November 10, 2016

Anvaya Cove, Bataan

Sep 11, 2016. Anvaya Cove Beach and Nature Club is a leisure development of Ayala Land located in Morong, Bataan. It's just a short drive away from Manila via NLEX-SCTEX, which makes it a perfect getaway during weekends. If you're visiting on a long weekend, prepare to be greeted by throngs of other guests all eager to get a respite from the daily grind. 

The Bamboo Restaurant at the main pavilion serves buffet lunch. It's reasonably priced and the food is really good. Our favorite? The dessert of course! We couldn't have enough of their sinfully delicious crepes. For those who are watching their weight, the restaurant also serves a la carte dishes. The Hainanese Chicken is worth a try.

Create your own crepe

We spent most of our time lounging by the sundecks at the pool area while the kids swam to their hearts content.

Their "White Sand Beach" has white sand at the Gazebo and playground area but turns darker as you approach the beach. 

The Water Sports Pavilion offers tons of activities including Banana Boat ride, kayaking, stand-up paddle board and aquatrike. The kids had a blast riding the banana boat into the sunset.

We also played football, beach volleyball and frisbee! Equipment are available for borrowing at the Game Room.

We stayed at the Sea Breeze Veranda - a low-rise condominium within the Anvaya Community. It was a spacious two-bedroom unit with sweeping views of the mountains.

Access to the Club is strictly for members only. We were able to visit the place by renting a unit at the Sea Breeze Veranda and having the member endorse us to use the Beach Club.

Anvaya Cove Beach and Nature Club
Barangay Mabayo, Morong, Bataan,
Tel: +63 2 793 3000
Mobile: +63 917 826 8292

November 01, 2016

Dreamplay at City of Dreams Manila

Have a blast with your favorite Dreamworks characters

March 25, 2016. DreamPlay, located at City of Dreams Manila, is an indoor playground filled with fun, exciting and physically-challenging activities. The play center is an eye-candy dotted with larger-than-life-sized characters from popular Dreamworks movies. 


We arrived a little after lunch and there was no line at the tickets so getting in was a breeze. We were given tickets for 2 adults and 2 kids good for 4 hours of play which was included in our room package at the Nobu Hotel.

First on our list is to sign up for a baking class at Gingy's Kitchen. Now while waiting for our schedule, we went around to try the different activities.

The Dream Theater features short 4D film snippets from some of the famous animation movies from Dreamworks and show runs every 30 minutes. The film isn't really a coherent mini-movie and the seats are not moving, so over-all, I didn't really enjoy it. I guess I was expecting much more than just stitched movie trailers. 

How to Fly your Dragon features a workshop where you get to design and build your own dragon then launch it at the top and and see it fly across the area.

There are two ways to get to the launch area -- take the normal stairs, or climb up the aluminum dragon body all the way to the top. My kids of course, prefer the more challenging way.

Shrek's Swamp Stomp takes you to Shrek's home and invites you to stomp around while looking for his missing keys.

Whatever Floats your Boat is where you design and build your own boat and let it sail in an obstacle-filled river. This activity is actually similar to How to Fly your Dragon.

Dreamstudio is an animator's dream as it lets you create your own animated film featuring Dreamworks characters!

Fast as Lightning Kung Fu Fighting features an Xbox 360 game where you have to follow the kung fu moves being taught by the Furious 5.

Afro Circus is a two-storey arena where kids can shoot away and play around foam balls. It's mainly for the tiny tots but my big kids had a blast here nonetheless.

Dinotrux is where you navigate a course using remote controlled eggs (or Reptools as they call it)

Now for the best attractions -- Thread of Enlightenment and Wall of Destiny! Older kids will surely get a kick from the adrenaline rush when they complete the obstacles -- it's like American Ninja Warrior for teens! 

The Wall of Destiny features a number of activities. They have a massive regular climbing wall, another wall with rotating climbing holds, Stairway to Heaven and Leap of Faith. The first one we tried is where the wall has a Yin and Yang circles that rotates as you step/hold on to them. This one's a bit challenging as only my agile daughter was able to complete it while my older son cannot bring his weight up to the top.

Stairway to Heaven is where you climb a series of escalating poles with the highest one almost as high as the ceiling. When you reach the top, you then jump to the ground (with a harness of course!). It get's really challenging as you climb up because the poles get wobblier as you ascend.

Stairway to Heaven
Leap of Faith is an absolute must do! You climb a tall tower and stand on a diving board-looking ledge. Instead of jumping down, you jump horizontally to reach the boxing bag a few meters away in front of you. How cool is that?!? I'm glad to say that both my kids were able to do this and I'm absolutely relieved that only kids can do this activity (saved me from making up excuses for not trying it).

Climb to the top
Then hold onto dear life!
Another favorite is the Thread of Enlightenment (again, as an adult, I'm not allowed to participate in this activity). It's an elaborate obstacle course set two stories above ground! It's a test of balance and strength and this one really reminds me of the American Ninja Warrior show. Kids have to be at least 140cm tall to try this activity.

Swinging Pole Bridge
Horizontal Web
Unfortunately, my son was not able to complete the course. The obstacles were just insanely difficult. 

After trying out almost all the activities, we went back to Gingy's Kitchen for the baking class. It's basically just a decorate-your-cookie activity but the full-on costumes plus the little side show makes this activity more interesting and fun. 

There are more or less twenty activities to try, and though it might seem like a lot, a four-hour stay is enough to try and enjoy all the activities.

Helpful things to remember:
  • Wear comfortable clothing and rubber shoes (slippers are not allowed) as there are a lot of physical activities
  • Socks are required for the ball pit in Shrek Swamp 
  • Sign up immediately to secure a schedule at Gingy's Kitchen 
  • They have a mini-game where you collect badges by scanning your DreamPlay bracelet as you complete the activities in the different areas. You get a freebie (pin or sticker) depending on your achievement status.
  • Once your time lapses, you can still enjoy the attractions and you'll be billed at the exit. So keep track of the time if you don't want to pay extra :)
  • Operating Hours: Monday-Thursday 11AM to 8PM, Friday-Sunday and Holidays 10AM to 8PM

City of Dreams Manila
Asean Ave. cor. Roxas Blvd.
Entertainment City, Paranaque
Tel: +63 2 808 09 09