Birthday Blues: 25 Things You Learn By 25

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I’m turning 26 in three weeks.

Just like that. I’m no longer a high school teeny bopper, a kolehiya striving to be a Cum Laude, and too old to hop in to another job just because I’m bored.

Birthday blues, as they say. I always get through it every November.

But, before I get carried away and start to list down my 25 years worth of hanash, why don’t I just enumerate all my learning in the past years?

Let’s discuss 25 in taglish, randomly:

1-5

1) To feel like an adult is a choice. Pwede pala yung 25 ka na pero feeling mo, 18 years old ka pa rin.
2) Ang hirap mag-ipon. Especially if you’re an advocate of self-love.
3) Lahat ng gastos mo, feeling mo necessity kahit hindi naman.
4) Ang daming magandang lugar sa Pilipinas. So far, the best ang El Nido for me.
5) Hindi kailangang mahalin ang trabaho. Pero dapat galingan mag-trabaho. So, choose that job where you want to be magaling.

6-10

6) At this age, nobody would understand you better than your (true) friends. Same hanash-es kayo eh.
7) You don’t need to be super rich, as long as you can buy the things you need (and want) at hindi problema ang pera.
8) Be maalaga of yourself. Magpaganda ka, invest in your looks, health, and mind kasi it will give you the biggest ROI.
9) Not everything that bothers you deserve a reaction. Be a big person and master the art of ignoring the nega.
10) If you’re a 25-year old single woman, you don’t need a man to be happy. Wag padala sa mga asaran.

11-15

11) Mas kawawa yung in a relationship pero losyang. Hindi makapag-travel at shopping.
12) Saka hindi porket wala kang boyfriend pangit ka. In the same way, hindi lahat ng may boyfriend maganda. Utang na loob.
13) Ang dami kong hugot dito ‘di ba? Kaya dapat hindi puro syotaan ang nasa isip. Pweh.
14) Ang sarap mag-two piece sa beach. Nakaka-liberate, charot.
15) Worth it mag-invest sa quality beauty products and accessories. For your confidence. Confidence is the key to success.

16-20

16) Your first relationship may not work, and it’s okay. Hindi katapusan ng mundo. Ibangon mo sarili mo.
17) As time goes, you can’t tell if naka-move on ka na. But, the fact that you find yourself more excited for the future than reminiscing is a good sign.
18) It would feel like you need a lifetime to forgive and forget. Be at peace with that. Pero the truth is, hindi naman lifetime, OA yun.
19) Ang sarap maging single. Yes, there are downsides, pero magpakatotoo tayo, mas maraming benefits. He he.
20) Wag susuko sa work. Pambayad yun ng cards para swipe swipe na ulit next time.

21-25

21) No matter how much you like them, never chase people. Don’t sell yourself too much. If they don’t seem to realize how awesome you are, let them let you go.
22) Do everything you need to do to reach that level of security wherein other peoples’ opinion don’t affect you anymore.
23) Invest on treasury bonds and investment plans. Lakas maka-feeling responsible adult.
24) Love your family. Express your love for them, especially for your parents.
25) God is all you need to survive. To survive life and yourself (honoring God > all your hanash).

Thanks for reading! Again, I am The Millennial Pinay.

#extendedquarterlifecrisis

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TRAVEL KOREA | NAMI ISLAND + PETITE FRANCE (DAY 2 OF 6)

As promised, I’m going to share with you my 6D 5N trip to Seoul weeks ago. We spent Day 2 at Nami Island before visiting Petite France. If you missed my Day 1 of 6 post, click here.

I woke up around 9 AM to quickly have breakfast (bread + egg) in our hotel and to prep myself. Ate Emma asked me to search online how to get to Nami Island and Petite France, and if we can squeeze in another location after those two. As you can see, being busy women, we were unable to plan our strolling before we flew to Korea, hehe.

Korea4Expats.Com provides clear and complete instructions on how to get to Nami Island via train, bus, and taxi. However, we still got lost in the Dongdaemun subway since you have to walk a lot, go up and down a level or two.

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The great Seoul railway system, hehe

We reached Gapyeong – last station – at around 12 PM, then took a taxi to bring us to the port. The water vessel (should I call it ship?) ride costs 10,000 KRW, but as foreigners, we paid only 8,000 KRW after presenting our passports.

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Selfie before we get on board the small ship


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Waiting for the ship


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Inside the water vessel with lots of national flags on it


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Nami Island, yeah!


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Japanese tourists everywhere


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Struggled to have a photo in between these trees!


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Us three!


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Ate Emma with the post-it’s by visitors (so many Filipinos have been here!)


