2022 Recap

Saturday, December 31, 2022

No expectations, but thank you 2022 for the adventures!

From covering Kpop concerts and actor fan meetings, to solo trips here and abroad, I finally felt that I can still pick up what I've lost from the pandemic. I said I don't have energy to write a year-ender, but I saw my long-time blog friend Ava posted hers which really inspired me to just go for it. 

Here are my personal highlights from the year that was, the good and the bad.

Last Day of 2022

It has come to this point where I can't think of any resolutions for a new year. 

I have been so used to writing year enders over the past years or so, but this year I felt that my writing reached its tipping point. I am running out of words.

DAEGU: BTS Pilgrimage (V and Suga's Hometown Tour) + Cafe Hopping

Friday, December 30, 2022

I finally went back in Daegu after four years! This time, I was wearing a pair of purple tinted glasses.

I've been in this beautiful fourth largest city in South Korea back in 2018, but itinerary was mostly Kdrama locations and to catch cherry blossoms since it was spring time then. For autumn 2022 (and now an ARMY), my agenda was to go on a BTS Pilgrimage and see spots related to Taehyung and Yoongi since Daegu is their hometown. 

In between, I also went to coffee shops after learning that Daegu is also known as a cafe hopping spot for the locals. Here are the places I've been to, in case you're planning to visit Daegu soon!

Glad they kept this BTS V Day mural in Daegu, a fan project during Taehyung's birthday


❤ Daegu also uses T-Money Card, and have really easy to figure out train and bus lines. I also mostly just walked around. Wrote more about Daegu's transportation system in my 2018 blog post.

❤ I stayed in Midtown Hostel Daegu, and enjoyed its quite central location. Posted more about my hostel in this post. If you're booking for a Daegu accommodation, consider areas around Banwoldang Subway Station or Jungangno Station.

Common area in my guesthouse where I heat my food and borrow plates & utensils

❤ I joined a tour bus to go to Daegu, but also tried KTX coming from Seoul which took only around 1 hour and 40 minutes. Blogged about this experience here

If I didn't go with a tour bus, I would have taken an express or intercity bus from Seoul to Daegu. I usually just go to the Express Bus Terminal (the one with underground shopping mall and has connecting train lines), but there are other terminals around Seoul too that might be nearer your accommodation. My technique is I always just ask my hotel or guesthouse for tips! :)


All mentioned cafes were easily navigated via Google Maps

Since I have to eat anyway, I went for nice cafes during my Daegu trip. I learned from Creatrip's Must Visit Cafes list that Koreans "visit Daegu for authentic and trendy cafe vibes...". 

 The Differ 더디퍼 카페

The Differ's compound looks HUGE and intimidating, but once you enter this former warehouse turned cafe and wine bar, the dim lighting was comfortable and relaxing even for a solo traveler. Ordered iced coffee and a slice of cake, and then enjoyed minutes of taking pictures of their Insta-worthy, medieval-ish interiors. Favorite is the corner with a huge Bichon Frise white dog plushies collection! 

Intimidating entrance to The Differ

Just had to ask a stranger to take my pics with the Bichon plushies!

 C'est La Vie 음악다방 쎄라비

One million heartaches for my 2 favorite kdramas shot in this vintage style cafe in Daegu called Youth of May and Snowdrop. C'est La Vie cafe was originally a set built for the Kdrama Love Rain. I was the only customer when I entered the shop, so again I was intimidate to push through. 😅 Thank God I found the courage to order iced americano, and take out my tripod for these self-timer photo souvenirs. 

Scene from Korean drama Snowdrop shot here in this cafe

 Mounhowazhang 문화장카페

Mounhowazhang was my third cafe for the day, so I just ordered tea to avoid caffeine overdose. The owner handed camomile tea and choco cookie in a plastic crate, which added to the hip factor of the experience. Unlike the other two cafes, I actually felt at ease in this place and even took a million self-timer photos lol.

Mounhowazhang has 4-floors of well designed halls, rooms, and a rooftop--it looks more art gallery than a coffee shop. Again, I was alone in this huge place during my visit, it can be overwhelming but in a good way! An interesting tidbit is that this building used to be a sauna hotel, thus all the tiles, small rooms, and bathtubs.

BTS V Hometown Tour:

Dalseong Park - Walking distance from my guesthouse, Daelseong Park is said to be a favorite of the locals. It has a free zoo and a picnic site, and a fave Kdrama Uncontrollably Fond was filmed here too. Taehyung visited this park as a kid, and even went back to recreate some of his childhood pics.

❤ Spotted random Kim Taehyung Artworks and Photos outside the park's walls and benches while looking for V's former school (Daegu Jeil High School).

❤ Starry Night themed BTS V Mural Street spotted on my way to Seomun Market. 

Benches where you can rest and eat in Dalseong Park

A Starry Night tiled wall mural for BTS V in Daegu

Murals and benches with photos of Taehyung outside his school and Dalseong Park

BTS SUGA Hometown Tour:

Namsandong Street, lined with music studios and instruments shops most prob visited by BTS Suga

BAS Academy - Also walking distance from my guesthouse, Suga went to this music academy. You'll spot his photos on the entrance and even at the side of this orange building⁣⁣.

