Emo

The High Road

Ever since, I’ve never been someone who is self-conscious about being liked by other people. My problem starts when I try to exercise my gut feel, and it always tells me that some people aren’t too interested to break the ice and build ties with me.

My tendency is to walk away from them. Rejections are okay, I’m used to being ignored by others. And I hate clingy people, so the state of being by myself is already like second nature.

I’m still trying to make sense out of it. Is it because of your rules that you can’t make genuine, personal relationships with others?

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Kalokohan, Serious business

Forever Young

“Taga-saang university ka, iha?” A middle-aged tito (or tita) would always ask me during media events.

I carry a moderately heavy video equipment, dressed in Filipiniana clothing, with an access pass during one of PNoy’s SONAs in Batasang Pambansa. They only allow one person per media agency to enter the floor. On my left and right at the mezzanine are drag-me-to-hell, super fine cameras from popular news entities that I see on TV every day.

“Ah, UP po. Pero five years na po akong graduate.” Followed by awkward silence.

(Ang yabang mo naman. lololol)

Ever since I started working, I’m always mistaken for either an intern or a fresh grad. A few days back, I posted a 22-year difference photo of me and my sister, and I can’t help but laugh in awe because there’s nothing that actually changed other than my weight and my hairstyle.

When you are younger, the cheek-pinching, name-calling is pretty cute. But at a certain age and you get easily irritated with things, trust me, it could get annoying.

I’ve had a lot of experiences being bullied and told off for how I looked, and it’s sometimes frustrating for us who are baby faced to actually look like our age.

And as much as we wanted to be respectful and to stand ground for what we believe in, the impression is that we are whiny baby monsters.

It also irks me a lot when I decide on things like getting a new tattoo, drinking alone in a bar, and going on random trips because some think I’m being OA rebellious and stuff but I’m just trying out different things, which I believe do not completely mar my identity.

You can actually talk to us, and we carry some wisdom from our 20’s. We enjoy listening to 90’s music and you can even use your 80’s pop culture references on us. We also know the latest releases from Spotify, thanks to New Music Friday. We know our alcohol. From Yakult and Red Horse, to Cabernet Sauvignon and Manchego cheese.

What I’m just trying to say is, regardless of appearance and universal existence, we should try to love and respect each other. And stop bullying us when we try to decide on grown-up things.

In the coming months, I might be back in the university and will become an intern again. My young face might still work to my advantage.

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Serious business

On becoming beautiful

I’ve never spent so much effort on making myself more presentable until recently when I started doing dental visits (out of pain lol), make-up shopping, wardrobe overhaul, dieting, and a little exercising once in a while. These are basically things that I needed to set aside because of stuff (paaral ni mayor ang peg) and the demands of my previous engagements.

To be honest and I say this with no self-esteem chenelyn, I’ve never seen myself falling on the above average spectrum of aesthetics. Ever since parts of me have grown horizontally and vertically, nothing and no one has convinced me that I’m visually all right. There are portions of my life and people that many made me feel otherwise.

When you start opening yourself to the world and other cultures, you also begin to realize that beauty really happens when you start believing that you are. This may shock or appall you, but a healthy dose of GGSS (gandang-ganda sa sarili) is a very powerful exercise for daily confidence and it does wonders.

People had been asking me if I’m in love or something and I just tell them that it might be the change in side of my hair or the shade of lipstick or the perfume I can’t resist. Small changes do big things in our well-being, so I encourage you to try it for yourself.

I won’t make this too long. Just an update! And stay lovely, people!

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Travel

Visiting Seoul Soon?

Just got back from my fourth trip to Seoul and if you’ll ask me if I covered everything (including DMZ)? NOT! Lol. But just like my three other visits, it’s still as charming as ever. You’ll find yourself falling in love with the place all over again.

I’ve said this before that I’ll be writing a comprehensive travel post on how to visit Korea (Seoul to be exact) like a pro. Bear with me for the side comments though! This is designed for those who have prior experience visiting countries with complicated train routes (and has applied for their Korean visas already) as I won’t be explaining as to how you should read train maps and stuff. BUT if you have transportation-related questions, let me know in the comment box.

Where should I stay in Seoul? 

