Traveling To Hong Kong With My Senior Citizen Parents

31.12.19



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 application, they also offer other tour services. Ate got the Hong Kong package for the fam, which already includes the following:

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

23.12.19


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

18.12.19








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!

15.11.19


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

13.11.19



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: Nagasaki. Here are some of the places that you can visit when you find yourself on this non-touristy side of Japan.

Things To Do In Fukuoka

12.11.19



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!

5.11.19


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

29.10.19


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

24.10.19


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

21.10.19


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

19.10.19



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

18.10.19


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

17.10.19



    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

14.10.19


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.

Some Shooting Locations for Park Seo Joon and Jung Hae In Kdramas

29.9.19


It's a Kdrama fan girl's dream weekend! Two Korean oppas just arrived in Manila a few days ago for their separate fan meetings. Reminiscing the times when I can only go to filming locations to relive some of my favorite shows, ngayon we can actually see these actors in the flesh!



How To Apply For India Visa (Philippine Passport)

27.9.19


To me, India has one of the easiest visas that I acquired, but also one of the most expensive. You basically just have to fill up a form online (no need to go to agencies or embassies), pay via credit card or Paypal, and then wait for an email with your visa in around 4 days. Sobrang bilis lang! I decided to still write this blog post if ever you want to know what to expect before applying.



The Korean 7 Skin Method for Plump & Glowing Skin

24.9.19


Who wouldn’t want clear, glowing, bouncy skin that’s plump with moisture? The kind of radiance that comes from an uber-expensive facial at a five-star salon. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could get that look every day? The Korean 7 Skin Method can give you that same look at home… without breaking the bank.

Where I Bought My Autumn-Winter Essentials | Featuring Vlog with Tin of Real Asian Beauty

20.9.19


I recently guested in a vlog for the first time!

Tin of Real Asian Beauty invited me to the Youtube Pop-up Space Manila a few weeks ago so we can talk about our Top 10 Autumn Essentials in her channel. We compared notes prior the shoot date so we don't bring the same things. Aside from heat tech and hot packs, here are the other 10 items that I need during my Autumn-Winter travels.



Autumn Travel Tips | What To Wear, What To Pack, Where To Go, Things To Do

10.9.19


Autumn is coming! Here are some commonly asked questions I get from those traveling during fall season.


It rained for a day during my November Tokyo trip:

Clear skies and mild temperature during the day, November in Sapporo:

What To Wear During Autumn?

I get questions including "malamig na ba ng October", "what to wear in Korea on November", etc. Honestly, I am still confused myself! 

First is because hindi ako lamigin. When I decide to wear full-on wool coat with extra layers of heat tech garnments underneath, then that means MALAMIG NA MALAMIG na talaga nun! Haha! This usually happens when I travel during winter. But for Autumn (October to early November), I can actually still wear my usual midi or maxi skirts! 😅

Secondly, no brainer: weather changes every year! It's so hard to predict if it's going to be super cold this year, although I already traveled on the same place and at the same month a year or 2 ago. It still varies. A tip is to constantly check your weather app--a few days before your trip when you're packing, AND on the day of your trip before heading out of your room. It's not super-duper accurate, but it's the best guide where you can gauge if you'll need more layers for your outfits.



There's also day in my November Sapporo when it drizzled!

Here's a practical list of stuff that I will pack or wear with on a October-November autumn trip:

(1) Heattech. You can never go wrong with this extra thin layer! There will be days when it's not super cold ("Baguio weather"), but it's still cold. You'll need the extra warmth when it gets windy or when you stroll outdoors at night.

(2) Bring a jacket or coat. This can be your denim jacket, leather jacket, knits, and even long coats. Again, this depends on your tolerance for chilly weather. But during autumn, I seldom see locals in puffer jackets and heavy wool coats--usually they take these out during winter pa. But then again, it's all up to one's individual preferences, style, and needs.

(3) A cap, bucket hat, or any headgear that protects your eyes from the wind, or your hair from always getting on your face. I also just wear a hat or bonnet during light drizzles.




(4) Scarf, face mask, gloves. Again, these accessories will come in handy when you need the extra warmth. You can also buy heat packs in convenience store and place them on your pockets before heading out.

(5) Water resistant bag + passport holder. I experienced autumn rains so make sure to protect your things from getting soaked! You can also bring a small foldable umbrella with you, but I prefer buying one on the spot during my travels.




Where To Go / Things To Do During Autumn?

Of course, although it gets chilly, this is the best time to enjoy the outdoors! For Korea, go to theme parks like Everland where their displays turn autumn themed! Visit Nami Island, and see lanes of maple leaves in oranges, red, and yellows. Or simply go to the nearest park from your hostel!

Same with Japan, I enjoy park visits for the autumn foliage. My favorites are Ueno Park, Shinjuku Gyoen, and Yoyogi Park. Make sure to schedule your Mt. Fuji tour during autumn too! We had a clear visibility of this mountain, and we witnessed beautiful fall colors during our stopovers.

And lastly, make sure to schedule an onsen or jjimjilbang day, a ramen or ramyeun meal, cute cafes hopping, enrol in cooking classes or workshops, and have an art museum day -- activities that you will enjoy even when it's too cold outside!




Personal Favorite Autumn Sites:

1) Shinjuku Gyoen Park
2) Sapporo
3) Nami Island
4) Jeju-do
5) Everland
6) Mt. Fuji Tour





2019 Autumn Tours:

🍁 Gyeongju Autumn/Fall Foliage 1 Day Tour - from Busan (Oct 28~Nov 15)
🍁 Incheon 1 Day Tour from Seoul (Autumn/Fall Foliage Tour Option) (~Nov)
🍁 Korea Autumn/Fall Foliage 1 Day Tour (Seoul ↔ Vicinities, Oct 21~31)
🍁 Korea Autumn/Fall Foliage 1 Day Tour to Mountains & National Parks - from Seoul (Oct 10~Nov 15)
🍁 Naejangsan Mountain Autumn/Fall Foliage & Jeonju Hanok Village 1 Day Tour - from Seoul (Oct 18~Nov 15)

Leaving you with links from my former blog posts that might come in handy:

🍁 SPRING OR AUTUMN? PLANNING THE DATES FOR YOUR KOREA TRIP


When all else fails, remember that convenience stores, malls, and night markets are just around the corner in Korea and Japan! It's the perfect excuse to shop a little!
  
Are you flying for autumn this year? Do you have other questions for your trip? Feel free to comment below and will try my best to answer them! 



Watch my vlog guesting on Tin of Real Asian Beauty!
Winter-Autumn Travel Essentials:

OOTD INSPO: BlackPink Lisa's Airport Outfit + Online Shopping Hacks!

9.9.19


I really love the style of Kpop idols, most especially when it comes to airport fashion. I used to go to the airport in just white polo or white shirt, when I realized that there are more comfortable options that are still stylish! I got a lot of inspo from idols. 

One of the styles that I love is Lisa's of BlackPink, most prob because she's also into streetwear. I am sharing here one of the looks I tried to cop from Lisa, and how you can also achieve the look or at least own a similar piece of clothing of your style icons! Here's how.. 

The SM Store Share Movement: The Gift Of Shoes

3.9.19


Shoes are essential in one’s journey through life. For less fortunate families and their children, a new pair of shoes will allow them to perform their daily chores in comfort and walk to and back to school in safety. Good shoes can also inspire them to work hard – because with a new pair of shoes, they are not only able to fulfill their daily tasks but are also taking little steps to achieve their dreams. 

Anagon