Posted in Bucketlist, Friendship, Gifts, Good gifts, Gratitude, Inspiration, Lessons Learned, note to self, South Korea, Travel

Some more Notes to self…

Yes, I’m still not over it, probably never will I… ๐Ÿ™‚

I realized I have missed out blogging about a few more important bits which will be quite useful for me to remember for my future trips (take note, tripS ๐Ÿ™‚) to South Korea, yes, not only to Busan, but to other parts of South Korea and probably to Japan.

I live in Manila, we don’t have spring, autumn and winter here. So if I would like to experience other seasons, the nearest that I can go to is South Korea and Japan. My first experience of spring is in Seoul in April 2011, while my first autumn experience was in Osaka & Kyoto in late November/early December of 2015. I am blessed to be able to go back to South Korea, to Busan just recently, but didn’t get to witness “autumn” colours as yet, but definitely felt the lovely autumn weather.

Spring, Seoul, 2011

Autumn, Osaka/Kyoto, 2015

It is likely that I will be going back to these countries because I love them so much for various reasons. I love the weather, the food (this alone is good enough reason for me to keep on going back), the beautiful sceneries, the courteous and disciplined people, the good quality of their products, and a whole lot more!

In every travel that we experience, we learn a thing or two, and we become a better traveler and a better person each time. The things that I learned in Europe are different from what I learned in South Korea. I have shared here some of the lessons learnedย during my first travel to Europe.

Today, I will be sharing some notes to self which I should remember by the time I’ll take that next trip to either Japan or South Korea.

Early November is a good time to go…

Some friends and even celebrities which I follow in Instagram went to Seoul this week and I actually wanted to go back on a whim! Their videos and photos are so beautiful, the food looks so yummy, I know they are, the weather is sooo cold, the colours are just so pretty and lovely… So I am praying and hoping to be able to go back to South Korea next year, most probably in early November, Godwillling. (The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. – Proverbs 16:9). ๐Ÿ™‚

Bring a medium AND a small luggage

Well, I know I should always try to travel light but I’ll make an exception for these 2 countries because I honestly believe that’s it’s okay to hoard all the yummy food they have. ๐Ÿ™‚ I wasn’t able to do this recently because I only brought my small luggage. The medium luggage will be for my grocery shopping, not for my OOTDs. My clothes and all other knickknacks should fit inside my small luggage.

When I told my friend Ina that I would be going to Busan, she requested me to buy this pack of honey butter almond, she said it’s yummy. So I bought a few packs for my family and for Ina. I didn’t try it while in Busan, had I known how good it is, I should have bought moreย and tried to squeeze some more inside my luggage… (I love nuts. Thank you Ina, itโ€™s because of you that I discovered this ๐Ÿ˜). There are other variants, which are equally yummy. I tried the mixed nuts, it’s so good too!

IMG_2734I love French Vanilla and Caramel Macchiato, so when I saw these in one of the convenience stores, I bought 1 box each, which has 8 packs inside. I should have bought more if I had more space. Now you know why it is important for me to bring a medium luggage, or maybe just 2 small luggages? Well, it depends on how long will the vacation be and how much will be my budget for food shopping. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Let’s see…

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Try new drinks, both hot and cold…

As I have noted in my previous post, when in Starbucks, I should not only check out the available cards but also try their new hot and cold drinks from Day 1 of the trip so I get to try all by the end of the trip. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Find time to check out quaint cafes (they have the cutest cafes!), other food stalls, and eat all the berries and other unfamiliar fruits as much as possible… ๐Ÿ˜‰ I love berries and another thing I love about these countries is that they have the freshest fruits and veggies ๐Ÿ™‚

Always thank and praise God, allow Him to surprise you ๐Ÿ™‚

“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is Godโ€™s will for you …” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I have probably said this before, but I’ll say it again, I thought 2017’s highlight would be my Europe trip, THE trip of the year, but God has His way of surprising and pampering His children in ways we couldn’t have imagined. I thank and praise God for our Busan trip as much as I praise and thank him for the Europe trip, they are both very special trips to me, cherished by my grateful, joyful heart. I give all thanks and glory to God for just blessing me with all good things. He knows I love to travel, and He delights in blessing me with wonderful experiences each time.

