Best Year? A 2017 Rundown of Faves

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Hello friends! I am slowly writing this on the eve of New Year's Eve (most prob will finish this tomorrow in time for NYE), I can already hear fireworks outside.

Days prior this, I was afraid I won't have the energy to post my usual year-ender (essay writing since my Multiply blogging days, hehe). First, I was just too lazy LOL. I have so many travel backlogs, and I can't seem to skip on all of them for this! Secondly, maybe because I don't think I will easily get over 2017, it's as if I don't want this year to end!

Autumn in Japan Day 3: Side-Trip to Yokohama + Fails and Wins in Travels

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Day 3 in Japan was undoubtedly filled with fails. The positive person that I am, I was trying to make it look okay in front of my Tokyo travel buddy Deegee.

First was getting lost in Yokohama. I went down the wrong station, which entailed suuuuper loooong walk to our destination. I was so stubborn that I said to myself, malalakad na yan! But it's so embarrassingly far pa pala, haha!

Autumn in Japan Day 2: Maple Leaves in Ueno Park + Futuristic Odaiba + Second Time in Ichiran!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

As I went from merely a travel buddy to a travel organizer during the past years, I learned more and more on how to strategize how one should create an itinerary--thanks to so many trial and error.

I used to just research the must-visit places, and then copy-paste all these interesting Googled information in my Word document before arranging them to fill up all the days on my trip--complete with time and number of hours we should stay on one point. I am a bit of a "just wing it!" person not in terms of just going with the flow and not listing places I wanna go, but more of just relying on asking people for directions and mode of transpo on the day of the travel. But all these mistakes I made along the way, wasted money on taxi fares because I didn't know they don't have trains in Jeju to go around the city, or wasted time in Japan because I didn't know that some places are just too far IRL, made me learn my lesson. Be prepared, yes, but also be a little bit more forgiving for your travel mistakes.

Autumn in Japan Day 1: Hello Again Shibuya + We Stayed in a Library!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

I can't seem to pick just one memory that I think is the best for me during my recent Japan trip. Every moment stood out, they glow like a beautiful autumn day in Shinjuku Gyoen Park (naks ang poetiiic!). I am so so excited to finally start with this blog series which I feel is super duper long overdue. I usually just take 1-2 weeks to finish my travel post series para fresh pa ang memories, but this time, I was swamped with work and other responsibilities so I had to set aside my blog ka-oc-han. Now that Christmas is approaching and the only thing left in my calendar are the Christmas parties... I can finally start with you Japan.

Cebu Food Crawl with My Sun Cellular Fam!

Monday, December 18, 2017

There are things I can't help but associate in certain places. Like coffee when I go to Davao, and shopping whenever I'm in Japan (haha!). When it comes to Cebu, it's always good food!

The second leg of my recent Visayas trip was in the beautiful, sunny south of the Philippines. Cebu is the first capital of the country, and actually Cebu City is our oldest city! I like going here because they have the best of both worlds: a lively city life and a well-preserved natural environment. Cebu is also very rich in history! On my first time in this province, there's so much old houses, monuments, and churches that we visited. Later on, I still have so much to see like the newer Sirao Garden and Temple of Leah. But always, it is not a Cebu trip if I don't get to try newly discovered local restos, cafes, bakeries, and bars!

With my food crawl buddies Pax and Kristine! We are all Sun Cellular ambassadors, and they sent us to Cebu to cover the annual Cebu Food Crawl... Yey!

How to go from Bohol to Cebu (via ferry)

My maleta and my legs squeezed inside the tiny tricycle on my way to Tagbilaran's seaport:

Last Saturday was very Korean-themed for me.. and hindi sadya! Aside from scheduling our Korean Christmas Party on that day, I also got an invite for the opening of the new branch of Nature Republic here in Manila. I learned that Ava was also invited to the launch, so we decided to drop by together at the Venice Piazza Grand Canal Mall in Fort to check it out before going to the party.

