Saturday, April 19, 2014

2014 Vision Board

Last month, we're asked to create an individual vision board for our team book. This is what I came up and I'm ticking one item at a time =) Yes, I love using emoji hahaha!

Mei in 2014 and beyond!

Summer 2014: Pagudpud, Ilocos, Vigan

After a 4 hour drive from Pagudpud, we're back to Vigan! We didn't realize that it took that much time to travel between 2 cities, maybe because our stops were carefully arranged on our itinerary. We're happy to see the quaint street in broad daylight. The souvenir shops are open and we can go all tourist mode!  The must have pasalubongs are bagnet, longanisa, chichacorn and ref magnets LOL! 

Calle Crisologo
To prepare for a long journey back home, we had lunch at Cafe Leona
rustic feel
Ilocos sampler: Pinakbet, bagnet, daing & longanisa!
This Vigan-Ilocos-Pagudpud trip turned out to be my longest road trip ever so far, but it's definitely worth it! 3 days of wandering on 3 cities and eating! Two of my favorite things in the world. I would really recommend this trip to anyone, but, save your butt and ride a plane to Laoag instead =))
Vigan to Mandaluyong: 8hours

Summer 2014: Ilocos, Pagudpud Experience

In a nutshell, our 2nd day itinerary is all about windmills, hiking and swimming! 

We hiked to Cape Bojeador Lighthouse in Ilocos Norte which was built in 1862. It serves as a marker for international ships that sail in Philippine archipelago. Yup, I paid attention to the volunteer guide ;)

Another 30 minutes hike to Kapurpurawan Rock formation to burn the calories from yesterday's foodtrip. What I noticed about Ilocos is that they have a lot of volunteers who gladly talks about the history of the area and happily takes our photos. They only have one request, "please tell your friends about Ilocos." 
hello, West Philippine sea!
Its tricky to climb these limestone formations.

We found the best bagnet at a hole in a wall place, thanks to our driver/tour guide, kuya Rodel!
Bagnet # 3 <3

Next stop is the Bangui Windmills, currently, they have 20 windmills that generate electricity and they're building additional 100!
Why can't we have this in Manila. Sustainable electricity, anyone?
We're a lazy bunch so passed on the chance for a 1hour hike to Kabigan Falls!=)) We wanted to hit Saud beach, ASAP!

Pagudpud, summer paradise!

I'm a mermaid!
Mandatory sunset shot
About to fall =))
Summer buddies =))

Summer 2014: Vigan Experience

Finally, I can cross out Vigan-Ilocos-Pagudpud on my travel list

Since October last year, my office mates and I had a PHP200 per payday fund for a Sofitel buffet dinner but along the way, we decided to go on a local trip instead. Majority voted for an Ilocandia trip versus Boracay but nobody wanted to drive! Fortunately, after weeks of back and forth email and text messages with different budget travel companies, we found Tuesday Tours and Travel! We paid PHP3800 per pax for round trip transportation, tour guide, entrance fees and 3days/2nights accommodations.

We left Mandaluyong City at 10pm and arrived the next day at 5:30am. The sun is not yet up when we walked around the prettiest street in the Philippines IMO, Calle Crisologo in Vigan! It felt like I time traveled to Spanish era. =)
Calle Crisologo, Vigan
We're too early, the restaurants are not yet open so we went on a heritage tour -> a quick visit to St. Augustine Church and semi exercise on the fragile stairs of Bell Tower. 
Bantay Bell Tower
After the much needed stretching, we're ready to eat!!

