[Taiwan] Taipei Day 1

First time in Taiwan but 1st humba at Mactan Airport. 🙂

Got my beanie done just in time we landed, which was perfect because weather is too cold for me, and I have not brought enough for-warm clothes because Mark assured me it’s not going to be that cold. 😡

I was expecting Taiwan to be very busy with a lot of people but surprisingly it’s weirdly not that crowded.

The default hairstyle of Titas of China.

Taiwan is definitely a favorite of Chinese tourists. I felt like 70% of the tourists are Chinese.

The most important items, data & public transport card.

First coffee in Taiwan, a freebie from the hotel we’re staying.

The cold weather is really making me lazy that I just wanna curl up in bed and sleep. @.@ Anyhow, we drag our asses to a coffee shop by a barista champion but was closed already. So we just walked aimlessly around.

2nd Milk Tea of the day, which I have not drunk yet as of this writing. I bought this because this milk tea brand is too popular in Cebu, there’s always a long queue according to friends but there’s none here so took the chance.There’s a lot of Japanese restos here. So food I encountered here is like Chinese, then Japanese food.

Going back to the hotel, we passed by this alley with souvenir shops and restos after one another.

We conclude we like Taiwan on our first day. Mark said that it feels like Osaka, Japan but more affordable.

1st Bus Ride. feeling hopeful :)

and Feeling historical so I have to diary this. 🙂

I always delay (i really have no interest) learning to drive because I still have faith and hope that one day our public transportation will be upgraded. And, it looks like I’m not going to be totally disappointed. Hopefully, it will be “fully” realized in my life time. 🙂

Riding jeepney is still romantic but sometimes you wanna skip romanticism…

Anyhow, the bus ride was still romantic as it was so intimate like were are this squeezing on each others’ body. 🙂 But that’s how it is wherever we are in the world during peak hours, right?

1.28: Officially Moved In…

…because internet is installed. 🙂

So we lost internet connection for 2 weeks last December which felt like death sentence to Mark. So to solve it and won’t happen again, Mark rented a condo unit in the city where there’s a cafe and co-working spaces in less than 500m radius just in case that same major crisis will happen again (God forbid!). To make it look not a waste, he called it “office.”

And, also the sky looks pretty today so I’m making 1.28 the official moved in date.

Zamboanga Day 4

12/18/2018

I’m just making this entry for the knickerbocker.

We’re on our way to the airport when I read the advisory for change of flight schedule aka delayed flight. So we went to have knickerbocker instead.

I have to agree with mg Zamboangueno cousin that there was really nothing extra special from it compared to the typical halo-halo. One main difference is that knickerbocker has no crushed ice. Other than that, like halo-halo, it’s the ingredients that what makes it special.

Other random photos from this date:

Shooky going places according to Meg.

Waiting for My Bus 🙂We went straight to SM City Cebu for her school Christmas party stuff. @.@

Zamboanga City Day 3: #JACKpotNgaBaSiLARA

12/17/2018

The reason why we were really in Zamboanga was for the wedding of my cousin, Jack, to her fiancee Lara.

But rewind to early morning of that day, we attended Misa de Gallo. The mass was in Chavacano. It was cool to hear some traces from being looted by Spain. 😂 Jowk!

On our way home from the mass, I asked the aunts and uncles to give me some bloggerpose.

It was kinda late but I went for a 10km run because I badly need a long run for the CCM2019.😭

I kinda need to plot carefully my route, and had it checked by the cousin for safety reasons. I hate to say it but yeah, I had to do it. It kills the “serendipity” of running in new places.

I took the road to Pasonanca park. I was on the main road most of the time, and it was not that pleasant because of cars.

Once I was in Pasonanca area, there was less traffic. It made running more pleasant. I went on, and reached another park.

I wanted to go on longer as it got greener and lesser traffic but I did not want to risk it.

So it’s time to go back to the city.

And so on to the wedding… It was a beautiful wedding, the vows made me teary-eyed. I guess I was not alone sniffling because of emotions. 🙂

The parents, aunt & uncle

The cousin…

The wifey 🙂

And the food at the reception 😂

Zamboanga City Day 2: *That Place that Cannot Be Named

12/16/2018

MISA DE GALLO

We went to Sta Maria Church for Day 1 of Misa de Gallo. My aunts and uncles are devoted.

