Fifth Time's a Charm (Japan V)


Our 5th time in Japan and it never fails to amaze us with amazing views and great local food. 

Who said travelling with your family of 8 is hard to travel around? It was our fifth time in Japan, second time in the city of Osaka, Kyoto and Nara, and first time to visit Himeji. We always enjoy going back to places we wandered because if you are already familiarised the place, you could maximize better the time you spend and take different perspectives and angles for pictures of places you've gone to. 

It was an amazing short holiday as we were able to explore different locations in 5 days. Well technically, it was only 4 days, because our flight back home was at 10:00 in the morning on our last day, and you know us Filipinos, there is no FILIPINO TIME when it comes to flight schedules, we had to be at the airport 4 hours earlier. As a family, we really enjoy going back to Japan because of it’s weather, shopping, and never ending street food and Ichiran Ramen.  Here's a quick guide on how we maximized 4 prefectures in 5 days!


ICHIRAN RAMEN Along with my gear plus Flytpack

ICHIRAN RAMEN Along with my gear plus Flytpack

Day 1

Airbnb - settled in our airbnb in Dotonbori, we arrived 8pm. Kansai Airport to Dotonbori is approx. 50 min via train.

Ichiran - First thing's first. Ramen.







Day 2


  • Shinen Toji Temple (The #1 Temple in Osaka) This is where we shot this amazing photo of us that won a contest in Traveloka. <3 there wasn't much to do here but worth the visit to see this historic pagoda and a great kickstarter for the trip.


  • Todaiji Temple, Nara - Second time to visit this Place. Definitely a must-see. This is one of  the largest temples in Japan, and where the biggest Golden Buddha resides. Also what makes this place so special is deers are scattered all around. You can pet them and you can buy feed from the stalls also scattered around the area. Travel to Nara from Osaka is approx. 1 and a half hour via local train. We left around 2pm in the afternoon spent about 2 hours there then got back to Dotonbori around 7/8pm.


Todaiji Temple

Todaiji Temple

Brother Bear with a friend

Brother Bear with a friend


Day 3 (Tour) Kyoto

For our 3rd Day, we opted to get a tour package from TripleLights van/guide  in Kyoto. It cost around USD 460 for 8 people. We decided to go with the tour than going around commuting, because our first time in Kyoto, the locations were really a big walkathon from the nearest stations, and my Dad really got tired easily from all the walking specially going to Arashiyama and Kinkakuji Temple. We rode a local train to Kyoto Station at 9am and that's where we met our Driver Mr. Han. This is our second time in Kyoto, but first time for my sister and brother in law. We only had 3 locations on our itinerary but we managed to squeeze in 1 more because our driver really wanted to bring us to Fushimi Inari Taisha. The driver/guide was really amazing because he himself is a good photographer and knows the best places to take pictures. Here are short descriptions of the locations and pictures of our experience with the tour!

  • Arashiyama Bamboo Grove - A Definitely must-see in Kyoto. Bamboo infested forest area and feels like were in a different place. PLENTY OF TOURISTS. Recommend to go early for better pictures.



  • Kinkakuji Golden Pavillion - Our pictures would not give justice to this majestic temple. Definitely should be on your list of bucket list in Japan.



  • Kiyomizu Dera - A Large Temple made from big logs of wood. Place is full of cherry blossom trees. Spring and Fall Season is the best to come to this place. Plenty of shops around the area. 4/5 stars!



  • Tori Gates Fushimi Inari Taisha - Thousand of Tori Red Gates going to the top of a hill. Iconic place in Kyoto, Japan but the 3rd best place to visit compared to Arashiyama and Kinkakuji. Would recommend renting Kimonos.

Day 4 (Last Day)

Himeji Castle

Cream of the crop of our trip to Japan, we've been to Osaka Castle our first time around in Osaka so we looked for a different place to go to that's near. Kobe was one of our choices but Himeji Castle looks way more worth it and it didn't disappoint. This spectacular castle is enormous you could spend the whole day exploring the ground and go up to the top of the castle for a great view of Himeji. Himeji is quite far from Osaka. It took us about 2 hours to get here via Train. But worth every minute. Need I say more about it? See photos below.


Day 5

10am flight home via Kansai Airport.

Its quite hard to travel in a large group especially with your family with children, planning ahead ahead of time is really the key to make the most out of any trip. Always keep in mind that the energy level of your companions is also important to keep the mood of the travel happy and enjoyable.

It was fun for the Fifth time Japan, and we're pretty sure we'll be back. We haven't experienced spring and fall in Japan before so we're aiming to experience it next year. And of course Hokkaido is one of the bucket lists in Japan. See you soon! 

Taiwan Escapade


Ni Hao! Taiwan we came, Taiwan we conquered! 10th country ticked off! We had our escapade dated Oct 5-9, 2017. This was the time that the Embassy was so confused if they wanted to grant the visa free to Filipinos or not. Nonetheless, now its visa until 2019! (Not sure though) Anyways, we stayed at an Airbnb Apartment at Ximending, not so nice, but worth it because it was at the heart of Ximending!

We enjoyed the tour the most along with Nicole Salvador and John Reantaso, our high school friends that also toured Taiwan with us! Taiwan has plenty of happy vibes that resonates to the community of Street Markets and Tourist districts. By the way a big shoutout to our personal tour taxi guide Leo Sun! Found his services through the "Philippine DIY Travel" group on Facebook. Contact him if you want to tour Taiwan! He also has a karaoke inside his cab and i guarantee he'll take great pictures of you just checkout our set of photos, most of them were taken by him!