My favorite local juice brand  Locally Blended Juice Drinks was a star during the recent ASEAN summit here in the country!

Beyond the ceremonious meetings and business conferences, Locally lightened up and freshened up the recently concluded 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in Manila. How cool is that!

About that Barbie Dress

Yesterday, for our first ever Korean Christmas Party, I went in a very girly, very pink Barbie dress! Although I am more of a midi skirt and athleisure kind of girl, it's fun to dress up once in a while especially when people don't expect it! Yesterday's occasion felt like the perfect chance to wear the dress I got from Plains and Prints' recent collaboration with my childhood favorite doll!

My Favorite Christmas

Friday, December 15, 2017

If I have to pick just one Christmas that's the best for me, it's the time my whole family was in the States to celebrate white Christmas with our relatives there. Core memory level 100. That's about four years ago already, but I look back to bits and pieces of the good times we had sooo clearly as if I am recalling something that just happened a few weeks ago.

Disneyland with the family, years delayed (from our childhood) but still as magical as I expected it to be:

Things To Do In Bohol

I went to Bohol around two years ago for a media event. Everything's laid out for us, so we just followed the itinerary of the brand. One of the memorable activities I was able to tick from my "Bohol must list" is the bike zipline. It was part of the challenges we had to accomplish, and since I wanted my team to win, I did it even though it was raining so hard when it was my turn!

My First UBER Ride + My Year With UBER

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Last night, I realized when and where I had my first UBER ride ever. Ruth reminded me it was with her! This was during one of UBER's first events in the country in partnership with Zap Crawl in Greenhills. I had to search my blog post on this event just to check!!

So here's my first ever UBER driver Kuya Sonny!!!

One of my best friends just came home from Korea! Ava was with the Korea Tourism Organization's 2nd batch of Korea trip for winter so we weren't able to see each other for around a week (even during Bloggers United, huhu!). In perfect timing, we had events yesterday around Fort / BGC area so we decided to meetup in SM Aura first and eat our favorite Sushi Nori at their food court!

Why Book Your 2018 Travels This Month?

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Few more days till the year ends, and for sure you are already planning and scheming that 2018 is going to be awesome! My game plan? To "See The World" more!

If, like me, you also want to travel more next year, then I encourage you to book your flights via AirAsia. Why? They have an ongoing campaign to raise one million pesos to provide sponsorship program for many children as direct recipients across the country. For every AirAsia seats booked or sold in the Philippines from December 1 to 31, 2017, Php 5 will be automatically donated to World Vision's child sponsorship program! More reasons to book those tickets now.

GIFT IDEAS FOR MEN: Leather Belt, Fanny Packs, Etc.

Monday, December 11, 2017

For me, the hardest na bigyan ng gifts are the men in my life. There's my dad, my titos, and my best friend Paul. If you're also stumped with choices, I discovered these classic and enduring McJim Classic Leather products that are high-quality and super maaappreciate ng men of your life kasi sobrang useful. Here are some of these finely crafted leather accessories that you can give to your lolo, dad, guy friends, husband, etc:

My recent Korea trip with KTO is one of the shortest but packed trip I've been to this year. It's also one of the most memorable, experiencing Seoul again but this time with one of my closest blog friends Pax. I really appreciate these biglaan moments! I also finally saw Korea glimmering with reds and golds in its full autumn glory, something I've been Pinteresting since 2 years ago. Dreams really do come true! 

On our last day, we checked out of our hotel as soon as we went out so we don't have to go back again when we run for our night flight. Sched and our guides are all very efficient. It was my first time to see our hotel's reception area during the day, and it's so aesthetically pleasing. It's like entering a popular retro bar, I can almost imagine classic jazz and blues playing as our background music!

Spring or Autumn? Planning the Dates for your Korea Trip

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Before I begin my post on our last day in Seoul, I will try my very best to answer these frequently asked questions I recently got in my blog post comments: When's the best time to go for autumn? What are the specific dates I went for a spring trip so I can see cherry blossoms?


