Japan 2014: Photoblog Day 1

I took a trip to Osaka, Japan recently with the family. Sadly, Jess couldn't make it out there because of conflicting schedules. We were on Viber with her the whole time though, but obviously it's not the same. I'm still, actually, on a post-Japan high and can't believe the trip is over. I can't wait to come back and maybe visit Tokyo this time?

Technically, the trip was 5 days but our flight came in early in the morning so it was more like 4 days. We settled in an apartment we rented at around 2 am because we took the train from the airport to the city. You could only imagine the trouble we went through with carrying our luggages up and down the stairs (in the cold, no less!). The apartment was lovely. It was well furnished and surprisingly really nice. It was really well designed and one of the most efficient houses I've been to. Also, it was really near a convenience store and pharmacy which was great for us cause all we did was eat. The owners also gave us a portable wifi to bring around while touring Osaka and let me just say, their internet is fast. 

Day 1: Osaka Castle, Cherry Blossoms, old Osaka and the Osaka Skyline

That basically sums up the itinerary for day 1 of our trip. We headed to Osaka Castle to look at the cherry blossoms. They were everywhere! The whole place was so picturesque and the day was just too beautiful that not taking photos would be a crime. The weather was great too because it was just the right amount of cool without the uncomfortable hand numbing feeling. Then we went to a museum which showcased old Osaka. They had a life-size replica of a village and you could even put on kimonos so you could experience the old Osaka lifestyle. After the museum, we headed to the Hanging Garden, which truth be told had no garden, to view the skyline of the city. 

That's the older brother in the backpack, right there!

Mandatory selfies

- K

February Favorites


Here are my favorites for the month of February:
1. Chapstick Lipbalm in Cherry
2. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Crush 
3. Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Scent Spray
4. Aldo watch
5. Rotary watch
6. Forever 21 Shades
7. Claires Gem rings
8. Stone Pendant necklace from Soul Flower
9. Nike Free 5.0
10. A list of my favorite music of the month

<3 K

The Price of Responsibility and Legality

There are many excuses for my absence in this blog and I am completely sticking by them. First, I am drowning in school. College is crazy. Even if I consider this semester my most chill one cause of the lack of majors it still seems hectic. Given the remainder of the semester, it's crunch time for me. So, yet again, I will be on hiatus 'til I taste bittersweet freedom once again. Second, I am drowning in org work. Aside from my school work, I have become very active in my organization at school and have inherited a boat load of responsibilities. I am now part of the Executive Board for the next school year so I've been having continuous meetings. Third, I'm eighteen! Which is not an excuse but I just wanted to share that bit of information. I can now legally drink, get imprisoned and be accused as a pedophile but I don't plan on participating in the last two activities. My birthday was quit uneventful aside from the "surprise" gifts from the best people in the world. (I say surprised with a quotation mark cause I totally saw it coming. They can't out-ninja the ninja.) Fourth, I've been extremely lazy despite the many obligations I have to do. Yes, I suck, I know. Procrastination is my forte though and as much as I'd like to outgrow the habit it's been difficult and I always end up relapsing. Like now, for instance, I'm suppose to be writing a paper for my history class and yet, here I am, on the internet simultaneously clicking through different tabs. Fifth, I've decided to do actual physical activities rather than just sitting on my bed having movie marathons and watching Youtube videos. I've been going to Zumba classes and I must say I've been enjoying it. Sweating it out has been surprisingly fun. 

Anyway, I just wanted to write this quick post in order to tell y'all that I haven't dropped out the face of the earth yet and I continue to exist and breath the same air as you do. To add some visuals to this post, please enjoy this photo of a really cute cat that says forgive me for my lack of commitment. 

- K

Hong Kong Disneyland

My roommate Candy and I decided to hit HK Disneyland yesterday, as it's still our weeklong Chinese New Year holiday. Although we thought there'd be less people (February 4th was no longer an official holiday for Hong Kong), the queues were still long due to the number of overseas/Mainland tourists.

the scene that welcomes all visitors 

We bought our tickets at the gates. The line for entrance passes didn't take much time.
Upon entrance though, we got a little CNY surprise from Disney!

lai see/ang pow (money envelopes from relatives/friends 
commonly given during Chinese New Year) with a 
chocolate coin inside compliments of Disney!

 Sleeping Beauty's Castle

Hong Kong Disneyland now has 7 main zones--Toy Story Land, Mystic Point, Grizzly Gulch, Adventureland, Main Street USA, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. When I last visited, the first three weren't completed yet, so I was psyched to check them out!
Grizzly Gulch, with its mines, geysers and Old West feel 

a miniature version of Mystic Point found inside Mystic Manor

"the gateway to the future: Tomorrowland"

I'm not much of an adrenaline junkie, but two of my favourite rides were roller coasters-- "Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars" (There's a preview in the short video below!) and the ever famous Space Mountain... and despite its infamy among teens (e.g. my brother HAHAHA), I actually liked the last song syndrome-inducing It's A Small World. Another attraction that I thoroughly enjoyed was Mystic Manor because of the overall setting of the mansion. 

watch this in HD!

A trip to Disneyland wouldn't be complete without photo ops. Check out Garden of Wonders in Mystic Point and look at the park guide for info on character sightings!

Of course, we made the most out of our Disneyland visit by staying in the park until the fireworks, which as usual, did not disappoint. Still one of the most epic firework displays I've ever seen. (HK's CNY display is tough competition though, but more of that on another post...) 

P.S. This incredibly delicious Mickey Waffle, served with fresh peaches and maple syrup, did not disappoint either. Even though the price was quite steep for a waffle (50HKD each, although we must factor in Disneyland's monopoly on food...), I felt as if I were living a "happily ever after" with each bite.

- J

Ride the Tung Chung Line (Orange) to Sunny Bay.
Board the Disneyland train on the opposite platform.
Take a 5-10 minute walk to the park entrance. 

Click here for more details. 
Standard tickets for 1-day pass:
  • General Admission Ticket (aged 12-64) HK$450
  • Child Ticket (aged 3-11) HK$320
  • Senior Ticket (aged 65 or above) HK$100

- Strollers are available for rent on Main Street USA.
- Assistance is available for those in wheelchairs.
- Get Fast Passes when you can in order to save time. However, you can't hold several passes at once. You'll have to wait a couple of hours to get your next ones. (but really, these help!)
- Plan your itinerary before entering the main park premises so you can maximise your visit.
- There is a bag check at the entrance. Supposedly, no food and drinks are allowed, but from what we saw, many visitors were able to smuggle in Oreo packs, biscuits, etc. 

Typhoon Haiyan

Hello everybody!

As most of you have probably heard/seen on the news/read online, the Visayas region of the Philippines was left devastated by Typhoon Haiyan around a week and a half ago. Our countrymen are in dire need of prayers, support as well as donations in the form of canned/ready-to-eat goods, drinking water, medicine and first aid kits.

Here at HKU, we Filipinos are going to start collecting donations for the victims tomorrow. I'm sure Katrina served as a volunteer in Ateneo's Covered Courts as well. (They have a goal of 80,000 donation packs and have 24/7 shifts for the repacking of goods! Amazing! Kudos to the Blue Eagles!)

If you're in the Philippines or perhaps in other countries, please refer to the following poster. (Credits to InfographicsArchive.com)

Lend a hand to the Philippines! Your generosity will go a really long way! and remember, every little act of kindness counts! Thank you so much. :)