A Dose of Doha

Qatar is a Muslim country located in the Middle East, and it is an open city. However, there are restrictions, like alcohol consumption. Doha, the capital, is a great and multi-cultural city and home to a lot of expats in this bustling country of Qatar. A taste of traditional and modern is what Doha offers to its visitor. In my 3-day layover in Doha, I get to see some of the things that they are famous for.

Doha, Qatar in a glimpse of 3 days and 2 nights (05.02.17-05.04.17)

We arrived on 2nd of May at 4 in the morning. Doha, is 5 hours behind Manila time. After checking-in at our hotel, I immediately went to sleep. I woke up at 10am, and the breakfast buffet is about to close. After our breakfast, I stayed in our room for a few hours, because it is still too hot to go out.

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Free chocolates in our hotel

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  • Shawarma

At 5pm, our group went out, and our first stop was to eat shawarma. We found this shawarma place on our way to the Casio store. For QAR 7, you can choose between chicken or beef shawarma, and QAR 2 for your soda. It’s so authentic and good. I can’t even finish a single serving.

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  • Casio Store

The famous store where my fellow crew hoard watches and sell it in Manila at a better price compared to shopping malls. I got to buy a couple watch for only QAR 150, and yes, you can ask for discount.

  • Gold Souk

I was overwhelmed when I went inside the jewelry store of Shine Gallery. There are so many to choose from, and at a very affordable price. You can even ask for discounts that could go as high as 30%. I got myself an 18k bracelet for QAR 290, originally at QAR 365.

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Alley way to Gold Souk

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This was inside an elevator

  • Souq Waqif

It is a traditional flea market that sells variety of goods such as spices, paintings, souvenirs, traditional costumes, carpets, incense, and even pets. There are restaurants in different cuisines, and of course, shisha places. I bought a ref magnet for QAR 10.

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Souvenir items

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05.03.17- Day 2

Right after our breakfast, we left our hotel and went to Casio. While we were inside, it was about 1pm and the store has to close. I’ve learned that stores close from 1pm to 4pm to give way for their afternoon prayer. We had no choice, but to leave and all stores were closed. We just went to Souq Waqif to see the birds that are being fed. While walking along the alley, we went inside a sweet shop. We got ourselves a bag of chocolates for QAR 20 per kg.

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Tourists in Souq Waqif

  • Souq Waqif Boutique Hotel

There is a little restaurant open right beside the boutique hotel. We spent our lunch here and until the stores have opened. I got myself a Qatari Breakfast for lunch.

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View outside the restaurant

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Qatari breakfast

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My fellow MNL-DOH crew

  • Shine Gallery

We went back to the jewelry store, and I bought again. This time, a pair of 18k earrings for QAR 200, originally at QAR 350. While waiting for my fellow crew, I was browsing through the beautiful rings on display, and I saw the ring of my dreams, but I didn’t bother to ask. As a result, I can’t stop thinking about it and I can’t sleep.

05.04.17- Day 3

After our breakfast, I spent a few hours in our hotel room because it was too hot to go out. At 3pm, I decided to go out alone and I was supposed to visit the Museum of Islamic Art. Unfortunately, I cannot figure out my GPS, and it was too hot to continue. I just went to the shawarma place, and bought a chicken shawarma, which I took home in Manila.

I returned to the jewelry store, and asked about the ring because I kept on thinking about it. I even tried it on.lol However, I won’t get into details about that. I want to keep that a secret. Next thing, I was walking inside Souq Waqif, and strolled around, before I could find myself in a coffee shop. While having coffee, I saw 2 men in traditional white outfit riding a horse. I asked the barista who they are, and apparently they are the Qatari police roaming around.

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Qatari police on duty

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Felt like I was transported back in Jesus’s time and passed by the 3 kings

In the coming months, for sure i’ll have another flight in Doha. I have more to see in Doha, and i’ll keep you posted.

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When Disaster Aftermath Lead to Nature’s Beauty- Mt. Pinatubo

Almost 26 years ago, it was the most devastating natural disaster that occurred, not only in the Philippines, but in the world. The eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in Zambales has gotten so many lives, and buried them underground alive. Many people were forced to leave their houses without any idea when they can comeback. The ashes from the volcanic eruption went as far as Hong Kong, and the world temperature for 10 years was decreased by 1 degree Celsius. I remember in the late 90s, whenever we spend our summer in Pundaquit, Zambales, we always pass by the province of Pampanga, and the remnants of the lahar look so fresh, and the surroundings were very much like a zombie land.

The calamity of yesterday turned out to be a beautiful disaster. As we trekked for 2 hours going to the crater lake of Mt. Pinatubo, we passed by several smiling Aetas, the locals of the area. Afterwards, we’ve seen the most rewarding view of the lake.

Mt. Pinatubo in a glance of a few hours (02.20.17)

My very good friend invited me to join their group, who will trek the Capas, Tarlac trail of Mt. Pinatubo. Without any hesitations, I said yes. I don’t normally do hiking, due to my very demanding work that requires me to sleep during my days off. I tried several before like trekking in Mt. Buntot Palos, and Mt. Isarog, and I have loved the rewarding view of the falls in those mountains. I strongly felt that I can do Pinatubo, since I got to experience spelunking at Biak na Bato, but heck that was in my freshman year in high school, almost 12 years ago. For someone like me who considers walking as a form of exercise, I got to reach the peak of Mt. Pinatubo without giving up.

In the Monday morning of Feb. 20, the group met in Ortigas. The trip was organized by my friend’s friend who happens to be working for Nat Geo, and they create new trails for mountains. Such a cool job, you get to discover a lot of new adventures. We were a group of 10, 3 of them were my batch mates in high school, and the rest were from the same circle of flying.

Our van left Ortigas, at 3:30am, and before the sun rises, we were already at the jump-off point in Sta. Juliana, Capas, Tarlac. We were required to register at the tourism office and once our 4×4 rides were available, we started our adventure.

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The ride was around an hour and a half, and we were the first ones to make a trip, so we created the path that will be followed by the other trekkers later.

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Toblerone-shaped lahar mountain

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We had a short stop-over at the Toblerone-like mountain. The mountains were created out of lahar.

After our 4×4 ride, this is when we started to trek. It was probably 3-4 kms in distance. They say that it used to be a very long trek, almost 7kms if I remember it right. However, according to what I’ve heard, some areas have been bulldozed to give way for “VIPs” who will be visiting/inspecting the area. Such a shame, it’s nature who will adjust for those people, and that’s the ugly truth.

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Another area for registration

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After several mins., i found a bathroom with water. Yehey!! I’ve been wanting to pee for the longest time, but I have to hold it or else, I’ll do it somewhere in the bush.