Monday, November 27, 2017

Hello everyone! Make sure to check out these awesome deals this holiday season! Ready? Scroll away! 😍

If I have to recommend a hotel for your South Korea trip, I will most probably answer L7 Hotels Myeongdong. Not only because I haven't tried any other hotels except this and some guesthouses, but just with this one-time stay it is already Anagon-approved.

Hangout with Friends @ Last Night's Locally "Fruit Truck"

Saturday, November 25, 2017

We've know of food trucks and ice cream trucks, but have you ever heard of a "fruit truck"???

Last night, I finally had the time to hangout with my best friends in blogging, Paul and Ava, as we experienced the launch of Locally Blended Juice Drink's Locally Fruit Truck at the BGC Passionfest. BGC Passionfest is a celebration of all things local, and event started around 6pm. Ang daming booths last night, but we decided to hangout with Locally.

Locally by NutriAsia is the first quirky Filipino juice line made with indigenous local fruits, and now the Fruit Truck is another first for them. Millennials and millennials at heart were there to celebrate the end of the week with good food, refreshing drinks, and great company. The place was also super jam-packed! 

Autumn in Korea: Everland Resort + Hwaseong Fortress + SM Town Stardium in DDP (DAY 1)

Thursday, November 23, 2017

After the honey almond nuts and packs of Lotte chocolates (Ghana) are gone, writing keeps great memories of a trip intact.

Alternative Korea Itinerary for the Seoul Nth Timers (Day 0)

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Everything was set for my final trip of the year, a ten-day, pure Tokyo autumn travel mid November.

Suddenly, and unexpectedly, I received an email from Cebu Pacific Air-JG Summit Holdings Inc-Korea Tourism Organization inviting me to a "Ladies Special" Seoul tour! Sumobrang excited and super G ako for this, especially when I found out that I will be with my blog sister Paxie! Sobrang swerte ng feeling! We were both freaking out on Viber, gushing over this sudden trip! Just months prior, we were even dreaming of a Busan ala Bromance (Jisoo-Nam Joo Hyuk) trip next year, and now we're finally going to Korea together!

Around Gapyeong City: Nami Island + Petite France + The Garden of Morning Calm

Friday, October 27, 2017

One of my must-see places for South Korea first timers is Namiseom Island

Also known as Nami, this half moon-shaped island is located outside Seoul in Chuncheon and is popular for its beautiful nature sceneries and Kdrama spots (Winter Sonata). Nearby attractions from Nami include Petite France and The Garden of Morning Calm. Because it's a bit far from Seoul, tourists usually plan a day tour including these three spots already. Make sure to leave your hotel early and manage your time wisely so you can appreciate every location! 😊

You Are Okay!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

In my theater club when I was still in school, I was part of the set design committee where we spend sleepless nights creating dioramas, then turning these model units into reality. There was a play where I had to revise the diorama gazillion times because our set design head was never satisfied. 

So I focus on my work in a corner and fix everything, go back to my head to ask if everything's okay after revising details from his nasty comments. I didn't know I had a breaking point till that day, I was usually extra patient. But on my nth revision, I started crying in front of my head when I did everything and he still didn't like my work again. Then he softened and hugged me and said "Inaantay ko lang to.." I don't know how you can test a person by being mean to him/her, really, coz what's the point? All along my work is already okay, but my leader wasn't "satisfied" till I shed tears... to make it memorable? To learn a lesson? Hay!

Yesterday's OOTD: Track pants and sweater from Penshoppe with the words "Follow No Crowd":

What Lee Jong Suk and Suzy Bae touch turns into gold!

At the latest episode of 2017 Kdrama While You Were Sleeping (Episode 8, available via Viu), Hong Joo (Suzy) and Jae-Chan (LJS) went to Miniso to shop for their police friend Woo-Tak (Jung Hae-In). This cute and light shopping scene that is obviously soft advertising by Miniso just added new stuff to my shopping list! I immediately entered Miniso in Glorietta yesterday when I went to Makati to check if we have some of the featured products Lee Jong Suk and Suzy Bae played around with! So good job Miniso, that was really effective! Haha!

