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 ❤

The Advantages of Using Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass Card in Visiting Taiwan

My VLOG!
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For our day 1 we purchased Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass Card. This includes unlimited rides for MRT, buses and free access to 16 attractions. We bought it through Klook though these link. We only bought the one-day pass version for only P1948.00. It also has two and three-day unlimited version.

These are the 16 attractions included in the card. I highlighted those we intend to visit with our pass

  • A one-time visit to each attraction during the validity period
  • Taipei 101 Observatory
  • National Palace Museum
  • Main Building of Chiang Kai-Shek Shilin Residence
  • Miramar Entertainment Park Ferris Wheel
  • Taipei Children’s Amusement Park
  • Tamsui Historical Museum
  • Tamsui to Fisherman’s Wharf round trip ticket
  • Gold Museum
  • Yeliu Geopark
  • Juming Museum
  • Sky Lantern Police Station Electric Sky Lantern ticket
  • National Museum of Marine Science and Technology
  • Taipei Zoo
  • Maokong Gondola
  • Miniatures Museum of Taiwan
  • Heping Island Park

We also found out that Taipei unlimited fun-pass card comes with a booklet that contains the MRT train station map, introduction on the free 16 attractions and sample itineraries so you can maximize the card. It also comes with a book of coupons for freebies and discounts for several restaurants. That was really amazing. This unlimited fun pass card was really designed for tourist to have a hassle-free tour and added it with surprises.

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Taipei Fun Pass Guide booklet and the Taipei Tourist Map
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Coupon Book

Opening a page of the booklet guide.

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Sneak Peak on the attractions

Scanning through pages of the guide, these pages are my favorite. They have suggestion itineraries you can follow so you can maximize the Fun Pass Card!

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THE BEST THING: KLOOK HAS BUY 1 GET 1 at 50% Off for AVAILING the TAIPEI FUN PASS CARD.

Because of this our expenses shrink further. Supposed to be, we should be paying a total of 5778 PHP. But because of the promo, we only paid 4920 PHP. Imagine the savings if your group is in even number.

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Once you bought this through klook, you will have a choice where to claim the card, either in NAIA , Taoyuan Airport or Taipei Main Station. We claimed ours in Taoyuan Airport Klook kiosk upon landing and I must tell that Klook kiosk has a very long line! We spent almost an hour waiting for our fun pass card.

Later I will do a computation on how much we saved using our 1 Day Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass Card in our Day 1 in Taiwan.

OUR TEMPORARY HOME in TAIWAN

By the way this is our temporary home in Taiwan. I am pretty proud on booking this one. It felt like an achievement so I am sharing this with you.

I chose this because it’s near Ximen MRT Station where our Klook meet-up were also located for the next days. By near, I mean it’s 3-5 minutes walking distance away. It looks stylish with it’s French-inspired interior. It has wifi! It has refrigerator, free toiletries, towels, complimentary coffee and tea. And most of all, it is affordable, almost as same as the price of capsule hotel if not cheaper. If you’re interested to book this , this is the link in AIRBNB. The only cons that I could think of is there was no elevator and this is on third floor. But I could say that only a minor issue since we seldom took the stairs anyway since we were out most of the time. To watch my tour in our airbnb, watch it here in this link:

Taiwan Aibnb

By the way this day 1 happened on November 14, 2019. It was Autumn in Taiwan. It was really cold but not so on the level that you will need a thick jacket or coat. The temperature only played around 18 degrees Celsius. It was like hanging around in the usual air-conditioned room in the Philippines.

Destination 1: Breakfast at JSP

Breakfast at JSP
Exact location: No. 150號, Hanzhong Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108
Google map reference at number 2 of this link here.

We started the day a bit late because we arrived at our Airbnb at around 4 am and managed to sleep at around 5 am. In our ideal itinerary, we should wake-up at around 6 am. Yikes! But of course, it’s better to be recharged so we allow ourselves more time to doze-off.

Our Airbnb was conveniently located neart Ximending MRT and Shopping district. So it won’t be hard to find a restaurant to spend our first meal. With that we chose this orangy restaurant called JSP.

I have read about JSP when I was still researching on the good place to eat around Ximending. This is one of the recommendation as they offer Taiwanese breakfast staples.

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As you can see above, their menu is in Chinese characters and we were overwhelmed at first. But JSP is tourist friendly. They offered us English menu and a marker so we can mark our choices. They have a wider range of choices from sandwiches, burgers and set meals.

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We chose set-meals. My personal choice was the Black Pepper set which comprises of noodles,porkchop, egg and milk tea. Milk tea could be hot, ice or warm. I would have chosen hot coffee but there was no coffee in the menu. That was a real surprise! Milk tea is indeed the more popular choice here. It’s proven as we spent next days only tasting coffee through sachet packs we bought from 7-11.

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My first Taiwanese Breakfast!
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The hot milk tea. But I still want coffee ;(
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Selfie before eating

I liked it my breakfast and find it really delicious. At one point though, I surrendered in spiciness (entirely my fault). My friend who was with me find the meal weird. He said it was like having spaghetti for breakfast. While eating, there was a Taiwanese who asked to share our table. Of course, we didn’t mind. He sat across me which then I saw that he was handsome. Hahaha! Such a good morning

Destination 2: Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

Entrance fee: Free
How to get here: Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall has it’s own MRT station. So from  MRT Ximen station, ride Songshan-Xindian-Line and drop-off exactly to Chiang Kai Shek Station. Journey would only take 4 minutes since they are just two stations away from each other.

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I have seen this place quite a lot of times already but I was utterly surprised when I visited this personally. It’s so big and majestic! It made me feel like I visited an old kingdom. Something that you won’t appreciate just looking at the photos and videos. There are a lot of Taiwanese in yellow when we visited this place. It looks like they are preparing for a big event or something.

There are three palace-like structure in this memorial hall. I had thought of doing levitation in front of it. So the following is the usual photo gallery. Enjoy!

