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!

Dec 26, 2017

My SS7 Seoul Journey

Yes, you read that right, I attended Super Junior's Super Show 7 in Seoul last December 17. After five long years, I saw my Super Junior boys again. I felt like this was destiny. Why? My Seoul trip with my coworker friends for December was planned like eight months ago with dates December 16-19 and Super Junior's Super Show 7 was announced last September with dates December 15-17. I could not believe my eyes when I saw the dates. Such great timing! However, when tickets went on sale, it was sold out in minutes! I thought it was the end of my dream but I did not give up and I looked for tickets on Twitter and Facebook in hopes that maybe some would resell their tickets. I was so tempted to buy an overpriced one in Stubhub but miraculously, I saw one on Twitter with almost the same as the original price! God this is it! I was scared of what I was about to do because I'll be doing this alone. I will have to skip the Seoul itinerary with my friends for almost an entire day and go the the concert venue on my own. I kept telling my friends I was scared probably because of the language barrier but then they reminded me of how I did traveling in Hong Kong and the US on my own which gave me a relief. Of course, I was used doing things on my own especially if I really want it so I can do this!

For the trip, I particularly chose color blue for my teeth braces rubber and manicure to match with Super Junior's official color Sapphire Blue. The day of my arrival in Seoul came. I was on the subway on my way to the guesthouse at early dawn when suddenly the ticket reseller messaged me saying she couldn't come to the concert day to give the ticket and that we had to meet somewhere else. It made me nervous but I agreed. I am confident that the ticket reseller is legit and a good person. I had to check again and again the route of the subway I was going to take before going to sleep as I am doing this alone and I am not familiar with Seoul's subway system yet. I woke up early in the morning, got myself ready, and went out on my own. It was damned too cold in Seoul, around -2° C (28.4° F). When I was about to take the subway, my 100% charged phone died on me. My phone was like unable to take the cold outside. I was so scared I almost cried. I was like, God, please bring my phone back to life. I cannot do this without my phone. Then my phone restarted, although at 10% charge, it was still able to guide me in taking the subway. Thank God!! It was the friend of the ticket reseller who met up with me in the subway exit and then I finally got the ticket! I met up with my coworker friends for like an hour or two in Bukchon Hanok Village before heading to Jamsil Arena where the concert will be held.

My SS7 ticket. ♡

On my way to Jamsil Arena, I rode the wrong train, oops! Luckily, I got out two stops away and not too far enough. I was suppose to meet a friend in the concert venue but then she thought the concert was still in 6pm but Sunday sked is 4pm and she needs to travel around 2 hours I think so she just guided me through Messenger chats. She attended the Saturday sked which was 6pm. I arrived in Jamsil with all those Super Show 7 banners pointing the direction to Jamsil Arena.

I was unlucky about the official lightstick though. When I lined up for the official merchandise purchase, they announced that the lightsticks are sold out. :( I felt bad but hey, I brought my old lightstick for this specific reason so I should be okay.

I roamed outside the arena for a while, taking pictures of Super Show 7's huge banner of the boys.

doing Donghae's signature selfie pose ^^

Then I went to a Korean girl who I believe was assisting the people entering the standing pits in the venue. I asked her if she knows English and thankfully yes, and I asked if where should I enter with my ticket then she pointed to the stairs where some people are going to so I followed her instructions. I got inside the arena and boy, it was like a theater because the seats were close to the stage, I'm loving it! I initially seated in the wrong seat lol but I finally found my seat with the better view. The disadvantage of the seats being near the stage is that if someone gets in or out from your row, you have to stand up since the legroom is too short but I don't mind at all. I got inside about 40 minutes before the show and the standing pits were already full. When the show was about the start, all seats have been taken already.
They gave this black invitation card after you hand out your ticket.

inside Jamsil Arena (I asked a random K-ELF to take this photo of me. 😄)