SATII TOUR

After listening to my aunt’s war stories and my uncle’s personal experiences, it’s hard for my view about Zamboanga City to be not tainted. Somehow, I kinda tend to act a bit with caution when trying to move around the city.

I won’t elaborate because I have a very skewed idea of it. But anyhow, my rose-tinted view of things is a bit tainted. 🙂

After the mass, I went for a run but it’s just really walking with an uncle and cousin. As always, first morning in a new place is dedicated to taking a walk around the area to familiarize where things are.

We passed by boulevard. I wanted to take a longer route around the city But I was with my relatives, and sometimes it’s hard for me to explain why I do such boring walking around aimlessly.

Anyhow, I took aimless boring walks around nee place I’m in for random finds which is probably not mapped in google maps or www.

I thought Satti is a Zamboanga version of satay or barbecue but there’s a big difference. Satti is just not barbecue; it’s a meal set of beef or chicken or mix with sliced “puso” drowned with spicy sweet sauce. Looking at it, it looks like it’s the sauce, which is more of a soup, is the main thing of the meal set. Everyone eats it like it’s a soup, not just a sauce, which explains other local dishes here.

YET ANOTHER CITY TOUR

But minus the van and driver. I really love walking and public commuting in new places. You know that boring thing becomes exciting when you’re in a new place. There’s a certain thrill in me when I figured out or at least tried how locals public commute.

Except that this time, 2 babies joined us. 🙂 It’s not that I don’t want them to join me; I’m just worried about carrying them around in dust, and heat, and crowd. Anyhow, the babies were such a trooper except for their runny nose.

We 360’ed the Zamboanga City. We went up to Pasonanca Park. There’s nothing much there but you just got to tick it off. It’s a nice destination for a public commute. 🙂

We went up via tricycle.

And, this baby was sound asleep the whole time we’re in the park.

We went back to the Pueblo, their city center, via jeepney. Our cousins, the local guide, let us walk around downtown (think of Colon area version of Zamboanga City) with 2 kids in tow just to find a jeepney that will get us to a “that place that cannot be named.” I would have totally love it except I was worried all the time about the kids.

Fast forward, done with walking and city touring, it’s coffee and halal foodie time!

So these “excessive” sauce is something unique in Zamboanga. It’s where the solid food tends to be small proportion then you pour over a lot of sauce, which you eat it like a soup.

This is called pastilla, which is like empanada with a ngohiong-like filling, you must drown it with sauce; remember satti.

From a tourist/visitor, it may not be felt but hearing the cousins’ sentiments, there’s really a bit of something between “chavacano” (usually refers to Christians) and Muslims here. I might have misconstrued it. Like Sta Maria, where we went for Misa de Gallo, is generally a “chavacano” area, and there’s also an area which is generally populated by Muslims.

But as a tourist, I don’t really feel it. And #til that Badjaos are not Muslims; they may be not officially registered as Filipinos as they are really more of nomads. But they’re “protected” by the government as indigenous people.

* That place that cannot be named. There’s that unwritten rule that it’s not a thing for us to just go walk easily to a Muslim’s place. So we went to this “Muslim” resto, and decided to not tell the centennials about it.

Zamboanga City Day 1: 1st Times

12/15/2018

First time that only I and Meg going on a trip.

Twinning. Bahalag init, basta twinning.

Do it for the ‘gram. Yay! Kung ano ang puno, sya din ang bunga.

Someone’sbusy taking photo of her food.

First time in Zamboanga City! 🙂

She looked so excited!

First time reunion.

A 1st cousin will be wed this Dec. 17, 2018. Timely that relatives from abroad are home so everyone decided to attend the wedding. Now the wedding event became a reunion event.

Oh how i missed this high-heel wearing Auntie Arlene!

1st Time Kuracha!

I’m not a crab fan but this popular dish of Zamboanga is just so hard to resist!

First city tour

First degree cousins.

We’re not complete though…

First Coffee in Zamboanga City

Meg and I went to Dennis Coffee Garden which was just 2 blocks away from where we stay.

