SeoulFun: Shake Shack Gangnam

Saturday, April 22, 2017

It was by pure accident that we passed and saw Shake Shack in Gangnam.  I didn't even know that there was a Shake Shack in Seoul, South Korea.  I have been wanting to try it since learning about it a few years ago from friends who have gone to New York.  While we were in London last 2015 - I was aware that there was a Shake Shack that recently opened that time, we just didn't have time to visit, and then that same year, we went to Tokyo - we still didn't get to visit.  It wasn't a place that we needed to visit, but it was a place I *wish* to visit, alam mo naman my Panget!

It was right after our Samgyupsal dinner, we came from Everland and got dropped off at Gangnam.  We were quite tired and dreading the commute back to our Airbnb apartment as it was 20 stops from Gangnam to our nearest stop.  The travel time was more than an hour, it was a really long commute considering it was just one line.  We were just walking and figuring out where the subway stop was.  Google Maps works differently in Seoul, for the first time - the app was useless.

When we reached the main Gangnam street, I turned around to see what was behind us, you know to figure out where we were, to somehow have a grasp of where everything was.  Then I saw these big bold letters and neon signage said SHAKE SHACK.  My heart leaped a bit and it was that exact moment that my Panget said out loud SHAKE SHACK!  We were both suddenly alert again.  My Panget said for us to try their burgers, I told him that I didn't want to eat anymore.  We effing just literally came out from a dinner a few minutes ago!  But you know what, since there wasn't a line AND the servers were speaking English, I gave in.  Hahaha!!  So we ordered one burger each for me and my Panget and a milk shake.  The milkshake *special* that time was Matcha, my Panget's favorite.  He was more than happy to try that flavor.

So we ordered and waited.  We got the Shack Burger because it had 3 stars and the 'Shroom Burger because I liked mushrooms.  Hahaha!!

Finally, the buzzer was lighting up, it was time to get our orders from the counter.

This is Connor thinking, *What?  Eating, AGAIN?* Hahaha!!

I totally forgot to order fries!  Blame it on my already filled tummy.  I honestly don't know which is which, but here are that the burgers looked like:

The burgers were Ahhhhhhhh-MAZING, they were really REALLY good.  In tagalog, pikit mata sa sarap!!  The patties were juicy and the buns were also really good.  The toppings weren't scrimped and look at that presentation, nice diba?  I would have wanted to get another burger to try but we were already full.  I gave Yaya Belen pieces to try, and she also said they were very good, she said it was different from what we are used to in Manila.  It was so refreshing to eat this real burger amidst all the Korean food, it was something different and it was really worth it.

We had the kids try the milkshake.  It took them a while sipping because the milkshake was so thick.  This was already when Kailee was successful in sipping the milkshake.  Connor had his first try and it took him more than a minute trying to sip it.  I had to sip it for them first.  Hahaha!!  It was real Matcha, not the really sweet one, but the sweet and bitter Match.  It was wonderful.

Finally, I can say - I've tried Shake Shack, and it's truly good!  Nothing of those, good just for the sake of saying its good.  Masarap talaga.  I'm glad that I didn't have to line up, I don't think I'll have the patience to.  Hahaha!  I hope there will be a next time - maybe in Tokyo?  Hahahaha!!  I promised myself thought that I won't forget to get the fries next time, and MORE milkshakes!

Shake Shack Gangnam
Official Facebook Page of Shake Shack Gangnam

Earn rewards with the Philam Vitality Active App!!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Just by walking, you will earn you rewards.

Really?  Seriously.

I am dead serious.

With the Philam Vitality Active App, being on the go and active gets your rewarded!  It's the coolest thing, not only will your body and being be rewarded - you'll be rewarded when you reach certain goals!  To give you an idea on what these rewards are:

Just download the Philam Vitality App on the App Store or Google Play.  Fill in the details and answer a quick questionnaire about yourself and health and voila - you're good to go.  Since I am on a Fitbit tracker, I have connected my Fitbit app with the Philam Vitality Active App, so they can sync my day to day activities.

How I wish I had learned of this app last week.  I could have gotten so many rewards with my highest record of 29,244 steps in one day!  But you know what, I'll try and reach that goal again.  Haha!  I know it'll be a long process, but it's a good process for my health and being.  Walking your way to a more healthy you.  I read somewhere to maintain your health, you'll need to walk at least 5,000 steps a day.  Then to lose weigh, you'll need to walk at least 10,000 steps.  My daily goal is really just 5,000 - but when I reach 10,000 steps, I feel like I've won a contest!  Hahaha.. Let's be conscious of our health with the help of the Philam Vitality Active App, walking can earn you rewards and more!

So what are you waiting for?  I'm sure you guys have those fitness wearables already.  Download the app from Google Play and App Store and start getting rewarded!  I pride myself whenever I see that I do at least 5,000 steps a day, with the Philam Vitatilty App, you'll get more rewards when you sync it the apps together!  It's hitting two birds with one stone - health rewards and freebies!  I bet you won't find that in any other health app in the market!

So keep walking, like I will be.

Hurry as you have only until June 2017 to claim your rewards! 

This is for a limited time only.