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Amazing OOTD walk by my friend
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Feeling fresh in Taiwan

Destination 3: Crystal Cabin Gondola Round-Trip Ride

Entrance Fee: NT$ 240 (PHP 402.00) , paid through Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass Card

How did we get there: It’s with MRT station only and a little bit of walking. The journey may take around 30-40 minutes.

  • From Chiang Kai Shek MRT station, ride the Tamsui-Xinyi line and drop to Daan Station.
  • From Daan Station, transfer to the train going to Taipei Zoo Station.
  • From Taipei Zoo Station, take a short walk to Maokong Gondola Station.
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This ride is one of the free attractions inclusive of Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass card. You just have to go to the gift shop name “CHANCE” beside the Gondola Station. Show the card and they will give you the round trip tickets.

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Here we made sure we went for Crystal Cabin where the floor was glass.It’s a good way to enjoy panoramic views of Taipei before reaching Maokong station where a string of tea houses awaits. There is a separate line for it from the regular cabin so I made sure to follow the signs. There was this sign on the wall to remind everyone to assess themselves before riding the crystal cabin gondola.

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Lucky I don’t have fear of heights.
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You can even see the tip of Taipei 101 from here.

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I did not take much photos that time because I took videos instead. But I was able to capture this one scenery. The turquoise water looks awesome and beautiful.

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The only downside of this ride was we got to share the cabin with other group of strangers. So we did not take loads of pictures. Although I didn’t mind actually. I still made sure I have pictures. If you are traveling in a group of five , you’ll surely occupy one crystal gondola by yourselves. We did not anticipate this. I thought each group would have their own cabin like in Ferris wheels.

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This was not my first gondola ride. I have one also during our Malaysian trip. It was one of my favorite activities because it was really exciting going up with clouds. So I made sure that I won’t miss this in Taiwan as well. I hope Philippines would have one as well because it’s not only a fun ride but a means of transportation as well. A gondola ride along Edsa? Hmm one can only dream!!

Destination 4: Lunch at Maokong

The gondola has four stopover stations. The farthest is Maokong where several tea plantation is located.

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I look awkward here. I don’t know what I am trying to do.

Just below Maokong station there was a string of teahouses and food stalls. We opt for food stall for our lunch. We ate the popular stinky tofu which smells fairly normal to us, stir fried chicken and meatball soup. We are not that impressed with our lunch. If we have more time in Maokong, we would have visited a tea plantation and tea museum. Also eat in a legit tea house. But that would require a day and we were running out of time.

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We did not stay much at Maokong as we only intended to ride the Gondola and eat it our lunch there. Nevertheless, Maokong offers greenery sights. It seems far already from the busy Taipei city.

Destination 5: Shilin Official Residence

Entrance Fee: Free but there is a special area which has payment which is included in the Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass

How did we get here: It’s essentially going back to Gondola ride then MRT again with short walks.

  • Go back to Maokong Station for Gondola ride back to Taipei Zoo Gondola station.
  • Walk going to Taipei Zoo MRT , Daan station bound
  • From Daan Station, transfer to red line Shilin MRT station bound.
  • Get-off Shilin MRT station then take a 10-minute walk going to Shilin Official Residence
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This is the place where Chiang Kai Shek and her wife spent the last days of their lives. Aside from being a home, this is a horticulture ground as Mrs. Chiang Kai Shek adore flowers, roses being her favorite. To celebrate autumn season, they are having Chryantheum flower festival. Sadly, it was still not starting when we came here. They were celebrating it around Nov 18 if I remember that correctly. We were days earlier from the festival but at least we saw some of the attractions they were preparing. I also love the tranquility and lush greeneries of this place.

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Destination 6: Elephant Mountain

Entrance fee: None

How did we get here: Through MRT again with a lot of walking this time.

  • From Shilin Official Residence, walk going back to Shilin MRT Station
  • From Shilin MRT station, ride the red line going to Xiangshan MRT Station
  • From Xiangshan MRT, take a 5 minute walk to the foot of Elephant Mountain trail.

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Elephant Mountain is a popular mountain which you can ascend easily for 15-20 minutes through flight of stairs. This is popular because you can catch the beautiful cityscapes view including Taipei 101. But be ready to have endurance. If you hate climbing stairs, this is not for you.

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I edited the stars in this picture through Snapseed.

We were supposed to catch the sunset here but arrived too late.
Had fun editing stars in my captured photo using Snapseed double exposure tool. Swipe left to see the original. Meanwhile, this is Taipei101. Once the tallest skyscraper in the world until 2010. Now it falls to eleventh place. Still, it is beautiful tower to look at specially at night. Ascending the top of the tower with its super fast elevator (reached the top of the tower in less than a minute) is one of the unforgettable experiences I had in Taipei

Destination 7: Taipei 101

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Destination 8: Taipei 101 Observatory

Entrance Fee: Regular price is 600 NTD or 1006.63 Pesos. W e did not pay onsite anymore as part of Taipei Fun Pass Card. All we did was to go straight in Klook kiosk. which has no line at all when we arrived. Feeling VIP in a way.

How did we get here? It’s just one MRT away from Elephant Mountain.

Alternatively, Elephant Mountain is already walking distance with Taipei 101. But because we were tired, we went back to Xiangshan MRT station to ride Taipei101 bound line. Taipei 101 has it’s own MRT station and it would just take 2-3 minutes to reach.

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Once the tallest building in the world, Taipei 101 is the ultimate landmark of Taipei. Some says that you never really gone to Taipei if you did not climb your way up to Taipei 101 observatory. If you’re wondering what’s inside this skyscraper, The first few floors was an ordinary mall. Din Tai Fung restaurant is also there. The line of people there was CRAZY! I have eaten in Din Tai Fung branch here in Manila,Philippines . I think the food was great but it seems not memorable to me. I can’t help but to wonder what the original Din Tai Fung here in Taiwan has to offer. Anyway, the entrance in Taipei 101 is free. It’s just the observatory deck which is not free.

