Staycation at El Masfino: The Finest or So-so?

/ July 15, 2017
Garden view from our room at El Masfino

For those times when you want to feel indulged in an upscale environment and just sip a glass of wine by the pool, mesmerized by a lush green landscape, El Masfino Hotel & Resort fits the bill.  

Or, if you wish to maintain a theme of intimate getaway, enjoy the water and the sunshine without intrusion, or if you want a private moment to swing your golf club, El Masfino in San Rafael, Bulacan is unmistakably a place for you. 


The Finest 


El Mas Fino is a Spanish phrase that translates to "the finest".  

At El Masfino Hotel & Resort, the emphasis is on creating and giving "the finest" experience among guests whether they are on a romantic getaway, a family bonding or team-building activity. In this estate, the facilities are built in luxury. The staff are expected to be sharp and genuinely attentive. The outdoor adventure runs the gamut from golfing to driving a dune buggy and is sure to complete an enriching experience.  

Early this month, I and eight fellow bloggers stayed in this place of comfort for a weekend break. Did we have the finest staycation at El Masfino Hotel & Resort? Read through to know about our experience and recommendations plus some pro tips to make the most of your stay! 



Driving up north


Allow me to blabber a bit about my commute from Shaw Boulevard to Eton Centris. Don't you think the stairs at MRT Shaw are too high? I tried to count the number of steps but I lost count. I seriously think it could be a good training ground for beginner climbers or for those who want to strengthen their leg muscles. Anyways, I'm happy about two things here:

1. The long, steep stairs (that allow passengers to unconsciously workout)
2. The new baggage scanner in the station

Passengers at MRT Shaw Blvd station having their bags scanned 

I arrived at MRT Quezon Avenue Station 30 minutes before the call time. So I leisurely walked to Eton Centris. A private van from El Masfino was already there waiting for the bloggers. Rowena of Travel Eat Pinas and Jaey of Heyjaey were early birds as well. I won't mention the late comers, Stacy and JL... LOL... because I din't mind the wait. I got to eat breakfast and take pictures before we took off...

Photo opp with the giant koal bear at eton centris, a selfie in the van (love the pillow), at the toll gate

We left Eton Centris past 9 and arrived at A Square, a new community buzz hub in Baliuag, Bulacan at around 10:30. We hung there for a bit. I recommend you check out A Square of you live within the area or if you happen to need a stopping place on your way to the north. 


Into the 'woods


The drive from NLEX to A Square was fast and smooth. It was a sunny, hot morning in the rainy month of July. I'm not sure if the travel time would have taken longer if it rained...

El Masfino Hotel & Resort is 20 minutes away from A Square. It is located in the 'woods – in the Royal Northwoods at Brgy. Coral na Bato! *wink*wink* 

There weren't any public transportation along F. Viola Hiway to Brgy. Coral na Bato. There's also not much to see on the way but rice fields, residential houses, and a few commercial establishments. But I like the sight. It highly contrasts the busy, crowded city life inside Manila... 

Upon arrival at the Royal Northwoods Country Club, I couldn't help but think of Mountain Lake Resort in Cavinti, Laguna. Both resorts are nicely tucked away and let guests reconnect to nature.

Shades of nature at El Masfino 
metal wall sculpture at the pavilion of El Masfino Hotel & Resort
front desk at the pavilion


Arrival & Check-in

As soon as we got off the van, the friendly concierge helped us unload our bags and walked us to the front desk in the pavilion. The hotel pav has a clean and inviting space with high ceiling adorned with hanging capiz chandeliers. The walls have framed leaf metal sculptures that coordinate with the design at the reception desk. 

The receptionist stood there, greeted us with a smile and asked us to fill the check-in form. The check-in didn't take long even if we were three groups. We got our room keys and were immediately guided to our rooms.  

The way to the accommodation is on the west side of the pavilion. A narrow pavement leads to the earth-colored building inspired by Mediterranean architecture with tiled roofs, bricked pillars, courtyard, and balconies. Step out of the pavilion and you will be welcomed by an open space lushly manicured with palm trees, Bermuda grass, and tropical plants.       

Palm trees and other tropical plants in the grounds of El Masfino


Our Room


El Masfino's deluxe room with two double bed

Deluxe Room


I stayed at a deluxe room with two fellow bloggers - Ehms of Aemelia Mundi and Atty. Stacy of Tsinoy Foodies. Our room is spacious and accommodates up to two adults plus two kids. I like that the room's very neat with ambient lighting and fresh smell. I was able to sleep soundly.