What are you waiting for?

Get the Philam Vitatlity Active app NOW!

Hong Kong: The Excelsior Hotel

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Above and beyond is what I can say about my recent stay at The Excelsior Hotel.  The hotel really made our stay very comfortable and special.  I don't think I remember any other hotel doing this to us in the recent years.

The Excelsior Hotel has been our go-to hotel when I was still young.  My mom would always pick this hotel or The Park Lane when we were younger.  My brother and I have memorized the streets of Causeway Bay like it was Manila because of our frequent stay here.  It was only when the rates went up and cheaper hotels sprouted that we stopped staying at The Excelsior.  I honestly think it has been more than 15 years since I last stayed there.  It was only last October 2016 that I was able to stay there again.  The lobby, the elevators, the hallways and the room looked the same, it was exactly how I remembered it to be.  All the memories came rushing back - the old World Trade Center mall, how it was a smaller shop then and the small restaurants that filled the streets.  Only the streets were different, everything else was the same.

When I emailed the hotel directly to reserve a room, I informed them that we were arriving earlier than the check in time, they replied saying they will try their best but cannot guarantee it.  During our stay in October of last year, they were able to give us a room immediately.  I was secretly hoping they'd do the same.

Our check-in was a breeze, I think because it's early in the morning - and also, I just learned that Good Friday, Black Saturday and Easter Monday are official holidays in Hong Kong.  My friend Cubie told me before that most Hong Kong-ers go out of Hong Kong when there's a long weekend.  But last weekend, it was the HKTDC's Electronics Fair Spring Edition, and that was my Panget's main purpose.

At the check-in counter, I was kidding with the staff to upgrade our room, he apologized and said there were no upgrades.  After a few clicks, he smiled and said a room was available for us right away, I was really happy since I wanted to freshen up before going to the exhibition.  He also said right after handing the card keys to me *Oh, we've also upgraded you to a harbor view room*, I was ecstatic!  I have long wished to have a harbor view in all of my hotel rooms in HK, but I think it happened just a few times when I was younger, we mostly got city view rooms.

This was what greeted us when we entered the room:

I was floored - it was a REAL harbor view room, it wasn't a semi-harbor view room, it was a LEGIT harbor view.  My Panget caught me smiling and I was just staring at the view.  The room looked really different too!  I mean compared to our room last October 2016.  This room had a bay window (I learned of this bay window from watching Peter Pan the cartoon!  Wendy always sat there when she looked outside).  I think I spent about 15-20 minutes sitting there and admiring the view.  I can't explain it, but it was such a magical moment for me.  My Panget was laughing at me saying how *babaw* I was, I didn't care - I loved the view, I really loved it sooo much.  So you can just imagine, I would spend my morning having breakfast inside the room - looking out the window.  I don't think we even opened the TV in the morning.

I was also glad that they've renovated the rooms.  The rooms are more modern now, the colors are softer on the eye and the furnitures, are more practical.  The bathroom stayed functional as it needs to be.  The hallways are more brightly lit and I loved the new scent of the hotel.

On our last night, we were surprised to see this.  We were also given complimentary white wine.

Did we look like lovebirds to the staff?  Hahaha!!

After packing, I called the Front Desk wanting to ask for a late check out.  I was merely hoping for a 1pm check out since that's the usual leeway that most hotels give.  After a few seconds of hearing clicks here and there, the Front Desk staff told me *Sure, we can extend your check out time to 3pm*, I had to ask again, and I did because I wasn't sure that I heard it correctly - and I did hear it correctly, it was at 3pm - 3PM!  Wow!  The person I was speaking to told me, *since you're flight is at 6pm, we'd be glad to extend it to 3PM*

This is the FIRST TIME EVER that a 3PM check-out time was extended to me in my lifetime.  I was floored.  I guess my Panget heard the surprise and enthusiasm in my voice that he asked why.  So I told him that we extended till 3PM to check out.  He gave an impressed laugh, I guess he was also surprised.  Hahaha!

We were smiling to each other saying, that the staff has gone above and beyond.  We were really impressed.  We really didn't expect anything out of the ordinary for this stay, but we were amazed, surprised and impressed with the kind of service that was given us.  We felt genuine warmth and hospitality during our stay.

Thank you The Excelsior Hong Kong, you're unforgettable.

SeoulFun: Skin Care - Laniege Waterbank

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

South Korea is the land of skin care products.  My Panget noticed on this trip that the skin of the Koreans that he has seen were mostly flawless.  I told him, it's because of the their 10 step skin care regimen.  He looked at me and repeated - 10 steps?  I said yes!  I am one who is very very very lazy in putting on moisturizer.  I have been told to start doing so as early as my teens, but well - I'm lazy.  I am very masipag though, when it came to washing my face.  My mom introduced me to Shiseido when I was in my teens - I used the Pureness line, it was for younger skin.  I swear by it and up until in my late 20's I was still using it.  I guess when I was younger, I didn't have a problem with acne or dry skin.  It was only when I got pregnant that, well - I needed to use moisturizers.

