Hobonichi 2020 Haul (ほぼ日 2020)

The last Hobonichi haul I’ve done was way back in 2018. After a “Hobonichi 2019 Haul” last year, I haven’t posted anything since.

The truth is that after tons of spreads filled top to bottom in my 2018 Hobonichi, I got burnt out and felt tired to write or fill up my 2019 Hobonichi. It’s sad to see that my pages aren’t as inspiring or they aren’t as fun to do like my 2018 Hobonichi. While I do fill up pages and some spreads from time to time, I didn’t enjoy it as much.

Sad, but not discouraged, I decided that for 2020, I would be getting a Day-Free Hobonichi so that I won’t be restricted to the number of pages (or the lack thereof) I use for the year—this way, I’ll only record those moments in the year that are truly meaningful to me! Wish me luck! Now, on with the haul:

This year’s box is larger than last year’s and when I saw it, I got really excited!

(insert angels singing here)

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PaperCon 2019 Haul!

Two weeks ago, I worked at PaperCon under Abbey’s booth with two volunteers: Trina (who so happens to be a friend from college) and Nice (a new friend, yey!) It was ultimately a rewarding experience—we had so much fun manning a booth and talking to the customers! Before it got too busy, I was able to take a couple of photos of the event:

It still amazes me that people lined up around 2-3 hours before the event itself to get a hold of the VIP ticket (which was limited to 200 only!) Salute to you guys for bracing the hot weather and standing up for so long, haha.

Just look at that line!

Setting up (a.k.a. the calm before the storm.)

At 10:00AM on the dot, the doors officially opened, and a swarm of people entered. We were selling stationery and books left and right, and we didn’t realize how much time has passed until one of us called for a lunch break!

Team ABC! (L-R: Abbey, me, Trina, and Nice + special mention to Auntie Z for helping us out!)

We took turns taking breaks and going around when it wasn’t too busy. Actually, before PaperCon, I already had an idea of what I wanted to buy (from stalking the online shops of each seller, haha!)—and I’m proud to say that I stayed within my budget. Now, on to my haul!

Cute PaperCon ticket!

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Malaysia 2019!

Hello everyone! 👋🏻

It’s been a couple of days since I’ve been back from my latest adventure, and I’d like to share it with you guys while my memory is still pretty fresh, lol. At the end of last month, from September 25-30, I went to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with Abbey for work!

Day 0

For the first time, I’m starting a travel blog entry with Day 0, haha!

I went to Abbey’s house the day before our trip for work + last-minute packing and we headed for the airport later that evening to “camp out” until our 6AM flight. After hopping from coffee shop to coffee shop to work and kill time, we finally dropped our luggage off and headed for our gate.

Day 1

It was my first time to fly AirAsia, and I had a pleasant experience. Honestly, I don’t remember much of what happened during this flight exactly because I pretty much napped on and off until we landed.

View from my seat.

Once we landed at 10AM and got through the usual airport procedures, we had some time to kill (because our AirBnb check-in wasn’t until later that afternoon)—what better way to start the day off with breakfast? Our first official eat in Malaysia was at OldTown White Coffee. I ordered the iced lemon tea (yum!) and the French toast. The tea was excellent, but I found the French toast too buttery? (Still ate everything though, haha!)

First meal in KL!

After our meal, we booked a Grab and headed for our AirBnb. It took a while to find, but we made it. We dropped our stuff off and rested for a bit before heading for the nearby IKEA (insert choir singing here.) We each grabbed a shopping bag and slowly filled it with things as we walked through each section, finally reaching the end and paying for our things. The funny thing is that we both forgot to buy the things we needed to buy and had to go around once again (after dropping our things off in the lockers!) In the middle of our second round, we had a break at the IKEA Food Hall for dinner:

Dinner at IKEA’s food hall!

Abbey and I ordered the salmon fillet with lemon and dill sauce and vegetable medallions (and an add-on of two more pieces–these are my absolute favorite!) We also got a serving of soup and a cup of iced tea. For takeaway, I ordered some juice and bread for breakfast for the coming days.

Day 1 damage!

We booked a Grab back to the AirBnb and relaxed until it was time to sleep.

Our AirBnb! (The stairs are scary for me, but it was a great place!)

It’s barely been a day, and I’ve managed to fill up half of my suitcase already! (It amazes me how I was able to fit everything in my luggage.)

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MIBF 2019 Book Haul

Hello, it’s been a while!

Lately, I’ve been busy with work (a welcome thing compared to earlier this year when I was uninspired to work or do anything really)—but the next few months are full of adventure and events, which I’m excited to share with you! For now, I’ll share with you my MIBF (Manila International Book Fair) haul this year. I’ve posted my haul every year since 2015, and it’s nice to see how my tastes have evolved. I’ve been more and more conscious of book-buying every year. I ask myself questions like “Will I read this more than once?” “Will I want this to be on my shelf for several years?” “Will this book add to my being or not?” Armed with these questions, I went to the book fair with a list of book-investments I’d want to purchase.

