Are They Worth The Hype? “Crash Landing on You” and “Parasite” Review

Hi Friends! I am mostly stuck at home for over two weeks now as we mostly are because of corona virus outbreak. While I am pretty bummed out about it because we had to cancel our most anticipated dream trip this year, I must say I am seeing a light in this dark situation. I have more time to blog and to collaborate with my International Blogger Friends!

Jirah and I eventually chose this topic as we both have fondness over Korean dramas although not as much as her. Together we take a look on the two recent South Korean recent hits: Crash Landing on You, which somehow gave us smile amidst the nCOV-19 filled news. For the movie, there was “Parasite” which won “Best Picture” and was largely celebrated as the very first non-English movie to have won the “Oscars”.

Are they worth the hype?

(WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!)

Crash Landing On You

Yoon-Seri, a successful businesswoman, was caught in a paragliding accident and landed unknowingly in North Korea. Luckily  a kindhearted , handsome and low-profile rich North-Korean soldier Ri Jeong-hyuk  found her. He gave her shelter and paved ways to bring her back to South Korea secretly. Complication arises when they fell in love. (Awww…)

Gurezu’s Verdict

Before I answer the question if this series deserves the raves, I want to voice out my thoughts after finishing it.

I hated the ending! I felt so sad for the second couple. Why does it have to be so tragic? My Korean heart was crying. Seung-Jun’s death in the last episode is just heartbreaking. At the latter part of the drama, I became more invested in Seun-Jun- Seo-Dan love story more than the main couple. Although their romance was short, their dramatic scenes had more effect on me. To tell you the truth, I grew to love Seung Jun’s character more than Jeong-Hyuk. Why? Hyun Bin’s character is too dreamy, too good to be true. Such man exists in fantasy world. Unlike Seung-Jun’s character which has more reality in him (except the shootout scene. That was LOL)

He is not perfect . He is obviously a sinner and most likely a kind of person you won’t recommend to yourself and to your friends. But as the time went on, you see the kindness in him. He did risk his life to save the main couple several times even he won’t get something out of it. And his journey to desire in becoming a better person for Seo-Dan was just endearing to watch. It’s his unexpected character development that made him charming. I really wanted Seo Dan and Seun jun to be happy but well, the writer did not give it to them. So I really don’t like the ending but in a good way because it means the substorylines are also worth it.

I am not so crazy about the Riri couple. The acting is superb and they totally look good together. They have strong chemistry but for me it kind of fizzled out toward the end mainly because Jeong-Hyuk feel so unreal. What made me love this series was the unexpected camaraderie Ser-ri formed with Jeong-Hyuk’s subordinates and the nosy neighbors. Their antics and misadventures when they went to South-Korea made the overly-long episodes fun to watch. My favorite was the one who extremely loves K-drama.

To answer the question, do this drama deserved the hype? I would say yes! Though I’m not crazy about it, I understood why it was a hit. It has intriguing storyline and effectively made me laugh and care about their conclusion. The side plots are so good too. I also felt that people checked this out because of “North Korea” plot in it. Who won’t be curious right? We have read and watched news that North Korea is such a dreadful country. They launched nuclear weapons. There are rumors of inhumane and brutal execution there. Given that their country has military tension for years, I think the writer and the production just jump off the fence to create this series. According to what I read, it made positive reviews for humanizing North Korea and showed that it’s possible for North Koreans and South Koreans to be friends with each other. I guess the series was beyond love story and they tried to make a difference. So yes, it deserves the hype. I love it.

Final Verdict: 8/10, worth the hype

JIRAHLIZATION VERDICT.

WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!

Rating: 10/10

Worth The Hype: YES!

It was dragging at the beginning when Se-Ri and her family’s background are being portrayed. It is the usual feud of Rich Families over money.  But it gets exciting when Se-Ri, a business woman quite known in South Korea accidentally paraglided in North Korea and met a reserved-yet-honorable-no-connection-Captain-turned-member-of-high-end-military-family.  I thought the story would just revolve around Se-Ri trying to escape South Korea without going through Military Process. But that would be very dragging, right? Seri successfully went back to her home country with the help of Captain Ri and the rest of his team who have grown to love Se-Ri themselves. Then another half of the story unfolded when Captain Ri hasto s sneak into the South to protect Se-Ri from danger.

Since half of the story rolled over into Se-Ri continuously escaping the North while staying at Captain Ri, it helped us understand the life of a community living under a restrictive and highly authoritative country. They were laid back, far behind from technology, follows rules strictly, and yet oozes with loyalty, care and love for each other. I am fond of how CLOY was able to make the scenes lighter and mostly fun.  CLOY is unique as it is a story of hope that people in the North and South Korea can live harmoniously. It is not just a typical love story but a story of how a North fell in love with a South in a very odd setting. Their love story depicted how two seemingly divided country can also unite–someday.


PARASITE

This is a story of a family with no stable livelihood infiltrating the lives of a rich family household by posing as highly qualified employees.

Gurezu’s Verdict.

I have made a full blog entry on this entitled “Why Parasite Deserves the Best Picture Awards?” and I was the one who recommended Jirah to watch this. It’s obvious where I stand for Parasite. Since I already wrote a separate blog about it, I would like to re-state the gist of why it deserve all the love it gets.

1. Universal theme in a unique story. 

2. No clean-cut good or bad characters. 

3. Genre-bending movie

4. Technically flawless.

Aside from that I love how the director meticulously framed each scene and used the vertical lines to drive the imagery on the separation of poor and rich classes. Every scenes has meaning. It was deep but highly entertaining to watch at the same time. That’s for me the reason why it stood out in the academy even breaking the barrier of “subtitle-hating” audience.

And with the COVID-19 crisis, the movie proves to be more relevant. There was a heavy rain scene here in Parasite. Just like a typical rainy season scene in the Philippines, the poor family’s house got submerged in neck deep flood.They spent the night in a gymnasium with the other families that lost their homes. But for the rich family, it was just a minor inconvenience. It ruined the camping birthday celebration for the youngest member of the family. But the next day, they considered the heavy rain as a blessing to clean the polluted air. Unlike with the poor family, that event altered their life drastically. This build up the tension that lead to tragic conclusion of this movie. See? Just like in our situation today, you can clearly feel the contrast of the rich and the poor. It’s easier for the rich to comply for quarantine because they have the resources to live. But for the poor, it’s a matter of life and death. If they don’t go to work, they won’t be able to feed their families. It’s easy for the rich to criticize and call out the people who can’t comply. There’s a clash because the privileged can’t empathize enough. The lessons of this movie resonates in the society yesterday and today. And this is why I love it.

FINAL RATING: 9.5/10, totally worth the hype and the award

Jirah’s Verdict.

Rating: 10/10

Worth The Hype: YES!

Most of the people I asked who watched this movie said that they found this movie boring. It was because they thought it was a horror movie! That’s why you better read the synopsis before watching a movie to set your expectations. I wasn’t really planning to watch but since we are making a collab post for the International Blogger Friends, Gurezu recommended this movie. There were two families that depicts social status: Poor and Rich. The Poor Family: Kim’s, is living under the edge, struggling to make ends meet by folding pizza boxes.The Rich: Park’s. Their daughter needs an English Tutor. As they trusted the previous tutor’s recommendation, they accepted Ki-Woo Kim who posed as a graduate from a prestigious University. That’s when they infiltrated the Park’s.

It is cunning and devious how the Kim’s kicked out the current hires of the Park’s. Ki-Woo’s sibling, Ki-Jung, posed as an Art Therapist, and helped the Park’s son, navigate his trauma through art. Then they plotted ways to replace the loyal housemaid and the driver.

One word came to mind after watching the movie: TRAGIC.

It was all over the movie. The tragedy of how a poor mindset will really make you poorer. How they clung to the Rich and acted as if it is their own. The tragedy of how a Rich guy would frown and smirk at a Poor one because of their smell or standing in life.

Another plot twist is that the husband of the loyal housemaid is living under the basement the only the previous owner and the loyal housemaid know. When the housemaid was kicked out, she begged to sneak in the house when the Park’s were out of town.

That’s when the tragedy of tragedies happened.

The housemaid died due to head blunt trauma when one of the Kim’s kicked her to the basement so the Park’s won’t see her. The husband who is living off the basement for as long as he can remember plotted a revenge to the Kim’s and killed their daughter (Art Therapist Poser) during the Park’s son’s birthday party.

In the midst of chaos, Mr. Kim, killed Mr. Park, most probably because of bruised ego when Mr. Park continuously looked down on him.