One thing I dislike with moisturizers is the feeling that my face is sweating after I put them on.  I only have one moisturizer that I like - it's a local brand, Celeteque and the reason is because, when I put it one, my face absorbs it immediately.  I'm very lucky that I don't experience any irritation.  But as the years passed, I felt that I needed to up the dose of the moisturizer I put depending on the weather.  When I travel, I bring a small tube of Celeteque and an imported brand, for the past 3 years I have been using Clinique when I go to somewhere cold.  But late last year, I noticed some bumps on my forehead and cheeks when I used Clinique.  A HS batchmate who's a derma told me to stop applying it, and within a day or two, the bumps disappeared.  I still use Clinique when I feel that my skin is extra dry.  I still rely heavily on my good old Celeteque.

So on this trip, I asked friends on recommendations.  Most of them recommended Innisfree, it's a brand that is not found here in Manila.  They were raving about the toner and moisturizer and make-up.  It was a good thing that my friend Kath asked me to buy a toner for her, the staff gave me samples to try.  I tried it when we got back to our Airbnb apartment, the next day - there were bumps.  My skin was irritated - so I stopped.  I then asked my beauty guru - Rowena her recommendation, she said Laniege.  I have been reading about that brand from her for years.  So when my Panget and I saw a store, we went in.  I only asked the staff to give me a toner and moisturizer for dry skin.  She handed me the Water Bank line.  I didn't try the product anymore, I thought to myself - bahala na.  It was only when I got back to Manila did I try the product.

The toner and moisturizer are AMAZING.  What I have been looking for in a product most of my life - the instant absorbed feeling?  I got it with these two products.  They didn't feel heavy at all, not at all!!  In fact, after a while of putting them on, I would touch my skin and think - *did I apply moisturizer already?* that's how natural it feels to me.  It's light on the skin, and the products is absorbed quickly.  I was impressed, I was really impressed that I messaged Rowena!  Hahaha..  Finally in my X number of years asking dermas why my face sweats when I put popular moisturizers on (and most couldn't give me a straight answer) I finally found one without much research!

I am now thinking, maybe I should be getting the whole line!  Hahaha.. Let's see if I can convince my Panget.  Hmmmm....

Thank you Rowena for the reco!

I am so loving Laniege's Water Bank line and it's just been a few weeks!  I look forward to putting the products on everyday.  Hahaha!! :)

SeoulFun: Skin Care - Innisfree Sunscreen Cushion

Saturday, April 08, 2017

I am sooooo lazy to put on sunscreen.  I only put them on when I got to Subic during Holy Week.  In all other places that I go to even if it's sunny, I don't put them on at all.  I hate the feeling plus my skin gets all bumpy afterwards.

I have read soooo many articles saying how important sunscreen is even if you're inside the office.  Apparently, there are still UV rays found in indoor lightings.  I would always tell myself, I'm inside the office anyway.  Bahala na si Batman.

I am very loyal when it comes to skin care brands, so for sunscreen on my face I only trust a few brands, namely Shiseido and Neutrogena.  Shiseido is expensive, while Neutrogena well, it's not as pricey but finding it in Manila a few years ago was impossible.  I remember ordering all of my sunscreen in Amazon just in time for it to arrive before the Holy Week.  I was so happy when I saw Neutrogena sunscreen/sunblock being launched years ago here in Manila.  At least I won't need to order in Amazon anymore.

A day before I was to go back to Manila, Tanya, a friend messaged me asking me if I can buy her refills of an Innisfree Sunscreen cushion.  I got curious and started asking her all sorts of questions.  When I heard cushion, I immediately assumed it was a tinted sunscreen, but I was wrong - this one, the Innisfree Sunscreen Cushion is not tinted at all.  I'm easily convinced, especially if friends swear by a certain products.  So on my last day, I was eagerly looking for an Innisfree store or counter.  Sadly, I couldn't find one.  So I told myself, you know what - if it's meant to be, it's meant to be.

After our last lunch in Seoul, I was already telling myself, *lower your expectations* - if you don't see a store, then it's not meant to be.  On the way to the airport, I was secretly wishing that I'd see an Innisfree store or counter.  Imagine, the days before my friend messaged me, I was seeing Innisfree EVERYWHERE!  Hahahaha.. How ironic, noh?

When we were done checking in our bags, I still had to return my KT Olleh pocket wifi.  It was quite a distance to the Korea Telecom kiosk, so as I was walking there, I noticed a brightly lit store in the middle of the check in counters.  The store had no signs whatsoever, but I had a feeling that it was a beauty store.  As I walked closer, I saw the word Innisfree!  I decided to return my pocket wifi first before going to the store, I mean, I didn't know how long I'd take looking at the products!  Hahaha..  So I went back after leaving my pocket wifi.  The first thing I did was show a picture of the Innisfree Sunscreen Cushion refill to the staff.  I honestly didn't know what I was looking for, luckily she pointed to the products!  They had it in the store!  Yahooooooo!!  I looked at the price and it was 12,000KRW, I got 2 pieces for my friend Tanya and then decided to add another one for myself to try.  Since I only got a refill, I had to buy a compact to place it into - I let the Innisfree staff choose a design for me because I didn't want to think anymore.  Haha!  As I was about to pay, she then told me that some tinted lipbalms were on buy one take one, I picked a light shade and got a pair, one for me and one for Kailee.  Hahahaha!! :)

When I got home, I opened the refill and placed it on the compact.  I just looked at it and it was so cute and girly!  Hahaha..  Then last Sunday, because the kids were going swimming, I decided - why not try the sunscreen cushion to see if it works (para hindi naman sayang pera diba?), I was impressed that it was so easy to put on, it didn't feel greasy and heavy.  I even did retouch after an hour and it was so easy to do!

