Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2016 Review

1.What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before? 🙈🙊🙉🙈🙊🙉🙈🙊🙉
Ah! OK..I took a Habal-habal from Ayala to GMA-Kamuning in EDSA  during rush hour on a Friday night when heavy traffic was on! That's bravery right there!
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I hardly did. I promised not to do a lot of activities or join any adventures just because I want to dedicate my 2016 to sleeping! 💤💤💤💤 
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes 👶 My high school BFF to a handsome baby boy, my brother's live-in girlfriend to a cute baby girl, and my officemate also to a healthy baby girl.
4. Did anyone close to you die? Unfortunately, yes, an officemate from another department who was really close to me.
5. What countries did you visit? Hong Kong, if you call that a country. Macau, if you consider that a country. Malaysia. Revisited Singapore, also, if that's a country. South Korea!

But wait, there's more.. Cambodia-Thailand-Malaysia-Indonesia before the year ends. Inshallah.
6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016? An attitude that will be well respected because F*** YOU ****!!
7. What date from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory and why? July 2.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? I started reading books, started with stocks, bought items to sell, etc.
9. What was your biggest failure? Should have started earlier of the year. But you know what they say -- better late than never!
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Not an illness, nor an injury but I discovered I have a goiter.
11. What was the best thing you bought? Books! Books! Books!
  1. Smarter Faster Better
  2. The Godfather
  3. The Magic of Thinking Big
  4. Chicken Soup for the Soul
  5. Rich Dad Poor Dad
  6. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
  7. The Origin of Species
  8. The Phantom of the Opera
  9. The Metamorphosis
  10. The Iliad
  11. The Scarlet Letter
  12. Kitchen Confidential
  13. The Economist : Guide to Investment Strategy
  14. Teach Yourself : Accounting and Finance
  15. The Economist : Guide to Analysing Companies
  16. Griding It Out : The Making of McDonald's
  17. The $100 Startup
  18. Eat Move Sleep
  19. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  20. Why Women Love Bitches
  21. Teach Yourself : Secrets of Wealthy People
  22. How to Win Friends & Influence People
  23. Visual Bilingual Dictionary Japanese-English
  24. The Personal MBA
  25. Think and Grow Rich
  26. The Richest Man in Babylon
  27. The 80/20 Principle
  28. Never Eat Alone
  29. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
  30. The Economist : Business Strategy
  31. NLP The Essential Guide to Neuro-Linguistic Programming
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My ex-boyfriend's on being goal-oriented, disciplined, focused, his drive and dedication, his approach on healthy living, his decision making process, his witty sense of humor, passion for seeing the world, his cravings for knowledge and wisdom, being frugal, being a bookworm, believing in one's potential, his love and respect for his mother.. and probably many others that I didn't get to know.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? My ex-boyfriend's narrow-mindedness, selfishness, greediness.. being disrespectful ..and probably many others that I didn't get to know.
14. Where did most of your money go?
  • Books Php 14,140.40+
  • Airline Tickets Php 38,317.10+
  • Food Delivery Php 10,575.20+
15. What did you really, really, really get excited about? ..when one of my housemate finally moved out??!
16. What song will always remind you of 2016? Starving and Say You Won't Let Go... I HATE THESE SONGS!!!
17. Compared to this time last year are you:
Happier? Always happy, will aim for happier next year!😋
Thinner? Yupsexier!💃
Richer? Yup, filthier!💰
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Reading books.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Reading reddit.
20. How did you spend Christmas? On a train going to the boarder of Thailand-Malaysia in the morning. In a taxi with the taxi driver who helped me find a Money Changer in the town of Butterworth at noontime. On a ferry bound to Georgetown. Biking. Getting full from street foods of Penang. Coincidentally shared a hostel room with a random Japanese girl who was also at the boarder earlier that day.
21. How will you be spending New Year's? In a layover in Kuala Lumpur for sure!
22. Did you fall in love in 2016? FELL HARD it hurt.
23. How many one-night stands? Hmmmm... Mmmmm.......
24. What was your favorite TV program? The Big Bang Theory... oohhhh myyy goddddd GAME OF THRONES!!!
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I don't hate ..but f*** you ****!
26. What was the best book you read? My recent ex-boyfriend will be proud while my ex-boyfriend before that recent ex-boyfriend will be disappointed -- Rich Dad, Poor Dad assholes!
28. What did you want and you got? A relationship.
29. What did you want and not get? A long-lasting relationship.
30. What was your favorite film of this year? Not released this year but disturbed me nonetheless --

