South Korea Trip 2016 (Part 2)

Wow, this post is so long overdue. I still have my Japan blog to do, and I’ll try to finish it all this weekend.

Day 5.

For our 5th day, we went to Gyeongbokgung Palace first. Locals and online reviews said that this is the most famous palace in Seoul. This is also where they shot most of the scenes in Jewel in the Palace and palace scenes from popular K Dramas.

It was really surreal as I only saw these places in TV. Not to mention that I really loved Jewel in the Palace and most of princess story K-Dramas like My Princess and Princess Hours.

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You could see girls there wearing Hanbok while taking pictures around the palace. Inggit is acoe. I should have rented that costume too! Huhu.

Anyway, the place was really big and was breathtaking. The palaces and rooms still stood up where they were exactly built and was reconstructed. It was like you were transported back in time.

We took a free English guided tour, and learned a lot about the history of the palace and of Korea in general. The tour guide was a sweet and patient Korean lady in traditional uniform as you can see in the photo below.

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We learned about who’s quarters should be nearer which royal family member. They also showed us how they heated the floors back then.

There was like a small hole at the side of each room where they put charcoals inside, this connects to sort of  vents inside the room.

The guide also showed us the royal kitchen where Jang Geum used to make meals and cook for the royals. We were too excited about this part! Haha.

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After a long walk inside the palace, our feet were so tired that we went to Namdaemnun Market, which is like the Divisoria of Korea and went on with walking AGAIN. Hahaha.

I did not get to take photos here as I enjoyed shopping too much. Haha.

 

Day 6.

Everland day!

Everland was like the Disneyland of Korea, and it is situated outside of Seoul. We had to take a 1 hour train ride to reach the area, and man, it was cold! Again, it was supposed to be Spring already, but it felt like winter! Hahaha.

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Family pic at the entrance of Everland! :)

There was a lot of fun rides here but I again, I was wearing the wrong outfit and I just want to go inside establishments as it was damn freezing! Hahaha. I was wearing shorts with tights inside (which is how some girls dress in Seoul, as I have observed). I told myself that my legs can take it, they are tough! But no… oh no… they froze like chicken legs. Hahaha

In the afternoon, there was also a parade just like in any other theme park. We sat ride beside the road and got to watch the parade up close.

There was also a big tree made out of flowers. This is part of their spring special. There was a garden full of wonderful and colorful flowers.

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It’s so big we can only take a picture of the bottom part. Haha

It was a perfect spot for a mini photoshoot so you can imagine how many shots we took from this place. ;)

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We spent a whole day in Everland trying to ride every single attraction. But because of the intensifying cold, we went home before dark.

Funny story though, at the train station, we kind of got lost as we cannot remember which line we took going to Everland. We spent about a good 30 minutes in the train station letting every train coming in pass by because we were not sure if that was the correct one. We did find it out though, and we got home a bit late.

Day 7. (Last full day!)

We didn’t want to tire ourselves much out on our last day so we saved a nearby trip for this day.

We went to Hongdae to go and have coffee at the Coffee Prince shop from the same named K-Drama from when I was still in highschool.

I was so excited as this was the place I wanted to visit ever since the drama exploded in the PH, about 6-7 years ago. Unfortunately……… the place was closed on that day, and I was so sad. I just had some pictures taken outside of the store though, which was not that bad.

After that, we went back to Myeongdong to spend the last of our Korean Wons and buy more pasalubong for friends and family back home.

I discovered this great BB cushion foundation from Missha which retails at 25.000 KRW. I loved this one so much that I asked a friend that also visited Korea a few months after to buy another one for me as I finished it all up so quickly.

I also got an Adidas Originals sneakers which was so cute and lightweight and retailed for about 3,000 Php.

While around Myeongdong, Julia and I tried more of the street food and they were all good! There was fried bananas, takoyaki, bread, fish cake (which is my favorite by the way).

