Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts
Jan and I are planning to apply for a South Korea visa this year, anticipating a 20% rejection rate.

Funny thing is, South Korea isn't really on top of our travel list. And I think that's because our souls have not been sucked into this Korean fandom abyss. Thank heavens! 

Kpop, Kdrama, nor Korean food isn't our cup of tea. But we will still fly there for the love of travel. And as much as we want to tick New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, or Europe off our list first, Korea is what our broke asses can afford for now.
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We have a lot of catching up to do. I hate not writing about the shiznit happening in my life because that's what this blog is supposedly for. But this is what happens when you have a counterproductive after-work hobby. I get mentally drained every time I get off work that I wouldn't have enough strength to do anything else but ogle over videos of cats being adorable and jerks.

But also, I just came home from my best vacation yet. Jan and I couldn't get over it that we still talk about our escapade and eat ramen at local shops even if it pales in comparison to the real ones. Yes, a few days ago, we were in Japan.

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When I told the universe I'm ready for the great stuff, awesomeness started pouring in. I just hope I don't jinx this, but it does feel like the entire universe is working in my favor.

Don't get it wrong though. My life is not exactly all rainbows and butterflies as I would have loved to imagine. Shit happens. But you can only either sulk about that or move on and give shit the middle finger it deserves. And I chose to do the latter.

Anyway, I revisited my blog today and realized I only have one post for November (big deal haha), when in fact, I got tons of these "I am sooooo blogging this" moments. But Instagram took the light away.

I'm blogging now because the incoming days are going to be blog-worthy (assuming I can give time to write about it). So before I get overwhelmed and end up not writing about anything at all, I might as well do a blatant gloating because that's what bloggers are supposed to do.

Here's what I've been up to lately:

1. Went to the City of Smiles
I was invited to the launching of the new Nokia 6.1 Plus and 5.1 plus. Along with other tech bloggers, Josef of Davao Geek Hub and Robert of DugomPinoy, we flew to Bacolod City just in time for the Masskara Festival month. Work and leisure in one? Why not?
via Davao Bloggers Society
The Ruins
Morning dip at Seda Hotel. Thanks Nokia for inviting me here.
2. Went to Secdea with the fam
For a much needed rest, relaxation, and family bonding.
Can you believe there are three generations in this photo?
Jan and Rhett. 
We stayed at the Family villa. Find Jan and Rhett.
Just outside our villa in Secdea
3. Went to Dahican with Jan's officemates
Because you know, Dahican now is just like Samal to us. We decide today, we'd be there the next day. Haha.
Destino Dahican. Really love this place.
Dahican beach, always a favorite.

4. Won a consolation prize from Sodexo GC Regalo's Best Christmas Gift Idea blogging contest
I haven't actually received anything from them yet, but I'm bragging about it just because.
via Blogapalooza

5. Went to Clark Pampanga
With other bloggers, Ria, Julie, and Clau, Philippine Airlines invited and flew us to Clark for their Year End Party.

It was a fun-filled night! Sure, it was awesome to meet bloggers from all over the Philippines and make new friends. But the highlight of the night was winning a round trip flight to an international destination! Yay!

via Philippine Airlines

6. Won Big Bad Wolf's #MyBookHaulBBWDavao contest
I didn't even know there was an ongoing contest. So winning Php 700 worth of gift certificate is certainly a surprise for me. I can snag two or three books with that. Not bad. Woot!
via Big Bad Wolf Books

7. Nominated for PLDT-SMART Davao Blogger of the year
Chosen among 70-90 competitive bloggers, being a finalist already made me a winner. I wish every finalist the best. But I won't be a hypocrite here because I wished harder to win. Haha. And oh, you might want to read the shiznit they say about me:

That's it!

Maybe it's the horoscope. Maybe it's karma. Or maybe it's the law of attraction. Whatever it is, I'm honestly a little scared with all the good things happening lately.  Because, well, life has a funny way of sneaking up and scaring the shit out of you when you least expect it. But then, our two middle fingers were created for a reason: to prove these bitches wrong.