First, I got the 75th-anniversary edition of Edith Hamilton’s Mythology. I first read this book in my first or second year in high school (nearly 7 years ago?!) and fell in love with the stories. I got myself a copy at a local second-hand bookstore and reread it once every so often when I get the urge to jump into the world of gods and Greek tragedy.

Look how beautiful the cover is!

Gorgeous illustration inside!

I can’t wait to re-read the stories one of these days!

My older, worn-out copy of the book!

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Big Bad Wolf Book Fair Haul (2019)

It’s time for another book haul!

I first went to the Big Bad Wolf Book Fair last year with one of my best friends, Nicole. I’d won VIP tickets and we excitedly went book shopping before class that day (it was really convenient that the book fair location is near our university!) The Big Bad Wolf Book Fair is easily one of the best book fairs I’ve been to. The books offered were all interesting (not to mention very cheap!)

This year, they announced that they will be holding their book fair in Pampanga, which is easily accessible to me via the highway from where I live. I tried out for their VIP Day contest again and won! I invited my aunt, my sister, and our driver to tag along (each pass is good for two people) and off we went.

The VIP tickets—it looks so nice!

Coming to the book fair, I prepared a specific budget and didn’t really have specific books to look for. For me, the Big Bad Wolf Book Fair specifically is a chance for me to discover new and wonderful books.

The entrance to the book fair!

Not surprisingly, there were a lot of people at the book fair. (And this was VIP day! What more when it opens to the public the next day?) After around 2-3 hours of going around gathering books, we finally finished our shopping and left the events place.

Lots of people and books inside!

Without further adieu, here is my haul for this year’s Big Bad Wolf Book Fair:

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Instant Memories of 2019

I finally had my latest instant camera film developed and scanned. As compared to my previous roll, this one lasted me almost three months before I finally finished up all the film inside. I was able to bring it with me to Japan during my “hooray-we-finally-graduated” trip last March and my trip to Seoul last April. Shockingly, I didn’t even use it up during the two trips (mind you, this camera had just around 30 shots, too!) I was surprised with how sparingly I was using the instant camera. Maybe I’ll use it more generously next time.

Anyway, here are some of the best/cleanest shots from the roll!
(Note: None of these images were edited/color corrected aside from resizing it + adding my logo!)

Some shots from my Japan trip:

Alecca took this photo in our Osaka hostel—we were in the lobby/common room for hostel guests.

Alecca took this photo of me in USJ, behind the Flying Snoopy ride (which was closed for the day.)

Took this quick photo of Alecca (L) and Nicole (R) while we were waiting in line at USJ!

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Our First Visit to Masungi Georeserve

For quite some time already, my friends and I have been wanting to visit Masungi Georeserve for a trek. We’ve read blogs about it, saw it circulating on social media, and was hooked with the advocacy of the place and the idea of hiking with gorgeous views around us (and, as a bonus, it’s a great bonding experience!) Finally, our schedules synced up and we booked slots (via Klook) to a Masungi tour and counted the days down ’til adventure. The agency that handled our tour was Tanlines Philippines and they did such a wonderful job. The tour included a round trip van ride to and from Makati and Masungi—which is the main reason why we booked a tour rather than go there ourselves.

On the morning of our hike, we woke up bright and early and made our way to the Tanlines PH HQ for breakfast and briefing. We also met up with the other people who would join us on the day’s tour.

Filipino breakfast courtesy of Tanlines PH.

After breakfast, we made our way to the van and headed for Masungi. The ride there took around two hours, which gave us time to catch up on some sleep (we did wake up at 4:30 AM, after all!) When we finally arrived at Masungi, we headed for the final briefing (and last bathroom break!) before starting our trek.

Before the hike when we’re all still so fresh and energetic, HAHA.

The whole group on today’s trek!

We were immediately faced with our first challenge. Our guide told us that this was the “training course” of the entire hike—he said it was the easiest climb we’ll see in the entire trail. I swallowed my fears and climbed up the rope. The feeling I got once I finished the climb was immediately satisfying. I wanted more.

Courtney and I smiling as if what we were doing was nothing, LOL.

After a couple of minutes, we finally reached the iconic Sapot. The view from the top of the web was amazing. Both the hike and the view made us breathless, hehe.

Do you see the spider on the left?

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Korea 2019!

Last April 17-21, I went to South Korea with family. It was my first time in Korea, and I was excited to explore a new country—at least, a small part of it anyways, haha! Going into this trip was refreshing as I didn’t really know what to expect from the trip. I did the research and planned the itinerary alongside my aunt and this is what we did during the five days we had in Seoul. (Brace yourselves for a picture-heavy post!)

Day 1

We made our way to the airport in the morning and flew using Asian Airlines (another first for me!) and it was a pleasant experience over-all. The in-flight Bibimbap meal they served was fun to “make” and delicious—a great meal to welcome us to Korea.

The in-flight bibimbap came with sides + instructions on the side.

Fast forward to a few hours and we finally landed. We claimed our luggage and our rental wifi device and hopped into the express bus to Myeongdong. The views during the ride there was beautiful and the lengthy bus ride allowed me to catch some Zs.

We stayed at the Ibis Ambassador Myeongdong Hotel, which was located right beside the famous Myeongdong shopping + street food area.