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The view in the observatory

What I love about visiting Taipei 101
1. Mini-show in the elevator ceiling. The ascend would only take less than a minute and within that time, we were entertained in a magical presentation about stars in it’s ceiling . I was not able to understand the Taiwanese voiceover at all but I did not expect that elevators could be magical.
2. The 360 view of the city. Although honestly, I liked the view in Elephant Mountain more because there were no glass doors and you can still see the shape and architecture of the buildings rather than just vein of lights.

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3. But my most favorite of all was when I got to see and learn about dampers. Damper like the one in our back stabilizes high structures like Taipei 101 for it to withstand earthquakes, typhoon and other natural disasters. The floor has an audio visual presentation that includes a cctv of real earthquake footage and showed how the damper moved to make sure Taipei 101 will be alright. The calculation of the mass and size of the damper are critical for the safety engineering of the building. It was amazing. That’s Science. Bitch!

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4. The surprises did not end there. As we go to the elevator going to the ground floor, you will pass through a jewel and stone shop. EVERYTHING IS SPARKLING in glass cages! It was just wow!

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Destination 7: Ximending Shopping District

Entrance Fee: None

How did we get here:

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  • from Taipe1 101 MRT Station, ride red line and get-off Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
  • from Chiang Kai Chek Memorial Hall station, transfer to green line.
  • from Chiang Kai Chek Memorial Hall stat m Chiang Kai Chek Memorial Hall station, transfer to green line.

They called Ximending “the Harajuku of Taipei” because of the heavy influence of Japanese fashion culture in this area. It’s not ordinary you’ll see a girl casually wearing a full lolita outfit here. Just like in Japan!

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Spending our first night in Ximending Shopping District. This pedestrian lane is popular with the tourists itself. In a way, it’s a sign government’s support for LGBT community. Taiwan already open its doors for same sex marriage. So it’s endearing to witness two men holding hands while walking in public. Although I didn’t see outright PDA.

At this point we were super exhausted with all the walking and climbing we had to with MRT and Elephant Mountain. On top of that, we were really hungry too. We came across this humble restaurant in yellow. We didn’t know how to call this restaurant but it has a partner milk-tea stand called Bubble Lee.

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They only have one staff who knows a little English and he’s the one communicating with the customers.

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But of course, they have English version menu for tourist like us. All we have to do is point or look out for any delicious looking food being prepared.

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Dinner for tonight, noodles with sort of Egg Salad.

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Best partnered with Bubble Lee’s milk tea. I love it. I am satisfied with this dinner.

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We roam a bit more and there we see public performers. I’ve actually like this guy below. His perfomance was amazing.

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Also here in Ximending you will see the 4-storey WATSONS branch. What more amazing, it is open in 24-hours. I bought a bottle of contact solutions here because my supply was confiscated in the airport. I forgot the rule of the size of the bottles for hand-carry. Yikes!

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There were lot of souvenir shops, food , clothing and several known store. It was indeed a shopping district. But because our bodies were screaming for sleep and rest, we did not do much shopping. From Ximending , we walked our way back to our temporary AirBNB room. This is the end of our Day 1 in Taiwan Adventure.

THE BIG QUESTION. DID WE BEAT THE TOTAL PRICE of BUYING THE FUN PASS CARD?

Itinerary (Original)

This is the itinirary we plan for day 1. But due to unforeseen circumstances (aka we woke up late), we were not able to visit National Palace Museum.

Day 1 Theme: City Attractions and Historical sites

Attractions

  • Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
  • Gondola
  • Maokong Gondola
  • National Palace Museum
  • Shilin Official Residence
  • Elephant Mountain
  • Taipei101
  • Ximending Shopping District

SCHEDULE

06:30 AM-8:00 AM (PREP-TIME) get-up, prepare, breakfast

08:00 AM-8:15 AM (WALK) going to MRT Ximen station, then head to Chiang Kai Shek (Ride Songshan-Xindian-Line)

08:15 AM-9:00 AM CHIANG KAI SHEK MEMORIAL HALL (45 mins)

09:00AM-09:30 AM Ride MRT from Chiang Kai Shek Station (Tamsui-Xinyi line) going to Daan Station)

09:30AM-10:30 AM Daan Station to Taipei Zoo for Mongola ride

10:30AM-11:00 AM MONGOLA RIDE to MAOKONG (one way)

11:00AM-12:00 PM LUNCH at MAOKONG.

12:00PM- 1:00  PM GONDOLA RIDE back to TAIPEI ZOO then back to Daan MRT Station. Ride Red line.

1:00-1:30 PM DAAN MRT station (red line) to National Palace Museum

1:30-2:45 PM NATIONAL PALACE MUSEUM TOUR

2:45-3:00 PM Ride R30 Bus going to Shilin Official Residence

3:00-4:00 PM SHILIN OFFICIAL RESIDENCE TOUR

4:00-4:30 PM SHILIN MRT Station to Xiangshan station (ELEPHANT MOUNTAIN)

4:30-6:30 PM Elephant Mountain climb and Dinner near the area

6:30-7:00 PM Go to Taipei 101 (can walk or via MRT)

7:00-8:30 PM TAIPEI 101 TOUR

8:30-9:00 PM TAIPEI 101 MRT station to Chiang Kai Shek hall MRT (Green line) to  MRT Ximen

9:00-11:00 PM  Ximending Shopping District Tour, food trip, chill

11:00 PM-11:15 PM GO BACK to Hotel by walking from Ximending

11:15 Back to airbnb, Rest

HOW MUCH DID WE SAVE with TAIPEI FUN PASS CARD ?

So I created a simple calculation on how much one can save following my original itinerary and the real expenses we had that day. Please note that I used the pricing from http://www.rome2rio.com and klook. The price is in Philippine Pesos.

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As you can see, if we followed the original itinerary, we would have saved a staggering 2406 PHP (in blue highlight). But due to lack of time (aka we woke up late because we slept at 5 am :P), we did not visit the National Palace Museum and the Main Building of Shilin Residence. Even so, we still beat the total price of three Fun Pass Card. We saved a total of P132.00 (in yellow highlight)!

FINAL VERDICT

I recommend everyone to purchase Unlimited Fun Pass Card for great savings and convenience. But only if you plan and stick to it. Otherwise, this card will be more expensive. Follow the steps below.