I got to taste Sulu coffee. It was not that 3rd wave kind of coffee, which makes it something really from Sulu.

What makes it extra delightful is when you pair it with their local delicacies. Perfect pairing!

Mark messaged: U enjoy the food, not model it.

Meg: becauuzzzz u can model it THEN enjoy it >:(((( – Meggg

We then take a stroll to their boulevard to catch the sunset.

THANK GOD for my babies and family!

The night was filled of “war story” (Zamboanga siege) by my Auntie Arlene, which can be summarized as there is really no good in war.

It was weird that I truly enjoyed Zamboanga City in day time, and hear about the worries of my aunt at night. She does sleep with bolo beside her just in case… 🙂

Kanto JPN Day 5: Saved by Filipino English

11/21/2018

This was the day that we’d experience the bigger and biggest cities of The Land of the Rising Sun. So today was also the day we “cashed out” that 7-day JR Pass, the epitome symbol of being a tourist in Japan. 😂

But first coffee before leaving Osaka. Something I noticed in Japan is that there are a lot of female baristas. Probably, 70% of the coffee places I’d been to, the baristas were women! Cool!

About the taste / scene of coffee in Japan, it’s like a political debate to me which I kinda don’t want to touch! Chos!

——

Exes Baggage. We had 2 big luggage trolleys, and 1 hand-carry sized trolley. Too much luggage but it’s because Mark John, he got to have a back-up of the back-up of the back-up. 🤷🏽‍♀️

One of the luggage, we left at the Inn in Osaka because we’re coming back to Osaka. The other one, we had it couriered. It’s a service Mark was really fascinated, and so used it even if I think it’s unnecessary. But it’s really convenient fosho!

This luggage forwarder has a cat logo. So inevitably Japanese! 🙂 (This just gave me an idea that if I want to make a business to attract Japanese, my logo will be cats!)

—-

Fashion.

Japanese

Japanese… tourist!

and my GITOOK (strangled) Fashion. Anything to survive from the coldness.

—-

Bullet train. Let me just call it bullet train because shinchansin is too much to spell and speak. 🙂

The thing I love most about the bullet train is the leg room. Being used to budget airlines, the leg room is just so generous.

But it’s making me light-headed, like my brain felt like it’s suspended in the air.

Landing in Yokohama, where will be staying because too poor for Tokyo, I was shocked looking at the throng of people in the station. I thought Osaka station had too many people but Yokohama was 4x; I could not just imagine how it’s gonna be in Tokyo!

——

So finally into our first meal in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Kanto Region. As a habit, I would just open foursquare for recommendations!

And just 250M from our Hotel was a 8.sthing ramen place! Wow! I love Yokohama!!! (I guess it has a lot to do that we stayed nearby the main Yokohama station so there were streets and alleys of food stalls or shopping streets as how’d they call it. It’s like we’re in the middle of downtown Colon!)

Until…

WHAT IS THAT???

Excited for the 8.sthing rated Ramen shop, I dashed inside the place before seats would be taken but I was signalled by the Ramen staff to go out and get meal tickets first….

It was really my first encounter with that “meal ticket” machine, and it did not help that it was in Japanese, and there were no photos!

But this is 8.sthing rated on foursquare, I got to figure this out. Though, it’s kinda “sabotable” that the first 2 top most buttons must be the main options. Thankfully, an English-speaking Japanese was lining next to me and helped me figured it out! 🙂

We chitchatted with him, and he told us that he studied English in Baguio, and stayed for awhile in Bacolod.

So thank God for Filipino English for this ramen!

—-

Insert other photos. We went up to Tokyo!!! 🙂

We passed through Shibuya crossing. And I was not disappointed with the number of people. It was how it was from photos on the internet. 😂

Owkei, let’s move on fast. Probably 250 meters away from crossing, and there were way too much less people. It made me think that the people crossing Shibuya crossing were paid “actors” to make it a “tourist attraction.”

We went to Line Store for the BTS merchants for the daughter…

Meet up with the almost Japanese-residents Garcias…

The prettiest train station I came across…

And my notes for the train stations… So HELPFUL! 😂😂😂

Kansai Day 4: Honeymoon Over

11/20/2018

When going to a new place, I usually expect myself to get a bit of a grasp of the place on 3rd day like the basics know-how of transportation, where to get “daily konsumo (consumption),” how an area is mapped out (like where is the hip place, the touristy place, the daily life boring places). But at this day, I’m still groping. I saw the touristy places but I badly need the area of the “boring daily life places” of where residents get their basic needs fulfilled.”

