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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Rushes - Life for the Past 6 Months

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The new tiles in my room- I wanted black but then the stores in here didn't have
enough stocks of shiny black tiles so they opted for this spotted one which is more expensive
but the result was nice-it's so shiny!

It's been a long while since my last entry. I have been busy with a lot of stuff. For one, my parents had decided  to renovate our 20 year-old house. This includes re-tiling our room and repainting it. For a week I have to move out of my room  and then redecorate and move my stuff back in.


I've been addicted to instagram ever since I had an android phone. Initially, I had linked my instagram account with this blog but had to do some redecorating of my blog as well, so I had to take it off.

For the meantime, I'm writing this blog to give a run down of  what went on in my life for the past 6 months.

July, September and November.

Firstly, I 'd like to report that I've finally tried out new hair color products. I tried on Revlon and L'oreal. As it was very obvious in my previous posts when I went to Korea-my roots were coming out. When I came back, I realized that my hair color was already uneven. I guess, Palty hair color tends to fade fast and when you go out in the sun, it lightens. I noticed that while my hair on top lightened, the hair beneath looks dark that's why it made it look like my hair was uneven.

uneven color

The color turned out great but I find out that it someone made my complexion a bit yellow. I have yet to understand coloring my hair base on my undertone. You see, if you have a warm undertone then the best color would be warm ones while if you have a cool undertone then the best ones for you would be cool tones.

result of  using Revlon Luminista Bronze Brown

Unfortunately, I checked my vein on my wrist and it seems like I have a cool undertone. So, I guess bronze color is not for me. Also, I was kinda inspired by Natalie Dormer. She plays Anne Boleyn on The Tudors- a series I've been watching on DVD lately. She is naturally blonde but she had to dye her hair to black/dark brown as she played Anne Boleyn who was described in history textbooks as one having dark hair. In my opinion, she looked better with dark hair-right?

Natalie Dormer

I decided to dye it to a darker color. I tried to look for a dark color on the Luminista line but I can't find anything that I wanted that was available on the local stores. I decided to try L'oreal since it's the only brand I saw that has this particular shade that I wanted. I chose to dye my hair in Ash Mahogany Dark Brown.

with flash it appears as reddish brown

without flash, it looks dark almost black

Voila! I'm very happy with the result. In fact people has been commenting how my hair looked healthier and shinier. I think though, I'm not gonna dye my hair to lighter shade for a while. I realized that if you dye your hair to a lighter shade, you have to keep on maintaining it. You have to go on treatments, you have to color your eyebrows as well and you have to redye every other month for the roots which can damage your hair and your pocket. I guess, my experimenting days are over.


Second, we just celebrated my Father's 60th Birthday and he's officially a "senior citizen". There's this new restaurant in town, Vikings. It's a buffet restaurant that opened recently. They have a promo wherein the birthday celebrant eats for free as long as he is accompanied by a paying customer/companion. On his birthday, We had to go earlier since the line for walk-ins is always very long. When we got in, I was so amazed. I've never seen so many food in such a place before.

I wanted to try out everything! From the different colored sushies to the different kind of cheeses. Yum! 


image credit to AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Lastly, our country has just been hit by a very strong monster typhoon-Haiyan or Yolanda as it is called. Thousands of people have died and thousands have been displaced and left homeless. I just felt that I needed to do my share. Though we have agreed at our office to donate our Christmas Party budget to the victims and I gave a bit of grocery items, I felt that I need to give a bit more. My friends and I volunteered at our Alma Mater, Ateneo de Davao University to repack goods for the victims.

elsewhere in Manila, my sister and her friends also volunteered to repack and found some amusing stuff from the donation boxes.

It is my first time to do this. It was very tiring but you'd feel happy to be able to help in your own little way. I thank God for sparing my family in the Visayas region and I pray for all the victims. Christmas is coming soon-so if you have time to spare you can go and volunteer to repack goods in your area-I promise that it is a very rewarding experience.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Heart & Seoul Part V

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It was our last day in Korea and I told them that I plan to go the the grandest palace in Seoul, Gyeongbokgung Palace. My parents do not want to see another palace but opted to shop in Myeondong while my sister and I wandered on our own. We were leaving that night and my parents wanted to be at the airport by 4 because they were thinking they could shop at the Duty Free Stores at the Airport from 4pm- 8:00 pm when unbeknownst to them, you can only shop at the Duty Free stores once you've checked in and check-in time is 2 hours before your flight schedule. Rush shopping was never the plan.

After a very light breakfast of noodles, we rode from Myeongdong Station to Changmuro Station and then to Gyeongbokgung station. Actually, the orange line passes thru Anguk Station (Changdeokgung Palace) and also you can stop by Anguk to see another Palace Unhyeongung which we opted not to see. The train ride from Changmuro to Gyeongbokgung was pretty empty. I guess we were early.

I am already dragging my very tired feet. LOL!