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old did you turn? Turned 28 and went to Chinatown. Then, went to my ex-boyfriend's place to eat ..cake. Nope, no candles to blow. Whut?!
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? If I had committed less to none money mistakes
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016? As cool as this...
Crocs Black Woman's Comfortable Flats (Kadee)
34. What kept you sane? Irrelevant question but will force myself to answer this one. Probably my travels, yeah, they have kept me quite sane.
35. Which celebrity did you fancy the most? Not too much but this hottie from I Origins..
36. What political issue stirred you the most? The Human Rights on the "extra judicial killings" in the country at the moment. I don't like them. I'll leave it at that.
37. Who did you miss? My dad. I have not talked to him a lot this year.
38. Who was the best new person you met?
The best and the worst!
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016:
There are four types of people in this world: people you like, people you do not like, people who likes you, and people who does not like you. Don't take for granted the people who likes you. Don't waste your time and energy on the people who does not like you. If you must, learn to walk away! 
40. Quote or Song Lyric that sums up your year: 
🎵 I got that sunshine in my pocket, got that good soul in my feet🎵

Monday, November 7, 2016

How to get to DMZ (Korean Demilitarized Zone)

I went to South Korea with no itinerary in mind -- even when I was already on the plane going to Seoul from Manila! All I know are these facts:
  • Winter Sonata's shooting location was in Nami Island
  • My seatmate in the office and her sisters weren't able to visit Le Petite France when they traveled to Korea
  • Myeong-dong is a shopping district area, so I booked my hostel there (although shopping was not my intention!)
  • Korean peninsula is divided by DMZ
I planned out my itinerary on my first day right after I woke up. I pulled out Lonely Planet's Korea Travel Guide book, some travel guide brochures I got from Incheon airport, and my Ipad. I was bound to DMZ on that day, my 3rd day. It was October 1st, and I left my hostel at 6AM.

I got lost so.. delay on my arrival at DMZ imminent.

So this is How to Get to DMZ (The Korean Demilitarized Zone) from Seoul for only a few bucks!
  1. Take the Gyeongui Line to Munsan Station
  2. From Musan Station, walk your way to a bus station https://goo.gl/Zbc3rH
  3. Take the bus no. 058
  4. Sketch given to me by very helpful staff of Musan Station whom I paid a bow upon my successful return from DMZ on my way back to Seoul^^
  5. Get off at Imjingak
    You will not miss this point because it stuns from all the rest of pick-up/drop-off points.
    Walk your way from the entrance of Imjingak to DMZ Ticket Booth.

I have arrived at the ticket booth around 1PM when I purchased my ticket, I was scheduled for 2PM tour. The ticket to DMZ tour cost ₩9,200. Last schedule of the tour is 4PM, I think, I think, I'm not so sure now, just make sure to arrive early.

I was very lucky to be sat beside a young Korean man who translated every Korean instruction of our bus driver/tour guide. The driver gives instruction in Korean to its tourist to get back by certain minutes in every DMZ Tour stops. My translator by the way called my attention to stop taking pictures while we were crossing this bridge! 

The DORASAN STATION in DMZ which has no scheduled trains for now. No more direct trains from Seoul to Dorasan at the time I made my trip.
This got me teary-eyed and hopeful.

The North Korea

Right after my binoculars have turned off, there was an old Korean man who tapped me and pointed his binoculars and by that he meant "Take mine, I'm done here!!"
Yes, I walked through the stiff tunnel and back! But pictures weren't allowed folks so, there, no pictures.

What I enjoyed the most are the very warm and helpful people I encountered. From the train staff in Seoul when I can't find the right train. To the Musan train staff who went the extra mile by sketching my way to the bus station. To the old Korea man who have cheered me up from bus station from Musan up to when I found him (or he found me again) on the bus station going back to Musan from Imjingak!! He even high-fived me when we meet again^^ And also, the guy sitting beside me on the bus who didn't even waited for me to ask what the bus driver was saying but instantly translated every instruction along the way.

I am now back in the Philippines corporate slavin'. Follow me on my next adventure in Cambodia this December!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Exploring Taiwan : Maokong Gondola, Taipei Zoo, and Shilin Night Market

Before the Holy Week of 2015, two of my office mates and I are already booked to Taiwan in November.

I wanted to document every moved we made in Taiwan from arrival to departure! So I used my smartphone which is a Cherry Mobile Alpha Style that I bought last 2014.Using Microsoft's OneNote app on my phone I captured photos, jotted down notes, and even recorded random interesting audios while exploring Taiwan!

1 DAY 

6:00 Decided to leave the airport and go to the city 
  • Bus Ticket to Taipei City NTD125 
6:40 bus left the airport 
7:20 arrived at Taipei Main Station; Walked to Homey Hostel 
7:40 arrived at Hostel to drop bags 
8:30 Open of Homey hostel 
9:10 Left the Hostel to explore the city 
9:30 at McDonald's for breakfast, NTD 71 
9:43 Back on the road off to MRT Taipei Main Station 

10:40 Grabbed Green Tea sundae NTD 80 and Milk Caspy Bar Original NTD 25 at Taipei Zoo Station 
11:11 Queue at Gondola

12:26 Food court for lunch

Oyster omelet NTD 70; Pancit lomi NTD 50; Bottled green tea NTD 30

14:24 Still walking along this long road 
14:50 Taiwan Zoo Bus Station; Traveled by bus NTD 15 
15:00 Entered Taiwan Zoo NTD 60

16:30 Took a bus from Taipei Zoo to Gondola Station NTD 5 
17:00 Maokong Station, tried Spring Roll Ice Cream NTD 40 


18:00 Taipei Zoo Station to Shilin Night Market via MRT 
18:30 Photobooth at Taipei Zoo Station  
19:00 Daan Station transferred to Line 1 for Shilin Night Market 
19:30 Shilin Night Market
Shilin Night Market at 22:00 Still Alive and kickin'

We shopped till we dropped!! 

