10 for 2020 | A Little Life Update

My 2020 is off to a slow start, but it's okay. It's actually a good contrast from the rush that the end of 2019 has brought us, and right now, I appreciate the rest and time off this new year (and new decade) brings. 
Some updates! From #40 last 2018, for 2019 my blog landed at #64 at the Feedspot Top 100 Philippines Blogs And Websites To Follow.. aigoo! It's time to get motivated again, and work harder this year. I have been slacking not only in my blog but also on my other platforms like Instagram, but then again, it's okay! 2019 has been a transition year for most of us in the community: Will I continue my blog? Will I pursue Vlogging? How will I balance filming an IG Story and clips for a potential Youtube post??? While taking pictures!?

Traveling To Hong Kong With My Senior Citizen Parents

I love traveling DIY, but I realized how different it is when you're with your senior citizen parents.

During our Korea trip, I observed that the parentals get easily tired, from pulling luggages to walking non-stop. A vacation is supposed to be fun, and so that's what we gave mom and dad last October when we flew to Hong Kong.

Transportation that picked us up from the airport to our hotel, vice versa.

For Mom's 60th birthday, she requested a family trip instead of the typical surprise birthday in a resto with the whole clan (haha!). She prefers just going out of the country with dad and her daughters. After debating which country we should go that's in-line with our budget, with no visa requirements, and gets cold during -ber months... We ended up with Hong Kong.

My Ate was the one who hooked us up with Rakso Travel, also the travel agency that I went to before for my Korean visa. They proudly told me that Korea is their specialty. Anyway, aside from the visa applicat…

My 2019 Highlights | Dealing With Anxieties That Come with Age

2019 has been a difficult year for my mental health. I have to admit, I struggled a lot to remove my anxieties with "think positive" and "keeping myself busy". Although these worked in some days and in some ways, admitting that I have a bad case of anxiety to my closest friends and even injecting it in convos with family ("Bat ako kinakabahan, ano ba to?") was the BEST first step I took to take charge of my uncontrollable thoughts and emotions.

My 2019 Beautiful Travels | On Dealing with Travel Burnout

I have to admit something that I don't even want to admit to myself. Naramdaman ko yung pagod sa travels this year. Around March, I was physically and mentally drained. I remember talking to my friend Ashley while we were waiting for our order in Pizza Hut (before the So Ji Sub fan meet!), and I might sound ungrateful to outsiders but I just have to say it to someone who will not judge me, "pagod na pagod nako".

The World of Studio Ghibli, Hong Kong

I didn't think I'll find a piece of Japan in Hong Kong, unlike in Taiwan where you'll find Totoro and Rilakkuma almost everywhere. But just in time while we were there for my mom's 60th birthday, The World of Studio Ghibli's Animation was on-going. I found this exhibition via Klook and bookmarked it if in case we have free time that I don't want to waste (you can always find new and alternative activities for your travels via Klook). This Dir. Isao Takahata and Dir. Hayao Miyazaki exhibition ended last November 3, but my sister and I were lucky to be able to visit last November 2!

Here are some vignettes from that quick trip. This took place in the morning of our flight back to Manila.

PODIUM EATS: Meet Fresh and Putien Are Now in Manila!

Had a gastronomic feast yesterday with friends when we visited Podium to check out two newly opened restaurants, both very popular in their countries! Worth the travel time and extra pounds gained. 👌

4D3N Kyushu Itinerary (Fukuoka + Nagasaki + Saga) | Photos from Yutoku Inari Shrine

My recent Japan trip felt short, but it already included a lot of activities and touched three cities of Kyushu. As mentioned several times, this is my first time traveling to the south side of Japan, and through this trip, I was able to appreciate it for the mild weather, unique foreign influences, and rich history. 
Sharing our 4 days - 3 nights Kyushu Island itinerary, covering Fukuoka - Nagasaki - Saga - then back to Fukuoka for our flight to Manila. All pictures used in this post are taken from our short detour at the Yutoku Inari Shrine in Saga--a unanimous favorite stop of the group.

Things To Do in Nagasaki

I remember how my high school commemorated the Hiroshima-Nagasaki nuclear attack every August, with a mass in our campus field and extensive history classes. St. Scho has always been like that, a bit too revolutionary for youngsters with no idea of the world at that time. I think this was my very first encounter of these two cities in Japan, made known by a tragic incident in 1945. My early exposure lead to a long-term thirst for knowledge and understanding.
Ever since then, I've been drawn to these places for its stories, just like visiting the 9/11 Memorial of New York, the Killing Fields of Cambodia, and the Topography of Terror of Berlin. They'll call it "depressing", but there is also a lot to learn from the world's dark past ("never forget").
And like in any place, there is more to Nagasaki than being the last city in the world to experience a nuclear attack. After two nights in Fukuoka, we were on the road for 2 hours to get to our next stop: Na…

Things To Do In Fukuoka

Have you ever thought of traveling to Fukuoka?
I've only read about this southern city from travellers who've already done the usual Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto Japan tour. To Filipinos, Fukuoka is one of the alternative Japan destinations when you want to go back to the land of the rising sun, but without the inconvenience of connecting flights (since we have a direct, 4-hour flight from Manila to Fukuoka Airport via Cebu Pacific Air). I also know of Fukuoka for its Wisteria Tunnel (purple flowers) during April to May.
Since it is located in the south, Fukuoka is Japan's sunny side. It is the gateway of the Kyushu Island, its largest city, and was once a prosperous port town where foreign merchants come and go.

