Letter to my Crazy Self

July 6, 2017

Maybe you are now where you wanna be. Married? With kids?
Perhaps you made the right choices after writing this letter to your future self.

Dear Self,

While I am sipping my cup of green tea latte in a coffee shop filled with people who look like they have it all figured out, let me tell you about the things you’ve been confusing about these past few days…

A few days ago, you saw your first love in a reunion after so many years.

You talked and it brought you so much unexpressed, hidden emotions you’ve been trying to suppress for the longest time. He seemed interested about your life and you wanted to catch up a bit more. It was clear you missed him when you’ve checked those teenage letters from your dusty scrapbook filled with teenage love quotations on how much you both wished you’ll be each other’s last. But girl, you broke up.

You broke up many years ago because you were both too young to handle even life’s pettiest lovers’ quarrel.

When you remembered why you broke up, he said “you should have told me.” It gave you crazy thoughts of “what ifs”. You knew you have to step back and remind yourself of your life at the moment.

You are dating the most wonderful man you’ve ever met. You met him 3 years ago when you were totally in love with your life as a single. You knew back then he was worth a shot. You two clicked! You have the same feelings about watching plays, indie films and series etc. You’ve been through a lot. He’s been tested, as one would say. You can’t even think of anybody whose patience could match this person. He’s been loving all the beautiful and ugly things about you, including your quirks, weirdness, pettiness and even your darkest insecurities. He’s supportive of your dreams and dramas in life. He’s kind and he loves your family, friends and even the dog you shared with your other ex. Whenever he looks at you, he speaks nothing but beautiful words you are incapable of giving yourself. He speaks about the future he wanted to share with you. He sees how beautiful you are even with the morning breath and puffy face. He writes you letters you feel worth an ig post. You could talk to him about anything without judgments. He doesn’t fight you over petty things anymore and you feel like he doesn’t care at all but he reminded you last night he just doesn’t wanna add stress to your busy stressful life. Isn’t that what you want? You feel guilty at the moment because you feel like you aren’t worth his love.

You are feeling monotonous because you wanted the chase, the spark and the romance but let me remind you, there’s only one Paolo in the universe. He’s your bestfriend in the world.

So decide: Will you give up something beautiful like this for the chase, spark and romance?

I hope you have decided well.

Love,

Your Future Self

In Between

A meal shared with the family. Quality time with loved ones. Bonding with friends. Really, how can we have all this time and still feel like we haven’t done anything much?

One time I told myself, I’d like to learn French and Japanese, but only to start 3 years later. I would often ask myself, what happened in between?

There are some days which I feel will never end, and reaching the next day seems to be forever. But looking back, sometimes a year would make you feel like it was just yesterday.

5 years ago, I went through a horrible breakup and thought everything would go down from there. Only to meet the love of my life 2 years later. The funny thing is, you go through hell and all of a sudden you are as thick as wood once again. But really, what keeps us going? As a coffee commercial would say, “para kanino ka bumabangon?”

I believe it’s our dreams. Not just simple dreams but Big Dreams that keep us going. I failed a lot of times in life. I envy those people who commit to not failing or say failing is not an option. Failing should never be an option, what if it happens?

I don’t want to say that everything will be fine. It might be, eventually. But while you are still on stage, feel every moment of it. Feel that you are just a human and that sometimes it’s not always about winning the moment, of getting a crown and a trophy. I bet most of the time, life is about those moments you cried and thought that it is no longer worth living for.

Yet, you live the in-between.

Unfinished

Dear Future Self, 

I’m writing to you this blogpost on the 25th of July 2015. 2 years after, I hope you are having a fantastic time. Imagining you right now is exciting and somewhat scary. There are plenty of stupid questions in my head rightnow. Scary things like accomplishments in life. #Lifegoals, Bucket list etc. Have you completed that novena to God’s Love already? Did you get that short perm you wrote on your notepad? Did you lose weight? Oh shocks! Pressure (i do hope), Are you happy? 

The past 10 years taught you a lot, especially in the m

5 Things I Love about Bantayan Island

Summer is not over yet. With the scorching heat and humid air, the beach is our best option. 

