Sunday, June 29, 2014

Travelogue: Hanoi, Vietnam (Halong Bay 1)

It's been more than a month since we visited Hanoi and I can still remember every moment of it. It may not be as organised and clean but Hanoi definitely left memories that I will treasure forever. It has a charm that no other city exudes. Though not all of our experiences were good (because we were scammed by a taxi driver), it is still an experience that I will remember. For the lessons that we learned, for the friendly people we met, for the good food that filled our hungry stomachs, and the shopping that made us all bankrupt - Hanoi, I will definitely see you again!

Hanoi is not a place that I really intended to visit this year. I wanted to go to Ho Chi Minh City but one of my friends insisted on Hanoi (for Halong Bay) and I must say, I thank her for doing so. This is my first out of the country trip with my friends and I can't wait to do more out of the country travels with them! This is an experience that I surely enjoyed. 

 Top, Sunglasses and Necklaces: Forever 21 | Shorts: Clothes for the Goddess | 
Shoes: Sperry Top-Sider| Watch: Swatch | Bag: LAMB for Le Sportsac

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Summer Escapade 2014: El Nido, Palawan Part 2


More than 2 months have passed since I set foot on El Nido sand and until now I am still reminiscing of the short but sweet moments we shared. I will definitely be back in El Nido. But for the meantime, for those of you who want to explore El Nido, here is a quick travel guide for you:

Hotel:
As I mentioned in my previous post, I would suggest booking in any of the resorts in Corong Corong instead of the town proper for the beachfront and sunset view. This is something that most - if not all - hotels in the town proper cannot offer. Though you will have to travel about 10 minutes in a tricycle to get to the town proper, I think the exchange is worth it. Please click on the link for some of the different hotels/resorts in Corong Corong:

Restaurant:
There are actually a wide selection of restaurants in El Nido. You can go from cheap (about 100php to 200php) or lavish (about 500php and above). You can choose from Italian to seafood to Filipino - the options seem endless. If you chose to book your accommodation in Corong Corong and are too lazy to get a tricycle to take you to the town proper, don't worry as most of the resorts there offer dining beachfront. But if you want more options, here are some of my suggested restaurants to try at the town proper:
As I mentioned in part 1, there are 2 different ways to get to El Nido:
    • Puerto Princesa
    • Coron
I would suggest going via Puerto Princesa if you are in a budget and due to time constraints. It is nearer to EL Nido than Coron is. Once you land in Puerto Princesa airport, you also have 2 options on how to get to El Nido:
    • Van
    • Bus
I would recommend the van if you want to get to El Nido faster. But I warn you though that the van drivers are not the best drivers. I heard innumerable foreigners complain about how bad the driver the was. Also, there is very limited space inside a van so it may be uncomfortable for tall and robust people (good thing I am short and thin). But if you are not in a hurry and you want a more comfortable area, a bus would be a better option. Please click on the links for price, schedule, and directions.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hallyu Corner: Overdose


Another segment of this blog I want to write regularly is anything related to the Korean Wave e.g. Korean dramas, Kpop, Korean food, language, etc. 

I know, for EXO fans out there, Overdose is not fresh and hot anymore as it has been released over a month ago but I just had to let everyone know my two cents about it. Also, I know some of you may not like to read this kind of article but as you all know I caught the hallyu and this is my blog anyway which means I can write whatever I want, right (yeah, that's just me justifying why I am writing this article)?

I was not a fan of EXO until Growl so yes, I am a newbie to this group. I thought their first few songs when they debuted were okay but not something I will play on repeat. But then came Growl. Wow. I was just smitten. It was on repeat on my iPad for weeks and I just can't seem to like any other song than this. Growl set the bar for me for EXO. I was expecting a major comeback for them this year and I was really expecting something that will succeed Growl. And then they released, Overdose.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Product Review: Banila Co Prime Primer Classic Matte

One of the things I would like to make a regular part of this blog is product reviews. Us girls just love them makeup and skincare products! We always want to try new things we see in the market and if we like them, we always like to share them with other people. I've been buying so much makeup and skincare products lately - especially Korean and Japanese brands which y'all know I adore (which is a poison pill because once you use 'em, you will get so addicted that you can never stop using). Hopefully, I get to post one review every week *fingers crossed!