It was a continuous struggle for both families. I can’t imagine how the families survived the trauma with what happened that day.

It effectively showed the wide gap between social statuses. It portrays the cunning behavior of the poor and the high and mighty entitlement of the rich. The movie effectively narrates the sick and gruesome details of the poor in Korea.

It was tragic. Real tragic. I and all 6 of us in the movie house was moved. We were laughing at some witty scenes and screaming at the thrilled and scary ones. I hope more have come to see the movie. It was tragic but full of real stuff and life realizations.

Here’s the trailer for the “Parasite” if you want to catch a glimpse.

And Oh before we end this blog, let’s take a look at the side by side pictures of actors that were both in “Crash Landing on You” and “Parasite”! Such great actors.

Mother of Seo Dan is also the mother of the poor family in Parasite. The uncle of Seo Dan is the basement man in Parasite. The contrast of their characters is just unbelievable.

In conclusion, Jirah and I agreed that they are worthy of praise and hype. How about you? What do think of these two South Korean hits? Let us know in the comment.

I’m inviting everyone to check out my friends blog Jirahlization.wordpress.com. She’s a Filipina writer based in UAE. She wrote the book ” The Book of Single (The Lost Testament)”. Get to know her more on her blog.

PS:

Hi JIRAH, I would like to thank you for accepting my International Blogger Friend invitation and doing this collaboration with me. I know are very busy yourself so I really appreciate the time. I hope you’re doing well in UAE. How’s the country holding up by the way ? I rarely see UAE in news amidst Covid-19.I hope it means you have lower case of the virus there. I hope this won’t be the last time we talk. Rest assured that I will support your blog. I hope to meet you personally soon!

***DISCLAIMER*** ALL PHOTOS and GRAPHICS here are not mine.

My February "Potty-Plant" Themed Bujo Set-up

My Bujo Flipthrough! Please follow me!

I started bullet journaling this year to lessen my bad habit of killing time through social media. Now this hobby and as well as writing my thoughts have been my refuge from this stay-at-home lifestyle. Join me as I flipthrough my February 2020 bullet journal entries.

Part 1: The Cover Page. To set the mood and theme of this month.

Part 2: My Habit Tracker. This looks like a beanstalk actually. I only decided to track 5 habits here. But they are hard to acquire habits. I draw leaves on the corresponding branch if I executed that particular habit.

Part 3:My Blog Plan Tracker. This is where I write my blog topic ideas. I don’t have problems with ideas. It’s the execution that is hard as always haha.

Part 4: Weekly Spreads!

FIRST WEEK. For the first week of February, I suddenly had this idea of combining a mood tracker and my daily thoughts in a comic strip format. Each leaves will have an expression depending on my overall disposition that day. With the comic balloon, it will narrate my thoughts. I also keep tracked of my estimate spending for each day.

For a closer look when the spread is not yet filled-up. So last Feb 3, I was hopeful that NCOV will be over soon because I heard that HIV treatment worked well in a patient. I was also hopeful that time that our March-April trip to South Korea will push through. But writing it now during a lockdown, it made me sad because obviously, it did not end so soon as I hoped it would be. And our South Korean trip was also cancelled. ***Sigh***

SECOND WEEK. I continued this concept on the second week. But the it’s the potty-plants with faces this time. I also continued to track the estimate spending for each day. The goals for this week is still in the same corner.

THIRD WEEK: I didn’t have time to do the same style so I just pasted stickers here and there then write whatever. It did not adhere much with Potty Plant theme. But I made sure the color will still be mostly brown. These stickers are vintage outfit stickers.

FOURTH WEEK: By this time, I already received my Paperang 2.0 that is why there are now images of each day of the week here in the fourth week. The images are captured and printed directly from mobile phone. I will blog my experience with Paperang soon.

Part 5: My Sunday Spreads. I decided to write a full-page Sunday journal each week. Also I set this as my evaluation day the things I achieved that week and my points to improve for the following week.

Part 6: Payday Tracker. I started this last month. This aim to track how I divide my payday earnings.

Part 8: Filler spreads. These are my first prints in Paperang 2.0.

Just random full page calligraphy when I feel it,

Part 9: Monthly Evaluation. The part where I review my goals and if they are achieved at the end of the month. I also reflect on my habits ,pain points and improvements that I should carry over the next month.

That ends my February set-up! Introducing my March 2020 Cover Page as the ending. My theme next month is “Throwback Memories”.

Before I end this post, I also invite you to follow my youtube channel. I will post more bujo stuff soon.

Or maybe you’re interested to be my International Blogger Friend. The idea is to invite everyone in blogosphere and have at least one friend in each country so that means at least 195 blogger friends. It’s not limited to wordpress blogger, or to blogsite platforms. If you are a Instagram blogger, facebook , youtuber, tiktoker! You are welcome! For more details, you can check out my About Page here.

Thank you in advance!

Remember, you are awesome and wonderfully made,

GUREZU

For inquiries and collaborations, LET’s CONNECT!!!!!!

Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/Gurezu/
Instagram: instagram.com/gurezu
Youtube: Gurezu Reviews
Tiktok username: gurezu

How to Exchange Philippine Pesos to Taiwanese Currency (NTD)

Foreword: I’m publishing this blog in the midst of NCOV-19 crisis. I know it’s a bit untimely because I , even myself, cancelled my travel this summer and I advised everyone to do the same. But this blog has been on my backlog for a long time. And I’m publishing this with hope that few months after, this pandemic will be over and our medical experts would discover the cure to combat this virus. Few months after, we will be able to travel again without fear and this blog would finally serve it’s purpose. Let’s pray and be healthy wherever you are.

It’s been months after we went to Taiwan and I remember that on that time, I had a hard time researching for the best ways to exchange Philippine pesos to Taiwan NTD. There are youtube vlogger discussing one way another and I did find few blogsite but most of them were old. I don’t know, maybe I didn’t search enough. But just in case, you are having a hard time too, I decided to write my own experience and discoveries on the ways to exchange Philippine Peso to Taiwan NTD and compare it to one another. The process might apply to other currencies as well but this experience is particular for Taiwanese Dollars.

How to Measure if the Exchange Rate is Good?

To buy Taiwan Dollars, the lower the selling exchange rate the better. So we will compare these ways base on their selling exchange rate. Searching through google as of this writing, 1 NTD would be equal to 1.69 Philippine Peso. Let’s see which of the following ways would offer the best exchange rate.

TWD vs. NTD: Taiwan Currency

First of all, when it’s your first time to travel in Taiwan, you may be confused of the two currency being used which are TWD and NTD. They are actually the same in terms of Tawain Currency. It’s just TWD is being used more in more serious note like foreign exchange rates. NTD is more of international English name of Taiwanese currency. But their value is the same.

Option 1: Thru BDO Bank:


This option is one of the best because of low exchange rate. But this is only applicable if you still have at least a month left before your departure time. As of this writing the selling exchange rate for BDO is
1.71. If you want to check the current buy exchange rate, go to this BDO forex link: https://www.bdo.com.ph/mobile/forex

So if you exchange PHP 5000 to Taiwan Dollars in BDO, that would be 2,923.97 TWD. (Computation: 5000 divided by 1.71)

Here are the important notes on how to exchange by BDO.

1. Currencies other than USD are available in selected BDO branches only. Please click here to view list of selected branches.

2. You can only exchange money on the BDO branch where you have a bank account. So if your branch is not on this list here , it’s out of the options.

3. When you are ready to exchange your money at the BDO branch, you need to bring your passport and itinerary. It’s important to know that Taiwan dollars is most probably not readily available at your branch. So the estimate for your Taiwan dollars to arrive will usually take 2 to 3 weeks after you visited your branch.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: We only learned about this method within the week of our departure. I visited the BDO in Picadilly BGC branch and was informed that there were a lot of requirements. I don’t have a BDO account in this branch and we couldn’t wait for 2 to 3 weeks anymore. So we were not able to use this method. So I conclude, this is a good way to exchange PHP to TWD but it is inconvenient and would require a lot of time.

Option 2: Thru a Money Changer

The second option would be the nearest money changer in your area. But this require a little research since money changer sites have different exchange rates. In our experience, I exchanged money in Kabayan BGC Branch. They update their Facebook page on the current exchange rates and respond quickly in our inquiries. At that time, we chose this because it somewhat lesser in other options that we had.

