Category Archives: Travel

Thailand Photobook

Ending my Bangkok series with a photobook–which in 3 weeks, I’ll have as a hard copy–like legit printed. Waaay excited for that! I keep it old school and have some my shots printed still on 5″x7″ and stick them in albums; and the idea of getting them on just one book per trip always called to me–but hassle maglayout pls. But finally snapped out of my katamaran and just pushed with this idea I’ve been thinking about for some months now. So I went ahead and did a layouting spree for two days in a row and compiled all my Bangkok photos. Published it on Issuu as well which you can check below.

Currently doing my HK trip from last year (which has way more photos), and now on the 55th page (LOL nagsawa na ko sa kakatingin sa face ko), then I have other trips lined up next. Wew. Keeping myself busy because having classes on just TThs is bumming me out.

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#WRULou: La Union Photo Diary

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All I can say is “ang dami kong time” 😭😂
Started 2016 with a roadtrip to La Union, and for the first time, my whole family joined in on my New Year post-Christmas-fats trek. Exactly a year before, I climbed Mount Pinatubo; and it made me fall in love with the thrill of going up mountains. Maybe still not as much as the sea–but it’s almost there. So I’m hitting two birds with one stone this year by staycationing for the first week of January in La Union. And instead of crossing another mountain off the books, we did a short hike to Tangadan Falls. Read more to see my doodle and photo filled travel log.

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#WRULou: The Grand Palace, Bangkok

The Grand Palace

*drumrolls* *strut walks* *bows* Royalty for a day! A trip to Bangkok wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Grand Palace. You just have too! And then you’ve got to gram a pic (or two or 3, …) because that’s what a queen would do. So I’m going to write this post with Lorde’s Royals playing in the background and I like to believe that I’ve finally maybe seen a diamond in the flesh.

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Unlike real royalty though, no one’s going to be carrying you around in a throne touring you around the place. You’ve got to walk. A lot! And there’s hundreds of other people too inside, but in the very very (really very) few circumstances, I’m alright with the crowd. It’s too golden that it’s worth it. Also, it’s not free. Entrance fee is 500 Baht (≅670Php) and that includes a day pass to the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and another ticket to the Vihanmek Mansion / Museum. They’re open from 8:30 in the morning until 3:30 pm. Click read more to view my photo diary.

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Coffee Shop Sessions 2: El Union Coffee

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Before my last semester started, we had the chance to go on a mini road trip to La Union– one of my fave have-to-get-away-from-it-all chill place.

You might have heard of this quaint coffee shop from bloggers and writers like Abbey Sy, Mikka Wee, cool kids Samantha Lee, En and An Gonzaga, (so this is becoming a list of my favorite people lol) or may have scrolled through cannot-not-like photos of it on Instagram. Despite slowly coming on the main stream, it still stays genuine and lives up to the hype. Well, at least for me. And also, I’m lucky that all my visits here happen to be when the place is almost empty– an introvert’s simple happiness.

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El Union Coffee is located in Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union; just amidst all the hotels / hostels along the surf area in Urbiztondo beach.

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When I first went here in 2014, it was my go-to in and from Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel. Now they’re set up in a larger area as a cafe along the highway. El Union is actually one of the reasons I like coming back to LU, aside from the beach that is, which by this time is already a given. It’s just one of those places you leave a piece of yourself behind, maybe a memory or a story, and you want to come back and let that time sink in again. (Side story: LU is my personal unwind space. I went here once and all I did was the usual. I didn’t swim. All I had was my regular school backpack and additional clothes. It was like I just went somewhere to sleep without worries. Far from the city.) So this round, my LU trip group was my family– a thing I wasn’t expecting. It was a normal for me to go here with friends (and I could even go alone), and I never expected them to say yes to come with me to LU. Check my La Union photo diary here.
After checking in at San Juan Surf Resort and dropping our baggages, my brother and I left our parents in the room to rest, and walked down the road to get my much needed caffeine fix after driving for 4+ hours.

Click below for their menu and a glimpse of my happy place.

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#WRULou: The Wat and Where, Bangkok

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When you don’t really know where to go, you just go where your feet takes you. And it took us to see the Wats.

(You can check my first Bangkok post: The Golden Mount by clicking the link or my other travel posts here.)