I find using a primer prior to foundation/BB cream application a must. It keeps all other face makeup adhere longer and seals in skincare products. One that I have recently been loving is the Prime Primer Classic Matte from Banila Co. I used to be a huge fan of the Etude House Baby Skin base in green but I believe it has been faced-out already (correct me if I'm mistaken). So upon searching for a new staple green primer, I came across this one from Banila Co. With so much good reviews under its belt, I was sold.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Summer Escapade 2014: El Nido, Palawan Part 1


El Nido, Palawan has been on my bucket list of beaches to visit in like forever. So finally, my friend and I decided to hop on a plane and fly there. It is one of the best decisions I made in my entire life (or maybe I am exaggerating?). But needless to say, El Nido is one of the cleanest and most beautiful places I have ever seen. Clear waters, blue sky, friendly people...our vacation was worth every penny spent.

If you are planning a vacation there, here are some tips I would like to share with you:
  • Money is always a big issue when going on vacation. I know a lot of people who experienced some financial difficulties during their vacation. In El Nido, there is only one ATM machine that is very unreliable. It only accepts a few cards and is most of the time offline. I suggest bringing with you more than enough cash. Go beyond your budget as you may spend more than what you intend to (especially with the tours and food). But, if you find it uncomfortable to bring so much cash, a debit card/ credit card will do. There are a few restaurants there like Art Cafe and El Nido Grill and Restaurant found in the town proper that accepts that. You have to take note though that there is an additional charge - 10% if I remember correctly - for payment in such forms. Or, if you suddenly find yourself short on cash, you can contact someone who can send you money through Western Union or Cebuana Lhuiller.
  • I suggest booking a room in Corong Corong rather than in the town proper of El Nido. Why? Simply because of the view. Room rates I believe are also cheaper in Corong Corong than in the town proper. You not only get to swim in the beach whenever you want but you also get to relax inside your own room, open your window and savor the breathtaking view. The best way to relax in a beach, in my opinion. Take note though, that you will have to ride a tricycle if you want more food options to get to the town proper. Otherwise, there are many resorts there that have restaurants as well.
  • Food is not that cheap. There are many restaurants there offering a variety of dishes and cuisines but they are Manila price (definitely not what I would expect for a small town/province like El Nido. This is probably because of the many foreign visitors they have. And you know how it is in popular tourist destinations - everything is expensive.
  • To enjoy El Nido better, I suggest spending more than a couple of days there. My friend and I spent only about 2 days and a half and it really wasn't enough. There are so many places/islands to visit that we weren't able to enjoy because of time constraints. If you want to really enjoy your vacation here and be able to say that you were in El Nido, spend about 3-4 days (but you will probably get really burnt spending so much time in the beach).
  • Swimming is necessary. There are some beaches I find that swimming isn't really mandatory. I mean, you will enjoy the place even if you just lounge around the shore or party in the bars near the shore (just like in Boracay) but in El Nido, you have to swim! You won't be able to fully enjoy the island hopping tour if you don't swim. Don't be afraid though as the tour guides will help you if you don't know how to swim.
  • Don't be surprised if you see topless women sunbathing and couples doing something naughty on the beach. Surprisingly, it has become commonplace there (yes, I was really shocked to see so many topless women and naughty couples on the beach. I though this only happens in Boracay? Well at least here in the Philippines).
  • Bring medications for dizziness and nausea as the roads from Puerto Princesa have very sharp curves. I don't remember traversing a straight road. For 6 hours, we were only traveling on curves. 
  • There are two options for you to get to El Nido: via Coron (Busuanga) or via Puerto Princesa. If you have very limited time and you only want to go to El Nido, I suggest going via Puerto Princesa. It is cheaper and travel time from Puerto Princesa to El Nido is shorter than from Coron. But if you have more time (and more money) to spend, going via Coron is a better option. Coron is also a very popular summer destination so going to El Nido via Coron is like killing two birds with one stone.
Enjoy the pictures! :)

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Reformat

This is just a short update about my life and the direction I intend for this blog to take starting this month. I know I have not updated this blog enough the past 2 months but that was because my computer crashed. It took me a while to finally decide on which laptop to purchase and of course, I had to save up for it. So finally, I hope can blog more often again from now on as I really missed writing and posting pictures. 

As for the title, yeah, I am thinking of doing some format changes to this blog. Don't worry though as those of you who follow this blog and visit for the articles and outfit shots, I will not let go of that. I am just thinking of adding some things to this blog which I am interested to write about. Hopefully, people will read all the articles I write even if they are not fashion-related or life lessons. 

For now, this is just a photo dump of when my family and I went to an amusement park. It felt so nostalgic! Brings back memories of when I was a little girl begging our parents to go to this amusement park because I found it so cool.

Hope you look forward to the articles I have in-store for you! :)