The ELFs (EverLasting Friends, Super Junior's fanclub name) were singing "Song For You" and the lights deemed. The show started with their full VCR version of their Super Show 7 trailer and their first performance with their new song "Black Suit". I wanted to record everything but my friend said no cameras are allowed and she tried before and got kicked out once so I did not bother doing it. The show was amazing even though I am not used to seeing only seven members performing. Lots of fireworks and the use of the huge chandelier on the center stage. The official lightsticks were incredible. The color light changes the same as the stage lights. How I wish I had one! The ELF on my left was definitely an Eunhyuk bias as she screams a lot when Eunhyuk is being focused. I am grateful that Siwon was able to join the boys. During their ment, I can sense Siwon's reservations and limitations to his actions. Oh Siwonnie, I hope you'll get through this! I definitely screamed my heart out when they performed "It's You" with dramatic blindfolds as intro since it was one of my favorite old songs from them. They changed a lot of the choreography though while retaining the heartbeat dance. I'll be honest, I really love the original choreography and was kind of disappointed that they changed it. Also, it looks like this is the first Super Show that used a live band. My favorite performance was probably "Runaway" when they were using school tables and chairs as props. They look so good with school uniforms even though they are in their 30's already haha. They also performed their Japanese single "On and On". I really liked the song and it's just too bad they exclusively released the song to ELF Japan only. I had a lot of fun with their Power Ranger spin-off and their "Super Duper" solo dances.Then the part when Leeteuk read a letter to ELFs, I was not sure how to react because I couldn't understand a thing although I did understand the part when he was calling out the names of all members. I did feel the sincerity from Leeteuk. And oh, my bias Kyuhyun was in the audience and was shown on the big screen when Leeteuk mentioned him! Imagine my reaction when I saw Kyuhyun! Then ELFs from left to right, front and back started crying. I was like, omg, what did Leeteuk say?! Are they disbanding?? I didn't know what to do lol. I had to contact my friend after the concert and ask what was in Leeteuk's letter that made the ELFs cry and she said it was about how thankful he was to the fans who supported them for many years now. She said she even cried herself too. Oh, I bet I would've cried as well if I understood it. I missed their solo stages though. No subunit performances as well. No Henry and Zhoumi. This Super Show is focused on Super Junior as a group. They ended the show with "Miracle".

Super Junior ahjussis bidding farewell to fans. <3

I’m just too happy to see my boys again and never did I imagine seeing them in their kick-off concert in Seoul. I wish Super Junior continuous success and happiness. I am truly blessed to see them in Seoul in perfect timing with my short Seoul vacation last weekend. :)​ Such great timing and blessing. It was destiny that brought me to Seoul on that day but it took hard work to find a ticket to a 3-day sold out concert. Thank you Lord for this wonderful blessing. Thank you Super Junior for the happiness and inspiration. I’m proud of all you have achieved for the past 12 years and are still going strong. I’m proud to be an ELF since 2010. To see my third Super Show in Seoul (first Manila, second Singapore) is a dream come true. This was my advance gift to myself. Oh and remember I mentioned buying the albums I still don't have of them? I bought them all in Myeondong so that means no shipping fee. :D

Super Junior fighting! Until my next Super Show!!! <3

Nov 13, 2017

One More Chance With Super Junior

Recently, my most favorite K-Pop artist, Super Junior, made a comeback. I checked their new songs and then I am captivated by them again. I've been outdated with their activities for the past three years as I was kind of distracted back then. The last album I purchased from them was "This is Love" so I plan to buy the rest of the albums that I missed. Back to their new songs, my most favorite in their new album PLAY is "One More Chance" composed by member Donghae. This song speaks a lot of the longing feelings for someone dear. In Super Junior's case, this is like a song to their fans asking them not to leave and to give them a chance to prove that they are still here for them after two years in hiatus. I absolutely love the Instagram-worthy music video of the song.

Even though my bias Kyuhyun is inactive due to mandatory military service, I still love hearing their songs and I have made Donghae as my temporary bias lol. My second bias is Sungmin however he is inactive as well due to some DC-crap community fanbase in South Korea boycotting him for not handling his marriage announcement well with fans. C'mon guys, it's been like three years since the guy got married! Move on already and he still deserves to be in the group. Anyway, I hope Sungmin will rejoin the group soon. Kangin is well, I can't defend him. He made several mistakes so I'm okay that he's not active. In fact, when I became an ELF, Kangin wasn't there and I feel like it was the best line up, with ten boys. I still hope though that all these SuJu controversies will end soon and all members can happily get back together someday.

I realized that I still love Super Junior after being a fan since 2010. They still make me happy and I really wish for the success of their comeback. Even though they are in their 30's now, they are still able to pull off some good moves (check Black Suit video below). There are different and new artists who performs with them now, I am proud of them that after 12 years, they are still here and I will continue to support them even though I am getting older as a fan as well. haha. Once an ELF, always an ELF. Super Junior fighting! ELF fighting!

Oct 30, 2017

Bittersweet Lolita at ARCHCon 2017

I'm back again for ARCHCon this year and decided to wear another Lolita dress that is in my closet. This time, I chose a black and white pattern dress which when I checked online, is also referred to as Bittersweet Lolita style.

