New Korean Visa Requirements for Filipinos

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I have updated my Getting a Korean Visa blog post to include the new Korean Visa requirements for Filipinos which took effect last March 1, 2015. The requirements are not exactly new but more like a clarification and/or an expansion of existing requirements.

For those of you who are traveling to Seoul, please take note of these requirements and hop on to my blog post and comments section thereof to know more.

Heart and Seoul 2014 – The War Memorial of Korea

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If you want to know something about Korean history, particularly its troubled relationships with its neighbors, you do not need to go outside of Seoul because there’s a place for you right smack in the district of Itaewon. It’s the War Memorial of Korea which is a huge military history museum with tanks, big guns, war paraphernalia, and planes on display.

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My 101 List for 2015

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Happy New Year, friends!

I hope you had a great Christmas season and I wish that this New Year will bring you all your heart’s desires.

As for me, despite some struggles which consisted mostly of things that I worried heavily about this 2014, I am still thankful because I truly learned a lot from what I went through. Again, I am thankful for food on our table, roof above our heads, a job that gives me the opportunity to earn enough to support my needs and a few little pleasures, family and friends who love me for who I am, and most especially for my baby and husband who truly complete my life.

Every Christmas, my husband and I would exchange cards/letters through which we’re able to say what is in our hearts. His message this year struck a chord with me. Aside from the usual sweet messages, he said he wishes me more success in my work, happiness in my life, peace in my heart, and that he hopes to see me smile more often.

I was touched because these were exactly the things I have always been praying for (well, not exactly that part about work). It’s not that I am not happy nor at peace, it’s just that I easily worry about things and worrying consumes me. Thus, I decided to change this.

For 2015, I decided that I will worry less and choose to be happy. I thought I should come up with my own list of 101 things to help me on this. I am going to randomly write the list below and will also put this at the sidebar so that I can easily check my progress throughout the year.

My 101 List for 2015

  1. Attend Sunday Mass every week.
  2. Bake my son’s birthday cake.
  3. Accompany my son to his swimming class every Saturday.
  4. Enroll and bring my son to a new class.
  5. Spend quality time with my son everyday, i.e., full attention without cellphone.
  6. Lose weight.
  7. Exercise with hubby.
  8. Run my first marathon.
  9. Enroll in a language school.
  10. Travel to Taipei.
  11. Return to Seoul for Fall.
  12. Bring family to at least 3 resorts/beaches.
  13. Double my monthly savings.
  14. Play badminton or hit the gym at least 2x weekly.
  15. Put up a blog entry every week.
  16. Green smoothie every week.
  17. Make Sunday a “positive vibe only” day.
  18. Eat a fruit every day.
  19. Read 5 new books.
  20. Watch 3 documentaries.
  21. Watch 3 Pinoy movies.
  22. Watch 3 Korean movies.
  23. Watch a movie made on or before I was born.
  24. Watch a concert or theater show.
  25. Visit 3 museums/art galleries.
  26. Add at least 3 new artists’ albums to my playlist.
  27. Visit a new place in Metro Manila by riding the MRT/LRT.
  28. Watch the sun rise.
  29. Watch the sun set.
  30. Write a letter and mail it.
  31. Send greeting cards to my sister and nephew.
  32. Schedule regular Lafang Club adventures.
  33. Practice 10 songs with hubby.
  34. Join a yoga class.
  35. Foot spa and whole body massage at least 2x a month.
  36. Hair spa at least once a month.
  37. Send a care package abroad.
  38. Try glamping.
  39. New hairdo.
  40. Executive health check-up.
  41. Appointment with a dentist.
  42. Visit an orphanage.
  43. Visit a house for the elders.
  44. Feed a streetchild.
  45. Donate to a charity or for a cause.
  46. Design a bag.
  47. Design a shirt.
  48. Organize a huge party.
  49. Improve blog design.
  50. Get my own domain name.
  51. Print my favorite travel photos.
  52. Buy a new camera.
  53. Take my son to an outdoor photoshoot.
  54. Family photo at the studio.
  55. Bake at least 5 items from my baking books.
  56. Bake at least 3 new things.
  57. Cook at least 3 new things.
  58. Try a new food/ingredient.
  59. No white rice.
  60. No soda.
  61. 3 liters of water daily.
  62. Organize a concert for hubby’s band.
  63. Go on a picnic.
  64. Host brunch/lunch.
  65. Organize or go to a potluck party.
  66. Try at least 5 new cafes/bakeries.
  67. Try at least 5 new restaurants.
  68. Paint my second painting.
  69. Write my future cafe/restaurant’s business plan.
  70. Improve blog layout.
  71. Create my own blog’s logo.
  72. De-clutter.
  73. Redecorate the condo.
  74. Sew something for my son.
  75. Complete a Pinterest project.
  76. DIY my baby’s 2nd birthday party.
  77. Visit at least 3 places outside Metro Manila.
  78. Learn more about coffee.
  79. Watch a movie with hubby every Friday.
  80. Schedule a staycation every quarter.
  81. Wear a dress every Monday.
  82. Plan for my 2016 travels.
  83. Plan for our 10th wedding anniversary.
  84. Plan for hubby’s 40th birthday.
  85. Plan for my mother’s 60th birthday.
  86. Watch at least 3 new Koreanovelas.
  87. Post a gratitude message in FB/Twitter everyday.
  88. Post one picture in IG everyday.
  89. Drive again.
  90. Have a spa/salon date with my mom.
  91. Have a coffee date with my dad.
  92. Try something new with my hubby.
  93. Have a whole day “me” time.
  94. Give a homemade/handmade gift.
  95. Organize my personal files.
  96. Have a date with my son.
  97. Moisturize and sun block daily.
  98. Use facial mask at least 2x a week.
  99. Learn how to put on eye makeup.
  100. Give “conscious consumer” gifts for Christmas.
  101. Share my 101 list.

