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. 🙂 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! 🙂

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Us, while waiting for the bus 🙂

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

#whenyourumbrellamatchesyourOOTD 🙂

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. 🙂 Next year, Godwilling, eating jajangmyeon will still be a part of the agenda. 🙂 I want to try eating unli-fried chicken, too. 🙂

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.”  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 –

a control gained by enforcing obedience or order
b orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior

 

Self-control – 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. 🙂
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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? 😉
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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. 😉

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. 🙂 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. 🙂

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! 

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. ♥♥♥  #gratefulbeyondwords

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

God’s best! 

Train to Busan..

errrr Trip to Busan. 🙂

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. 😀

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 & ♥♥♥. 🙂 We also just wanted to eat Korean food (street food included!), watch movies, relax by the beach, and shop, a little. 🙂

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 capitalized ♥♥♥

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. 😦 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. 🙂 All were very yummy!!! 😀 I loved the cool weather so much, the fresh air, and the experience of having coffee (and pastries) alfresco with my lovelies. ♥ #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. 🙂

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. 🙂 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. 🙂

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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! 😀

Our trip wouldn’t be complete without the “Grilled Pork Belly BBQ (samgyeupsal) with lots of side dishes” experience. Korean food is sooooo yummy and comforting… haaaayyyy 🙂 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! 🙂

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

Goodnight, friends! Kamsahamnida (thank you) for reading my post. 🙂

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. 😉

37, thank you…

Today is 9 September, a day before my 38th birthday 🙂

I thought of writing a few realities / things I am grateful for, so here it goes 😉

  • 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. 😉

God, thank you so much for a (beyond) wonderful 37th year of my life. 🙂 

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

Travel Challenge ;)

😉 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. 🙂 He delights in blessing and surprising His children, and I do love surprises so I am one happy daughter. 😉

You probably know that I love Korea, of course, the one in the South. 🙂 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! 🙂

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As of this writing, we only have a month and 4 days before that #TRIPnotTrainToBusan. 🙂 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. 😉

For the #TRIPnotTrainToBusan, 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. 😉 Well, I believe, I’ll become better at this, I know I can, always by God’s grace. 🙂 Pls cheer me on, okay? 😉

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Japan trip with Eia & Gill (December 2015)

 

“Investment in travel is an investment in yourself.” ~ Matthew Karsten

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” – Anonymous

My kind of volunteer work

In January 2016, 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 50 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 children 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, have equally enjoyed the activities, if not, I think we had probably enjoyed more than the children. 😉

You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. ― 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, feeling 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 with some of the kids

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I’m back!!!

img_3659So sorry for being MIA for a loooong time… Got so busy with all the Christmas festivities, barely had time to even draft some blog posts and updates here.

I hope I can blog more often this year. I have lots to share but have limited time. This year, I also want to read lots of books, well, always I wanted to read books but I kind of “wasted” lots of my time in instagram(IG) so I decided to delete my IG account and just reinstall it every weekend. I have lots of books on my bedside table, and have some more ebooks and dreaming of buying a few more books which I recently saw at Fully booked in S Maison. I hope to have some good progress in my reading this year, and also to be able to study French, and basic Italian. I would like to learn baking too!

How’s 2017 treating you so far?

As for me, I feel great! 🙂 Thank and praise God for everything, for all the lessons I learned in 2016, for all the experiences which taught and equipped me, including the typhoon my family and I experienced while in Bicol with our relatives to celebrate Christmas. It was life-changing, not only for me, but for each one. I’ve become more grateful for the life that God has given us, more appreciative of my family, all loved ones and friends that we have in our life, more aware of what truly matters in this life which include, first and foremost, our relationship with God, then with our family and every single person around us. Being kind, if possible, always be kind, to every person surrounding us, each one carries something, experiences a challenging situation, one way or another. So the way to live is to just trust God, surrender everything to Him, just be at peace wherever you are in life right now, because God is truly in control, He knows what’s best for us, He will give His best at the perfect time, just when we are ready for it.img_5701

Though a few days late, I am wishing and praying for ALL of GOD’s best for each of us this year. I am particularly excited for my Boracay trip with family, for my Europe trip with my lovelies, Caye and Kim, and  for many of God’s miracles and breakthroughs coming this year. 🙂

P.S. Sharing here my chosen Christmas wrapper and tag, I love it! The design is subtly Christmasy which makes it so classy. 🙂 I also love the gifts I shared with family & friends, I managed to give out natural/organic gifts & even supported local brands. 😉