Love Locked in Seoul

Namsan, Seoul — love padlocks which were attached and locked together with your sweetheart to a bridge, fence, gate or other similar places to symbolize your love for each other.

These love locks have been significantly popular in Europe and in Korea too. Thousands of these padlocks can be found at the foot of N Seoul Tower in Namsam. Unlike in Europe where these are being removed, the one in Namsan had its specific trees, fences and other places to be attached. You can even buy padlocks at the store, though you are prohibited to throw the keys over the fence.

Getting there:

Closest subway station: Myeong-dong Station (line 4), exit 3

Cable Car fee: 8,500 won (round trip)

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Categories: Seoul, South Korea | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Finding Peace and Serenity in Busan

I may not as religious as my parents be and may not share the same beliefs as you do, but I firmly hold on to my beliefs and spirituality. So, why then a person like me would likely choose to visit a place like this? Well, when I was still a student in Japan and whenever my friends and I visited a temple or a shrine, I always found myself with inner peace and serenity. So, amid the hustle and bustle of corporate life, I took this solo trip in early October to re-energize myself and I thought the best place I could at least spent my solo trip is finding my inner peace and serenity in a place like this.

Haedong Yonggung Temple, Busan, South Korea — One of my reasons in travelling to Busan was specifically to visit this place, though the host in my hostel recommended this temple as a must-see the moment I checked and settled in. Since I arrived in Busan around 4pm I opted to visit the temple early in the morning since I figured its best to sight see while basking the morning sun. 

The Haedong Yonggung temple is located near the east sea. Founded by the monk Naong. According to its history, while the month Naong was praticing asceticism at Bunhwang temple in Gyeongju, Korea was hit by a draught that made the crops burn to death and many suffer from famine. Then, in his dream, appeared a sea god that said if the people built a temple at the edge of Bongrae Mountain and prayed there, all sufferings will go away. After the dream, Naong went to visit the area where the temple is now located, and saw that there was a mountain in the front and sea as its backdrop which means if people say there prayers in the morning they will be answered in the evening. The Haedong Yonggung temple is believed to be 1 of 3 Sacred Places related to Goddess Budhha. This temple preserves religious concept deeper than that of any other temple ever as the sea, dragon and the Great Goddess Buddha embody a harmony here. (information taken from http://www.yongkungsa.or.kr/en/)

How to get to The Haedong Yonggung Temple

Take Line 2 (green line) of the Busan Subway to Haeundae Station (해은대역 no. 203). Use Exit 7 and catch Bus 181 from the bus stop just outside of the station exit. The bus runs every thirty minutes. Fare is 1,000 won.

From Haeundae Station it’s a twenty-five minute bus ride to the entrance of Haedong Yonggung Temple. It’s a 1km walk from the bus stop to the temple proper. You’ll see a sign pointing the way. Admission to the temple is free.

For those who does not speak or understand korean, when getting on the bus, sit on your right side so you can easily look for the sign and when to press the stop button. It would be easy since most of tourist and elderly koreans get off on the same stop to visit the temple. You may opt to look of a huge stone signage that looks like this for easy reference:

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Let me take you to The Haedong Yonggung Temple thru my lens:

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The courtyard where the 12 zodiac sign statues are located as if guarding the golden gates

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The golden gate and the pathway leading to the tunnel

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The beautiful 108 steps/stairs, which symbolizes the 108 sufferings in Buddhism leading to the temple

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The details of Lotus Temple 

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The motto of Haedong Yonggung temple is “At least one of your wishes will be answered here through your heartful prayers.”

Categories: Busan, South Korea | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Busan at a Glance

Busan, South Korea — One thing  I have learned from my travels is that, sometimes things don’t go as planned and this will take you to your emergency plan B itinerary. So, when I found out that I could not made it to my early flight to Jeju Island, I made necessary flight cancellation literally few hours before my flight and was really impressed by how easy and got back my flight ticket refunds 3 days after and emailed the hostel in Busan that I will be arriving a day early.

So, then I found myself on KTX (the speed train of Korea) bound to Busan. Since I do not speak and understand Korean, I was a little nervous as to how I will manage myself to arrive on my hostel without getting lost (again!). This time I have my hostel map with me and written instruction as to how to reach my hostel. After I found the exit of the Busan Station, got on to Bus No. 11 bound to Haeundae where my hostel is located, I was expecting that I could hear English on the Bus Information but unfortunately its all Korean, but since my hostel written instruction said it will take me about 20minutes to reach the Hostel area, I practically and literally timed the moment I sat down and thought I would got off on the next bus stop and so God help me whatever happens! Never I thought that Korean Buses and or other public transportation are well timed that the moment I stepped out of the Bus Stop after 20minutes, I saw the huge sign of my hostel right there and then! Yey!!

One of the best and easy way to see Busan is to take the City Tour Bus. Fare is at 10,000 won around 400+ in Philippine Peso. You can purchase the tickets on the Bus. You can wait in any of the bus stop to board. Since I am in Haeundae Beach I just went to look for the Bus stop and boarded there.