 

Heart and Seoul 2014 – N Seoul Tower via the Namsan Cable Car

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There are different ways to reach N Seoul Tower. Back in 2012 during my first time in Seoul, I went to N Seoul Tower via a regular taxi. We were dropped off at something that looked like a huge bus stop. From there, we painstakingly hiked up to the foot of the tower. Hiking for couch potatoes like me is a real struggle. I remember running out of breath by the time I had a view of the ticketing office. And even for those with regular exercise, hiking will still be a bit of an effort because the road is too steep. Imagine how amazed we were to see Korean elders hiking the same path, carrying heavy-looking backpacks, and chit-chatting on their way up! I am a multi-tasker but if there’s one thing I can’t  do, it would be to hike and talk at the same time! :P

On my visit last April 2014, I took the easier option which was to visit N Seoul Tower via the Namsan Cable Car. You’ll read a lot of blogs telling you how to reach the station either by subway or by bus. But the directions can be confusing because you’ll be on the lookout for a couple of things. Well, that plus the fact that you’ll need to do a long walk from Myeongdong station and we didn’t want to do that under the mid-day sun.

So for our group, we opted to get a taxi but instead of asking the driver to directly bring us to N Seoul Tower, we asked that we be dropped off at the Namsan Cable Car station. This proved to be much easier and cost/time efficient. The only downside would probably be the wait until you board the actual cable car but that’s nothing compared to hiking, right? From the time we arrived at the station, bought our tickets, and actually boarded the cable car, I estimate that it took us a little about 20 minutes.

Do not expect though that you’ll be completely free from walking if you take the cable car.  You will still need to take a few steps up through some wooden stairs but believe me, it’s nothing to fear about. It was definitely easy peasy.

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A Weekend At Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan

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I didn’t know that my relationship with the beach or even with pools and/or swimming in general will be rekindled. I grew up in a coastal town of Batangas where my family used to have a private resthouse just right in front of the beach. I somehow got tired of the beach in general and I ended up gravitating towards the the city life more. Who would have thought that one weekend with my baby is all it takes for me to fall in love with swimming once again?

Last November 15-17, I went to Cebu with my in-laws and we had to choose between staying at Shangri-La Mactan or  Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan. Good thing we decided to stay at Crimson because it was such a lovely place that I could not have anything but the nicest words about it. I literally fell in love with Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan that after the trip, all I can think about was that beautiful resort.

We came as a family of four couples with two babies and two nannies. Everyone in our group got the Deluxe Garden Rooms while I, my hubby and baby got to enjoy the Pool Villa. We paid a minimal amount for the nannies which included their own bed and breakfast buffet.

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