All I figured out was Uniqlo and 711. It got me impatient. It’s not Japan’s fault but I got frustrated disappointed that after all the ninja and master craftsman I read about Japan, it’s just one big Uniqlo and 711.

No, it cannot be!!!

(All we had in the nearby area at the place we’re staying was an Indian resto, a Vietnamese resto, a soba resto where there’s always a line, and a huge swanky 711. My options were either a P800/meal (resto) or P250/meal (711). Where can I get something in between? (I honestly do not know what is the price of meal for an “average” person in Japan but I’d feel lucky if I could get in the range of p500-700/person that is not 711 in Osaka.))

The 711 is something I had a hard time understanding in Japan. It’s not the first time we met convenience store but it’s just weird to see it as something very part of their culture???Could we ever survive Japan without 711??

Anyhow, enough of my whining. I could not be sulking all day because I could not find an equivalent of our carenderia.

On to some victory, my first train ride alone in Japan happened this day. I find bus systems easier to understand but I had not much choice but to go for trains in Japan. The thought of going to the subways already scares me, like could I ever get out of it alive?? Char!

My goal was to go to as many yarn shops in the 5km range.

I saw the prettiest yarn shop I came across in my crochet life.

I came across a strip of food shops, which I thought was probably the equivalent of “carenderia” I was looking for!

I had to screenshot the google map of the location for reference for our next meal. (If you’re first time in Osaka, here’s a protip.)

Department stores and malls are something unavoidable in Japan. I always find myself ending up in a mall. Maybe because of my itinerary but I always came across them. And, I thought mall culture is only a Filipino thing? Anyhow, what’s the few years we’re under them, right?

This was in Umeda area, where the Osaka station is located. A major train station is definitely surrounded with malls with a lot of basements, which was so difficult for me to understand especially when I’m spatially-challenged. It’s so hard to understand the different basement levels from Google maps not to mention that their malls have south / north / east / west hugeeee areas.

But something I learned, the basements of malls are food haven.

Anyhow, I found 2 out 3 yarn shops inside the mall! I was not that bad!Who would have thought there’s a yarn shop down there?

Owkei, annoyance went down to level 0.05! 🙂

KIX JPN Day 3: Osaka on Foot

11/19/2018

As always, it’s best to explore a new place on foot. We went for an early morning run towards the Kyoto Imperial Palace.

SKYWALK. Something familiar in Japan is Skywalk, one of the “knowledge transfer” we got. 😂

Around Kyoto Imperial Palace.

Best Attempt at the autumn color just because… 🙂

Strolling through the main road, it’s kinda weird and cool to see people in the same color palette lining up walking towards one direction, to their offices (I guess.).

Then we thought of going to Dotonbori to pay homage to Glico man, that running man billboard.

But we backed out because there were too many people heading to that direction. Instead we ended “holing up” in a coffee place we passed by, Millpour.

I stopped by at 711 before going back to the Inn we’re staying because somehow 711 became a must. I usually bought some food stuff to take in between.

Banana, something I had to turn my head away because I kinda find it too expensive. Sad. 🙁

This structure is a sign that it’s already my street, my hood in Osaka.

Our first dinner in Osaka was Indian food. Our first lunch is Vietnamese food. Apparently, our neighborhood food places are either 711 or this other Asian restos except for Japanese food.

Insert random photos of this day.

Selfie at a shop because it’s my very first time to wear boots ever in my whole life.

We went to Shinshaibasi shopping street. I went to Uniqlo to buy additional heat tech underlayer. Uniqlo is relatively cheaper here. But better not go to this Uniqlo Shinshaibasi branch if you can because too much people.

I wanted to eject myself right away from this place because it’s too crowded. But I have to endure it for Glico man. As a “runner,” I have to pay homage to that Glico man.

Insert random photos.

Dinner, some random finds from the hotel’s resto. I dunno if these were Chinese or Japanese food or both.