We took the early morning flight to Cebu via Cebu Pacific Air using the travel fund we were not able to use last April. Just a piece of advice, never ever cancel a flight or if you may, please be careful with the rebooking because at least 3 of the customer service representatives in Cebu Pac are not that familiar with the process and you will end up being charged on top of the charges you have to bear when you cancelled the flight. (Oh well, just don’t cancel)  

Moving on, since this was a summer getaway with my college friends, budget won’t be my focus. Good thing we had our transpo for free. Thanks to you Liezl and your connections. 😍 Mactan is 3 hours  away to port of Hagnaya, Then 1 hour Ferry ride to port of Sta Fe, Bantayan Island. Ferry costs 170 + 10 pesos terminal fee. 

So here’s my list of 5 things I love most about Bantayan Island:

1. Placid Beach

We booked an overnight stay in Beach Placid, one of the best spot to capture the sunrise. The sea in front of the resort was placid, 2 days no waves.

They have a shuttle service from the port to resort so transfers won’t be a problem. I love that when we arrived the sea was super enticing and blue that you wanna jump in right away. But of course, it was past the hour of 12 and we are already starving. 

Cost: 3,600 php/night for 6 pax

 
2. Love/Hate the Food in Beach Placid Resto. 

I love the food, you can taste the difference from the usual dish. However, service was quite slow. Perhaps because of the probinsya feels. It was like everyday is a Sunday morning for the crew. Slow-mo. 

3. Kind Bangkeros

We have no plans for the afternoon so we decided to do an island hopping. Though I am not sure it is really an island hopping because we only docked on one of the tour destinations which is still connected to the main island of Bantayan.

I find snorkeling fun, it is one of the things I looked forward to everytime I visit a place. Yes, I still enjoyed the snorkeling activity even when there’s not much coral garden and fishes to see on the spot where we parked. (Too bad) 
We also ditched the second of the island hopping destination. We find it misleading when they still name an island virgin even if there’s already a resort built and charge you with soaring entrance fees. Pretty disappointing. 

But thanks to our kind boatman, even with the communication gap, he really tried his best to understand what we want. 

  
4. Locals 

We met Ate Joan, receptionist from the Nature Park, which is one of the tour destination in our island hopping. For a minimum of 100 pesos, you’ll get to see the different amenities of the park and for an extra 100 pesos, you are free to use them. You can go swimming in the cave, fish spa, tour in their mini zoo and dive in the pool and you will be entertained by this witty and funny receptionist. Ate Joan became a friend and even joined us for dinner at Cafe del Mar.

  
5. Low-tide at night

The good news about the low-tide is you have at least a 100-meter stretch of beach front in the evening which is well lit. You could bring your music, go dancing, and sway your hair in the wind. Trust me, this is so much fun to do with the girls. Highlight of my Bantayan. 

  

 

New Year 2014

Last night we celebrated the welcoming of 2015. But, let me look back first before I totally bid 2014 goodbye.

Last year, I knew it was a travel year for me or I could say it’s a YOLO year if you know what I mean. I knew in my heart that I really wanted to see and explore the world alone and be free. Come February, the most exciting thing happened. Ready to explore more and see the world, God gave His first gift for me for the year. Maybe this was His way of telling me that it’s better to see and explore the world with someone. In February the season of hearts, I met Paolo.

Coming out from a very bad relationship 2 years ago, this was the first time I felt real. God’s timing was indeed perfect.

Moving forward, there are really lessons in life that you need to learn the hard way, some of them I could say are cute. Yeah cute, it was petty yet it really gave me a lesson. Don’t say YES to every invitation during summer. Hahahaha Last year, I went on a back to back trip to La Union – Baler – La Union – Baler for surfing for a month followed by unending summer getaways from different set of groups. It was indeed tiring at some point. I love to travel but maybe I am really made for the bank. Haha.

As my birth month was fast approaching I couldn’t help but get excited for my one year planned Korea getaway. It was total freedom. Freedom from work and all the stress in life could offer. I am a different person in a different world. The trip was worth it!

Gaining a lot from the past years, I’ve learned not to book beach vacays during the months of June-September. For one, it is rainy. Thankful enough my Palawan trip was on November and it was super sunny. I had so much fun. The catch? My iphone drowned to its death, thanks to Mr. Boatman and my friend Nizza for ending my iphone’s life. Lol. Gave me a lot to think about during the last remaining days of the trip. The next week after El Nido Palawan, I went to Taipei with my boyfriend. Taipei is very tourist friendly. Friendlier than Korea with regards to english translations I guess.