TIPS on USING TAIPEI FUN PASS CARD

  • Check the location of the free attractions so you can plan your itinerary. You can look at the suggestion of the Taipei Fun Pass booklet.
  • I am not sure how long the line is for NAIA terminal and Taipei Main Station KLOOK kiosk but maybe you can try these two. The line in Taoyuan was really long.
  • Most important! Start early so you can follow your plan and beat the price of Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass
  • You can also take a look at the 2-day and 3-day Version of Fun Pass. Maybe you can get more savings. It was difficult to beat the card in just one day. I would like to try this option next time.

I hope you enjoy my write-up about my experience in Taipei and in a way help you in planning your itinerary. Taipei is really nice and easy to get around with their transportation. Taiwanese are really friendly and welcoming. Their immigration is also not that strict. And most of all, it’s budget friendly. I recommend this trip to everyone who want out of the country experience without breaking a bank.

Before closing this post, I would like to share with you my OOTD’s for day 1. Just like planning for itinerary, it’s a joy to plan the outfits. Would you agree?

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YOU MAY ALSO WATCH MY VLOG about our Day 1 Adventure here:

Remember, You are awesome!

Gurezu ❤

LET’s CONNECT!

Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/Gurezu/

Instagram: instagram.com/gurezu

Overnight Trip to Boracay with 2Go Travel Ship (VLOG)

Hi! I can’t believe November is almost over and I haven’t written a single post here in my blog. Not that means my life is boring lately and there’s nothing to write about. Quite contrary, I got a big kind of adventures that I don’t have time to write. To tell the you the truth I am exploring vlogging lately. That’s why I am going to share with you this newest vlog of mine, our family’s getaway to Boracay. Since this plan was a spur of the moment plan, almost an impulse, so we couldn’t book a airfare promo. Instead, we resorted to travel by sea. So here’s my vlog on our experience.

Here’s the content of my vlog:

00:18 How to Book in 2go Travel website

02:00 Travel from Manila to Batangas Pier from Manila

04:10 Tour inside 2Go Travel Ship (St. Ignatius de Loyola)

14:38 Travel from Caticlan Jetty Port to Boracay

21:34 Gurezu Reviews Final Verdict for Traveling with 2go Travel

I would love to write a blog version of it but maybe soon when I got more time in my hands.

Nowadays, traveling by ship is not a popular choice anymore. But I hope this vlog would somehow change your perspective on traveling by sea. I honestly enjoyed given that I also bonded with my family while we were sailing. I recommend everyone to try this too specially for lovers or group of friends.

Till next time. Already remember ..

You are awesome!

Gurezu ❤

Cebu Habal-habal DIY City Tour

On our last day at Cebu we didn’t have exclusive tour since Cebu Travelers were already reserved on that day. We didn’t have time to look for other agencies. Without a comfort of a car, we took this opportunity to fully experience how to commute around Cebu City on our own. Thus having our own little adventure.

This blog is part 2 of my Cebu Adventure posts. If you’re interested for the part 1, just click the links below.

Part I

Day 1 Arrival and 10,000 Cafe’
Day 2: Moalboal Tour with Cebu Travelers Tour Agency
Day 3: Oslob and Sumilon Island Tour with Cebu Travelers Tour Agency

And here’s the outline of the part 2 of my Cebu adventure. You may click per topic if you want to jump immediately on one of them.

Part II.

Day 4: Habal-Habal DIY City Tour

0. Going to JY Square Small as Starting Point of Habal-Habal
1. Sirao Garden
2. Temple of Leah
3. Pasalubong hunting in Taboan
4. Dinner at Kogi Q in SM City Cebu
5. Final Night Accommodation: Express Inn

0.Going to Square Mall As Starting Point of Habal-habal

We started at the location of our hotel “Sampaguita Hotel” situated in Plaza Garcia Bldg, Magallanes St, Cebu City, Cebu. Base on our research, habal-habal pick-up point in the city is located at JY Square Mall. When were looking for jeepney rides, that’s how we learned that in Cebu, routes are often designated by codes. These codes are largely displayed on top of every jeep. Such as shown below.

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Since we don’t know the right code going to JY Square Mall, we had no choice but to ask around. They answered in unison that we should look for jeeps with code “C” on them. I think we rode 4C . Maybe if you’re somewhere in Cebu city, better ask around on what’s the correct code base on your location.

It took maybe around 30 minutes before we reached JY Square Mall (Supermart). I guess the driver was annoyed at this point because I kept asking if we were near JY Square Mall already. We were paranoid and we didn’t want to get lost. So sorry about that. Anyway once we got off the jeep, we didn’t have to look for habal-habal. Several drivers approached us quickly and offered their services.

We accepted the offer P400.00 per person, round-trip. Here’s a clip of us during our trip. At the beginning, it was perplexing to be exposed in the middle of smoke and traffic. But once we approached the mountain where Sirao Garden is located, we started to see magnificent views and clean air along the way. It finally became an enjoyable ride.

1. SIRAO GARDEN

After around 45 minutes, we finally reached the famous Sirao Garden. Entrance fee is only P60.00.

Sirao Entrance

There are parking lots available here so it’s pretty accessible for those who have cars.

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And finally, picture taking time. These photos were all taken with Samsung A50 mobile phone.

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This was the most blockbuster landmark here, the hand. The line was long for this one. I think it took 10-20 minutes before we had our turn.

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Sirao Plam Hand

I must say the views of the mountains was a bonus. It felt like you’re on top of the mountain even we didn’t trek.

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I adore this life-size nest. They even have a prop egg.

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Please notice the butterfly on my elbow.

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After an hour of photoshoot session, we took a break by eating some corn and drinking bottled water. These stalls were just outside the Sirao Garden.

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We also met the habal-habal driver once again and proceeded to another destination nearby, the Temple of Leah.

2. Temple of Leah

Our motorcycle had to climb a very steep road to get here. I thought it would be really hard to get here just by walking. There was also an entrance fee. But I can’t remember the specifics. I’m sure it was less than P100.00.

