Land of the Morning Calm – Day 3

For our third day, we were headed to somewhere warmer. The heart of South Korea – Seoul! It was nice to see the actual city, the city lights, the crowded streets, and real residents. The city was alive and thriving, you would get sucked right in and never want to come back.

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The day started out good because due to the fact that we actually HAD breakfast that day, it was also snowing!!! Actual snowfall were err.. falling when we checked out of the hotel. Of course everyone was happy and cheerful that we got to experience something we never could have back home.

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For our first destination, we visited KTO or the Korean Tourism Organization. Since we were Tourism majors, we attended a seminar about Korea’s future plans in terms of increasing the tourism influx in their country. Not that they needed it, though. They were attracting tourists from the get go!

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After that, we went to lunch at the Korea Samgetang Restaurant for their specialty: Ginseng Chicken Soup. The warmth from the hot soup was very welcome, since I was freezing my ass off, even though Seoul was supposed to be “warmer”.

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My gorgeous, gorgeous friend, Jean Marie!

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And now this is where the fun starts. This day was a mixture of something traditional and modern Korean culture. For our taste (literally) of something traditional, we went to this KimChi making school to actually learn how they made their traditional dish!

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The ingredients for KimChi!

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Ta-daaa! That’s not actually the finished product, but only halfway. They stored these somewhere until the KimChi inside the bag was ready 🙂

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More KimChi! These are different types of KimChi that they made us try and eat.  Did you know that KimChi was one of the healthiest food in the world? Apparently, there was an virus spreading around the world (I think it was SARS or something like that), and South Korea was the only country who wasn’t affected by it.

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So do I look like a legit Korean girl now? 🙂 Just kidding. After making the KimChi, another taste of something traditional was we also got to try their traditional clothing: Hanboks!

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After feeling like dolls, we headed to a bunch of different tourist destinations (they were actually mandatory for tourists to drop by to) like The Blue House (Korea’s White House equivalent) and a Ginseng Shop and a Cosmetics Shop.

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After all those walking around, we finally headed to our dinner. And guess what? This time, it’s a buffet! And you know what that means..

FOOOOODPOOORN!

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My personal favorite! GREEN TEA CAKE!

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Korea’s streetfood was a step up from ours!

For a taste of modern Korean culture, we went to N Seoul Tower! The “N” meant “New” so it literally means “New” Seoul Tower. It’s a great place, especially for lovers, to go to and just soak in the culture and the ambiance of the gorgeous place. 
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Inside the N Seoul Tower, you can see the famous Teddy Bear Museum. I know of it because of the only Koreanovela I watched, Princess Hours. So you can just imagine my excitement that I get to see it in person!

The Teddy Bear Museum is actually divided into two parts: Traditional and Modern. Just like our day.

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Gangnam Teddy!

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After the museum, we headed on up to the highest floor where we got to see the whoooole city!

As well all know, N Seoul Tower is most famous for their Love Padlocks/Locks of Love. And of course I wouldn’t miss it for the world! My friend, Jean, and I immediately purchased padlocks (you can bring your own too) and wrote our names and the date on it and clipped it on a metal fence. Where it would stay forever (hopefully).

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Well, that’s about it for our third day! Tune in for more!

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Well, I definitely did!

Annyeong for now!

❤ C

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Land of the Morning Calm – Day 2

I’m really, really scared to continue this post series about my travel to Korea because I’m afraid that I wouldn’t put it to justice. Words can never explain how truly wonderful the world (and God) is, the taste of fine and exotic cuisine in my mouth, how the freezing cold makes me want to run to the nearest fireplace. And all of it seems like an excellent dream, passing away through my fingers. If only I could relive each day, this time with the people who are special to me. 🙂

Enough about rambling, and on to the trip!

In my previous post, I left behind a cliffhanger pertaining to something about waking up. My roommate and I actually forgot to set our alarms one hour ahead (A BIG TRAVELLING NO NO!) so when my alarm woke us up at 6:00, it was actually 7 in the morning and check out starts at 8! We clearly don’t have time to shower, pack our things and eat breakfast.

So when we headed off to PhyongChang Phoenix Ski Resort, I could definitely eat a whole cow. But what we ate for lunch was definitely worth those long starving hours.

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This dish is called Osam Bulgogi or Cuttlefish and Pork Barbecue which we ate in a restaurant near the resort called Myeongseng.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m terribly hungry but THIS DISH IS THE BEST I’VE EVER TASTED MY WHOLE LIFE. Asked for another helping of rice (with seaweed!!!) and another.. and another..

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After lunch, we headed to the Phoenix Ski Resort, rented our BIG ASS ski boots that went up to my mid-calf and HEAVY skis that are longer than me. We actually had to WALK in those boots, ride an elevator while carrying those skis. I think I broke my back all of a sudden.

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Friends and I looking adorbs in our ski gear!