By the end of the day we ate some more Samgyupsal, one last before we head home for Manila.

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Overall, it was an unforgettable trip and I really cherish the time we spent together as a family. Since as I mentioned, we are not always together at home, this was a one of a kind bonding experience that all of us enjoyed.

We did travel again abroad after this. We went to Japan for 8 days, which will be featured on my next blog posts! I promise to finish it by this weekend. :)

I did not detail everything here as I do not like to follow a format for this blog post. I wanted it to feel like I was simply telling a story. :)

If you have questions though, do not hesitate to hit me up and ask away.

Thank you for reading my extremely long blog post and bearing with my one year delay. Hahaha!

See you at my next post!

xx

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South Korea Trip 2016 (Part 1)

안녕하세요!

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Gyeongbokgung Palace

It has been a great 8-Day trip. The best I have ever been to in my whole life!

As I mentioned in my previous post, it was my most anticipated trip for this year. And I am really glad we got to travel as a family, since we were most of the time never complete at home.

I will share with you all the places we went to, food we tried and all the great experiences as brief as I can. You know me, my mind thinks so fast, I don’t realize I have been typing so much. Haha.

Day 1.

Our flight was supposed to take off at 2:50PM, but Air Asia rescheduled it 2hours later. We touched down at Incheon Airport at about 10PM. When we left Manila, I was wearing this cute Banana Republic dress and boots. I have also brought my jacket with me as we were expecting a near 0 degrees at Incheon when we land. And boy oh boy, wrong day to not have decided to wear leggings. It was freezing cold!!! It was fun as well because we can see our breath fog up, and that never happens in here Manila (ofcourse). We went straight and hired a Jumbo Taxi to our AirBnb Accommodation. We met our host Charlie at the T-Mark Bus Stop and it was really nice of him to meet us at 12MN. After settling down, we went to sleep, tired from all the travelling. We want to be ready for our adventure the next day.

Day 2.

So we woke up late, and since we only have one bathroom, it took us quite a long time to get ready. We had lunch first at around 1PM at this really nice traditional Korean Restaurant, just one block away from the house. It was quite difficult to order (and basically ask your way around) because only a few people could understand English.

After our late lunch, we went straight to Myeongdong Cathedral to catch the Good Friday Mass scheduled at 3PM.

To our surprise, it was a Korean Mass! Luckily, mom brought her English Station of the Cross guide. And we got to follow the mass even when everyone was speaking in Korean.

After mass, we then explored the shopping heaven in Central Seoul, Myeongdong.

You can find the best korean cosmetics here, almost every corner has a Tony Moly, Nature Republic, Missha, Etude House and Banila Co. And they are sold there on cheaper prices than here in Manila. You can imagine that I went on a shopping spree. Hehe. :)

We then had dinner at a Korean BBQ restaurant. Tip for travelers though, they often try to sell you the highest priced in the menu. Do not fall for that! Haha. And if you want to catch the waiter’s attention, just say “jeogiyo” with conviction! ;)

Day 3.

Day 3 is Nami Island Day! Nami Island was the shooting location of Endless Love: Winter Sonata, which was a well known K-Drama in the Philippines about 8-10 years ago. Of course it did not disappoint, the place was very dreamy and scenic. Though the travel was kinda long. Watch out, lots of photos ahead. ;)

It was a tiring day and we went straight home after the walkathon adventure. Tired but fulfilled. <3

Day 4.

Since it was Easter Sunday, we attended the Easter Sunday mass early morning, at Myeongdong Cathedral. Look at the cute giveaways below!!!

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For this day, we scheduled a bus tour around the City. Some of it we have decided not to get off the bus and check out, because there are more places we want to visit and stay longer.

Our first stop was the US War Memorial. There we saw memorabilia from the Korean War. A lot of countries have participated including the Philippines. There were about more than 100 Filipinos that fought alongside Korea.

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The place was also scenic and has a history museum inside. From the ancient residents of Korea to the more present ones.