So remember, when shit happens, keep your head high and your middle finger higher. Have a nice day everyone!

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This is a long overdue post. And since I convinced myself that I am busy, I never really got to post about the weekend that was well spent in Manila.

We only have a little more than 48 hours and it was Red's first time in the metro so we did all things toursity! Here's how we spent it:

Of course, obligatory pose na pang Instagram!

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There was a reason why I was always broke the past few months. It was only last April when I finally made up my mind to go with Jan, bought the tickets in May, and flew a month after. So that's almost three months of fighting the urge to buy milk tea, refusing fast foods, declining Friday night invitations, and pretending Shopee does not exist.

This is the fourth time Jan and I went out of the country, second time in Singapore, and the first time we did it with the family.

A lot of things happened and I wouldn't really want to put everything in detail because that's going to take forever. But here are some snaps during our trip. I may have to create separate posts for the Trick Eye Museum, S.E.A. Aquarium, and Flower Dome, but given my pseudo-busy schedule, we all know that's not happening any time soon. So for now, I hope you enjoy looking at these photos.

Universal Studios 
Universal Studios Singapore

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Jan and I have been eyeing Dahilayan for a long time. But since we see transportation a potential problem (going to Bacolod or Cebu was easier), it always gets to the bottom of our must-visit list. But not until we had Bill.

Manolo Fortich in Bukidnon is by far our Jan's longest drive. Our road trip destinations are going farther and farther and I guess, sooner or later, we'll find ourselves driving to Camiguin, Dapitan or even as far as Visayas! Or not.
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I knew I should have just rolled this Gov. Gen. and Mati trip into one long blog post. I realized that after coming home late at night from a 2-leg road trip and waking up really early the next day for Easter Sunday service, I'm too drained to churn out something coherent.
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I don’t feel so good about myself, and I don’t think my body likes me much. The brain hasn't really been active at night but I'm still fazed how its idleness can still keep me awake at night. I haven't had enough sleep daily for the past month. This isn't new. And usually, when this happens, a quick beach getaway "fixes" everything.
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Right now, I am writing this blog 1076 kms from where I usually write while I try my very best to sum up my most relaxing vacay, yet. I love that we didn't have to wake up early in the morning and cram as many activities as we can to seize the day.

We have more than enough days to enjoy the island but I don't think I'm ready to leave just yet. Not when I know that a shitload of work is waiting for me.

I also worry my friends back home won't be able to recognize me anymore because I am ten times darker. But I would not have it any other way. I think I am born for the ocean. And if the kiss of the ocean breeze meant a sun-kissed skin, then the sun can have me anytime.
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I had an amazing long weekend at my favorite beach in Dahican. But laziness reared its ugly head in and, as usual, I didn’t take any interesting photos.

Well, except for this:

Dahican is love. No filter needed.
This Mati trip is just the first of my many beach getaways this 2018.
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Yesterday was our baby's string of many firsts.

First, we named our baby, Bill. I know Bill doesn't have anything to do with a car. Unlike others, I didn't name it after its color, it's performance, or whatever's under its hood. I could come up with Silver Bullet, Speed, Sasha (because it is grey haha), Lil Beasty, or even Sasuke because it almost sounds like the car brand. But I like Bill Parish from Meet Joe Black. It doesn't really have to have a significance and I don't need a reason to name it Bill. But Bill sounds good and that's good enough.

I know naming a car is not an uncommon practice. I think, if not all, almost every car owner does it and I think I know why. Mike Wazowski once said, "Once you name it, you start getting attached to it." Once you get attached to it, you take good care of it and I would like to believe that would make you a better driver.

Anyway, it was also yesterday when it had its first wash. Bill needs to look good because we had it blessed.

We also took bill on its first out of town trip. We went to Sarangani Province to celebrate my lola's birthday. But before that, we took it on a road trip.