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I look like a pig. Or a sausage. A sausage-wrapped pig.

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Well if you guys think that basketball, volleyball, or soccer is hard, wait ’til you guys get a shot at SKIING. Just attaching those damned shoes to the skis take a lot of work (and concentrated balance). Falling is definitely not optional, but a requirement. It’s definitely not fun if you don’t fall!

(By the way, I’m glad one of my friends, Jean Marie, didn’t suffer any major concussions after her, um, accident. 😦 I love you babe!)

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Yay, look at me! Skiing is actually fun if we push around and just glide but the real challenge was learning how to STOP. And climb the steep hill. But I did it and managed to get a few bruises along the way!

For dinner, we went to Hanwoo Village and ate Pork Barbecue. It’s actually a specialty because they were served raw and we were in charge of cooking them according to our preferences. The pork was marinating in a special sauce and we ate them with lettuce and rice. Yuuum!

When we got back to the resort (HELLO WIFI!), we were given 2 hours to rest and enjoy the hotel amenities. We were called back to the lobby and headed to Bruce Lee’s hotel room for the Korean Noodle Cooking Demo. But that supposedly educational cooking lesson, we ended up having a great party with our tour guide and tour escorts!

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We played these party games called Baskin Robbins (the game, not the ice cream), and something called Find the Spy? Haha! It was fun, childish, and awesome and our class was the last to leave the hotel.

I accidentally lost our room key though and had to pay 7,000 KRW (roughly less than $10). Boo. So that caps off my second day (and night) in the Land of the Morning Calm. Tomorrow, we’re heading off to SEOUL! Aaah, I can imagine the city lights, people and SHOPS already.

❤ C

Unbreakable Thomasian Spirit

Everyone knows that I’m no basketball fan. In fact, I’m not a fan of ANY sport. I instantly roll my eyes whenever I see something that remotely resembles a sport, be it the game or in TV. But what made me really happy during this UAAP Season 75 was the school spirit. It made my heart soar, that after 6 years, UST has again climbed on top of the university ladder and made it through the finals. They may not have won, but in the hearts of every Thomasian, the glory is all ours. 🙂

My family and I watched UST vs ADMU Game 1 at the Mall of Asia Arena, which was totally awesome because even though you’re seated at the General Admission side, it’s still equipped with chairs, so you can sit comfortably.

Here’s my cutie baby brother with his tiger stuffed animal and his leopard tiger ears! 🙂

Yellow team! In case you didn’t know, my mom and dad also went to UST in college. That’s where they met, actually. 🙂 So UST is a school that is very dear to my family.

Before the game, we had lunch at Racks. Nothing special though, just the usual ribs and chicken, so it’s not worth taking a picture of.

There’s my dad at the back, and being the loser that he is, he has no yellow shirt. Ha ha! Dad and I kind of has this love-hate relationship, and sweetness isn’t our thing. We mostly just tease and punch each other, though. No worries, that’s our way of showing our love! Lol 🙂

The Tigers lost that day. 😦

For Game 2, which was in the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, it was a Thursday. And being a weekday, it meant that my family couldn’t come, much as they want to. So I went with my friends, and even though the Tigers still lost the game and the finals, we had a blast.

It was a sea of yellow that day! And that is only half of it.

It was a memorable experience for me and my crazy friends to be able to actually watch a live basketball game. The excitement of the whole place, the cheers of the crowd, and the beat of the drums gave me goosebumps everytime. It was all worth it. 🙂

So even though we lost, I believe that this isn’t the end for the Comeback Cats. I believe that this is just the beginning. They all have so much raw talent, passion, heart, and faith that it’s hard to not fall in love with them.

The Thomasian spirit lives on. 🙂

❤ C

Growing up

As I’m nearing my last year in college (I can’t believe I only have 3 semesters left!), I realized an important thing that I should have realized years ago.

It’s less important to have a ton of friends, and more important to have REAL ones.

College is one step closer to the real world. Setting my priorities straight has made me realize that life is too short and special to spend it with people that sucks the happiness out of me. Real friends love you even if you’re not very lovable, and those people are the most meaningful people you’re going to meet in life. 🙂

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Spent my September 27 at SM North Edsa with the most amazing people!

Ate at Shakey’s, and of course, ordered the Monster Meal Deal because we were like, 11 or 12 at that time.