Here is his Facebook account:

If you're looking for a great itinerary to make the best out of a 5 day Taiwan trip! Here's ours!




  • Checked in our Airbnb in Ximending
  • Explored Ximending Area
  • Shilin Night Market

We actually quite tired this day from the Travel but nonetheless, we pushed on enjoying the Shilin Night Market and enjoyed some "Stinky Tofu" and "Flamed Beef"







  • Chiang Kai Shek Memorial
  • National Palace Museum
  • Raohe Night Market


We liked liked Raohe Night Market better then the Shilin Market. More food stalls and shops! But we didnt spend a lot of time here, we just went back to Ximending to Explore more shops!






  • Elephant Mountain
  • Taipei 101 Distract


Read a lot through the internet and based the "level of difficulty" from the testimonials of others on Hiking to the top of Elephant Mountain. IT WAS NOT THAT EASY. Please bring comfortable shoes and expect to get sweaty. But i Guarantee the view will be worth it.








  • Yehliu Geopark
  • Jiufen Old Town
  • Shifen Lantern Flying

This was the cream of the crop of our tour. Mostly because we were already with our friends and the tour guide was an absolute fun! Karaoke on the cab and lots of "millennial" music packed within his taxi! But the best part about it was he was also great at taking pictures!

Aside from the tour guide. These three locations was absolutely a different splendid sight! But our personal favorite was the Jiufen Old Town. The Lanterns and Old Chinese Houses gave us an old feel of unique Taiwan.

Longshan Temple

Longshan Temple



  • Longshan Temple
  • Goodbye Taiwan!

Spent an hour just to see this Temple before we head off! Definitely a must visit to experience praying and saying thanks Taiwan culture style.


Sadly like any other trip, the vacation had to end. But out of all the days we had in Korea I really enjoyed every moment we experienced. A truly magical and worth it vacation for me, Ynne, and my friends. Don’t forget to add Korea on your bucket list!

Photoshoot in the Lion City


First time to do a photoshoot with known artists: Kate Valdez, Arra San Agustin, Mika Dela Cruz and Constance Lau. Constance is a Singaporean actress and model, at first we were very scared to work with her because of her fierce aura. But the moment she walked in for our make-up session with Kath Guazon, she had a jolly, cheerful and very pleasant personality! Kate and Arra are best known from their Soap in GMA Network entitled "Encantadia". Mika is best known from her roles far back when she was in "Going Bulilit" and plenty other movies such as "T2", etc. Along with the artists, was the Apartment 8 Clothing Team, designers Ernest Lingad and Kc Aquino, make up artist Marben Talanay and hair stylist Angel Marinas, and the official photographers Francis Perez and Henry Vergara.

We had a 2-day photoshoot during their stay in Singapore

KATE VALDEZ in sheraes dome

KATE VALDEZ in sheraes dome

Arra San agustin in Arab street

Arra San agustin in Arab street

On our first day of the photoshoot, we strolled around ORCHARD ROAD. The main photo spot was at ION and walking around the area to portray some lifestyle shots. After Orchard Road we proceeded to HAJI LANE, everyone was excited to see the colorful graffitis, we maximized the location by using the walls, cafe's and restaurants there. Lastly we had our final shoot location which was at ARAB ST, the one right next to Haji Lane where the Mosque was. After a tiring day, the Hawker provided great food and what we like to call “refreshments”, just so that it sounds better than saying alcohol.

Mika dela cruz in victoria theatre

Mika dela cruz in victoria theatre

Constance lau in orchard road

Constance lau in orchard road

For the second day, Constance was not with us as she could only join us during the first day. Our itinerary for day 2 was to take shots at MARINA BAY as we wanted to highlight the tourist spots, mainly Marina Bay itself, Merlion and of course Marina Bay Sands. But the gem of all locations was the SHEARES LINK DOME. Just at the back of Marina Bay Sands, a diamond-like dome that blended well for the photos nicely. After lunch we went to the Merlion Park to have a different view of Marina Bay. Then for our last location, we went to Boat Quay where we shot at the Cavenage bridge and Victoria Theatre


Working with people who are the best at what they do widens our perspectives of how different we all are and how dedicated we could be to things that we are passionate about. The experience taught us a lot and would definitely learn more for our upcoming shoots as well! Till our next blog! See you Taiwan!

The land of Kdrama

Korea part 2 it is! This was a great decision for the whole family because we celebrated my dad’s birthday in the land of the Kdrama. All four us are out on a Korean vacation with my dad of course, aunt Ross, Johnwill, and Ynne. It was a second time for Ynne and I in Korea but a first time for my dad, aunt, and brother.

Spending time and touring them around was a pleasure for us. We wanted them to feel and enjoy what Korea can offer just like how we felt on our first time visiting Seoul. What I remembered on what their final comment was “Japan is a lot better in terms of culture and experience. So if I were you, it would be best to go to Korea first then Japan.