I was telling myself, sana pala these Koreans thought about this sunscreen cushion 10 years ago!  Hahaha.. But in fairness, I'm so glad that Koreans are very innovative when it comes to skin care products.  It's really considerate of them to think of a more convenient way to put on sunscreen without the icky icky feeling on the hands.  This is a great option for those always on the go.  I read also that you can put this on first, and then your foundation.  Galing diba?????

Now, I wish I had someone with me to peer pressure me into buying these stuff.  Hahaha!! :)  Thanks Tanya, you were instrumental.  Hehehehe...

SeoulFun: Lotte World + Caricature

Friday, April 07, 2017

When you say Lotte, it's automatic that it's Korean.  I learned this in the 90's when my mom and I went on a mother daughter trip.  I remember seeing a huge skating rink - and during that time, it was the height of ice skating in Manila because of Megamall's ice skating rink in building A.  I remember my mom buying me a pair of white ice skates.  I loved them very much to the point that I never used them.  I just opened them, admired them, held them, wore them and pretended to skate in my carpeted room.  Hahaha.. I never did lessons.  I honestly, don't know where my skates are now, but wherever they are, I wish them well.

So when my Panget planned a trip to Korea, well - he mentioned going to Lotte World.  All those memories of my *once* white ice skating shoes came rushing back.  Hahaha!!  I honestly don't have any recollection of what the place looked like.  When my Panget said it was far, I didn't believe him - I mean, I knew it was in Seoul, so for sure it wasn't that far.

When I used Google Maps, I was surprised to see that the travel time is 48 minutes!  I thought to myself, was it THAT far?  I didn't think so, I didn't want to believe it.  So the night before, I already tried looking for a train route, well the fastest train route.  There wasn't any, the fastest was 38 minutes - I guess, Seoul is really a big city and Lotte World was really far from where we were staying.  

Since Lotte World opens at 10am, we decided to leave at 9:30am - we thought that was more than enough time.  We didn't want to leave too early too.  So we started our journey to Lotte World.

Waiting for the subway/train in Seoul takes time.  It wasn't unlike in Hong Kong or Japan, that the trains were arriving every few minutes.  We found ourselves waiting for about 5-8 minutes for the train to arrive.  And when it did, we had to wait a few stops to change trains.  In total, we had to change about 3 trains.  In theory - well, it was fairly easy right?  Wrong!  Changing lines in Seoul did not mean just walking across the platform.  It meant leaving that platform and walking about 3-5 minutes up and down the stairs to get to the right platform.  When you think about it 3-5 minutes is quite short, but when you actually do the 3-5minute walk with strollers and going up and down the stairs, well - it's not as easy.

We got to Lotte World at 11am.  What we thought was only 38 minutes progressed to 90 minutes because of the walking and waiting for trains to arrive.  I guess, it was really far - well commuting via trains, that is.  We then decided to have a quick lunch before entering Lotte World.

Image grabbed from THIS site

I honestly couldn't imagine what an indoor theme park looked like.  In my head it seemed odd, but when I saw Lotte World, I realized that it was a small theme park that was enclosed in a mall.  It was impressive because there was a hot air balloon ride that was hanging from the ceiling.  Imagine the magnitude of this enclosed mini theme park.  Lotte World is really for kids - I didn't feel very excited (like I felt when we went to Disney Sea) I wasn't as excited but the kids were.  We rode the carousel, did an almost VR ride, the hot air balloon and the kids did this.  Watch Connor closely.  This is the first time the kids did rides without adults.


My Panget, Yaya Belen and I were laughing sooooo hard!  The good thing was that -  Connor enjoyed the ride.  I was fearing that they'd cry!  Hahaha..

Lotte World has an indoor and outdoor theme park.  The indoor is mostly for kids, the outdoor is for older kids and adults.  The lines were long and I wasn't keen on waiting for a ride.  We spent a good 15 minutes just walking around.  The kids were quite bored at the outdoor park because they all saw rides for bigger kids.  There were two rides for kids, but they were closed.

So when we decided to leave, we had to go back to the indoor park, as the subway station was below it.  While walking to the subway station, I spotted a caricature artist.  I remember when I was younger, we had our own - but it was in Japan!  Hahaha.. So I told my Panget that I wanted the kids to have one made.  Kailee willingly obliged while Connor, he wasn't too happy with it.  Connor has issues of seeing people draw him, he feels they are all ugly!  Hahahaha..

So here are the caricatures.  These cost 10,000KRW + 4,000RW for laminating.

What do you think?