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Where do you belong?

After several walks again, we found a banner stating that it’s 20 mins. more to the crater. I saw some locals doing their laundry by the stream, and didn’t mind the scorching heat. There were families of Aetas living in that part, so please if you happen to go here, bring some snacks or anything for the kids. I’m sure they will appreciate it.

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Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations

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Finally!

At last, we reach the peak. It was 9am and the view was rewarding. My trekking was worth every penny.

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Happy, my hs batchmate & volleyball teammate during our varsity days

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Cat, beautiful friend since 2nd grade. 18 years of solid friendship.

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Kev, my good friend since 1st year high school

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Thank you to these beautiful people for the wonderful time

 

We stayed for an hour and camp by the lake. I suggest that you bring your own food and drinks and load up on carbs. There’s a lone store there, but the prices of his goods are way too high.

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High school never ends

Before we went back, we made sure that we didn’t leave any trash.

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Leave nothing but footprints

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The expenses for this trip was PHP 3100 per head for a group of 10. It includes transfer rides from Manila to jump-off point and vice-versa, registration fee, environmental fee and 4×4 ride. Pack light and wear something comfy that can cover you from heat.

After our trek, we took a shower in one of the houses near the jump-off point, and paid 50 bucks.

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Since it was still early to go home, we had a side trip in Angeles, Pampanga, and ate at Funnside Ningnangan.

For itinerary and budget, click Itinerary- Mt. Pinatubo 2017

1/3 Edited using phone app while stuck in traffic. 🙊 Trail to Mt. Pinatubo | 02.20.17

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2/3 Edited using phone app while stuck in traffic. 🙊 Trail to Mt. Pinatubo | 02.20.17

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3/3 Edited using phone app while stuck in traffic. 🙊 Trail to Mt. Pinatubo | 02.20.17

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The Blissful Paradise of Bantayan Island

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The island of Bantayan is at the northern most part of Cebu. It takes about 6 hours to reach this paradise from Cebu City. The locals from the island speak different dialects, because they are very near to the islands of Masbate, Leyte and Panay. There are two beaches in the island, namely, Alice and Sugar. I tried walking on both shores, and they’re just almost the same. There were tons of resorts to choose from, depending on your budget of course. I chose a resort located in the town of Bantayan, a bit of traveling before reaching the beach proper in the town of Santa Fe.

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Bantayan Island, Cebu in a glimpse of 1 day and 1 night. (07.30-31.16)

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Shore of Santa Fe, Bantayan Island

Land, air and sea.

The crowd in Bantayan Island are mostly tourists (foreigners and locals from Manila), and it could be time-consuming before you reach the island. 3 domestic airlines travel from Manila to Cebu daily, and flights are almost hourly. There are also available flights going to Cebu from our neighboring countries, Middle East, and USA. Domestic flights from the different provinces also fly to Cebu daily or weekly. Seat sale is offered by airlines months before your scheduled vacation, and sometimes even weeks before.

Manila flights are usually an hour and 30 minutes flying time.

Take a regular(white) taxi from the right side of the arrival hall of Mactan-Cebu International Airport, and tell the driver to take you to the North Bus Terminal.

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Scheduled trips from Cebu City to Bantayan Island and vice-versa via Ceres Bus Liner

There are scheduled trips going to Hagnaya Port, and it takes about 3-4 hours from the bus terminal to the port. It’s better to take the air-conditioned bus.

At Hagnaya Port, pay the terminal fee, and avail the next available trip to Santa Fe Port, Bantayan Island.

Where to Stay?

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The resort where we stayed

There are many resorts to choose from, depending on your preference and budget. I booked at Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort (09189408066). I called up the contact number I found online, and reservations were arranged after I made a 30% down payment. The resort is located in the town of Bantayan, and it takes about 20 mins. to reach the shore of Santa Fe. They picked us up from the port of Santa Fe.

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View from our hut

 

07.30.16 Food trip in Santa Fe

After 6 hours  of traveling from Cebu City, we finally reached this paradise on a gloomy day. The currents going to Bantayan were quite big, and I kept my fingers crossed that our trip won’t be cancelled. We were picked up by the resort’s “gardener”, and later on I found out that she is the wife of the owner, and we belong to the same circle of flying. She was a very gracious host, and full of energy. We were greeted by a resort that looks very natural: forest themed. It has a beautiful infinity pool, pool cave, mini zoo, library, etc. Our villa is surrounded by trees and has a nice view in the morning. A complimentary breakfast was also included in our accommodation. We planned to rent a motorbike, so we could go around the island, but it wasn’t available at that time. Instead, we availed the drop-off/pick-up to Santa Fe.

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Complimentary breakfast

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I enjoyed eating at the famous MJ Square, where various restaurants and food stalls are located. A variety of food that you can choose from, yet at an affordable price.

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Sumptuous meal for two

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Variety of meals to choose from

 

07.31.16 Land Tour in the towns of Bantayan, Madridejos and Santa Fe

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Aside from swimming, we had a tour around the island of Bantayan. A package is offered in our resort. It took 2 hours to complete the tour. We visited the towns of Madridejos- where the ruins of Kota is found, Bantayan- where the oldest church (2nd in Cebu) of Sts. Peter & Paul is located, and Santa Fe. We passed by Ogtong Resort, where we had our picture taken at the Ogtong Cave. The rest of the time, we just eat, swim and sleep.

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If you’re a seafood lover, this is the place to be. They offer it fresh and in a variety of seafood viands. Different cuisines can be found here too- from local to international. For people who have a sweet tooth, like me, your dessert cravings can be satisfied. I highly recommend the leche flan sold at Dessert Zone. You can never go hungry in this island, and they’re all affordable.

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Bantayan is far from the developed beaches in our country, and I appreciate it that way. It is comparable to the famous Boracay Island, however, it is its quiet and affordable version. It has so much to offer, that you can really enjoy your stay in the island.

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For itinerary and budget, feel free to click the link Itinerary- Bantayan Island 2016

I would love to visit this paradise again someday, and try out the water activities, that we failed to do due to weather.

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Overnight in Thailand

Bangkok may be known for spicy Thai food, temples, lady boys, and shopping. The latter, for me, is the most attractive, and that made me flew to Bangkok on a short notice.

Bangkok, Thailand in a glimpse of 1 day and 1 night. (04.29.16-04.30.16)

Everything was planned and booked last minute, but surprisingly it was not that expensive. It was my first time to try the Airbnb app. It’s an app that could let you choose your accommodation depending on your budget and preference. After browsing through different accommodations, I found a hostel fit for my preference. It is not in downtown Bangkok. However, it’s just a few minutes away from Chatuchak, the shopping destination. Our hostel is at PHP 793 per night plus a surcharge of PHP 94. It includes twin beds with toiletries and complimentary water and noodles. The front desk officer was very accommodating, and can speak good English.

