The Land of the Morning Calm – Day 5 (Last Day)

Our last day in South Korea was spent being traditional. For our last tourist destination before shopping for souvenirs was the Gyeongbokgung Palace/National Folk Museum! We learned and experienced traditional Korean culture from birth to death.

We also saw a traditional Korean village where most Koreanovelas were shot!!!! ❤

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Yes, my eyes are closed. 😐

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Okay, I think it’s about time that I reveal the infamous Bruce Lee The Tour Guide. He’s this great English speaking tour guide who’s funny and caring and he actually cried when we boarded our plane back home. 😦

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That’s us, doing the Filipino peace sign pose!

Goodbye Korea 😦

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Summer 2013 adventures next! So very sorry for making you readers wait for soooo long. 😦

❤ C

 

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The Land of the Morning Calm – Day 4

 

 

For our fourth day in South Korea, we trekked to their most famous and largest theme park, Everland! Everland is famous for their highest wooden roller coaster (yes, it’s made of wood!) called the T-Express. Because it’s the winter season, we didn’t get to ride it since it’s closed. 😦 Oh well, I guess that gives me the perfect excuse to go back, right? 😀

 

Here are some pictures of our fun Everland experience! Due to the time constraints, we only got to ride two rides, the Jungle Safari ride, where we saw white tigers, normal tigers (lol), big brown bears and the only living Liger (lion + tiger). The lines were crazy long and the last ride we went to was the Double Rock Spin where we were flung (not gently, in fact) around and around in the air like dolls.

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After Everland, we went shopping to the most famous (and cheapest) shopping destination in South Korea: Myeongdong 🙂 Such great great finds!!!

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Can you spot me in these two pictures above? Lol

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Since Everland was a disappointing experience (long lines + short time allotted), the next Korean attraction we went to was by far the best! It was my favorite one in the whole trip. 🙂 Let me reveal what it is: THE NANTA SHOW!  

The musical has a simple back story of three cooks attempting to finish preparing a wedding banquet within a strict time limit while the manager installs his incompetent nephew among the kitchen staff. The show involves acrobatics, magic tricks, comedy, pantomime and audience participation. The unifying element throughout the musical is the use of traditional Korean samul nori music, which in this case in performed with improvised instruments, such as cutting boards, water canisters and kitchen knives. The performance is almost completely non-verbal. (c) Wikipedia

I truly had fun laughing and clapping and cheering!

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(Sneaked this shot, sshh!)

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The Nephew ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Last day in Korea tomorrow!!!!

❤ C

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

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

Just the history, the boardwalk, the food, the amusement park.

So I told you all about my birthday celebration with my best friends, now I’m going to tell you all about my celebration with my college friends!

After the stressful (not) final exams, I treated all of them to Enchanted Kingdom (although one member of our barkada can’t go and the other went AWOL). FUN couldn’t even begin to describe our experience! It was my, what sixth?, time to go to E.K. but it never gets old! Especially when you’re with someone you care about. 🙂

ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF CHELLA! (Tall girl in pink)

From Manila to Laguna, it took us roughly 2-3 hours travel time due to the merciless traffic along Nagtahan. It was a hot and humid day but our excitement’s not waning.. well, sort of. Ha ha! 😀

Bought our 10 tickets! One ticket was wasted because of that one friend that went AWOL 😦

Finally arrived at about a quarter to three! We were 8 in all (9, counting my boyfriend). We have a few rare complete group shots.

For our first ride, we tried the EKstreme! It was this tall tower that’s slowly creeping upwards then suddenly falls to our deaths so fast everything would be a blur. According to myths, if you would drop a peso coin from the top, you would both fall at the same time. Can anyone call Myth Busters please? Ha ha 🙂

Roller Skaters. It’s like a mini roller coaster for kiddies. Kept laughing the whole time because Chella kept screaming! And we encountered hot looking Koreans. 😉

Anchors Away! Chella’s favorite ride, according to her. Lol. Wasn’t able to ride with them because Cito arrived already and I needed to give him his ticket.

Jungle Log Jam! You ride in a log-like boat (no seat belts!), cruise in a river and fall on top of tall slides! And yes, you get very wet if you’re unlucky.