TIP: Message them in Facebook first to ensure when they have Taiwanese Dollar in the nearest branch . Unlike the first option, it only takes one day. This is the private message that I had with Kabayan. At that time, 1.85 is the selling rate. We exchanged 15,000 for me and my friends.

So for example, if you have PHP 5000 , this will be equal to 2,702.70 Taiwanese dollars. (Computation 5000 divided by 1.85)

Option 3: Exchange money in Taoyuan Airport

You can also bring your Philippine peso in Taiwan and exchange it on the money changer in Taoyuan Airport itself. There are two banks which has money changer kiosk in Taoyuan which operate for 24 hours. You can ask anywhere and they would consistently say this option has the least competitive rate. However, it offers convenience and security as it is readily available in the airport.

Personal Experience: My friend decided to exchange his P3000.00 in Bank of Taiwan Money Changer kiosk. At that time of our travel, the selling rate was 1.9354. So he got 1,550.00 Taiwan Dollars. You can also view this on my vlog at 00:11.

So for further comparison, PHP 5000 would be equal to 2,583.4 Taiwan Dollars.

To see the current exchange rate, this is the forex website of two banks in Taoyuan airport.
Bank of Taiwan: https://rate.bot.com.tw/xrt?Lang=en-US .
Megabank: http://rate.megabank.com.tw/bulletin02_02.asp

Take note that this site displays Taiwan to other currency rates so you should look for PHP buy exchange rate and multiply it to your Philippine Peso.

Option 4: Withdraw in Taiwan ATM

You can also bring your local debit mastercard or credit card in Taiwan and withdraw in Taiwan ATM. Since the pocket money I brought was not enough, I had the chance to use this option as well. The exchange rate depends of the bank. You should also take note that aside from the exchange rate, each bank has it’s fee which will be deducted on top of your withdrawal.

Some important notes:

1. Your card should bear a mastercard or visa card.

2. Before traveling abroad, call your bank to enroll your account in international withdrawal to avoid the risk blocking of your account. Here’s some details for BPI. https://www.bpiexpressonline.com/p/1/866/international-access .

3. There’a fee for every single withdrawal abroad. For BDO, refer to https://www.bdo.com.ph/personal/accounts/atm-debit-cards/limits-fees.
For BPI: https://www.bpiexpressonline.com/p/1/1916/fees. As of this writing, they were both 3.50 USD.

Personal experience: I used my BPI card to withdraw P1500.00 NTD. It’s not hard to withdraw in Taiwan as ATM have available English translation. When I checked my statement, it charged me a total of P2687.00. Subtracting a total of 180.00 from international withdrawal fee, then that would be P2507.

Computing the exchange rate I had with using BPI ATM card, that would be

2507/1500=1.67

And if we are going to exchange our PHP5000, it will be 2,994 NTD.

To summarize the exchange rate of four options:

  1. Bank: 1.71
  2. Money Change:1.85
  3. At Taoyuan Airport:1.9354
  4. International ATM Witdrawal: 1.67— the best

CONCLUSION

With these four options, I would say International ATM withdrawal is the best. But you should not rely entirely with ATM withdrawal. I believe it would be best to have cash on-hand as well before flying to any different countries. So for me the best is to exchange a lesser portion of you pocket money from Bank then for the larger portion withdraw it in Taiwan. In case something went wrong online, you won’t be empty-handed.

That’s all folks! I think we can all agree that the start of 2020 is a bit stressful. Let’s pray together that in the second quarter , the world will trample the pandemic crisis. I’m positive all of this will be over.

Before I end this blog I would also like to invite you to be my International Blogger Friend. The idea is to invite everyone in blogosphere and have at least one friend in each country so that means at least 195 blogger friends. It’s not limited to wordpress blogger, or to blogsite platforms. If you are a Instagram blogger, facebook or youtuber, you are welcome! For more details, you can check out my About Page here.

Thank you in advance!

Remember, you are awesome and wonderfully made,

GUREZU

For inquiries and collaborations, LET’s CONNECT!!!!!!

Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/Gurezu/
Instagram: instagram.com/gurezu
Youtube: Gurezu Reviews

How Did I Start My Bullet Journal (Bujo)?

What spark me to do Bujo?

One of my friends in Instagram has been posting her pages in her journal. And for the longest time last year, I only see only one hashtag which is #bujo. I dismissed it before. Uninterested to know what it means. But I do love reading the pages she shares in her Instagram every week. She put doodles in it and her handwriting is clear and divine. So just after the new year, I decided to finally explore the contents in hashtag bujo.

Blog content:

A. Introduction: About Bujo
B. Buying Bujo Supplies
C. Inside Bujo Set-up

What is BUJO?

Exploring that hashtag opened a whole and exciting world for me. Bujo is short for Bullet Journaling. At first I thought that the reason it was called Bullet Journaling was it mostly utilizes “Bullet listing”. Most bujo that I’ve seen uses these technique in writing daily happenings in this form rather than spontaneous long paragraphs. So I thought it came from that concept.

But digging more in the interwebs, I learned that Bullet Journal was coined and invented by  Ryder Carroll. And it is actually a method to improve productivity and achieving goals. I was surprised that there are actually definite terms to know and sections in applying Bujo system. I will not discuss those since I did not apply most of them yet. But if you are interested to study the whole Bujo system. I think this site tackles it in simplest way. I will apply this on March.

For most people, Bujo is a customized planner and diary. I just love the way it also serves as creative expression. Unlike planners you can buy anywhere, bujo gives you freedom. It can be as minimal as you want or as colorful as you want it to be, or both.

Here’s how I start my January Bujo:

First, I went to Greenbelt and Glorietta to buy the essentials.

I. BUYING BUJO SUPPLIES

  1. Hunting the notebook: Most notebook popular for bullet journalist is the dotted notebook. It has pages with small and equally spaced dots which helps in making straight lines and spacing when writing. And it’s not noticeable unlike the usual lined notebooks. My choice,however, was blank pages. I also wanted the cover to have vintage feel but gives me freedom to design it. So when I saw this notebook in MUJI, I knew I found what I am looking for.

Here is my notebook. I put a minimalistic design on it.

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Well you have to know that this is not the actual color of the pages. I was using ambient light from the window when I took this photo. It was a cloudy day. The coffee designs here was stickers I bought from “The Craft Central”, Greenbelt Branch in Makati.

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the very first page

Verdict for this notebook: I am already using this notebook for more than a month and I would say I kind of regret choosing this. Don’t get me wrong it’s an amazing notebook. Not just for bullet journaling. I advised to stick with the popular choice: the dotted kind of notebook. I should have chosen Limelight brand. Or bought a dotted noteboook in Craft Central. But thankfully, Craft Central has this dotted paper pad. When I am tired and have no energy for straight lines, I paste a dotted paper into the notebook page. It also adds thickness to my pages. And yes, I have to tell that small dots in dotted pages will make your life easier in bullet journaling. So stick with that! In addition, choose a notebook with thick pages.

2. HUNTING FOR THE PEN and PENCIL. Another important thing I bought was the ballpen and pencil I would use. I also bought them at MUJI. I have no high standard with pencils so I bought what was available. It was the pen that I am quite picky about since the gel pen I have smears a lot and makes my writings messy. Thankfully, Muji has amazing retractable gel pen. I have put this pen in to smear tests before I bought it and I love the results. I have seen it featured in a lot bullet journalists IG’s too. Here’s how it looks like. It’s called “Smooth Gel Ink Ballpoint Pen Knock Type 0.5 Black”

“Smooth Gel Ink Ballpoint Pen Knock Type 0.5 Black”

This is how it looks like. It is called Smooth Gel Ink Ballpoint Knock Type 0.5

3. RULER: I bought two rulers. One is the ordinary transparent ruler. The other one was a wooden ruler that shaped like a giraffe. I bought the latter simply because it was cute. But I have to say I mostly use the transparent one the most.

4. CALLIGRAPHY PENS, WASHI TAPES, STICKERS, GLUE STICK. These are just optional. Before I went shopping for my supplies, I already knew the color scheme I want. I am leaning more these days to vintage feel of brown color. And for the first month I chose a coffee and pastry as a theme. So I bought stickers and washi tapes that aligns to my theme. I also bought a brown calligraphy pen.

viber_image_2020-02-19_06-23-15

This is where I bought my haul:

  1. Stickers: The Craft Central, Greenbelt Branch.
    https://thecraftcentral.com/
  2. Washi Tapes: National Bookstore, Glorietta Branch
  3. Zig Fudebiyori Calligraphy Pen: National Bookstore, Glorietta Branch
  4. Glue stick:National Bookstore, Glorietta Branch
  5. Pens and Pencil: Muji, Greenbelt Branch

    If you are not familiar, Greenbelt and Glorietta are two adjacent malls in Makati City, Philippines. Actually there are four neighbor malls in this area. Landmark, Greenbelt, Glorietta and SM Makati. They are even interconnected to each other by bridges so it was not hard to go from one to another. Landmark has amazing dotted notebooks and planners too. Not popular brands but they have adorable cute designs. It just so happens I want a clean slate, no design notebook. So if this area is accessible to you, I recommend for you to shop here but only in weekends. You’ll probably be traumatized to go here in weekdays. The traffic in Makati is terrible.