The last days of December was really quick for me. Every weekend, there’s a party. I’d like to say that December is a month of sharing and quality time with old friends and family indeed.

Happy to say that my 2014 was indeed a blessing. Surely, there are tough times but thank God it’s over now and I got rid of it! 🎉🎋🎁

Cheers to a Happy New Year! Cheers for a wonderful 2014!

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DKS year end party

Two weeks ago, the company where I work celebrated its 10th year anniversary at the Solaire Casino and Resorts hotel. It was a night of glam and glitz and this was quite a change from last year’s. It seems like there’s really more to be thankful for this year. Of course, compared to last year our country is now more prepared when it comes to storm and typhoon. One big check!

Anyhow, I came in the event wearing an evening gown designed by Sheiralyn So. You might wanna check ’em in IG: sheiralyn

Although, I was planning to have my make up done by someone like Kris Bacani, I did not have the time to still go to her house, hence I opted to find one which is near the hotel I’m staying at somewhere in MOA. I spent the afternoon buying accessories for the night and I guess somehow I felt like I’ve already spent alot for one day. Unwilling to spend much money in make up anymore, I therefore went the “pangmasa” way. Yes, GRR and they still have the “rawr”. Told the person who did my make up to have it smokey and asked him to put on some false lashes in my eyes (something I’ve learned from Michelle Phan) for glamorous and evening ready make up.

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Back in the hotel where I stayed, A friend of mine came and escorted me to Solaire. Thanks to you Sir Jibens. It was an evening filled with beautiful people and of course unlimited drinks and cocktails.

’til the next year end event Deutsche Bank!

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Foodtrip: Apag Marangle, Bacolor Pamapanga

My boyfriend accompanied me for a quick errand to Lubao, Pampanga today and on our way we thought of doing a little food trip. We planned on eating at Mila’s somewhere in Angeles as one of his boss’ preference when it comes to Kapampangan food however due to the bad weather we’re expecting to come this afternoon, we limited our options to restos nearby Lubao. 4 years ago, while browsing the pages of flavors magazine, I came across the article which featured different fantastic restos all over Pampanga and one of them was Apag Marangle. I’ve been wanting to try out this resto ever since. They have several branches already but I wanted to try out the main branch which was in an “Isdaan” (fish pond) setting, very native and filipino. Good thing it was just on the way.

Apag Marangle – meaning Hain sa Bukid (Restaurant in a farm) is a restaurant with tables and cottages placed in the middle of a fishpond surrounded by trees. It’s very naturey and filipino.

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We ordered Mustasa with Buro (Mustard with fermented Rice) . Very unexpected to me because I never thought mustard is ok to eat raw, I was expecting it cooked or blanched but it was raw like a lettuce and it’s actually good . Yay to first time! The fermented rice (buro) was delicious as well though I’m kind of expecting that the rice will be a little bit in bits/finer or crushed to the point that you won’t notice that it is rice. Well, like the ones in Abe’s (sorry for the comparison) but overall it taste delish.

We also ordered Betute or stuffed Frog which is considered an exotic food here in the Philippines. The frog wasn’t crunchy but the meat stuff was cruchy. I kind of love it hate it.

Lastly, we ordered Tidtad or Dinuguan in Tagalog. It’s a very popular main dish here in the Philippines which usual color is black due to the Pig’s blood (main ingredient) however Apag Marangle’s version of Dinuguan or Tidtad isn’t black but the taste is perfect and really taste like our favorite dinuguan. Well of course it still has pig’s blood in it but it is already solidified or we usually call it betamax here in the Philippines. To cap off our lunch we ordered fresh coconut in shell. Over all we enjoyed the ambience and the food and most of all we enjoyed the price because it’s not expensive like the Isdaan restautant in Gerona Tarlac. Price range is from 50-300 and it’s already good for sharing.

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Before heading home, we decided to visit and pray for awhile at the San Guillermo Bacolor Church which was half buried due to lahar on October 1, 1995.

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Travel 2014: El Nido and Puerto Princesa Palawan

El Nido

Now checking off my bucketlist: Puerto Princesa, Coron Palawan and now El Nido.