And a rough one at that. I never really intended Bill to go through such an ordeal. I never expected the road to be unforgiving. Since it was a spur of the moment getaway, the lack of research has taken its toll on the car. But it survived the steep and rocky roads just to get us to this:

Kalon Barak Skyline Ridge

Kalon Barak Skyline Ridge

Kalon Barak Skyline Ridge

Kalon Barak Skyline Ridge

Kalon Barak Skyline Ridge

At least, it was all worthwhile.

Kalon Barak Skyline Ridge is 2,677 feet above sea level. It is located in Malungon, Sarangani Province. We didn't spend a lot of time there since we still have a party to attend to. But I would definitely say that sunrises and sunsets would be breathtaking here. And also, if you're lucky, you might chance upon a sea of clouds and I know that experience is going to be surreal. It's perfect for dates, picnics, and you can even set up camp there.

Kalon Barak Skyline Ridge

Kalon Barak Skyline Ridge

If you are going to travel there on a private transport, I suggest you only do it if you have an SUV or a 4x4 car. Because even if Bill was able to survive all that (Bill is an AUV by the way), I would never do something like that ever again. Naawa talaga ako sa car. That was its first off road experience and probably the last.

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I've never been to a theme park before. I've never been to Enchanted Kingdom nor Star City. But there are carnivals that come to our city from time to time which made me a sucker for extreme rides. And by extreme, I mean, those dodgy and rusty roller coasters that clank and screech at every turn with the possibility of the safety harness coming loose or, worse, bolts and screws break and go flying around while you hang on to your unsecured over-the-shoulder restraints for dear life. So if you really think about it, any theme park's extreme rides do not come close to that. Haha.

Universal Studios Singapore is the first legit theme park I've ever visited. And it is nothing short of amazing.

Universal Studios Singapore
Obligatory photo of the Universal Studios globe
Universal Studios Singapore

It was a weekday when we were there. There were only a few people, so the queues to the most popular rides were not really that long (max waiting time was only 10 mins). We got there around lunch time and at 5pm, we've already seen the entire park.

Universal Studios Singapore
Not too crowded. Yay!
Universal Studios Singapore

Being the adrenaline junkie that I am, I tried their extreme rides. My favorites are: Transformers Ultimate 3D Battle, 4D Revenge of the Mummy, and Battlestar Galactica (cylon and human). In that particular order. And it was the first time in my roller-coaster riding life that I ever felt safe. Haha. We also enjoyed watching Water World and other kiddie stuff in between.

Universal Studios Singapore

Universal Studios Singapore

We really had the time of our lives there and this explains why we do not have a lot of photos. I know it's a great thing that we just put the camera down and live the moment. But at times like this when I wanted to blog about it, maghahanap at maghahanap din ako ng pictures. Sigh.

P.S. This is a throwback post by the way. We went to Singapore last March 2017.
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Most of the time when we travel, we DIY because it is a whole lot better than organized tours for the following reasons: you take control of your own time and speed, you have your own freedom to explore, and it is way cheaper.

But that is not always the case. Sometimes, choosing convenience and comfort over spontaneity is the best choice.

You see, exploring Taiwan would have been easy if the bus routes and directions were also written in English. Not that I'm saying it's difficult, but we simply want to relax and not stress over boarding the wrong buses, getting lost, and chasing bus schedules that we chose to book a guided Yehliu-Shifen-Jiufen tour from KKDay. And I never thought traveling could be this easy and hassle-free (this is not a paid endorsement and also, I think we're just getting old).
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This isn't part of our itinerary. Honestly, I didn't know about this until we realized that we still have more than eight hours to spend before our flight back home. And I'm glad I came across TripAdvisor's Top Ten Things to Do in Taichung because it would be a bummer if I missed something lovely as this.