Learning the story behind Temple of Leah amused me. This was built by a business tycoon (Adarna Clan) in memory of his late wife Leah Albino Adarna. This is a testimony of his love and endless devotion to her. This temple will be the home of all travel souvenirs and collections Leah had acquired from her travels in her lifetime. As said in one of the signs there, Teodorico Adarna had to literally chop a mountaintop to place this temple. This is the reason why it is often hailed as “The Taj Mahal of the Philippines” , a testament of love to a deceased wife by grand display of wealth. The construction is still not finished but it’s already open to the public.

Temple of Leah

The design of “Temple of Leah” was inspired by Parthenon of Greece. So aside from being Taj Mahal of the Philippines, it was also called the Parthenon of Cebu.

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Some rooms are not yet furnished like this one. But some Leah’s collection were already there. Leah loved figurines and vases.

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This Leah’s golden statue was inspired by a photo when she won a “beauty-queen” like award in her school. I wished they displayed the real photo here.

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They say that this statue alone costs millions already.

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You can also have an almost 360 degree view of Cebu City here in Temple of Leah.

At last, here’s the open letter of Teodorico Adarna Jr. on why he built this temple.

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Given this history of the temple, one can’t help but to be curious on what does Leah Albino Adarna looked like. She must be goddess of beauty. The clue would be her actress granddaughter “Ellen Adarna” who most likely inherited the genes. I searched the internet but I only found this one in this link.

Our habal-habal driver offered us to have another destination which hey called “TOPS” . But we opted to return to the city. He dropped us in a gasoline station and then we paid him P800.00 plus P100 for the waiting time. This already covered two of us. From there we rode a jeep going to Taboan where our friend was already waiting.

Final Verdict for our Habal-habal tour.

⭐⭐⭐

3 out of 5 stars. Actually we were also offered by a taxi driver for the same tour. He offered us P1200 roundtrip for the two of us. We thought it was expensive. But as I think about it now, the difference of the price was not that big compared to overall price we had with habal-habal. Also in habal-habal, we were exposed directly by sunlight and pollution. For that reason, I think we should have took the taxi ride tour instead. But the habal-habal driver itself was nice to us. I have no complains.

3. Pasalubong Hunting in Taboan

This was our last day in Cebu so we need to do some pasalubong shopping. Taboan is a popular destination as it has string of stalls offering affordable delicacies. Most notably the danggit or dried fishes.

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Taboan

This is some of the notes on the price of danggit and dried pusit.

Danggit P700.00/kilo
Pusit P1050/kilo

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You can order up to quarter a kilo and you can request the packaging to be divided. We also bought boxes here so we can seal all “pasalubong” in one box. We sealed it heavily so it won’t have any problems in the airport.

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4. Dinner at Kogi-Q at SM City Cebu

Our last accommodation was near SM City Cebu so we went there for our last dinner at Cebu.

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For the last hoorah in Cebu, it was a time for Eat -All-You-Can Buffet for only P399.00. They have wide range of meat to choose from.

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Final Verdict for Kogi-Q

⭐⭐⭐⭐

4 out of 5 stars. The food and the service are great. But most memorable was their Kimchi. I generally don’t like kimchi as much. But damn, I just had unlimited kimchi that night.

5. LAST ACCOMMODATION: EXPRESS INN CEBU MABOLO

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Because we had short of time to plan and book accommodations, we got to transfer again for our last night. It was a hassle but the good thing was I got to know three affordable hotel accommodations to share in my blog.

Express Inn is also located in the city and situated beside a main road. It is near SM City Cebu and also minutes away from the airport which was great because our flight going back to Manila tomorrow was super early. This hotel has many awards displayed in the reception because of its affordability and accessibility. I didn’t take note of the price when we got it. But we booked it once again through Agoda. I have shared the link below where you can check this one out.

Where to book: Express Inn in Agoda.com

FINAL VERDICT

⭐⭐⭐

3.5 out of 5 stars. I like the simplicity and cleanliness of this hotel. A big plus of it’s proximity with malls and airport.

Oh my did I just finished my Cebu Adventure blog? I think I got myself a little celebration. I must admit I should improve my blogging workflow. Being a blogger is not that easy. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the events and the piles of pictures and thoughts you have to organized. But I love blogging. It might be tiring but it always feel good to immortalize memories and share information with others. However, I would appreciate any tips on how to write a blog faster. Just put in the comments if you have one.

Once again I invite you to subscribe to my youtube channel “Gurezu Reviews“. I’m just starting so there were just 4 videos as of this writing. If you also have youtube channel, let me know also so I can follow back.

Again here’s the Highlights of my Cebu Adventure in ten minutes. Photos and videos in this blog were taken with SamsungA50.

Thanks everyone for hanging with me! And remember that you’re awesome!

❤

GUREZU 

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

Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/Gurezu/

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Youtube: Gurezu Reviews

MY Cebu Adventure (Accommodation, Food Trip and Tour)


These are my thoughts and short reviews about our Cebu Adventure last August 2019. This will include the accommodations, places, food trips that we had in just 4 days from August 22-25,2019. Our itinerary was mostly a result of panic planning. The tour and accommodations are booked in less than a week before the trip. This might not be the best itinerary out there. But I’m generally happy with it since we still booked the tour and accommodations in affordable rates. So If you are also in a rush, I hope this would help you.

Outline of the contents. Click the topic of interest for easy jumping.

Part I

Day 1 Arrival
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM Flight through Cebu Pacific from Manila to Cebu
1. Accommodation at Reddoorz near OneMango Avenue
2. Food Trip at 10,000 Roses Cafe’

Day 2: Moalboal Tour with Cebu Travelers Tour Agency
3. Moalboal Tour (Sardine Run, Snorkeling)
4. Lunch and Chill at Kawasan Falls
5. Teofilo Kamumot Shrine
6. Dinner at Ayer’s Lechon
7. Accommodation to Sampaguita Hotel, Cebu City

Day 3: Oslob and Sumilon Island Tour with Cebu Travelers Tour Agency
8. Whaleshark sighting at Oslob
9. Sumilon Island
10. Oslob Cartel, Old Church and Heritage Park
11. Simala Church
12. Dinner at KKD STK+BBQ
13. Final Verdict for Cebu Traveler’s Agency

Part II. (Separate blog)

Day 4: Habal-Habal DIY City Tour
1. Sirao Garden
2. Temple of Leah
3. Pasalubong hunting in Taboan
3. SM Cebu City
Food trip:
4. Final Night Accommodation: Express Inn

But first of all, here’s the summary video of my entire Cebu Adventure.