Kymie! She’s the most bangag girl I’ve ever met. During the morning, since our classes everyday start at 7 am, she would come in at around 7:20 and look like a ghost slapped the shit out of her. I’m sorry, but she’s anemic, and she still looks absolutely beautiful. 😀

Goofing off is one of the things I normally do, which makes me so happy that with them, I can show my true personality. In the past, I feel like I’m trying to fit in this world that I think I want to be in. But in reality, I really don’t fit in. God gave me these wonderful people that actually made up my own world, the one I truly belong to. 🙂

Went to eat dessert at Conti’s for the mouth-watering, heart-stopping, bad-ass mofo cake, Mango Bravo. Unffffff

Yes, I do look silly, huh? =)) People’s idea of beauty is so distorted in society that no one stops to look at the true idea of beauty. Beauty that comes from within is the most beautiful of all. 🙂 People fail to realize that physical beauty is not very important. I really really hate people who cover up or edit their faces in photos. So what if you look stupid in your photo?
YOU. ARE. BEAUTIFUL.

Riana! One of the craziest people I’ve ever met. She’s just this little ball of energy pent up inside her that seems to never go off, except when she’s in one of her moods.

Jeje pose! Ha ha! Good bye, for now!

I will really really try my best to update this rotting blog. There are so many blessings that I have received lately, and I can’t wait to share them with you guys! Hopefully, I could find the inspiration, and the time, to sit down and write. 🙂

❤ C

Singing la-da-da-da-da, I’ll be there in a heartbeat.

The title of this post was taken from Simple Plan’s Summer Paradise, a really feel-good song, though the lyrics say otherwise. I’m currently on a hipster mood, downloading songs that are not too mainstream on YouTube (Ssh!). I actually discovered 20+ songs, some were recommended by my hipster of a boyfriend. But enough about me and my penchant for things geeky.

So as you can predict by now, my family and I always shop for groceries every Saturday. That would be considered as our “family day” instead of the usual Sunday (because we don’t go to Church, read about it here).

Here are some of my finds:

Totally spazzed out when I saw this! Perfect for cold nights!! I swear, it’s more comfortable than a bulky comforter. Though thinking about cold nights right now is like shooting the moon because of the scorching summer sun we’re currently experiencing.

Cutie nail cutter! I don’t know why, but my nails are super soft and sensitive so I can’t grow them long because they tend to chip and break. So this, along with it’s partner-in-crime, Mr. Nail File, are my nails’ best friends!

My new Candy Magazine School Planner! I had a lot of help with last year’s one, so it will surely help loads with this! It’s so adorable, and it’s from my favorite magazine! Candy is the best magazine for teens, in my opinion. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but because of this planner, I can’t wait for school!!

Meg Cabot is one of my favorite authors, and boy, am I glad to see this on National Bookstore’s shelves since I was looking for this in forever!! ❤

New Avengers shirt featuring Iron Man!! He’s easily my second favorite Avengers hero, and yes, it’s largely because of RDJ. ❤

Found these suuuper cute necklaces for only 30 php in National Bookstore of all places!!

New nail polish to experiment with and to add to my growing collection!

New things for my dorm! A floral plastic mug, pink plates, and a swirly apple green broom and dust pan! We love accessorizing and decorating our dorm with cute stuff!

And since we’re on the topic of awesome finds, here are pictures of my souvenirs from Palawan! Who knew people there can be so stylish?

Awesome bangles for only 100 php each! Red is my favorite color to accessorize with, and you can never go wrong with pearls!

Instantly fell in love with this floral hat the minute I laid my eyes on it. ❤

It’s more fun in Palawan, Philippines shirt! ❤

My favorite, “I explored Palawan” shirt! Palawan is very special because it was my first trip with my family! 🙂

Off to watch Dark Shadows with my parents!

❤ Cae

New babies!

Went shopping with my family today! Every Saturday is our family day because we eat out and shop for our groceries. Here’s what I bought:

I’ve always wanted these!!! I’ve got a penchant for raglans shirts because they’re not too girly, nor too manly. Perfect for casual dates or hanging out! Fortunately, Artwork has a big range of designs to choose from. You have to buy fast, because sizes are running out.

T-strap flats from Solemate!! Got these babies for only 300 php. ❤

Ha ha ha ha. Batman briefs for meeee! I love Batman with a passion! He’s the only superhero without any superpowers yet he still manages to be awesome. My other favorites are Hawkeye, Daredevil and Iron Man. Yes, I prefer heroes without superpowers. 🙂

New book! Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. I loved her Delirium series and I know this wouldn’t disappoint. I was hoping for three new books that were supposed to be released last May 1 but unfortunately, it hasn’t reached the Philippine shores yet (I think).

I just loooove the feeling of buying new school supplies! It gives off a positive vibe and reminds you that the summer vacation is almost over! Personally, I can’t wait for school, because this is my junior year in college!! This is the REAL DEAL. No more extracurricular activities, NSTP, or P.E. classes! This is our major year, and I expect that it will be difficult! I hope I can make it! 🙂

More about our Palawan trip soon!

❤ Cae

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

Since I’m entering my junior year in college, no more Physical Education and NSTP (National Service Training Program) for me! I would be a complete and total liar if I said that my P.E. and NSTP days weren’t gruesome as hell. But I would also be a liar if I said that it didn’t leave any impact on me. Especially NSTP.