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Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above… – James 1:17 ESV

Posted in Busan, Friendship, Gifts, Good gifts, Gratitude, Just Random, Lagom, Lessons Learned, Minimalism, South Korea, Starbucks, Travel

Short can be sweet…

so sweetย โ™ฅโ™ฅโ™ฅ

Yes, a short vacation is always sweet when you are with your lovely family and/or friends. ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s the first day of November (hello, beautiful November!) as of this writing, it’s a holiday so I had time to write and hopefully wrap up my posts about our Busan trip. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Let me share with you a few more things which made this trip sweet’er’. ๐Ÿ˜‰

IMG_2344Starbucks

On the first two days of our trip as well as the third and last day, I had the chance to go to Starbucks (SB) with my friends. If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll remember that I shared in my post here that I collect SB cards, so it is a must that I visit SB whenever and wherever possible. Thanks to my supportive friends I get to do it with so much joy! ๐Ÿ˜€

During this trip, I was able to get 4 new SB cards from different SB branches around Busan and I super love them all, very pretty designs and very meaningful as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

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This photo was taken on the last day, 16 October. I ordered something new, Gongju BoniBam Latte, yum! On day 2, I also tried Jeju organic green tea. So I’m really happy to try new SB drinks, such a sweet treat!

I also have a small collection of SB demitasses. So it was so tempting to buy this pretty set (photo below) but I restrained myself… Having set a working budget is really a good idea. It actually kept me from buying everything that I liked. Good job, Ryah! ;PIMG_2144

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I not only tried new hot drinks but also excitedly tried some of these SB healthy drinks. I should have discovered this early on, I would likely try all variants, if I remember it right, there were almost 10 different variants. I bought these 3 on the 3rd day and had to drink within a couple of hours because I couldn’t hand-carry it and also didn’t risk checking them in. I tried the kale & apple drink first while at SB, while the last 2, I finished them just before I placed my hand-carry bag on the conveyor at the airport! hahaha They’re all so yummy! I should have hoarded!! Next time, I should remember to not only look for SB cards, but to try new drinks from Day 1 of the trip.

Lagom

Remember the Swedish word and proverb I shared with you a couple of weeks back on this post?

Lagom which literally means not too little, not too much.

On day 1, I saw these products, it caught my attention because of the brand name (and the minimalist packaging, very true to its name)! ๐Ÿ˜‰ And I just couldn’t resist, I had to purchase a small cleanser tube and small toner bottle so I could try them, I got some freebies too. ๐Ÿ™‚

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I love these products, I’ll try to get a bigger size when I return next year, Godwilling. ๐Ÿ™‚ This is such a sweet discovery. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Me time

Gill’s fly out from Busan was earlier compared to my flight and Eia’s. So Gill left for the airport at around 12nn if I remembered it right. Eia and I had initially planned to watch one more movie in the afternoon of Day 3 but Eia had to work on some urgent matters, good thing we decided not to purchase another movie ticket the day we bought the first movie ticket. Eia and I went to Starbucks at around 1:30pm, it’s walking distance to the airport bus stop and also to Haeundae Beach. At 3pm, I left Eia alone at SB so she could focus on her work and I could explore the area a bit more. I really wanted to spend some time at the beach so I crossed and went to the beach area. Oh, how I love the beach, the cool breeze, the sound of the waves, I love everything about those little sweet moments to be one with nature.ย โ™ฅโ™ฅโ™ฅ

Photos with the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics’ mascot. ๐Ÿ™‚

Victorious or not-so?

Remember the travel challenge I took upon myself for this trip? Well, the challenges are to stay within the budget (a total of Php30,000 or around USD580)ย  and to travel light.