The deluxe rooms in El Masfino feature spacious rooms with super-comfy double or kingsize bed, cable TV, mini bar, small fridge, a sitting area, closet, lamps, balconies, telephone, water heater, complimentary coffee and water, slippers, toiletries, separate toilet and shower rooms, vanity mirrors, and safety deposit boxes. 

There is no bath tub or hair dryer in the room. But I believe you can request like I did. I was able to request for an iron for no additional cost. 

A night at El Masfino's deluxe room is at P 5,124.00. The rate is inclusive of breakfast and swimming at the water park for two (2) people only. Two children below 12 years old are free of room charges but not for breakfast and swimming. Breakfast and swimming rates are listed in the bottom part of this article. 

An extra adult is charged P800.00. The fee is inclusive of breakfast and swimming.

Suite Room


bedroom
bathroom
dining area
Guests can cook here

El Masfino has 4 Suite Rooms with perfect garden-view. Each Suite has a separate bedroom with kingsize bed, two bathrooms, kitchen, dining area, living area with long comfy-couch and cable tv. The room is accentuated by fancy wall paintings and elegant capiz chandeliers. The floor is tiled. The living area has an accent mat that looks like a sisal carpet and a large brown velvet sofa.

The Suite Room accommodates up to 6 people and costs P 8,540.00. Just like in the Deluxe Rooms, the rate is inclusive of breakfast and swimming at the water park for two (2) people only. Two children below 12 years old are free of room charges but not for breakfast and swimming. Breakfast and swimming rates are listed in the bottom part of this article. 

An extra adult is charged P800.00. The fee is inclusive of breakfast and swimming.


Hotel Amenities


After taking our lunch, we had a tour of the entire property to see the hotel amenities. 

At the pavilion, there is a small, air-conditioned business center equipped with more than 4 desktop computers, printer, large sofa, and power outlets. A souvenir shop is next to the business center. Guests who forget swim wear can buy here. A bikini top is around 10-15 USD (~500-800 pesos). Other souvenirs can be bought such as shirts, bags, accessories, and so on. Elegant comfort rooms are adjacent to the business center and souvenir shop.

On the either side of the pavilion, you can find the coffee bar to the left, and the KTV room to the right. A few more walks and you can see the playground. Kids and the kids -at-heart can enjoy in this happy place.  

El Masfino's playground
Picnic area at El Masfino

Next to the playground is the picnic area that looks like a mini-forest. It is my favorite place. It could be a venue for quiet reflection or for feast with family or friends. It has tall, slender trees, wooden tables, and BBQ grills for unique outdoor dining. 

The clubhouse is within easy walking distance from the pavilion. But a golf cart is on the wait for guests who want a quick transfer.

One of El Masfino's Cabanas

Cabanas or Nipa Huts are poised near the pool side. 

Special Nipa Huts serve as spa for guests who wish to be pampered. There is no fitness gym but guests are free to use their yoga mat and stretch by the poolside or swim through the 6 feet lap pool.

enjoying at El Masfino's wave pool with Blaine is Lost!

A definite plus for El Masfino Hotel is its wave pool. With huge rafts and life vest, swimmers can enjoy the water ride through the lazy river. The wave pool's depth ranges from 3 ft to 6 ft. Guests can also enjoy water basketball.

El Masfino's water park


Avid golfers can benefit from the hotel's well-groomed golf course. Read more about our tour around the Royal Northwoods Golf and Country Club here.


Another hotel amenity is the thrilling obstacle course intended for company getaway or team-building activities.


Dining experience at the Clubhouse


Lunch with Mr. Myke Celis and fellow bloggers at El Masfino Clubhouse

For lunch, we ate Teriyaki chicken, rice, and iced tea. The chicken was tasty and the dish was well-presented with colorful stir-fried vegetables on the side. The appetizer was a lettuce soup with cream of mushroom. Unlike breakfast, lunch menu is not set. The dish depends on what the chef cooks for the day. 

Our afternoon snack was pancit canton, banana shake, and that mouthwatering turon! I loved it! 

Lunch!

Another thing I loved in the restaurant is their vinegar. I wish I could buy a bottle of it actually... Our dinner was grilled porkchop and milkfish. It was simple but tasty... So far, the dishes that we tried were all flavorsome and stuffing.

Delectable food, excellent staff service and restaurant ambiance all contributed to my impressive dining experience at El Masfino Clubhouse. 


Activities to Try


El Masfino has a diverse number of activities: there is golfing on an adjacent championship eighteen-hole course; outdoor barbecues; ball games; water sports; karaoke; obstacle course; and some motorized sports like dune buggy for an additional cost.

Click here to read about El Masfino's must try activities.



Rates 


Day tour is possible at El Masfino. Guests on this day pass can enjoy the water park and other activities at an additional cost. Please refer to the price list below. 