We stayed in the cozy house called Marikit Pensionne, which is just 3 minutes away from the beach where all the boatmen park their “tourist boats”.

El Nido offers 4 different tours (A,B,C,D). Ours was tour A and tour C. What I liked best was tour C which includes my favorite beaches which are not known to many and the other one is very hard to find. Nah, I’m just kidding but these two beaches are secret beach and hidden beach.

Most of the time, we were snorkeling with the fishes and swimming in the deep blue sea. But the fun part of the trip was the buffet lunch served by the boatmen. It was indeed the best seafood experience so far. Fruits were carved, designed to entice you and the grilled fish? Ooh lalala heaven in my mouth while you hear the relaxing sound of waves by the shore. It was indeed the best R&R.

We ended our trip in El Nido with a fun drinking session in our accommodation “Marikit Pensionne” on our second night.

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Next, Puerto Princesa City. We started of with a very early morning trip to the underground river. I have visited PPUR in 2011 and I know it’s not nice to say this, but there’s not much changes to see. But I would still recommend visiting PPUR for the first timers.

Moving on, everyone was already hungry for some real Palawan local cuisine, we indulge ourselves to a buffet lunch for only 200 pesos that includes our experience of eating Tamilok or what they call Wood worm found living inside the woods of Mangrove trees around Palawan. Don’t worry it’s not really a worm but a part of the mollusk family however, it resembles a worm. But it definitely tastes and feels like raw oysters.

That last afternoon in Puerto Princesa was quite quick. We had the City tour but due to time constraint we limit it to the best of best of what the City has to offer, that includes Pasalubungan Place (Goodies place). Hahah

By the way, our accommodation in Puerto Princesa was a newly constructed lodge which was not yet operational at that time. Owner came from Germany to open a business here in the Philippines. The lodge has a fresh and cozy feel whose owner’s number I won’t be able to provide due to my lost phone. But you may contact Marikit Pensionne, owner of both inn or lodge are pretty much related.

Anyhow, overall, the trip was worth it even in my case who have lost a phone.

Here’s a sample guide for you for El Nido – PPS:

Day 0 – 9 PM Arrival in PPS

1 AM Arrival in El Nido

Day 1 – Tour A

– Dinner Sea Slugs

Day 2 – Tour C

Day 3 – Underground River tour & PPS city tour

Day 4 – Departure

Accommodation (El Nido) – Marikit Pensionne

Due to the lost of my phone during the trip, I also lost my contact. Good thing they have a website which you could visit.

http://marikitpensionne.com/

Kuya Sonny, the owner of the pension house, arranged almost everything for us (Van transfers, Tour, Puerto Princesa tours and Accommodation) and even gave us a discount.

Thanks to you!

Seoul, South Korea in 7 days

Almost a year of planning and I have my eyes focused on one reward I could give to myself : Korea Trip with my ultimate travel buddy friend – Noel.

Seoul, South Korea is basically one of the cities you can do the “go-with-the-flow” itinerary. It’s nice to get lost and wander here. Transportation is not a problem and people are very much accommodating especially to tourists even if sometimes they don’t understand you.

Here are the amazing things I have experience:

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Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul – our entrance fee was free because they were holding the Chuseok festival on that day. On a regular day, the entrance fee would cost you 2000 KRW.

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The area of the palace is big so better wear comfy shoes for this.

Korean Baby

I definitely enjoyed observing people especially the little ones because they’re cute and cuddly. I wanna “gigil” as what the Filipinos would say.

Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village
The Bukchon Hanok Village – it’s nice to see the old houses preserved. You would notice how intricate every detail of the roofs and facade were made, it would definitely stand the test of time. If you are fond of plants/gardening/trees like me, you would also notice the abundance of Persimmon trees in some of the houses in Korea. One of which is in front of the guesthouse I was staying in Sinchon District. No entrance fee. 

Gwanghwamun Square

Gwanghwamun Square – We found this historical site jam packed with Koreans and tourists on a Tuesday morning. We also found some of the families of the ones killed in the sinking of MV Sewol convened in the area with the placards. Though I didn’t understand, the families are pleading for help and justice. No entrance fee.