Meat on stick NTD 25 
Rooster charm NTD 100 
Giordano pants NTD 600 
Adidas running shoes NTD 1590 
Taiwan Beer NTD 100 
Large Chicken (the tastiest Chicken I've tasted!)

23:37 At Jiantan Station going to Homey Hostel to call it a night 
0:56 Lights out

Friday, May 6, 2016

Hosteling in Kuala Lumpur

So I made it to Bikit Bintang from Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2. I followed the directions from Google map which is this :

I was able to follow the walk route indicated in the 2nd image. Of course, I'm excellent with directions! But then, my orientation isn't. I got lost in the heart of Bukit Bintang. I
I found myself in between Lo Yat Plaza and Parkson Sungei Wang Plaza. The sun is out, it was hot, and I'm tired and I'm longing for a cold water. So I sat in the corner of Lo Yat Plaza. After a few minutes of resting my feet, I started walking again to look for my hostel.

I went back to where I started, this time I pay attention to road/street name signs. Just when I thought I was walking to the right direction, which is right, I gave up and asked for the police where Alor Bunker Home is located. Three of them gathered, one of them is the interpreter. She told me to back to the corner where there was a traffic light. But I knew from the spot that I'm close to the place very close since I saw pictures of the surrounding area of the hotel. I could smell it was just in my nose!

But I obeyed the officers who were in the are taking pictures of plate numbers of cars parked in the area. I walked back to the corner where there was a traffic light. This time I walked to the street where major food stalls are located, where they grill and serve local food. Then I reached the end of that street, I turned right and I found myself heading back to Low Yat Plaza. Again, I asked for direction. He said Jalan Alor is the street over there. There. The one that I came from. But I didn't see a Alor Bunker Home hostel in there. So I went back and took the other block, while walking.. something caught my attention. DIMSUM!!!!

I didn't hesitate and ordered 1 siomai and 1iced coffee. Ahhhhh!!! What a good life, even though I still can't find my dang hostel.

I finished my food and proceeded with my mission. Alas! I saw Jalan Rembia street sign. DANG!!! I was just here, I told myself. It's where I found those police officers and asked for direction. Oh meehn. So there, I took another turn, and there it was. My hostel was there : Alor Bunker Home.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Soloist in Kuala Lumpur

I arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport right after midnight. I decided to wait until the sun come up before going to the city or any other destination. Airport is always safer, believe me. Stay there. Sleep. And freshen up.

By six in the morning, the sun is barely up in the sky. It's still oddly dark. Coming from a country where the sun is already in your face by 5:30 in the morning during summer, it's quite blizzard here in Malaysia. I'm ultra lazy, I'd even be lazier to get up in the morning if I'm from here.

Yes, I decided to get my ass off from my newly favorite spot (see previous post), and drag myself towards an information desk.

According to Google, to get to Bukit Bintang area (where I'll be staying at) from Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2, I must go to KL Sentral by bus (metro station where all the MRTs meet, I suppose), from there I must ride a green train to AirAsia Bukit Bintang Station. Ha! Piece of cake, right?


I begun my journey with asking the receptionist how to get to KL Sentral, which is cheaper: train or bus, and how much would it cost me. Bus is cheaper, it's myr 11 (php 130). Buses are located at the ground level of the airport. From arrival, you must go downstairs to get to the busses. Ticket booths are also located there. Very easy to locate. Comfort room in the ground level is cleaner than CR in the  departure/arrival area of the airport by the way.

The bus left from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 past 7:30 in the morning. Go ahead and take a nap, the commute is about an hour and half!! The bus driver is no way in a hurry. Traffic is light, just right considering it is a city and on a weekday. There are no other stops, it will stop only at its final destination in KL Sentral.

When I reached KL Sentral, it is quite confusing, we got off in an underpass. KL Sentral is located upstairs. Take the escalator, walk along with other passengers who know what they're doing. Upstairs the train map is also confusing. There are no train map flyers available in KL Sentral. You will only have to rely on the train map board.

I bought my train ticket (or plastic coin) in the ticket vending machine available around the area. From KL Sentral to AirAsia to Bukit Bintang it cost me myr 2.50 (php  30). I made a terrible mistake by getting to a platform which is isn't the train I'm supposed to hop on. I just waste myr 2.50. To correct my mistake, I approched an MRT guy and asked him where the train to AirAsia Bukit Bintang  is. It was in the other building. A few minutes walk from the KL Sentral. Then, I found what I was looking for: the Monorel MRT line (the green one) that would take me to Bukit Bintang.