Finally we've arrived. The train station houses a museum which we unfortunately thought we didn't have the time to see, there is also a replica of the stone gates, Bullomun. The stone gates that I mentioned in my earlier post which can be found in the Secret Garden at Changdeokgung. When you emerge from the station, you're just a few seconds away from the Palace compound.

We arrived just a few minutes past the hour of  10. The Palace opens at ten. Nevertheless, the compound was already bustling with activities and hordes of tourists. It was actually quite difficult to get shots without photo bombers but the most irritating thing was our cameras were running low on batteries. I was quite pissed off at myself for not charging it-I checked my batteries right before I turned it off the other day and there were 3 out of 4 bars-I guess I shouldn't have been complacent. My sister's camera wasn't also charged the night before because she thought mine would suffice and I was actually carrying 2 cameras around-that day, I opted to leave the other one behind (deym!). So most of the shots were taken by our xperia phones and of course we estimated that we have to be back at Namsan by 1pm so we could have lunch.

Everything was rushed. The strategy we did was to get a copy of the Guide and browse through it, looking at places we want to see the most out of the entire Palace compound since the Palace compound is HUGE.  I immediately wanted to see the Hyangwonji pond-as it is the most scenic place in the area. Too bad it was located at the rear, so more walking for us. 

There, a small crowd of people gathered around a girl who was painting the scenery and my sister and I took a while before shooting photos and retouched (hehehehe). 

It was beautiful but it was in this place when the murder of Queen Min (Queen Myeongseong) actually took place. Her death (Eulmi Inscident) was horrible. The Queen was actually murdered by Japanese assassins-from what I gathered, they stormed the Queen's quarters and dragged all the ladies out by the hair and tortured them to find out which of them was the Queen. The Queen was then stabbed to death and a lot of stories also tells how she was fondled and burned alive. Her remains were scattered in the forest behind this palace.

After that, we wanted to see the Gyeonghoeru Pavillion. It is where the king threw formal banquets. So we walked again around the Palace compound was actually kind of a maze. We went into one place and then found out there wasn't an exit and so we had to go back again. We tried to do some shortcuts through quarters too and ended up in a "no entry" area. A large part of the palace is under reconstruction since the original Palace was burned down or torn down by the Japanese in the early 1900s and restoration is until now-still ongoing.

After this, my sister and I decided to go back. In all honesty-aside from Hwangwonjeong and the view of Mount Bugaksan-I prefer the serene environment of Changdeokgung. I'm glad we went there first. At Myeondong Station, we tried out something that we have been curious about since we arrived. So my sister and I -in getting rid of our extra small denominations, tried this.

This is a video of the train ride from the Gyeongbokgung. I really like the song that's why I did this video.

I initially thought, it was made entirely of hardened icing and was compact but in fact it wasn't. When we bought one for each of us (mine's the strawberry one while my sister tried the white chocolate), the vendor placed each in a paper bag and motioned for my sister to hammer the bag.

The ball of icing was actually hollow :-( -but it tasted good.

After a meal at McDonald's -it was time to go. We had opted to ride the airport service of Namsan Guesthouse despite it being expensive since we didn't want to get into the hassle of waiting for the airport limousine bus. We didn't want to carry and drag our luggage down and to the other side of the road plus the weather was quite gloomy.

Sad to leave Seoul. My mom says, we lacked the time.So perhaps there are still a lot to see someday if I ever get the chance to come back. The best thing of all, was at the airport where I spent 2 hours asleep I discovered we are indeed flying on Cebu Pacific's newest airbus 330-yey! Oddly, there were more Koreans who boarded our flight than Filipinos.There were also some celebrity sightings at the airport that day but none of those two-I recognized. Just that they were hounded by reporters said enough.

The big JUAN is here! I was very pleased to learn that we are going to fly the newest Airbus 330 of Cebu Pacific. I felt so happy to have one of the first butts to seat on this spankin' new airplane.

My first time in Korea is an awesome experience. I hope to be back one day. For someone who just took the risk of booking a flight to Korea-the payback was just so worth it. For those who are scared to Seoul because of worries about expenses and language barriers- you're missing out on something. After all, man cannot discover the ocean if he's afraid to lose sight of shore. xoxoxo

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Heart & Seoul Part IV

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Woke up to a foggy weather. Initially, I have been thinking of going up at N Seoul Tower in the afternoon. When I checked Accu Weather- it says that it's gonna be another rainy day. So I took advantage of the foggy weather and off we went up.

The cable car station for N Seoul Tower is just  a 10-minute climb (it's a very steep uphill climb) from Namsam Guesthouse. I had to take my time but as much as possible I didn't try to stop and rest. Finally, we reached the top. The station opens at 10 am but we were there 20-minutes earlier so we had a lot of time to catch our breathes and do some camwhoring.