II. Bujo Set-up.

I get inspiration and format mostly from the bullet journalist I followed in Instagram. From super minimalist to colorful bujo. Mine was kind of in a middle. I am not good in drawing so I compensate it with cute stickers. I also pick the parts of bujo mostly from instagram. I was mesmerized by the different section that make-up their bujo so I pick those that I’ll find useful for me.

Section I: Just some general cover page stating my name and my theme.

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Section II: Meaning of the Theme of the Year

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Section III and IV: Washi Tape Swatches and cover page of my lists. In this section I am planning to include my bucket list, movie list and other list related to my plans.

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I am not yet done working on my list so I’ll skip those pages in this section for the meantime.

Section V: TRACKERS

One of my favorites. Trackers are like touchpoint monitoring of the goals you want to achieved. Here I created a tracker for my Workout Progress, word count for my novel and social media tracker. All are related to the goals I wanted to achieve this year.

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A close up on my Weekly Exercise Result tracker.

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Section 6: Monthly Cover. Keeping it simple with the calendar and my goals for this month. Other monthly covers include future logs which could be birthdays, anticipated events and other scheduled activities.

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Section 7: Habit Tracker. This month I wish to develop the following ten habits. Every habit has a badge and the goal is to at least earn at least 5 each day. This is one of the section that I feel very useful.

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Section 8: Weekly Diary Spread. This is my most favorite because first of all, this is the reason why started bujo. I used to have a diary before but I am not chatty in paper these days. I am not as comfortable to blank pages unlike before. I just want to write down the highlights or things to be grateful for everyday. So a weekly spread diary is perfect for me. There is no pressure to write long paragraphs when I don’t usually have the mood to do so.

For the first week, my weekly spread has priority of the week checklist, productivity tracker and mood tracker.

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Some details.

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Second Week: This time I tried a horizontal lay-out. I am not fond of making straight lines so I let myself not to do it.

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I added phone usage tracker. I was able to know my exact hours of usage by a free application I downloaded in Google Playstore. It’s name is YouHour. It’s an amazing app. I added this because I recognize my social media addiction specially Facebook. You could scroll for hours, endlessly and I felt like it really rots your brain.

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Third Week: This time, it was still a horizontal layout. I went crazy with calligraphy but I like it. I love the stickers.

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Fourth Week. This time I added a daily tiny calligraphy doodles. I still have a productivity tracker, mood tracker, and the list of my weekly goals. This time I tried the vertical layout.

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You are capable of so much more!

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Push! Push! Push!

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Section 9: Payday Tracker!

I decided to do this so I could consciously divide my payday and track where it goes. I followed Truly Rich Club principles in dividing the salary.
50%. Monthly expenses and bills.
20% Savings and investments. This will go to savings account. Or buying stocks and other investments.
10% Tithe/ charity. Support your church or donate in a charity.
5% Emergency Fund. They say you must have at least 6 month-worth of salary to have a reliable emergency fund. This will serve as your fund just in case there are emergencies like work termination, accidents or calamities.
5% Enjoyment Fund. Fund for watching movies, eating-out with friends and family.
5% Educational Fund. Continue to grow by enrolling to a course that will help you improve or attain new skills.
5% Empower fund/ Luxury fund. This is the fund to buy gadgets or any luxuries.

I think this tracker would be a regular from now on. I really need it because I tend to forget my budget for particular area. By the way I haven’t seen this tracker to other bullet journalists so far. But I’m pretty sure others have their own versions of it.

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Section 10: Month-End Evaluation. Wrapping this month with my accomplishments and areas to improve.

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That’s it for my January Set-up. I am inviting you to watch a 1-minute flip-through of my coffee-themed January bujo. Please also subscribe as I will create more bujo related contents soon!

My Bujo is not actually the best out there but I hope this will inspire you to have your own bujo and make it as your tool to achieve your goals this year.

Before I end this blog I would also like to invite you to be my International Blogger Friend. The idea is to invite everyone in blogosphere and have at least one friend in each country so that means at least 195 blogger friends. It’s not limited to wordpress blogger, or to blogsite platforms. If you are a instagram blogger, facebook or youtuber, you are welcome! For more details, you can check out my About Page here.

I hope you accept my invitation and help me build my list 😉

Thank you in advance,

Remember, you are awesome and wonderfully made,

GUREZU

❤ ❤ ❤

For inquiries and collaborations, LET’s CONNECT!!!!!!

Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/Gurezu/
Instagram: instagram.com/gurezu
Youtube: Gurezu Reviews

Inviting You to be My International Blogger Friend (Please accept :D)

Hi Everyone!

I hope you are doing well! This year I would like to use internet and my blog to really connect into the world. I would love to travel to achieve that and as much as I wanted to, I have limited resources. But Internet is here so I had this idea to create International Blogger Friend Directory. The idea is to invite everyone in blogosphere and have at least one friend in each country so that means at least 195 blogger friends.

I want to diversify the blogs I follow. I am so curious to hear and learn more base on more personal perspective and not just on news/ wikis. I believe blogs reflects much of the writer’s soul and through this I am hoping to have meaningful interactions with people around the globe.

If you’re accepting my invitation, we could do at least one of the following:

  • Simply follow each other’s blog links and blog platforms.
  • Give me your three current favorite blog posts (own writing) and I would put my thoughts in the comment. Similarly, I would also send you my own fave blogs post in my blog and your would put your thoughts as well.
  • Do a blog collaboration (Suggestions below)
    • be my guest blogger
    • Exchange favorite book, tv series, movie , netflix and we’ll have an exchange of reviews.
    • Or we can read book or watch film we both never seen before and let’s have a review about it.
    • These are just my suggestions. We can talk and agree on topics 😉
  • Send each other letters or postcards or stickers! (I would love to add this in my bullet journal)
  • Bond over music! Let’s sing a song as duet in Smule or WeSing.
  • Duet over Tiktok! Yes I have tiktok account (gurezu). It’s fun. It’s my guilty pleasure. Let’s duet!
  • Or others we can think of. We could even meet up and bond over coffee,books , movies etc if its possible.

I have actually forget this idea in a while but the invitation and list has been sitting around in my “About Me” page. Empty. Until one day, I received an email from Libera Tarts (https://liberatarts.com/) accepting my invitation. She is a British Filipino ESL teacher currently based in China. It took me awhile to think on what country I will list her. But decided to stick with the location where she is at the moment. At last the list is not empty anymore! By the way, we also agreed to have blog collaboration too. So excited that this is now rolling. Thanks Libera for accepting my invitation and listing me also in your list!

My list of countries as well as the International Blogger Friends Directory is on my About Me Page. The countries in the list are 195 starting from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. If you think I missed your county, let me know.

If you are already in the Philippines, I am also building another list which is ” BLOGGER FRIENDS PER PH REGION” . I know most of circle here are in wordpress are in the Philippines. If I have more time, I’ll do inventory of my blogger friends so it won’t be empty anymore. ;D

But of course, you can build your own International Blogger Friends Directory too! Let’s help each other build our list! Who knows, at the end of this year we could have at least 195 blogger friends. The thought excites me.

I hope you take my invitation. Just let me know in the comments. Also if you are more active in Instagram or other blogging platforms, just let me know. This list would include bloggers in all platforms.

Have a good day! And remember that you are awesome. Don’t let others make you think otherwise!

Your Friend From the Philippines,

Gurezu ❤

Why Parasite Deserves the Best Picture Awards?

It made history!  “Parasite” won the Oscar Best Picture Award! It is the very first non-English film to win in the academy. And having personally enjoyed the film immensely, I felt proud and joyous as well that I brought my lazy ass to sit and write a blog about it.

It’s so metaphorical!”

