Life, August 2018

Pink Sky

August… This month always comes with a lot of thoughts and looking back. Typically it’s the “quiet” month after the half-year mark and right before the holiday season, which in turn has traditionally been crazy, work and traffic-wise. Can’t say I’m looking forward to it honestly.

This year though August is a month of shifts. Like, big shifts. Huge. Talking about career-defining shifts, life-defining shifts, body-defining shifts. I’m writing this now before I change my mind. It’s always proven valuable, for me, to be recording this somehow. I used to do it all for myself, and maybe a few friends. I’ve been returning to paper for two years now, though honestly it’s a lot of garbage and anxiety-reduction exercises. These days I do not know what I do it for anymore. But one thing sticks: my future self always thanks my past self for trying to aid my ever-paltry memory. Even if it is a known fact that all memory fails. Continue reading “Life, August 2018”

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Taiwan: Zhongshe Flower Market in Houli District, Taichung

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One of my favorite memories from our Taiwan trip last month was our visit to Zhongshe Flower Market in Taichung’s Houli District.

This is an oft-mentioned destination when I scoured sample itineraries, but I was pretty set on not visiting it because it was too far from Taipei and I couldn’t find two sources that agreed on the best way to go here. However right on our first day, we met a group of girls who’ve been and encouraged us to go.

And so that was what we did! And I have to say, if you have a day to spare to go to Taichung, this is worth it. The flower gardens are really beautiful, photos were begging to be taken at every corner, and there is also a super sulit barbecue buffet here that you can partake of after spending a sunny morning with the flowers!

The best time to go is early morning, when there are still very few tourists. When we arrived it was barely 9am and there was only 1 group aside from us (we fortuitously met another Pinoy daughter-dad duo whom we split cab fares with going to Rainbow Village and Taichung Rail). So we had the place all to ourselves.

Expect to spend at least 3 hours here, then you can take a trip to other Taichung destinations such as Rainbow Village or Sun Moon Lake.

Oh and don’t forget to bring sunscreen! I suffered really bad skin when we got back. Tsk.

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So how did we get to Zhongshe? This is what we did:

  1. From Taipei Main Station, we bought tickets to Taichung (around NTD $300). I simply showed the ticketing officer a screenshot of the Taichung Station. 🙂 The train was prompt and the trip took 2-3 hours. It was a great opportunity to observe the Taiwan countryside as well.
  2. From Taichung Station, you’d need to get off the platform first, go to the ticketing office and ask for the local rail that goes to Taiyan Station*. Then you tap your easycard / get a ticket and return to the platform. Ticket is about NTD $30 if I remember correctly.
  3. We got off at Taiyan. From the station it is a 20 minute walk to Zhongshe. There is a bulletin board at the exit with a small piece of paper that contains the walking instructions, or re-clarify it w/ the ticketing officer. You will really need to to walk as this area has no taxis, it is farms on either side of the road. We were told that if you get off at Houli (right before Taiyan) there can be taxis, but this might be expensive and I can’t verify if it.
  4. From the station, the walk is simply one straight journey down a road that bisects various farms. At the very end of this road, you’ll start seeing cars and buses again, then you turn right and walk a bit more until you see the Flower Market, which is across the street. Don’t forget your umbrella, sunscreen, and water.

*Upon getting off at Taichung, we asked an officer for instructions to go to Houli (since I initially didn’t want to go for walking from Taiyan from my mom’s sake). The platform officer couldn’t speak English but he want out of his way to get his phone, Google the flower market and read about it so he could give us proper instructions. He directed is to get off at Taiyan instead, and we just ended up following him since I didn’t wanna get lost.

At Zhongshe, the entrance fee is about NTD $280 w/ the buffet and $250 w/o. But I strongly suggest to get the buffet, since there are no nearby restaurants. Unless you have food.

To get home, there are already many taxis at the flower market which can take you back to Taiyan station or your next destination. In our case, we decided to take a taxi to Rainbow Village which ended up costing us NTD $800 (!) it was expensive, but at least we split it 4-way and we saved time.

Taiwan: Yehliu Geopark, Shifen Old Street, Jiufen Village

On our second day in Taiwan, we explored 3 popular spots in the north: Yehliu Geopark, Shifen Old Street, and Jiufen Village. We also visited the Taipei 101 back in the city.

Continue reading “Taiwan: Yehliu Geopark, Shifen Old Street, Jiufen Village”

Taiwan: Visiting Zhinan Temple and Riding the Maokong Gondola

Last week, I spent four days in Taiwan with my mom. I’d say it’s one of my most favorite destinations to date (not that I haven’t traveled a lot), because we were able to see, taste, and experience so much on a fairly affordable budget! Continue reading “Taiwan: Visiting Zhinan Temple and Riding the Maokong Gondola”

Taiwan, July 2018

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Park Day, and turning 30

Continue reading “Park Day, and turning 30”

Beauty talk: 2 brands I like right now

11 years ago, I started a style blog (and you’ll still find all my posts here). I wanted to document my life and #OOTDs in college. I’ve “quit” this format since 2013, but once in a while I do miss being unapologetically indulgent and vain. Continue reading “Beauty talk: 2 brands I like right now”

Pamulaklakin Forest Trail, Subic

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My Wedding Look

R x K-144Got married to the love of my life last week! After 10 years of being together, it was long overdue (hehe) but the timing also makes sense… we’re at that point in our lives when we are thinking of making big leaps and sealing our union on paper seemed like a good move. Now comes the hard (and fun) part — actually starting out as a family unit!

Now I want to talk about my look 🙂 Continue reading “My Wedding Look”

Subic Beach, Sorsogon

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If only it didn’t entail a long drive across Bicol, I figure Sorsogon’s Subic Beach would be more popular among tourists — its white sands and turqouise waters rival that of Caramoan, Boracay et al. We were fortunate to enjoy its cool, quiet beauty on a Good Friday, with great friends. At sunset its pale sand takes on a pinkish hue, thanks to a few red coral particles.

The beach has a local thriving tourist industry made up of store and hut owners, even masseuses and craftspeople. but I should mention that it’s is in danger of being spoiled as its seems ill-equipped to handle large drove of tourists just yet. Sewage and garbage management issues aren’t seen in mine (and other visitors’) photos, but they are there, especially on peak seasons like Lent. Nevertheless, it’s definitely worth the trip.