  • May 12
  • David’s Arrival - 7pm
  • Check-in Myeongdong 5-star hotel
  • Dinner and went around Myeongdong

May 13

  • Ynne’s arrival at 8:25am
  • Meet at hotel 10:00am
  • Lunch at Myeongdong Kyoja
    • Myeongdong’s famous Korean dimsum and noodles.
  • Insadong
    • Street full of cultural Korean shops and arts
  • Cheonggyecheon Stream
    • a beautiful long underground stream with rock formations
    • some used as bridges and pretty gardens by the side of the stream making it a stroll to remember

May 14

  • Gyeongbokgung Palace
  • Bukchon Hanok Village
  • Hongdae - BBQ NIGHT

May 15

  • NAMI ISLAND & Petite France Tour 8:00am-6:00pm
    • Tip: much better to get a tour package, DIY was a bit stressful

May 16

  • National Museum of Korea
  • NANTA SHOW 5pm – cooking mime show. Even though me and Ynne’s second time around. Still a show that’ll make you laugh from start to finish.

May 17

  • Last minute Myeongdong shopping and strolling
  • Ynne flew back to Singapore at 6:40pm
  • David flew back to Manila 8:25pm

Korea is close to our hearts because of the bonding and happy moments we experienced in this country. If there’s a next promo fare make sure to choose Seoul, Korea on your next vacation.


How are you mate? As for me, I’m doing great! Yes guys, finally I was able to experience the air in Melbourne, Australia. For a total of 6 days from April 18 to 23, my friends and I was able to roam round the city and saw some of the coolest destinations Australia can offer.

First on the itinerary was meeting and spending bonding time with RC Esperas, one of my childhood neighbors and close friend who now resides in Melbourne. On the next few days, we met with uncle Mike Pia and his wife Core Pia. They were very welcoming and kind that we had a free accommodation at their flat. Plus, we got to experience the Great Ocean Road Trip with this lovely couple.

We were already a bit tired from the Sydney trip but nonetheless we reminded ourselves that we were in a different country and that we have to enjoy the most of every tour. What’s great about this trip was that RC Esperas toured with us by driving around using his car.  It was a really convenient vacation because RC took care of our very reliable transportation. We didn’t need to think about how to go to places because RC and his family was there to tour us anywhere we went.

Also, one of the most unforgettable and unbelievable sights we have experience was encountering the koalas and kangaroos up close.

To know more about our Melbourne,Australia 6-day fun trip, please see a snapchat of our itinerary below:

April 18 (Tuesday)

  • 2:30pm arrival through Jetstar
  • Our friend, RC Esperas picked us up from the airport with a car. (Yay!)
  • 3:30pm - Straight to Melbourne Star (Melbourne’s Ferris Wheel)
  • 4:00pm - 6:00pm - Walked to Melbourne Docklands
    • Wonderful sight of sailboats and yachts scattered throughout the dock area
    • straight to Etihad Stadium – then walked to Southern Cross Station. The largest train station in Australia, an amazing structural feat.
  • 7:00pm - Went back to the car, then off to Eureka Skydeck 89.
    • The Highest building in Melbourne. The viewing deck on the 88th floor had a balcony that was open encaged in steel. Nauseating but worth the view.
  • 9:00pm  - He dropped us off at our Airbnb then had dinner at Flinder’s Lane for Aussie Burgers.

April 19 (Wednesday)

  • AM – Ballarat Wildlife.
  • Where Kangaroos freely roamed the vicinity where you could feed them.
  • Had a wild experience of interacting with Koalas
    • One of the Highlights of our trip.
    • PM – Back to Melbourne CBD to the War Memorial where galleries of the previous wars and the history of Australia was displayed.
  • 4:00pm – Flinder’s Train Station
    • one of the best preserved old Victorian Architecture in Melbourne
  • Federation Square
    • Modern Landmark of Melbourne where plenty of events are held
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral
    • Majestic Church in the middle of all the bustles.

These 3 landmarks are very close to each other. I was even able to capture one of my proudest travel shots in this area. This is the heart and soul of Melbourne’s central business district. Not my zone, because it was very crowded and busy.

  • Evening – walked through the Yarra River
    • pleasant walk where you pass by a lot of local feels; restaurants, bars and people jogging at night

April 20 (Thursday)

  • AM & PM – Spent the whole day strolling the Melbourne Central Business District
  • Victoria State Library
  • Bourke St., Swanston St., Collins St.
  • Hoiser Lane – Street filled with Street Art
  • Back to St. Paul’s Cathedral
    • Didn’t enter inside the last time, bought crystal like rosaries
  • Uncle Mike Pia, fetched us at Flinder’s Station to their home and spent the whole night drinking and eating home cooked Aussie Scotch Fillet Steak.

April 21 (Friday)

    • 5-hour road trip from Melbourne. It was a rainy day, nonetheless we made the best out of it. But when we reached twelve apostles, it was gloomy but the sun came out!


2nd Stop: ANGELSEA SLSC   


4th Stop: Late Seafood Lunch somewhere we can’t recall


One of the wonders of the world. It was previously 9 pillars that stood to represent the 12 apostles. However, one pillar didn’t live long enough for us to witness it. As of our trip, you can only see 8 pillars standing.

April 22 (Saturday)

  • AM – Brighton Beach Huts
    • One of the landmarks of Melbourne’s plenty beaches.
    • Colorful beach huts lined up
  • PM – Church Lane
    • Long shopping street that has a lot of preserved Victorian facades
  • Evening – Local beer night
    • Bought 6 different local beers to taste before heading home
  • Endless laughs and chatter with the family

April 23 (Monday)

  • Goodbye Australia, one for the books!

Australia is definitely part of my treasure box! I will surely bring all the memories we have experienced in this country until I get old. That’s why if you’re planning a big Asian trip this year, why not choose Australia, I promise you, you won’t regret it.

