Project 365: I <3 May and Sarah! (Day 126)

A Kinect birthday party for the Mean Girls and Boy May celebrants May (May 6) and Sarah (May 2) at May’s house. Had so much fun dancing to ‘Beautiful Liar’, ‘Party Rock Anthem’, etc from the Just Dance 3 playlist.

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Project 365: I <3 cute cakes! (Day 93)

The cutest birthday cake I’ve ever seen! Bright pink and fruity! Thanks to my good friend Mia!

Project 365: I <3 San Miguel Beer! (Day 80)

Para sa samahang walang katulad! Celebrated with videoke Sherwin’s last day with RNG with Zenith Optimedia friends and co-ABS officemates 🙂

Food Trip: Nolita

03.15.2012

I usually spend my Tuesdays and Thursdays out of the office visiting my assigned advertising agencies and clients which are usually located in Makati City or Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City. That Thursday, I was in The Fort (as we like to call Bonifacio Global City for short), and my officemates Peaches and Mitch, decided to have our lunch at the new Boni High Street Central after visiting one of our agencies.

Boni High Street Central is the new area at the end of Boni High Street where new restaurants are being placed. This is where Jamba Juice is located.

We decided to try out Nolita, a New York Pizza and pasta place, for lunch and upon Mitch’s recommendation since she already ate there previously.

I was also intrigued by the place as Nolita is an area of Manhattan, New York City, that means North of Little Italy, which houses the best Italian eateries aside from Little Italy.

Stepping into the restaurant, I had a weird sense of nostalgia as I took in the interiors of the restaurant, like it reminded me of some place. Upon research I found out the owners of Nolita are the same people who brought us Borough in The Podium!

The interiors are cozy and homey and I can imagine its a great place to hang out at nights after work or after gimmick to seek some good comfort food.

This is how you order in Nolita:

Mitch and I ordered first as we waited for Peaches. Even their tables had cool New York stuff which I absolutely loved 🙂

Here was what we ordered:

Their pizza slices are the largest I’ve ever seen here in the Philippines, as their pizzas are are whopping 20 inches! It was large enough for three girls to share one slice with everyone satisfied with the slice they got. I even had trouble finishing off the second slice.

We got the Chicken Parmesan (P230) and plain cheese (P130) and there were really good! The crust was thin and chewy, and the slice loaded with toppings. And they didn’t scrimp on cheese!

Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese (P330)

Mmmmm… This is just heaven in a bowl. I adored the cheesy goodness of blue cheese, gouda, and white cheddar and like their pizzas, they didn’t scrimp on cheeses!

Iced White Chocolate

To top it off and beat off the summer heat, I got an Iced White Chocolate (P160). This one was really, really sweet and I had to dilute it with water a couple of times.

Some remarks during our visit, I am not sure if its because we ate there at lunch on a Thursday, but a lot of the things on the menu was unavailable so we had to switch a lot of our orders even if we already paid. We originally ordered the Spinach and Artichoke pizza but later on found out that they were out of Romana cheese and so we switched to Chicken Parmesan. And we also wanted rootbeer and coke floats but it turns out they ran out of ice cream so we opted for the iced drinks which were at the same price as well.

I would definitely suggest this as a good place to hang-out for dinner or after gimmicks or if you are just craving for that New York ambiance.

NOLITA

7th Ave. corner 29th St.

Bonifacio High Street Central

Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City

 

Project 365: I <3 ILP 13 friends! (Day 76)

Dinner with ILP friends Hannah and Joey at Chelsea Market Cafe in The Podium. Super laugh trip!

Road Trip: Seoul, South Korea

03.03 to 03.06

Annyeong haseyo!

I just spent the weekend on my first out of the country trip this year. Destination: Seoul, South Korea.

My officemates and I have been raring to go to this city since Cebu Pacific opened a new route to Seoul. Other officemates have raved non-stop about this place and so this became on of our must-see places on our travel lists.

For 2012, my office friends and I made this our destination for our annual out of the country trip. As soon as Cebu Pacific announced a seat sale to Seoul last October, we immediately booked our flights for March. Only three of us were able to make the bookings – so the Feb, March and April birthday girls decided to celebrate our birthdays in Seoul.

Fast forward to March 2012 and we are finally set!

Preparing to Seoul-Search

Unlike our other out of the country trips, our trip to Korea required some major preparations beforehand.