Me and my boyfie eating Mexican food! Burritos and Chimichangas, yes please! Aaahhh

Ever since I can remember, Rialto‘s show HAS ALWAYS BEEN (and I do mean always) Happy Feet’s Mumble’s Wild Ride. It’s a fresh change to see that they are now showing Journey to the Center of the Earth! WITH JOSH HUTCHERSON NO LESS GAAAH ❤ Rialto’s kind of a thrilling 3D movie ride.

One of the rare complete group shots while lining up for Rialto!

 I have no pictures riding the Flying Fiesta, but I love this picture of Carms! Flying Fiesta has always been my favorite ride, but this time, it just made me dizzy. I am not amused. 😐 You sit in this swing-like chair and it spins around higher and higher.

Probably the best, not to mention most fun, ride of all! Rode the Rio Grande Rapids twice in a row!! From the name itself, it’s prime job is to make you wet and not the good kind. The water’s freezing cold, may be dirty, and is just random! You sit in a circle-shaped boat of eight (perfect for us) and you just spin around the rapids and one (or two, or three, or all!) gets to be a victim. Chella’s unlucky to be the one to get hit by the waterfalls.. twice! Poor baby 😦

After changing our clothes, the park is about to close in an hour. So we decided to have dinner. This is me with my first college friend and the only guy in our barkada whom we all love to bully, Dek. 🙂

What I ate:

Bought the guys some pizza because I still have a few money left!

I love love love sushi! Especially Kani Sushi! Give me sushi and I shall give you love. ❤ Yes, I finished all 6 pieces by myself. *insert evil laugh here*

Managed to squeeze in a ride at the Space Shuttle 30 minutes before the park closes! This has got to be my favorite ride in the whole park. It’s the largest roller coaster in the country, with three loops and two free-falling towers. So you get to ride the loops two times: one facing front, and one backwards.

We also managed to charm the workers at Anchors Away (because I didn’t get to ride with them the first time) to “please, please, please” let us ride because it’s my birthday. Yay for kind workers!

So when we got back to Chella’s van, my friends started singing and brought out this huge cake! I swear everyone was looking at us. 🙂 I was a bit teary eyed because I really hadn’t expected it! Thank you Lord for awesome friends!

So yeah, who says you can’t find true friends in college? We’ve been together for almost three years already, and despite fights and issues, we’re still intact. Well, sort of? Lol. I’m not a true friend myself, but hey, I try. 🙂

Since I didn’t get to ride Wheel of Fate, here’s an awesome picture!

Ciao!

❤ Cae

In the end, test scores and grades are not the only factor.

My prelims grade isn’t exactly ecstasy-inducing. I got a 70 (that’s like getting a D) in one of my major subjects and in our case, that’s not a passing grade. I was really trying my best to catch up and pull my grades up so I was getting really nervous to see my final grade.

I was exuberant to learn that I passed the freaking subject!

 Okay, so a 3 (a C) is not a good grade but it’s still a passing grade! I prayed to God over and over to give me a 3 instead of a 5 (which is a failing grade, thus you have to repeat the subject in the next semester)

But in another subject, it’s safe to say that this grade is one that I am actually proud of. I worked my ass off for this major subject (and it’s one of the hard ones!). Every single one of my classmates are taking this subject seriously and I’m not going to be left behind. Tour Guiding is not one to be taken lightly. We don’t have written exams, we have practical ones. For our finals, we were to take a professional tour guide on a tour of our own around Manila. Each one of us is assigned a segment (or one specific place. For example: Roxas Blvd), which we will only know on the day itself (actually only minutes before). Imagine memorizing different facts and trivia about 50 places because you’ll never know what place you’re going to be assigned. I know. Torture huh?

After sleepless nights memorizing and different nerve attacks the whole time, I was blessed with this grade! Yes, hard work really does pay off.

A 1.5 (like getting an A-) is something I am proud of. It’s not the highest grade in my class but I am a hundred percent satisfied. Praise the Lord!

Yes, I am no longer a Dean’s Lister (since last semester) but seeing my average, I could still be on the running to become America’s Next Top Model a cum laude!

Soon to become a college junior!

Ciao!

❤ Cae