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Sunday, November 27, 2016

review: Motel 168 (Hotel 168) Manila


from Motel 168 (Hotel 168) page on Tripadvisor

Motel 168 (Hotel 168 ) is located inside Birch Tower, a condotel in Malate, Manila. Robinsons Mall is so near that you can see it from your balcony. Restaurants, Mini-groceries and Public transportation are very accessible. The condotel has several "hotel operators". To go to the Motel 168 reception you have to pass by the elevators at the ground floor.

Motel 168 guests can use the pool and the gym. The pool is not heated though, the water can become really cold at night time especially with the strong breeze coming from Manila Bay. Hotel guests who are into fitness can make use of their small gym with 2 threadmills, 2 stationary bikes, 1 billiard table, 1 multi-funcitonal pinloaded weight machine, dumbbells, barbell & weight plates, a regular weight bench and sit-up bench.


Stationary bike in the Gym

I stayed in Room 907, which is very lucky for me because the gym is right across my room and the pool can be accessed from the 9th & 10th floor. A typical hotel key card is provided according to the number of guests, which you will insert on the slot beside the door to turn on the electricity of the room. One reason why I choose this hotel for my staycation is the kitchenette. It is equipped with a full sized refridgerator, electric stove w/ a top to filter the smell of your cooking food, electric kettle, rice cooker, and a few eating & cooking utensils. The queen-sized bed is firm and very clean. Aircon is enough for the size of the room located at the foot of the bed. There is a moderately-sized television with skycable.  I never got to use the phone in the room to contact the reception area so I'm not sure how it works. The bathroom is a bit small, it might be hard for someone who is almost 6 ft. tall and weighs 200 lbs to get in and out of the shower. There is hot water (faucet & shower), toilet w/ bidet, sink w/ mirror, hand towels, bath towels and a pair of toiletries in case you forgot yours. There is cabinet in the room to put one's luggage and clothes. No free breakfast, safety box, wifi or phone though.

Doors (room, cabinet, bathroom)
phone to reception, keycard
inside the cabinet
Functioning Kitchenette
aircon (I fixed the aircon filter myself)

view from room 907 balcony

view when you enter the room (minus my stuff,,of course)

sink & mirror
toilet, bidet, towels
bathroom slippers
small shower area


There is a cafe on the ground floor of Birch Tower where Motel 168 is located. Well-known restaurants like TGI-Friday's and Tim Ho Wan, is on the ground floor of Robinsons Mall is located adjacent to the Birch Tower / Motel 168.

Motel 168 reception staff is very pleasant and works very fast during check-in and check-out. No one escorted me to the room though, maybe because I said I do not need help with my bag.

I booked through Agoda. I presented the credit card used to book the room, an ID and the printed voucher at the reception.

Excellent location. Clean rooms. Good value for the money.

My review is also on Tripadvisor

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Why Yoga?


There are plenty of websites that will tell you reasons why practicing Yoga is good for your body and mind. Here is my favorite site so far, Yoga Journal gave us 38 Health Benefits of Yoga. I will try to relate some of those to my experience.

Improves your flexibility

Self-explanatory and super obvious. When I got back on the fitness lifestyle after my child turned 8 months, I could not even reach my shin when I bend down, now I can almost place my palm flat on the floor. Took me almost two years, but hey I am not in a competition with anyone but my former self.

Perfects your posture. Builds muscle strength. Protects your spine. Eases your pain. Encourages self care

I have the combination of dextro & levo scoliosis or what is more commonly known as S-curve scoliosis. My right shoulder blade and left lower spine creates an almost permanent bump on my back, and makes me uncomfortable most of the times. Yoga helped me strengthen my back muscles to better support my spine and prevent it from bending more. I also notice that I stand and sit straighter because my yoga practice made my core strong in order to hold my posture upright.

Increases your blood flow. 

In the YogaJournal website, most of the poses they mentioned are for the advanced yoga practitioners, which I am not. Still, I can feel that after every practice my muscles especially the ones at the back are no longer tight and pain is almost gone.

Makes you happier. Relaxes your system. Helps you sleep deeper. Gives you peace of mind

Need I say more? Endorphins flow whenever we exercise. I also like to believe that we need to dedicate time to loving ourselves by doing something good for it, like yoga for instance. Whenever I have a hard time sleeping because I am too stressed, I found out that a gentle stretching yoga sequence actually helps me calm down and eventually fall asleep.

Helps keep you drug free. Gives you inner strength. Benefits your relationships.

Postpartum depression is not an easy topic. I am not sure if it is just PPD or if there is an underlying cause for it. One thing I am certain is that I prefer Yoga over medication. Yoga is addicting but it gives so many benefits, unlike medications that can harm the digestive system when used long-term. Family members suffer too when their loved one is depressed. I know how hard it is for my husband to see me so down, luckily Yoga helps me manage my depression.

Honor your body today, it is the only body you have.


Always consult with your doctor before trying any workout routine. 

Blessed be.

Connect with me:
Instagram: @mommyazza | Youtube: Mommy Azza | Facebook: Mommy Azza

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Yoga time: Pigeon pose


Honor your body today, it is the only body you have. 

 Having reverse S curve scoliosis means my hips and thigh muscles are always tight. I want to share my favorite yoga stretch to open up the hips and encourage blood flow to my thighs. It took me years of regular practice before I can stretch like this, yet there is still more room for improvement.

 I think this is also good for runners because it stretches the IT band too. 

Always consult with your doctor before trying any workout routine. 

Have a healthy and FIT day!

Blessed be. 

Connect with me:
Instagram: @mommyazza | Youtube: Mommy Azza | Facebook: Mommy Azza

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