Sydney, Sydney, Sydney

Cheers! Finally Ynne and I have seen the wonders of Sydney, Australia. From April 13 to 18, we used the itinerary we got from Lonely Planet’s book “Make my Day.” This book was a gem for us because it helped us locate the amazing places that Sydney offers.

It’s our very first time to visit Australia that’s the reason why it was extra special and unique for us. One of the highlights of this vacation was when we went and saw the Sydney Opera house. The soft side of me showed up after watching them perform. It made me a bit teary-eyed to see it up close and personal. This is definitely a must-see if you’re a fan of operas.

Next stop on what we liked about Sydney's Bondi Beach. Our time in this beach gave us so much fulfillment and happiness by just dancing, goofing around, and taking pictures. We were able to enjoy our time at the beach because of the perfect weather and the company of our friends.

Get to know more about what went down on our Sydney vacation through our detailed itinerary below:

Day 1 Thursday (April 13)

  • 10am - Arrived in Sydney through Cebu Pacific
    • Bought sim for data coverage
    • Airbnb check-in
    • Then had a quick chat with the owners
    • Strolled around the harbour
    • first look at opera house & harbour bridge
  • 6pm - went to the airport and fetched Ynne who flew through Scoot
  • 9pm - dinner at an Italian restaurant called The Rocks

Day 2 Friday (April 14)

  • AM - walked to Sydney Harbour Bridge
    • Went to the top viewing deck
  • Surprised to see a spectacular view of the city and opera house
  • Strolled around "The Rocks" area where there were a lot of old preserved Victorian houses (old european style facades) and mini parks full of green scenery
  • PM - Queen Victoria Building
    • Shopping mall considered as one of the oldest preserved Victorian building in Sydney
      • A lot of branded shops, local restaurants, and cafes inside
  • Back to Circular Quay for a stroll around the docks
    • Took a lot of photos and ate dinner afterwards

Day 3 Saturday (April 15)

  • AM - Bondi Beach
    • Took the train from Circular Quay which took us 40 minutes to get to Bondi
    • When we saw the beach, hearts pounded in excitement and awe of the place. Another bucket list ticked!
    • Walked at the Bondi - Congee Trail and found a huge gem where there were a lot of rock formations and cliffs
    • The waves were so majestic that different shades of blue were crashing across the edges.
    • Went back to Bondi beach, laid down our towels, spent the rest of the morning chilling in the sand, listening to the waves, dancing, and a lot of pictorials.
  • PM - went back to our Airbnb, got ready for our Opera Night in the OPERA HOUSE
  • Along the way, took a side trip to PADDINGTON MARKET
    • Markets selling trinkets and local paintings
    • It was worth the visit to see a small bustling market full of local handcrafts
  • Back to AIRBNB to freshen up then off to Opera House

The show was entitled "CARMEN". I actually never read anything about the show. We just wanted to experience how it was watching an opera in one of the best opera houses in the world. To our surprise when the show started, it wasn't in English. It was in French, and there were subtitles scattered in little screens around the area. Most breathtaking and amazing part of the night, was the the huge fireworks display.

Day 4 Sunday (April 16)

  • AM - Taronga Zoo
    • 15-minute ferry ride to Taronga Zoo
    • Huge zoo that you wouldn't see every attraction in just one day
  • PM - Spent the whole night at the balcony of our AIRBNB where the view of the city was spectacular
  • Bought local wines and beers at the shops in Circular Quay and drank the night away
    • Had a chat with the owners and got to know more of the Aussie living and lifestyle

Day 5 Monday (April 17)

  • AM - Toured the heart of the city by foot.
    • Went inside the malls and searched every corner to feel the culture of Australia
    • You’ll see lot of performances around the city
  • PM - Manly Beach
    • 20-minute ferry ride to Manly Beach from Circular Quay

The Manly Beach wasn’t originally on our itinerary but a friend suggested this destination and amazingly it didn’t disappoint. If you go to this place, you would enjoy the wharf area because of it's alive nature. When we were there, we spent 15 minutes listening to one musician performing while he was drinking coffee. Then we strolled on the beach and took a lot of pictures. Afterwards, we ate dinner by the beach.

April 18 - Flight to Melbourne (via Jetstar)

If I had a choice, I would have stayed in Sydney and spent all of my savings in their restaurants, shops, and their sights. But just like any other trip, this has to end as well. :( Definitely and great choice to visit Sydney and get to experience their culture. Hopefully, one day I get to see and spend more days on this country.

Christmas in Japan

Japan Japan Japan, and more Japan! I don’t love this destination. haha! (insert sarcastic emoji) Isn’t it obvious? I really adore Japan and what the country offers. This time from December 21 to 29, 2016, my family and I was able to experience Winter in Japan. Not only that, our family had a fruitful Christmas vacation that’s out of the country.

We had the whole gang on this family trip to Osaka Prefecture, Nara Prefecture, and of course Tokyo. My dad, stepmother, younger brother, my older sister, and my nephew who flew all the way from the United States to be with us on the eve of Christmas.

If you have been reading my previous blog articles, you are already aware that it’s my third time visiting Tokyo but it was my first time to see the streets of Osaka. For my older sister, Rachel, it’s her first time to breath the air in Japan.

On our Osaka destination, Universal Studios Japan was first on the checklist. It’s been my go-to feeling that every new experience is always very exciting for me. That’s why when I first visited Osaka, the feeling of seeing something new was a blast. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in USJ was one of the most fun adventure I took. The kid inside me was very happy on that happening. Plus, I get to spend quality time with my loved ones.