Guests on day tour have the option to either rent the Cabana or the Suite Room for the day's accommodation. 

The Cabana is good for 10 people and is priced at P700. 

The Suite is good for 6 people at P3,360.00. Guests opting to rent this room can get a complimentary swimming for 2 people. Room use is from 6 AM to 6 PM. Guests can use the room's kitchen and cook their own food.  

Living and dining area of El Masfino's Suite Room


How to get to El Masfino Hotel & Resort


The most convenient way to get to El Masfino is through a private vehicle. Commuting via bus and tricycle could be an option but NOT recommended. The tricycle ride from Baliuag town proper may be pricier. Also, there might not be any trics available when you go out of the property so it's either you hire the driver to wait for you or get his number to fetch you afterward. Either way, it's a hassle. It is also worth noting that there is no UBER or Grab in the vicinity. Taxis are scarce. I suggest you rent a car from Manila to go to this place.

El Masfino is located inside the Royal Northwoods Gold and Country Club. Check out this map:


Private Transportation


If you have private transportation, you can get to El Masfino in about an hour and thirty minutes. It's a 56 km distance from Quezon Avenue, Quezon City. The fastest route is via Pan-Philippine Hi-way with NLEX tolls and private roads.

Directions (you can easily get this from from google maps):

Route 1, via NLEX, take Sta. Rita Exit and traverse through Doña Remedios Trinidad Highway. Take a right turn at Capihan Junction (Capihan Chapel) and travel along Viola Road which is 4km towards the Royal Northwoods Country Club.

Route 2, via NLEX, exit at Balagtas and travel straight along Plaridel By-Pass Road towards Gen. Alejo Santos Highway. Make a left turn towards Bustos Municipal Hall and right turn at C.L. Hilario St. From there, you will pass the Bustos Bridge, then make a right turn towards Calle Rizal of Brgy. Sabang. Go straight towards Sampaloc Junction and Dona Remedios Trinidad Highway. Make a right turn at Capihan Junction(Capihan Chapel) and travel 4km through Viola Road towards the Royal Northwoods Country Club

Commute


If you are coming from EDSA, take a bus bound for Baliuag. Get off at Baliuag town proper. From there, take a tricycle to the Royal Northwoods Golf and Country Club. 


PARTING WORDS


Our stay at El Masfino Hotel & Resort was absolutely indulging. 


With its lush, well-maintained environment, countless thrilling activities to try, exceptionally congenial staff, quite pleasing accommodation and food, and reasonable rates, this hotel lives up to its name! 

Thus, I recommend this place to you - couples, families with kids or groups of travelers. Staycation here was a pleasure. I can't wait to go back with my family next month! 


Book a room at El Masfino Hotel & Resort now!



What do you think about El Masfino Hotel & Resort? Have you stayed here before? Have you stayed at a similar luxury hotel? If you haven't, would you like to stay here? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below! Thanks for your time!

Garden view from our room at El Masfino

For those times when you want to feel indulged in an upscale environment and just sip a glass of wine by the pool, mesmerized by a lush green landscape, El Masfino Hotel & Resort fits the bill.  

Or, if you wish to maintain a theme of intimate getaway, enjoy the water and the sunshine without intrusion, or if you want a private moment to swing your golf club, El Masfino in San Rafael, Bulacan is unmistakably a place for you. 


The Finest 


El Mas Fino is a Spanish phrase that translates to "the finest".  

At El Masfino Hotel & Resort, the emphasis is on creating and giving "the finest" experience among guests whether they are on a romantic getaway, a family bonding or team-building activity. In this estate, the facilities are built in luxury. The staff are expected to be sharp and genuinely attentive. The outdoor adventure runs the gamut from golfing to driving a dune buggy and is sure to complete an enriching experience.  

Early this month, I and eight fellow bloggers stayed in this place of comfort for a weekend break. Did we have the finest staycation at El Masfino Hotel & Resort? Read through to know about our experience and recommendations plus some pro tips to make the most of your stay! 



Driving up north


Allow me to blabber a bit about my commute from Shaw Boulevard to Eton Centris. Don't you think the stairs at MRT Shaw are too high? I tried to count the number of steps but I lost count. I seriously think it could be a good training ground for beginner climbers or for those who want to strengthen their leg muscles. Anyways, I'm happy about two things here:

1. The long, steep stairs (that allow passengers to unconsciously workout)
2. The new baggage scanner in the station

Passengers at MRT Shaw Blvd station having their bags scanned 

I arrived at MRT Quezon Avenue Station 30 minutes before the call time. So I leisurely walked to Eton Centris. A private van from El Masfino was already there waiting for the bloggers. Rowena of Travel Eat Pinas and Jaey of Heyjaey were early birds as well. I won't mention the late comers, Stacy and JL... LOL... because I din't mind the wait. I got to eat breakfast and take pictures before we took off...