1. Accommodation at RedDoorz Pluz near Mango Avenue

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The first thing I won’t forget about going here is that we dropped off at the wrong RedDoorz branch first. There were a lot of Reddoorz in Cebu City and this one was quite new and not exposed at the main road. My friend booked this though Agoda.com and luckily landed a 24 Hour Sale. Below was the screenshot of our reservation. We already got two rooms at the following price for one night.

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This was my first experience with RedDoorz and I really liked it. The rooms we got were quite spacious! I can even dance and tumble around. We have three beds in our own room so we didn’t have to share. It was also well lit. They provided free towels,soap, bottled water, toothbrush and toothpaste. There were restaurants, convenient stores and bars nearby. It was beyond decent for me considering the price.

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What I love the most were the teddy bears lounge in their mini restaurant at the reception. I never hugged stuff toys as big as these in my whole life so don’t blame if I somewhat abused them by having a mini-photoshoot. These are just SOME of the shots.Oh if only the teddy bears could complain!

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Verdict for RedDoorz Pluz Near Mango Avenue

⭐⭐⭐⭐

4 out 5 stars. Satisfied!

2. Dinner at 10000 Roses Cafe

We arrived late at the afternoon and a city tour would deem impossible to do. I preferred to go to Sirao Garden but it was too far and it would be nighttime already if we pushed it. But 10,000 cafe’ was perfect for nighttime and it was a cafe’ too so we decided to take our dinner there as well. It took us 1.5 hour to reach it from Mango Avenue through Grab.

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You probably saw a lot of pictures of 10,000 roses in the internet. And honestly, more often that not, lead to a distorted expectations of the cafe’. In most pictures, it seems like there is gigantic field of roses lamp. But in fact, 10,000 roses only cover a small 2 rectangular areas around the cafe’. It was disappointing for most visitors as I felt that myself and overheard from a massive tourists here on that night as well. Not that I intended to eavesdrop but the disappointment was loud.

By the way there’s an entrance fee of P20.00 except for some age limits.

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The disillusionment of the field of roses waned when in fact, 10000 roses has great food and beverages. We all love the food we ordered there. Plus the atmosphere here was quite romantic. The cafe’ was located near seawater where you can see the city lights too!

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BULGOGI PIZZA
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Look at those happy faces.
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<

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Carbonara for P340.00
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Marinara Pasta for P320.00

I love all the food! Marinara Pasta was my favorite.

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Enjoying Nutella Choco Frappe for P155.00

FINAL VERDICT for 10,000 roses

⭐⭐⭐

3 out of 5 stars. Despite the disappointment, 10,000 cafe’ is actually a great cafe’. What other cafe’ has 10,000 artificial roses, situated beside the sea and to top it all with great food? Nothing else. So despite that it’s prone to distorted expectations, this cafe’ became a tourist destination because of it’s unique concept and marketing.

3. Moalboal Tour

The second day of our Cebu adventure was though Cebu Travelers Tour Agency . They picked us past 4am . At around 6 am, we arrived at Moalboal headquarters where we need to undergo a short orientation before the tour.

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This was a snapshot from the short orientation before the tour. Sadly, due to unfavorable waves, our Pescador Island route was cancelled.

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I think we traveled 30 minutes by boat before we arrived at the Sardine Area. I must say cloudy weather greeted us along the way. Thank God, there was no heavy rain. But the waves were really crazy. I have no motion sickness but our boat trip made me feel dizzy. We saw “pawikans” along the way.

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I have not captured  magnificent photos of Sardine Run. And I didn’t had any close encounter with the pawikans. Instead I took videos from my cellphone with the aid of a reliable P100.00 waterproof case I bought at the Moalboal headquarters. Here is the video summary of my Cebu trip. Moalboal tour is on 1:08 of this video.

4. LUNCH and CHILL at KAWASAN FALLS

After the exhausting struggle with Moalboal waves, it’s rather tiring to find out that we need a 30-40 minute walk to our lunch near Kawasan Falls. I was so hungry. But my mind became at ease at the lush greeneries heading to Kawasan. It was so refreshing not only to the eyes but to my soul. But to temporarily appease our hunger, we bought corn snack and consumed it along the way.

So here are some info about Kawasan Falls. Looks like this falls has won more awards than me. I can attest to the “Cleanest Inland Body of Water” because I am mesmerized with the sparkling cleanliness of the river.

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<

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There are actually several carinderia stalls within the vicinity of Kawasan Falls. It was actually raining when we got there. And to tell you the truth I got a little bit discouraged to swim. I already felt cold. Much more if I emerged myself in the water. I don’t like feeling cold.

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I thought I would be contented having just photos. But I eventually submerged myself in the cold waters. At first, the cold bit painfully. But I get used to it. Everybody did.
By the way, the most popular activity in Kawasan is canyoneering. But I’m not adventurous enough and I am glad that my travel buddies were not game for it too. Or else I’m screwed. To be fair, I used to be excited with extreme activities. Maybe it’s the “Tita” growing inside me.

5. Teofilo Camomot Shrine

This archbishop from Cebu is under beatification for sainthood. I heard a lot of stories about him from our tour guide. But what interest me the most was he was born at the same date as my brother and he died the exactly the day after I was born. What a coincidence! Anyway this shrine holds his original casket, personal writings among others.

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6. Dinner at Ayer’s Lechon Cebu

They say Cebu has the best lechon. With the advise of our tour guide, our search for Cebu lechon taste led us to Ayer’s Lechon Cebu in Mango Avenue, just few blocks away from our accommodation.

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SPICY LECHON, a must try!