  • We had to secure a Korean Visa. For those from the Philippines planning to go to Korea, you would need to apply for a visa. It usually takes 3-5 working days to process. You can either visit the embassy personally or go through a travel agent for a fee. Please note that not all are immediately granted visas (I’ve heard of some people who were denied) and usually those with US Visas have higher chances of getting a visa.
  • March is usually end of winter, going towards spring. We’ve been monitoring the weather and the temperature ranges from -1 to 11 degrees Celsius, much colder than the Philippines, who is on its way to summer months. We had to pack winter outfits like sweaters, coats, hats, gloves, scarves and boots to keep warm.
  • Koreans speak a very different language and not all speak English. We had to stock up our iphones with Korean language translation apps to help break the language barrier.
  • Since it was our first time, we had to prepare a detailed IT to help us navigate the city. Websites like Visit Korea and apps like iTourSeoul were great help for directing us exactly where to go and how to get there.

Touch down Seoul!

We arrived in Seoul at 6.15am, right on schedule at the Incheon International Airport. From the airport, we took an airport bus (10,000 won) to the city. The airport is about an hour away from the city.

We went down the Myeong-dong station, the closest station to our guest house. For this trip we opted to stay at a guest house instead of a hotel as it was cheaper and the place we got was very accessible to the train station and the shopping area.

We were picked up by Mr. Chong, the manager of the guest house, Alps Seoul, and immediately checked in our room.

Guests houses are often used by people who stay longer in Korea, like those who study. Our room came with its own bathroom and private kitchenette at the price of a standard room of a hotel. And it was only a five minutes walk from the main shopping area – Myeong-dong!

Riding the Seoul train

Getting from one place to another is very convenient in Seoul, with their elaborate subway system, with 17 lines crisscrossing the city’s underground. Their stations are clean and well-lit, and the tracks have gates to protect passengers from falling into the tracks.

For foreign tourists, it is very easy to navigate the system as the signs and maps have English translations, and the voice over inside the trains and at the stations also have English. Their trains are also not very crowded even during rush hour that even crazy tourists like us can conveniently take a picture.

A trip on the train costs about 1650 won for a single trip but you can collect a deposit of 500 won after.

Seoul-Searching

So now we have arrived, what are the best things to do in Seoul? I’ve named the top 10 things to do while in the city:

  • Shop. Shop. Shop.

Being a bustling city, Korea is well updated with the latest fashions and brands like H&M, Forever 21, Uniqlo have all made its way there. The best place to go shopping is Myeong-dong, located at the heart of the city. It can be comparable to Times Square of New York, Tsim Tsat Tsui of Hong Kong or Orchard Road of Singapore. Rows of boutiques, restaurants and specialty shops line the area, and at night, stalls selling goods and food line the streets.

You can also try the Ehwa Women’s University area for boutiques and knick-knacks to tickle a girl’s fantasy. Since these stores cater to university students, their prices are cheaper and their items cater more to the younger crowd.

Another good place to shop is COEX Mall, located at Seongsam. Its Seoul’s biggest underground mall and hosts many activities like the Teddy Bear Museum, Kimchi Museum and an Aquarium.

  • View Seoul atop N Seoul Tower

To get the best view of the city, you can ride on a cable car up to N Seoul Tower to see the beauty that is Seoul. This is just walking distance from our guest house and Myeong-dong. After taking in the view, you can go down and affix a locket in the museum in Namsan Park.

  • Visit Nami Island

Nami Island is a small park just two hours outside Seoul. You can take the bus via the Nami Island Shuttle located in Insadong. The bus leaves at 9.30am and comes back at 4pm.To enter Nami Island, you can either take a 10 minute ferry ride or zipline your way inside.

Nami Island is a beautiful park with tree-lined paths. Its the setting for one of Korea’s most popular drama, Winter Sonata.

Visitors can walk the many paths, ride bikes or take the train around the island. It is also friendly for children as the park also boasts many playgrounds for the kids.

  • Visit a palace

Seoul is home to many palaces from the olden times and you can visit as many as five in the city. We chose to go to one, Changdeokgung Palace located in Jongno-gu. Its one of the biggest palaces and has a secret garden. There are tours around the place in Korean, Chinese and English, but tourists can explore the palace freely.

  • Look for art along Insa-dong

This is a strip of art galleries and little boutiques where you can walk around to admire artwork and shop for little trinkets. Galleries usually open new exhibitions on Wednesdays between 5pm-7pm.

  • Have coffee in one of the numerous coffee shops

Coffee shops have lined the streets of Seoul, ranging from the regular Starbucks and Coffee Bean to home grown stores like Caffe Bene and other quaint places, especially around the Hongdae area.