I am very lucky to have a friend who I called on the same day to be my photographer. I enjoyed the event despite me hanging around outside the venue more than the inside since most of the cosplayers were staying outside anyway.

I always try to dress up Halloween-ish during ARCHCon because it is usually held at the last weekend of October. I remembered I wanted to cosplay as Esther from The Orphan this year but I totally forgot about it. Hopefully I will remember next year. And oh, it's my short hair debut! 😆

Anyway, here are some of my photos during the event:

I used my red Lolita shoes to have a touch of red to compliment the red rose on my hat and my red nails.

with the Pretty Guardian Sailor Soldiers

with Yuno Gasai cosplayer from Mirai Nikki (Future Diary)

with my favorite Fate servants, Saber and Gilgamesh
I felt like my anime figures just came to life!

I bumped into my co-judge during Otakufest 2014, Lyron, so I couldn't resist to take a photo with him!

My Halloween greetings! LOL
Bittersweet Lolita at your service.

Hopefully next time, I could find some time to cosplay a character. I missed doing a character's signature poses. Until my next hobby/anime convention! :)

Oct 11, 2017

Quick Escape in Balamban

This past Saturday, I went to Balamban Cebu with my college friends to have a quick escape from the bustling city of Cebu that I see everyday. The commute was quite easy; you just ride one of those V-hires bound for Balamban in Ayala Center Cebu terminal. The fare is a bit costly (P120 for an hour ride) but I understood why since the zigzag road to the town is not easy to drive. We planned to visit four spots in the area which are a walk away from each other; Florentino's Little Tagaytay of Cebu, Island in the Sky, Adventure Café, and Buwakan ni Alejandra.

We first dropped by Florentino's. The views here are definitely breathtaking. You can see the beautiful green mountains and afar is the blue sparkling sea. Here are some photos in Florentino's:

Next stop was Island in the Sky where we walked by a hanging bridge and rode the best cable car ever. 😂

Here are some photos:

Then we had our lunch in Adventure Café. Some of my friends did the zipline here. I didn't do the zipline since I've done it here years ago.

Last stop was Buwakan ni Alejandra (translates as Flower Garden of Alejandra) where I had fun taking photos of different flowers and made me forgot to take videos urgh.

Anyway, here are some of my photos in the flower garden:

Testing my bokeh skills with my DSLR <3

This was such a great day. The weather was perfect, no rain and not too hot. I recommend visiting Balamban as an alternative of escaping from city life even for just the day. Until my next random adventure! :)

Sep 26, 2017

Last Song

Recently, I did some catching up with ryo (supercell) -sama's songs. I just randomly decided to watch Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress anime last week and I did hear that EGOIST was doing the opening song however I never attempted to listen to the full song last year. It was while watching the anime I realized the song was awesome. Why didn't I check this sooner? Gosh, I was too late to buy the first press limited edition of the single. Luckily, there are some limited editions left in Amazon Japan although I won't be able to have the complete limited set. I also tracked back on the other supercell/EGOIST/Tia singles that I missed for the past three years and one song really caught my attention. The title was "Last Song". It is an additional song for the single "Great Distance" with vocals by Chelly. When I heard the first line of the song, "I remember you", I immediately checked on the lyrics and found out it was sort of a sad song. The lyrics somehow convey part of my feelings from the past. Why do you do this to me ryo-sama?? ðŸ˜­

Anyway, I'd like to share to you the emotional song. I created a lyric video with Japanese/Romaji lyrics with English translations. Note that my lyric video is blocked in countries Australia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, United States due to copyright claims. Teehee 🙊

Indeed, I am reminded of the bittersweet feelings of the past and somehow I am also reminded of how much of a fan I am of ryo-sama's compositions. So I guess I'm back on my hobby of collecting ryo-sama's singles. Thank you ryo-sama for the wonderful songs you always make. :)

Sep 4, 2017

Taiwan Travel Video

I have finally created my own Taiwan travel video! It took me a while to find the song I was going to use the reason I was late with my travel video. One day, the image of F4, one of the biggest Taiwanese boybands ever, came to my mind and realized they have a couple of upbeat songs I can use for my Taiwan travel video. Then I decided to use F4's Mandarin version of Can't Help Falling in Love which was an OST for Lilo and Stitch movie as it was the most fitting. As soon as I found a copy of the song, I finished the travel video for less than two days!

So here's my travel video featuring Taiwan. Excuse my face and my editing skills. 😅