Moved!


I have officially moved my blog. ¬†See you thereūüôā

 

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Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul, South Korea


 One of the places I visited when I was in Seoul was Gyeongbokgung Palace.

 I initially wanted to visit Changdeok Palace because of its beautiful and lush garden  but it was closed during that time.  *Most palaces are closed on Mondays and Holidays*

I got there by walking around Seoul with the aid of my City Maps 2 Go app but the easiest way to get there is through their subway via Line 3 to Gyeongbokgung station and leave exit 5.

You can witness Changing of Guards every hour from 10am to 4pm just right outside the palace.


If you wish to see the inside of the palace, you’ll have to pay 3,000 Won (Half price for Kids and Teens from 7 to 18) at the entrance.

Here’s the schedule for the free guided walking tours:
-English: 11:00am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm
-Japanese: 10:00am, 12:30pm and 2:30pm
-Chinese: 10:30am, 1:00pm and 3:00pm

Facade of the Palace

Inside the palace

Hmm, although the architecture was impressive, I didn’t quite enjoy it. ¬†It’s just not my thing. ¬†Witnessing changing of the guards was enough for me.

Seoul, South Korea Adventure


It was around 4am when I got off from a flight from Atlanta, Georgia.   Most passengers probably went straight to their connecting flights because apparently, I was the only one left wandering around the area where the Immigration was.

Out of curiosity, I asked the immigration officer what it takes for a Philippine passport holder to get a tourist visa to South Korea.  I mentioned that I was on a 16-hour layover in Incheon, showed her my boarding passes to Cebu, and I thought I should try kimchi and bibimbap because my friends rave about how good they are.  The immigration officer laughed at that.  Then, she stamped my passport. @_@

Incheon offers transit tours for free and you’ll find them quiet easily around Incheon airport. ¬†Since the transit tours usually start at 9am, I didn’t wait for the tour group because I thought of having my breakfast downtown.

 

I had some of my dollars exchanged to Korean Won (Currency Exchange available at the Arrival and Departure areas).  I left my carry-on baggage at  Hanjin Express for 6000won. I only had my camera and some essentials with me.

Next thing I knew, I was on a train to Seoul, Korea.

I was on a “private” trip to Seoul. ^_^

(It takes around 1 hour to get to Seoul from Incheon)

I was hoping to have an authentic Korean breakfast downtown. ¬†Unfortunately, I only found Lotteria (fastfood) which seemed to be the only one open that time. ¬†It’s like McDonald’s with its yellow and red colors. ¬†I had no idea what were on the menu.

 

Notice how “notorious” they are when it comes to smartphones. ¬†Hands down to their internet service: wifi seems to be available everywhere with pretty fast speed, too.

#Tobehonest, I struggled with directions in Seoul.  It was just so hard getting to places!  There was nobody who spoke English and their signs were mostly in Korean characters.

This app saved my day. ¬†If you plan on wandering around Seoul, my advice is for you to download an offline map. ¬†I bought City Maps 2 Go on Itunes for $0.99. ¬†It’s all worth it.¬†Everything is 100% offline, no internet required.

And then my day started…

(This is probably the only picture of me in Seoul.)

 

Stay tuned for more.

Back From Blogging Hiatus


As much as I want to “document” my adventures here, there are some things that go beyond our control.

Here’s why I got depressed for a time.

April 6, 2013, Butitoy officially retired.

I may have had a couple of tequilas and baileys that night, but I was still sane.  My tripod tripped over while I was taking some long exposure shots.  It was completely  dark but I did not hesitate jumping into the ocean the moment my tripod tripped over.  It was an attempt to catch Butitoy before it reached the ocean.  I failed.

Butitoy, my bestfriend for 5 years. Rest in peace, my love.

I already got a d7000 and¬†I’m still learning how to use it.¬†I still think of Butitoy. I miss him badly. I think it will take some time to get used to that feeling. ¬†My new buddy is named Butitoy V1.0. (I only have a 35mm these days).

When I have my free time, I’ll post my adventures during the time I went on “hiatus”:

-Bantayan, Cebu
-Malapascua, Cebu
-Gatlinburg, Tennessee
-Louisville, Kentucky
-my NASCAR experience in Michigan!!!ūüôā
-Seoul, South Korea
-Lalay’s wedding

P.S.

I have not been on dates for months now which really gives me the time and chance trying out different restaurants here in Cebu.  I hope to continue posting my food adventures here as well.