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Room @ VIPA Hotel

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Our hostel from outside

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Hostel’s lobby

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Twin beds in a fairly nice room for only PHP 793 per night

I have searched online for the different tour packages available, and I found my most preferred through Royal Exclusive Travel. The package includes pick-up and drop-off from your hotel (hotels must be in downtown Bangkok or if you’re hotel is not within the area, like in our case, we had Asia Bangkok Hotel as our meeting place), elephant ride and floating market tour in Damnoen Saduak, English-speaking tour guide and a complimentary drinking water. You can book this tour at http://www.asia-discovery.com

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Waiting four group tour at Asia Bangkok Hotel

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Day 1- 04.29.16

We took the red eye flight MNL-BKK, and arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport at midnight. Since our hostel is 20 minutes away from BKK airport, we had no choice, but to take a cab. We rested for a few hours before we prepared for our tour.

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Another check on my bucket list: to ride an elephant

  • Elephant Village

It took an hour and a half before we have reached the elephant village at Damnoen Saduak. After a short briefing, we had our turns to ride the elephant and tour the forest. The “elephant driver” offered some souvenirs after our ride. Each souvenir costs around THB 150-300. It was my first time to ride an elephant, and it was an item to mark-off on my bucket list.

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While waiting for our turn to ride the elephant

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Forest bound

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Not your typical ride

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A view of the forest and wild monkeys from the elephant’s perspective

  • Floating Market

A few minutes away from the Elephant Village is the famous Venice of the East, the Floating Market. You take a canoe around the area and you can shop from a variety of Thai products. You can even ask for a discount especially if you’re buying bulk items.

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Bathroom break before we continue our journey

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A Thai local in their daily work

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Different items for sale

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Feel free to haggle when buying

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Souvenir items for sale

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Blending in with the tourists

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Plenty of tourists around

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After our tour, we were dropped off in downtown Bangkok. We were figuring out how to take the train, but there was no English translation and nobody speaks English. We were left with just one option, and that is to take the cab going to our hostel. Before we left, we walk along the streets and we found some local delicacies, and we gave it a try. We also passed by a stall that sells an authentic Thai milk tea.

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Authentic Thai milk tea & the ivory bracelet bought from the elephant driver

When we got into our hotel, we rest again for a bit, then went out to look for a temple. There is a Buddhist temple a few streets away from our hostel, and we paid a visit, because we could no longer visit the famous temples due to time constraint.

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A Buddhist temple we found near our hostel

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Light a candle, say a prayer and let it flow

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Or you may write down your prayers and hang it on the tree

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After a tiring and productive day, we got very hungry. There is a restaurant at the lobby of our hostel, and they serve authentic Thai food. I know that most of the Thai food are spicy, so I ordered for a mild spicy food. To my surprise, it is still very spicy, and to my friend who happens to love spicy food gave up too.

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Spicy bacon and rice

My friend needed to leave early, because she booked the wrong date of her flight, and I was left alone to do all the shopping. As a token of appreciation for my friend who came along even if unprepared, I bought her a passport holder.

  • JJ Market

Have you heard of shopaholics flocking Thailand to hoard items for business or personal use? Yes, it’s true that they sell quality stuff for a very low price. In fact, I tried to compare them with our very own Greenhills Shopping Center. They sell almost the same things but there is a big difference in the price.

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JJ Night Market

The front desk officer told me about this place beside Chatuchak. According to her, there is a night market every weekend that are preferred to be visited by the younger people. I checked it out, and it was indeed catered for the younger people. I started shopping at 7pm, and I ended at midnight, and got home with shopping bags on both hands.

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Passport holders

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How they customize it

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Shoes

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Find your stuff

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Day 2- 04.30.16

I was supposed to have the whole day for shopping, and taking the red eye flight going back to Manila. However, I realized that I have an early morning duty the next day, and I need to rest. As a result, I took the midday flight going home. Before my trip ends, there’s another side story I have to share. The night before I left for JJ Market, I told the front desk officer on duty that I’ll be checking out the next day at 7pm. I changed my mind and took the earlier flight instead, so I needed to leave the hostel at 7am. Unfortunately, there was no one in the lobby to inform that I’ll be leaving. Make things more impossible, the hostel’s location is in one of the alleys, so taxis don’t often go to that area. Good thing, the wifi was turned on, so I tried to use my Grabtaxi app. I made 3 attempts, 2 failed because they cannot contact me because I have no local number. Luckily, the 3rd one arrived, but he can’t speak English at all. I told him to take me to the airport. I remember I kept a copy of my itinerary translated in Thai, and I showed it to him. When we were near the airport, I know that he was asking whether we are going to the departure or arrival area. He cannot understand when I said departure, but I was in good fate, and I saw a translated sign of departure and I pointed it to him. I was really thankful for his willingness to understand, and to show my appreciation, I told him to keep the change.

For itinerary and budget, feel free to click the link, Bangkok 2016- itinerary

Hopefully when I have a chance to visit Thailand again, I get to see the famous temples, Patpong district, Phuket, Phi Phi Islands, and many more.

The Mystery and Beauty of Masasa Beach

Masasa Beach is approximately 3 hours away from Manila. Located in Maricaban Island, town of Tingloy in Batangas. It is neighboring to Mindoro Island, Isla Verde, and Anilao Batangas. It is near the famous Sumbrero Island, which they say that it’s part of Anilao (please correct me if I’m wrong). Among all the beaches that I have been to, this is the most quiet and cleanest. When I was walking in their downtown, it felt like I was transported in the old times. When you want some peace and quiet time, you can go here. It is under-developed and it has not been commercialized.

I’ll take you back in 2015, 2 years ago

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Masasa Beach with the over-looking Mindoro island

 

This DIY trip is the most buwis-buhay getaway in my entire existence.

It happened to be a long weekend, 17th of January 2015, because of the pope’s arrival in the country. Long weekend means time to pack our bags and go somewhere. Fortunately, it’s also the birthday weekend of my other half. I planned the whole trip and gave it as my birthday present to him.

A glimpse of Masasa Beach, Tingloy, Batangas in 3 days and 2 nights (01.17.15-01.19.15)

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Crystal clear water of Masasa Beach

We left our house at 5am, so that we could catch the JAM Bus Liner going to Batangas City Grand Terminal at 7am. The bus ride took almost 2 hours coming from Buendia, Makati.