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After a few Magic-8-ball moments with our maps: Do we turn left? Yes. Right? My sources say no. Straight? Most likely. Why is there an intersection? Concentrate and ask again. First off the temple running madness is the Wat Thepthidaram. Everything is mostly white and gold. Except for the roofs. The roofs are tiled and colorful! It’s very quiet, aside from the car noise you hear from the streets, and there were hardly anyone else inside the temple grounds. But every now and then though, you see a monk walking and we just nod to say hi or show respect. At first I wasn’t even sure if it were open to the public because no other tourist was there, but no one also asked us to leave sooo.

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And this has got to be my favorite thing about their architecture: you look at it from afar, and everything’s so simple. Sure, the shapes are complicated, but there’s always symmetry and all the colors are solid. But up close, everything is so detailed: the ceilings are tiled with designs, the windows are carved with stories, bordered with golden flowers, and the doors have patterns that must have took ages to finish. Each one is a work of art.

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More Wats when you click the link below.

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#WRULou: The Golden Mount Bangkok

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Before 2015 ended, I crossed a huge thing off my bucket list: do a cross-country trip. And I’m happy to have done it with a friend. We had no fixed itinerary, and it was more of an adventure rite or something of the sort than just another one of my trips. For constant travelers or backpackers, this was normal, but for me, it was a challenge, a new experience: going out of my way to visit 2 countries I’m hardly familiar of and crossing borders without legit research. (But yes, I did research but not on my usual OC-level. Di ko kayang magpakasobrang lost bata pls. And I pictured my death ala movie with grim background music, dark ambiance, ((or biglaan nalang)) I do not intend it to be in the middle of the holiday season and during a well-deserved vacation.) I was coaching myself that if I could do this, then I’m all out for maybe making my rotting bucket list finally happen.

I’m the sort to always have plans and I had a lot listed down on what I wanted after graduation. Taas ng pangarap eh. But I’m honestly scared of this year. Things don’t always go as you plan them and I needed a feel of the spontaneity. I was thinking if I could go through this trip just as it is, then I could be ready to make my plans happen and also, be humble enough to just go and see where they take me. It’s ironic and hard to explain but my head works in knots (loka loka 😂) and… let’s just go back to Thailand, shall we?

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After landing in Suvarnabhumi Airport, I adjusted my watch (Feel na feel. 1 hour lang naman!), bought ourselves sim cards (Such a millenial. Can’t leave without 4G!) and called our hotel, Isanook, if we could do with an early check-in. It was just past 9am and they gladly said yes after passing me on and on between lines to someone who speaks English. The hotel was A+ though upon check-in and all after that. Review to follow. And after resting a bit in our room, we had lunch and decided to go out since we didn’t want to waste the day.

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Not being able to plan, I predownloaded Bangkok PocketGuide which has walking tours available. Just turn on your GPS and it shows a map and lists of places and you choose a tour from the list. Once you’re at one of its starting points, it guides you from there. It’s funny how we let an app be our tour guide. We look like either lost kids or stuck-up teens who can’t put down their phones. But the app even talks facts and trivias and though I don’t really listen to it, it’s still amazing! 2016 and we still don’t have real hoverboards, but future, you’re getting there.

So for our first day we visited temples and shopped at Khao San road. And walked a real lot! First off is The Golden Mount.

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More about this when you click the button below.

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#WRULou: Lantau Island, Hong Kong

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This post is way overdue. 5 months post trip, I’m finishing off my Hong Kong series with photos from our second to the last day in HK– a.k.a. the day storm signal T8 was hoisted and we gave no fucks about it.

Despite news of an incoming storm, it was neither raining nor was it even cold. We weren’t going to cancel our plans of a beach shoot because 1. We’re vain 20-year-old millennials and 2. We packed beach clothes and luggage space is gold. So we hopped on the bus to Lantau for an hour ride and stopped by my aunt’s friend’s house by the sea. (Yas to Filipinos being scattered all over the world. And yas for the free lunch and boarding we get!)

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Tong Fuk Beach

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We’re practically the only one by the seaside (aside from this American family who left just right after we got there, and of course, the lifeguard monitoring the area).

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#WRULou: Hong Kong Disneyland

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Another one of my overdue photo diaries wherein I post pictures I filtered from my library post-event and indubitably left to rot in said library for months before my I’m-bored-I’m-opening-all-the-folders-in-my-hard-drive self rediscovers said photos and *cue bored music and grasshopper sfx* *tada* so here we are.