SeoulFun: Egg Pocket Wifi Rental

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

They call it Egg.  I don't know why, but - that's what they call it.  I have this insatiable need to be online all the time whenever I am out of the country.  I know it's odd, but that's how I feel.  I rely on it heavily when it comes to directions and communication.  And so every country that I go to, I try and look for a pocket wifi rental or how to buy a tourist/local simcard.

While searching for one in Seoul, I kept on seeing the word *Egg*, I was honestly confused because, what the hell does an egg have to do with a pocket wifi?  After much reading, I realized they called it an egg because the device is mostly white in color and if I am not mistaken, it used to be an oval shape?  I am not sure, I know I've read that somewhere, but please don't take my word for it.  Haha!!

So the search was on.

I asked a couple of people on their recommendation and they gave different opinions.  Our Airbnb host discouraged it as *there's wifi everywhere in Korea*.  A friend told me that she bought a local sim card.  Two friends recommended the KT Olleh pocket wifi.  I decided on the KT Olleh because of CM and Trixie.  Hihi.. So I googled.

This is the site where I rented my KT Olleh pocket wifi - Korea Telecom.  I felt that this was the most complete of all those I got to search.  They offered sim cards for voice and data and pocket wifi rentals.  Unlike in Japan where you rent a pocket wifi with sim, here - you'll have to pay extra for the pocket wifi unit.  But while reading through, if one books online, the rental of the unit is FREE!  Yehey!

I had one issue though, we were arriving at 6 in the morning!  I was worried that their counters would be closed, since - I mean - who was open at 6 freaking in the morning?!  Well, well, well - apparently KT Olleh had a counter that is open for 24 hours!  BRILLIANT!  I was starting to love the efficiency of the Koreans.  Cool right?

Reserving online is fairly easy.  You'll need to fill out the forms and then submit them.  After a few hours, you'll receive a reply from them with a payment form to fill up.  After that, you'll receive a confirmation number, make sure to keep it.  An idea would be to take a picture of the confirmation number on your phone.  I didn't need to print out a confirmation letter, as my friend Trixie said that I just needed to show the confirmation number at the counter and give them my passport.  I was honestly quite nervous, I mean - I didn't have any confirmation letter, but I trusted the efficiency of Korea Telecom.  I made sure to print out the location of the KT Olleh kiosks, so I won't get lost.

Cost was at KRW5,500.00/day.  Roughly that's about PHP275.00/day, that's definitely cheaper than the data roaming rates of Globe and Smart (which are at Php600+ a day).  And since it's a pocket wifi - you can have 5 gadgets connected at the same time.  Good deal, right?  I know that there are other options available locally, but I am too paranoid that they won't work while I'm out of the country, so to be safe - I'd rather go with a certain country's local telecom company.  At the very least, their signal will be efficient and consistent.

We arrived in Incheon Airport a little before 6am, I was surprised that the airport was filled with arriving passengers.  I guess most flight arrive very early in Incheon.  I searched for the KT Olleh booth with my print out (location) map and when I saw it, went to the counter and just presented my cellphone with the pic of the confirmation number.  They then asked for my passport and proceeded to hand me a small packet.  I was too much in a rush to have taken a picture of what was given me.  I got this on the site, they pack is exactly what is in the picture:

This egg worked great while we were in Seoul and in Everland.  The signal was always high and there wasn't a single time that I had to reset it (turn it off and on, like what we are always asked to do here in the country - that I really don't understand).  As for the battery, well - we had 2 gadgets connected the whole day, I turned on the pocket wifi from 9:30am until about 10:00pm and it was still okay.  There was just one day that I had to connect it to my power bank.

So, overall - I was very very happy with my pocket wifi rental.  I would recommend this to friends and family renting this out.  It's very convenient, signal is always good PLUS you can connect multiple gadgets at the same time.  Another plus point, is that there is no data cap, meaning it's unlimited, really unlimited!! :)  Speed is also fast, at least 5mbps!

Returning was quite easy too.  There are numerous counters in the Departure Hall for you to return the units.

I talk to these pocket wifi units before I return them (to the counters or before I drop them off their mailboxes).  I say thank you to them because they have helped me during the trip.  I know, it's odd but I still do it every time.  Hahaha!  They have served their purpose and they need to be thanked for serving me and my family.  I really appreciate these gadgets very much.

SeoulEats: Samgyupsal (Pork Belly) Grill

Monday, March 27, 2017

Looking for a place to eat in Jegi-dong, Seoul is not as easy as compared to other (touristy) areas.  There are not much *pictures* that show you images of food that imply that certain places are restaurants.  We knew it was going to be a tough first night.  I say night because we had lunch inside a mall that had restaurants on a certain floor.  Hihi..

So, on our first night - the kids were already tired and sleepy.  So, my Panget and I just bought them fried chicken from a nearby chicken restaurant place and instant microwavable rice from 7/11 to eat in our Airbnb apartment.  We opted try our luck - so we walked and searched for those exhaust tubes from the ceiling that we can see from the outside.  We were also quite tired and after much walking, we decided to try our luck in a small restaurant we felt was good because it was almost full of diners.