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Bus ride to Batangas

Upon reaching our destination, we took a jeepney ride to Mabini Port, which took 45 mins to an hour from the city. The boats at the port are scheduled to leave every hour starting at 10am. Unfortunately, a storm happened to enter the country on that day, as a result the provincial government declared Signal no. 1, which means that no boats could sail. We were not informed that there was a storm signal, because the sun was out there, and not even a single drop of rain has fallen. But rules are rules- storm signal warning, strictly no sailing. We were stuck in the port for 4 hours, and I have thought of just going to a resort in Anilao. However, we saw some locals of Tingloy heading home. (so there must be a way to go to that island). He, first tried talking to the Tingloy locals, in his Batangueno accent, (so that they won’t assume that we are Manila kids & might take advantage) and asked if we could hitch a boat ride with them, and we’re willing to pay some extra bucks just to go to Tingloy. The very nice man agreed, and accommodated the 2 of us in their small boat with a capacity of 10 people. We sailed away. It was very smooth and we’re just passing through the shores of Anilao. The waves were very peaceful and there was no slight evidence of a storm approaching. We called the caretaker of the place that we’re staying, and told her that we will be arriving in about an hour.

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Waiting at Mabini Port in Anilao, Batangas

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The waves are very calm

When we’re about to cross the middle of the sea, I’ve started seeing giant waves. Waves that could make our boat sink. I could not make a single move from where I am seated, and it feels like, one wrong, all wrong and we die. I tried my best to hide my emotions so I wouldn’t scare the birthday boy. Mind you, we were not even wearing life vests, and if the boat will sink, I wondered if there are sharks out there to eat us. It’s impossible to be saved by another boat because we’re the only boat in that part of the sea. Prayers are already shouted in my head, and I thought of my family (feels like the end of the world). It was the longest 1 hour boat ride of my life, and thank you that we made it alive to Tingloy.

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Trike ride going to the shore

We took a trike from the shore going to our inn, and we were welcomed by the caretaker. After changing into our swimwear, we headed to the beach. It’s indeed a virgin beach! Crystal clear water, white powdery sand with a few pebbles, calm waves, and even if you go far, it’s still safe to swim. When we were walking along the shore, we saw a camp site of 2 pax, and they look very much chill.

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Passing by the green fields before you reach the shore

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It’s actually a 10-min. walk

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Met a carabao on our way

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And a goat too

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We returned to the inn when it was 6pm, and cooked our baon for dinner. The caretaker was so nice that she even allowed us to use their stove, and other kitchen utensils. We were even lucky that we get the house all to ourselves, which means that we don’t have to share the bathroom with anyone!

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All to ourselves

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The famous staircase, I’m not sure of the name

 

Day 2- 01.18.15

We got up so early, but it was raining hard. The caretaker informed us that there is still a storm signal, and we cannot go back to mainland Batangas yet, so we went back to sleep. We went to the beach at 3pm, and the whole beach was ours. Nobody wanted to enjoy the beach except us. Mr. Sunshine showed up in the afternoon, and it was just perfect to get my tan.

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Our campsite

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Getting a tan

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Mr. sunshine is about to set

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Day 3- 01.19.15

Storm signal has been lifted, and we could leave.

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Time to go home

On our last night in the island, we felt something strange. I mentioned above that we got all the house to ourselves. The house is relatively new. All the floors are made of cement including those in the 2nd floor. There are 3 rooms upstairs, and I noticed that there is also no ceiling. You can already see the roof, if you look up. There is also a rotating brown-out in the island, starting 11pm until 6am. We were already in bed at 10pm, then the lights are out. We only have the rechargeable fan and light. We turned it off because it was so cold. We were so silent because we both felt sleepy and tired, not until, I heard something. I went like, “Naririnig mo ba yun? (Do you hear that)”, and he goes like, “Oo, wag mong pakinggan (Yes, don’t listen)”. Then he covered my ears. Well, we just heard footsteps going towards our room. I’m sure it was not a cat, because the floor is made of cement. It was heavy footsteps. The wall in our room, doesn’t extend up until the roof, because there was no ceiling, so there is a space, and you can just peak outside our room. We knew what we heard, so I said, “Ang lapit na niya, papunta ata sa’tin (It’s near, I think it’s going towards us)” So we were under the sheets the whole wee hours and hugging each other tightly, and very scared. I never told the caretaker about it, because she was so nice to us, and I don’t wanna say anything negative because she’s very accommodating. Probably, it was just a welcome from the other side, but we got scared.

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I was planning to take my sister to Masasa Beach, not until I came across a very recent blog post about it. I suddenly felt sad, coz it was no longer the Masasa Beach that I was imagining. It was so packed with campers, and it felt like there was no space to pitch in my tent. The locals have made curfews for campers, unlike before that we can camp overnight. I hope I’m wrong, and it only looks like that during peak season, but you can barely see people before even if it’s a peak season.

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How to visit Masasa Beach?

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I wish it stays like this for a lifetime

From Makati or Cubao, take a bus ride going to Batangas City Grand Terminal, then transfer to a jeepney bound to Mabini. You may drop-off at Mabini Port. Ferry rides going to Tingloy and vice-versa are scheduled and available daily. Once you reach Tingloy, you may walk or take a trike going to your accommodation or to the beach site.

FYI:

The beach is a public beach so it is free. I suggest that you buy your food and toiletries from the mainland as these items are expensive in Tingloy. Prepare your budget on transpo and accommodation. The people are very nice, so please be nice to them too. Don’t forget to dispose your garbage properly. Keep the island clean and enjoy.

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Itinerary & budget for this trip

Summer in Singapore

4 years ago, I went on a trip with my best friend in Singapore that lasted for 12 days. We were freshly out from college then so we were bums. It was one of my most spontaneous trips ever, for we did not have any itineraries. We just knew that we will be there for a couple of days, and we will just go with the flow.

Singapore in a glimpse of 12 days and 11 nights (08.08.13-08.19.13)

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It was a smooth 3-hour flight from Manila to Singapore on a fine-sunny Thursday morning of August 8, 2013. Upon arrival at Changi Airport in Singapore, we were fetched by the friend of my friend’s mom, and headed to Yew Tee to drop-off our luggage at her flat. We took a bus around the area, and alight at Choa Chu Kang before taking a cab going to Orchard Rd. We went to Takashimaya, and stroll around before having our dinner at Crystal Jade. After dinner, we headed to the grocery, and fill our carts that can suffice our cravings for about a week. We didn’t go to the Marina area on that day because it was Singapore’s National Day, and the area must be really crowded.

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Search for xiao long bao

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grocery supplies for one week

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view from our room

Day 2- 08.09.13

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It was a day to to meet up old friends. First, we went to Buona Vista, then to Holland Village. It was a day of catching-up, walking around, and eating at Hawkers.