Oh haaai Tsing Ma Bridge, I could never get a decent shot of you

Oh haaai Tsing Ma Bridge, I could never get a decent shot of you.

My cousin did not want to go to Disneyland. I was persistent (and starting to be like the little bitches little kids are when they want something *ehem this is Disney ehem*) So I win! (As kids always do.) I mean, really? Aside from the overpriced waffles, why not go to Disney?!

Hi kuya who I think is judging me as I was bored and taking photos of everything.

This particular day started like a whiny girl on her time of the month, I cannot explain further: Was it going to rain? Was it not? What aesthetically pleasing drink do I want from the convenience store today? And to top that off, it made our #lolasgetlostinHK hashtag tracker in IG legit. I was too immersed in keeping the camera still for a decent video shot of crossing the Tsing Ma Bridge /#priorities/ so I forgot to beep the I’m-gonna-go-down-the-next-stop buzzer. So we missed our stop en route to Disneyland and insert us kunwari not panicking with our full “We got this” faces. I did say I wanted to discover more of the MTR; and so I did.

We did some walking from the next stop, google mapped things a little, and caught the next train that runs from Sunny Bay Station to Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. Yes, I know how to adult. Sim me would have levelled up high.

Hey Mickey! (You're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind; Hey Mickey!)

Hey Mickey! (You’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind; Hey Mickey!)

More photos after the break.

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#WRULou: Hong Kong Ocean Park

Here’s another one of my Hong Kong Photo Diaries. Leaving, I kept on thinking “Holy sweet cheezus, I’m old enough to go on trips on my own, I’m freaking independent. I’m using up my savings and shit. So freaking mature.” but who am I kidding?! I’m actually leaving for Disneyland and Ocean Park. I’m a child stuck in an adult’s (?) body.

I want a pet penguin! I have a hundred reasons as to why but mainly because they walk funny. Cute, little weirdos in tuxedos!

Click continue reading below for more photos. (A lot lot lot more.)

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#WRULou: Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui

Tsim Sha Tsui, often abbreviated as TST, is an urban area in Kowloon. Pictured above is the famous Peninsula Hotel. Also, it’s where most of the tourist attractions are, including the Promenade, Victoria Harbour, Avenue of Stars, and the Clock Tower. It was our first day and our flight to HK was early, so after freshening up a little in our tita‘s flat in Whampoa, we took the bus again, dropped off in this familiar place and just followed to where our feet takes us. (Not very far because we have lola legs.) And we didn’t want to waste a whole day slacking off at home.

Bye Manila traffic!

Bye Manila traffic!

I had to place my airport pictures somewhere, right?

I had to place my airport pictures somewhere, right?

You’ve got to be crazy to not like Hong Kong’s skyline. And you’re full on insane if you don’t fall in love with it at night. Lights! Lights! Tangled’s paper hot air balloons have some competition.

I live for long walks on piers and well paved floors. So it’s no surprise that I find the Promenade to my liking. I usually won’t settle for famous landmarks in my itinerary, but with my Hong Kong memories only including that of me as a kid running on the Avenue of Stars and being one of the firsts to have my selfie taken in HK Disneyland, I wanted to redo everything.

On the other end of my list, I was keen on visiting museums during my stay. With that, most of my pictures were from the Hong Kong Museum of Art and then of the Space Museum‘s. Hong Kong Cultural Centre is in the TST area and consists of a total of seven museums! Seven! Will definitely come back alone to check out all of them next time. You can even get a long stay single pass for all of them. But we just chose to pay for $10 per museum visit. I’m kind of conscious when I have someone else with me on museums, that is. I’m thinking “Are they waiting for me?”, “Are they bored?”, “Are they still sane?”; and I find it hard to focus on the art. Not a lot appreciate standing still staring at what is supposedly the biggest fan in China with obscure ink splatters on it, all the time remaining silent with just water sound effects as background music (Well, sometimes there are cricket sounds). Museum visits for me is much like shopping really. Best done with no other obligations and no one following me around. Here’s to all those who hate saleslady stalkers! No, I don’t need to see all the colors these shoes are in. Sorry.

Lemme have a vain shot first.

Lemme have a vain shot first.

The colors! The posters! All ’em prints. Even the museum’s exterior walls were screaming #ahrt. This is now in my Peg Ko ‘To folder. I want this as my living room wall.

From the entrance you get to go to four floors of art with different galleries on each floor. Click continue reading below to have a glimpse of what’s inside.

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