After the US Memorial was Namsangol Hanok Village. Basically these are traditional Korean houses that are kept as tourist spots. Here, you can dress up with traditional Korean clothing, which I think is really cool and fun!

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Dad, Alvin and Rainier was not down for a dress up sesh. Should’ve been a cool family photo! Sayang!

Next stop was N Seoul Tower. This is like the Burj Khalifa of Seoul, but shorter. We got to the observatory deck. It was so jampacked that we did not really stop by for too long.

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View from the top. Hi Seoul!!

Downstairs, they also had this love lock thingies like those in Paris. Its’ actually pretty cool!

 

*Please see continuation on my next post. :)

Summer ♥

Hi everyone.

What are your plans for summer? Beach? Out of town/country? Staycation? Parties?

As for me, my family and I are leaving tomorrow for Korea. It has been my most anticipated trip for this year since the last time I was out of the country was back in 2012, in Dubai for a month. And we are so excited!

We booked our plane rides last year when Air Asia had their seat sale back in August 2015. Renewed our passports in October and processed our visa in January 2016. We had a long preparation for this trip so I am really looking forward.

We will be staying there for 8 days in total and have booked with AirBnB for our accommodation. We were lucky to get a luxurious condo unit in the heart of Seoul for a very reasonable price. Check out the unit here. The host was very accommodating and responds fast. Definitely commendable.

Since we will be staying during the holy week, part of our itinerary is a visit at Myeongdong Chapel which is 10mins away from our place. On friday, March 25 we will attend mass for Good Friday.

I will update my blog as much as I can while we’re in Korea. Please pray for our safe travel. :)

SO EXCITED! ♥

10 People You Meet at the MRT

I take this (insert sarcasm here) heaven sent train everyday on my way to work, since 2011. And after 4 years I would say I have already had a good observation of all the people I meet everyday aboard this train. Feel free to comment some more if you have. Haha

1.) The Balancer – This person don’t need those damned safety handrails! He/She can balance on his/her own, b*tch! They put themselves on a certain position, and have to keep their feet at least 2 feet apart to keep that balance. They even have their arms crossed as if saying, “I’m the boss”.

2.) The Warrior – When he sees the slightest space, he will push himself inside the train. Because, waiting for the next train?? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

3.) Deadma – “Go with the flow” is this person’s motto. On the line, he/she will let the force of people pushing until she gets on the train, without her even using her own energy! Brilliant.

4.) The First Timer – This is the person that always whines whenever they get pushed or squished. And is always the first one to get angry. Hahaha. The next one is this person’s mortal enemy…

5.) The Angry Veteran – After the first timer gets angry, this person gets angry next. He would always say, “E ‘di mag-taxi ka! Bawal ma-arte dito!” Well, he’s right. Haha

6.) Sleepy the Dwarf – This person could fall asleep the second he/she sits down the train. And would often lean on your shoulder while his head bobs to the front, to the back and side to side. That poor sleepy thing.

7.) Gentledog – Of course this person is a guy, and he is the one sitting down. And when he sees a lady or an elderly fellow approaching, he pretends to be asleep. Why? So that he doesn’t have to feel obliged to give up his seat, because he’s asleep and he doesn’t see you.

8.) Gentleman – He actually stands up and lets you take his seat. Not only for pretty girls, but for the elderly, pregnant women and kids.

9.) BraveGirl – Girls that ride the train with the guys. I’ve had lots of unpleasant experience riding the train with guys I don’t know. Matutulak ka, maiipit ka. Malas mo nalang din kapag natsansingan ka pa. But they still ride on that area because they still have a little hope left that they will meet the Gentleman and not the Gentledog.