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waiting for bus ride

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a mall in Buona Vista

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Day 3- 08.10.13

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A view of Marina Bay Sands Hotel

We explored the Marina Bay area on our 3rd day. We took the train, and walk towards the city coming from Raffles. We had dinner with friends at the Newton Food Place,  where I had a chicken satay dipped in peanut butter sauce and a Vietnamese-type of rice for dinner.

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Fullerton Hotel

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Singapore Flyer

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After eating and walking around, we went to the infamous bridge at Clarke Quay. When we were there, booze were still allowed to be consumed while police officers are roaming around. I had a free Singapore sling in exchange of a picture. They were promoting the drink at that time, and who wouldn’t want a free drink ( especially that booze are pretty expensive in Singapore). It was also my first time to see a convenience store with a very long line outside. I think they are the richest 7-eleven store in the world. Packed with long lines outside, people were there to buy beers, liquors and other beverages.

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Newton Food Place

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Chicken satay with peanut butter sauce

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Singapore sling for free!

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Day 4- 08.11.13

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Shoes at Little India

We went a little out of way that day, and headed to Little India. I am not really sure what to see in there, but we gave it a try. We ended up getting henna tattoos, designed by an Indian woman. Aside from us, there were also other foreigners, then I started bargaining the price. The Indian woman hushed me and said she’ll give us discount.

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Getting a henna tattoo

After our adventure in Little India, we went back to Orchard to watch movie with our friends. Who would love to see Conjuring in Singapore? Well, that’s us.

Day 5- 08.12.13

We woke up very late on our 5th day. So our day started in the late afternoon already. We explored the Gardens at the Bay at night, and I don’t think I could walk on those very high bridges in the morning. Thankfully, we did it at night. After being tourist-y, we had dinner at TCC in the Marina mall, and moved to Clarke Quay bridge for another night of booze.

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Gardens at the Bay

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Tourist-y vibe with the BFF

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Day 6- 08.13.13

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China town

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For today’s adventure, we visited the China Town, and ate at Toast Box. Wandered around the Raffles Place going to the Merlion Park and we saw the ice cream sandwich guy. Never leave Singapore without trying the ice cream sandwich, and it only costs SGD 1.20 At night, we passed by the Singapore flyer, but opted not to take it, and save it for another time.

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Goofing around the Merlion Park

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The famous Singapore landmark

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Ice cream sandwich for SGD 1.20

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Day 7- 08.14.13

Finally, we had a chance to go clubbing at Avalon. It was packed by foreign exchange students, and I was looking for my fellow Filipinos, but I guess they were busy studying. After-all it was a Tuesday night. We capped off the night by eating at one of the hawkers.

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Day 8- 08.15.13

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Resort’s World Sentosa

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After one week, we finally stepped into Sentosa Island, and chilled by the Siloso Beach. We met the lifeguard, who’s in the same age as ours. By night time, no one is allowed to camp out by the shore, but of course, we have the access. We did camp at night by the beach.

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Siloso Beach

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Sunset in Sentosa

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with the local lifeguards

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zipline from one end to another

Day 9- 08.16.13

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People waiting for the Songs of the Sea to start

We went back to Sentosa, and watched the Songs of the Sea for only SGD 12 per head. It was very entertaining and kids will love it, just as much as I did.

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We had to go back to our flat early to prepare for our dinner night with our host and her tenants. We had dinner at an Australian cuisine, Salt Grill and Sky Bar, located at the 56th floor in ION Orchard with a good view of Singapore’s skyline. I enjoyed the meal, and I was also surprised of our total bill, which cost around PHP 11000.

Day 10- 08.17.13

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Universal Studios Singapore

This day was dedicated for Universal Studios Singapore. I felt like being a kid again. I enjoyed it, but sadly not all rides were open that time or some have super long lines that I cannot afford to wait. Definitely, will come back for this.

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Exploring USS

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After our USS adventure, we passed by Bugis Junction to shop for souvenirs. I found a lot of affordable items and quirky gifts. You will love the place especially if you are a shopaholic. Towards early evening, we had dinner at Fandango in Chijmes district. I love this part of Singapore because of the ambiance.

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Day 11- 08.18.13

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This was our last night in Singapore, and we cannot miss a night at Marina Bay Sands hotel. Our host was very generous and sweet, and she gave it as a gift- overnight stay at MBS hotel. Who wouldn’t want to stay in this luxurious hotel, and plunge into the roof deck infinity pool.

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Day 12- 08.19.13

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We took a dip into the pool in the early morning of our last day before we checked out at lunch. We ate somewhere in Marina mall, but I cannot really recall where exactly it was. In the afternoon, we went to Changi Airport to catch our 5:00pm flight to Manila, and hola, back to reality.

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If given time, I will come back to Singapore, and try out things I haven’t visited, and will try to make a Singapore-Malaysia trip this time.

Beautiful Bohol

Another beauty of Mother Earth has been showcased in the province of Bohol. The island is blessed with natural beauty; from the chocolate hills and lush green forests to the crystal clear river and white powdery shores of Panglao Island. Let’s not forget that it is also the home of the world’s smallest primate, the tarsier. It does not only boast its natural beauty, but also its historical value. Bohol houses century-old churches, ancestral homes, etc. The first blood compact between a Filipino and a foreigner took place in Bohol too. If you will recall from our history class, Rajah Sikatuna made a blood compact with Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, the first Spanish governor-general of the Philippines to symbolize their alliance.

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Panglao Beach

Bohol in a glimpse of 2 days and 1 night. (11.26.16-11.27.16)

Bohol is an island located in Central Visayas. Should you wish to visit this beautiful paradise, you may have Manila or Cebu as your entry point. Bohol is 2 hours away from Cebu City via fast craft and an hour away from Manila via domestic flight to Tagbilaran. Scheduled trips are available daily from Manila and Cebu. Be sure to book in advance your ticket because most of the time the trips are full. From Cebu City’s pier 2, we took a 2 hour ride via Oceanjet fast craft. We availed the earliest at 6:00am and costs 920PHP roundtrip economy per person. Add 25PHP terminal fee per person. We reached Tagbilaran at 8:00am, and we were picked-up by our tour guide.

11.26.16 Countryside Tour

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Our driver and guide at the port.

Our tour began after our driver, Lito, picked us up from the port. I have availed a Countryside Tour from Incredible Bohol by Sir Tatsky Cubero because, first, I don’t want the hassle of commuting. We will be visiting different sites, and if we choose the road less traveled, we have to take different rides too. Second, I am not familiar with the schedule of public transpo, and if we ended our tour at night, rides may not be available too. I highly recommend Sir Tatsky if you wish to get a tour. The tour includes pick-up from port, countryside tour (except entrance fee for each), and drop off at resort in Panglao for only Php 2100. I think the rate is good for 4 persons already since you really pay the car rental and service.