It wouldn’t be an Osaka trip without seeing and walking around the Osaka Castle. The green theme of the castle was so perfect for eyes and so relaxing for me. My family and I enjoyed strolling around and inside the castle.

Most of all, like any other tourists, we didn’t miss Dotonbori and the Takoyaki food stands. I’m just glad that finally, I got to see the very famous Glico Man.


  • Checked in at an Airbnb place
  • Dotonbori on the first night,
  • First meal in Osaka, ICHIRAN RAMEN
    • Tip: There are 2 branches just really close to each other, if the main branch is full go to the next one which is 3-minute walk.

Dec 22

  • Universal Studios Japan

My girlfriend, Ynne was a die-hard fan of the Harry Potter series so being a great boyfriend that I am, I accompanied her and experienced what USJ can offer.  haha! The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is just like how it is in the movie adaption, it’s as if you are really in the Diagon Alley and you are one of the Gryffindors or the Slytherins.  

I don’t want to be the typical blogger who enumerates the rides and  tells you the experience one after the other, but I’d just like you guys to picture what it feels like to be Harry Potter, Ron Weasley or Hermione Granger. Here on our travel blog, our goal is to share our trips and adventures in small and quick itineraries.

Dec 23

  • Umeda Sky Building

My dad was afraid of heights that’s why we decided to just stay on the floor prior to the roof deck. What I liked about the building was their escalators, while riding the escalators, you can already see the magnificent view of Osaka. By the way, if you’re a nature lover, you would want to see the quaint garden beneath the building. There’s small stream and cute bridges filled with leaves of orange.

  • Shin Sai Bashi

    • Known for its superb long street for shopping including international brands and local Japanese-made clothes and shoes.

  • Back to Dotonbori for Japanese BBQ dinner at Gyukaku

Dec 24

  • Fetched my sister, Rachel at Osaka Airport
    • She and her son, Sky came all the way from Los Angeles, California
  • Osaka Castle

One of the highlights of our trip, was seeing the huge and majestic Osaka Castle. When you go inside, you’ll see different galleries of the history of Osaka. On the top floor, is a deck for you to see the wonderful view of Osaka in a different perspective than Umeda.

  • Ynne went home in the afternoon to greet her family going back to Singapore where they will spend the holidays.


  • Went to Nara for the whole day
    • You would see a lot of deer roaming around freely.
    • You can ever feed them with crackers that can be bought all around the sellers in the area.
  • Todai-ji Temple
    • One of the biggest temples of Japan
    • The Largest Golden Buddha resides here
  • Back to Dotonbori again, for my sister to experience her first Japanese Barbeque at Gyukaku


  • Bullet train ride to Tokyo from Osaka
    • Approximately 4 hours of travel time
  • Reached Roppongi Area around 3pm where we checked in at our Airbnb
  • In the evening me and my sister met my old Professor, Sir Ahj,  and my friend, MaJ in Shibuya to grab drinks
  • Took pictures at Hachiko Shrine and Shibuya Crossing
  • Drank at British pub
  • Later that night went to a local IZAKAYA
    • We had the most fun night during our bonding.
    • Japanese are known for being super nice, quiet, and proper culture but inside an Izakaya, you’ll see their true colors.


Dec 27

  • Senso-ji Asakusa Temple
    • Colorful temple with lots of activities in the middle of a concrete jungle that is Tokyo
  • Tokyo Skytree
    • Highest tower in Japan
    • Very high viewing point of Tokyo City
  • Ginza Area
    • Had dinner with Ynne’s family living in Japan at Ginza Lion

Dec 28

  • Meiji Jingu Shrine
    • A delightful forest that you would want to go back to.
    • Love this place because of the forest feels and the temple is full of cultural Japan ambiance
  • Harajuku Street
    • Went shopping
    • Ichiran Ramen for the last time
  • Roppongi
    • The business center of Tokyo. T
    • The most modern part of Tokyo with lots of hotels, malls, and restaurants.

Dec 29

  • Disney Sea
    • Bad day for a theme park
    • Very long queues and too crowded
    • Only managed to ride 3 rides
    • Strolled 40% of the park and watched the afternoon parade at the Caribbean Sea
  • Packed our bags for the flight back home

Dec 30

  • Bye Japan!

Traveling makes relationships more fun

Relationships are meant to be kept and best enjoyed through traveling. That’s why last December 8 to 11, 2016, we went on a fun and sweet double date vacation in Hong Kong and Macau.

Ynne and I took advantage of the cold weather and planned a short trip with our close friends and soon-to-be married couple, Mark and Nadia. I met Mark when were still in high school and since then, we became best of friends! He now resides in the United States and this Hong Kong and Macau trip was a long and overdue bonding for us.

It wasn’t my first time to visit this busy city, in fact it was my second time experiencing Hong Kong’s finest food trips and shopping alleys. The first time I visited this place was when I was still in high school together with my grandparents.

As for Ynne, it’s her magical third time in Hong Kong. It  was like her personal Taft Avenue because she studied and had several seminars in this place to get her Advanced Behavioral Analysis training.

All four of us or what we call ourselves the Fantastic Four were already used to the culture of Hong Kong and its touristy spots. We already knew the ins and outs of this special place that’s why we had the time of life during this vacation. We didn’t prepare a checklist for our itinerary and our main goal was just to see Mickey Mouse and go to Macau.

By the way, shout out to my best friend! Hong Kong was extra special because of Mark’s proposal to the love of his life, Nadia.