N Seoul Tower
N Seoul Tower
We went to N Seoul Tower for the lovers lockers and the 360 degree view of Korea. You would notice how big the city is and how many mountains you can hike in Seoul. If you wanna go up the tower it can cost you 10,000 KRW. 

Nami Island
Nami Island
Nami Island – A country side destination somewhere near Seoul. If you are a K-Novela fan, I bet you can relate to this. But if you are like me, you would probably focus more on the colors of trees, the activities and squirrels you will find strolling with you in the Island. It’s really nice to spend the whole day here in Nami, especially if you are going here for a picnic. Entrance fee: 10,000 KRW; bring passport for discount.

K-Novela pose in Nami Island
K-Novela pose in Nami Island
After spending almost a whole day in Nami Island, we were suppose to visit the Garden of Morning Calm but the gates closes at 6 pm and I really wanted to see more of it so we decided to go back in Seoul instead and do some food tripping. On our way to Dongdaemun District, we came across a stream they call the Cheonggyecheon. The stream is a massive $900 million urban renewal project, initially criticized but eventually became popular to locals and tourists after the opening in 2005. No entrance fee.

Cheonggyecheon Stream
Cheonggyecheon Stream
Next day, my friend and I opted to go our separate solo trips. I went back to Gyeonggi-do to visit the Garden of Morning Calm while he went to Everland for amusement.

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Garden of the Morning Calm
Garden of the Morning Calm
This is definitely my haven in Korea – The Garden of the Morning Calm, while Gardens by the Bay is my haven in SG. I enjoyed much of my alone time in this garden. This is pretty much the best place to reflect and pray. It is so calm and relaxing, every angle is heavenly filled with flowers, grass and pine trees. It is easier to breathe here. This is where spent my whole day, while drinking my favorite sikhye (rice drink)!

After spending some time with the trees, I followed my trail to Noryangjin market to visit my sea creature friends. This is pretty much like “Dampa” in the Philippines where you could buy and ask someone to cook it for you. Say hello to my octopus friends.

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I spent the whole evening in the guesthouse after I felt that I’ve utilized my feet well the whole day. I made friends with some of the host and I met a photo journalist from Demotix who gave some advice about photography and told me stories about survival as a protester in Venezuela. Really interesting guy.

Our 5th day was entirely spent on Shopping. We went to COEX mall and the next thing we knew we are already hoarding some beauty products in Myeongdong. Prices are insanely cheaper and my sister would really love it here.

COEX underground mall
COEX underground mall
shopping

Our night was spent in Hongdae, which is the area known for arts and indie music. We craved for some Korean realness so we ate our hearts away with the authentic char-grilled Korean Barbecue while drinking Magkeolli (Korean rice wine). I must say, this will offset the days I opted not to eat in Korea aside from 711 goodies because my tastebuds are not really made for Kimchi.

food trip in Korea

For our last day, my friend and I went for our solo trips again. He went to experience the Spa for 18,000 won  while I visited the Dog Cafe in Myeongdong District. I can’t help but miss my dogs at home here. For 8,000 won you get to bond with the different breed of cute dogs and get a free iced tea as well.

Dog Cafe - Myeongdong
Dog Cafe – Myeongdong
After which, I continued my shopping because I still have tons of things on my list. I met with my friend in the afternoon to bid Korea Kamsahamnida – Until the next season. I will definitely miss Korea and its fast Internet and cheap beauty products and most of all I will miss the friendly transportation and good weather. Lucky to experience Korea this year and I will definitely come back here to experience Spring!

bye korea

 

Day 1 –

Arrival in Incheon

Travel to Seoul

Sightseeing/Dinner in Hongdae

Day 2 –

Gyeongbukgong Palace

Insadong

Wandering around Insadong District

Hongdae Foodtrip

Socialize in the Guesthouse

Day 3

Bukchon Hanok Village

Jogyesa Temple

Gwanghwamun Square

Jongo-5 ga District

Namsangol Village

N – Seoul Tower

Day 4

Nami Island

Dongdaemun Market

Cheonggyecheon Stream

Day 5

The Garden of Morning Calm

Noryanjin Market

Everland

Day 6

COEX

Cheonggyecheon Stream

Dongdaemun Market

Myeongdong Shopping District

Hongdae Food Trip

Day 7

SPA

Dog Cafe

Myeongdong Shopping