Staycation at the New World Hotel: The good, the bad, the ugly (Day 1)

It’s been awhile since we had our annual New Year staycation due to the pandemic lockdowns. This year, we decided to do what we used to do – bond as a family. Again.

Because of many issues surrounding when and where and how our stay would be, we decided that this year, we would do the New World Hotel, which is right smack in front (or the back) of Greenbelt in Makati.

The good

Check-in was relatively quick because we checked in earlier than the New Year crowd. And because we stayed at the Residence Club floor, we did not have to queue with those who chose the lower grade rooms. The club floors offered not only outstanding views but also discounted services on many things as well – from spa service to food. There was also the all day refreshments and the night cocktails on the 24th floor, as well as the exclusive breakfast (without having to queue with the crowd at the cafe restaurant on the ground floor). The guest services people were pleasant and nice and so were the servers on the club floor.

As you would expect, the crowd would fill up at around 6pm and would really devour the evening cocktails (overflowing drinks and snacks and hors d’oeuvres) as if it were dinner. That’s a complement. Meaning that the spread was plenty and the food wasn’t bad.

Spa services are open until 1AM even on holidays. And they have pretty good spa services and a so-so gym that has good cardio machines.

The bad

With my 85 year old mom in tow, New World Hotel is not an ideal place for PWDs. Crossing from the hotel to the mall is a challenge if you’re on a wheelchair. Even the frontage of the hotel will require ambulating and crossing the center island, which is only half usable for a wheelchair while the other half will need someone to carry the wheelchair over. Added to that is the fact that the entrance to Greenbelt 3 fronting the New World Hotel wasn’t well designed by whoever the Ayalas commissioned. The ramp could have simply been made in front area rather than spend so much more on construction of that side PWD access. And you will see it all over Greenbelt, a mall that is not too PWD friendly.

Then there’s the food quality in the hotel. While I don’t eat a lot, there’s a lot of room for improvement on the food. The bacon was so rubbery that if I threw it against the wall, it would have bounced back. The bento box had fish that tasted awful and some sidings which I couldn’t figure out if they were condiments or real edible food.

The rooms are, well, outdated and this place really needs a serious makeover. I couldn’t figure out the interior design of the room but it has a cramp feeling, with all the furnitures all over the place. To say that the interior design was bad is an understatement. Even the toilet was so packed that you would feel claustrophobic inside. In addition, the doors were so narrow that you’d better be a size 36 and below, otherwise you won’t fit into the toilet door or shower area at all.

Parking here is a different story altogether. You had to park several levels down the basements and the only way to get to the lobby was to take the stairs. No elevators! How crazy is that?

The ugly

The housekeeping service is terrible. When I left my room, I turned off the DO NOT DISTURB light. And the housekeeper in front of our room was cleaning the other room.

When I got back back 4 hours later, our room was still unmade. Seriously? I called the guest services and they sent someone up to clean the room. But since we were there already, they just changed the towels and refilled the used toiletries. So much for service.

While the housekeeper profusely apologized for the delay because they were “busy”, that is a lame excuse. I know they were busy rushing other rooms because today would be important due to the influx of guests. They needed to clean up the rooms that were being vacated first. But that’s not fair to the guests who paid for more nights and of course, expect better customer experience compared to the one nighters who pack their families (and pets) into one room.

On a scale of 0-5, I’d give this property a 2. While they had some good optics, everything else was bad. And I wouldn’t really recommended staying here. At all… there are after all, better choices out there.

In tomorrow’s blog, let’s talk about their food.

619 new cases with 23 added deaths on 12.29.2022

As the year comes to a close in the next 2 days, the Health Agency announces 619 new cases with 7.9% positive rate and 23 added deaths. NCR owned 39% or 239 of these cases.

This was led by Quezon City with 59 cases, followed by Manila 29, Pasig 23, Makati 22, Mandaluyong 14, Parañaque 13, Marikina 12, Taguig and Pasay City 10 each.