When we got inside, there was no English menu to be found.  We saw though that diners were grilling meats!  We thought, we can do the *turo turo* system.  But then I made the mistake of saying *Samgyupsal* to the elder man who was in charge, let's call him Angkong.  His eyes lit up and started to serve us the Korean side dishes.  My Panget and I waited and then in a few minutes, the raw pork belly slices were served us for grilling.  My Panget looked at me mentioned it wasn't the same type of meat at the ones we saw on the tables beside us.  I told him, I told Angkong - samgyupsal, and it meant pork belly.  I think my Panget was too hungry to argue and so I started cooking and him eating.  The samgyupsal was really good.  I was telling my Panget that am in awe of their pork because comparing them with those in Manila - they don't taste the same!  I was assuming that the quality of pork was different in terms of standards and quality.

But the meal was incomplete without rice.  So I asked my Panget to look for the term rice in Korean and call Angkong's attention to order.  Angkong looked at his cellphone and then suddenly pulled out of his pocket a small magnifying glass!  Hahaha.. It was so adorable, really - and he looked closer  and laughed!  I asked my Panget why and he was also confused.  Angkong then walked away.  I asked my Panget if he got the correct term in Korean on his phone, he looked at me blankly and told me it's rice!  Hahaha..  But I guess, Angkong got the message because in a few seconds - we were served rice in the Korean famous stainless bowls.

After eating the Samgyupsal order, we still felt the meal was kulang.  Maybe because we saw neighboring tables have the beef meat slices.  So I tapped Angkong in the shoulder and pointed to the meat of the table beside us and help my finger to signify the number *1*.  He looked confused but then the table beside us said something in Korean and when Angkong came back, he gave us an order of the sliced beef.  So I grilled away and ate and ate.

After eating, we told ourselves that at least now, we'd have a restaurant that we can go to that is nearby - you know, just in case we're too tired already.  When Angkong saw us finished, he came to me at spoke in Korean with rice grains in his palm.  I honestly didn't understand what he was trying to say - and then it occurred to me that maybe my Panget searched the wrong term for rice in Korean.  Angkong then went back to me and typed a character in Korean in his phone and pointed to the rice.  I then told my Panget, that maybe like in Tagalog - rice can mean two things - bigas and kanin.  There was a big difference when you use the incorrect term, right?  And I was right because when we got home, I tried googling - and indeed, my Panget showed Angkong the term for bigas!  But at least now, I know what steamed rice is in Korean - it's BAP!  Hahaha.. I learned something new!

Because we were so hungry, I failed to take pictures of our meal.  But believe me when I say that it was really really good!

We came back - two more times.  Hahaha!!  The second time was with the kids in tow.  Angkong was happy to welcome us!  He was extra nice to us, I think he was smitten by Connor.  He was smiling at him every so often and even gave the kids seaweeds to snack on!  When we sat on the table, he already new what to give us to grill - Samgyupsal!  Hahaha..  He kept on going to our table checking the heat and smiling at Connor.  And then suddenly he took out his phone and it showed a picture of a little boy that looked similar to Connor!  He them pointed to the picture and then at him.  I can only assume that the little boy in the picture is his grandson and since he looked like Connor, Angkong was really smitten!  Hahahaha..

I promised, I would write about him and his restaurant because we loved the food and his service is top notch.  I wasn't again, able to take pictures of the food because well, we were too hungry already!  But the second time was still very good.

On our last day in Seoul, we didn't want to go far anymore.  So we decided, what the heck - go back to this restaurant for our last lunch!  Hahaha.. When we entered, it was so different from the two dinners that we had.  They were serving stews!  And they all looked fiery red.  Yikes.  I was telling my Panget, how we can order something different.  But Angkong came to the rescue.  Each and every diner there was eating the stew, and we well I think since he was happy to see us back - served us Samgyupsal!  Hahahaha..  We felt really special because Angkong went out of his way to arrange the charcoal grill and served us something that he didn't serve to others that lunch time!  Hahaha..

Before we left, I made sure to take a picture with Angkong.  I also told my Panget to take a picture of the facade of his restaurant.

Isn't angkong cute?  Hihi!!  He reminds me of the angkong in the movie Up!

If in case you find yourself in Jegidong (Herb Medicine area) or in Jegidong Station.  This restaurant is nearby Exit 3.  Go out of Exit 3 and just walk straight and turn right on the first street on your right - walk a few meters and it'll be on your right side.  It's the only restaurant with those expandable exhaust hanging from the ceiling.  The only english words you'll see is SINCE 1979!  Hahah.. Good luck!

Happy 1st Birthday Belo Baby!

Friday, March 17, 2017

My kids are sensitive creatures.  I'm sure you've read it here on this blog that they have skin asthma.  Believe me, I have exhausted my time and resources trying to find them products that will not irritate their skin.  Last year, I was so happy to learn and experience Belo Baby.

It's been a year and what a year it has been.  It was filled with surprising discoveries!  I can only say good things, very good things on the Belo Baby line.  I'm very happy to share that my kids and I love love Belo Baby products.   Belo Baby products are crafted with care for the most delicate skin, for the most meticulous moms - and I am that particular mom.   I am so glad that Belo Baby products are found in most supermarkets and department stores.  It's so easy to find - and it suits my kids' skin condition.  I'm really very happy that you can find it most anywhere.  No need to worry about having the time looking for these products.  Thank you Belo Baby for being available most everywhere.