Where to Shop for your Spicy Noodle Challenge? + WIN a GO PRO HERO 5

Monday, October 23, 2017

I'm addicted to Youtube for the past weeks or so, and one of the funny challenges I've watched is the Spicy Noodles Challenge! Nag crave ako bigla ng spicy Korean ramyeun with cheese, huhuhu.

Flavored Coconut Juice?

Thursday, October 19, 2017

I am a sucker for coconut juice!! They taste so good AND so healthy! I drink it every chance I get because I know of its health benefits from antioxidant to vitamin C, calcium, iron, and so much more!

Got so excited when I found out that Locally Merci Buco now has two new flavors aside from their original coco water. Something new to try this weekend!

Usually enjoyed by Filipinos as desserts, Merci Buco is now available in exciting and very Pinoy flavors Buco Pandan and Buco Lychee. Both are delicious, refreshing, and naturally flavorful.

The best part is that Locally Merci Buco is made from pure and organic coconut water sourced and organically grown from local farms in Bicol and Quezon. Consumers are assured not only of 100% freshness from the best-tasting natural coco water, but also of its numerous health benefits!

These drink also has low calorie content of 40 calories per serving, no sugar added (for plain coco water), no fat and cholesterol, gluten-free, not from concentrate, and non-GMO so drinking them is good for you.

Locally’s Merci Buco is available at Rustan’s and select PureGold and Robinsons supermarkets in 330 ML and 1 liter eco-friendly recyclable tetra pack.

For information about Locally products, visit Locally on Facebook (@LocallyPhilippines) and Instagram (@Locally PH).

Hit List #002

Ahhh.. I can feel the holiday rush as early as now! Events here and there, plus some blogger mails I recently received..... Sharing to you my new list of stuff to try from food to beauty to music to fashion! Let me know your faves!!

Korea Itinerary (Bucket List For Seoul First Timers)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Last summer, my whole family traveled to Korea for vacation. It's my parents' and Cea's first time in Seoul, so I served as their tour guide and came up with a day-to-day game plan--which was a bit of a challenge! Our itinerary is a good mix of the extremely different tastes and interests from all five of us. It was a short trip, but I think we were able to cover most of the must-visits for Seoul first-timers. 

If you're planning an autumn or winter trip to Seoul soon, here are some places that you might not want to miss.

Life Upgrades Para Lalong #GumagandaAngAraw

Sunday, October 15, 2017

They say that changing the littlest things will make a good day become even more better. In short, life calls for a little upgrade from time to time.

A post shared by Ana Gonzales (@anagon) on

Upgrading is taking what already exists, maximize and improve them to make everyday life even more remarkable. Here are some of these smell steps I took to improve my lifestyle for the past months:

1) Ordinary Bus to P2P

I usually just take the ordinary bus whenever I commute from my home here in the south going to my events and meetings. I did not notice this before, but riding ordinary buses made me so anxious because of the space constraints, bad air conditioning, and heavy traffic from its routes. 

Now that I take the P2P, I don't have to worry about these things. P2P buses leave on schedule regardless if the transportation is filled up or not. They also use tap-card payment scheme, I don't have to wait for the bus conductor to give my payment (and wait even more for my change dahil walang barya). P2P buses are also new, spacious, and well-maintained. Definitely a life upgrade for me as a commuter! 

2) Instant Coffee to Brewed Coffee

I didn't realized this before, but my daily instant coffee habit was not healthy at all. A pack of instant coffee is usually filled with sugar, so imagine consuming that everyday! A life upgrade is converting my usual instant coffee to a mug of brewed coffee. It tastes better, it is healthier for me, and smells so, so good!

3) Fujifilm XA2 to Fujifilm XT10

I finally decided to let go of my old mirrorless camera and go for a Fujifilm XT10, one of the most recommended cameras by my fellow bloggers. Shutter is even faster, photo quality more crisp, this gadget upgrade inspired me again to take better pictures for my blog.