Photo opp with the giant koal bear at eton centris, a selfie in the van (love the pillow), at the toll gate

We left Eton Centris past 9 and arrived at A Square, a new community buzz hub in Baliuag, Bulacan at around 10:30. We hung there for a bit. I recommend you check out A Square of you live within the area or if you happen to need a stopping place on your way to the north. 


Into the 'woods


The drive from NLEX to A Square was fast and smooth. It was a sunny, hot morning in the rainy month of July. I'm not sure if the travel time would have taken longer if it rained...

El Masfino Hotel & Resort is 20 minutes away from A Square. It is located in the 'woods – in the Royal Northwoods at Brgy. Coral na Bato! *wink*wink* 

There weren't any public transportation along F. Viola Hiway to Brgy. Coral na Bato. There's also not much to see on the way but rice fields, residential houses, and a few commercial establishments. But I like the sight. It highly contrasts the busy, crowded city life inside Manila... 

Upon arrival at the Royal Northwoods Country Club, I couldn't help but think of Mountain Lake Resort in Cavinti, Laguna. Both resorts are nicely tucked away and let guests reconnect to nature.

Shades of nature at El Masfino 
metal wall sculpture at the pavilion of El Masfino Hotel & Resort
front desk at the pavilion


Arrival & Check-in

As soon as we got off the van, the friendly concierge helped us unload our bags and walked us to the front desk in the pavilion. The hotel pav has a clean and inviting space with high ceiling adorned with hanging capiz chandeliers. The walls have framed leaf metal sculptures that coordinate with the design at the reception desk. 

The receptionist stood there, greeted us with a smile and asked us to fill the check-in form. The check-in didn't take long even if we were three groups. We got our room keys and were immediately guided to our rooms.  

The way to the accommodation is on the west side of the pavilion. A narrow pavement leads to the earth-colored building inspired by Mediterranean architecture with tiled roofs, bricked pillars, courtyard, and balconies. Step out of the pavilion and you will be welcomed by an open space lushly manicured with palm trees, Bermuda grass, and tropical plants.       

Palm trees and other tropical plants in the grounds of El Masfino


Our Room


El Masfino's deluxe room with two double bed

Deluxe Room


I stayed at a deluxe room with two fellow bloggers - Ehms of Aemelia Mundi and Atty. Stacy of Tsinoy Foodies. Our room is spacious and accommodates up to two adults plus two kids. I like that the room's very neat with ambient lighting and fresh smell. I was able to sleep soundly.

The deluxe rooms in El Masfino feature spacious rooms with super-comfy double or kingsize bed, cable TV, mini bar, small fridge, a sitting area, closet, lamps, balconies, telephone, water heater, complimentary coffee and water, slippers, toiletries, separate toilet and shower rooms, vanity mirrors, and safety deposit boxes. 

There is no bath tub or hair dryer in the room. But I believe you can request like I did. I was able to request for an iron for no additional cost. 

A night at El Masfino's deluxe room is at P 5,124.00. The rate is inclusive of breakfast and swimming at the water park for two (2) people only. Two children below 12 years old are free of room charges but not for breakfast and swimming. Breakfast and swimming rates are listed in the bottom part of this article. 

An extra adult is charged P800.00. The fee is inclusive of breakfast and swimming.

Suite Room


bedroom
bathroom
dining area
Guests can cook here

El Masfino has 4 Suite Rooms with perfect garden-view. Each Suite has a separate bedroom with kingsize bed, two bathrooms, kitchen, dining area, living area with long comfy-couch and cable tv. The room is accentuated by fancy wall paintings and elegant capiz chandeliers. The floor is tiled. The living area has an accent mat that looks like a sisal carpet and a large brown velvet sofa.

The Suite Room accommodates up to 6 people and costs P 8,540.00. Just like in the Deluxe Rooms, the rate is inclusive of breakfast and swimming at the water park for two (2) people only. Two children below 12 years old are free of room charges but not for breakfast and swimming. Breakfast and swimming rates are listed in the bottom part of this article. 

An extra adult is charged P800.00. The fee is inclusive of breakfast and swimming.


Hotel Amenities


After taking our lunch, we had a tour of the entire property to see the hotel amenities. 

At the pavilion, there is a small, air-conditioned business center equipped with more than 4 desktop computers, printer, large sofa, and power outlets. A souvenir shop is next to the business center. Guests who forget swim wear can buy here. A bikini top is around 10-15 USD (~500-800 pesos). Other souvenirs can be bought such as shirts, bags, accessories, and so on. Elegant comfort rooms are adjacent to the business center and souvenir shop.

