Week 37/52 : Her heart was a secret garden and the walls were very high

Another photo from our Korea trip last month. This one was shot at the Han River park near our AirBnb. It was only a 10-minute walk away from where we stayed and we enjoyed visiting the park whenever we had some free time (which was only twice, unfortunately). The park had these huge, beautiful flower fields so of course I grabbed the chance to take a photo there for my 52-week project.

It’s only been a month but I really miss Korea. It’s such a beautiful place. And the fact that Brinks and Camille are there together right now makes me so jealous. I wish I could join them but there’s only 2 weeks left till the end of the semester which means I’m drowning in checkables again T__T

Thanks Amie for taking the photo!

(Quote is by William Goldman from The Princess Bride)



Week 36/52 : Namiseom

I already posted a picture on Instagram with these ginkgo trees but I figured I’d use another shot for my 52-week project. After all, I am 11 weeks behind T__T

I went to Korea last month and of course I scheduled a visit to the beautiful Nami Island. I’ve seen so many photos of it online and there was no way I was going to miss seeing it in person. One of the most famous tourist spots in Nami Island is the Ginkgo lane, especially around October because the leaves start turning this beautiful golden color. As a result, the place was packed and it was very hard to get a photo without anyone in the background. I had to remove most of them while I was editing this. I probably could have done a better job but I don’t have a lot of time to edit these days so this will have to do.

Thank you to Amie for the photo 😀

INSTABITS : October 2017

Hallu everyone! This entry is late, as usual, but work responsibilities are piling up. Whenever I do manage to get some free time, I rarely have enough energy left to do anything that requires me to think. Most of the time I just binge-watch Youtube videos until I fall asleep.  Anyway, the semester is about to end, and my other work responsibilities are going to reduce significantly in a couple of days. I’ll definitely be celebrating next week.

Most of October’s INSTABITS were taken during our trip to Korea last month. We were there for a conference but of course we did our best to squeeze in as many touristy things that we could do. My skin broke out so badly because sleep became my least priority while we were there. We were only there for a few days so naturally we wanted to make the most of it. I  only got about 4-5 hrs of sleep each night, which is way less than usual. And trust me, having bad skin in Korea (where everyone is pretty much flawless) was not something I wanted.

My first post for October was a groupie with Sir Taps, Sir Marvs and Jorge at Kimbop.

Sir Taps pointed out that we were wearing similar shirts so he wanted to take photos for fun. He was trying to get me to laugh for the photo so here he is showing me a bunch of weird stuff on his phone

Raf and I went to Nuvali one weekend and we decided to have brunch at The Morning After.

I ordered chicken and waffles,  but they didn’t have waffles so they replaced it with pancakes.  The chicken was good, but the pancakes were a little dry.

We also had lunch at Silantro. It was my first time there so of course I had to try their popular beef nachos.

Eugene visited the Philippines this month so Aprille and I met up with him at Seoul Kitchen for dinner. It’s been 3 years since we last saw each other!

The 99th UPLB Loyalty Day was held on October 10. This was the CAS float for the parade.

Sir Taps, Jorge and I bought matching shirts this month. We planned on buying one for Dustin too but we weren’t sure if he’d wear it. But at least he agreed to wear stripes with us.

My baby Mochi celebrated his 2nd birthday this month. He’s such a fat and naughty bunny, but I love him ❤

My mom’s birthday is on the 17th and my parents and I flew to Korea to celebrate. (Sir Marvs, Amie and Ava followed shortly with a later flight).

Our first stop in Korea was non other than Myeongdong. As a K-beauty lover, this was definitely something I couldn’t miss.

Amie and I had a great time looking for our favorite Korean celebrities (well, their standees and posters) while we were there

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Week 35/52 : We are strong when we are weak

A quick portrait I shot right before Halloween. Originally it was meant to be my Halloween SP, but I decided it wasn’t scary enough so I shot another one. This was the first time in a long time that I took a portrait in my bedroom. About 95% of my SPs these year are shot outdoors (and by other people) because I haven’t had that much time to really plan my photos, unlike the earlier years when I started doing the 52-week project. It was fun getting my tripod and strobes out again. It’s been a while since I used them. And this was edited in Photoshop too. These days I’ve been so lazy that most of my post-processing is done using Lightroom (which is so much easier to use if you’re only doing minor adjustments). I used to rely so heavily on Photoshop back them because I did a lot of photomanipulations, but I haven’t had much time to do anything like that this whole year.