We love all three products!  But my kids' favorite has to be the Belo Baby Hair and Body Wash.  It's a two in one product that uses only natural ingredients and is gentle on the hair and the body.  Ever since trying these products last year, it has been a staple in the kid's bath time - and a staple in our travel toiletry kit too.  Yes, we have brought the Belo Baby Hair and Body Wash in ALL of our travels last year.  If only the bottles we brought can just talk - I'm sure it would have told tales of adventures, laughter and delight.  My kids would look forward to bath time (away from home) and look for their favorite Belo Baby Hair and Body Wash!

My personal favorite is the Belo Baby Lotion.  There's a reason why it's my favorite - I confess, I use this too on myself.  Hahaha!!  It was just last year that I learned that I too had sensitive skin.  My legs would feel really itchy and I thought that I had allergies or something.  And so when I finally saw a dermatologist, she suggested that I try and use products that I use on my kids.   To be honest, I was very skeptical - but since the product is being used by the kids - I might as well try it, right?  And so  I tried the Belo Baby Lotion on myself.   I was honestly nervous, I mean - seriously, I was dreading the process of looking for a product that would suit me.  Imagine, in my mind, I was already thinking of products to try had Belo Baby Lotion not work on me.  But you know what,  I was so surprised and happy that the Belo Baby Lotion worked on me!  To think that I'm already in my 30s, ha!  It was such a huge huge huge relief that I am *hiyang* with the product.  I'm impressed that a products made for kids can also be used by adults!  Hahaha!  No need to search far and wide for a product that suits me - Belo Baby Lotion works for adults and kids alike!

As for the soap, well - we have it in all our sinks at home!  I am at the stage where I try and instill in my children the habit of washing their hands every so often.  Cleanliness is next to godliness, right?  And what better product to use than Belo Baby Soap, it's gentle, it cleanses and it's made of natural ingredients.  I am not afraid anymore of having to worry that their skin gets dry and cracked from too much washing of their hands.

The BEST thing about Belo Baby products is that it's 100% Filipino.  I'm proud that a product like Belo Baby can compete with foreign brands in giving the Filipino kids and adults a product that is world class.

It's been a wonderful year Belo Baby.  Thank you to the Belo family for crafting wonderful products for kids.  I am so happy to have found your products.  Skin care has changed for us since we first used Belo Baby products.

Happy Happy 1st  Birthday Belo Baby!

Because we love love love Belo Baby products, the Belo family wishes to give you guys a chance to win their products!  Belo Baby has been so kind to sponsor a giveaway here on this blog!!  Yahoooo!!  Just post a comment with your name and valid email address sharing your Belo Baby moment!

Three (3) winners will be announced on March 24, 2017 :)

This giveaway is open to everyone in the Philippines!  Yes, you read that right - the giveaway is NATIONWIDE!  So happy that  #BeloBaby will ship your prized to you!!  So please join!!

Starbucks's layer collection & new lunch food items!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Starting today, February 21 - Starbucks releases their layer collection - the new Espresso drinks!

Tahitian Vanilla Macchiato offers a twist on the classic pairing of vanilla and coffee – a marriage made in heaven. Tahitian Vanilla has a unique floral aroma and mild sweetness which pairs the roasty coffee, complemented by a layer of velvety steamed milk, then topped with Starbucks signature espresso and finished with vanilla bean specks and vanilla drizzle in our classic double crosshatch pattern.

Meanwhile, the refreshing Valencia Orange Cocoa Cappuccino is perfectly blended to suit the taste of those who need the reinvigorating sweet flavor. In this beverage, Valencia Orange Mocha Sauce is combined with milk, topped with dense and creamy foam and then layered with affogato-style signature espresso shots, sweet cocoa powder and tartly-sweet bits of orange peel to add even more flavors.

And here are some of the new lunch items, I'm so looking forward to having them.  I sooo love Starbucks' food items!  Hihi...

Cheese Steak on Ciabatta Bread 

 Clubhouse on Sourdough Bread

 Cold soba with Chicken

 Salmon Dill on Multigrain Bread

Sweet Potato Salad

Everything looks delish guys!

Head on to your favorite Starbucks and try these!

Smart Cares, I'm not kidding

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Last Friday, I made a post on my love hate relationship with Smart.  I also said that I would update the post, but instead of updating - I thought of just making a new post on my experience.

To be honest, I was expecting to be shut down.  I have been shut down by Smart a couple of times when I complained of their interrupted and non service days.  So with my recent complaint, I just wanted to vent out.

I exchanged messages via DM with #SmartCares on twitter.  I was frustrated most of the time because it seemed they didn't read through my messages.  I had to repeat and send the messages again for them to understand my situation.

But yesterday afternoon, I finally got through to them.  This was their reply to me.

I was honestly so surprised and happy at the same time.  I never expected a telco to give back what they took.  In all seriousness, I am still in a bit of shock.  

As of the moment, the P50.00 has been credited already.