SM Share Movement goes to Nasugbu, Batangas

Smiles as bright as Christmas lights, and laughter that invigorated like Christmas carols—these filled the grounds of the Looc Elementary School in Nasugbu, Batangas as The SM Store gave the students there an early Christmas present that is #SoMagical. Staying true to its commitment of bringing joy to communities where it is present, SM recently turned over its 100th school building donation, and The SM Store distributed toys to children. 
It was only October 16, but it felt like Christmas morning. The students and teachers of Looc Elementary School could not contain their excitement as they took part in a morning of fun and games, a day before the official unveiling of the two-story, four-classroom new school building. 

A Fan Girl's Heart | Cha Eun Woo in Manila!

I will never know how HUGE my capacity is--to spend, to be hopeful, and to endure--until I chose the fan girl life.

Korean Visa Application 2019 | Requirements for Tourist Visa + Winter in Korea

Last year, I finally got my Multiple Korean Visa. It took me 7 tries to finally acquire one, I was only granted Single Entry Visas during my last visits. This was during the time when you can still apply directly at the Korean Embassy in Manila. A lot has changed in a span of a year, so I am sharing here an updated version of my post on Korean Visa Application for Philippine Passport holders. I hope you get your visas in time for Winter!

Play Line Friends Opens First Store in Manila, Philippines! | Store Tour + Haul

I cannot deny that a Line Friends store can be considered a tourist attraction when you visit Korea. Most of the people I know who went to Myeongdong or Itaewon will drop by this playful store to have their photos taken with the giant BROWN character plushie that welcomes the guests to come inside. There was a time that even Incheon International Airport has a giant Brown bear photo area at the departure area! Lagi pinipilahan ang Line Friends! 
Aside from the cute characters of this popular Korean messaging app, they also carry Kpop group BTS BT21 original merch--some stores even have BT21 cafes!

Golden Phoenix Hotel Manila | REVIEW

Stayed in the Golden Phoenix Hotel Manila last night. I've been looking for another hotel with a good central location that can accommodate our family's annual Christmas salubong (coz we're only 2 families in our mom side, one from the south and the other one from far north!). 
I am considering Golden Phoenix Hotel Manila for several reasons:

UNBOXING: Cha Eun Woo Just One 10 Minute Official Merch

I think I have unboxed 2 official Astro merchandise, but this 3rd one is even more special because it's a surprise from my best friend. He bought all the Cha Eun Woo Just One 10 Minute merch right after I took a screenshot and sent photos of them in our friends' Facebook group chat!

I had no plans of buying these official merch since I already have the Astro light stick to use during the show, plus the VVIP ticket that I bought for Cha Eun Woo's first fan meeting already created a hole in my pocket. So imagine my surprise when @paultheprguy showed a screenshot of his purchase from Global Interpark! THANK YOU!

Meeting Van Gogh During My Travels + Van Gogh Alive is Coming To Manila!


Why Travel In Hokkaido During Autumn? | My 8 Favorite Hokkaido Autumn Sites and Activities

Hokkaido is more known as a travel destination during winter season (December to February). For Filipinos, we visit the northern side of Japan to experience the thickest snow, wear our heaviest coats, and participate in snow activities like skiing, snowboarding, and even just to create a snowman and snow angel! 😁

The second popular seasons to visit Hokkaido is Spring-Summer, where you can see fields of flowers in full bloom either in Furano or Biei. Fall is often the least traveled months as people opt to go to main cities like Tokyo or Osaka.

Sanrio Goes To Inflatable Island! | Subic, Zambales

The cutest partnership we never thought we needed!

I've been to the Inflatable Island in Subic 2x already, prior this. On the first one, I was able to try the obstacles and slides. On my second visit, I was able to just chill and take photos on their famous "Bali Lounge" like a legit tita. 😂

The Magic of Germany in the Winter

Are you thinking about visiting Germany this year? 
It’s is a beautiful place to visit during any time of year, but winter is thought to be Germany’s most magical season. The temperature stays pretty comfortable, but the mountains and forests are covered in a blanket of pure, white snow. 

Autumn in Hokkaido Travel Guide | 5-Day Itinerary + Tips

On my third time in Hokkaido, there is still so much to see and do.

What I like about this trip is that I was able to experience new things, and even new things from sites that I have already been to before but in a different season. I still find it amusing that any changes of the colors of leaves, a drop in temperature, or the appearance of rain or clouds changes a whole place in its entirety. It's always as if it's my first time! I will always be a fan of the magic of four seasons.