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This was taken a week before the trip when I haven’t packed my clothes because I didn’t want them to crumple or wrinkle too much. On the day of the trip, I decided to leave that small leather bag on the lower right corner, and opted to use just one day bag all throughout the trip, a roomier bag, my red Girbaud bag, which can accommodate my passport, wallet, cellphone, pen,ย  umbrella, parka, ecobag, a small bottle of water, tissue pack, comb, mirror, lippies, hand sanitizer and a few more knickknacks. ;p
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Here’s on the day of the trip, I only used my small luggage and just my red bag.

On the day of our return to Manila, I only had to use one additional foldable overnight bag, so in terms of travelling light – I am victorious, yey!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

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For the other challenge, the target was to only spend a total of Php30,000. After doing my accounting, I spent a total of Php35,198.90. I exceeded Php5k plus, but Php5,483.25 was spent on pasalubong (small treats for family and friends). The excess was a sweet one because it’s for my loved ones. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So I think, I am also victorious on this challenge, you agree, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sweet memories

In this short trip, more sweet memories were created amongst the three of us. Gillian and Eia are my friends for more than a decade already, our friendship is becoming sweeter and sweeter as time goes by. I love these ladies so much, truly grateful for them. I hope and pray to create more happy memories with them, here and just anywhere around the globe. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Where to next, lovelies? ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚
Posted in Bucketlist, Busan, Friendship, Gifts, Good gifts, Gratitude, Lagom, Lessons Learned, South Korea, Starbucks, Travel

A full-day well-spent :)

As promised, I’m back to share more of our recent Busan adventures.

IMG_2186On our second day, 15 October, it was a Sunday, Eia proposed to go on a tour via hop on hop off. We boarded the bus at around 10:40am, we didn’t get off to most of the stops because it was raining, so we just enjoyed the view from the bus.

The bus had a 15-minute stop at the Fisheries Science Museum. We just stayed inside the bus and didn’t go inside the museum, but I got a bit bored after awhile so I stepped out a bit and took some photos and videos.

The first and only stop that we all decided to hop off was in front of an outlet mall. ;P

Since it was cold, I looked for something hot to drink, I loved the berry berry tea. I love everything with berries, oh, how I miss Europe, it’s the only place I was able to eat lots of berries because it was cheap!

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Gill and Eia had some things to buy for their family/friends from some shops at the mall. Me, I bought some facial masks at the Lotte Supermarket, and some goodies too for family and friends. I bought a few packs of this Cafe Latte & Pepero Biscuit because I like anything that’s coffee-flavoured and the packaging is just too pretty!! I thought of giving them as Christmas gifts but I ended up giving them away as pasalubong. I left 1 box for me so I can try it, I loved it! I’ll hoard it next time. #notetoself ;P

I joined Gill while she was looking around. I went inside Coach with her, and I actually liked a wallet (forgot to take a photo), a pair of ballerines and sunglasses. Of course, I still found them pricey despite the big discount. ;P So as I advised in one of my posts, taking of a photo of it might do the trick, it did for me that time. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I happily move away from them (as fast as I could). ;P

Gill and I met up with Eia in front of the mall after an hour and a half of malling. Our plan in the afternoon was to go to Nampo-dong, it’s a central commercial and shopping area, so more temptations to shop were waiting ahead of us! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Us, while waiting for the bus ๐Ÿ™‚

The waiting was taking quite awhile, so I took it as an opportunity to photoshoot. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks to my lovelies who support me, as always. Hahaha