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The City Tour is divided into 2 Loops. The Haeundae Tour and Taejongdae Tour. The ticket is good for both Loops, the tour buses main stop is the Busan Bus Station where it picks up other tourists. The bus goes on the Loop Tour alternately so if you came off the Hauendae Tour and once the bus stops at the Busan Station you may opt to stay on the Bus since its next route will be the Taejongdae Loop.

Here are the following Maps for the City Tour for easy reference (credits to: City Tour Busan)

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Haeundae Tour Map and Time Table:

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The Taejongdae Tour and Time Table:

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Some of the Photos I took during the City Bus Tour:

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Happy 3rd to us!!

I have been hibernating from blogging for a while but today as I opened my account, I got a little greetings! Can’t believe its been 3 years!! hahahha

Cheers to us wordpress!

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OPERATION PENNY-PINCHING

The heck!! Its 2014 after all!! And this year I am determined to save every each of my penny for my very specific TRAVEL Plans. In the following days, I will be posting some quirky, wacky and even funny at times ways I think deemed for my Travel plans and I will call this OPERATION PENNY-PINCHING!

I also welcome comments and suggestions on how to save! I will be very happy if you can share it with me too!

Happy Penny-Pinching!!

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Categories: Operation Money Pinching | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

2013 the Year that was

So what now? It’s 2014! Oh  boy I can’t believe I am on a new page on my life! While I wonder what would my 2014 be, I would like to take this little self page to look back my 2013. Not that I am a believer of Feng Shui or something but what it is there to lose anyways? So, like it was predicted, 2013 would be my TRAVEL YEAR and so its travel and adventure filled year.

January 2013, I found myself on board Air Asia going to Hong Kong and Macau, my first trip of the year and my first solo trip abroad.

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By March again, I found myself on a backpack 3 days adventure in Malaysia.

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An Autumn Trip Plan go early, thus found myself in South Korea by October.

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After raking a few air miles, I am just Thankful for the adventure and friends I have meet along the way. Now, 2014 says its STILL is my TRAVEL YEAR, so BRING IT ON!!

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Help Me Build My Dream Project

No act of kindness no matter how small is EVER WASTED. Please help me build my dream! Donate and Share! Thank you!
Check my page and my campaign here at GoFundMe.

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The dreamer. The believer.

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My dream!


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An Open Letter to IUJ

Dear IUJ,

It’s been 4 years since I graduated and left you but the memories you have given me will always be a part of who I am today.

First of all, let me Thank you for the opportunities, the memories, struggles and triumphs, for the friendships, connections and network. And most of all for giving me the opportunity to explore the world, travel and be free from self struggle.

It is you in your Student Dorm I found solace from the world. Freedom and independence. It is you who have thought me and opened my eyes that life in your place is completely different from the life I have lived and left in the province of Negros Island in the Philippines. It is you who have taught me to appreciate technology more, enjoy my first four (4) season experience and a major factor of me being me, open and independent.

I may have struggle on my studies during my years of stay with you but those were easily overpowered by the positive impact the professors have left me, as well as the constant aid by friends. These people I have met become a part of my life and though most of us are miles and countries apart, I knew that I have friends in that corner of the earth because of you.

I still miss the everything about you. My room, the lounge, the kitchen, the smell of library, the endless nights spent in the computer rooms to make up for the paper deadlines, the bus, the late night coffee in the vending machine at the cafe no problem, the “baiten” (school store), and the trees.

When I first came to you, it was end of September and the air is already getting colder as your campus is preparing to embrace the Autumn Season. Then straight from my own eyes, I see how the leaves of your trees and surroundings changed from green to yellow and red as you fully welcomed the fall and it means I have to embrace your colder and windy air too. And as the season changes, I can not help but marvel from the beauty of nature on how it embrace the changing season. With strong winds and leaves fallen, winter is coming.

My much-anticipated Winter Season. As you have described that your geographical setting is the “Snow Country” of Japan, I cannot help but remember the first day the snow started to descend from the sky. It was late November of 2007 and from my room I can hear the laughter and excitements of other student as feather like snow rains and then I woke up with gray and gloomy sky, white layer of snow-covered the once green grass and rice fields while Mt. Hakkai is up there withstanding the cold season also covered with snow. I remember chatting a friend telling her I have finally seen snow, turn my camera for a while at the window for her to see what I am excited about. During the late night of studying and early morning rise in preparation for your exams, I cannot help wander off my thoughts as I sip my coffee staring at my window and just simply enjoy the solitude and marvel the beauty of winter. Then came the never-ending rain, a sign for me to embrace the new season.

After spending a winter wonderland, came the Season of Spring. I will always treasure the memory of fresh scent of leaves, dew drops every morning as I am excited to see the Cherry Blossom lane behind your tennis court unfolds its beauty. I enjoyed my afternoon and sometimes together with my bicycle as I stroll down the lane with all of these beautiful white and pink Cherry Blossoms. Though short-lived, that experience is one of a kind!

