Thursday, April 25, 2013

Greetings from Hanoi!

Quick post from beautiful Hanoi!

Will do a decent post when I get back!

Enjoying Hanoi but missing Manila,


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Map for Saturday

A good number of us wants to travel the world. And so we save money, plan 2-3 trips in a year and focus all our energies into making it the most amazing experience ever. But then there are those who take it up several notches up and resigns from their jobs just to travel the world.

At first, that life seems fantastic! You don't have to worry about work, you get to go to all the wonderful places in the world, meet people and in the process hope to find yourself.

Honestly, I'm all for the eat pray love idea, but after watching A Map for Saturday, I was opened to the world of extreme backpackers. They are those who resign from work, goes out into the world ALONE, stays at hostels, and goes on discovering the world for more than a year... or more. To them, days are irrelevant. Every day is a Saturday, the start of the weekend, the day for doing all that you've planned to all week long.

At first the movie excited me. I mean, hey, they get to travel the world! But after a while, I grew restless. And for some reason, I started to pity them. I know what they're doing is a choice. It's not for everyone and yes, it's definitely not for me. But since the film has been published for all the world to see, I'd like to give my two cents worth on it.

I have nothing against traveling alone but I believe traveling is one of those things that should be shared. As always, it's  not about the place you go to, it's always about the experience you had there. And it's such an amazing feeling to be able to share that happiness with someone else, particularly someone dear to you.

The film made me feel sad. They went around the world, met a lot of other backpackers but in the end, when time came for them to go home, they were left with more longing than when they started. They go back to their old lives knowing they have changed, but things are still the same. It's only them who changed. Everything else is the same, it's like they never even left. It's a sad feeling, being alone with all that pent up emotions you got from your travels. It's sad to not be able to share it with someone else because they won't understand unless they were with you.
Also, it may be the Asian thing, but it's never customary for us to drop all we've worked for and just spend it on our travels. We don't do that. Not because we CANNOT but more of because we CHOOSE not to. We are attached to our families, friends, work and know that leaving everything behind to travel can be seen as a selfish act. I mean, you set out into the world, leaving your family, work and all others behind without regard as to how things will change for them with you gone.
Hong Kong
And that thing about finding yourself? That makes me even more sad. I wonder how miserable their lives are. I mean, you must be so discontent with your life that you try to fill that gap by setting off into the world. It's a sad thing because you're not so attached to things from your hometown anymore. It's like what you have back home is disposable. There is nothing that's important enough to make you stay-- or at least, to make you want to come back sooner.
I, too enjoy traveling, but I always want to travel with family or friends. And I always want to go home. Because even if it is fun, it is not something I want to do on a long term basis. It is just a break from the daily routine; a diversion; something to be excited about. But it is not something that you would give up your whole life for.

Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia

Traveling via the trans-siberian train

Again, this is just my two cents worth, my reaction from watching the film. I don't intend to offend anyone with my opinion. At the end of the day, to each his own-- which for me means 2-3 countries in a year for 5-15 days MAXIMUM.
In fact, I'm off to another adventure-- not to find myself but to add another dimension to who I already am-- hoping that when I get back (and I will get back), I'll be happier and more appreciative of the kind of life I am currently living :)

Stay put for my next posts from my next adventure!

p.s. I do recommend that you watch the film (that's the link above). It's a well made documentary and really gives you insight into that kind of life. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it too :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Let's do the Zumba!

I've heard a lot of buzz about Zumba before but it is only now that I got to try it with a good friend-- and true enough, it does deserve all the it has been getting!

We tried Zumba for no particular reason-- we just had time in our hands and often when we're idle, we always want to try something new. And that was when we heard there's a Zumba class offered in a mall near us for just a meager Php60.00! Wow, cheap and conveniently located? We're game for that!

Honestly, I didn't come as prepared as ordinarily. Often, I would research a bit about the activity so I'd know what to expect (and also because I didn't want to get humiliated if I make mistakes). But I was so busy this week, up to the moment I had to leave for Zumba that I went there with nothing in tow-- no prior knowledge; no expectations; just pure enthusiasm.

The class started immediately without any introduction. The music played and the trainor started dancing and everyone else mimicked his movements. The dance was aerobic with a little bit of ballroom incorporated in it. It was fast but not too complicated.
At the start, I thought to myself "yeah, this is easy!" but after a while, I found myself catching my breath. The thing with Zumba is not whether you can execute the movements well, it's all about you MOVING. Just for you to keep moving and not stop. For the entire 1 hour class, we had just three 5-minute breaks which means we were moving non-stop for 45 minutes.

 I've heard about that kind of technique before, how you should keep moving from one exercise to the next so you don't allow your muscles to rest. I've never been a fan of aerobic exercises because I have asthma and I always fear I would lose my breath but for some reason, I didn't have that problem with Zumba. I think maybe because the music and steps are fun! As my friend commented, Zumba feels like you're just "partying it up". How very true!

I can't wait for our next Zumba session!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Still in to you

Even after all this time, I'm still into you!

photo credit:
Sophia and I are fans of Paramore. For me, the admiration started when I won my first autographed cd of the band back when they were just starting out.
We are about the same age as them which made it so easy to relate to their songs. In recent years however, the addiction was watered down and perhaps because we're getting older but we kind of lost that immense admiration for the band.