Our favorite thing to do in hangout in one of these places in the afternoons to get away from the bitingly cold air.

  • Shop for Cosmetics

Koreans regard skin care as high priorities on their list, and so the city is littered with hundred of beauty care shops featuring Korean beauty products. These shops boasts of using natural ingredients like snail, snake essence and mineralized water.

Its no wonder that the Korean girls have such flawless faces.

  • Visit Everland/Lotte World

For those bringing their families, you can spend a day at either Everland or Lotte World, Korea’s top amusement parks. We didn’t get to go on this trip because we had enough of the cold when we were in Nam Island.

  • Drink and be merry!

Korea, being a bustling city, also has a vivid night life. Popular places to go clubbing are in the GangNam area, while a popular drinking place is Hongdae located near Hongik University, where rows of bars and restaurants are along the streets to serve yummy Korean barbecue, chicken and beer to students and guests.

We went there on our last day during the afternoon but most restaurants were already closed.

  • Eat, eat, and eat!

I will be putting out a separate entry on Korean food, but this is a definitely must do in Seoul. Korean food is so good, even their street food is yummy!

And there you have it, our weekend Korean adventure! I am still having a severe Korean hangover.

I would definitely love to go back here again!

Nang san hami da!

 

Road Trip: Seoul, South Korea

03.03 to 03.06

Annyeong haseyo!

I just spent the weekend on my first out of the country trip this year. Destination: Seoul, South Korea.

My officemates and I have been raring to go to this city since Cebu Pacific opened a new route to Seoul. Other officemates have raved non-stop about this place and so this became on of our must-see places on our travel lists.

For 2012, my office friends and I made this our destination for our annual out of the country trip. As soon as Cebu Pacific announced a seat sale to Seoul last October, we immediately booked our flights for March. Only three of us were able to make the bookings – so the Feb, March and April birthday girls decided to celebrate our birthdays in Seoul.

Fast forward to March 2012 and we are finally set!

Preparing to Seoul-Search

Unlike our other out of the country trips, our trip to Korea required some major preparations beforehand.

  • We had to secure a Korean Visa. For those from the Philippines planning to go to Korea, you would need to apply for a visa. It usually takes 3-5 working days to process. You can either visit the embassy personally or go through a travel agent for a fee. Please note that not all are immediately granted visas (I’ve heard of some people who were denied) and usually those with US Visas have higher chances of getting a visa.
  • March is usually end of winter, going towards spring. We’ve been monitoring the weather and the temperature ranges from -1 to 11 degrees Celsius, much colder than the Philippines, who is on its way to summer months. We had to pack winter outfits like sweaters, coats, hats, gloves, scarves and boots to keep warm.
  • Koreans speak a very different language and not all speak English. We had to stock up our iphones with Korean language translation apps to help break the language barrier.
  • Since it was our first time, we had to prepare a detailed IT to help us navigate the city. Websites like Visit Korea and apps like iTourSeoul were great help for directing us exactly where to go and how to get there.

Touch down Seoul!

We arrived in Seoul at 6.15am, right on schedule at the Incheon International Airport. From the airport, we took an airport bus (10,000 won) to the city. The airport is about an hour away from the city.

We went down the Myeong-dong station, the closest station to our guest house. For this trip we opted to stay at a guest house instead of a hotel as it was cheaper and the place we got was very accessible to the train station and the shopping area.

We were picked up by Mr. Chong, the manager of the guest house, Alps Seoul, and immediately checked in our room.

Guests houses are often used by people who stay longer in Korea, like those who study. Our room came with its own bathroom and private kitchenette at the price of a standard room of a hotel. And it was only a five minutes walk from the main shopping area – Myeong-dong!

Riding the Seoul train

Getting from one place to another is very convenient in Seoul, with their elaborate subway system, with 17 lines crisscrossing the city’s underground. Their stations are clean and well-lit, and the tracks have gates to protect passengers from falling into the tracks.

For foreign tourists, it is very easy to navigate the system as the signs and maps have English translations, and the voice over inside the trains and at the stations also have English. Their trains are also not very crowded even during rush hour that even crazy tourists like us can conveniently take a picture.

A trip on the train costs about 1650 won for a single trip but you can collect a deposit of 500 won after.

Seoul-Searching

So now we have arrived, what are the best things to do in Seoul? I’ve named the top 10 things to do while in the city:

  • Shop. Shop. Shop.