In terms of navigation, I’ll pick Jongno anytime of the day (it’s Jongno-gu or the Bell Street) or a close tie with Jung-gu (Central Seoul) since they are very accessible to the more “tourist-y” attractions like Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Namsan Tower, Myeongdong, Namdaemun, Dongdaemun, Bukchon, Insadong, Gwanghwamun — basically most palaces and markets you see on Instagram. Plus if you’re into walking, you can go through all of the main spots with the help of your trusty Google Maps (in Hangul though).

For quaint cafes, affordable skincare, art supplies, cheaper hostels and food, I highly recommend Hongdae (short for Hongik Daehangno — Hongik University or 홍익대학교), the most prestigious art university in Korea.

Buses or Trains?

Buses are definitely more affordable when going around, it’s just that I find it easier to take their subway for a slight difference in price.

Upon your arrival in Incheon Airport, you have two ways to get to Seoul. First is through their limousine bus, which is the more common method as you’ll only need to buy a ticket worth KRW 10,000. Look for the bus number and alight at the nearest bus stop in your hotel. I like this method since it’s faster and friendlier for tourists.

Second is through the AREX, or the Airport Railroad Express, which stops at Seoul station and then just transfer to your line. You may get a T-Money card in CU or GS25 (two of the popular convenience stores in Korea). It works like your BEEP card here in the Philippines. You can top it up and use it to buy stuff in convenience stores, tap them in buses and of course for your train rides. You can also use your T-Money (or CashBee) in areas like  Suwon and Chuncheon.

If I only have three days in Seoul, what activities would you recommend for me/us to do?

You can start with the palace tours as they really close to each other. In the evening, a little of Myeongdong. For day two, you can visit Garosugil, Samcheongdong, Itaewon or Hongdae. Day three can be devoted to your shopping in Insadong, Namdaemun or even in Myeongdong (TIP: Always bring your passport as most establishments provide tax refunds for a single purchase of 30,000 KRW and up).

To get free passes in their palace/s, you can show up there wearing your favorite Hanbok (rentals at 10-20k Won).

Where should we get our Wifi?

Hahahahahaha I’m not the best person to ask about this, because I only depend on free WiFi that’s basically everywhere or through my data roaming service. But it’s easy to rent a Wifi egg at the airport. Hehe.

There’s also Seoul Public WiFi available in key areas.

Any food that we should try out? Restaurant favorites?

You can’t just fly out the land of the morning calm (and nomnoms) without even trying out all their great food! I’ll divide this into 3 different categories: Street Food, Restaurants and Take-out.

A. Street Food

There’s literally A LOT of street foods that you can try out in areas such as Myeongdong and Gwangjang Market or even outside your hotel. And as much as I wanted to encourage you to buy them all at once, I’d recommend that you try them out first in small servings before getting a mouthful, for two reasons: 1) They can be extremely spicy; 2) They may not suit your taste, which is actually quite rare.

Here are 5 (of my many) favorites:

  1. Odeng (Fish Cakes) – The first thing that came to me when I saw an ahjumma selling this is that they looked more like pig’s intestines, which I don’t mind eating either. Lol. Then after looking up the hangul translation (since I can read and speak a little hangul), I read fish cakes! Lol wth. Personally, if you’re looking into the ultimate hangover soup other than Dried Pollock Soup or Bukeoguk, then I think this will work well too. The broth is to die for. Make sure to grab an extra cup for free.
  2. Tteokbokki (Rice Cakes) – Probably my favorite street food! A well-cooked tteokbokki is not annoyingly spicy and soft to bite. Take note of that.
  3. Yangnyeom Tongdak (Korean fried chicken with tteok) – Whenever I visit Korea, I always look for this and Yoogane because of my obsession with crispy fried chicken and cheese. If you’re in the area, make sure to try this out. Hopefully you’ll also go cray!
  4. Tteokgalbi (Beef Rib Meatballs) – Minced ribs rolled into balls with white sauce. Heaven! Trivia: Galbi means rib in Korean.
  5. Gyeran Ppang (Egg bread) – This magical egg bread has converted several tourists to the religion of egg-bread crazy people (and their god is probably Gudetama). If you’re into breakfast food, eggs, cheese, you might end up consuming more. The other variant with cheese is also superb!

B. Restaurants

I only go to Yoogane (my favorite dakgalbi restaurant) every time I’m in Seoul. The other restaurants, I don’t even remember the names! We just look at the menu, store our coats in their secret compartment, and order away. Tipping is not a common practice in restaurants, AND you need to pay at the counter after eating. The staff will provide you an updated invoice upon placing your orders, so you can check and split the payment (if you plan to do so).