On the either side of the pavilion, you can find the coffee bar to the left, and the KTV room to the right. A few more walks and you can see the playground. Kids and the kids -at-heart can enjoy in this happy place.  

El Masfino's playground
Picnic area at El Masfino

Next to the playground is the picnic area that looks like a mini-forest. It is my favorite place. It could be a venue for quiet reflection or for feast with family or friends. It has tall, slender trees, wooden tables, and BBQ grills for unique outdoor dining. 

The clubhouse is within easy walking distance from the pavilion. But a golf cart is on the wait for guests who want a quick transfer.

One of El Masfino's Cabanas

Cabanas or Nipa Huts are poised near the pool side. 

Special Nipa Huts serve as spa for guests who wish to be pampered. There is no fitness gym but guests are free to use their yoga mat and stretch by the poolside or swim through the 6 feet lap pool.

enjoying at El Masfino's wave pool with Blaine is Lost!

A definite plus for El Masfino Hotel is its wave pool. With huge rafts and life vest, swimmers can enjoy the water ride through the lazy river. The wave pool's depth ranges from 3 ft to 6 ft. Guests can also enjoy water basketball.

El Masfino's water park


Avid golfers can benefit from the hotel's well-groomed golf course. Read more about our tour around the Royal Northwoods Golf and Country Club here.


Another hotel amenity is the thrilling obstacle course intended for company getaway or team-building activities.


Dining experience at the Clubhouse


Lunch with Mr. Myke Celis and fellow bloggers at El Masfino Clubhouse

For lunch, we ate Teriyaki chicken, rice, and iced tea. The chicken was tasty and the dish was well-presented with colorful stir-fried vegetables on the side. The appetizer was a lettuce soup with cream of mushroom. Unlike breakfast, lunch menu is not set. The dish depends on what the chef cooks for the day. 

Our afternoon snack was pancit canton, banana shake, and that mouthwatering turon! I loved it! 

Lunch!

Another thing I loved in the restaurant is their vinegar. I wish I could buy a bottle of it actually... Our dinner was grilled porkchop and milkfish. It was simple but tasty... So far, the dishes that we tried were all flavorsome and stuffing.

Delectable food, excellent staff service and restaurant ambiance all contributed to my impressive dining experience at El Masfino Clubhouse. 


Activities to Try


El Masfino has a diverse number of activities: there is golfing on an adjacent championship eighteen-hole course; outdoor barbecues; ball games; water sports; karaoke; obstacle course; and some motorized sports like dune buggy for an additional cost.

Click here to read about El Masfino's must try activities.



Rates 


Day tour is possible at El Masfino. Guests on this day pass can enjoy the water park and other activities at an additional cost. Please refer to the price list below. 



Guests on day tour have the option to either rent the Cabana or the Suite Room for the day's accommodation. 

The Cabana is good for 10 people and is priced at P700. 

The Suite is good for 6 people at P3,360.00. Guests opting to rent this room can get a complimentary swimming for 2 people. Room use is from 6 AM to 6 PM. Guests can use the room's kitchen and cook their own food.  

Living and dining area of El Masfino's Suite Room


How to get to El Masfino Hotel & Resort


The most convenient way to get to El Masfino is through a private vehicle. Commuting via bus and tricycle could be an option but NOT recommended. The tricycle ride from Baliuag town proper may be pricier. Also, there might not be any trics available when you go out of the property so it's either you hire the driver to wait for you or get his number to fetch you afterward. Either way, it's a hassle. It is also worth noting that there is no UBER or Grab in the vicinity. Taxis are scarce. I suggest you rent a car from Manila to go to this place.

El Masfino is located inside the Royal Northwoods Gold and Country Club. Check out this map:


Private Transportation


If you have private transportation, you can get to El Masfino in about an hour and thirty minutes. It's a 56 km distance from Quezon Avenue, Quezon City. The fastest route is via Pan-Philippine Hi-way with NLEX tolls and private roads.

Directions (you can easily get this from from google maps):

Route 1, via NLEX, take Sta. Rita Exit and traverse through Doña Remedios Trinidad Highway. Take a right turn at Capihan Junction (Capihan Chapel) and travel along Viola Road which is 4km towards the Royal Northwoods Country Club.