Here’s a list of what went down on that full of love 4-day vacation:

Dec 8

  • Arrived around 8PM at the airport
  • Checked-in at hotel
  • Tsim Sha Tsui
    • We ate dinner and had some scrumptious barbecue

Dec 9

  • Strolled for an hour from our hotel to the ferries going to Macau
  • Macau day

Here’s a nice and fun story while we were lost looking for the bus to ride going to the different sights in Macau. There was a Filipino woman who approached us and asked if we wanted a tour guide. We decided to take advantage of her offer and haggled the rate she initially offered. She brought us to different casinos like Wynn, The Venetian, Sands, Lisboa, and The Parisian Casino and Hotel. What’s great about our Filipino tour guide was that she also knew every schedule of the shows and of course the free bus rides going around Macau.

Macau trip would not be complete without seeing their precious landmark - The Ruins of St. Paul. This experience made me realize that  some of the best experiences takes place when you’re adventurous.

Dec 10

  • Disneyland Hong Kong

Definitely a great experience to have friends along in Disneyland! Most of all, we were lucky enough that there were no long lines on the rides that day. We were able to maximize our time, enjoy Disneyland, and take pictures the whole day! We even had the time to watch the Afternoon parade, the Lion King show, and the Evening Parade.

  • Mark’s proposal

The most special moment was when my best friend Mark, asked me on the spot to call a crowd and requested for them to form a circle in front of the Castle. Then right then and there, he got down on his knee and proposed to his girlfriend Nadia. She said, yes! Then the crowd full of tourists and locals cheered and appreciated the sweetest moment of Mark and Nadia’s relationship as they embark in a new step, engagement.

Dec 11

  • Tsim Sha Tsui and Monkok, Kowloon

We strolled around the crowded streets of Tsim Sha Tsui and ate their famous street foods. Lastly, our Hong Kong trip wouldn’t be complete without going to Mongkok to buy pasalubongs.

Dec 12

  • Flight Home

Hong Kong and Macau trip is one for the books. For those of you thinking about traveling soon in these places, go for it! It’s worth the vacation.

From Singapore to Thailand

What goes to mind when you think about Singapore? For me, I think about Marina Bay Sands or Merlion. When people ask me about Thailand, I think about their gold temples and the food at Khao San road. That’s why on the Summer of May 18 to 26, 2016, my friends and I decided to go to Singapore and Thailand through a group vacation.

If you saw my previous posts, you would know that I usually travel with Ynne or my family. But this time, we had a big group of friends. One thing I noticed was that when you travel with your friends or a large group, the pacing is a bit slow. You have to wait for everyone. Even our toilet break takes a lot of time. There’s a lot of waiting game unlike when there’s just two of you traveling.

But nevertheless, there are also great things when you travel with your friends. And that is the bonding and laughter that never ends. All seven of my friends, Ed, Lea, Charlie, Nixy, Awen, Ynne, and of course myself toured and pigged out around Singapore and Thailand throughout our 9-day trip out of the Philippines.

Here’s a list below of the amazing itinerary Ed Matias prepared for us to follow on those days:

May 18

  • Arrived in Singapore with Ed
  • Slept at Ynne’s flat
  • Watched Civil War

May 19

  • Checked-in at Marina Bay Sands Hotel
  • Infinity Pool at the top floor
  • Overlooking view of Marina Bay Singapore
  • Watched X-MEN Days of future past

May 20

  • Nixy, Awen, Lea and Charlie’s arrival
  • Orchard Road
  • Marina Bay
  • Merlion Statue

May 21

  • Sentosa
  • Luge

May 22

  • Adventure Cove Water Park

May 23

  • Universal Studios Singapore

May 24

  • Thailand flight
  • City tour (Pratunam Market)

May 25

  • Half day tour – Floating Market and elephant ride at Damnoek Saduak
  • Club hopping in Bangkok

May 26

  • Full day – Ayutthaya day tour (Temples, shrines, and monuments)
  • PM – flight back to Manila

No matter where I am, may it be just out of town or out of the country, my usually mood is light and fun. I make sure I have a great time every time I’m on a vacation. Singapore and Thailand gave that feeling of awe. Singapore made me realize to be focused more on my goals in life to achieve success. While Thailand made me feel more cultural friendly and treat each day like it was my first.

Back in Japan

Finally, I’m back in Japan for the second time with the fambam and Ynne!  We decided to visit Japan again from May 4 to 12, 2016 and roamed more around Japan’s cultural places like Hakone Prefecture, Kyoto Prefecture, and back to Tokyo.

The whole gang was with me during this trip including my dad, step-mom, little brother, aunt, and of course Ynne. It was also my aunt’s second time in Japan but first out of the country for my 11-year old brother.

We first landed in Tokyo as this was the easiest city to flew in. We decided to hustle our way to Don Quijote because we were looking for loots that are very affordable. At DQ, they offer everything from cheap stuff to give away as gifts to your friends back at home. You can buy branded clothes, shoes, makeup, accessories, gadgets and more are available here. Plus, if you are a cosplayer, this is the best mall for you to buy your costumes.

If you are the game seeker, then you would enjoy playing at Joypolis, Odaiba. It is a Japanese Arcade that has 4 floors of authentic Japanese arcade games and a lot more of non-stop entertainment. We enjoyed our day here as well.

If you just want to have a good time and bond with friends,  have a drink or two at Izakaya, a local Japanese drinking place in Tokyo. We had a great bonding time with our friends in this pub.