Not sure about this, but’s also unusual to eat alone. Their servings usually have a minimum, so make sure to tag someone to share the meal with you — or you end up not finishing it.

Some restaurants you might want to try:

  1. Tosokchon Samgyetang – It’s a very popular ginseng chicken resto in Seoul, people line up to try it.
  2. Palsaek Samgyeopsal – Quite pricey for a samgyeopsal but they take pride in eight special sauces and their servings are good for 4 people.
  3. Chicken shops outside Nami Island – I don’t know if it’s just me or Chuncheon has the nicest Dakgalbi restaurants.
  4. OR try out San-nakji at Noryanjin Fish Market. HEHE.

Anyways, I’ll write a separate post for the do’s and don’ts. 😀

C. Take-outs!

My sister and I are big fans of take-out food because we usually like to fly in Korea during the colder months and we enjoy the warm floor in the hotel. Hahahahaha. You should try this even for once as you may have seen in K-dramas, they enjoy buying chicken and beer and consume it while watching TV or practically just spend time with good people.

BHC chicken is nice too!

My forever favorite is Nae Nae Chicken, and their menu is in Hangul. You may ask help from the reception to order stuff for you and just wait for your order. Also: free drink!

Other tips?

  1. Their spicy is 3-5x spicier than ours. No ramyeon is not spicy.
  2. They’re not used to saying sorry when they bump into you. You’ll need to realize that. They can be rude sometimes.
  3. Always bring a shopping bag.
  4. Research and study when and where to get your train fee refunds and stuff.
  5. Going to Nami? Outside of Seoul? Buy tickets in advance, and get reserved seats (it’s almost the same price with non-reserved, unless you’re into standing for long train rides). Also, look for the punch-in punch-out machine for your T-Money before taking the KTX.
  6. Most shops close early.
  7. Clean as you go.
  8. MEMORIZE and LEARN how to count in Korean (Sino-Korean numbers will help you a lot).
  9. Use ALL your coins first because you won’t be able to exchange them back.
  10. Never leave the hotel with wet hair.
  11. Learn the basic Korean words and phrases.
  12. Keep a map.
  13. Bring a universal adapter.
  14. During spring, autumn and winter, bring a good moisturizer and computer glasses.
  15. Do not request for extra Banchan (side dishes) if you haven’t finished the first one.

There are still a lot to cover! But I hope you learned something from this post. If you have something in mind, hit me a message!

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Travel

Hong Kong kids

If there is one thing I regret not doing sooner, it would be flying in to Hong Kong. I’ve had three attempts before actually getting there. Either I got caught up in a typhoon situation or I’ve had an amnesia. I’m not joking about the last one. I’ve. Once. Forgotten. About. My. Trip.

Last year, I was able to realize my plans with my long-time friend, Joyce. Although it’s a quick glimpse of HK, we enjoyed it so much with some heart-to-heart talks on the side.

I’ll definitely go back real soon!

Let me share to you some of my photos from the trip:

With Joyce

I’ve always wanted to travel with Joyce! We’ve known each other for too long, but it’s fascinating that I’ve learned more about her during our quick trip.

 

Octopus Card

I am totally in love with trains and train rides, and the HK MTR is no exception. If you wish to experience for yourself a pretty efficient ride, then this line is for you. 

 

Disneyland

My first Disneyland trip of many!

 

Disneyland 2

I will leave it to the travel bloggers to tell you how to get to HK Disneyland Resort. 

Central HK

I’ve fallen so in love with Central Hong Kong! Although it’s not the actual spot (or so I thought) for cheap finds, I am enticed with its unique personality that’s similar to mine.

Central

Just more of Central Hong Kong. I’m so used to seeing the BOC building in the decks that I work on in the office. Hehe.

HK

Nobody should leave Hong Kong without trying their good noms!!! Here’s a photo of their infamous egg waffles just close to our place in Tsim Sha Tsui.

 

HKIA

And of course, HKIA. One of the best.

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Uncategorized

Crazy/Sexy/Introvert

Contrary to how people perceive me, I am too introverted to even function. And this is a struggle I always had and right now with work. And my business. Lol. This may surprise you, but I haven’t made friends in the office. 

  
I’m not particular with having friends at the workplace, tbqh. I have a strong circle of friendships rooting from 10+++ years back. And those friends had friends, who also became my friends. The funny thing is, 80 percent of us are introverts.