The title came from the song “Lions” by Skillet.  Lately I’ve been loving that song a lot, and this particular line reminds of a verse that’s been giving me a lot of encouragement lately:

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me

-2 Corinthians 12:9

Singapore 2017 : Lost in the cloud

Ezra visited the Philippines last February so we grabbed the opportunity to go on a cruise with her. The last time we went on a cruise together as a family was back in 2015, for our Japan-Korea cruise. This time my parents signed us up for a cruise that would take us around Thailand and Malaysia. It begins (and ends) in Singapore so we had to fly there. We wanted to explore Singapore as well so we decided to arrive a day before the ship was scheduled to leave.

We took an early flight so we were all pretty much half awake at the airport. And it didn’t help that Ezra set her alarm to go off at 1am that morning, and just kept snoozing it for the next hour.

We found this giant golden chicken at the airport because 2017 is the year of the rooster. (This was in February so the Lunar New Year had just ended.)

My parents managed to get hold of Singapore Airline’s promo fare, which included free entrance to Gardens by the Bay. We had to claim our tickets to the park  at the airport when we arrived in Singapore:

Just like all our previous visits to Singapore, we stayed at the Strand Hotel in Bencoolen Street.

We used to get the family room but this time Ezra and I shared a room and my parents stayed next door

One thing we love about this place is that it’s located right across the street from a Kopitiam/food court. This year we learned that it’s now called Food Republic.

Naturally that’s where we decided to have lunch

The place was packed, we had to wait a while before securing a table

I ordered my favorite – roast duck and char siew. We also got some sugar cane juice to wash things down

After this we looked for a taxi to take us to Gardens by the Bay:

Just like the airport, the place was decorated for Lunar New Year:

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Week 34/52 : The light has been broken; the spell has begun

This was another photo taken during my El Nido trip. It was right before we got on the boat to go on our sunrise cruise. The resort staff was still preparing so I asked my mom to help me take a few photos on the pier. This was actually taken the same day as my Week 24 self portrait, which means it was also taken on my birthday, yay!

(Quote in the title is by Midgard Morningstar)

One-day tour of Taiwan (Goodbye Golden Princess)

This entry is about the last day of our Japan-Taiwan cruise last September 2016. It’s over a year late, but I can only edit and sort photos during my free time, which I don’t get often.

We spent most of our last morning on the Golden Princess packing to go home. We had to be off the ship by 8am, so we were up bright and early. We were in a rush trying to make it on time so naturally I wasn’t able to take photos, but here’s two from when we were waiting at the Wheelhouse Bar for our turn to disembark.

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Taiwan (1)

Since our flight wasn’t until the evening, we booked an independent tour around Taiwan. Our guide picked us up at the port and took us to Yehliu Geopark, where we saw lots of interesting rock formations near the sea:

Taiwan (46)

Taiwan (4)

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The place was beautiful, but it was also extremely hot! We were sweating buckets by the end of our visit here. In the photo above I was barely able to keep my hand on the rail for the shot because it felt like molten lava.

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Week 33/52 : Witching hour

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! I didn’t think I’d be able to get a halloween self portrait up this year since I haven’t had time to shoot, but I managed to squeeze this in after we got back from the cemetery today. Not my best, but I couldn’t let the day pass without posting one. Especially since I’ve always had a Halloween SP in my 52-week project.

We spent the day visiting cemeteries as usual. It’s been raining all day, so for once it wasn’t that crowded.

Week 31/52 : The earth has music for those who listen

It’s almost Halloween! Just a few more weeks till the end of the year and I’m just about halfway through this project, eeek!

This was taken in Gibraltar during our cruise last July (see, I do take photos, I just can’t find the time to edit and post them T__T). We went to the botanical gardens and looked around for a bit. It was pretty, but extremely hot, so we didn’t stay too long.

Thanks to my mom for taking the photo!

(Quote in the title is by George Santayana)

Week 30/52 : Someday I will be queen, but I will always be myself

I just came back from a glorious 1-week trip to Korea. It was amazing, very much like a dream come true. I started really getting into K-dramas and K-pop back in 2010 (during my MS days), and since then I’ve always wanted to visit Korea. I visited Busan for a few hours back in 2015 (as part of our Japan-Korea cruise), but it was hardly enough time for me to really experience the culture. This past week has been one of the most memorable weeks of my life 🙂

One of my favorite part of the trip was when I got to wear a hanbok (the traditional Korean outfit). During our first few days in Korea we saw several people wearing them and I knew I had to experience it myself. We had the perfect opportunity during our visit to the Gyeongbokgung Palace. It was only two hours but I loved every minute of it. Definitely something I recommend everyone to do 🙂

Thanks to Amie for this shot!

(Quote in the title is by Garnet Til Alexandros XVII from Final Fantasy 9)