  •  Blood Compact Site
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Rajah Sikatuna & Miguel Lopez de Legaspi blood compact site.

Again, if you listen to your history teacher you will know that the blood compact between Rajah Sikatuna and Miguel Lopez de Legaspi took place in Bohol. In honor of that event, a monument has been created by a fellow Boholano, and can be visited for free.

Entrance Fee: Free

  •  Baclayon Church

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This is one of Bohol’s century-old church. It was badly devastated when an earthquake hit the province in 2013. Right now, it’s under construction. A museum is open for tour at the side of the church for a minimal fee.

Entrance Fee: Free

  • Butterfly Haven

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It’s just a bonsai garden filled with butterflies. A souvenir shop is also conveniently located there.

Entrance Fee: 45PHP per person

  • Loboc River Cruise and Floating Restaurant
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River cruise & lunch for two

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Loboc River

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A view of lush green forests and crystal clear water while you’re on board and eating your Filipino lunch buffet. To make it more lovely, some good old songs are played by a live band. The trip lasts for about an hour. Our guide told us that we should have the river cruise first to avoid waiting for so long and it will consume so much time for our trip.

Entrance Fee: 450PHP per person

  • Chocolate Hills

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This is the most famous landmark of Bohol. It takes about some 200 steps to reach the viewing deck, and you get a spectacular 360 degree view. It’s worth all the steps because the view is breathtaking. I’m not so sure how many hills are really in there, but it’s quite plenty.

Entrance Fee: 50PHP per person

  • Tarsier Conservation Center

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Hello there tiny one!

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Yes, they are out in the forest in this protected conservation center. When we visited, most of them are asleep, and you just see their back. They are so tiny, that the center’s staff has to point where the tarsier is exactly at. A friendly reminder to our fellow guests, please turn off the flash of your cameras for this may stress the tarsier and please do not touch them. Tarsiers can be suicidal if they are stressed out.

Entrance Fee: 60PHP per person

  • Bamboo Hanging Bridge

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It’s the oldest of its kind in the province. A twin bamboo hanging bridge to cross the river. After crossing the bridge, you may opt to buy souvenirs and refreshments. In order to go back, you have to take another bamboo bridge.

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Entrance Fee: 20PHP per person

  • Man-made Mahogany Forest

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According to our guide, back in the Marcos era, students from public schools were required to plant trees. The mahogany forest along the highway was the result of this tree planting project. It’s more than a kilometer stretch of mahogany trees making the surrounding beautiful.

Entrance Fee: Free

  • Shiphauz

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There is a famous house in Bohol that was patterned from a ship and it instantly became a landmark. It is said to be owned by a sailor. Tours stop by the house for photo op.

Entrance Fee: Free

  • Hinagdanan Cave

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After our tour in Tagbilaran, we moved to Panglao Island, and visited the Hinagdanan Cave. In the center of it is a mini lake, which is about 10 feet deep or more with fishes in it.

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Entrance Fee: 115PHP for 2 pax including parking fee

  • Bohol Bee Farm

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Aside from offering organic choices, Bohol Bee Farm is a resort as well. However, it is not located along the shores of Alona. You get to tour around the farm, and see how they process their products. We bought home the pesto spread, which I really give a thumbs up. Don’t forget to try their organic ice cream. It’s so good and it comes in different flavors.

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Famous organic ice cream

Entrance Fee: 30PHP per person

Now our tour has ended, and we were dropped off at our hotel, Scent of Green Papaya Resort, near the Alona beach side. Our hotel is not in the beach front, but they have tricycle rides that can drop and pick you up from the shore and it’s free. I have availed a room for 1 night good for 2 persons and it exceeded my expectations. Our room is so big for us with a good view of the pool plus free breakfast and a strong wifi connection. I have booked our hotel through Booking.com and just pay the remaining balance upon arrival.

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After we have left our things at the resort, we strolled along the shores of Alona and looked for a place to eat dinner. We found a Thai restaurant named Isis. Food was great, although I am not a fan of spicy food. Budget-wise, decent enough for a sumptuous meal of two. Of course we cannot skip dessert- it’s a must every after meal. There was a stall of Bohol Bee Farm’s ice cream. We got to taste the rare finds like malunggay, guyabano, etc.

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Thai food for dinner

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11.27.16 Alona Beach

When the sun is finally out, we had our breakfast by the terrace before we jumped into the pool then head to the beach. It was a good day to get a tan. In fact, I think I was extra tanned that day. We were asked if we would like to avail the island hopping and snorkeling package. I declined bec. most of the online articles I’ve read stated that it was a tourist trap and second, i’m not into snorkeling.

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We spent midday in Panglao beach. We were enjoying the sun and the waters, and ignored getting dark. There were many foreigners around, and soaking themselves in the sun to get the perfect tan as well. It was a little bit past lunch when we left the beach and returned to our hotel and prepare to leave.

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When we were all set to leave, we hired the resort’s transfer service going to the port, and cost us Php 600. It wasn’t bad at all because some could even be pricier.

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For itinerary, directions, food places and budget, feel free to click the Itinerary-_Bohol_2016[1] link.

Bohol is indeed a beautiful place, and I’m planning to come back after a few years.

Explore Bohol. https://chasingworlds.net/2017/03/30/beautiful-bohol/

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Korean Tourist Visa Requirements for Philippine-based Filipinos

DISCLAIMER

Everything that you will read below were based from my experience. As of this time of writing, all procedures & requirements are accurate; unless otherwise stated. It’s still best to contact the embassy for current information & to answer all your inquiries.

PLAN AHEAD

After bidding for my service incentive leave, I have decided that I’ll spend my vacation in Seoul. I bid back in October 2015, and when we got our final date for SIL a month after, I started to prepare the requirements for my Korean tourist visa.

November 2015

Aside from my payroll account, I opened my savings account with BDO because it’s the nearest bank to my house, and their ATMs are almost everywhere.

June 2016

1. Bank Certificate & Bank Statement

After 7 months from opening my savings account, I went to the branch where I opened my account and asked for a bank certificate & bank statement for the last 3 months. Good thing with BDO is that they are very much familiar with the required format of the Korean embassy. Aside from bank statement, you may prefer to use your passbook. I have a passbook, but I opted for the printed bank statement. You just have to pay Php 100 for bank certificate & Php 100 for bank statement. You may claim it a day after you made a request.