“Civic Welfare Training Service”  (the NSTP program I was enrolled in) refers to programs or activities  that contributes to the common good and the betterment of life for the members of the community. 🙂

My NSTP journey was very hassling to say the least, but satisfying at the end. It’s amazing how you can touch so many lives just by sharing a bit of information, or even a smile.

For our first field work, we went to this small village in Antipolo called Sitio Galili. Our mission was to teach the kids how to pray. Arriving there, seeing the pitiful state of their “houses”, made my heart ache and caused me to tear up a bit.

The church where they hold their Sunday mass. I loved the thought that despite their circumstances, they never lost faith in God!

Out of all the kids, Jiro stood out the most. He doesn’t know how to talk, he only communicated through sounds and his hands. Notice his Batman baller? Yup. Courtesy of me! 🙂

We have novenas and rosaries given out to everyone to assist us in teaching the kids how to pray. Even if he couldn’t speak, Jiro followed the intonation of my voice and the sounds of the words. He tried his best to imitate me.

He has the cutest smile!! His shirt is Spiderman, so we both love superheroes! ❤ Forgive my crappy face, I didn’t wear make-up. 🙂

My team and the kids. ❤ We had a very random group! A girl who’s sick (she’s burning hot), a girl who won’t let go of her big sister, a couple of siblings, and someone who can’t speak. I hope they all know that they’re all blessed to live and that they never lose faith in God!

Fulfilled! I love my group. No slackers, or anything! (with the exception of me. lol) We really cooperate and have fun as well! ❤

With Jiro’s grandmother who came to fetch him home! She looked very shy, but nice! My heart cries out for this family. 😦

For our second field work, we toured a different group of kids to Museo Pambata in Manila. It’s an interactive museum made for kids! The place was really cool and it’s a great place to go with your family! If you have baby siblings, of course.

So I picked this really really really really hyper kid named Adrian. And by hyper, I meant sugar rush, adrenaline and coffee buzz COMBINED. This kid is like a living hurricane! I swear. I was dead tired after the trip! But it was totally worth it. 🙂

He’s playing with the camera! Ha ha ha. He took a few good shots though!

One of Adrian’s shots. Yes I look like crap, thankyouverymuch! Ha ha. But hey, I’m proud of him!

In one of the museum’s exhibits. 🙂

A loooong hallway of kites in the ceiling! I love this museum already. It makes me wish I was still a kid who was allowed to feel giddy and excited upon entering the museum.<3

Don’t you want to see smiles on faces like these? They’re having the time of their lives! ❤

Story time  for the kids! And also the wanna-be kids, if you want. Lol. :p So while the kids were here, we were..

 ..acting like kids..

..and farmers..

..but then we got tired already. It was pretty much a tiring day. It mostly consists of: chasing after the kids, admiring exhibits, chasing the kids, off to the next exhibit, chasing the kids.. you get the picture!

That happy smile! Seeing that smile after a hard day is really gratifying, knowing that the reason for it is you. ❤

For our last field work, we went to a school Bataan to help build the children’s classrooms! It was a job for someone with physical strengths, and due to my scoliosis, I was refrained by my friends from any work that requires heavy lifting, so I was the designated photographer for the day. I don’t mind though, give me a decent camera and I’d happily shoot away!

Just look at the children’s classrooms! Even though it’s small and shabby, it seems like homey and cozy to me!

I love my country, and fellow countrymen who promotes patriotism! I can’t translate for foreign people, because I’m afraid the meaning of this phrase might lessen its sense when translated in English.

And here’s some unfinished classrooms that we’re supposed to help build! It’s not too exciting though, we’re not really building it. There are those hired carpenters to do that. We’re just assisting them with cement, gravel, and stuff. 🙂

My friends, shoveling rocks and gravel, to make cement! I want to help! I don’t want to feel useless in this rare experience!

So I helped.. for a bit! Yay! 😀 That’s me in the acid wash jeans.

Happy smiles all around!! 🙂 I’m sorry if I wore a different t-shirt. I didn’t have my NSTP shirt at the dorm that day. Boo! 😦

Treated ourselves to dirty ice cream!! Dirty ice cream was the shit back during the 90’s! I can’t get enough, so I bought two! Cheese is one of my favorite ice cream flavors!

Nostalgic for childhood. 😦 *fake smile right there, yup*

Vanity will always be my favorite sins! During the bus ride back home. 🙂

 So that’s the summary of my journey. I hope you learned some values too! Like what my parents never fail to remind me, “Count your blessings.” You might be complaining about something petty and trivial, but there are people out there without homes, families, and are unable to eat more than 4 times a day. Yes, COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS indeed. ❤

Watch my reflection video here. It was an assignment. 🙂

2 days until our Palawan trip!! ❤

❤ Cae