10.) Hormonal B*tch – I’ve been a victim of this b*tch a number of times. They are not necessarily pregnant women, JUST hormonal women. Hahaha. I had this experience when I was one of the few who were lucky to have a seat on the cab for ladies and elders, and this lady in front of me, who’s extremely pregnant, said to me, “Miss, buntis ka ba?” with an annoying sarcastic face. Swerte niya di rin ako inaatake ng hormones ko nun. kundi lalabanan ko siya. Hahahaha. I just stood up and let her get her seat.

Out of the thousands of people that ride this train everyday, who are you in this list? Haha. Let me know if you have more. Happy trip friends! :)

Cheap (Free with Stressful Arrangement) Boracay Deal!

Another reason that I haven’t posted much last weekend is that we were on a family weekend getaway at the beautiful Boracay Island. We’ve boarded a plane to Kalibo last April 19, 2013 and got back on Manila last Sunday, April 21. It was a quick 2-day trip, but definitely unforgettable.

I arranged the trip, and it was stressful as crap! I had 2 weeks of constant headaches! Let me tell the story…

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We purchased the deal with CashCashPinoy with the round-trip airfare and accommodation. It was just for PHP 6,900+/ person. Pretty good deal, right? Well, some part of me, deep down,  knows that a cheap deal like this would take a lot of effort from you (Hello, mura na nga binayaran mo eh, zero convenience na para sayo!). But I never thought it would be soooo stressful on my part.

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Anyway, before anything else, to help you understand our situation, here are the consequences we’re in:

1. Dad’s first day on his new job here in Manila is on April 22.

2. Dad still can’t file leave this month since he’s just new at his job.

3.  I work from Monday to Friday, and we’re only composed of 5 people in our team, I don’t think and feel it’s right to be on leave for 2 consecutive days.

4.  I filed one day leave on April 19.

5. Daniel, my brother, who studies at Mapua, will start his 4th term of his first year on April 22.

Hence, we can ONLY leave for vacation from April 19 – 21.

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Before purchasing the deal, I inquired first, here’s a screenshot of my actual email…

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Judy, from their Travel Team replied…

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I was impressed that they gave a response the same day, since we’re planning the trip in just about 2 weeks away. And of course I understood that everything about this travel is still subject to availability (especially it’s peak season) and this email was just an inquiry. And I KNOW I understood everything with her email…

After purchasing the deal last March 26, the vouchers were sent immediately on my email. So I thought, “Okay, now I have the vouchers, I just need to be in touch with Judy from CashCash to help me arrange the trip.

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Here’s the confirmation email sent. We purchased a total of 7 vouchers since accommodation would be free for Julia and Rainier.

I waited for her call the next week and finally got one on April 02, Tuesday, which is 17 days/ 2 and a half weeks away from our trip, which is good enough.

She told me that the only flight Zest Air (CashCashPinoy’s airline partner) has on April 19, that is within the payment range of the deal, is at 6:00PM, and on April 21, 6:15AM. I was like, “WHUUUUT?! You want us to stay just for 1 day for the payment we made for 3 days and 2 nights?!?” But of course I didn’t tell her that. I was sane enough to still be nice and try to understand (2). Anyway she said that we can look for other dates. The vouchers are valid until November naman.

Badtrip lang, kasi when she called me, she was not in the office. I appreciate the effort but she was talking to other people while talking to me. Even saying “Wala eh, gusto lahat lumipad ng Abril eh.” I was like, “Okaaaay, if you don’t want to help, then don’t!” Hayyy.

I told Judy that I still need to consult Mom and Dad about it. After all, mukang malulugi kami. She said I can text her “Call me” with my name and she’d call me agad. So we hung up the phone and I called Mommy. Of course she didn’t like it. So I said I’ll just talk to Judy once more and maybe look for other options. I texted her, but she did not answer. I tried calling her but she’s not answering her phone.

Since Mom and Dad are already asking me time and time, over and over again, I decided to go to Cash Cash Pinoy’s head office, maybe we can fix it faster by me coming there. I excused myself to my boss, and he was kind enough to understand.