These are the points that I feel made Parasite appealing to Global audience, even successfully seeping through the audience who who does not like “reading subtitles”. This is purely my opinions. I am no serious film critic. And I won’t be comparing this film on it’s competitors in this year’s Oscars because I haven’t watch all of them yet. My sole credential was I love watching films too and I do recognize a good story.

Most of all, this is a spoiler-free review. I would discuss only the part of the film that you will also see in the official trailer itself. So you don’t have to worry.

  1. Universal theme but unique story. You don’t need to have an experience living in a particular country or living in a different time to immerse yourself in the premise of the movie. It is a story of two families in contrasting financial condition, the rich and poor. Simple as that. This simplicity, however, was enamored with such a unique storyline.

2. No clean-cut good or bad characters. It is easy to tell that the protagonist of this movie was the poor family. The movie deals with their journey the most. Even if the rich family seems to be the antagonist, they are not villainy in characters. Actually they are nice people. They could be entitled people but that’s because of their lack of exposure from how poor people lives. But they are certainly not entirely depicted as bad. However, I could not tell the same with our protagonist poor family. From the trailer it self, you will see they began to take advantage of the rich family by lying. But then you will understand where they come from. They just want to have a good life. I love this kind of dynamic in characters. In most movies, it’s easy to root for a particular party when there was a clean cut bad or good. And in real life, it was not like that. People can be both bad and good and it depends on our perspective in life on whose side would we root for. I love these kind of movies.

3. Genre-bending movie. As people have said, this movie is a hella ride of emotions. It made me laugh, sad,excited and scared. They say films that try to mix two or more genres together will likely feel scattered. Well this movie did it with flying colors. It made me confused along the way but in a very good and exciting manner.

4. Technically flawless. The classical music inspired soundtrack. The cinematography. The acting. Everyone in this movie was great. No scene was wasted. I have watched a behind the scene of this movie and I am really amazed that even the architecture of the houses of both families were made from scratch to fulfill the director’s vision of inserting a deeper meaning on the contrast of each lives. Moreover, the director wanted to illustrate the class division by using staircases and windows. So the architecture of the house and how it responds to sun movements was design with intention. The director even have a comic-book like sketches of each frame. I just love this particular detail of the behind the scenes . The director put so much heart and art on it.

For the actors, I can’t seem to pick a favorite character actor/actress here because in one way or another they have a spotlight in this movie. Even those with little screen time were essential.

To sum my points, the movie is both super entertaining and deep. The balance of these two characteristics made it a modern masterpiece.

It’s a milestone for South Korean film industry but also in the award giving body that recognized it. It just means they are ready to embrace wider ideas and concepts. I always felt Oscar were just for Hollywood movies before. It is only now I felt they are ready to go “international” as it should be. It is a win for Asian countries too. Maybe a film in my country Philippines would also break barriers someday. I am positive with that. We have talents here but seemingly lacks courage.

How about you? Did you also enjoy this movie? Who do you think is/are the parasites in this movie?

Taichung Classic Klook Tour Review

For our Day 3 and last day in Taiwan, we spent in Taichung City located in central part of Taiwan. It was a 2-hour bus journey from Taipei. For this tour, we availed “Taichung Classic Day Tour in KLOOK”. It was worth around P2,000 per person. This blog contains my thoughts in each destination and the tour itself. IS THIS KLOOK TOUR WORTH IT?

Klook Tour link: https://www.klook.com/en-PH/activity/23958-taichung-classic-day-tour-taipei/

taichung

I. Tour Itinerary/Content

II. After the Klook Tour

III. Gurezu Reviews: Final Verdict

Also inviting you the tour in action here in my 6-minute VLOG.

Zhong She Flower Market

Piece of advice. If you plan to go to Zhong She flower farm in Taiwan, you better do it by DIY. A klook tour will just give an ample time to be here. And you’ll end up running everywhere. Unless you just want to gaze on flowers, 50 minutes will not be enough.

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LUNCH TIME in CMP Park Lane

For our lunch, they took us in a mall with a park in front it. It was disappointing because that mall has little food choice. The park has no food stalls at all. We bought lunch in nearby 7-11 instead. Then bought Milk Tea somewhere far. By the time we already have food and drinks, we only have ten minutes to eat. Though it hurt our tongue because our food was fresh from the oven, we had to endure it. We were hungry and we needed to go back in the meet-up or else the Klook bus will leave us. We really didn’t like the experience. We felt deprived in our first destination, then felt rushed and stressed during lunch time. It affected our mood for the tour.

MIYAHARA ICE CREAM PARLOUR

The most popular ice cream parlor in Taichung, Taiwan. This building was an old bank turned into Harry Potter inspired Ice-cream parlor and restaurant. Although you can’t visit the second floor unless you have reservation.

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We didn’t order Miyahara Ice Cream. We felt full from lunch and disappointed with the Klook tour dropping us off in a crowded mall with very few food choices for our lunch. We ended up ordering food in 7-11 (which was delicious btw) and ate our lunch in a hurry because most of our lunch time was spent looking where to eat. So in Miyahara, it kind of affected the mood. But I enjoyed visiting Miyahara because the interior was gorgeous and whimsical. And that means more photo ops. 😛

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Rainbow Village

Appreciating this little village drawn and made colorful by one old man who wish to stay in this place when everybody left. And now, people keep going here because of his creation. I hope he doesn’t feel alone anymore.

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Easily the highlight of my Rainbow Village tour is to meet the Rainbow Grandpa himself. Aged over 90 years old, he wakes up every 4am to continue painting the village. He is maybe old but he’s still strong and playful. Game for trendy poses like this and Korean heart. It’s free to take a photo with Grandpa but it is advisable to drop donations. He is also selling his sample artworks in bondpapers. Because of his creativity, he saved the village from being demolished. Every year it is estimated that Rainbow Village has at least a million visitors. Even at old age, Rainbow Grandpa saved the small village and even made his neighbor earn more by selling to tourists. Truthfully, it’s not too late to make a difference.

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Gaomei Wetlands

For our last destination, we went to Gaomei Wetlands to watch the gorgeous sunset in panoramic view.

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Gaomei Wetlands Sunset
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Sunset Viewing is the most popular activity in Gaomei Wetlands. But apart from that, this place is a preservation area for exotic birds and crabs. Here they roam free. I was not able to spot any exotic birds maybe because I did not finish the 800 meter walkway. However, the crabs were really plenty. I had fun taking a video of this particular one boring holes in a muddy sand. The wetland is muddy do I didn’t dare walk on it. Thankfully this one roams freely near the walkway. But I still did a risky position to extend my camera on the muddy sand to get a close-up.

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I was not able to get through the end of 800m walkway in Gaomei Wetlands because it’s too crowded. But the main concern actually was the time. If I manage to get through, I might not able to go back in time for the Klook meetup time.

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After the Tour

HOT SPRING EXPERIENCE in SPRING CITY RESORT

To cap the three tiring days of walking around Taiwan, we spent a relaxing hour in an authentic hot spring resort in Xin Beitou under starry night. Submerging in a hot spring water is not only relaxing but it is known for healing properties and getting rid of toxicities. Beitou is surrounded by hot springs so there is a strings of hot spring resort in the area ranging from simple to five star hotels. There was even a hot spring museum around the area. But we arrived so late to have to time to visit it. Thermal Valley or also known as Hell’s valley where the water constantly release smoke is also in Beitou. Unfortunately, and one of my regrets was I haven’t been able to see it. But enough of regrets. At least I have more reasons to go back to Taiwan next time.

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This is the hot spring pool for kids. There are other varieties inside but phones are prohibited. It was quite challenging to submerge in to hot spring pools..because they are HOT! I wonder sometimes if they were really safe. I was so afraid to be cooked alive. Anyway the hottest pool that I managed to endure was 41 degrees Celcius. It was hard at first but once you were there for five seconds you can feel your body adapting on it and it was quite relaxing as promised. But I made unnecessary and annoying noises before I finally get into the waters. I really had a difficult time at first.
Most of the visitors were from other different countries. But a Filipino couple spotted and chit chat with us when they heard we were talking in Tagalog. We met them again in Taoyuan airport when we were about to go home.

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Overall it was really fun as this spring resort was so cozy and their amenities looks good. They also have free shuttle service. We booked this through Klook for only P579.00. We chose the “NIGHT” only pass. Other package has different price.

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FOOD TRIP IN SHILIN NIGHT MARKET

After hot spring resort, we were very hungry and decided that it would be the best time to return to Shilin Night Market. So for our last activity in Taiwan, we went food tripping in this market where several authentic and exotic street food line up for the night. These are some of the memorable food I consumed. Most fave would be the eight claw octopus. Yum!

