• Travel Diary

    Kyeopta Korea!

    I have been refusing to blog more about Seoul because I keep getting withdrawal symptoms every time I go through my “Kyeopta Korea” album. Here’s a picture diary of some stuff I haven’t uploaded yet: Commuting. My sister and I used the subway a lot. They have so many lines, I lost count but it was pretty easy to navigate. One time it was too late and we were stuck in Itaewon after having dinner at a ramen store so we hailed a cab and my sister talked to the cab driver in straight Korean! I was so proud of her. But then we realized that the directions were practically written…

  • Travel Diary

    Streets of Seoul

    I always end up travelling to places that aren’t on my checklist but I ultimately have no regrets. So I spent 9 days in Seoul, South Korea to accompany my little sister for her month-long stay in the country. She decided to stay in Hongdae area which is where Hong-ik University is located. It’s a very vibrant neighbourhood filled with young people, university students, coffeeshops, restaurants, and a shopping area. Let me take you on a short trip to our neighbourhood:  Hongdae Located just near Hong-ik Station’s exit 3- this place has two coffeeshops. Cafe Bonjur and Comma Cafe. Cafe Bonjur has really good cheesecake!  Upstairs- Comma Cafe is a little…

  • Travel Diary

    HK 24/7

    I arrived in Hong Kong in the evening, purchased an Octopus Card and dropped myself off at the train stop. I didn’t know which direction or alley to walk to my hotel so I asked for directions from a group of Filipino ladies by the stoplight. While it’s sad to see our people in exodus it’s also comforting knowing there’s a kababayan willing to help you out.  Wayne had insisted I take a cab from the airport which I found ridiculous. Why would I take a cab when HK’s MTR was so manageable? I found the hotel quite easily and had a breezy check-in at Harbour Grand HK (not the…

  • Travel Diary,  Writer's Cafe

    Kanchanaburi Roads

    We were running late. The previous night, we had walked the stretch of Petchburi Road under the rain to get to our hotel and our exhaustion took its toll. When we got down to the hotel lobby, our tour guide was already there. She bowed with her hands clasped as we apologized profusely for being late. The tour guide introduced herself as Nuch, she tapped on her watch and said we had better leave to avoid Bangkok traffic. Jeshley asked if we could take at least 10 minutes to grab breakfast. She tapped her watch again and said “10 minutes, okay I give you. I will wait.” I took some…

  • Travel Diary,  Writer's Cafe

    Bohol: Pain in Stills

    When hometown blues became too much to bear, I took a chance and ran away for a few days. We sailed in the night and by morning we stepped foot on a thriving island in the Visayas. We had cups of hot cocoa and sticky rice cakes for breakfast in an ordinary looking cafe a few steps away from the city’s wet market. We rode the local “tricycle” to our new home. In the days that followed, we would go out on our own to explore the city and live like the locals; buying groceries, cooking our own meals, commuting, drinking beer at night while strumming the guitar, or mingling…

  • Travel Diary,  Writer's Cafe

    Palawan: Second Skin

    I was travelling while I was sad- I wasn’t even sure why I was sad. I thought about all the things that had me worried – missing the key people in my life, adjusting back to Philippine culture, getting stressed out over the pretentious lifestyle people paraded over their social media accounts. “Really!” I thought, the Philippines isn’t all beautiful beaches, mountains and upscale malls – it was also potholes, heavy traffic, shanties, and homeless, hungry people. A friend offered free roundtrip tickets to Palawan so I took the chance. Manila – the city had been stifling me for some time. I bought bikinis and outfits that would look good…

  • Travel Diary,  Writer's Cafe

    Siam Longings

    Bangkok, 2013 – I fell in love with Bangkok on the first night. It was unexpected. It was  a quiet appreciation that crept on me while I waited in queue at the airport.The lines were long but the process fast. While in queue a Chinese man spoke to the usherettes in his own language. I found myself smiling because I seemed to understand what he meant to say. Throughout the entire trip, I found this a recurring thing among elder Chinese tourists. They would speak to me in their own language, I would respond in english,  and for some strange reason, we all still understood each other. This was made evident…

  • Travel Diary,  Writer's Cafe

    Taipei, On Impulse

    I left Manila at 6:50 in the evening. I could see a thousand white, yellow, and orange lights glimmering below with the main thoroughfares lit up brightly by billboards. I saw the smog that people talked about every time they landed in Manila. Tonight it was a red haze. The plane turns sharply upwards, ascending higher into the night sky. I turn back my attention to the book I’m reading, Jessica Zafra’s Twisted Travels while I twist my mouth and nose, trying not to inhale the odor coming from my seatmate in suit, who obviously hasn’t taken a bath. Taipei had the same reddish haze from above. I bought a prepaid…

  • Travel Diary,  Writer's Cafe

    Of Coconuts and Sticky Rice Cakes

    I had my first taste of Thailand’s famous iced coffee at the Damnoensaduak Floating Market. For the days to come, we would all buy iced coffee every chance we got. It was sweetened with condensed milk – something that made it taste better than the usual. I had been doing the same to my coffee when I was in design school, it was the only way I could stomach drinking 2-3 large cups a day to power through late nights of coding and designing. Aside from the iced coffee, we noticed the altars on almost every road. This was something quite grandiose and new to our eyes. We were born…