South Korea 2013

South Korea 2013

I have nothing to do, and decided to try making a video from my thousand photos! 

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Manila City Lights like Fireflies

You would not believe your eyes
If ten million fireflies
Lit up the world as I fell asleep
‘Cause they’d fill the open air
And leave tear drops everywhere
You’d think me rude
But I would just stand and stare

I’d like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay awake when I’m asleep
‘Cause everything is never as it seems

-Fireflies by Owl City

Manila City Lights taken from San Mateo, Rizal, Philippines

Photo taken in a Nikon D80

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A Little Piece of History in Manila American Cemetery

Fort Bonifacio, Manila, Philippines – the largest number of graves of any cemetery for the U.S. personnel killed during World War II and holds war dead from the Philippines and other allied nations. (wikipedia)

The Layout. The entrance of the cemetery is from the north, proceeding south is a plaza area with a fountain centered on the mall stretching from the plaza to the  Memorial. Roads from the mall provide vehicular access to all graves areas.

Dimensions: 152 acres
Headstones: 17,097
Latin Crosses: 16,933
Stars of Davis: 164
Unknowns: 3,740
Missing in Action: 36,286
Sets of Brothers: 20
Medal of Honor Recipients: 29
Dedicated: December 8, 1960

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Information board about the Manila American Cemetery near the visitors building from entrance.

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The Graves. Eleven burial plots are arranged in concentric rings around the Memorial and Mall. The majority of the white marble headstones were quarried and fabricated in Italy and a small quantity from Romblon, Philippines.

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1 of 164 Stars of David.


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The graves facing the north entrance gate

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The Memorial Court consists of the tower containing the small devotional chapel and two hemicycles in front which embrace the Memorial Court. The structures are faced with travertine limestone.

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1 of 25 Ten-foot-high Mosaic Maps of varying widths displayed inside the four rooms bordering the hemicyle walls. The maps portray important campaigns during the World War II in the Pacific.


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1 of the US State Seal engraved on the floor of the 2 hemicycles.

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The chapel with the US and Philippines flags.

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The Chapel. The sculpture represents St. George, the American warrior, fighting his enemy the dragon. Above them are the ideals for which he fought: Liberty, Justice, Country and Columbia with child symbolizing the future.

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The Altar. Decorated with mosaic on a predominantly blue background. A tall, graceful female figure scatters flowers. Natural light shines through stone grilleworks flanking the altar.

 

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Chartreuse Sky

“Dusk is just an illusion because the sun is either above the horizon or below it. And that means that day and night are linked in a way that few things are there cannot be one without the other yet they cannot exist at the same time. How would it feel I remember wondering to be always together yet forever apart?”  ― Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

Chartreuse  is a color halfway between yellow and green that was named because of its resemblance to the green color of one of the French liqueurs called green chartreuse, introduced in 1764. Similarly, chartreuse yellow is a yellow color mixed with a small amount of green that was named because of its resemblance to the color of one of the French liqueurs called yellow chartreuse, introduced in 1838. (wikipedia)

Another beautiful Manila sky. My office view at the 19th floor, 6 o’clock in the evening on a Fujifilm X20.

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The Manila Skyline

The moment when you first wake up in the morning is the most wonderful of the twenty-four hours. No matter how weary or dreary you may feel, you possess the certainty that, during the day that lies before you, absolutely anything may happen. And the fact that it practically always doesn’t, matters not a jot. The possibility is always there. 

Monica Baldwin

The Manila Skyline. An inspiring view from 46th floor at 4 o’oclock in the morning. Shot in a Fujifilm X20.

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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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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.”

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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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