I enjoyed visiting Kyoto out of all the places in Japan I’ve been to so far. During this 4-day vacation, I got to feel and experience it’s amazing nature-filled locations. Plus, we were able to go to Hakone at Mt. Fuji view area for the whole day and just stared at God’s beauty from within. This is was a great and unique day for us, as all of us was seeing the area for the very first time. Though, it was a bit a downfall at the latter part as we weren’t able to see the full view of Mt. Fuji because of the foggy weather on that day.

What got my hopes up and my adrenaline pumping was the bullet train! For a Filipino used to the MRT and the bad transportation in Manila, I really felt great to ride the bullet train going to Kyoto. But most of all, I really enjoyed the tourists spots in Kyoto is very different from the commercial and busy streets of Tokyo.

Kyoto has plenty of temples and shrines. But out of all those culture feels they have to offer, below are my top 3 choices:

  1. Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

  2. Kinkakuji Temple

  3. Fushimi Inari Taisha

Here’s a list below of the wonderful destinations we visited during our 9-day trip to Tokyo, Hakone, and Kyoto:

May 4 Tokyo

  • Arrival in Narita with the whole family
  • Airbnb check in
  • Shinjuku evening dinner at a random ramen house

May 5 Happy Birthday Daddy!

  • Odaiba – Aqua city, Statue of Liberty, Rainbow Bridge, and Gundam Statue
  • Met with Ynne at Shibuya
  • Hachiko Shrine and Shinjuku crossing
  • Dinner at a Japanese pub to celebrate dad’s birthday
  • Met with Ynne’s friends living in Japan
    • We drank beers at the sidewalk of Shibuya, one of the most memorable moments in our Tokyo travel.

May 6 Hakone Prefecture

  • First bullet train ride to Hakone
  • River Cruise in Hakone
    • 20-minute cruise along the lake
    • Great view of the mountains
    • Ship was an old British type battleship
  • Met with Repizo family to have dinner at Ginza Lion

May 7 Kyoto Prefecture

  • Second bullet train ride off to Kyoto
  • Arrived at 3PM in Kyoto
  • Airbnb check in
  • Chion-in Temple
  • Gion District – BBQ dinner

May 8

  • Kyoto’s Imperial Palace Garden
  • Fushimi Inari Taisha
    • Rented Japanese Kimonos for the afternoon
  • This place is the definition of Japan because you’ll see a thousand Torii gates lined up to make one of the greatest feats in Kyoto.

May 9

  • Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
  • Kinkakuji Temple
  • Local Beers at Airbnb

May 10 Tokyo (again)

  • Bullet train back to Tokyo
  • Harajuku Ichiran, Strolled Harajuku
  • Met with Sir Ahj again and our friend Mj in Shibuya to have local beers and experience an izakaya(Japanese Drinking place)

May 11

  • Don Quijote Shopping

May 12

  • Goodbye Japan

Japan is gem in my heart. If I have a choice, I would go here as often as possible if money and schedule permits. If your next destination is Japan, make sure to add Kyoto and Hakone on your list.

Anyeong Korea!

Anyeong! Awesome to finally land my feet in Seoul, Korea. Unlike my several trips in Japan, this was my first time to see Korea on the naked eye. We decided to visit this marvelous country from March 24  to April 3, 2016. Spent a lot of time in Seoul with Richard Bakchansu, a Korean native that visits the Philippines so often and Shemelyn Sespeñe, one of my college friends in the University of Santo Tomas, now studying in Seoul.

Changgyeochoen Stream

Changgyeochoen Stream

The most exciting itinerary for us was when we saw the Cherry Blossoms. The soft side of me showed up when I saw all the pink flowers. haha! Korea gave us plenty of smiles with its happy vibes brought by Korean’s positive energy. I just realized that compared to Japanese’s serious vibe and laid back attitude, Koreans are more outgoing and fun. I felt like Koreans and Filipinos have the same personality given that we are very talkative, fun and a bit noisy, in positive way. haha!

Are you intrigue on what went down on our Korea trip? Check out our day-to-day itinerary below:

March 24

  • Checked in our Airbnb in Yeouido
  • Dongdaemun Gate
  • Lunch at Gwangjang Market
  • Changgyeochoen Stream
  • Moonbeam Pancake must try!
Gyeongbukgong Palace

Gyeongbukgong Palace


March 25

  • Gyeongbukgong Palace
  • Bukchon Hanok Village
  • Myeongdong – Myeongdong Kyoja for dinner

March 26

  • Changdeokgung Palace and Secret Garden
  • Insadong – ssamsiegil
  • insa art center and lots of cultural artworks and shops
  • Hongdae w/ Shemelyn

There were plenty of street performers and a smaller version of Myeongdong. There were also a lot of Korean BBQ restaurants in the area, one after the other. On the 26th of March, we also went club hopping to different bars and played electronic darts.

bukchon hanok village

bukchon hanok village


March 27

  • Soul Zoo

Sorry in advance, but we didn’t enjoy what Soul Zoo offered. There wasn’t much special to see and there was a lot of strenuous walking from one area to another. But if you are the type of person who wants to people watch and just learn how the  culture of Korean families are when they are at a zoo, then this place might be a thumbs up for you.

  • Shopping at Hongdae

  • Surprisingly, one of the famous brands in Manila, Bershka had a 50% off on winter clothes maybe because the spring season was almost there. It was really cold at that time so we were lucky enough to get a huge discount out of all the winter clothes we bought.

