The birthday beat

NOVEMBER. It’s the same time every year when I head out to some place and do soul searching –or “escaping” as my family and friends call it, because the celebratory treat becomes absent. Yes, it’s the birthday month. And yes, you can call it escaping.

Bangkok is a favorite destination. All is back to normal (with tighter security measures) at the site of the city's most recent tragedy & the surrounding areas.

This year’s trip came in early, so that only means I will be in town on my date of birth, with loads of work at that. But I’m not complaining as work equates to income, which means there is more chances to see the world. Besides, I have received my birthday presents early and they are, I could say, top of the class.

The first time, the best time. A perfect birthday escape- flying on Philippine Arilines' Business Class all the way from Davao to Bangkok via Manila and back.

Bangkok is a trip made twice a year and the annual birthday escape destination. It’s both for work and leisure with the latter longer every November.

Always nice to see this bug guy at the airport.

I always take Philippine Airlines because it’s the most convenient carrier coming from Durian City to The Big Mango. The daily flights are well timed throughout the day with very short waiting time between legs and the check through service is unbeatable—single check in-two boarding passes without having to transfer to another terminal. I reunite with my luggage in Suvarnabhumi Airport.

How timely. My destination on the cover of this month's in-flight magazine of my favorite ride, Philippine Airlines.

While all my trips were flown in coach, this trip I was seated on the opposite side of the curtain in the Premium Economy section, doubling the comfort of the working vacation.

On the other side of the curtain this time. :)

The Mabuhay Class has its perks and I was glad to have a go at it again—separate check-in line, Mabuhay Lounge access, a comfortable seat with ample room for my longest legs to fully stretch on board and fancier meals, all served with PAL’s signature smile and good old Filipino warmth. It was three hours of comfort to and from Bangkok. Plus, this class gets a premium lane pass in Thailand offering a quicker access through immigrations.

(Mabuhay) Lounge Act-- relax, rejuvenate & recharge (mobile phones included). PAL's Mabuhay lounge provides privacy, peace & refereshment to its travelers

#FlyPAL kicked off the top-drawer getaway. At Suvarnabhumi Airport, the Movenpick limousine service was patiently waiting for me, the lone passenger, to hop in. Chauffeured by a lady driver, I was zoomed to Sukhumvit 15, the chic address at the city’s central business and entertainment districts.

That sleek, black car. My ride to the city hotel.

All alone in the Movenpick Bangkok's black limousine (aka private transfers) with my lady chauffeur

While the Movenpick in Cebu imbibes the vibe of the ocean, the Bangkok property embraces minimalism and modernity in its chalky facade, black and white interior detailed with carefully chosen functional appointments.

Movenpick Bangkok Sukhumvit 15 facade.

In balck & white, the chic lobby of Movenpick

Though the hotel is geared towards catering to the discriminating businessmen, much of the hotel’s guests are tourists on a leisure trip. The look, location and amenities make Movenpick quite attractive to a wider market.

Movenpick's other attraction- the ice cream. While I feasted on these "orgasmic treats" in the Mactan property, none touched my lips in Bangkok. I was sad. Seen at the Central World grocery.

I was given a room on the Club Floor with a view of the courtyard. The Executive Club Lounge, however, offered a view of the neighborhood through the large picture windows of the 6th floor expanse.

My nest in Bangkok on Movemnpick's executive floor

The peaceful and cozy lounge is where the select guests can have express check-in and checkout, breakfast, afternoon tea and evening cocktails or have an intimate business meeting.

Peace, quiet & a view of the neighborhood at the Executive Lounge of Movenpick.

As the trip came to an end, the very chic W Hotel offered to let me try the Away Spa’s latest promotional offerings. I was asked to try the Jetsetter’s therapy, a 75-minute massage designed to stimulate and tone the body triggered by soothing long strokes.

Nice to be back to rejuvenate. The green for me this time at Away, W Hotel's fabulous spa.

Fah Supichayangkul, the Assistant Marketing Communications Manager, further extended the W Hotel hospitality by inviting me and a couple of friends to sample the new menu of The Kitchen Table, the hotel’s chic dining hall. The chef dished out the non-red meat form the list and they were all so delicious to the last bite making it the perfect unofficial birthday dinner celebration. I have to go back to this joint and try the rest of the food on the new list.

Back at The Kitchen Table of W Hotel.

The W Hotel Bangkok beat conitnues at The Kitchen Table where the chef whipped up non-meat dishes from the new menu for me & friends

And speaking of food, my exploration of Bangkok’s culinary paradise is finally happening with the presence of a Dabawenya who made the city her home. Photographer Ayie Hernandez-Miscov took me to restos I haven’t tried before with a photo session in all the chic malls to match. Expect to see her amazing shots in this newspaper and my blog soon.

Bangkok mall & food exploration made more fun in the company of Dabawenya photographer who is "local"

Perks of being with a photographer.-- fantastic photographs. Book Ayie Miskov & freeze your fab moments in Bangkok.

In a most opportune time, I finally get to dip into the PAL + Movenpick ‘first class all the way’ experience. The treat didn’t just end there but taken a notch in higher in style level with W Hotel Bangkok jumping in the bandwagon.

Sawasdee krap Tata & Ae, the Executive Lounge receptionists.

Thank you, too, Philippine Airlines for the best birthday treat.

The birthday beat was fun and memorable thanks to great friends who made it so—Kit J., Meg H., Fah S., Philippines Airlines, Movenpick Bangkok, Away Spa and The Kitchen Table at W Hotel Bangkok. Thank you, guys!


For more lifestyle & travel stories, follow and

Email me at