XoXo

See you aroundūüôā

Happy Birthday, Jeph!


 

Something unusual and extraordinary happened this year. ¬†Jephunneh, the closest friend of mine did not ¬†want to celebrate a month-long birthday; no chaos, no qualms. Worse, he just didn’t want to celebrate his birthday AT ALL. Odd.

He had no idea of the huge surprise awaiting him that day.  I bore the pressure the entire time. I had to influence his decision. When I told him that I already filed my vacation leave for his birthday, without second thoughts, he picked no less than Tavolata.

(Not in picture: 5 pizzas, 2 pasta dishes, and drinks).

 

 

Nimrod and Cherry fresh from Singapore

Usual Suspects: Baba, Kathy, me.  Missing in action: Rey.

Birthday boy with Baba

Birthday boy with yours truly. (Yes, I’ve lost 13lbs since January)

Birthday boy with Kathy

THE SURPRISE

Along with the 29 gifts, including a Nikon d7100, April came home from Canada that day.   (April started working in Canada early last year).  The other surprise: a trip to Hong Kong (flight + hotel bookings, itinerary c/o yours truly :p).

Teary-eyed Jephunnehūüėõ

 

Happy birthday, dong!ūüôā

Travel Essentials


I have always enjoyed travel blogs and I am already dreaming about my future travels.¬† It just feels relaxing and heavenly.¬† Since I’m out of anything to write about,¬†¬†I thought I’d share with you my¬†travel edition of What’s In My Bag.

I’ve been planning on getting a North Face backpack but my physiotherapist strongly disapproves of it.¬† I don’t think I’ll ever be able to travel with a backpack.¬† But anyway, my red 10kg trolley is still¬†in great condition after being dragged to different places for almost 5 years.

Since we’re on this topic of travel, I’ll have to¬†squeeze this¬†in¬†for a little bit.¬† I have asked this question several times in the past but I got laughs in return every single time.¬† I never got an answer.¬† But really, I’m serious.¬† Does the backpacker term refer strictly to people who travel in backpacks?

Oooppsss, too much blabbering.¬† Of course, I left out the part where I have to include items like money, passport, maps, comfortable footwear, clothes fit for the season, etc… But anyway, here goes my list.

 

From left to right:

¬†‚Äʬ†Phone

Ibooks.  Messages.  Calendar. Emails.  Internet. Games.

‚ÄĘ Eneloop mobile booster 4000mah (wishlist)
Just because… it has the same color¬†as my phone.¬†:) ¬†If you’re on the road, you’ll consider this one as your “samaritan”.¬† I think I’ll like this better than Mili.

‚ÄĘ Canon d20 (wishlist)
I love the mountains and the water!¬† Compact + Rugged +¬†Waterproof +¬†Shockproof = perfection.¬† I originally had my eye on a Go Pro but there are just a lot of accessories you need to buy separately.ūüė¶

‚ÄĘ Nikon d40 aka Butitoy
Ah, my trusty Butitoy.  My favorite among all my gadgets.  Records my memories.  My travel buddy since 2009 and has not let me down.

‚Äʬ†Tamrac Zipshot
Lightweight.  Portable.  Compact. Easy to use.  This is never meant to carry cameras heavier than 3lbs and not the sturdiest one in the market but this meets all my requirements for a tripod.

‚Äʬ†Extension wire
Have you ever been to a trip when there was only one available socket? Which one will you prioritize?¬† All of them are of equal priority, if you ask me, and I hope I’ll never have to be put in a difficult situation ever again¬†when I have to pick one.¬† I learned my lesson the hard way.

‚Äʬ†Walkman
This has been with me since early 2009 and this has¬†never let me down.¬† You can put pictures, mp3s, videos and even fetches local FM stations.¬† I know, somehow, that a lot of people will consider this as “extra baggage” but hey, my phone’s battery is inferior to this little one’s battery.¬† I sometimes use this as memory card during desperate times.

 Clockwise from Top:

‚ÄĘ Shades/Sunglasses
My eyes are more sensitive to sunlight when I’m wearing contact lenses. Or is it just me?¬†¬†Also used to¬†hide heavy eyebags.ūüôā

‚Äʬ†Water Shoes (wishlist) – Beach only
Because coral cuts are the most painful to endure.¬† Vibrams here are so expensive, very limited colors and sizing.¬† If there is anything cheaper than Zemgear, I’d get it.

‚ÄĘ Pashmina /¬†Scarf.
Multipurpose.  Can be used on either hot or cold temperature. Or can simply be used as cushion during naps.