Only Rizal with 35 cases and Laguna with 33 cases, had more than 30 today. The rest of the provinces with low double digits were: Cavite 24, Batangas 19, Bulacan 16, Pampanga 12, Iloilo 12, Cebu 15, Davao del Sur 12, and Pangasinan 12.

Note that only 9547 tests were done yesterday. There is a backlog in the data being reported by the Health Agency and we should remember to make sure that when we are sick, we isolate and test. Maintain minimum public health standards. Let’s make 2023 a meaningful one.

257 new cases and 26 added deaths on 12.28.2022

The Health Agency announces 257 new cases with 7.6% positive rate and 26 added deaths. Because of the extended holidays, most likely many of the cases are not being reported in real time. Yesterday, there were more 9000 individuals tested by PCR for SARS-CoV-2.

The NCR owned 48% (123) of the cases for today, with 3 LGUs rain gin double digits – Quezon City 26, Manila 24, and Las Piñas 11.

Outside NCR, only five provinces reported double digits (and very low numbers at that). They were: Cavite 21, Rizal 15, Negros Occidental 13, Laguna 12 and Cebu 10.

CAR, Region Z, Region XII and Region IVB had ZERO COVID cases in ALL their provinces.

Reminder to the public that the daily counts are NOT reflective of the true prevalence of COVID-19 in the country because the Health Agency only counts PCR tests and that many people are not testing anymore.

The ultra-low Tuesday and the data for 12.27.2022

The Health Agency announces 289 new cases (as predicted in yesterday’s blog that we would hover around 250-300 cases because only 3860 individuals were tested on Christmas Day). Positive rate continued to decline to 7.1% and there were added 19 deaths.

NCR continued to lead with 40% of the total cases. Only four LGUs had double digits – Quezon City 30, Manila 19, Makati 14 and Pasig 13. San Juan, Navotas and Pateros all reported ZERO COVID.

In the provinces only five provinces reported double digits and all were less than 20 cases – Cavite 16, Iloilo 13, Bulacan 12, Laguna 11 and Pampanga 10. All other provinces had single digit cases or ZERO COVID.

With close to 8,000 individual tested on December 26, tomorrow will have around 500 cases.

636 new cases and 7.3% positive rate for 12.26.2022

The Health Agency announces 636 cases with a reboot of the positive rate to a low of 7.3% (because it is a Monday). There were, however, 26 added deaths. Only 3860 individuals had PCR tests done on Christmas Day, which may mean that we should be seeing between 250-350 cases on the low Tuesday tomorrow.

NCR continued to lead the pack with 42% of the cases for the day.

Quezon City reported 50 cases followed by Makati with 32. The other LGUs with double digits and less than 30 cases in Mega Manila were: Taguig 24, Pasig 23, Manila 20, Las Piñas 18, Parañaque 17, Muntinlupa 15, Mandaluyong 14, Pasay City and Valenzuela 11 each, and Caloocan 10.

Only two provinces reported more than 30 cases – Rizal with 35 and Cavite with 33.

Healthcare utilization is at all time low with 17.6% occupancy of non ICU beds and 19% occupancy of ICU beds in the country.

The world in review and the data for Christmas Day 2022

The Health Agency announces 666 new cases with 10.3% positive rate and 21 added deaths. Note that only 6,252 PCR tests were done on December 24, 2022, accounting for the very low cases on a Sunday. With the very long holidays, expect low triple digits the next few days.

NCR continued to lead the pack with 255 cases in the region (38%). Quezon City led the haul with 57 cases. This was followed by Manila 29, Taguig 26, Makati 23, Pasig and Caloocan 19, Parañaque 17, Las Piñas 12, and Marikina 10.

Three provinces in CALABARZON reported more than 30 but less than 50 cases. They were: Cavite 45, Laguna 40 and Rizal 38.

The data is not what it really seems. And with long holidays ahead, the more the data is obscured.