4) Normal Beddings to White Comforter and Duvet

One instant life upgrade is replacing my normal beddings to white comforter and duvet. I always have a hard time sleeping, so doing this makes bedtime feel extra comfortable as if I'm in a hotel staycation.

A post shared by Ana Gonzales (@anagon) on

5) And then there's bath oil

I finally tried BeachBorn's new Frankincense Bath Oil, which helps moisturize my hair and skin with just a few drops on my bath water. It doesn't add time to my daily preparation, plus it also feels extra luxurious to use!

6) 3G to LTE

Last but not the least, I am so happy when I learned that Sun Cellular rises back brighter by launching high-speed internet with a more improved and wider LTE coverage! Sobrang nakakaganda ng araw!

I've been using Sun since 2014, and I must say this network upgrade will make surfing, downloading, gaming, streaming music, and of course watching my Kdramas easier and speedier. Best part is, using Sun is still very affordable!

 Headlining the campaign are the newest Sun endorsers, Vic Sotto, Maja Salvador, and Matteo Guidicelli:

If you are also a fellow Sun subscriber, join the upgrade by having your old 3G SIM replaced in Sun Shops with LTE-ready SIM for FREE! If you're not using Sun yet, Sun LTE-ready SIM is now available for only Php 35 (available in regular, micro, and nano SIM sizes). For more information, follow Sun Postpaid on Facebook.

Share to me how you make your life a little bit better! Comment below or Tweet me @anagon for your tips. ❤

Packing for Japan (Autumn)

Less than a month till my most awaited trip back in Japan, and this time's it's for autumn! I am so anxious to leave already! I've been to Japan during spring last 2015, and it has been my dream to see this beautiful country accented by reds and browns!

Wearing maroon tights and sporting red hair during my first autumn in LA:

Outfit Repeater

Friday, October 13, 2017

I am notorious for repeating my clothes. I feel that whenever I get to use a piece of clothing more often, the money I spent on that garment is worth it.

Here are some evidences from my Instagram account (@anagon / #anagonOOTD):

First time to wear my Plains&Prints army green dress was during my Malaysia trip. I wore it as-is, and paired it with yellow wide-strap sandals:
A post shared by Ana Gonzales (@anagon) on

How To Apply For Japan Visa (Without ITR)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

I did it!!! I finally got my Japan Visa with Multiple Entry!!! 

After visiting the land of the rising sun twice, I felt hopeless that I am not meant for a multiple visa (huhu). I thought that I just have to settle on getting one every single time I visit. Usually people are granted multiple visa during their second time in Japan, but that did not happened to me. Maybe it's because I applied with a GUARANTOR (or sponsor aka my sister) all the time? I've always been a freelancer (blogger) so I was afraid my papers were not enough. 

Snacks Shopping Online!

With the traffic so bad and our erratic weather the past days (rainy today, super hot tomorrow), I thank God for online shopping. I try as much as possible to just work from home which lead me to discovering lots of stuff online. I love buying my clothes in apps and online shops, unique trinkets on Instagram, and even secondhand fashion items on Facebook groups!

Imagine my eyes (😍) when I discovered an e-commerce website for FOOD!

Meeting Dara Park and Mario Maurer

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

During the press launch, Mario Maurer took our phones to take our selfies!! 😫

Back in Baler + Coastal Cleanup with Reef Philippines

Monday, October 09, 2017

When I received an invite to go to Baler for Reef Philippines' annual coastal clean-up, I cannot say no. I cleared my schedule to go to one of my favorite places in the country. I also realized that it has been a year since I went to the beach! After my constant La Union trips last 2016 (I even joined Reef's first Free The Sea coastal clean-up), I think I had beach-fatigue.

But just 360 days passed by and my heart is already yearning for sand, sun, and sea. I am not really a beach person because I would rather be in negative zero climate than under the sun, but I love water sports. I am not the best at it, but it gives me a sense of focus and balance in life that I will eventually look for that thrill from time to time.