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Regular Lechon. I preferred the spicy one.

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Lechon Paksiw. Good but I think you can skip this one.

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Daing na Bangus. Must try!

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Lomi. Super must try!

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FINAL VERDICT

⭐⭐⭐⭐


4.5 STARS! Three reasons why you should try Ayer’s Lechon
1. Their lechon tastes great without breaking the bucks.
2. Not crowded restaurant.
3. We have nothing but praises to their other offerings such as daing na bangus, lomi and lechon paksiw.

Overall, we had a very satisfying dinner to end the day. By the way the stars lacks a half-star. Damn wordpress widget, doesn’t have a half star.

7. Second Accommodation: Sampaguita Hotel

We transferred to another hotel for the second and third night. Our number reduced to four since one of us has other trip plans. It was smaller and cheaper. A lot cheaper! It is also situated in Cebu City proper and is near from City landmarks as stated below. Surprisingly, I forgot to take a single photo while we were here.

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⭐⭐⭐

Final Verdict: 3 out of 5 stars! It is not that as spacious as RedDoorz we had the first night. But considering the price, I recommend this hotel for those who are on a budget.

Day 3

8. Whaleshark sightings at OSLOB.

The calltime for this trip is as early as 3 am in the morning. It was really hard for a morning lazy person like me. But as we arrived, we understood why we had to . Even if we were early, there was long queue of tourists ahead of us. Good thing our tour guide already had reservation number they planned ahead.

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There was a short orientation on the rules and regulation for whaleshark. For one, we were not allowed to use sunblock. And we should maintain a distance from the whale shark.

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I have a conflicting feelings about this experience. Sure, it was a unique experience to encounter this gigantic gentle creature. I was thrilled to see them and I had fun swimming away because I didn’t want to kick them. However I have to admit that the smell was strikingly unpleasant. I nearly vomited when I drank a little seawater. I did not regret this at all. But I might not repeat this experience.

One thing you must remember though that you need to bring action camera here for you to have assistance from the boatmen to have a photo with the whaleshark. They won’t accept mobile phones although you can bring them there. I tried to have a selfie with my mobile phone but no success. But I’m here to see them and savor the close encounter so I don’t have regrets. Here’s a screenshot of the video I took with my cellphone. I had fun taking this because the tourist was really caught off-guard that the whaleshark was already at his back. Video clip here in this link: 2:21

9. SUMILON ISLAND

Ahhhh I love this part. This is my most favorite so far. I know I’ve been a lot of beaches but everything in Sumilon was just clean and relaxing to the eye. The pristine and turquoise water was really charming. The photos I captured using mobile phone won’t need filters.

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There are absolutely no store in Sumilon Island. So if you are feeling hungry, make sure you already bring snacks and water on the way.

10. Oslob Cartel

It was like mini Intramuros. Our tour guide said this used to be a headquarters for the Japanese troup.

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Oslob Old Church

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Oslob Heritage Park

I didn’t roamed around the park. But I love the vintage and chill vibe. If given more time and energy, I would have a photoshoot here.

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11. SIMALA CHURCH

This church took me by surprise by how much big it is. The biggest I’ve seen in my life so far. Furthermore, the architecture gave me European Vibes. I never read or have seen this church in social media or anywhere else so this was pretty unexpected. The area was big it took me an hour to roam the place. Expect a lot of stairs.

Note: Shorts and sleeveless are strictly prohibited here. Trappings are available for rent at the entrance area.

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If you notice, I am wearing a cloth wrapped around my waist in my pics here. There is a strict dress code upon entering here. But don’t worry, there were trappings for rent outside the church for P25.00. But Simala church itself is for free.

12. Dinner at KKD STK + BBQ

Once again, we took the advise of our tour guide for our next dinner foodtrip. They suggested KKD for affordability and great food. They specially recommended us to try Adobong Nokus(Squid) and Chorizo in Stick. Given that KKD was just near our accommodation for the night, we just walked through several blocks to reach this restaurant in  M. J. Cuenco Ave, Cebu City, Cebu .

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No tipping policy
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They have a string of neighbor restaurants. This street of Cebu City is very much alive at night.

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It’s time to eat!

ADOBONG NOKUS with ATA for P260.00
This is the star of the night. It is unlike the taste of Adobong pusit that I got used to. So I guess, there’s a unique Cebu touch for this dish. It is savory, but not too salty. I miss eating this. I hope there’s KKD in Manila.

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BUTTERRED SHRIMP for P185.00
I am not that impressed at this one. It’s not that buttery for my taste.

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SISIG with EGG for P140.00
I also love this one apart next to Adobong Nokus.

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SINIGANG na ISDA for P185.00

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CHORIZO for P25.00
I had high expectation with this one but it was sweet. I am not inclined with sweet meat or sausages. Personal choice.

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FOUR SEASON PITCHER

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⭐⭐⭐⭐

FINAL VERDICT for KKD STK+BBQ


4 our of 5 stars.Just like what they mentioned int their banner, they greatly value hospitality and I do felt that with the service we have received here in this restaurant. The staff would often smile and asked us on what we need constantly. I also love the majority of the food that we ordered. Adobong Nokus is a must try. Most of all, it is indeed affordable.

CEBU TRAVELERS TOUR AGENCY REVIEW

Their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cebutravelers/

Capture

First of all, this is not a sponsored post whatsoever. I just want to thank Cebu Travelers Tour Agency for their affordable tour package. As I said earlier,we started planning the itinerary less than a week before our flight. I have inquired to numerous agencies which gave me heart attack for the final quotations. So I only find Cebu Travelers as the most affordable one so far for the exclusive tour. It is owned by a couple who also personally toured and drive for us. They entertained us with their stories during long travels. And they recommended nice restaurants for our search of Cebu flavor. For that my raiting with be 4.5 stars out of 5 stars! Below this photo are the packaged we availed from them. Go ahead and explore their other packages in Facebook.

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This pic is owned by Cebu Travelers Tour Agency.