  • Had Chicken and Beer for dinner

    • another must try if you’re in Korea

March 28

  • Tour Package
  • Together with us, there was a Filipino family of 4, the Rafa family.
  • They were very friendly and we had a blast talking about our travels
  • Nami Island
one of nami island's lanes

one of nami island's lanes

A must-see, this is a famous island about 2 hours away from Seoul. A very relaxing and isolated island that we traveled through a 10-minute ferry ride from. You’ll see an amazing symmetry of trees lined to form pathways. If you are into Kdramas you would recognize the location as lot of famous shows and local and internal movies were filmed here.

Namsan seoul tower

Namsan seoul tower

  • Petite France
    • Small pastel colored town with a puppet show

  • Seoul Tower

    • Love Locks

    • amazing view of Seoul from above


Love locks at seoul tower

Love locks at seoul tower

March 29

  • Gangnam

Since Ynne and I are in a long distance relationship, on that day we made sure and took advantage of our bonding  out of the 11-day vacation we have in Korea. We even watched the movie, “Batman vs. Superman” at CGV Gangnam.

  • Konkuk University

We met my Korean friend “Park” that visits the Philippines a lot. He treated us dinner and toured us in Konkuk. Something new to our eyes was that this university has a lake in the middle of the school. On that Konkuk tour, we strolled and talked about the Korean way of living. This was indeed an experience to remember.

European village in everland

European village in everland

March 30

  • Everland day

My initial concern for the Everland theme park was that it's a bit far from Seoul. We took a 2-hour ride bus at Hongdae to reach the place. It’s not your usual theme park like Universal Studios Japan or Disneyland, this place is different. It’s more about what Koreans like in terms of the rides and entertainment. We only rode a few rides and we chose to explore the theme park instead.

  • Ate dinner in Hongdae

March 31

  • Had brunch in Myeongdong
    • Explored more of the street food stalls
    • A comedy cooking mime show worth every penny
    • A very funny and never ending entertainment show
  • Tried the Cat Café

Honestly, I hate cats but we tried to go there anyway to see for ourselves and how it is in this kind of cafe. Sorry cat lovers, but the cats were not friendly at all. Enjoyed the coffee though, and seeing different breeds of cats.



April 1

Cherry blossoms at yeouido park

Cherry blossoms at yeouido park

  • Itaewon
  • Met Ynne’s aunt, Rommel
    • Aunique place, this place is kind of a foreigner’s land
    • A lot of tourists reside here
  • National Museum of Korea –
    • History and Cultural heritages
  • Chicken and beer with Park again

April 2

  • Yeouido Park
    • Cherry Blossoms was already at 80% at this time.
    • The Pink bloomed throughout the park.
    • Enjoyed taking a lot of photos.
  • Myeongdong, for the last time.
    • We really enjoyed spending our time here.
    • Every visit is like experiencing a new adventure from shops to the food choices
itaewon district

itaewon district

April 3

  • Goodbye Korea!

Sadly like any other trip, the vacation had to end. But out of all the days we had in Korea I really enjoyed every moment we experienced. A truly magical and worth it vacation for me, Ynne, and my friends. Don’t forget to add Korea on your bucket list!

First Out Of The Country


Hurray! We finally had our first international trip. When I say international trip, well.. yah i've been to Singapore, but that's an exemption since Singapore is where Ynne lives and works. So, a first legitimate travel, Japan!

My girlfriend, Ynne and I visited Japan for the very first time from February 19 to 25, 2015. We were lucky enough to get a free accommodation for 3 nights as Ynne’s aunt lives near the US Navy Base in Japan. Who would say no to that right? We needed to use our money wisely so it was a great decision to check-in in a tidy and affordable hotel in Shinjuku afterwards.

Our Tokyo tour wouldn’t be possible without the travel itinerary and how to’s I got from Sir Ahj, my super cool professor turned close friend.

Feel free to mimick the wonderful escapade we did during our 7-day Tokyo vacation below:



Feb 19

  • Flew from Manila to Tokyo
  • Went to Shibuya Crossing and ate at a random ramen house with Sir Ahj
  • Went to Ynne’s Aunt near Yokohama

Feb 20

  • Meiji-Jingu Shrine
  • Takeshita Street
  • Harajuku
  • Omotesando
  • Shibuya
  • Gyukaku (bonding with Ynne’s relatives)

Feb 21

Kamakura daibatsu with Repizo Family

Kamakura daibatsu with Repizo Family

  • Kamakura Buddha – Daibatsu Buddha
  • Maruetsu Sushi-go-round
  • Illumillion Park, Sagamino

Feb 22

  • Hotel check-in, Shinjuku
  • Senso-ji
  • Tokyo Skytree
  • Tokyo Tower

Feb 23

  • DISNEY SEA whole day



Gundam statue in odaiba with sir ahj

Gundam statue in odaiba with sir ahj

Feb 24

  • Odaiba
  • Aqua City, Statue of Liberty, Rainbow Bridge,  and decks
  • Lunch at Tokyo Bay View Korean Dining
  • Met Sir Ahj again with his friend, Bern at Ameyayokocho
  • Last Dinner at New York Tokyo Bar in Park Hyatt Hotel

Feb 25

  • Goodbye Japan

On top of the amazing Tokyo adventure and the freezing cold weather of 2-8 degrees celsius throughout the day, I wouldn’t forget the culture Japan has to offer. It was gruesomely different from what we have in the Philippines. We will truly be back for more, hopefully soon.