. This will surely be epic, like the LOTR trilogy. Need to brush up on my reading.
  4. The Dark Knight Rises – the return of Catwoman. Let’s see if Anne Hathaway can give Michelle Pfeiffer a run for her money.
  5. Show White and the Huntsman – the version with Charlize as the evil queen and Kristen Stewart as, well, Snow White. This is the dark, sexy interpretation of the fairy tale.
  6. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island – forgive me, but I kind of like Vanessa Hudgens and this looks like a fun movie.
  7. Dark Shadows – Johnny Depp. Michelle Pfeiffer. Helena Bonham Carter. Vampires. Do I need to say anything more?
  8. Underworld: Awakening – yes, Kate Beckinsale as Selene is back.
  9. Big Miracle – another dolphin/whale movie starring Drew Barrymore. But the trailer was quite moving – got me teary-eyed in less than five minutes.
  10. The Great Gatsby
  11. Mirror, Mirror – the Snow White version with Julia Roberts and Lily Collins. The comedy edition.
  12. Rock of Ages – starring Tom Cruise. He hasn’t done a good film in ages, let’s hope this one is worth the exorbitant ticket prices nowadays.
  13. Les Miserables – a musical adaptation starring Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe.
  14. The Hunger Games – another book to film thingie. Now, I should start reading the books.
And let’s not forget some great 2011 movies which are yet to be shown in our beloved country (darn that film fest!):
  1. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
  2. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – I have been waiting ages for the Hollywood version. And Rooney Mara looks terrific as Lisbeth. This book series is one of the best I’ve read so far. You know, the kind of book that makes you forget everything – when I am enjoying a book, I drop everything: no food, sleep, anything. Just water, until I finish reading. I haven’t felt that way in a long time and I missed the feeling.
  3.