Feb 18, 2018

Spring Hopping in Catmon and Sogod

Since February 16 was declared a holiday, me and my college friends planned a day trip to a couple of towns in northern Cebu, Catmon and Sogod.

Call time was 6am at the North Bus Terminal. We decided to take a v-hire to Catmon which I think was not a good choice as it was uncomfortable inside the van. We arrived at Catmon almost two hours after and then we took those motorbikes we call as "habal-habal" to take us to Esoy Hot Spring and Katinggo Falls. It was quite a long motorbike ride with lots of round turns but I am glad the weather that day was nice. We arrived at the spring entrance and paid P350 for both the cottage rental and trekking guide to the falls. The hot spring was developed in such a way that some pools are hotter than other pools. Here are some photos in the hot spring:

with my college friends :)

in one of the hottest pools

Then we started our falls trekking by walking to a hanging bridge. It was by far the scariest hanging bridge I have tried but I was still able to make a smile in the photo below.

super hanging bridge

The trekking experience was fulfilling as the trail was quite difficult and at some points, the water from the falls were deep with strong currents.

Far behind me is the falls.

After the trekking, we headed back to Catmon's highway and had lunch in Duko-Duko, one of Catmon's famous Filipino restaurant.

We took a tricycle to get to the next town, Sogod, to visit Binaliw Cold Spring. There we chilled and relaxed at this public cold spring. It also has a huge grotto of Mama Mary.

After the long day, we stopped by a house where they sell Toarta and then headed back to the city in a bus.

This is another activity you can enjoy when you want to escape the city for the day. Until my next city escape! ;)

Jan 24, 2018

Winter in South Korea

For our annual December getaway, my coworkers and I booked flights to Seoul. For Filipinos, we needed a visa to enter the country. We started processing our visas on November with requirements you can check on South Korea's embassy website. The only requirement that was kind of a hassle for us was the stamped ITR (form 2316) as our company does not give a stamped one. To accomplish this, we had to go to BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue), buy stamps, fill up an online form, print, go to an accredited bank, pay fees, and had our ITR stamped in the Bureau of Internal Revenue Large Taxpayers District Office (LTDO). We got our visas a week after submission.

Since I was going to deviate from the first day of the itinerary because of the Super Junior concert, I had to buy my own mobile data sim. I bought mine online in http://roaming.kt.com/rental/eng/main.asp and chose Prepaid Data SIM Data only.  For our accommodation, we chose D.H. Myeongdong.

We arrived in Seoul at around 10:30pm, bought a T-money card and had dinner. Since it was already late, Incheon subway's last stop is in Digital Media City so we had to go out at this stop to find taxis and behold, we were welcomed with freezing cold outside the station. It took us a little while to find some taxis that would take us to Myeondong maybe because it was already around 1am and most of the drivers cannot understand English so we had to show the address. We managed to arrive in D.H. Myeongdong with our bodies trying to adjust with the cold temperature.

Inside Seoul's subway.

For our first day, we chose to visit Hanok Bukchon Village. I was only able to explore a little on this area since I needed to be in the concert in the afternoon. My coworker friends were able to dress up in hanboks while roaming around the traditional Korean village.

We passed by Constitutional Court of Korea on our way.

Hanok Bukchon Village

Enjoying unlimited kimchi for lunch before heading to Super Show 7!

For our second day, we went to the famous Nami Island. It snowed almost the entire day so we had to be very careful with our steps. 

The famous Kang Joon-sang and Jeong Yoo-jin from Winter Sonata.

At night, we visited Myeongdong's shopping district where we bought our souvenirs and my Super Junior albums (bought them in Buruttrak).

Shop all you can in Myeongdong. :D

With the huge Brown from Line at LineFriends Store in Myeongdong.

For our third and last day, we went to Namsan Tower. It is a popular spot in Seoul for TV series and movies especially the romantic ones due its famous love locks.

It was a short trip but I'm still thankful it was short since it was too cold in Seoul, with temperatures around -2C to -11C. I still enjoyed the trip and would love to visit again, hopefully with a better weather. Until my next random international trip!