View from the lobby.

After we checked in and dropped our things off in our rooms, we went down to the streets and had a variety of street food for dinner. I tried to take as many photos as I could during this portion, but it’s hard to simultaneously stuff your face with food and take good photos, hee hee.

Some mini gimbap—selling at a set of 6 per order. Yum.

A variety of sausages on a stick—also yum.

Large dumplings? Yes, please.

Finally got to try Korean banana milk—it’s so good! One sip and I’m hooked.

As expected, the entire area was flooded with stalls and people. It was overwhelming, but not in a bad way.

So many people!

Out of all the things I’ve eaten during the first night, the most memorable bite was the Korean Egg Bread (which I now learn is called gyeran-ppang)—my goodness, it’s sooo good. I wanted to hoard several pieces and bring them home.

Don’t mind me; I’m just here drooling just looking at this picture.

With stomachs full, we walked back to our hotel and called it a day.

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Japan 2019 (Part 4: Hiroshima + Osaka)

We’re finally at the last part of my Japan 2019 adventure! (Click here to read part 1, part 2, and part 3.) It was so much fun writing and editing all the photos (all 140+ photos)—it’s as if I’m traveling back there again through my writing. I hope you guys enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it!

Day 9: Hiroshima + Miyajima Island

Out of all the places we’ve visited so far, I admit that I was most excited about Hiroshima. It was an entirely new place for me, and I’ve been wanting to visit the area for a long time. So after nine hours on the night bus, we finally arrived at Hiroshima Station:

The bus conveniently announcing our arrival.

It was another cold morning when we got down the bus; it was like an instant wake-up call for us! We walked to Hiroshima Station’s streetcar platform and headed for our hostel, J-Hoppers Hiroshima. We freshened up quickly and had a light kombini breakfast before heading for the Motoyasu Pier to board the ferry going to Miyajima Island. (While it wasn’t the cheapest way to get there, it was the most convenient way for us as our hostel was within walking distance to the Hiroshima Peace Park.)

We got seats on the ferry that face the windows!

What a peaceful sight.

What’s cool about this ferry is that it cruises slowly on the river, letting us enjoy the calm views, before speeding into the sea!

The Atomic Bomb Dome.

Forty-five minutes later, we reached the gorgeous Miyajima Island. We didn’t have any specific plans except to eat, take lots of nice photos, and walk around enjoying the sights. We were welcomed by a few deer friends:

Oh, deer!

Trying hard to blend in?

After saying hello to the deer, we spotted our first eat of the afternoon: curry oyster buns! Man, I love oysters and curry, and to see the two of them combined into one heavenly pouch made me really excited. I immediately bought one with no hesitation.

The verdict? I would gladly go all the way back to Miyajima just to eat another one of these. Delicious!

Continue reading “Japan 2019 (Part 4: Hiroshima + Osaka)”

Japan 2019 (Part 3: Kyoto)

Part three of my Japan exploration trip is here! (Click here to read part 1 and part 2!)

Last I left from the previous blog post, my friends and I were in Osaka getting ready to go to Kyoto.

Day 6: Kyoto Exploration + Kichi Kichi

We woke up to a slow morning and eventually made our way to Kyoto from Osaka via the express train. Luckily, our hostel, Kyoto Hana Hostel, was within walking distance from Kyoto Station, so (after a quick stop at the Kyoto main post office) we dropped off our luggage right away and headed to Nishiki Market for a late lunch/street-food-food-trip.

Immediately, as soon as we arrived at Nishiki Market, I found my first bite:

I got this large unagi sushi for ¥300! Yum.

After practically inhaling the unagi, we walked for about twenty steps when I found the next thing to eat: tofu doughnuts!

Six tofu doughnuts for ¥300!

After barely even entering the market and eating unagi sushi AND mini tofu doughnuts, I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t last until we reach the end of the market, haha! Also, we had dinner reservations around 5PM and I didn’t want to feel too full for that later, so I exercised a little bit of self-control after the doughnuts. My friends and I decided to split the next thing we all wanted to try:

I can’t recall what this is exactly, but it’s like a pork pancake?

Moving on in the market, we unexpectedly found a Snoopy Chaya branch! I’m not a big fan of matcha (oops) but I AM a big Peanuts/Snoopy fan, so I went in and looked around.

Happy kid! I also bought a few souvenirs here, hehe.

Look at that Snoopy mochi! So cute!

We went on shopping and eating once every so often (at this point, I forgot to take photos of the fresh sashimi I’ve eaten and others–oops) before heading for Kichi Kichi for our reservations! A little backstory—I literally checked the website every Sunday at 3PM (that was the date and time when the restaurant will open reservations for a specific time when I was reserving) until reservations opened; so I’ve been waiting for this for quite some time, you could say! (I actually got the reservations for this on my birthday, Feb. 10! It was a nice birthday gift hehe.)

Anyways, back to Kyoto! We waited outside the restaurant early and was able to get the counter seats (we were the second group to be seated), which is a big deal for me as the restaurant alone could only seat eight people at a time.

So honored and happy to sit right across from Chef Motokichi Yukimura!

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