Macau-HongKong Trip

Macau-HongKong trip is perfect for those who are first timers out of the country travelers. Although this is not our first trip abroad, it is our first time (hal and I) to travel out of the country with only two of us. The Con is that it should’ve been cheaper in a group but the Pro is that it’s like another honeymoon and we can change our plans anytime. We booked MLA-Macau-MLA because of the promo fare but we spend most of the days in HK. It was actually an impromptu booking months and months ahead and luckily I was able to apply for leave on the schedule even I just started few months on my new job. 

Macau is a small place and you can find all the guides you need in the internet. I spent most of the time reading forums and it feels like I know everything already. All you need is research research and research. It’s also better if you have access to the internet so you have a quick worry free aid in case you’re getting lost or if you’re looking for a particular spot. 

Hong Kong is easier to explore, there are English signs everywhere, very easy transport service and there’s a lot to see. All you need is a comfy shoes, right clothes for the season and energy to explore around. 

In our case, we arrived late because of delayed flight, (AirAsia and its crappy service) we ended up arriving around 11pm. It was a long story epic arrival but we arrived safe and sound in Best Western Sun Sun hotel past midnight. It is located in the Macau Peninsula area. The location is Near Senado Square. It’s our choice because we wanted to explore more around that area than the casino side area. 

We decided to skip Macau first and take ferry to HK the next day. What we did is to spend our last 2 days in Macau. So in total we spent 4 nights in HK and 3 nights in MC. 

When it comes to budget, you can be flexible depending on what kind of activities are you’re planning. Splurge if you have because you’ll definitely enjoy shopping. Branded items are cheaper in HK. For us, we stick to our budget and divided expenses daily to ensure it will fit our trip. We avoid using credit card to avoid impulsive buying. You’ll see a lot just by walking the street, try street food for cheaper options and convenient stores for quick snack. But don’t forget to reserve a few bucks for good stuffs to take home.

More posts about this trip soon. 

Thailand: The Grand Palace

At the heart of Bangkok, Grand palace is undoubtedly the most famous landmark. All I can say is that all have beautiful architecture with sophisticated details. These just showed that Thai people have very good craftsmanship. Palace consists of several buildings including Wat Phra Kaew or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Others serve as the home of the Thai King, the Royal court and the administrative seat of government and some halls are used for important ceremonial occasions. I cannot elaborate much but the pictures below were just some of the eye catchers we saw in the Grand Palace. Be ready with comfy shoes and water as you explore. 

Opening Hours: Daily 08:30 - 15:30
Location: Na Phra Lan Road, Old City (Rattanakosin)

Thailand: The Temples and the Reclining Buddha

Monks in prayer in Wat Pho
During out Bangkok trip, we visited Wat Pho or the Temple of Reclining Buddha. It was said that it is the oldest and largest Buddhist temple in Bangkok. It was also said that it is now more well-known as a centre for traditional massage and medicine. You’ll see more than thousands of Buddha images here but the highlight is the largest which is the Reclining Buddha (Phra Buddhasaiyas). It is 46 meters long and 15 meters high. It is plated in gold and you’ll notice that the bottom of the feet is intricate with details. We roam around amazed on what where were seeing. We ended the trip tired and yet fascinated. 

To pay respect, visitors should maintain quiet, wear appropriate clothing and avoid taking pictures with flash. 
Look at the complex details
Every corner catches our attention
Shoes are removed before entering a temple for respect for Buddha.
The head of the Reclining Buddha
You'll find many of these
And also these 
More buddhas here
They said that Buddhism is the fourth largest religion in the world
Buddhism focus on meditation and mindfulness, It is often considered to be a form of psychology.
Such a huge creation
Just wonderful
Blessed in Wat Pho

Temple of the Reclining Buddha
Chetuphon Road
Bangkok, Thailand

Discovering Phuket: Kata Beach

Summer Time Again 

Kata beach is another beach located on the south side of Karon beach, still in the Phuket Island. All of us agreed that it’s better than the Phuket beach. This is where we spent our afternoon. The water is better and much clearer. Again, there’s a lot of tourist in the area. I guess locals where outnumbered. 

We are all in the shade
With the little birdie
Saw this cute dog while walking
Pick one :)
Crowded beach here
We do not what's going on here
Also why they are firing this up
Mandatory couple shot :)
And with the Eskapaderas :)
After having some food trip, we bid farewell to this delightful beach. No more other stories to tell as we just enjoy and relax all day. I hope they also visit the beaches in the Philippines as there are more to see, you already know why.

Kata Beach, Karon, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83100, Thailand

Feeders Project: Balik Eskwela 2015

AREP Dumagat Settlement
I was very lucky to be part again of the Feeders Balik-Eskwela Outreach Program.  This time, we went to AREP Dumagat Settlement in Angat Dam in Norzagaray, Bulacan. Because it was inside the vicinity of the National Power Corporation Compound, security and permit are necessary. You can’t just go there and visit. It was our officemate Erma who lives near the area arranged everything for the group. I really do admire her for being so active leading a charity group like this.

Stop over to secure passes and quick refreshment
We're almost there, securing id's first
On our way is such beauty
This is still on our way to the settlement area
I tag Hal and Yana along to this activity. I want my niece Yana to be exposed in a project like this to be aware and to be able to learn how to socialize and engage helping others. As we were getting near the vicinity, the view along really catches our attention. Angat Dam is a water reservoir hydroelectric dam. It supplies the Manila Metropolitan Water and is part of the the Angat-Ipo-La Mesa water system. It was surrounded by greens and nestled in the southern part of the vast Sierra Madre Mountain range. Only the native Dumagats are allowed to reside and roam around in these protected forested mountains.

Blessed with this kind of view
We are here
The green building is the school of the Dumagat
Learning Center
As we arrived to the location, we saw lots of children patiently waiting for us already. We did not expect that they will be there that early. Our plan was to cook our brunch first since we’re all hungry from the long drive while preparing the distribution of the supplies. Then after our brunch, some of us will cook the food for them during the program. However, we didn’t expect that they will gather that early that’s why eating first while letting them wait for us is not an option. So here’s what happened, we still did prepare our brunch and let them eat first. Luckily we brought plenty of rice and individual “baon”. Since we were not prepared having plates for two meals for them, we had the boodle fight style of eating. It was a bit chaotic but at least we had to let them eat as well. Then we started our small games and distribution of school supplies. We also had some clothes to distribute. After that, we finally allocated the portioned meal for everybody, this time all of them got their own plates.

It's a bit chaotic but at least they had both lunch and mirienda
Having fun I guess :)
It's time for some games
Luckily, we have Jessie to cheer them up

Now is mirienda time

We get their names in advance and provide bags and school supplies depending on their grade levels
We also brought other essentials
Distributed to every kids
It was tiring but fun. I guess they also had a good time. There were times that we noticed some were trying to cheat by removing their stamp and falling in line again. It was a bit frustrating. Maybe they just wanted more because they have none that’s why they are taking all the opportunities they’ve got. That saddened me a lot. It was late afternoon that we bid goodbye to them.

I pray in silence that despite their lack of needs they will be able to succeed, fulfill their dreams and still be happy and thankful in life that they currently have. It was such an experience especially for my niece Yana who is new to this activity.