2. Certificate of Employment & ITR

I got these from our HR. The certificate of employment must have the ff: position in the company, date hired, monthly or annual salary, active contact details of the HR person who will sign your COE. As for the ITR it must be the latest issued to you. I got those after 3 working days from the day I requested.

3. Application form & Passport-size picture

You may print the form available at the website of the Korean embassy. Type or hand-written is acceptable. Don’t leave blanks, just type N.A. or not applicable. Attach the passport-size picture with white background on the application form.

4. Passport

Your passport must have a validity of 6 months or more on the planned days of your vacation.

5. Photocopy of passport bio page

APPLYING FOR TOURIST VISA

June 13, 2016

I went to the Korean Embassy in McKinley Hill at 9am. I waited for my queue for half an hour and when it was my turn I just submitted it on the window counter. They got all my documents and passport & gave me a claim receipt. I must return on June 20, 2016, or after 5 working days, to get my passport. No questons were asked to me.

June 20, 2016

I returned to the embassy to claim our passports at 1pm, and it’s stamped with tourist visa valid for 3 months from June 20 till Sept 20, 2016. It’s free and you’re allowed to stay for 59 days.

FYI

All documents must be original.

No specific amount was mentioned on how much your bank account should have on the time of the application. As long as your account is active & could support the whole duration of your stay in Korea, then it’s acceptable, I guess.

You can submit someone else’s application form & documents. No need for personal appearance.

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Korean Tourist Visa

We both got our tourist visas after 5 working days & hassle free!

For updated information, you may visit http://embassy_philippines.mofa.go.kr/english/as/embassy_philippines/main/index.jsp

Seoul Searching

Our travel in Seoul, South Korea is another achievement unlocked. First, we did not exceed our set budget. Second, locals hardly speak English, but we managed. From getting lost and asking directions to eating unfamiliar local dishes. The language barrier is difficult, yet I have seen their efforts to help us. On the positive note, the country is safe, and you can wander all you want.

Seoul, South Korea in a glimpse of 4 days and 4 nights (08.31.16-09.04.16)

A flight to Seoul from Manila is almost 4 hours via Incheon. You may opt to travel with any of our local carriers, Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, and AirAsia. You may also choose to take Korean Air, Asiana, etc. We have flown with Cebu Pacific (to avail my airline benefit) scheduled to depart at past 3 in the afternoon, and arriving at around 8pm (Korea local time). Seoul is 1 hour ahead of Manila.

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Customized passport holders from JJ Market in Bangkok

After passing thru immigration, I claimed our reserved wifi kit at the arrival hall in between gates 6 and 7. I made the reservation online through KT Mobile Rental. I gave a deposit of 200000KRW, and will deduct the 27500KRW for my 5-day use. Upon returning on our last day, I got my 172500KRW deposit. When I made the reservation online, I found a discount coupon- so this rate is already discounted.

Seoul City is 45 mins away from Incheon International Airport, and to go to the city, it’s best to take the subway. I would love to try the Airport Express Train, but when we got there it was already closed. Instead, we took the other train, which stops in every station. It’s way cheaper, but the time difference is only 10 mins.

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Hoehyeon Station. Tip: Download their train app

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The fastest mode of transpo

Our hostel, New Sun Guesthouse is a 5 min. walk from Hoehyeon Station. Its location is very strategic- 5 mins away from Myeongdong and 10-15 mins from Seoul City by foot! I booked our hostel thru Airbnb app for only PHP6685 good for 4 nights and 2 persons. We have our daily complimentary breakfast and bottled water, basic toiletries, and free wifi.

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Tip: Ask the frontdesk officer for package tours if you don’t have an itinerary yet. They offer good deals.

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16 degrees Celsius upon arrival. OOTN: Hers- white top from Zara, black pants from River Island, boots from Moschino, bag from DKNY. His- pink polo from American Eagle, black slacks, black Nike roshe run sneakers.

On the night we arrived, we walked around and we reached the Namdaemun Market. We were looking for a place to eat but we cannot really decide because there was no English translation, and no one speaks English. We took a chance at this small eatery along the street and ordered barbecue and some ramen. The lady in her 50s probably, gave us free unlimited rice cakes mixed in curry, and a scrambled egg mixed with spinach. It was such a sweet gesture, appreciated by lost and hungry tourists. I love the food, but spicy is not my thing.

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Menu in Korean. We choose our food based from pictures.

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Korean chicken barbecue for 15000KRW.

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Korean chicken barbecue, spicy ramen and free unli rice cake dipped in curry

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Free spinach mixed in scrambled egg

09.01.16- Seoul City Tour

  1. Gyeongbokgung Palace  
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Entrance to Gyeongbokgung Palace costs 3000KRW per head

After having our hearty breakfast, we took the train going to Gyeongbokgung Palace. There were also other palaces in the city, but we chose this because it’s the main attraction. On my next visit, I will visit Changdeokgung Palace during autumn. We availed the free 1 hour English tour to understand more of the palace’s history, and its dynasty. At the entrance stands the Joseon guards, however we did not witness the “Changing of the Guards” ceremony.

Entrance Fee: 3000KRW per head

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The palace gate with mountains in the background

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Gyeongbokgung Palace in the heart of the city.

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Aesthetically beautiful

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Take a closer look at the ceiling

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The other entrance facing the city

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Perfectly fitted designs

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Feel free to feed the birds

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These stones are markers. During military ceremonies in the Joseon period, men lined up according to their rank and the stones are the markers

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Built during the Joseon dynasty in 1395

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Nature appreciation

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More more trees

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King’s throne

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Flocked by tourists

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Dragon design in the middle of the ceiling

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I’m guessing: the ceiling is made of bamboos

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Monkey-like statues were placed on the roof

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Our English speaking tour guide. Tip: Check the schedules of the palace tour. Available in English, Japanese and Chinese. It’s free.

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It used to be the place of the king’s mother

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Now filled with lillies

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Random selfie with tourists in Hanbok

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OOTD: Hers- dress from Cotton On, black cardigan tied around the waist

2. National Palace Museum of Korea

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The National Palace Museum of Korea is dedicated to the relics of the Joseon dynasty. It houses all the artifacts belonging to the dynasty

Entrance Fee: Free

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The king’s chair during ceremonial parades.

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Ancient artifacts from the Joseon dynasty.

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The king’s outfit (not so sure which event he wears this)

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The dragon

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The king’s car in the early 1900s

3. Bukchon Hanok Village

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Vintage houses

It’s a street composed of traditional Korean houses. It’s their version of the “old rich” houses. Visitors may enter some houses and experience tea-time with a fee on it. Some houses were converted to cafes.

Entrance Fee: Free

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You need the strength to go up.

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A tourist strolling the area in Hanbok.

