Take a post-holiday retreat this January

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Treat yourself to an extended holiday break with an exclusive dining and staycation experience. Photo courtesy of BPI

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — As the holiday season has come and gone, we’re back to the daily grind. Yet, just because Christmas and New Year are over, it doesn’t mean that the time to indulge — as we do when we splurge on gifts, pamper ourselves after long days of shopping, and stuff ourselves full with family dinners — is over. In fact, it may even be a better time to treat yourself, as you ready for the coming shift in gears from relaxed days to busy ones.

Fortunately, there are many places where you can do these things and feel like you’ve gone on an extended holiday break. We’ve put together a short list of things to do and places to go so you can treat yourself.

1. Treat your family to a personalized lunch or dinner

Pinoys often bond over food. Many families like to put together a large spread at home consisting of Filipino favorites. But you can also treat your family or relatives to a dinner or lunch where they can sit back and simply enjoy the meals. BPI offers 50 percent off on orders from an array of premium restaurants around Manila for BPI Visa Signature cardholders. Among the restaurants families can flock to are City of Dreams’ French restaurant The Tasting Room, Japanese-Peruvian spot Nobu, and Chinese restaurant Crystal Dragon.

Recently, we got a taste of Crystal Dragon’s best-sellers with a lunch menu whipped up by Chef Yong Inn Chua and his staff.

_SRP8492.JPG The deep-fried crispy dumpling with prawn and salted egg yolk. Photo courtesy of BPI

_SRP8625.JPG Cantonese-style roasted baby duck. Photo courtesy of BPI

We were served several courses of dumplings, including a steamed rice roll filled with seafood that’s soft on the outside and crispy on the inside; flavorful braised sea treasures with shredded abalone in shark’s bone broth and Cantonese-style roasted baby duck; wok-fried beef tenderloin with foie-gras in fragrant black truffle sauce; and wok-fried chicken with walnut and hoisin sauce — which was the clear favorite of the day.

_SRP8706.JPG Wok-fried chicken with walnut and hoisin sauce. Photo courtesy of BPI

_SRP8990.JPG After the meal, we got to experience a tea ceremony that is exclusive to Signature card holders and were served desserts that look too good to eat. Photo courtesy of BPI

Outside of City of Dreams, diners can also head to French brasserie Mireio in Raffles Makati and Japanese-Peruvian restaurant Nikkei for a similar experience — one that is fully personalized.

“When you dine, you’re entitled to a VIP treatment,” explains Jenny Lacerna, BPI’s head of credit cards. “Your preferences will be asked, and you can customize everything. You just have to make an advanced reservation.”

2. Retreat from the city life

The BPI Visa Signature credit card, which was launched in August this year, comes with more than just dining perks — wellness and travel privileges are also available to cardholders.

“This is the most premium BPI credit card today,” says Lacerna.

BPI Visa Signature credit card holders can earn one point for every ₱20 spent using the card, which can be used to book flights, hotel accommodations, and car rentals; get airport lounge access (unlimited access for cardholders and one guest at NAIA Terminal 3 and a 50 percent discount on annual Dragon Pass Membership program to access international airport lounges); a preferential foreign exchange rate when buying foreign currencies at any BPI branch; 24/7 global concierge services like assistance in booking hotels, flights, Broadway plays, and golf courses; discounts on airport limo services; and access to priority lanes at airports worldwide.

BPI Signature Card.jpeg “This is the most premium BPI credit card today,” says Jenny Lacerna, BPI’s head of credit cards. Photo courtesy of BPI

For those looking for a relaxing vacation that doesn’t come with the stress and exhaustion of long-haul flights and transfers, there are the luxury island resorts in Apulit, Miniloc, and Lagen in El Nido, Palawan and Huni Resort in Iloilo, where cardholders can get complimentary room upgrades and free private dinner set ups.

3. Have a glamorous staycation

If work and responsibilities have already caught up with you these past few days — meaning it’s hard to getaway on a last hurrah vacation — another great way to treat yourself is to book a staycation at some of Manila’s premium hotels. Stays at any of the elegant rooms at Nobu Hotel in City of Dreams, as well as the Gold Rooms at Fairmont Makati, are also 50 percent off for BPI Visa Signature cardholders.

At Fairmont Makati, you can up the ante by treating your partner to a spa date — there is a buy one get one treat on spa services at the Willow Stream Spa for a relaxing and romantic night in.

Meanwhile, if you’re staying at Shangri-La at the Fort, you can get a headstart on your New Year’s resolution to get fit and healthy with a workout session at Kerry Sports, the hotel’s fitness center. Cardholders who avail of a one year membership here also get complimentary massages for two.


BPI Visa Signature credit card holders are entitled to 50 percent off on ala carte orders, valid from Monday to Sunday except Sunday lunch, at Mireio, Raffles, and 50 percent off on ala carte orders at Nikkei Restaurant, Crystal Dragon, The Tasting Room, and Nobu Restaurant until Jan. 31; complimentary room upgrades at Apulit, Miniloc, and Lagen Island Resorts in El Nido, Palawan, and Huni Resort in Iloilo, as well as a free private dinner set up for two until Aug. 31; Buy one get one on spa services at Fairmont Makati until Jan. 31; 50 percent off on Fairmont Gold rooms until Jan. 27; and two complimentary massages when you sign up for an annual membership at Kerry Sports by March 31st.