May I just say?  I think Smart is really the better telco in the country.  It's just unfortunate that most of the people I call and communicate with are with the rival network, thus my decision to stay with the rival telco.  Someday, I wish I can have the courage to switch.  Someday.

Thank you Smart, you really care.

Thank you super duper!!!

Valentines at Shakeaway!

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Press Release

Love is in the air at Shakeaway, the world’s largest milkshake bar company!
We have created a range of Valentine's specials that everyone is sure to fall in love with.
Delicious combinations include aphrodisiac chocolates, sweet flavors, and pastel-hued shakes.

Blushing Bea 
a pink shake that blends strawberries and strawberry cream tarts topped 
with white choco chips

Cheesy Chris 
a sweet-salty drink of Ritz cheese crackers and caramel cheese
 popcorn topped with potato chips

Devoted Daisy 
a decadent milkshake of chocolate hobnob biscuits and chocolate cake 
topped with chocolate-covered cornflakes

Forever Faye 
an enticing combination of Tic Tac orange and Fox candies 
topped with popping candy

Lovable Lica 
a saccharine concoction that blends strawberry gummy belts 
with marshmallows topped with mallows

Passionate Paul 
a rich combination of Oreo’s and cherries topped with milk choco chips

Plus, only on Valentines Day, February 14, we offer a Share the Love promo: Order a large shake from our Valentine’s menu and pay the regular price only!
That’s P60 in savings!
Share your milkshake with your Valentine or shake off your single blues with a delicious milkshake that you can finish all on your own just because.

BDO: We find ways (to take your money!)

Thursday, February 02, 2017

The only reason why I bank with BDO is the convenience of their numerous branches and long banking hours.  Everywhere you go there will be a BDO branch for sure.

Another thing that I find convenient is their BDO app that can send money to other BDO account without enrollment.  It's very convenient!

But lo and behold when I read a blogpost that BDO will start charging P10.00 for every *send money to an UN-Enrolled BDO account* transaction, it got me thinking.

Why the hell do they need to charge P10.00 for this transaction?

Do they want us to waste our time and line up at the branches?  If yes, then why make an app that helps your customers??

I find it stupid really.  Really really stupid.  I mean, the money just goes around their system.  It's not as if the money transferred is to another bank!  It's within the SAME BANK!!

Here's a screen shot from their OFFICIAL Facebook Page

My question is - ARE THESE CHARGES VALID?  Who approves these kinds of charges?

How the hell do we enroll all the accounts that we want to make deposits to?  Do we have that great foresight?

I'm sure there's a government entity that approves these charges - so WHO IS THAT government entity or office?  I want to make a complaint on it.

I'm sure there are a LOT of us that will be affected by this P10.00 charge.  When you think about it, P10.00 is quite minimal but IMAGINE THE MAGNITUDE OF MONEY INVOLVED ACROSS ALL THE BDO account holders who use this facility in their apps.  Take for example 100 people do this on a daily basis that's 100 x P10.00 = P1,000.00/day x 365 days in a year, that's already P365,000.00 a year!  And I was just being CONSERVATIVE on my calculations!  Imagine if it balloons to 500 people using that *send money to an un-enrolled account* 500 x P10.00 = P5,000/day x 365 days!  that's a whopping P1,825,000.00 - more than 1 million a year earned because people used the app to send money!

GARAGE SALE #ClosetCleanoutSale2017 !!

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

On it's 2nd year!! :)

We are cleaning out our closets!!

Happening on Saturday, February 11, 2017!
Gates open at 8am (we end at 2pm)

Great great deals!! :)

Will be selling my Adidas Superstar Slip-Ons in White (throwing in a Nano Spray) and many more!!

See you there!

Please do drop by shop, say HI and have fun!! :)

Entrance is FREE!!

Win a trip to Japan from Beyond the Box!!

Monday, January 30, 2017


Win a trip to Japan from Beyond the Box

For a country full of history and tradition, Japan has a lot of modern and unprecedented things to offer- from mouth-watering food, zen gardens, to theme parks and so much more. There really isn’t much doubt why more and more people fly to the land of the rising sun each year. The politeness and respect that is practiced by the Japanese is also a reason to visit and immerse yourself in a really interesting culture.

Get a chance to win a trip to Tokyo and experience it all when you buy any GRAMAS iPhone case from Beyond the Box. Established in 2009 by Yuichi Sakamoto, GRAMAS (Generous Raw Material Stuffs) iPhone mobile phone cases are made from genuine and refined raw materials making them stylish and sturdy sleeves for your device.

You may choose from the Rib Cage, which is made from a double structure of polycabronate and silicone that is scratch and shock proof, the jewel-like Gem cases that gives your iPhone more pizzazz and the synthetic leather-clad Euro Passione case.

For every purchase of a Gramas iPhone case in any Beyond the Box store, the customer is entitled to 1 raffle entry and two (2) lucky winners will win a 3 Days/2Nights Trip to Tokyo, Japan, inclusive of round trip Airfare ticket and accommodation. Deadline of submission of entries is on March 31, 2017. Promo runs until March 31,2017.

For more details about the promo, visit