Zhongshe (also spelled as Chungshe) Flower Market is one of Taiwan's attractions located in Houli Township, Taichung. It is a vast six-hectare land filled with beautiful and vibrant flowers that bloom all throughout the season. I would have loved to see my favorite flowers - the tulips - in bloom but we were there during the wrong season. Different season offers you different flowers. As for the tulips, you will see them around February to March.

But still, even if I didn't see my favorite flowers, even if some flowers were not in full bloom,  it is one of the most beautiful places I've been to. The pictures will speak for itself.

Chungshe Flower Market, Taichung, Taiwan

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When we extended our travel dates, I know that a visit to Sun Moon Lake is a must. Two hours by bus from the city of Taichung, Taiwan lies the beautiful and breathtaking Sun Moon Lake.

Sun Moon Lake offers a lot of activities. You can do a round-the-lake bus tour, or board the boats and sail some areas of the lake such as Lalu Island and Ita Thao, or try the ropeway (a.k.a. cable car), where you can see a fantastic view of the lake from above.

But of all the activities that are offered, I only wanted to do one thing: go cycling. Sun Moon Lake has been dubbed as one of the most scenic cycling paths in the world.

And it did not disappoint.
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I've got to say, this is one of the most memorable trips I've ever had. And I bet Jan would say the same.

We booked our Taiwan trip from November 16 to 19, thinking that 3 days would be enough for Taipei. But since the airline cancelled our flight on the 16th, we had it moved to the 14th. Coming from Davao, international trips can be steep because we also have to fly either to Manila or Cebu since the only international flight available from Davao is going to Singapore and vice-versa (soon to Kuala Lumpur). Fortunately, we were able to book an early flight to Cebu because we also planned to go to Bantayan Island before the Taiwan Trip.

So apparently, the Bantayan trip has to be scrapped to give way to Taiwan. And even with the extended travel dates, 5 days is still not enough to experience Taiwan. And one blog post will not be enough for that. So for now, this post will only be about Taipei.
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I was 4 when I was first introduced to Mickey Mouse. Since then, I fell in love with anything Disney. From The Rescuers to Aladdin to their first computer animated film Toy Story to their latest live-action film Beauty and the Beast. Name it. I have seen it all. Disney has etched magic in my 4-year old heart and apparently, it has not escaped me ever since.

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Well, almost.

Macau is also known as "Little Vegas" or the "Vegas of Asia", or at least that's what I've heard. And with its reputation for grand casinos and luxurious hotels, all the while we really thought going around Macau is expensive. But with research and a lot of reading, we never thought that it could be the most budget-friendly first class destination in Asia (as if I've traveled a lot of places in Asia noh? Haha).

We originally planned to book our Macau tour from legit online agencies since we can always go cheaper with that. A Macau city tour can go around Php 5,000+ that's already inclusive of lunch buffet in a 4-star hotel, roundtrip ferry (HK-Macau), and of course, the convenience of having a transportation that can take you from point A to point B. Actually, it's not bad. The buffet lunch would have made it reasonable. But it can still be quite steep for budget travelers like us.
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This is not a travel guide but rather a summary of our recently concluded HK-Macau trip.

I'm not really sure what exactly happened but I think I held my breath for a while as I stood in front of the Immigration Officer while he asked me a couple of questions. The thought of being offloaded scared me. But the next thing I know, I was already at the boarding area working on a couple of urgent tasks.
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Ilocos Norte is the farthest we've been to in the Philippines (maghintay ka lang Batanes). And like every eager first time visitor, we did almost everything touristy! But also like every thrill-seeking adventurer, we just had to do something that can turn on the rush.

Honestly, I could skip any other tourist attractions around Ilocos but not the sand dunes - the only known sand dunes in the Philippines. So despite being pressed for time (thanks to my friend, insomnia, for keeping me company at night and asleep by the day), we managed to find ways.

Our original plan was to go there before sunrise or before sunset so we can avoid the scorching heat of the sun. But since we scrapped all our plans out and did all things spontaneously, we went there after lunch. Midday. High noon. Beat that.

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