Route 2, via NLEX, exit at Balagtas and travel straight along Plaridel By-Pass Road towards Gen. Alejo Santos Highway. Make a left turn towards Bustos Municipal Hall and right turn at C.L. Hilario St. From there, you will pass the Bustos Bridge, then make a right turn towards Calle Rizal of Brgy. Sabang. Go straight towards Sampaloc Junction and Dona Remedios Trinidad Highway. Make a right turn at Capihan Junction(Capihan Chapel) and travel 4km through Viola Road towards the Royal Northwoods Country Club

Commute


If you are coming from EDSA, take a bus bound for Baliuag. Get off at Baliuag town proper. From there, take a tricycle to the Royal Northwoods Golf and Country Club. 


PARTING WORDS


Our stay at El Masfino Hotel & Resort was absolutely indulging. 


With its lush, well-maintained environment, countless thrilling activities to try, exceptionally congenial staff, quite pleasing accommodation and food, and reasonable rates, this hotel lives up to its name! 

Thus, I recommend this place to you - couples, families with kids or groups of travelers. Staycation here was a pleasure. I can't wait to go back with my family next month! 


Book a room at El Masfino Hotel & Resort now!



What do you think about El Masfino Hotel & Resort? Have you stayed here before? Have you stayed at a similar luxury hotel? If you haven't, would you like to stay here? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below! Thanks for your time!

Continue Reading
Photo from Tsinoyfoodies
In case you crave for a practical comfort food this Game of Thrones season (or if you want to get free treats for your kid’s birthday), head straight to any Mister Donut shop near you.

Starting tomorrow, July 14, Mister Donut is giving away 1 box of Smidgets for FREE whenever you buy a dozen of regular donuts. The Smidget box includes 15 pieces of assorted Bavarian and Choco butternut.



Promo runs for the whole month of July.  

Duration: Friday to Sunday
July 14-16
July 21-23
July 28-30

Featured Products:
Bavarians, Filled Donuts
Choco Cake, Cake Collection

Free Smidgets:
15 pcs Assorted Bavarian and Choco Butternut

DONUT PRICE:
1 pc Donut - P13
12 pcs Assorted Donuts - P160
12 pcs Choco Donuts - P150

So, if you want to get your hands on this awesome treat, visit Mister Donut shop every weekend. You know what they say, nothing is better than doughnuts than free doughnuts!


For more information about products and promos, follow Mister Donut's social media sites:

Instagram: @MisterDonut_PH
Facebook: @MrDonutPH
Website: www.misterdonut.ph


A Square, originally known as St. Augustine Square, is a commercial center that aims to bring the culture of Bulacan in one convenient, attractive yet less crowded space integrating business, social activities, wellness, and community services. Located along Pan-Philippine Highway, this community buzz hub is built to offer shopping, dining, and entertainment experience with leisure and grace.

One of the projects of St. Augustine Realty & Development Corporation (SARDC), A Square is created to deliver progress to the enterprise community of Bulacan through high-quality land development and commitment to support homegrown businesses. Here, shoppers and patrons can buy some of Bulacan's major products such as furniture, garments, and native delicacies to name a few.

The construction of this two-storey commercial building was completed in March last year. Initially, developers had a strong interest in positioning it as a shopping mall, but due to the lack of anchor merchants, A Square was launched as a community hub instead.

ASquare's lush interior
Mr. Myke Celis talking about A Square's mission-vision
....and this is me in the lavatory haha sorry I needed to post this because I like the texture of the cubicle doors lol

Early this month, I and fellow bloggers met up with Sir Myke Celis, A Square's marketing executive, and went around to check on the property and interview its current merchants.

A Square facility is easy to navigate. It has high walkability, an open space that allows breeze to pass through, and it is adorned with lush landscapes and a Koi pond stretching at its center. I can think of it as an "oasis of calm". Congruently, merchants here think the same way. They chose to operate business here because of the laid-back, more relaxing vibe. To date, A Square carries a line of establishments ranging from food shops, to retails, to company offices. Below are some of the merchants we got in touch with during our visit:

A SQUARE MERCHANTS


  • Pag-ibig Office

A Square houses government agencies like Pag-ibig Fund Office. Members can securely make transactions here instead of traveling to the next provincial service branch is located in Malolos.

Pag-ibig Office Baliuag Member Services Branch
3006 Augustine Square DRT Highway, Pinagbarilan Baliuag, Bulacan
Trunkline: (02) 422-3000

  • Cignal Cable Provider

If you want to subscribe to '100 percent new and digital high-quality audio and video cable channels', you can choose from postpaid and prepaid hd plans of Cignal Cable Provider. They install cables for free! Contact them here.

Mr. Edwin, owner of Cignal Cable Provider, at the far right

  • Honey Lyn

Purchase trendy and elegant bags and accessories from Hongkong at Honey Lyn. Buy your first bag and avail discount on their watches!