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Michelin star soup stand
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Pork Kebab
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Cheese Shrimp Egg
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Devouring on our choices. Michelin Soup, lemonade and long fries.
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ATTACK!

Gurezu Reviews Final Verdict

Not Recommended!

  1. Super little time in Zhong-She Flower Farm
  2. The tour guide assign that day was not that good in English. Aside from that , he does not wait for all the tourist to come down before walking to the destination. And he did not even look back to check if all the tourists were already in his tracks.
  3. The lunch time drop-off which was CMP by Park Lane was crowded and has little food choices. We had a hard time looking for restaurant to have our lunch. When we finally bought lunch in a 7-11 (Thanks 7-11!) , we only got 5 minutes left to eat all of it. This definitely spoiled our mood.

There were raving reviews of this tour in KLOOK and checking all of it, they were mentioning the names of their amazing tour guide that time. Maybe we were just unlucky with the assigned tour guide that day. His name did not come up in the good reviews. I prefer not to mention his name. But I hope he’ll improve his skill in the future.

Recommended alternatives.
1. Look for a private charter specially if you’re in a group of 4 or more. You will have more savings and freedom for your time.
2. Do it DIY. You might want to try riding a bullet train going to Taichung as it will take you there for only 45 minutes versus the 2 hours in the bus. There were a lot of amazing Taichung destination that I wished we visited like the Sun Moon Lake and Famous Aboriginal Park. They look great in photos!
3. Or maybe book other Taichung Tours in Klook or KKDay.

If you’re interested, here are my other blogs for this Taiwan Series Adventures

Day 1: The Advantage in Using Taipei Fun Pass Card

Day 2: Taiwan North Coast KLOOK Tour Review

I hope you enjoy reading my tour review blog and hope this helps in deciding your activities in visiting this wonderful country.

Also I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to be my international blogger friend. The idea is to have at at least one blogger friend in each country and build this INTERNATIONAL BLOGGER FRIENDS DIRECTORY. I wanted to diversify the people I follow or interact with through social media so I can see parts or hear anything from different parts of the world. We could do any of the following:

  • Simple follow each other in wordpress, blog links or other platform
  • Write a blog collaboration!
  • Send each other letter or postcards or stickers
  • Let’s sing a song as duet in Smule or WeSing!
  • Or others we can think of.

And if you’re already in my home country the Philippines, just let me know as I’m also building a directory: BLOGGER FRIENDS IN EACH PH REGION.

If you are interested to be added in my official directory and bond with me , just let me know if the comment section or reach me out via email: tumblingbot@gmail.com or in my IG/FB.

This idea has been playing in my had since last year as I’ve really want to connect more to the world. I hope you would take my invitation. Thank you in advance!

Remember, you are awesome! Don’t let other people tell you otherwise!

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Taiwan North Coast Tour with Klook (A Review)

For our Day-2 in Taiwan, we traveled through the North Coast of Taiwan through KlOOK shuttle bus tour. Here’s the link of the exact tour itself in KLOOK site: Yehliu Geopark, Jiufen, and Shifen Shuttle Bus & Golden Waterfall One-day Tour

CONTENT OF THIS BLOG

Day 1: Our Experience Using Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass Card

DAY 2: TAIWAN NORTH COAST

VLOG version

DETAILED ITINERARY

MEET-UP at GAKUDEN BAKERY

It was a good thing the meet-up was beside a bakery. People lined up to have a quick breakfast and I must say, I love sandwich we bought from Gakuden. I was also surprised that there were a lot of Klook bus tours here. It’s important to find your appropriate tour and tour guide. Tour guides has a list of names that will be under his supervision and will be calling out names from time to time.

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On our way to our first destination, our tour guide told us important things that we should keep in mind. Like it’s against the law not to fasten your seatbelts while on the bus ride. She even showed a video clip that passengers were usually being thrown out of the bus as an impact of the collision and can get hit by another passing cars. If I remember correctly, penalty was 3000 NTD. Another, it was against the law for drivers to work more than 12 hours to avoid overfatigue which will result for another road accidents. So they made a point that they are strict with time and tourists shall comply. Or else, they will leave and the tourists will have to take a taxi ride to the next destination in the itinerary. While these are very strict, I appreciate the re-enactments videos they showed on why these are important. They are entertaining and informative. And as well, made me question why rules does not exist in the PH. Or is there? Maybe I am not aware.

Destination 1: Yehliu Geopark

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I have a confession to make. Whenever I see pictures of Yehliu Geopark in instagram or other blogs I was thinking “What’s the big deal about this place?” The photos of the rocks reminded me of foot warts and it honestly irked me. I was ready to scratch this place off the list when I was still planning our Taiwan itinerary. But in the end, since its part of the Klook tour that I considered then I let it be. But our Klook tour guide was just awesome and presented to us videos on what is Yehliu Geopark and why it was a national treasure before we arrived here. So the gist was due to the unique limestone composition of the land here in Yehliu, wind and soil erosion naturally formed various rock formations that can’t be found anywhere else. They refer those rocks as sculptures made entirely by nature. They have rock formation that looks like a shoe, elephant, gorilla. The most popular is the Queen’s head because it looks like a head of a lady in bare shoulders. The rocks that looks like foot warts for me were mushroom rocks. Somehow, when I was here they don’t like warts anymore because I find the land color gorgeous to look at personally. So the photos maybe just don’t give enough justice to the beauty of this place, I tried to capture it on my own but even my captured photos may not be enough. I tried my best though.

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Here’s the Queen’s Head. The line for this one is soooo long and we just have little time inside #YehliuGeopark so we decided not to pursue having close photo-ops with this rock and just have photo with her from where we stood. It’s just sad to know the inevitable fate of Queen’s head. It’s neck is significantly thinner compared to ten years ago naturally because of erosion. So in the future, it is expected that the head will eventually fall-off.

In the end,I enjoyed my time here because ir’s like a museum or exhibit made by nature. BUT sadly, the alotted time by Klook was not enough to see all rock sculptures. We did not see Queen’ head up close and I didn’t see the candles rock which looks like nipples for me.

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Is the time alotted by KLOOK enough for Yehliu? A big NO! Unfortunately 70 minutes was not enough. Just walking to the site would already take you 15 minutes and then going back will cost you another 15 minutes. The time left for everyone to see the rocks will just be around 30-40 minutes.

Destination 2: Yin-yang Sea and Thirteen Layer Remains

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These are some shots of Yin Yang Sea from the observation deck and the 13-layer remains which was the old copper factory that was suspected to be responsible to Yin-Yang Sea phenomenon. It was called Yin-Yang as it looks like the duality symbol from top view. Our tour guide said that it only looks like this on the surface. That if you swim just a bit deeper in the sea, it’s just all blue.

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IS the time alotted here enough? Yes, We only stayed there for 15 minutes as there was nothing to do much here aside from sightseeing. We also didn’t see anyone swimming there.

Destination 3: Golden Waterfalls

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The stones are coated with gold due to several mining around the area during old times. The sun was not directly hitting the waterfalls that day so it was not that obvious in pictures. Other parts on the way here though were indeed glowing in gold color. At this point, I realized that Taiwan was really big in gold mining industry before.

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Is the time allotted here enough? Yes. We only spent 10 minutes here. There’s no activity here other than sightseeing also. No swimming is allowed as the water is poisonous for skin contact.

Destination 4: Jiufen Old Street

Wandering the place that inspired Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away! Jiufen Old Street. We ate a lot of food here.

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This is not for those who doesn’t like narrow and crowded spaces.

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Amei tea house is a hundred years old tea house in Jiufen Old Street. It’s the most popular site because it is said to be the inspiration of Hayao Miyazaki for the design of the Bathhouse in Spirited Away. For those who are not a fan or not even familiar, you may find this teahouse very expensive. I saw a lot of pictures of this teahouse and I believe it’s more gorgeous at night because of the red lantern ornaments.

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Comparison of Amei tea house and Spirited Away’s Bathhouse from Tofugu.com
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Random shots food stalls. Filipinos will be delighted to stroll around Jiufen because once Taiwanese vendos see your faces, or hear you speak, they will go “Pogi Maganda, bili na kayooo!” It goes to show that Filipinos became common tourists in Taiwan after the country lifted the visa requirement.

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Food tripping in Jiufen. Basically what we did in Jiufen.