Being a bustling city, Korea is well updated with the latest fashions and brands like H&M, Forever 21, Uniqlo have all made its way there. The best place to go shopping is Myeong-dong, located at the heart of the city. It can be comparable to Times Square of New York, Tsim Tsat Tsui of Hong Kong or Orchard Road of Singapore. Rows of boutiques, restaurants and specialty shops line the area, and at night, stalls selling goods and food line the streets.

You can also try the Ehwa Women’s University area for boutiques and knick-knacks to tickle a girl’s fantasy. Since these stores cater to university students, their prices are cheaper and their items cater more to the younger crowd.

Another good place to shop is COEX Mall, located at Seongsam. Its Seoul’s biggest underground mall and hosts many activities like the Teddy Bear Museum, Kimchi Museum and an Aquarium.

  • View Seoul atop N Seoul Tower

To get the best view of the city, you can ride on a cable car up to N Seoul Tower to see the beauty that is Seoul. This is just walking distance from our guest house and Myeong-dong. After taking in the view, you can go down and affix a locket in the museum in Namsan Park.

  • Visit Nami Island

Nami Island is a small park just two hours outside Seoul. You can take the bus via the Nami Island Shuttle located in Insadong. The bus leaves at 9.30am and comes back at 4pm.To enter Nami Island, you can either take a 10 minute ferry ride or zipline your way inside.

Nami Island is a beautiful park with tree-lined paths. Its the setting for one of Korea’s most popular drama, Winter Sonata.

Visitors can walk the many paths, ride bikes or take the train around the island. It is also friendly for children as the park also boasts many playgrounds for the kids.

  • Visit a palace

Seoul is home to many palaces from the olden times and you can visit as many as five in the city. We chose to go to one, Changdeokgung Palace located in Jongno-gu. Its one of the biggest palaces and has a secret garden. There are tours around the place in Korean, Chinese and English, but tourists can explore the palace freely.

  • Look for art along Insa-dong

This is a strip of art galleries and little boutiques where you can walk around to admire artwork and shop for little trinkets. Galleries usually open new exhibitions on Wednesdays between 5pm-7pm.

  • Have coffee in one of the numerous coffee shops

Coffee shops have lined the streets of Seoul, ranging from the regular Starbucks and Coffee Bean to home grown stores like Caffe Bene and other quaint places, especially around the Hongdae area.

Our favorite thing to do in hangout in one of these places in the afternoons to get away from the bitingly cold air.

  • Shop for Cosmetics

Koreans regard skin care as high priorities on their list, and so the city is littered with hundred of beauty care shops featuring Korean beauty products. These shops boasts of using natural ingredients like snail, snake essence and mineralized water.

Its no wonder that the Korean girls have such flawless faces.

  • Visit Everland/Lotte World

For those bringing their families, you can spend a day at either Everland or Lotte World, Korea’s top amusement parks. We didn’t get to go on this trip because we had enough of the cold when we were in Nam Island.

  • Drink and be merry!

Korea, being a bustling city, also has a vivid night life. Popular places to go clubbing are in the GangNam area, while a popular drinking place is Hongdae located near Hongik University, where rows of bars and restaurants are along the streets to serve yummy Korean barbecue, chicken and beer to students and guests.

We went there on our last day during the afternoon but most restaurants were already closed.

  • Eat, eat, and eat!

I will be putting out a separate entry on Korean food, but this is a definitely must do in Seoul. Korean food is so good, even their street food is yummy!

And there you have it, our weekend Korean adventure! I am still having a severe Korean hangover.

I would definitely love to go back here again!

Nang san hami da!

 

Project 365: I <3 Seoul! (Day 63 to 66)

Hi all!

I am back from my weekend trip to Seoul, Korea! And here are some photo teasers to mark day 63 to 65 🙂

Will post separate entries of my trip 🙂

Day 63: I ❤ Seoul!

Day 64: I still ❤ Seoul!

Day 65: I will always ❤ Seoul!

Day 64: I thank and ❤ Seoul!

BAR Exam Results Out

The 2011 BAR Exams results are out! Congratulations to my new lawyer friends!

  • Xina Acosta
  • Anna Basman
  • Anna Go
  • Raissa Villanueva
  • Diana Dizon
  • Bea Roque
  • Julia Britannico
  • Chris Lao
  • Abdel Discangcopan
  • Emma Cabochan

Complete list here: Philippine Law Info

Project 365: i <3 Mitzie! (Day 59)

Birthday girl!

All smiles for the birthday girl, Mitzie, as we had lunch this afternoon.