Honey Lyn Bags and Luggage
Shop hours: Tue - Sun: 11:30 am - 8:00 pm
Contact information: 0906 385 5999


elegant bags from Honey Lyn

  • Rosemary's Kitchen

Feast on a Filipino buffet meal at Rosemary's Kitchen for Php 199. Dine here with your family or friends; if you make a group of 8, you need not to pay for 1 person. We recommend you try Chicken Caldereta and maybe pay a bit more for a glass of wine. The interior of this restaurant is cozy and clean with appropriate music to complete your dining experience. Grab a lunch or dinner here, your Php 199 can go a long way.

Rosemary's Kitchen
Restaurant hours: Mon - Sun 11:30 AM - 8:30 PM
Contact number: 0943 342 7555


  • Creations

Get your hair pampered at Creations by Lourd Ramos at A Square. This salon uses organic hair dye and employs trained stylists from Creations main branch. If you have your hair treatment here, reviews say 'you can expect wonders!'. As for me, it's important to note that they SELL iCURE here for PHP500! LOL I wish we had this salon in my hometown.

Creations by Lourd Ramos Salon friendly staff

  • Pick - A - Box

Open a physical "office" for your online shop through this genius space renting business - one box is at Php 1000 per month. You can stash your products here and direct your customers for meet ups and purchases.

If you are a shopper, visit pick-a-box for some awesome picks like authentic fragrance and cosmetics or a bikini top at PHP 99!

Pick - A - Box
Shop hours: Mon - Sun 11:30 AM - 8:30 PM
Contact number: 0975 009 3025

Inside Pick-a-box at A Square (photo from Pick-a-box website)
Bikini top and bottom from pick - a - box!

  • Citi Gate Travelplus

Book package tours to Palawan or other domestic and international destinations like Hongkong through Citi Gate Travelplus.

Citigate Travelplus Website

  • Nail Impressions

Get your gel nails for Php 500 at Nail Impressions. Youc an also opt for 1 hr Swedish massage for at Php 300. Other services: Facial cleaning, foot and hand spa, manicure and pedicure


  • Adriano's School Supplies &  Gift Shop

Purchase wholesale or retail school and gift supplies at Adriano's.

  • Navarro's Furniture

At Navarro's Furniture, you can find a 100 year old Cabinet made from Narra wood. Shop for antiques or vintage collections at Navarro's, you can definitely find precious furniture to add to your collection.

Sales staff talking about this century old furniture
Inside Navarro's Furniture shop

Delivery Charge: within Bulacan - free ; Outside Bulacan ~PHP2000

  • Icon Classic Shoes

No need to go to Divisoria for high-quality, affordable shoes. iCON has them all. You can get a pair for less than Php 1000. The style and comfort to the sole are notable!

Mr. Myke Celis, a certified shoe addict (according to my judgment) thinks iCons shoes are trendy enough for their price

  • Hapag Events Place & Restaurant

At Hapag, you can enjoy buffet lunch for 2 hours at Php 299. Here's a separate article for my experience at Hapag

Hapag's Buffet food warmers are inviting!
Hapag's staff talks about today's menu

  • Bavarian Coffee

Bavarian Coffee is another homegrown business that serves delectable coffee and cake menu. You can hang out here and appreciate the interiors and serenity. Power outlets are placed everywhere for your electricity necessities. Work here or study here and be sure to try their Bavarian Coffee and Classic Sansrival.


Inside Bavarian Coffee

Bavarian Coffee
Shop hours: Mondays - Sundays 11:00 AM - 11:30 PM
Contact Information:
Email: bavarian_coffee@yahoo.com
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/bavarian_coffee

  • Baan Khun Thai

Treatments at Baan Khun Thai are inspired by authentic Thai massage and aroma therapy. You can choose from a comprehensive menu of relaxing spa treatments delivered by trained therapists. Don't forget to try their signature treatment: Thai Body Massage with Bentosa.

Baan Khun Thai
Open Mondays - Sundays 12:00pm to 12mn.
Location: 2nd floor, St. Augustine Square, DRT Highway, Baliwag, Bulacan
For more information, please contact: 09333135181




UPCOMING EVENTS


This month of July, A Square is launching an open-air bazaar to showcase 32 varied merchants from around the metro. Bulaceños and visitors can enjoy a month-long shopping and entertainment at A Square's spacious grounds.

PARTING WORDS


Vacationers coming in and out of Bulacan can comfortably drop by A Square for a quick coffee or to shop for travel needs - just like what we did before we headed straight to El Masfino Hotel & Resort - we bought swim wear from Pick-a-box! Travelers can also have a sumptuous lunch at Hapag's buffet restaurant or Rosemary's Kitchen. At the very least, this community center will help in your lavatory needs... Mind you, it has well-kept comfort rooms!