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In summary, Jiufen Old street is a haven for Spirited Away fanatics. For non-fans, this is haven for food trips and souvenir hunters. The streets are narrow and full of stairs. Our tour guide said to be wary of going upstairs as tourists could easily get lost in the myriad of stairs. If you are not into crowded narrowd spaces, you may get annoyed as this place can be Really crowded. Base on blogs that I’ve read it could be really hot in there too specially in summer. We’re lucky to be there in Autumn season. Klook gave us two hours to roam around here as this is also a perfect place to spend lunch time.

Is the allotted time in Jiufen Old Street enough? We stayed here two hours and I can say that was enough. We came back in time. I must say though to be careful in wandering here in Jiufen as it the narrow streets could make someone lost it’s way.

Destination 5: Shifen Waterfalls 

This the little Niagara of Taiwan as it resembles the popular Niagara falls. And true that statement, it was really cute. It also create a mini rainbow when directly hit by sunlight. Like golden waterfalls, this one was also barricaded and it looks like it’s also prohibited for swimming.

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And since Shifen is known for Sky lanterns as well, we found this shop selling mini sky lantern lamps. And I found them really cute and perfect for portraiture background.

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Aside from gazing at the waterfalls, what we did here is …you guess it right, eat again!

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Is the time allotted here enough? Well I can say yes. We had little time to finish our food but it was on us. The area was not that big. We only stayed here for 50 minutes.

Destination 6: Shifen Old Street

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It’s my personal choice not to fly a skylantern in Shifen Old Street. The reason would sound “kill joy” so I woud rather not disclose it here. But I enjoyed watching families, friends and lovers as they successfully launch their sky lanterns riddled with their written wishes. I just silently enclosed my wishes as they fly it haha. Kidding aside, our tour guide told us how sky lantern started in Shifen Old Street. In times of war, a soldier was stranded in a field and desired to get help silently as the enemies were around. Given that there are no cellphones before, the means of long distance communications is through smoke. But it was night time and smoke would look rather invisible. So the smart soldier imitated the principle of hot air balloon with just papers. He designed it and successully sent a “Send Help” through the sky. He was saved after that. That’s how the sky lantern was born.
It’s good to know that there are only few places in Taiwan licensed to fly sky lanterns and Shifen is one of them. In this place this is a cultural tradition. Out tour guide also noted that if ever your wishes in the skylantern came true, you should go back here and send a “Thank you” message again by flying another sky lantern. But she stressed that when you wish,you should also work hard to achieve it. Makes sense.

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When I see Shifen Old Street in instagram, I thought this train tracks are already inactive. Well, I was wrong. It was completely active. And people have to rush out bringing their lanterns away when the police whistles signalling the coming train.

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SO ONCE AGAIN, WE EAT AGAIN!

MUST EAT: CHICKEN RICE!

Just want to share this chicken wings with rice. This was included in our Kloor tour in Shifen Old Street. This was absolutely delicious. We thoughts it was just an ordinary fried chicken wings. It turns out it was grilled and I think it is marinated in a different way because of its rich unfamiliar taste. The rice also was infused inside the chicken wings. This is definitely a perfect meal for someone on the go.

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MUST EAT! PEANUT ICE CREAM ROLL!

One also must not skip eating this Taiwanese Dessert , Peanut Ice Cream Roll. One of the uinforgettable eats in Taiwan that we had. We also availed this as part of our Klook Tour and their stall in Shifen Old Street was just beside the tracks.

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IS THE ALLOTTED TIME ENOUGH? YES, 70 minutes was enough. I did not feel deprived with our time here.

This is the end of our tour. We returned to the same meeting place we had that morning in Ximen MRT. We arrived at around 6:30pm just like what they promised in the itinerary. After that we went souvenir shopping in Ximending and Shilin Night Market. We also had a memorable dinner in Modern Toilet Restaurant . Below is the link for the continuation of our Day2 adventure.

FINAL VERDICT!

4.5 out of 5 stars!

I totally recommend this tour specially for first timers in Taiwan because of the following reasons

  1. Our tour guide Vickie is proficient in English and were able to present historical facts about the places we have visited which made the tour more enjoyable while we were on our way to next destinations.
  2. The inclusive food (the chicken rice and peanut ice cream roll) were delicious and truly memorable. I recommend everyone to avail this version of the package.
  3. The bus is cozy and full of safety features for the passengers.
  4. It is affordable and it covered a lot of places in North Coast of Taiwan! As of this writing, this tour only costs P756.00 per person.

The only cons that I can think of was the lack of time in Yehliu Geopark. We missed a lot of rock structures because the area was really big. But overall, the experience was great!

Once again, here’s the VLOG version of this blog. See this magnificent places in action.

And if you’re interested to check on our Day 1 Adventure, here’s the link.

I hope this blog would be helpful to you in planning your next Taiwan trip!

Remember, you are awesome!

Gurezu ❤

Boardgame Review: Go Money Heist with your Friends with “Cash N’ Guns”.

After robbing a bank, a group of thugs has to split the loot but they have to fight for it. Who will get the biggest cash?

I invite you to join our recent Christmas Party through our VLOG as we spend it by eating and playing boardgames. (Yeah that’s how we party!)

In addition, every year I sponsor one official game among my friends and with REAL cash prize as my gift to them. This year it’s Cash N’ Guns which looks like a money heist game. These are the things I love about this game.

  1. It’s very easy to learn . I don’t like boardgames that has complex rules. I like games that I can easily teach others.
  2. The playing time will last only for 30 minutes. Each round can only last for 3 minutes. Total game consisted of 8 rounds that’s why it can reach 30 minutes. In my experience, this is considerable shorter as some boardgame can last for 2 hours to conclude. I love that Cash N’ Guns is something you can play easily with beginners.
  3. Moreover, it is very exciting as it will test your instinct and your acting skills. This is a chance to point a gun to your friends for fun. This is my second favorite boardgame now next to Avalon (which I have’t blog yet)

This is some mechanic of the game according to ludogames.ph .

I just changed it to numerical form and added some tips.

GOAL of the PLAYERS: Have the highest cost of money while still being alive after 8 rounds.

Routine of the game.

  1. One player is the “The Godfather” or the boss. You can assign this within the group or I suggest the group play “rock, paper, scissors” to win the GodFather role as it has a special powerful role.
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2. Each player will be given 8 cards. This will serve as the bullets. The three red card means you are loading a bullet to your gun. The five blue cards means “empty”.

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3.Loot cards are revealed on the table. It could be in a form of  cash, diamonds,paintings, medicine (to heal your wounds if you got injured by previous rounds) or additional red card for bullets.

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4. Each players will load their guns by secretly choosing a red card (with bullets) or a blue card (empty).

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5. Godfather will  count to three, and on three, all players will point a gun to whoever they want to be out of the game.

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6. It’s time to activate Godfather’s role! Godfather can change one gun pointing at him and choose to point it to other player.

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7. After a pause to observe threats and measure the seriousness in an opponent’s eyes, the Boss counts to three again and anyone who doesn’t want to risk getting shot can “FOLD” and remove themselves with this round.

(If you choose to fold,  you can’t participate in the loot even the gun pointing at you is empty. If you choose to fold and the gun pointing at you has bullets, then it is a good decision. You may not get cash in the round but you won’t get an injure sign and try your luck in next rounds. If a player get three injure signs, they will die and permanently removed from the game.)

    8.   Everyone reveal their cards . If the card is RED or BANG, then the target who did not choose to FOLD, will have an injured sign. He won’t get any loot. If the card is BLUE, then the target who also did not choose to FOLD will be happy as he can get money in this round.

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The X signs are injured signs. You will get the number of injuries base on the number of guns pointing at you and all turned out having a red card.
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A player is happy because he managed to taunt another player to fold and go out of the game while his gun has no bullets (BLUE CARD)

  9. Starting with the Boss, those who did not get injured on the round will take turns in getting one loot card at a time until everyone has claimed.

10. Repeat steps 1-9 until round 8. Remember that each player only has three bullets as default so there are rounds that their guns will be empty. The key is to “see it through” base on your keen observations. There are also times that multiple guns will be pointing at you. If three of them are all “RED cards” then you are dead instantly in that round if you did not “FOLD” so you should decide wisely. Lastly, be mindful on who’s getting a lot of money. You can stop him from winning by targeting him in the next rounds.

11. After eight rounds, the game ends. Whoever has the most diamonds receives a big bonus. Painting value is based on the number of paintings collected. Then add all the cash. Whoever has the biggest value wins the game.

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These steps might feel daunting when you read it but they are really easy one you played the first round. You can watch us play in my vlog below.