09.02.16- Chuncheon, South Korea

I arranged reservations for our out-of-town tour to avoid the hassle of getting lost via Funtastic Korea. I highly recommend that you avail their package. As compared to DIY tour vs. package tour, the difference is very little. You just have to pay a little for your convenience and comfort. I made the payment online before we left Manila. Package tour includes Nami Island, Petite France and N Seoul Tower, pick-up and drop off service to your hotel, and lunch at Mr. Dakgalbi. Our tour was on a Friday, and to my surprise, we were the only guests for that day. Lucky day indeed!

Package Tour Fee: 160000KRW for 2 persons

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The van is exclusive to us.

  1. Nami Island
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Welcome to Naminara Republic.

It’s the famous island from the Korean series Endless Love: Winter Sonata. There are two ways to get into the island, first is through a ferry ride and second is through a zipline. They say that it’s best to visit Nami Island during the autumn because the lush green forest turns into bright orange. The island itself is picturesque, romantic, and is highly appreciated by nature lovers. You may wish to walk or bike around but for a fee.

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Pay your entrance fee here.

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5 min. ferry ride that will take you to Nami Island.

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You may opt to take the zipline going to Nami Island.

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Somewhere behind is the tomb of Gen. Nami, whereas the island was named after him.

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The island map.

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OOTD: Hers- black turtle neck dress from Cotton On, scarf from Cotton On and sunglasses from Prada. His- black shirt from Nike, jeans from Uniqlo and sunglasses from Rayban.

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Winter Sonata’s first kiss took here.

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Winter Sonata souvenir shop

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You say “welcome” in different languages.

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An attempt to copy their pose.

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The bikes used in Winter Sonata

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Welcome aboard!

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Selfie with the ostrich.

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2. Mr. Dakgalbi

This is a Korean restaurant located near the parking area for Nami Island visitors. Feel free to eat the Korean chicken barbecue in a traditional way.

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Yummy!

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The lunch is part of our packaged tour.

3. Petite France

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Welcome to Petite France!

Located 20 mins. away from Nami Island, the place is dedicated to the author of the novel, The Little Prince. It’s very artsy fartsy, and I could appreciate the place because I have read the novel. The Korean series The Secret Garden was also filmed in here. If you love Korean series, you will be very familiar with the place.

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The Little Prince

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Inside a Russian museum

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Spotted: Little Red Riding Hood

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Colorful mini French village

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4. N Seoul Tower

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Standing at 236m asl.

We drove again for around an hour to get back into the city, and visit the N Seoul Tower. It is located in the Namsan Mountain, and the N Seoul Tower is the highest point around Seoul at 236m. We got a chance to look at Seoul from the bird’s eye view. Before going up at the observatory deck, you will pass by the famous love locks of Seoul. We did not have a padlock with us, and buying from souvenir shops is quite expensive, so we just ended up posing with the locks around.

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Love locks from visitors all over the world.

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A bird’s eye vew of the city.

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09.03.16- Korean Demilitarized Zone

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Our bus to Panmunjom

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Signed our lives away.

Dubbed as the most dangerous border in the world, yet it did not stop me from marking this off on my bucket list. This special place could only be accessed through special permission, and thankfully DMZ Tours exist. Based from what I have read, DMZ Tour on Saturday is provided only by a single agency. I availed the weekend package through KTB Tour and with a brave heart and soul, we visited the most dangerous border in the world. It felt like a field trip on our way in there. We belong to the English speaking group and only 5 are Filipinos including us. A tour guide explained well to us the history of the Korean War, and I was very eager to listen along with some people who seemed to be journalists, professors, historians, etc. The tour includes visit at the DMZ, JSA, Freedom Bridge, and a sumptuous lunch.

Package Tour Fee: 170000KRW for 2 persons

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Beef bulgogi for lunch.

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1. JSA

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The brown building is part of North Korea already.

JSA or Joint Security Area is the blue building where important meetings are held by the United Nations and the two Koreas. It’s literally divided into half, one from the North side, and the other from the South. It is here where treaties have been signed and has played a role in the Korean history. From the outside, you will see the building of North Korea. Picture taking is limited to two mins and limited to some areas only.

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Spotted: North Korean soldier.

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Inside the joint security area where important meetings are held and treaties were signed.

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2. Freedom Bridge

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Bridge bound to North Korea

This bridge connects the North and South Korea. During the Korean War, prisoners of war have been exchanged from each side in this famous bridge. Today, notes, banners are posted and still hoping for the unification of the North and South Korea

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Used to be an active train during the Korean war in 1950s

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Many are still hoping for a unified Korea.

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Lotte World

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Korea’s version of Disneyland.

Aside from the DMZ Tour on that day, we also had a chance to visit Lotte World. I got discounted tickets from our hostel’s front desk. It was 5pm already when we got in there, and since it’s a weekend it’s packed with foreigners and locals alike. Most rides have ridiculous lines, and I don’t want to waste our time from lining up. We ended up riding the bump cars, and kid-friendly rides. We were also just in time for the parade of Zombie characters.

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Long lines ahead.

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Pose for your caricature.

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Let them read your destiny.

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A zombie parade in the background. OOTD: Hers- black polo shirt from American Eagle. His- black polo shirt from Cotton On.

Entrance Fee: 60000KRW for 2 persons

Myeongdong

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Shopping haven

Every night of every day, we never failed to pass by Myeongdong district. It is the haven of people who love cosmetics like me. They sell Korean cosmetics at a very low price compared to the prices in Manila. Definitely a place that I will always comeback to. Street foods are sold here too, and it never failed to suffice my cravings.

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Barbecue for 3000KRW

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Hola, we’re on tv!

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Korea’s version of Yakult

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Hotdog and rice cake for 3000KRW

At the end of our mini vacation, I could assure you that I cannot handle spicy food well. No matter how good the food is. I love their street food but if you’ll convert it to Peso, it’s a bit pricey. Shopping for cosmetics is heaven in Korea. You get to buy the best for an affordable price. I will absolutely comeback to explore other places and try out more authentic Korean food during the autumn season. Do not forget to buy souvenirs. Almond peanut is my favorite, and it’s cheaper in Myeongdong.

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These little goodies were freebies from my purchases.

For the trip, our total expenses was PHP44138 all in except shopping.

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In traditional Hanbok, Korea’s national costume.

For itinerary, directions, food places and budget, feel free to click the Itinerary: Seoul 2016 link.

Summer in Seoul 2016 part 1 🇰🇷

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Part 2. Summer in Seoul 2016. 📷 #GoPro

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Part 3. 🎧 Tiësto – Footprints

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Part 4. 📽️ #FilmoraGo Mobile App.

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