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Thursday, October 19, 2017

[In Photos] Japan's Tsukiji Fish Market: The World's Largest

I love you, King Crab. Now come into my tummy!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Three of Baguio City's Most Popular Ukay-ukay Hotspots

Shelves full of pre-loved (and some brand new) sneakers and boots from an ukay-ukay in Bayanihan, Baguio City.

Before the year 2017 ends, by God's will, I might be traveling to somewhere with negative temperatures.

While I'm all consumed with the excitement of flying off to my third G7 country after Canada and Japan, 'til a few weeks ago I was plastered with worry about what I should wear to keep my fingers and toes attached to my hands and feet and where I could shop for them. Just as I resigned myself to making orders for winter boots and ski apparel from online shops, my mom presented her brilliant idea of staying for a few nights in Baguio to scout all the ukay-ukay establishments within the city. 

And if there's any place in the Philippines where ukay-ukay shopping is a pleasant experience because of the constantly cool climate and the wide variety of items for sale, it's gotta be the Summer Capital, Baguio City.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Experiencing Santorini in Bolinao at Sundowners Vacation Villas

The balcony of Couples Marina 1.

Have you ever dreamed of spending your idle days in an island wherein hundreds upon thousands of specks of magenta-colored bougainvillea are accentuated by blue-capped cliff-side white buildings, with the commanding view of a teal-tinted crystal ocean surrounding a beautifully-shaped caldera? If Greece is where your soul yearns to stay but you find yourself tied to the Philippines by the many complicated things that come with being an adult, there's nothing to worry about. Recently, tons of local resorts are starting to emulate the signature appearance that made world-famous the pristine island of Santorini-- and in Pangasinan, the most famous among these resorts is Sundowners.

Friday, September 8, 2017

The 7 Things That I Miss the Most About Japan

Delicious takoyaki (octopus balls) from a food stall in Ueno Park.

As of the time of writing, it's been five months since my family and I concluded our twelve-day vacation in Tokyo, Japan, but the euphoria from having explored our ultimate dream destination did not decrease the slightest. It's all we ever talk about at home. We made a slideshow out of the 3, 600+ pictures and 10+ videos that we shot in Japan which my mom fondly plays everyday; and sometimes, we find ourselves daydreaming about the most surreal twelve days of our lives so far.

With my heart continuing to yearn for the Land of the Rising Sun, I've listed the top seven things from that country that I miss the most.

Optional: Jump to:
Page 2: Japanese food and street fare, Japanese food markets called depachikas, and the extensive and exceptionally-efficient railway transportation system.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Reliving the Spanish Era in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, Bataan

Old Heritage Houses standing on the edge of a canal in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.

There's something fascinating about old architecture.

I remember writing a 300-word essay explaining my stand on a question that went, "Should old heritage buildings be kept as they are or demolished to give way for progress?" It sounded like it was an easy question  wherein any immediate opinion could easily be formed, but it was not.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Naked and Proud! Soaking in the Hot Springs of Oedo Onsen Monogatari

The facade of Oedo Onsen Monogatari-- a spa lover's paradise! Image from GaijinPot.

As the days of our 12-day pleasure trip to Tokyo slowly dwindled to a close, I found myself ticking off items in my "Must-Do in Tokyo" list just to make sure that I didn't miss anything significant. 
  • Theme parks: Check, check, check, and double-check.
  • Shop for anime figurines in Akihabara: Check (and bill, please).
  • Witness the tuna auction at a local fish market: No check, since we were informed too late that we needed an advanced reservation for that. This item goes into another itinerary for another time.
  • Taste staple Japanese street food which include but are not limited to: takoyaki, ramen, okonomiyaki, karaage, yakisoba, and yakiniku: Checkity-check check.
(Related post: These Tokyo Metropolitan Gardens offer relaxation amidst beauty!)
(Related post: Acquisition of your very own Japanese Tourist Visa made easyFind out how!)

I have more activities in mind that I wanted to accomplish that I've organized in tiers. From the second tier and above, the items in my dream itinerary are mainly comprised of more localized, non-touristy experiences that will give me a more intimate feel of Japan which I swear I WILL accomplish some other time in the near future. My heart welled up with an overwhelming sense of fulfillment as I realized that-- except for the tuna auction-- I've gone and done all of my Tier One "Must-Do" activities. As I reread my list, however, I saw to my horror that there was one un-ticked item in the one-foot long sheet of paper.
  • Bathe proud and naked in a Japanese onsen (hot spring) house: No check mark here yet.
I immediately grabbed my best spa-buddy, food-buddy, and travel-buddy to explain the horrendous situation and just as I expected, she was all up for it even at 7:30 in the evening! That's my mom for you!

Copyright © 2015 Travel Hard, Hannah!