So there I was, I left my work and went to their office because she did not call me after saying she will. But I went there with a smile. I talked with Cielo, and she said Judy is on leave, and she said she would like to help me but it might just get things more complicated, and it would be better that I talk this over with Judy.

So there, my first trip (yes there’s a second trip) to their office was useless. No flight was booked, no reservation was held. Dyahe! I just walked to and fro our office (RCBC Plaza) and theirs (Lepanto Building) noh. Under the afternoon heat. Yey! NOT.

Later on that day, Judy called me and advised me that we can just board a flight on April 18 and come back April 20. I told her that can’t be possible for us. Also, I was looking at the Zest Air website at the same time and saw other flight options. Eventually, we (me, Mom and Dad) agreed to go with the 12:05PM flight to Kalibo on April 19 and 6:15AM flight to Manila on April 21. At least we get to stay for 2 days at Boracay.

That flight to Kalibo is the only flight left and its a few bucks away from the deal’s coverage. So we had to pay extra for that flight. Judy said that I can come by their office April 10, 10AM so that I can give them the extra money and have the flights booked and hotel reservations finalized.

Morning of April 10, I was calling Judy to advice that I’d be late by about 30 mins. after 10 since my work starts at 10 o’clock, but her phone was off. I tried calling their office and the operator kept saying that the number is not working, even though I called that same number (and was able to speak with someone) 2 times, a day before. So since she’s not answering my calls and texts, I still went to their office since I was thinking that maybe Judy’s already at the office and just busy. Also, I want to make sure that everything is finalized on that day.

Once again, I walked on the 10:30 morning heat from RCBC Plaza to Lepanto with the cash on my bag. (Why do I feel like I’m a relative of a kidnap-for-ransom victim on this statement? Hahaha)

AND, WHAT DO YOU SAY? THE INFAMOUS JUDY IS NOT YET IN THE OFFICE. SHE’S ON HALF DAY BUT SHE ASKED ME TO GO THERE WITH THE MONEY. (3)

This time, my patience and understanding reached its end. I was soooo mad with her. Still, I tried keeping my composure. I left their office with a really disappointed face to let them know that I am DEFINITELY NOT HAPPY with what they’re doing.

I texted Judy:

“CAN’T YOU BE PROFESSIONAL ENOUGH? Pinapunta mo ko sa office niyo ng 10AM. I have work. I left work because you asked my to come by at your office by 10AM. Na-late na nga ako ng 30 mins eh. Sana sa oras man lang na yun naisip mo na pinapapunta mo ko at nagtext ka. Sobra sobrang pasensya na ang binigay ko sayo Ms. Judy. I understand that you had an emergency so you have to be on half day, but one text message should not hurt. Please fix this today, or we will refund everything. Thank you.”

I am the kind of person that finds it hard to express madness. But I know I’m mad kapag nagdidilim na ang paningin ko. Literally.

Later on that day. She called me. With an apology. Luckily for her, by the time she called me, kalmado na ko. So we agreed to me coming back to their office after my shift. She’ll wait for me, since their office hours are until 5PM lang, and I go out the office by 7PM.

So there, finally I gave them the money, flights were booked everything was finalized.

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Good thing, everything turned out well on our stay at Sol Marina. The staffs were really kind, and courteous. But I’ll make a separate post about the travel itself.

As for CashCash Pinoy, I am never purchasing another travel deal with them. It’s just so patience and energy-draining. If I would rate my whole experience with them, on a range of 1 – 5, and 5 being the highest… Value for money would be at 3 and Customer Service would be at 1. Seriously.  Never thought it would be this stressful.

Well, these are all just based on my experience. But if your dates are flexible, unlike us, I think ya’ll should still consider purchasing a deal with them. You just have to be veeeeery patient. Too bad I wasn’t patient and understanding enough. *insert sarcasm here*

Oh well, that is all for this post. Sorry for boring you all with the teenie tiny details. Just thought it might help someone. :)

Happy wednesday! :)