Tapa Ilocandia <3
We visited Gov. Chavit Singson's Baluarte. You know you've made it if you have a life size dinosaur replica on your backyard

Not one, not two, not three.. but four tigers or more?
Tiger as big as a horse
And a tower that glitters with GOLD!
shines bright from morning to night!
The next stop is the Crisologo Museum, they are Vigan's prominent political family who made their ancestral home an ultimate throwback place =))
Hanging Ref. Period.
We happily tried making pots at Burnayan Pottery. 
Tried is the operative word.
Some of their finished pots, amazing!
A quick stop at Paoay Church
picturesque Paoay Church
Tried something new during our lunch at Herencia's, just across the church 
Pinakbet pizza!
and something old but reliable
Bagnet #1
Good thing I already applied my sunblock because the 4x4 Sand Dunes adventure is a torture to my skin =)). We're under the sun for an hour while riding this truck, it was 2 in the freaking afternoon but the sand and sea backdrop was the saving grace.
Sand surfing - check!
2nd bagnet of the day at La Preciosa

Photo credit: Mapet

Friday, April 18, 2014

CNBLUE, my new favorite band

Once in a while, I'll get really REALLY hooked on a band who writes their own songs. Yes, that's THE requirement and YES, not every band produces their own songs. I feel like that's what separates artists from singers. 

When I was in elementary, it was of course Eraserheads era and Parokya ni Edgar in high school. I went all out fan girl to Sponge Cola when I was in college. I've been to Mayrics, Eastwood and Metrowalk gigs hahaha! I remember the highlight of my fan girl moment was when my friends and I randomly bumped to Yael Yuzon on the parking lot =)). I don't know how but I eventually got over them when I graduated and became a hardcore Pupil fan. At first, it was because its Ely Buendia's new band but I also began to like the other songs composed and produced by guitarist Yan Yuzon(Mary) and bassist Dok Sergio (Dulo ng Dila). I had my David Cook phase, who started the guy with guitar syndrome in American Idol. And now, I'm deeply into Korean rock band, CNBLUE. <3

I first heard of CNBLUE after watching the Korean drama, Lee Min Ho's The Heirs. I'm a sucker for Korean dramas, the character Yoon Chan-Young, the 1st love of Park Shin Hye's character was played by Kang MinHyuk. I was simultaneously watching "The Future Choice" because I really like Yoon Eun Hye, her character's love interest, Park SeJu, was played by Jung YongHwa. My sister told me that both MinHyuk and YongHwa are members of a rock band, CNBLUE.   I got curious because at that time, for me, KPop is equal to boy and girl groups who sing and dance. I then watched "Heartstrings" where the male lead is played by CNBLUE‘s leader, vocalist, and rhythm guitarist, Jung Yong-hwa. Kang Min-hyuk, the drummer, also played a role in the drama. They also both contributed songs on the OST (You've Fallen for Me and Because I Miss You by YongHwa and Star by Kang Min-hyuk). I continued to watch YongHwa's previous drama "You’re Beautiful" with Jang Guen Suk and Park Shin Hye before moving to YouTube for CNBLUE music videos and concerts. In between, I even watched the reality show "We Got Married" where he got paired with Girls Generation's SeoHyun and "Running Man" where he's considered as the 8th member.

The bassist Lee JungShin is also active in dramas while the guitarist Lee JongHyun played Jang Dong Gun's son in 2012 Gentleman's Dignity.

They started as an indie band in Japan, they played on small bars and on the streets of Tokyo before having a major debut in Korea. Maybe their indie roots,  although they're a mainstream artist, is what separates them from the rest.  CNBLUE songs are really catchy and they write their own music (c/o YongHwa and JongHyun). I won't lie, they're all pretty boys but they play instruments well, they produce their own songs, they're amazing!! I need to catch them live soon!!! Here's a sample live performance, even though you can only understand "Are you crazy...I'm Sorry", you'll feel their energy! Promise!

They're the 1st Korean artist to perform on MTV Unplugged
They're the 1st Korean band who set out a world tour - 14 countries, 18 cities! I'm so late in shipping CNBLUE that they already went here in Manila:(

BUT don't ask them to dance, there's a reason why they're in a band =))

I don't even have a clue about them when I went to Seoul, I need to go back!! =))

P.S. Please don't ask me about other KPop stuff, I only know CNBLUE =))