Greece: If these doors could talk



To ancient Greeks, doors are considered sacred. So much so that there was a time they were revered as transitions or passageways from one realm to another.

During our trip to Greece, I've inadvertently developed a fascination for doors and windows. Maybe it's because of the soft palettes that impress a lovely contrast against the dark solids.  Or the bougainvilleas creeping down creating a beautiful frame around the window sills. Or maybe it's the stories behind those doors--of children watching their grandmas cook, of elderly men smoking by the window while reading the newspaper, or simply of locals drinking coffee while watching passersby mill about.

How the country of blue domes, cats and ancient sites exceeded our #GreekExpectations



"You come from the Philippines? A paradise? And then you travel far to this...madness?" asked our Uber driver, gesturing with his free hand as we entered downtown Athens.  Traffic was building up, tourists milled around while harried locals went about their day, and practically every inch of the buildings we passed by were covered in graffiti.

It was kinda chaotic up to some point and I knew our driver was not only referring to the hustle and bustle of the city but also to the economic crisis that the Greeks have had to suffer through for years now.

But for me, this combination of grit and beauty is what won the mister and I over.

My first vision of Greece was white-walled verandas overlooking the expanse of the Aegean Sea.  But three weeks after we set foot in the place considered as the cradle of Western civilization, the birthplace of the Olympic games, mathematical principles and mythology, I realized it's much much more than that.

I've yet to finish sorting our 4,000++ photos from the trip but let me give you a glimpse of how this country of olives, archeological sites, wine, lamb meat and warm smiles exceeded our #GreekExpectations.

Welcoming the new year in the land of night markets and stinky tofu


It was a battle between #TaiwantItThatWay or #TaiwantySeventeen.


In this day and age of real time uploads, having a hashtag for every trip has become mandatory.  My sister insisted hers was better (#TaiwantySeventeen).  I insisted it was too corny.  We just laughed through it the whole time and, as of posting date, we still haven't been able to agree on which hashtag actually worked best lol.

2016: The year the Universe finally winked at me

This 2016, I start my annual closing of the year post with a quote from one of my all-time favorite movies:

"Life is not merely a series of meaningless accidents or coincidences. Uh-uh. But rather, its a tapestry of events that culminate in an exquisite, sublime plan."
-Dean Kansky, Serendipity

2014 was all about taking risks.  2015 was about making sacrifices.  And 2016?  Well 2016 has been about reaping the fruits of those risks and sacrifices.

It wasn't all peachy at first.  The journey to your personal legend can be confusing, rough, and altogether frustrating.  It comes to a point where you actually wonder if the Universe is making fun of you.

This year made me realize once again that there is always, ALWAYS a bigger picture.  And the moment we stop being short-sighted, step back, and look at how everything that's been happening in our lives is leading us towards to where we're meant to be, we will also see that the Universe is actually winking at us.

I always say "Things happen for a reason".  Now let me ammend that to:  "Things happen for a reason at the right time."

2016 has seen me smile, frown, laugh, cry.  2017?  I bet it will see me do those again... And more.  But no matter what, I am ready to embrace everything the Universe throws at me knowing that eventually, she will reveal her sublime plan :)


CHEERS TO THE YEAR THAT WAS AND TO THE YEAR TO COME, EVERYONE!


Bring it on, 2017.  Taken during our trip to Singapore last June where the then-boyfriend proposed :)  
On that note, this is my last blog entry as a single woman ;) 

Project Pilipinas: Calauit Safari Park, a piece of Africa in the Philippines

A couple of years ago, I launched a passion project called Project Pilipinas.  The goal was simple:  help spread information about the beautiful places in the Philippines by posting about my past travels within the country along with some useful information (how to get there, how to go around, places to stay, tips, etc.).  So hopefully, when researching about the Philippines, some random Googler (be it foreigner or local) will come across my blog and be encouraged to visit all those places.  Read more about that project here.



"OMG there it is!" 

I was like a starstruck fan seeing my favorite celebrity when I caught a glimpse of the long orange neck emerging from the clump of trees from afar.

I know, I know.  You can easily see a giraffe in the zoo.  But seeing them in the wild was a different kind of experience--like you've been transported to South Africa or one of those Jurassic Park movies.

Well, we might as well have been in South Africa at that time.  We were in Calauit Island, a 3,700 hectare island of the coast of Palawan that has been home to wild animals from Africa since the 1970's.



Project Pilipinas: Pinatubo Virgins

A couple of years ago, I launched a passion project called Project Pilipinas.  The goal was simple:  help spread information about the beautiful places in the Philippines by posting about my past travels within the country along with some useful information (how to get there, how to go around, places to stay, tips, etc.).  So hopefully, when researching about the Philippines, some random Googler (be it foreigner or local) will come across my blog and be encouraged to visit all those places.  Read more about that project here.





This article was originally posted here.  Some of the information have been updated for accuracy.


"Manong, malayo pa ho ba? (Are we there yet?)”

I shouted through the rumbling of the engine while trying not to inhale the dust swirling around us as our all-terrain vehicle (ATV) sped through the ash-covered road.

We were in Capas, Tarlac -- on our way to the now-famous crater of Mt. Pinatubo.

Calaguas Island: The Boracay of the 80's


The moment our boat docked by the shore of Mahabang Buhangin in Calaguas Island, it took all of our willpower not to jump into the water headfirst. 

I mean how can you resist these waters that give the hashtag #nofilter an entirely new meaning?



Calaguas is located in the Philippine province of Camarines Norte. It includes the major islands of Tinaga Island and Guintinua Island, the minor Maculabo Island, as well as several other minor islands.

Most of the islands are under the administrative jurisdiction of Vinzons, while the minor island of Maculabo is under the jurisdiction of the municipality of Paracale. (Read more here.)

With its crystal clear waters and powdery white sand, we all agreed: It's the Boracay of the 1980's.  And a plus (for me anyway) is the lack of signal on the island.  It made for a full weekend of being totally unplugged--enjoying the island without the distraction of social media and unnecessary calls or messages.

Entering the magical world of Harry Potter


Never mind that the voice-overs on all the rides were in Japanese or that the hallways were too crowded, there wasn't room to swing a Kneazle.  We were in Hogwarts!  HOGWARTS!!!

Okay, Koryn, hold your hippogriffs.

Discovering the City of Himeji


To say that it is Japan's most spectacular castle seemed like a sweeping declaration.  But with almost every article describing it as such, I thought the Himeji Castle was worth a visit during our trip.

And it was.  Because more than the castle, it was the whole city that charmed us and made us wish we could stay longer.  But since we had limited time, we just made do of that one day we had to explore the second largest city in the Hyogo Prefecture.

Neon Lights 2015: Two days and six stages of music, arts, and a night with Damien Rice

The inaugural Neon Lights Music and Arts Festival in Singapore.

Several months back, the boyfriend and I created a list of musicians whom we would save up and spend for should they visit Asia.  Being the legit music geek, his list was waaaaaaay longer than mine which included Damien Rice.

Coincidentally, a few weeks after the talk, he found out that the Irish singer-songwriter was scheduled to perform at the first ever Neon Lights Music and Arts Festival in Singapore.  Boy, you should've seen his excitement!  He practically spent the whole night researching on festival tickets and searching for flights. As if he wasn't giddy with anticipation already, Rachael Yamagata was later on added to the festival lineup.

Needless to say, last November 2015, we found ourselves at the Fort Canning Park in Singapore, cozying up on the grounds along with 10,000 other enthusiasts, enjoying the massive celebration of music and arts at the weekend festival. 

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