Then came another strong winds as you bombarded the dorms, the heavy thunderstorm even in the mornings. A sign that I am finally embracing the Summer Season in your campus. Much to my loneliness to let go of friends graduating, your billiard table and lounges has kept me entertained throughout the rest of the summer as I embrace a new chapter of my campus life and as we welcome new students from all over the world.

And finally came the time where I too shall left your embrace as I continue my journey in life. Now, I am back to my home country and started another chapter of my life as a working professional but your memories is so fresh that I cannot help but always rewind it on my mind and or even with friends.

Thank you. Until we meet again!

Love,

Bee

(Bee’s note: This series of “An Open Letter” is out of inspiration from “Love Letter” by Huffingtonpost.com)

Categories: An Open Letter, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Gen and Harold

You are my best friend as well as my lover; and I do not know which side of you I enjoy the most. I treasure each side, just as I have treasured our life together.”

- Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

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On Travel and Printed Memories

They say a picture says a thousand words and the best is to enliven it through photograph itself. In this digital age, many of us considers to save those memories on our hard drives or on our laptops but for someone like me who went crazy thinking how to retrieve thousands of photos and files from a broken hard drive, I thought of having those photos printed. Then again, another problem struck me in, how would I manage these photos if I print them all?

One day, I went to a mall and came across a small booth of Picturebooks Philippines (http://www.picturebooks.com.ph/new/) offering Photo Albums printed in a hard cover or soft covers, matte or glossy paper of your choice. I am not paid nor been ask by Picturebooks Philippines to advertise for them, there are a lot of photo book companies online and this is a matter of personal choice.

And as for me, I kinda like the quality of these photo books. My exact preference for a printed photos much like of a magazine. I downloaded a free application so I can arrange the photos for myself the way I like it, the way I want it to be printed and from then on, I am on my 5th printed album altogether. What is more exciting for me is to do the cover photos, it leaves me so much room to be creative and unique on every photo album I created. It allows me to go crazy, think of something unique whenever I travel because I am certain enough that I need a good photograph on my photo book covers! This is where the post travel excitement goes.

True, I have not been around the world but I am certainly getting there! Armed with my backpack and camera in tow, what is best to relieve your greatest travel moments is through printed photographs.

Photo book No. 1: Japan (this is definitely not the last)

On cover photo and album: Sakura or Cherry Blossoms. Japan is the first foreign country I ever visited and actually lived for 2 years, so typically I have so many things to think and described about the land I called my second home. But for me, the Sakura is the best Photo I can think of when I was arranging the photos for this album. And for creative reasons, I tried to plot an entire photo for a cover album where at 1 page a single branch of a Sakura is poking from the side but when one actually opens the album an entire bundle of Sakura can be seen. Again, I am a sucker for details and uniqueness.

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Photo book No. 2: India

On cover photo and album: Taj Mahal. What more to describe India is through the iconic Taj Mahal? And to add uniqueness to this album, I have again spread an entire photo to a cover, laid the Taj Mahal on the center as if you only see half of the image in one page. :)

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Photo book No. 3: Hong Kong

On photo cover and album: Nan Liang Garden. Hong Kong is the first foreign country I visited solo this 2014 and since much of the country is modern city and much of photos I have seen is its cityscape, and friend and I went to Nan Liang Garden for a little piece and quite from the city buzz and a little taste of its culture and tradition. The cover is the center pagoda from Nan Liang Garden, photo taken around 2 in the afternoon with sun striking down the golden pavillion with its red bridge with many bonsai trees of thousand years old surrounding the garden.

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Photo book No. 4: Malaysia

On photo cover and album: Melacca. On my quick get away to Malaysia, I made sure I will visit the Historic State, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And I thought of having the site as the main cover of this album. When I spotted a family walking along the banks of the river, while I was on the opposite side (across) the river, I waited patiently for them to walk on the specific area and framed them on my camera to give view of a family walking, talking and enjoying the sites, the March heat and the Melacca River scent.

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Photo book No. 5: South Korea

On photo cover and album: Gyeongbok Palace. What made this trip so special is I’ve got to meet a friend after more than 5 years and I was in love with so much color and details of the Gyeongbok Palace. Though much of the area are only reconstructed but the effort they have put into these details is never to be missed. I have choose many photos to be printed in one page because I framed some unique scenes that I knew I would never be able to framed it even I go back a hundred times. For the cover photo, I opted to plot an entire details of the roof of the main gate of Gyeonbok Palace in such a way that on 1 page a soft details can be seen.

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If you are a traveler and or a photographer I encourage you to do the same. Let your creative side be unleashed! The joy and excitement while creating this album is a priceless moment and that every page has its own story to tell.

Categories: Collection, My Travels, Seoul, South Korea | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment
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