Their newest single however has got me rekindling my love for them:

I realized, after all this time, I'm still into them. I may grow older, Paramore may lose one or more of its members, Hayley's carrot hair may turn blue, but at the end of the day I will always love them. 

I cannot wait for their album to reach the Philippines! So far, I am loving the fresh new sound. It's not as angsty or as dark as before but the freshness and vibrancy of the melodies are just what I want from them now. I mean, we're all growing older, we have to let go of the dark and sad lyrics at some time. It would look ridiculous if you stay so angry and sad when you're already old. This is a nice transition for the band-- they still stuck to the trademark Paramore sound but less angry. Lol!

Yey for Paramore!
I should be over all the butterflies 
But I'm into you (I'm into you) 
And baby even on our worst nights 
I'm into you (I'm into you)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Online shopping made easy at Zalora

Busy girls would agree with me when I say online shopping is a savior! I've always enjoyed going to the mall and shopping the old fashioned way but since I started working, going to the mall has become nearly impossible. I would have to schedule it just so I could go. I mean, shouldn't going to the mall be more of a relaxing activity, not a task you would "schedule"?

There are so many times I'd have to shop online for an important event just because I don't have the liberty and time to go around the shops and scout for an outfit. Thank goodness there are online stores that make shopping easier for a busy body like me.

One of my trusted and "go-to" online shops would be Zalora. I know it's not new. A lot of you people already know about the site but I think they deserve a blog post just because they're doing such a great job at it and a little pat on the back won't hurt.

I started shopping at Zalora last year where I bought a swimsuit and a blazer.

Remember how this black and orange blazer saved me during the AGFUND awarding? It was the perfect cover up for my slinky and "arab" inappropriate dress.

I also loved the swimsuit I bought but I haven't worn it out yet so no picture! Plus, my body ain't swimsuit worthy right now, I won't do the swimwear any justice. lol!

My shopping experience at Zalora was so easy that I decided to shop again just last week!

The coolest thing about  my recent purchase is the fact that I didn't have to trouble myself paying for it via bank deposit, gcash, etc. Zalora now has a "cash on delivery" option! It was so convenient! Plus, the shipping charges are waived when your purchase is more than Php1,000! Just note though that like most online shops, your items will arrive after 3-5 days depending on your location. So it's best to keep that in mind when shopping at Zalora or any other online shop.

Overall, I love Zalora not only because they carry good brands but also because paying is a breeze, making the whole experience so pleasant!

If you're like us who sometimes get too busy to shop, try Zalora! Your next great outfit is just literally a "click away!"

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Remnants of Taipei

Recently, I've been feeling nostalgic and overwhelmed with memories of my trip to Taiwan. It is truly one of those trips that I'd never forget. There are so many things that I brought home with me from that trip and every single experience I had there has affected me and in so many ways changed my life.

Of the more tangible things I brought home with me from Taiwan are these two:

for orders, visit
I've been baking green tea cupcakes from the premium Ten Ren green tea I bought in Taipei. So what if I'm baking it now? Well, I'm not just baking it, I've gone to actually selling these. HAHAHA! Who would have thought, right? I've always enjoyed cooking and baking but I never thought of being serious about it until I baked these and other people enjoyed them so much I decided to sell them. Well I've already sold more than 4 dozens of these since last week which makes me think I could actually pursue this baking thing. Thanks of course to that green tea I bought in Taipei :)

Another fruit of my Taiwan stint is my current musical obsession, Joanna Wang. I'm not sure if you're familiar with her but she's a big star in Taiwan and apparently in other SE Asian countries as well co'z my friends from abroad know her too.

I was first drawn to her because of her song, Lost Taipei, which at that time was so fitting for what I felt. Its lyrics goes, "And so it's said that I left my heart, I left it in a lost Taipei with you" :) After that, I started listening to her which eventually brought about my current obsession to her music. I have her cd on loop in my car so it's Joanna Wang all the way. 

My other favorite is Start From Here, because I just love the melody and this line: "I don't care where we go... Let's start from here". *melts*

Truly there is so much that my trip to Taiwan has left me with. Not just the awesome memories but things that are continually affecting my life like the cupcakes and Joanna Wang. The intangible things however are what I cherish most about it. It's the moments I had with certain people there that makes me feel so nostalgic right now. I am taken back to particular episodes-- to certain memories and my heart suddenly goes on overdrive and I'm filled with utmost happiness and longing. 

It was indeed a very memorable trip for me. I don't normally get too attached to a particular country or place, unless of course the experience changed my life in some way. 

Thank you Taiwan for the wonderful moments. Thank you to everyone I met. Thank you for the things you left me with. And thank you for moving me in ways I never imagined :)
Here's a video my room mate and I did for our group presentation. Just wanted to share this because not only did we work really hard on this (while everyone was sleeping, we were doing this!) but also because it encapsulates my trip to Taiwan.

Call us, Baby from Ninin Sampiano on Vimeo.
Related posts:
The Taiwan Experience

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