The timer markers for each round.

00:50 Round 1
03:25 Round 2
06:38 Round 3
10:28 Round 4
14:10 Round 5
18:16 Round 6
21:42 Round 7
24:10 Last Round
27:58 Giving of prizes. Cold Hard Cash.

Also sharing with you the photos of our awarding ceremony.

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Just in case you’re interested, we played in Ludo Boardgame Bar and Cafe’ Diliman Quezon City Branch. Their official website is http://www.ludogames.ph/.

I hope everyone would try playing any boardgame. I got a lot of jokes that boardgame is “boredgame” because it’s boring. I don’t think so. Playing boardgames is really fun and makes you disconnect from digital world from a while. What I love about it is it gets you to personally bond with your friends.

How about you? Do you also have your own favorite boardgame? Feel free to share it away!

Remember! You are awesome,

Gurezu ❤


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My 2019 Year-End Review

I won’t be able to go on to another decade without properly reviewing the excitement, sadness and blessings of 2019. Also I would like to thank all the people who became part of this year. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

This year I dove into the world of voice artistry, went to four major travel destinations, jumped into vlogging and achieved a milestone in my career. Lovelife was exciting at some point but went meh. At least we tried,re-learn and reflect. Better luck next year. Hahahaha!

January 2019 (2)

January 2019: Enrolled in a voice acting school. Got my first voiceover and dubbing experiences. Met talented mentors and classmates. My school ID was wrong. Should be Gurezu.

February 2019

February 2019. Memorable shoot. I love the props, the venue , the outfit and the model. I hated the weather though. Such pain in the ass.

This happened in Fantasy World Batangas. Read full story here: https://gurezu.com/2019/04/

March 2019

March 2019.

Graduated as voice artist and even had a radio show. The Villa Jovita adventure happened on Feb but published my blog on March. It went on to be my second popular blog. It rakes views everyday according to my wordpress stats. It’s a small happiness for small bloggers like me.

Here’s my blog about Villa Jovita: https://gurezu.com/2019/03/

April 2019 final

April 2019.

Finally passed AWS SYS OPS Assoc Exam, completing the AWS Associate Trifecta! It was memorable because I learned my exam date just the morning of the exam itself. I even tried to obtain a med cert just to be excused by AWS. But I was not really sick and I was not good in lying. I just went on with it and just prayed hard for the best. Also after the examination, an earthquake struck Metro Manila. I was in Glorietta, ready for lunch after passing the exam then people came running out of the mall. I had to abandon my lunch order.

To celebrate, I joined a tour group going to Jomalig. I’ve been wanting to go to Jomalig but the 6-hour boat ride always held me back. But because I was happy I took the plunge. I have never joined a big group full of strangers too. So it’s another first for me. At the end everything was worth it. Jomalig is truly a paradise and I gain a friend.

Also this month, I became close to someone which I will call Noot Noot. Won’t go much with the details. Just want to say he made my April colorful. But that’s just it.

Aside from Jomalig, I also went to Pangasinan with my DGROUP team. I traveled twice, flirt a little (charot) and passed my certification exam. What a beautiful summer.

I blogger about my Jomalig adventure here: https://gurezu.com/2019/06/13/jomalig-adventure/

May 2019

May 2019

This month, I got married to a prince. I also became an envious spoon. It’s on youtube guys.
Here are the links:

Ang Prinsipeng Nagpasalamat . I appeared in 11:01 minutes.

Ang Tsarera. My line appeared in 3:24 minutues.

I also engaged in an online radio talk show in Vg8 Radio. And it was also my first time to have Kawa bath experience.

June 2019

June 2019. We celebrate Mama’s birthday with extended family. It was different from other celebration because here we were complete. Brother’s gf was also with us. The place is called Torres Land Farm and this resort would take you around the world. Read my blog about it here: https://gurezu.com/2019/06/

july 2019

Finally made a youtube channel and published my first official vlog. I also got addicted with Black Mirror and decided to write episode analysis.

Here’s my very first Gurezu Reviews Vlog by the way:

August 2019 2

August 2019. Mindblowing and unexpected. I just felt happy to be nominated. But to win was a blast. Thank you Lord! My only regret was I did not prepared a speech. Ended up with generic thank you.

And of course, this month I went to Cebu with my Dgroup friends. Our trip to Sumilon Island was my personal fave. Of course this marks another first, to encounter a whaleshark. Here’s my Highlight VLOG of my Cebu Trip.

September 2019 Final

September 2019

Finally, after long months of hiatus, I went back to organizing photoshoots. Got two photoshoots this month.

The theme of the photoshoot are posing suggestions and finally blogged about my output here: https://gurezu.com/2019/09/

October 2019

This is not my first time in Boracay. But this is a milestone for me since it was our grandest family getaway ever. We grew up swimming in Manila Bay only and the idea of Boracay is far-fetched. So this is a memorable experience for us. I organized this and also the main sponsor here as part of my celebration for my birthday and winning an award at work.. The highlight of this trip was my first parasailing experience. I was not able to do that the first time I went to Boracay because I could not afford it. So I came back with a vengeance.

To reach Boracay, we traveled by sea instead of airplane. I blogged about our 2go ship experience here.

November 2019

First out of the country since 2014. First time to prepare and plan for the itinerary. Usually kaladkarin lang ako e. I realized preparing for itinerary is an ART! It gave me stress but I enjoyed it.

December 2019

This has to be my chillest December. Main reason, I did not participate in any big parties. I did not spent the month practicing a dance. Instead, I participated in a month long EAT-ALL-YOU -CAN BUFFET. Started with Sambokojin, then BGC HIgh Street Cafe, NUI Vikings then YAKIMIX PRIME. I certainly gain weight. There’s no denying it. What I love about this December, I got to join a party as a volunteer in an orphanage for a day. I spent Christmas with my favorite Tita and Tito. I had time to actually buy gifts and attend small parties. Also had time to attend Simbang Gabi again! This may be my chillest December to date but I truly enjoyed it.

My recap here could be full of HIGH’s. But to tell you the truth, I entered the year 2019 with a heavy heart. Particularly, I felt stressed at work and I was not good at controlling my emotions. ( I cried a lot at work) That was the reason why I enrolled in a voice acting school as a way to vent my emotion. Voice acting school is enjoyable but to tell you the truth I did not do well with it. I felt short with so many areas. I’m not sure if I ‘m going to pursue it any further. But I did not regret it at all. I know some day everything that I did will make sense.

I also had slight heartbreak this year. I would say slight because the person was far anyway. And I have this lingering doubt from the start. But just in case, he thought of me and this blog, I want to tell him this.

To Noot Noot,

This is tot. Thank you for the short time you comforted me with your words. You came at the the time when everything was terrible. And you made me feel I was not alone. When you were gone, surprisingly everything went well on my end. I realized maybe that was your only mission in my life, ot make that dark period bearable. And that’s all it could ever get. I don’t hold any grudges anymore. I just pray that you are well now wherever you are. —END—

I also want to write another letter for a different person.

And to the person who confessed that he liked me and formally ask me for a date. I want to tell you that you are very brave. And I hope that even if I did not accept your feelings, your courage will not falter. Someday the right person will come and she will deserve your courage. So don’t let our situation kill that moment. I am not brave as yours. And I know only the brave ones will get what they deserve. I hope I can teach myself to be brave too. I admired that. –END–

So yeah, that’s another low of 2019. My lovelife was still meh. But I get reminded and re-learn things.

However, my greatest frustration or low I think would be I did not finish my novel. Again. I was so positive I could do it this year. But I did not maintain the momentum. The good thing was I wrote a lot. I did not finished it but the plot was already there. i just have to write it. That’s why this January 2019, I will carry it on. I don’t want to give up. Please pray for me.

The important lesson I learned is don’t lose hope that your situation won’t change. Surprisingly at the later half of the year, work became lighter after so much prayer. And I guess the rest of the year rewarded me for the hardship I went through with the first half of the year. I did not expect to get an award and travel with my family and then abroad. I believe everything is with God’s grace. And now it made sense that the hardship taught me something.

So if you are having a hard time and you entered 2020 with a heavy heart, let not that determine your whole year. There are many things that can happen. If you want it to be better, sometimes you have to fight for it with your spirit. And if still hard, pray harder. Focus on what you have and start there. I tell you that a great turnaround will happen. Just have faith.

And that’s it for my yearly recap. Cheers!

Remember, you are awesome and don’t let others make you feel otherwise.

GUREZU ❤