The number of new weekly cases is slightly up for the week of December 12-18, 2022 by 3%. The number of new weekly deaths is 6% down compared to the previous week. Remember that the reporting system globally are underestimates of true global infections and reinfections as shown by prevalence surveys. Hence, the data should be interpreted with caution due to progressive changes in testing and reporting strategies, resulting in lower number of tests done, detected and reported.

At the regional level, cases are up in the Western Pacific Region (8%) and Region of the Americas (18%). Deaths are also up in these regions with the Western Pacific Region reporting 7% higher and Region of the Americas 3% higher cases.

At the country level, highest cases came from Japan (>1M cases up at 23%), South Korea (close to 500,000 up by 9%) and Brazil (>337,000 cases up by 74%). Highest deaths were from USA, Japan, Brazil, France and Italy. Brazil saw an 88% increase in deaths and Japan 19%.

834 new cases with 22 added deaths on 12.24.2022

The Health Agency announces 834 new cases with 10.4% positive rate and 22 added deaths on Christmas Eve. NCR continued to lead with the daily haul with 323 (39%) of the cases.

In the NCR, Quezon City led with 77 cases followed by Manila with 37. Other LGUs with double digits were: Parañaque 28, Pasig 26, Caloocan 21, Makati 19, Taguig 18, Mandaluyong 16, Muntinlupa 15, Las Piñas 12, Valenzuela and Marikina with 11 each.

Four provinces had more than 30 but less than 50 cases: Laguna 43, Rizal 40, Cebu 39 and Bulacan 33.

Counting down to the last 7 days of featuring the daily COVID19 data in this blog site. Beginning next year, there will only be a weekly report during Sundays.

850 new cases and 21 added deaths on 12.23.2022

The Health Agency announced only 850 cases today with positive rate at 10.5% (secondary to the very low testing at 9710 yesterday). As the long holiday draws to a close today, there definitely will be very few cases due to the low testing the next few days. There were 21 added deaths.

NCR continued to dominate the numbers, accounting for 354 of the cases (42%) of the day. More than 1/4 of the cases in the NCR (26%) belonged to Quezon City alone with 93. The other NCR LGUs with double digits were: Manila 35, Valenzuela 29, Caloocan and Pasig 27 each, Makati and Taguig 25 each, Parañaque 22, Mandaluyong 18 and Las Piñas 16.

Only two princes had more than 30 but less than 50 cases: Cavite 45 and Laguna 37.

I understand that everyone is in a festive move, and the economy attempts to bounce back. It is also important to remember that the virus is in a festive mode as well with all the gatherings. Let’s not forget to practice minimum health standards while enjoying the holiday season.

1031 new cases and 30 added deaths on 12.22.2022

The Health Agency announces 1031 new cases with 30 added deaths and a positive rate of 10.4%. NCR continued to lead but owned a lower percentage (37%) of the day’s cases with 377 added today.

Quezon City led with 88 cases, Manila 46, Makati 44, Taguig 42 and Parañaque 35. Other LGUs in Mega Manila with double digits were: Caloocan 27, Pasig 18, Muntinlupa 14, Las Piñas 13, Mandaluyong 12 and Pasay City 10.

In the provinces, Laguna led with 48 cases followed by Cavite 47, Rizal 45, Bulacan 28 and Cebu 30.

As the people make an exodus of NCR due to the holidays, will we see the uptick of cases shift to the provinces?

823 new cases and 15 added deaths on 12.21.2022

The Health Agency announces 823 new cases with 15 added deaths and a positive rate of 10.5%. Total PCR tests reportedly done yesterday were 11,402 (meaning we are underestimating the numbers and the prevalence of COVID-19 in the country).

NCR led with 339 (41.2%) of the day’s tally, with Quezon City owning 88 and Manila 53 cases. Other LGUs with double digits were: Pasig 30, Taguig 29, Makati 24, Caloocan 20, Parañaque 17, Valenzuela 17 and Pasay City 11.

Three provinces reported more than 30 but less than 50 cases. All were from CALABARZON: Laguna 46, Cavite 40, and Rizal 35.