DAY 1: OSLOB TOUR : 1,699php/person

⊙Whaleshark encounter

⊙Sumilon island

⊙Sandbar

⊙Oslob quartel

¤ Oslob heritage park

¤Oslob old church

⊙Lindogon, Simala Church

Add-on Php500 for foreign guest only, as part of tourism ordinance in Oslob.

DAY 2 MOALBOAL + KAWASAN 1,299php/person,

⊙Pescador Island

⊙Snorkelling/coral watching

⊙Sardines run

⊙Turtle watching(if they show up)

⊙Dolphin watching (if arrive early and seasonal)

⊙Kawasan Falls

⊙TEOFELO CAMOMOT SHRINE or LAMBUG BEACH

⊙(Full Course Canyoneering w/ lunch)” OPTIONAL add on 1,500 for canyoneering”

⭐⭐⭐⭐

And that’s it for Part 1 of our Cebu Adventure. I hope parts of this may help you with your adventure if you’re planning. Don’ t forget also to check out the summary video of my Cebu Trip. And also please subscribe to my youtube channel “Gurezu Reviews”.

Thanks everyone! And remember that you’re awesome!

GUREZU ❤

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/Gurezu/

Instagram: instagram.com/gurezu

Posing Suggestions (Sitting)

I haven’t had any serious photography session in a long while. So last two weeks ago, together with our company photography club, we organized a portrait session centering on a different poses. We started with posing on a table and chairs. We took inspiration from google and pinterest but added variation on the poses and expression.

Here are my output. So if you are struggling to pose in a picture, you might take this poses into your repertoire of poses. I learned from this myself.

Model: Therese Angustia
Photography by Gurezu
Gear: Fuji XT20, 35mmm Fujinon Lens
Lighting: G2Photography @g2photography
Edited in Lightroom

Posing with a table or armrest

Posing with highchair

Full gallery in my Facebook page album below.

We also have another set that night …

Full gallery below…

I want to end this blog post with some behind the scenes photos of this session.

by Gerard Dangca (@g2photography)
by Mary Ann Jerica Guinto

I hope you enjoy this photography session and gallery. And I hope this will help you in anyway to pose for your next profile picture!

Remember you are awesome!

Gurezu ❤

LET’s CoNNECT!!

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Facebook Page: https://web.facebook.com/Gurezu/

Lipstick Review: VICE Little Ponies

Liptick is the magic wand of make-up world. And for that here is Gurezu for another lipstick review because she’s a lipstick crazy.

Today is about VICE Little Ponies which I bought in lady wonderland called “Watsons” for only P395.00. It comes with four shades with quirky names. Here’s my full vlog about it.

The vlog is in my local language. But fret not! I love writing also. So here’s my write-up and some screencaps so you can have a preview of all the shades.

1. Jowa Pa More: Bold bright red

2. Havey: Light red

3. Epchuk: Light pink

4. Chup Chap: Intense pink

❤️What I like: Affordable is a given already. What I truly like is the colors are all wearable for those who have morena skin tone like me. I love all the colors. By the time I made the video try-out, my favorite was Havey. But few days later I am leaning more on Jowa Pa More. My least like will be Epchuk since it is so close to my skin color it felt like I am not wearing lipstick. They were all easy to apply and not drying to the lips. I love it!

😠What I don’t like: It is transferable but tolerable enough so it does not bother me that much. However, from my several days of wearing it, I can say it can be easily removed. And I needed retouch several times a day.

Final Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars! Must try!

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Again here’s the full video of lipstick review.

Hi Beshies! That’s it for my lipstick review. I am now formally inviting you to my youtube channel “Gurezu Reviews”. I am actually plan of doing more of movie and product reviews. I’m just starting with lipsticks.Honestly, I still feel awkward doing videos . And I don’t have much video editing skills to boast but at I’m taking baby steps for now.

Thanks everyone and remember that you’re awesome!

❤

GUREZU 

LET’s CONNECT!

Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/Gurezu/

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Boss Ramen: Good Tasting Ramen at P80.00 in Guadalupe

Nothing triggers my ramen cravings unlike rainy weather. But ramen is expensive. One bowl of authentic Ramen can cost from P300.00 up to P500.00. I’m lucky that there’s this ramen house near my house. It may not be authentic Ramen but they taste good in such an affordable price. Their regular bowl only costs P80.00.

If you’re wondering where is the location, it’s just near Guadalupe MRT station. It’s a walking distance from there. But if you’re not familiar, you can ride a tricyle from Guadalupe Andoks Chicken. Boss Ramen is along Orense St in front of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. Complete Address would be Orense St. Guadalupe Nuevo, Makati city

They have 6 Ramen offerings.

  1. Tonkutsu Ramen
  2. Spicy Chicken
  3. Miso Ramen
  4. Seafood Ramen
  5. Tantanmen
  6. Shoyu

My favorite here would be Tonkutsu, Shoyu and Tantanmen. I’m not a fan of Miso Ramen even with the authentic one’s so I never tasted it.

Aside from ramen they have variety of food to chose from. Side dishes, Rice Bowls, Bento Meals, Silog meals and Flavored Wings. I recommend the following because they tasted real good.

  1. Sisig
  2. Kani Salad
  3. Gyoza
  4. Chicken Parmesan

Boss Ramen has quite a nice motif too. I love the wall murals and the lighting looks posh. It does not look cheap at all.

Chicken Parmisan. One of my favorites.

Spicy Chicken Ramen with Ebi Tempura side dish

They even invest in this kind of displays. So educational.

<3 What I love

  • Affordable but good tasting ramen
  • Variety of side menu’s
  • Lovely interior design

</3 What I don’t like

  • Their glass for drinks is plastic. And is quite slippery or oily. Honestly I really don’t like the not disposable plastic glass.

FINAL VERDICT 4/5 stars! Affordable but not cheap. Totally recommended.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you beshies for reading this. It’s been a while since I did a food review. I am starting a youtube channel too. I actually uploaded one video but I’ll tell about it more in the future. I’m still not confident when it comes to video medium.

Remember, it’s not too late for everything, 

Gurezu

❤

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For collaboration, you may contact me thru my email: mgracesabado@gmail.com