1.14.2017

The Beauty of the Philippine Islands


With 7,107 islands all over the Philippines, it is no surprise that our country boasts of abundant resources we consider our gem and wealth. In Palawan alone, two sites were recognized by the UNESCO under the natural world heritage category: The Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park or Underground River and the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park.


The video  by the Portuguese travel blogger João Cajuda showcases some of the islands situated in Luzon and Visayas regions: Palawan, Bohol, Antique and Cebu - all with stunning beauty. Of course there are so many places that were not captured like the breathtaking Batanes, Ilocos, Siargao, Davao, Bicol, to name a few.



Video from João Cajuda posted on January 7, 2017

12.15.2016

Ending The Year Right

2017 is several winks away from now. While many are busy shopping for Christmas presents and rendering over time work to finish a project, some continue dwelling on what is ugly while complaining about every situation they're in. Please read through to kick start a new year.


Photo from The Love Compass


1. Let go of unpleasant memories, emotions and even relationships that may hamper your growth. Choose to forgive and move forward but always remember the lessons learned after going through a challenging situation to avoid being in the same dilemma. You will not only be freer and happier but there will be a sense of peace in your lives.


Photo from Lucy Lews

 
2. Maintain a grateful heart. Say thank you not only when someone helps but whenever you find the opportunity and smile. Spread the sparkle and the positivity around you. Remember people on their birthdays and anniversaries. Email someone who played a significant role or motivated you to do more and be better. Similarly always give thanks and praises to the Heaven for everything.


Photo from iStock


3. Never stop learning. Be as curious as a child to widen your horizons. Be adventurous and immerse yourself to a new culture. Embrace change. Do not compete with anyone but be more than you were yesterday. Avoid multi-tasking but rather focus on one thing at a time to avoid mediocrity. Ask questions. Enroll in a course to better your craft, google and read more.


I bet you have many more ideas to end the year right. What matters is you do it now until it becomes a good habit. And as we look forward to a brighter tomorrow, may we always remember to be thankful, to let go and to strive for excellence! Happy holidays!



12.13.2016

Celebrating Christmas the Groupon Coupon Way



**Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.**


The merriest occasion is fast-approaching. In the Philippines, this is celebrated even at the start of the ber months when Christmas carols are played in the radio, the malls and houses meticulously decorated and when bibingka and puto bungbong are sold!


Since I was a kid, I looked forward to this festivity. I felt that it was prettier everywhere I went to, the people kinder and joy overflowing. As I matured, I still feel the same except that I am obligated to buy presents for my family and friends.


Similarly, during this time of the year, my family and I never fail to travel. Thanks to Groupon Coupon! We are able to enjoy each others company within our budget in an uninterrupted manner despite the bustle due to the busy season. TripAdvisor and Home Away are great sites to visit where you can find huge discounts for hotels and flights on your next vacation. This is our way of rewarding ourselves for working hard during the entire year for a grand holiday either abroad, in a tropical resort or in a themed hotel. What's even better are the vast choices of promos to satisfy your preferences. Book your hotel now and celebrate the merriest Christmas this year!



11.24.2016

Historical Places Around Taipei

Martyr's Shrine (War Memorial)



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National Palace Museum



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Presidential Office Building


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Around Taipei



The roads around Taipei are clean. There are not so many vehicles but I noticed that the motorcycle is the most common form of vehicle even the ladies use. The bicycle was also seen along the thoroughfare. It is like Makati or Ortigas minus the congested streets.


Generally, the people are kind, soft-spoken and polite. According to the taxi driver who drove us around, the Japanese influenced the Taiwanese for many years, perhaps the reason for these qualities. A number of people can also speak English.


Obviously, Taipei values its environment. There are so many trees around the place. I even saw newly planted trees with bamboo poles to support it from standing erect. Though the country is industrialized, the wind was seemingly fresh. And I was glad to discover so many good things about this country I never knew in the past.



11.20.2016

Food Around Taipei

One of the best things to do and is always in my bucket list when traveling is to have a taste of the local cuisines, to mingle with the people, observe the environment and enjoy. The moment I get out of the cabin, I keenly look around me and start learning and appreciating.


 Let me share with you the things I enjoyed eating during my entire stay in Taipei:


Bubble Tea is a tea-based drink that originated in Taiwan in the 80s. Having a sip of this refreshing drink with chewy tapioca balls is something you shouldn't miss. It came with a tray of nuts and chips served by truly friendly and helpful staff.


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After being settled, we searched for a place to eat situated on a street filled with many more restaurants, bakeries, convenience stores and shops. Not so far away from the hotel, we walked to the nearest stop light and chose what seemed appealing - a very local restaurant selling the popular noodles and dumplings.


Chili wanton noodles

Steamed dumplings

Wanton noodles


Admittedly, it was very filling. The noodles abundant. The dumplings encased in smooth wanton wrappers that were flavorful and tender unlike the ones we get from the kiosks here filled with extenders.

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My Favorite Place is a restaurant and pub populated by mostly the expats to unwind after a long workday. The food in their menu is fusion. Interestingly, in house water was never served here and in all the restaurants I've been to. They were sold.


Salmon fried rice

Combination platter of chicken wings, fish fillet, cheese sticks, calamares, onion rings


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Before heading to the indoor observatory at Taipei 101, we went around their food court to select from so many food stalls! Undeniably, I was happy with my order. Just the right amount to keep me going until dinner time.


(L-R) Kushikatsu (fried) sweet potato, tako and tempura

Irresistible strawberry custard puff and iced coffee latte

At Agnes b. Cafe

Ornate tiles I needed to capture


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Cold with tofu, tapioca pearls and sweet potato

Hot with tapioca pearls and glutinous rice

Meet fresh is a refreshment shop that sells fresh juices, popcorn and those in the photo which is like our version of ginataan.


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Souvenirs


1 - Green bean cake. This is like our version of polvoron. My mom thought that perhaps it is made of munggo because of its color. It is creamy but not as sweet.
2 - Chips from 7 11.
3 - Tart nuts. These are packed individually and each has different nuts and ingredients in it.
4 - Mochi made of glutinous rice with six filling likes taro, mung beans, adzuki beans, sesame and peanuts like our own tikoy only elongated in shape.
5 - Pineapple cake. One box contains 10 cakes in a golden box like gold bar that is square in shape.
6 - Drip coffee from the hotel.
7 - 3-in-1 Nescafe Gold which I don't see in the supermarket here these days.


We also had a late lunch at Starbucks once. I failed to capture what we ate because I was amused to witness a lady leaving the table she was occupying for us. We had their turkey sandwich and cold coffee. On another instance, we had dinner at another local restaurant.