I wasn’t supposed to have been to Vietnam yet. It wasn’t part of the plan. But plans get shot, or get offsprings, or get dissolved in uncertainty until it turns to nothing… so I treat plans like I do weather forecasts — a guide, not a basis for anything.
Go to Shinjuku in the morning…
… then head on over to Shibuya at night.
Shinjuku has some of Tokyo’s best electronics stores (Bic Camera and Yodobashi Camera) and malls around (Mylord, Lumine, Isetan, and Odakyu) while Shibuya has one of the best nightlife scenes I have ever seen…
Found these somewhere there, underneath the glimmer of Tokyo’s city lights and its serious-looking busy men clad in suits.
We tried to catch the tuna auction at 5 am in Tsukiji Fish Market but the morning chill and the homey bed got the best of us so we got there past 7 am already.
Akihabara: the electric town for all things electronics and animeTokyo Dome City: home to Tokyo Dome stadium, amusement park, and mall
We landed at around noon and took a 50-minute train ride from Narita airport to Tokyo…
Your small winding roads and tiny souvenir shops, your quiet streets lined with restaurants packed with loud men, your suburban feel trodden with airport hotels… you were the perfect ending to the raucous 13th of October.
If I hadn’t missed the flight, I wouldn’t have had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with Narita. It didn’t justify missing the flight, but I guess it made it more worthwhile.
I have a thing for places full of comings and goings, departures and arrivals, beginnings and endings. These places hold a certain kind of duality that trifles with emotion — train and bus stations, airports, helipads, docks, even parking lots…
It’s so nice to look back at the good things once in a while.
I’ll go ahead and say it: Of all the beaches I’ve ever been to my whole life, Huntington Beach is my favorite. I don’t particularly know why. I just really love everything about it. I’ve been to Huntington Beach quite a few times already but it never gets old.
Planning to update this more often. Will try to make time for it cause I really want my experiences to live in this home.
I usually like stressing out over travel itineraries but for this one particular trip, my friends and I have decided to let the Groupon (this one was via Metrodeal) craze take over. The price seemed to be perfectly reasonable at that time, but a couple of weeks after, I found that we could have saved more if we had just booked everything on our own. Still, it saved us the effort. I have always wondered how to book with the coupons so it was a relief to have finally experienced it, albeit the experience being a negative one. Just grateful we got the deal despite the terrible delay.
We had 3 days in Puerto Princesa and it was a much appreciated trip. I was with 3 of my friends from college, 2 of them I haven’t seen since our graduation in 2010. We went back in June, which wasn’t really such a good idea since the rainy season had already started. We did get caught up in a few drizzles and one heavy shower but the rest of our trip was thankfully saved from that. However, I do think Puerto Princesa would have been much lovelier if it were more sunny than overcast.
We had a quiet and lovely lunch in Baker’s Hill. It was levels better than our dinner in Kinabuch’s, a really popular restaurant in the city. Perhaps we just didn’t know which ones to order, or maybe we just got lucky and had the best of the Baker’s Hill dishes.
The trip to the underground river or Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park took around 2 hours of zigzag roads from the city. Our tour guide tried to inject some humor during the drive but the winding roads just really got me drowsy so I fell into a nap halfway through. The experience was a marvelous 10-person slow boat ride inside the cave with a local boatman showing us what there was to see, because basically it was pitch dark. The supposed tour was only illuminated by a huge flashlight. There was only the sound of wading through the water, thousands of bats, the pitter patter that continues to create the amazing formations, and our oohs and aahs. There was a lot of focus on the structures from a Catholic perspective because there was this big portion that looked like a cathedral with the Holy Family on the side and several other ones that were related to religion, but even for a non-Catholic, the whole thing was worth getting into. It was a humongous cave and without the light, it’s easy to imagine how it stretches on up above and further beyond where we were. It reminded me of the caves we explored in Sagada, only this time, we weren’t really spelunking.
On the way back, it was drizzling, but we still made it a point to try Sabang X, an 800-meter zipline along the waters of Sabang beach. What I loved most about it was that — it was over the sea, unlike the other ziplines I’ve seen which took you above a thicket or a cliff. The overcast sky gave a dull atmosphere but I loved it so much nonetheless. With the fear of heights in tow, I plunged right in after minutes of shaking and conditioning my mind to just let it all go.
The next day, we went snorkeling in Pambato Reef and saw Honda Bay. I couldn’t help but compare our snorkeling experience in Marinduque before. I was a bit disappointed with Pambato Reef because the water was a bit foggy and there wasn’t really much to see but I really think it also had something to do with the season. Pandan Island, with its light sand and aqua waters, from the Honda Bay island hopping trip was definitely beautiful but I was looking forward to seeing the sandbar of LuLi (Lulubog-Lilitaw) island, which we didn’t see because as from the name itself, it comes and goes depending on whether it’s high or low tide.
There’s just something so big about nature that it feels like it’s swallowing you right in whenever you have an encounter with it. Its beauty is enchanting, making you feel small yet extremely lucky for having been a part of a world with such natural things. It’s just mindblowing to see all these and think that these exist as a product of a rendezvous of all the conditions we’re living in, that all this was an accident, not in a sense that it wasn’t designed by a greater being, but that everything just came together to make that particular something be. Just like you and me.
Mount Pinatubo Crater Lake, Tarlac, Philippines
Grand Canyon, Arizona USA
Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa, Marinduque, Philippines
Elephanta Caves, Mumbai, India
Banaue Ifugao Rice Terraces, Mountain Province, Philippines
Menara KL Tower view, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
ICC Sky 100 view, Hong Kong
Hotel view, Macau
Mahdavendra Palace (Nahargarh Fort) view, Jaipur, India
Taipei 101 view, Taipei, Taiwan
Huntington Beach, California USA
Ta Prohm, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Orchard Road, Singapore
Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Menara KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
ICC Sky 100, Hong Kong
Macau Tower, Macau
Palladium Mall, Mumbai, India
Gateway of India, Mumbai, India
Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, India
Taj Mahal, Agra, India
St. Mary’s Church, Sagada, Philippines
Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan
I am trying to blog again (on another blog)!
The most recent adventure I had was with my mother last June. I bought the plane tickets as a surprise. We haven’t traveled together since 2008 so I thought it would be a nice touch to start doing it again this year. And since my mom’s not getting any younger (although she looks almost exactly the…