#whenyourumbrellamatchesyourOOTD ๐Ÿ™‚

When we arrived at Nampo-dong, it was past lunchtime, so we looked for a place to eat, one of my agenda on this trip was to try jajangmyeon (noodles with black bean sauce), I always see it in Korean series so I got curious… Eia brought Gill and I to a resto where jajangmyeon is served. Well, it was okay, I liked it with the yellow radish, I actually liked the yellow radish so much, we ate a lot, unli-side dish. ๐Ÿ™‚ Next year, Godwilling, eating jajangmyeon will still be a part of the agenda. ๐Ÿ™‚ I want to try eating unli-fried chicken, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Another agenda is to buy sunscreen, serum, lipgloss and bb/cc cream at Skinfood, my favorite Korean skincare/makeup brand. Since I am working on a budget, the challenge was to stick to it. Before going on this trip, I made an inventory of what I have at home so I would not be easily tempted to buy things which I don’t need. I said on my previous post that “Inventory is the Key.”ย  Well, I guess, aside from inventory, the most important factors, when you are trying to work on a budget because you want to save up and focus on the more important things, are discipline and self-control. These two go hand-in-hand and sometimes are being used interchangeably. Either way, we need both to be able to overcome temptations, including the urge to spend too much on stuff we don’t need.

Discipline –

aย :ย control gained byย enforcingย obedience or order
bย :ย orderly orย prescribedย conduct or pattern of behavior

 

Self-control –ย restraint exercised over one’s own impulses, emotions, or desires

So I actually was able to buy what I intended to:

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Serum and sunscreen from Skinfood and lipgloss from Muji. I decided not to buy a bb/cc cream because I still have two tubes from HappySkin.

BUT I also bought a few more stuff…

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The saleslady at Skinfood told me that a serum works best with these two products, Essence and Cream. I thought about it many times, but I finally gave in because of the discount when I buy the package and she promised me with lots of freebies. ;P I also bought a nail polish in my current fave color, an acetone and a pretty set of nailcare.

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I only bought the green one for myself, I bought a few bottles of nail polish and gave them to some of my friends, they didn’t choose the black and white, so they are now mine. ๐Ÿ™‚
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This nailcare set is just too pretty, I have a weakness towards pretty packaging, this looks so classy and classic to me, so I gave in. I don’t regret it at all, they’re pretty good products, I love everything about it, even the scent! Gosh, I’ve used the word “pretty” too much here, but they deserve it, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰
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I bought a concealer from Muji and this makeup brush. I’ve always wanted to buy a brush like this, I first saw it from Peony Lim. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here are some of the freebies I got from Skinfood which I kept for myself. The other freebies which are not in the photo, I will give them to my aunt in the province, she likes those small stuff.

After buying the Skinfood products, we went to a very lovely cafe. I didn’t buy anything there, I just wanted to rest while Eia and Gill were across the street, looking for sports shoes for their brothers.

After awhile, I followed them to the sports store, and these two beauties called me. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am not the sporty type, I only buy rubber shoes for running/traveling, since my current Merrell rubber shoes, the one I’m wearing on the photo are still in good shape, I restrained myself from buying a new pair. ๐Ÿ™‚

We had a long day at Nampo-dong, on our way to the train station, Gillian showed me this, so we had to stop and Eia took these photos… Haayyy.. Nice seeing you, Oppa!ย โ™ฅ

We wrapped up the day with a super yummy dinner at a nearby Korean resto, it was past midnight already, my meal was a steaming hot beef soup, it was so yummy, and equally enjoyed the yummy unli-side dishes and fish paste.

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We enjoyed our last night together. So chilly and breezy, and so lovely as well. โ™ฅโ™ฅโ™ฅย  #gratefulbeyondwords

On my next post, I will share with you how I fared againts the Travel Challenge I imposed upon myself. So stay tuned! ๐Ÿ˜‰

God’s best!ย โ™ฅ

Posted in Bucketlist, Busan, Friendship, Gifts, Good gifts, Gratitude, Lessons Learned, Shoes, South Korea, Starbucks, Travel

Train to Busan..

errrr Trip to Busan. ๐Ÿ™‚

Back from a very special lovely quick getaway from my lovelies, Eia & Gill, for almost 2 weeks now, but still feeling so happy just thinking about it and browsing through the photos and videos. ๐Ÿ˜€