‚Äʬ†Snorkel Set (wishlist) – Beach only
Just because I can breathe while my face is submerged in water. :)¬† Kidding, just because I can’t open my eyes ¬†underwater while wearing contacts.¬† :(¬† Fish are friends, too.

 

Clockwise from Top Left:

1.) Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Spf 50. I love Neutrogena products.  Sunblock for face if you intend to stay long under the sun.  I use spf35 during regular days.

2.) In2It Long Wearing Eyebrow Liner.¬† I wasn’t born with a gift of thick and no-need-to-groom eyebrows.¬† :(¬† I can’t comprehend why some women love super thin eyebrows aka “kilay 2000.

3.) Mary Kay Concealer.  Coz one has to hide blemishes, agree?

4.) VS Beauty Rush Lip Gloss.¬† Longlasting. Most reliable.¬† I can’t live without it.

3.) Etude Nymph Aura cheek stain.¬† It’s always on my pouch but I only get to apply it when I get to remember applying it.¬† I’m not obsessed about cheek stains/blush ons.

4.) Maybelline longwearing lipstick. I am anaemic.¬†My lips are super pale.¬† My lip gloss¬†doesn’t have tint, only flavor.

5.) Lens Care (multipurpose solution).¬† I use my glasses when I’m not outside.

6.) Green Cross alcohol.  Self explanatory.

7.) Vitamins/Medicine. Self explanatory.

8.) Wet Wipes.  I love those from Watsons.

9.) Cream Silk Treatment.¬†¬† I use treatments, not the regular conditioners.¬†(hilas noh?) I use one sachet per wash. Yes, I’m a sucker for hair conditioning products.

10.) Banana Boat SPF 100 (or spf85). The only brand I have come to love.

11.) St. Ives Collagen Elastin facial moisturizer.  Call me crazy but i love to lather my face with this product before hitting the sack.

12.) Revlon Colorstay pressed powder.  Self explanatory.

13.) Maybelline waterproof mascara.¬† Their volum express line is amazing! Same as my cheek stain, I only get to use this when I remember applying this.¬† And I don’t understand why women have to apply mascara when they’re about to hit the beach or the pool.¬† Or any makeup for that matter.

14.) Neutrogena body oil.

 

Please take note that all the items above are my tried-and-tested favorite products.  My wishlist items are those I came up with after extensive research that would potentially meet my requirements for certain products.

I’d love to read about yours, too! See you on the road?ūüėÄ

Kasadya Sa SRP


If you’re in Cebu and looking for some cheap thrills, you shouldn’t miss Kasadya sa SRP (South Road Project). ¬†It is located in the SRP Sugbu vicinity. ¬†No jeepneys are allowed along SRP but you can take a cab going there.

Do not expect fancy rides like the ones you see in Ocean Park or Six Flags.  Their rides range from Php15 РPhp50.

I remember the ferris wheel ride being leisurely and slow from childhood.  Our first ride was the ferris wheel (left).  This one made us shiver.  It was fast and oh-my-the-squeaking-sound-from-the-steel!  I closed my eyes the entire time and sweated like crazy. 

I wanted to see how the entire “perya” looked like from above but I just couldn’t open my eyes because I was too frightened. ¬† I took pictures with my d40 as if it was a point and shoot camera. ¬†I just took it from my bag and started clicking.

View from Above 1

But I couldn’t stop laughing when we finally took off from the ride. ¬†It was scary but still fun. ¬†I even want to do it again.

I forgot the other rides we tried but their Horror ride (Php15) sucked big time. LOL.

View from Above 2

I call this the “Jollibee ride”. ¬†I’m pretty sure the kids will enjoy this.

This ride I didn’t want to try. ¬†I’ve tried this in Hong Kong and I was screaming because it frightened me. ¬†It’s like being thrown in the air.

I saw a couple of those who tried this ride puked in the middle of their ride. LOL

You’ll also find other games like shooting little soldiers or making bets. ¬†I don’t know what they’re called.ūüôā

They also have barbecue and other street food (like Larsian), ukay ukay and other stalls near the entrance.

Please take note that the descriptions above are from somebody who has fear of Heights combined with speed.  Anything high and fast makes my blood pressure spike.

The Kasadya sa SRP officially opened last December 7 and will end on February 24. ¬†It’s open every day from 6PM to 12MN until January 20. ¬†From January 21 – February 24, it will only be open on Fridays and Saturdays.

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