Most of my friends are into economics, politics and communication. So our points of conversation usually start with a pop culture reference and then later it transforms to a deeper flow of talk. Yes. We talk about the lyrics to the shield bath soap jingle and regionalism over drinks.

I am the official clown of all my circles. I try to make light of EVERYTHING! Ask any of my friends and they will confirm it. ;))))

The only time that I get to be my different self is when I go out of the country. And that’s the reason why I always end up 1.) wasted; 2.) broke; or 3.) more broke. Nah just kidding. I gain more friends along the way!

I thought of touching this issue after my experience with some of my floormates yesterday. It was suuuuuper awkward, I don’t wanna elaborate on it again. ;))))

Everything just feels awkward once in a while.

Sooooo for those who are having difficulties understanding us, I dedicate this post to you. It may not be totally agreeable, but at least you’ll get an idea on how we manage to get through everyday. 

1. We hate small talk/s. And we also find it hard to initiate a conversation. Hahahahahahaha take it from me! I’ve ALWAYS attempted to start a talk and I’m a complete fail. I don’t know what to sayyyy. But personally, I enjoy the exchange, how serious or mundane it is.

What interests us so much is when you start asking us questions! Most of us, if not for all, we love to answer mentally challenging questions. Ayan ha. First date qualifier. Ask us about our opinions on many things, and we’d be more than happy to answer you. – learned it from the most hermit of hermits.

Ask me anything about art and travel and food, and I’ll give you a week-full of talk. Promise.

2.) We sweat our social juices faster than anyone else. We get drained easily. Ughhhhh remember those family reunions? I can only tolerate one if there is good food! The worst part is, I am always asked to sing!!! Also, I’ll always try to study how they cook Menudo or morcon just so I could have something to do. 

And then one of your relatives will ask if you have a boyfriend already. Gosh. It’s always my cue to exit. Dyahe.

We can only smile and talk to a certain number of people at a certain time period, and it takes some time for us to adjust. Alam mo yung praning? You might say something wrong and they’ll take it differently? Something like that. 

3.) We enjoy creative jobs that do not involve team-building activities. UNLESS you’re drinking buddies level of close already. I’m really lucky to have spent 5 years with the smartest, most talented, most creative people in the planet who loves Coca-cola more than I do. And we respect our anti-social moments, too.

Though it becomes tougher to adjust when you move to a completely different set-up. And I hate drastic changes. 

And maybe this is why I’d rather work alone than to collaborate with a super big team.

4.) We get distracted easily. Hahahahahaha!!! So me!!! I’ll tell my friends a story, then the next thing, I’m already talking about a completely different one. We get distracted, but WE REMEMBER the smallest of details — the color of your buttons, the mole near your waterline, the usual shade of your two-toned eyeshadow or the details in your glasses. So don’t be surprised with our references. In my case, you will notice that my muses in my paintings have different roles to play, and they may be a vision of the opposite sex (trivia).

5.) We never get bored being alone. In fact, we enjoy it so much. We don’t see it as loneliness. We just want to enjoy our angus burger. Duh. Hindi nga ako nagbibigay ng balat ng Chickenjoy.

6.) We HATE talking on the phone. Calling, that is. I’d rather talk to you face-to-face. Hahahahahahaha. And sometimes we also suck at instant messaging! We have friends that we can comfortably talk to online, while some we have to meet personally to at least build a connection. 

AND FINALLY,

7.) We secretly wish you’d say hello to us. All we need is for us to be recognized in the crowd, ping us a message, anything. We’re genuinely nice and we enjoy tambayans and magdamagang usapan.

🙂

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Uncategorized

30-Day Blog Challenge — Day 2: Your insecurities

I’d be completely honest right now and tell you that my only insecurity is my career track. I think I’m a little late to actually pursue the things that I like, especially my post-grad dreams.

I once told a friend that I’ve been pushing myself real hard to get accepted, but somewhere along the way, weird things happen. Or maybe the post-grad part isn’t the game for me to play.

I can’t help but compare myself to my immediate circle. They’ve been to the skies and back, and I’m still here, trying to figure out where to go.

I feel like I gave too much of myself out there, setting aside the plans and dreams I could’ve pursued early on.

Maybe I was destined to be an entrepreneur and manage my own team. And the things I should be learning from grad school have already been served to me even before I asked — the life lessons I get to harvest dealing with people from different walks of life. Maybe it’s enough. I don’t know.

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