Anyway, so thank you very much Reef Philippines and Comco SEA for having me again in this wonderful travel! There's nothing like enjoying and at the same time contributing positively while you travel. Here's what happened during that 3D2N immersion.

#KayoRinPo, Kuya UBER!

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Day 5-6: Yangon + Back in Novotel Yangon Max

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Technically our last full day, we are back in Yangon via a night bus just in time for breakfast. Our flight is still on the next day, but it is scheduled early in the morning so we can't do anything anymore and have to go straight to the airport. Good thing our hotel, Novotel Yangon Max, is barely 30 minutes away from the international airport so that's a one thing less to worry about.

Health Talk: Good Fats For Your Body (Even for Vegetarians)

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Last month after yearsss, I decided to diet. And it's not because I am not happy with my body, I think I am too comfortable in it already that I don't seem to care anymore if I gain weight (compared to my younger years!). I also got inspired by the before and afters from Noom. My deciding factor though was my best friend's wedding, where I had to wear a gown. You will never see me in gown, haha! But since this is a special occasion, I prepared myself for it by working out daily and being a bit more watchful with what I take in.

Throughout the short process, I talked to my fitness friends and learned about the new fad diet called Ketogenic, or the low carb high fat diet. It's the only weight-loss scheme where you are allowed to eat BACON and CHICHARON! I know I cannot fully follow Keto because I am a vegetarian, but I learned a bit from it--that fat is not always bad!

World Vision's New Vision: To Sponsor 2000 Children in 1000 Hours

Monday, October 02, 2017

There's a sense of urgency in World Vision's new campaign. They aim to have 2000 children sponsored in 1000 hours. 

How to Throw a K-Drama Party!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Annyeong, Chingus!

I can't believe Korean Actor Nam Joo Hyuk's fan meet is almost a week ago! As mentioned in my blog post, my friends and I decided to hold a sleepover the night before the event since most of us live far from the venue in Kia Theater Cubao. We want to be so ready for this once in a lifetime thing! 😀

Since we already booked a hotel room (thank you for treating us, Kookie!), we decided to go all-out and turn it into our very first Korean Drama Night!! 💥

Not a lot of people knows this, but I love basketball! I used to watch college basketball a lot (fan girl parin, haha!), and even played for Milo Best and our school team when I was in Grade School!

Good news to fellow sports enthusiasts! Toby's Sports, the largest multi-brand retailer in the Philippines, announces their first National Sports and Fitness Day on October 1, 2017! This celebration is created to promote the positive benefits of sports and fitness to Filipinos of all ages!

Myanmar Day 4: More of Bagan

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

And so our Myanmar adventure continues!

For Day 4, we have another whole day in Bagan ahead of us before our night bus to Yangon. I had zero plans on the list already, while a trip to Mandalay or another part of Myanmar sounds great, sched is already tight and tiring. I can't spend another 5-hour on the road.

So Ruth and I decided to go back to Downtown Bagan and just ask for recommendations and other things to do in the area. That's one of my fave things in traveling, there are times when you don't have to be super OC with your itinerary. There are countries where you can just go there with zero plans, and end up doing things recommended by online friends and friendly locals. Now that I think of it, our whole Myanmar trip is built from recommendations, which is actually pretty cool!

My First Laser Teeth Whitening Experience with Affinity Dental Clinics, Alabang

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Big smile while waiting for my dentist!

Anne Curtis Launches Her Own Makeup Line

Monday, September 25, 2017

I'm a late bloomer when it comes to make up! 

Improvement na now that I use BB Cream and sunblock every time I go out. But during lazy days, I will always resort to fuss-free, easy to use makeup products. As a celebrity with busy sched, Anne Curtis knows all about these "offs days" and decided to come up with her own "Uncomplicated Beauty" makeup line. 

I learned more about her products when I went to the launch of BLK Cosmetics last week at the fancy Manila House in BGC. More photos from the event below!