This trip is very special because it’s my first time to Busan as well as Gillian’s, while it’s Eia’s 99th time, just kidding! ;P This trip is one of those spur of the moments’ thing. I shared how it happened in my post here. It’s special because it’s the shortest out of the country I’ve experienced so far, we basically just wanted to experience the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), had hoped to see some of our actor-crushes, half-wishing Gong Yoo, So Ji Sub, So Joong Ki, amongst others, would pop before our expectant eyes & โ™ฅโ™ฅโ™ฅ. ๐Ÿ™‚ We also just wanted to eat Korean food (street food included!), watch movies, relax by the beach, and shop, a little. ๐Ÿ™‚

Before the trip, I thought of using this hashtag #TRIPnotTrainToBusan, but ended up using a more fitting one…

#kdRamaloveliesGoEstoBusan = R, G and E = our initials are capitalizedย โ™ฅโ™ฅโ™ฅ

We arrived in Busan late night of 13 October, on our way to our accommodation, we were already hungry and feeling cold, so eating some hot and spicy Korean street food was the best thing to do, we ate one of my faves, Tteokbokki (rice & fish cake). Because I’m too happy and hungry at the same time, I only took a video of us (via IG stories) eating while standing with our luggage, but failed to save it. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ So here’s a photo from google…

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Tteokbokki – first meal in Busan … just looking at this photo makes me so hungry …. aigoo….

The next morning, Saturday, the first order of the day was to eat brekky at Bread & Cake. When I went inside the patisserie/boulangerie, it felt like I was back in Paris, lots of very pretty breads and pastries. I ordered a croissant, a cheesecake with fig on top, cappuccino, and took home some madeleines too. ๐Ÿ™‚ All were very yummy!!! ๐Ÿ˜€ I loved the cool weather so much, the fresh air, and the experience of having coffee (and pastries) alfresco with my lovelies.ย โ™ฅ #justpriceless #gratefulbeyondwords

After brekky, we went to buy our movie tickets to watch one of the BIFF entries. We’re lucky that there was no queue and one of the movies we hoped to watch entitled “Old Love” still had available tickets.

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On our way to BIFF, we saw a big billboard of Oppa Gong Yoo at Shinsegae Mall, so we had to stop and take photos, of course. ๐Ÿ™‚

I had hoped to be able to watch atleast 2 or 3 movies but our limited time didn’t allow it. It’s okay, we’ll make up next year, Godwilling. ๐Ÿ™‚ While we were waiting for the 2pm showing, we went malling and tried to look for some beauty products which our friends requested from us to buy.

After watching the movie, we headed to Haeundae Beach for a Meet & Greet session, there were many Meet & Greet sessions but we only decided to witness one given our limited time. We saw some actors upclose, but unfortunately, Gillian and I haven’t watched any of their movies or series, but it was still a unique & fun experience to actually go to the Beach where BIFF events are held each year. ๐Ÿ™‚

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We tried to have a decent group photo and requested a friendly looking lady to take our photos but an uninvited gentleman decided to join us. Oh well! ๐Ÿ˜€

Our trip wouldn’t be complete without the “Grilledย Pork Belly BBQ (samgyeupsal) with lots of side dishes” experience. Korean food is sooooo yummy and comforting… haaaayyyy ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m feeling hungry again. ;P

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And these are some of the food that I’ve had during the trip and I’m actually missing them so badly… Pls take me back to Korea, now na! ๐Ÿ™‚

Before I dream of these yummies, I better sleep now, I’ll share more of our Busan adventures tomorrow. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Promise!