Namsan-dong Instruments Street - (the one with a wall mural that looks like JK 😁). Suga mentioned this in his song INTRO: Never Mind. ⁣He studied & made music here⁣.

𝘍𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘱 𝘪𝘯 𝘕𝘢𝘮𝘴𝘢𝘯-𝘥𝘰𝘯𝘨,⁣⁣ 

𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘺 𝘣𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘵𝘩, 𝘴𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘈𝘱𝘨𝘶𝘫𝘦𝘰𝘯𝘨⁣⁣

Flat Dumplings at Seomun Market - Said to be a favorite of Yoongi, and I loved it too! They're thin so you can wrap your choice of fillings, and comes with tasty soy sauce.

Yoongi's Schools - He also posted pics here recently on his Instagram. All schools were easily navigated via Google Maps (or Naver, whichever app you prefer).

Doncheon Station - I also took the train to 𝐃𝐨𝐧𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐨𝐧 𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 from Myeongdok and saw how loooong and far Yoongi had to walk when he had to choose between his 𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐥 𝐨𝐫 𝐚 𝐛𝐮𝐬 𝐫𝐢𝐝𝐞 going home 💔

Bought takeout of tteokbokki and flat dumplings from this store in Seomun Market

Had a really inexpensive meal in this food shop in front of Suga's childhood school

On my last night in Daegu, I decided to enter the restaurant right across my guesthouse for some hot, home cooked meal in contrast to my daily convenience store instant food that I usually just eat in my room. I ordered their pumpkin pajeon and rice cooked with bean sprouts, and it was very hearty and lovely. Name of the place is Yejeon 예전, which literally translates to "the old days". 

A resto just across my guesthouse. It is also near the hanok Starbucks, which was still closed at that time

Had a tray filled with convenience store snacks in my room in case I got hungry ;)

The only time I turned on and browsed the TV for this trip was during my chill days in Daegu

I really love it when a city is easy to navigate, has nice cafes and markets I can explore, and has the right mix of urban and nature without spending hours on the road. That has been Daegu to me. Second time here and I can still say it's the place where I feel most "at home". I hope I can go back again and again in this south-central city of South Korea, with different seasons and new places to explore that I can share again in this blog. 

Kpop Concert in Daegu + Where I Stayed in Daegu

Thursday, December 29, 2022

For this trip, I went back to Daegu for 4 days - 3 nights. I think it was one of my favorite stops! 

It has the right amount of hallyu, right amount of touristy, and a bit of food adventure on the side.

It started with a pre-booked tour to see my favorite Kpop stars live....

All I Want For Christmas...

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Christmas Eve! Finally, time in front of my computer to just write and to let things sink in as another year is coming to an end.

I did not realise how time flew by since that day the world shut down, I was staring outside my room's window in my self-imposed quarantine (was afraid I got the flu, but turned out I was just major paranoid at that time huhu). Since then, I've had travel invites around the Philippines, and had personal travel in and out of the country too (which I truly loved). Some habits and interests died, some new values formed. And since we have another chance again to restart along with our calendars.. Here's to being self-aware in what else I want and need in my life...

BRIA Homes Digos and Kidapawan End 2022 on a high note

Thursday, December 22, 2022

The year 2022 saw leading property developer BRIA Homes on a roll as it presented the xE series, their upgraded product line from Bettina and Elena/Elyana home models.

BRIA’s Elena and Elyana house and lot units are actually upgraded editions which tout exterior enhancements such as their own fences and gates.

Pick-up: The beginning to reclaiming power over your daily routines

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

For the time-strapped, value-seeking, go-getter who needs a push into reclaiming their power over life and daily routines.

As the saying goes, bad habits die hard. This can be particularly true on days you wish for a certain outcome and yet, things don't go as planned. Then, the vicious cycle of stress starts. But always remember: You have the power to take back the reins and not stay in that place. And it starts with focusing on things that are within your control as a time-strapped, value-seeking, go-getter 'cause with Pick-up, You Got This!

How To Shop Sustainably for the Holidays

About a month ago, I went to WATSONS' sustainable holiday gifting event at the Podium to learn more on how we can shop sustainably for the holidays. 

I know how hard it is to go 100% environmental-friendly, but as with anything, a little goes a long way and every step--no matter how big or small-counts when it comes to doing our part for our only home.

Here are small yet doable steps we can keep in mind as we shop for gifts for this Christmas season:

Smile for Good with @watsonsph and @unileverphilippines Do Good Bag

How Puregold’s Tindahan ni Aling Puring Program Helped a Distressed OFW During the Pandemic

Thursday, December 15, 2022

For the over 400,000 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who lost their jobs due to COVID-19, the challenges brought by the pandemic made even basic survival a daily struggle. Anxiety over catching the virus and impaired mobility due to community quarantines were part of the immediate problems.   

However, the harsh economic repercussions dealt the biggest blow. Returning OFWs came home to a dismal local job market that was still reeling from layoffs, downsizing, and even shutdowns.

It was in this scenario that the indomitable Filipino spirit surfaced. Soon enough, many distressed returning OFWs obtained part-time work or established their own small businesses. For some, the crisis led to opportunities for better and more sustainable ventures.

Store owner Teodorico Ranili is able to recover from his losses during the pandemic with Puregold’s Tindahan ni Aling Puring Program.