The cable car ride was fun despite the fact that it was quite foggy. I enjoyed going down more than going up especially if you're in front of the cable car-it's like being on a safer zipline. It was early and the morning air was reinvigorating. There wasn't a lot of tourists at that time we had most of the place to ourselves without the presence of the usual photobombers.

Up there, the air is so fresh that you forget you're in the city. You'd see the beacon is still empty, sweepers getting rid of fallen leaves and a foggy Seoul.

One of the things I wanted to see are the "promise locks". Before going to Seoul, I watched this Thai Movie Hello Stranger and I guess it was really effective in psyching me up for this trip. The truth was I was really nervous and worried about going on this trip for one thing the expense. It is said that Seoul is one of the most expensive cities in Asia but I learned from a lot of bloggers/forumers that if you're smart enough you can actually still go to Seoul within a limited budget and enjoy it. Also I was worried about the people- I was worried that Koreans would not be helpful and apathetic but in truth-they were actually very helpful and the city is quite laid back compared to Hong Kong or even Manila where everyone is rushing. They even try their best to help you even if they can't communicate in English and even use their phones to search for places/directions/transportation that you're asking about. A friend of mine even commented on Facebook if I had trouble going around Seoul and I said-it was one of the most tourist friendly places I've ever been.

Am not that heavy-the bench is designed that way hehehe!

Koreans must love romance so much. I think it's quite evident on their dramas and movies. A lot of their places like this one actually highlights their love for romance as these locks are "promises" of couples to be together. In the movie, they write their names on the locks and throw the key away.

Next stop is going to the Tower and see the Teddy Bear Museum. I'm quite excited about going to see the Teddy Bear Museum since I'm also a huge plush/stuff toy fan and a History buff. Also it brings back memories of one the most popular kdramas shown her in the Philippines-Princess Hours or Goong. The bears where quite prominent in that series and I always wondered why. What is the connection of the bear to Korea?

Miniature food!

Akyat Bahay Gang

denim shorts cache cache, belt from Parfois and blouse from Candies.

Then after the Teddy Bear Museum, it was time to go up into the observatory. There wasn't much to look at since it was a foggy day but I enjoyed it nonetheless. We also shopped for souvenirs there-stuffed animals.

After that, we bought our own love locks inside and left our own-for our family. The pen from the "love luck" also came in handy later as we were packing. We used it to label one sack of goodies since we checked that in during our flight back to Manila.

Walking back to where we rode the cable car, we saw a booth where you can wear traditional Korean clothes for free. We tried it out and had our pictures taken with a Korean man wearing the traditional guard uniform.

Someone asked me if the guy is really extremely tall or I was just to short-hahahaha!

Say "kimchee"!

Posed with some random tourist in korean attire. I should remind myself that next time I don a hanbok,
I should loose ten pounds 'coz it really makes me look bloated :-(

And so that ends our N Seoul Tower adventure. It was time again to go shopping. As I have planned we went to Nandaemun Market. After going down the hill, we rode the subway from Myeongdong to Hyohyeon station. I can't exactly remember which exit we went out- I'm guessing it's exit 6. We asked around for any fastfood since I begged not to eat Korean Food anymore-not because it wasn't yummy but I guess it's just that I was in the mood for American food. Unfortunately, everything in Nadaemun is Korean and so we ended up eating at this new restaurant. Once again, I do not know the restaurant's name but it is located on the second floor of a building adjacent to exit 6. Food was good and relatively cheap compared to the other Korean restaurants we've tried.

After that, we went souvenir shopping. Actually-more like Kimchi shopping. I haven't read a lot really and most said it was actually cheaper to shop at Lotte Mart or at Dongdaemun. I only read this stuff after I went to Korea. Looking around, we passed by this shop since my Dad was looking for radish kimchee. The lady (or ajuma ) was really nice. She made us try her yummy peach iced tea and all the stuff we pointed at-she made us try for free. We ended up buying loads of chocolates as "pasalubongs". We later looked around some more and we decided to split, leaving our parents in her shop to wait for us while we continue to hunt for this "triple barrel" curling iron which I really wanted to buy. When we came back- the lady had given them too many freebies to take home that my father had a whole sack of goodies-and it weights a whole lot more than 5 kilos! This is why I asked to get her picture with my parents-I guess she must be liked a lot by her customers for I see that there were a lot of pictures of her with her customers in her shop.

Going around Nandaemun, I wanted to look at cameras. My samsung ex1 needed a new battery but then the store men told me it's obsolete and I have to buy a new one. I didn't have the budget to buy a new one since I spent a lot on this trip-but no regrets. For the photography enthusiasts-this place is heaven. I also love the fact that the sales men are not pushy. I also tried to look at cell phones since most people in Seoul right now are using "phablets"- my galaxy tab just looked so old compared to these "phablets" but I think they are more expensive in Seoul than in here -plus I actually prefer Sony Xperia phones but I wanna try LG soon.

photographer's heaven

Nandaemun Market

To be continued....