Goodnight, friends! Kamsahamnida (thank you) for reading my post. ๐Ÿ™‚

PS. I hope I will be able to share some videos from our trip but my current subscription plan for this site won’t allow it. I’m still thinking if I should upgrade my plan… For now, let’s just enjoy the photos. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Posted in Gifts, God's victory, Good gifts, Gratitude, Health, Inspiration, Lessons Learned, Minimalism, Travel

37, thank you…

Today is 9 September, a day before my 38th birthday ๐Ÿ™‚

I thought of writing a few realities / things I am grateful for, so here it goes ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • the God of my life
  • my faith, being saved
  • Victory – the church where I belong
  • basically everything in my life, just the reality that I am alive
  • the dreams in my heart
  • the hope that I have in Christ
  • the woman that I am now (definitely not perfect, but under God’s grace)
  • love for the Word of God – my manual for life, my comfort, my teacher, my guide
  • fulfilled dream travel to Europe this year
  • in good health, good shape and feeling strong
  • best Omma and Appa, the sister and the brother, all loved ones
  • my sisters-in-Christ, I couldn’t thank them enough.. (Hazel, Alica, Mel & Bong)
  • my lovely friends (a lot of them, all wonderful individuals, I’m beyond blessed)
  • my colleagues (all good and helpful)
  • my work in ADB, the fact that I belong in this wonderful organization
  • benefits as an ADB employee
  • my simple but comfy home sweet home
  • my cozy room
  • my oldie but trusty car
  • ongoing “A” process (hopefully will be granted by 2018)
  • upcoming Busan trip with Gill and Eia
  • being able to play squash and exercise
  • food on the table and fridge
  • lots of good food to try
  • coffee time with family & friends
  • my gadgets which make me reachable and sociable
  • technologies which make life convenient and comfortable
  • my little savings and a few investments
  • things that I own and manage to buy (clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, etc.)
  • my female inspiration – Peony Lim and Mari Jasmine
  • Korean series/movies (my guilty pleasure)
  • my crushes (Gong Ji Chul aka Gong Yoo, So Ji Sub and a whole lot more)

I’m sure I have more things to be grateful for, big and small, but for now, written above are the first things which came to mind. ๐Ÿ˜‰

God, thank you so much for a (beyond) wonderful 37th year of my life. ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

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I am excited for the 38th – hopeful, grateful, blessed and expectant of God’s best to come my way. ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in Bucketlist, Busan, Friendship, Gifts, Good gifts, Lessons Learned, South Korea, Travel

Travel Challenge ;)

๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m taking this challenge upon myself for the first time.

I thought THE Europe trip would be THE only trip I’ll experience this year. But of course, God always has better plans. ๐Ÿ™‚ He delights in blessing and surprising His children, and I do love surprises so I am one happy daughter. ๐Ÿ˜‰

You probably know that I love Korea, of course, the one in the South. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been in Seoul only once in 2011 but my soul longs for it since then. I have hoped to return in 2012 and the following years but it didn’t happen, just not meant to be back then…

It was at this dinner for Mark’s birthday celebration when I remembered to ask Eia when is she going back to Korea, she goes there atleast yearly. I asked because I would request her to buy my favorite sunscreen which she bought for me early this year. She said she would go back in October and invited us to go with her to Busan, she said it’s just a weekend trip. So Gill and I entertained the thought quite quickly, a few days later we had our flights booked! ๐Ÿ™‚

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As of this writing, we only have a month and 4 days before that #TRIPnotTrainToBusan. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll post more about it after that quick getaway. So before and during this trip, I thought of doing some sort of a travel challenge. Since this trip is not “planned,” I have to be within budget this time, well I should always travel within budget but since it was my first time in Europe, I didn’t know much what to expect and how much to spend so I think I kinda went over the top. ;P Don’t worry, I learned a lot so the future trips would be better, budget wise. ๐Ÿ˜‰

For the #TRIPnotTrainToBusan,ย we only have 3 full days (Saturday, Sunday and Monday). The target overall budget is Php 30k, that includes the airfare (almost 10k), accommodation (around 6k), visa processing (Php 800), so I only have around Php 13k for food, transportation and shopping(?!). So for 3 days, my budget is around Php 4k per day which is fairly decent. ;P

So the challenge(s) is keeping within the budget and travelling light. This seems so easy, but for me, believe me, it’s tough, and it’s an understatement. I have travelled a few times and I have to admit, I always, that means without fail, felt that I spent more than I should (because I didn’t set a budget for each trip) so I wouldn’t actually know how I fared. For the Europe trip alone, I think I shopped more before the trip than during the actual trip, I bought camera, luggage, clothes, shoes, etc. When it comes to packing light, I’m still not good at it, I only have a couple of short trips which I packed just enough ensembles, but for most trips, I overpack, period.