If you are a nearby resident, A Square is an excellent meeting point for you and your family to convene!

Visit A Square at 3006 Augustine Square DRT Highway, Pinagbarilan Baliuag, Bulacan. It is open Mondays to Sundays from 7AM to 12MN.

Commercial and Bazaar spaces are still available for lease. You can inquire through A Square's Facebook link.


Have you been to A Square in Baliuag? What do you think about it? What merchants do you want to find in your community hub? Let us know your thoughts below! And if you find this article helpful, do share it on your social networking sites!



TravelBook.ph, the leading online travel agency (OTA) in the Philippines, celebrated the first anniversary of its Affiliate Program last June 24, 2017 at Oakwood Premier Joy-Nostalg Center Manila in Ortigas Center, Pasig. In addition to celebrating an important milestone, the event was the OTA’s way of thanking its 2,700 blogger affiliates and acknowledging each of their contributions to the success of the said program since it began.

The event, entitled TravelBook.ph Affiliate Program 1st Year Cheer, highlighted and celebrated the many firsts that the Affiliate Program has achieved on its first year.

Anniversary celebratory toast led by TravelBook.ph’s General Manager Takumi Nakazawa, Business Development Manager Pinky Librada, and Business Development Officers Pia Bernaldo and Toni Reyes

Present during the event is Affiliate 001 Awardee David Bernabe, owner of Crowd Travel and the very first affiliate to sign up for TravelBook.ph’s Affiliate Program. DIY Travel and Tours was also awarded for being the first affiliate to incur a completed booking through their website. The awards and tokens of appreciation for the affiliates were presented by Ms. Pia Bernaldo and Ms. Toni Reyes of the Affiliate Team, along with Mr. Takumi Nakazawa, General Manager of TravelBook.ph.

From L-R: Event host Allan Bobis of The Filipino Rambler and Mon Villaverde of Terrific Traveller, the first guest to unlock the surprise point giveaway given to affiliates.

TravelBook.ph also prepared an audio-visual presentation of their first blogger getaway, where 15 lucky bloggers won an all-expenses-paid trip to the lovely island of Caramoan in Camarines Sur. Two of the bloggers who attended the Caramoan getaway, Me-An Clemente of Yogo and Cream and event host Allan Bobis of The Filipino Rambler, received tokens of appreciation from TravelBook.ph and gift certificates from Trampoline Park.

The attendees also looked back on their first affiliate training, which took place last year. Dianne Rosqueta of Curly Dianne was invited on stage to share her experience and how much the affiliate trainings helped her in optimizing the content of her blog. Afterwards, Ms. Pia Bernaldo of the Affiliate Team expressed her gratitude to the attendees and discussed the future plans of the program for the affiliate bloggers.

Also present in the event is Charmaine Belza of The Project Maine and the first affiliate to withdraw commission earned through the program. She was also given a certificate and token of appreciation from GetGo PH and Novellino Wines.

Lucky affiliates who won prizes from Novellino Wines, GetGo PH, Jam Liner Inc., Fast Cat, Philtranco, Hideo Wakamatsu, Trampoline Park, and Oakwood Premier Joy-Nostalg Center Manila

During the event, Ms. Pinky Librada, Business Development Manager of TravelBook.ph, discussed the Affiliate Program’s new commission structure, wherein the affiliates can score up to 65% commission rates once accommodations have been booked through their websites.

TravelBook.ph Affiliate Team with Team Timan, blogger affiliates who won Trampoline Park gift certificates and roundtrip tickets from Jam Liner
All attendees received PHP 2,000 worth of TravelBook points as well as loot bags with freebies from PhotoBook Wordwide, Hideo Wakamatsu, Celeteque, Vivo Lumio, and Bo’s Coffee.

Wines from Novellino Wines, backpack and trolley from Hideo Wakamatsu, Trampoline Park gift certificates, roundtrip tickets from Philtranco and Jam Liner Inc., roundtrip business class tickets from FastCat, and an overnight stay with breakfast for two at Oakwood Premier Joy-Nostalg were among the raffle prizes given away to the blogger attendees.

Affiliates proudly wore their certified affiliate shirts as they celebrate the 1st year of TravelBook.ph Blogger Affiliate Program

TravelBook.ph Affiliate Program’s 1st Year Cheer, which was attended by members of the media as well as top travel and lifestyle bloggers, is TravelBook.ph’s last hurrah for the said program’s week-long anniversary celebration. 

If you want to be part of TravelBook.ph’s growing community of bloggers and page owners, register as an Affiliate at affiliate.travelbook.ph