For this trip and the trips to follow, I hope to get better as time passes by. So I’ll start with this short trip, if I do well this time, it is likely I’ll become a better traveler in no time. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Well, I believe, I’ll become better at this, I know I can, always by God’s grace. ๐Ÿ™‚ย Pls cheer me on, okay? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Japan trip with Eia & Gill (December 2015)

 

โ€œInvestment in travel is an investment in yourself.โ€ ~ Matthew Karsten

โ€œTravel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.โ€ โ€“ Anonymous

Posted in Gifts, God's victory, Good gifts, Gratitude, Inspiration, Word of God

My kind of volunteer work

In January 2016,ย ADB has added a leave day to our benefits, we call it “volunteer day” where a staff can do outreach work on a weekday and file it as an official leave. We can do it individually or as a group with friends or as a department.

In October 2016, the Staff Community Fund (SCF) has tapped the heads of departments to partner with them to do outreach activities as part of the SCF Funds 50 Program. This program will provide P50,000 to the department’s chosen organization to be used in their outreach activities. My boss, Chris, the General Counsel, is one of the recipients of the email from SCF regarding the program. Chris, from my point of view is someone who has such a good and big heart, has grabbed the opportunity to help. He shared the email to me and 2 more staff and asked how can we partake in the program. I learned that OGC has 3 SCF volunteers, Ms. Kori, Ms. Mavic and Val. I rejoined as an SCF volunteer and started meeting with them to plan out our activities. In one of our meetings, we were thinking of what to call our outreach, after some deep but quick thought, we came up with OGC goes O.G.C. (Outreach and Games with Children).

We sent out a few emails to OGC staff and finalized the date and activities of the volunteer day. We informed them that we needed some contribution from them to supplement the funds provided by SCF. We went door to door, knocked on the generous hearts of our friends/colleagues, within a couple of weeks we were able to gather nearly P100,000 worth of cash donations. With this budget, we were able to give loot bags full of school supplies, grocery items to 50ย children, we shared snacks and lunch meals with them and we even set up a photobooth to leave them with printed memories of the event.

On 17 March, our group went to Bistekville 4, a socialized housing project of 150 units of affordable housing undertaken in joint venture with Habitat for Humanity in Quezon City. Habitat for Humanity gathered the childrenย for the event. The program commenced with a welcome remarks by Mr. Jess Maglente, the Home Owners Association President, followed by a message from Chris.

Each volunteer randomly picked the name of his/her kid buddy with whom he/she would bond and also mingle with the rest of the group all throughout the event. The whole group was divided into 5 teams: blue, green, orange, white and yellow. We played games under the sun with the children and also did some arts and crafts. Without a doubt, the children had so much fun. But to my surprise, the volunteers, 45 of us, of which more than half were lawyers, haveย equally enjoyed the activities, if not,ย I think weย had probably enjoyed more than the children. ๐Ÿ˜‰

You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.ย โ€•ย Kahlil Gibran

An opportunity like this seldom comes especially in a workplace, thanks to ADB, now we can do it regularly with our friends/colleagues. We went there with the intention of generously giving our time, attention and resources, but we all went home with a deep sense of gratitude, feelingย that we received more from those children, our hearts were full seeing their bright eyes with happy smiles, and hearing their contagious laughter was music to our ears, every bit of preparation and time spent with them was all well worth it.

Along the way, let’s never forget that once we were children and that we were all playing together without distinction of skin color, society level, or where people come from. Adults need to remember to play and to be more childlike in our behavior. We’ve forgotten what that childlike experience was like. – Guy Laliberte

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Blue Team
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Green Team
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Orange Team
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White Team
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Yellow Team
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The Committee, the emcees withย some of the kids

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