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I look like my eldest sister, right?


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‘Kumusta ka’ (Filipino) means ‘How are you’


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Into the woods and lovin’ it!


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The bridge that’s so IG-worthy


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We so cute!

After taking enough photos, we decided to take the ship back to the port. There were mini cafes where you can rest and just enjoy the view and the cool weather. The chicken sandwich I had (8,000 KRW) was enough to get me through lunch.

They also sell souvenirs, hand gloves, etc. We went inside a station for foreigners, where  we asked some officials on uniform how to get to Petite France. Then, we took a taxi that costs less than 8,000 KRW for around half an hour ride.

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Like we were in France! Cute houses

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You can get inside the little houses and find these

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Great view! Christmas is here!

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Feeling like a royalty beside this guy


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IG-worthy!

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So cold but I have to look nice beside this tower


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‘Secret Garden’ was shot here, it says everywhere


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Bffs


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Thanks for the great view, Petite France!

Back to Gapyeong Station via cab again. We went to Myeongdong for the street foods, which served as our dinner. Also, Round 1 of our make-up shopping, hehe!

Expenses (Day 2 of 6)

Load for my T-Money – 20,000 KRW
Taxi (Gapyeong to Port) – 2,700 KRW (8,000/3 pax)
Ship ride to Nami – 8,000 KRW
Ship ride back to Port – FREE
Chicken Sandwich – 8,000 KRW
Taxi to Petite France – 2,700 KRW (8,000/3 pax)
Taxi to Gapyeong – 2,700 KRW (8,000/3 pax)
Train to Myeongdong – used T-Money for this (less than 3,000 KRW even if you get lost)
Street food in Myeongdong + Make-Up Shopping – 10,000 KRW
Taxi (Myeongdong to Hoehyeon) – 1,500 KRW (4,500/3 pax)
= 55,600 KRW  or 2,357 PHP 

Blogs on Days 3-6 of 6 to follow! Happy holiday!

TRAVEL Korea | How I Enjoyed Seoul for 6D 5N On A Budget (Day 1 of 6)

Three months ago, I gave in to my sister’s offer to come with her and Ate Emma (her best friend) in Seoul, Korea this November. It can be my birthday gift to myself (Nov 27), it’s Autumn (beautiful season), and it is best to come with her (family is always reliable when you’re short of cash!), she told me. Despite knowing I won’t have much money to spend for the trip, I said yes since I have MasterCard!

Don’t get me wrong though, I don’t promote living beyond your means and abusing the credit limit powers you have. In my case, I am confident I can pay off my loan before the due date. To add to this, I am always willing to spend on experience, as I believe travels nourish the soul – a good investment, therefore.

After one day..

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I booked a round trip ticket – Nov 16 to 21 – in Air Asia. Including Travel Insurance and check-in baggage allowance of 20kg for each flight, I paid 11,310 PHP all in. It was the cheapest deal we found in September.

A week prior to our arrival, we booked for 5 nights stay in Dream Guest House. It’s an affordable dormitory/hotel near Hoehyeon Station and Myeongdong (shopping paradise) and according to Ate Emma, it gets many positive reviews from Filipinos. You know how critical we are when it comes to room cleanliness and comfortability, right? It costed a total of 317,000 KRW, so each of us would pay 105,700 KRW.

Ate Emma also rented an LG pocket Wi-Fi: 5 SGD for 5 days = 25 SGD. 8.33 SGD then for each of us three. We need internet connection in case we get lost! Also for checking in on Facebook (hehe).

Day 1

Before departing in Ninoy Aquino International Airport, I changed my 5,000 PHP into 118,029.01 KRW. The Money Converter has been my friend during my whole stay in Korea. My plane will get off NAIA Terminal 3 at 7:30 AM and arrive in Incheon International Airport at 12:30 AM. Time in Korea is 1 hour advanced compared to Manila. My sister, Ate Thess, and Ate Emma would be arriving late at 10 PM.

Me myself and this melted face paint earlier today ✈️ 🎎

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I was thrilled hearing the pilot announce we’re landing in Incheon in a bit, at 3 degrees celsius. I was underdressed for the cold with my white shirt, purple jacket and white pair of Keds, I thought. The next thing I knew, I was queuing in the Incheon Airport Concourse to get to the Passenger Arrival terminal with other Filipinos. Did what I do best – act like I knew what I was doing, but was actually just following the other passengers, haha!

Touchdown!

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Wi-Fi was strong at the airport. I messaged some friends about my arrival, while trying to figure out whether to leave or just wait for Ate Thess and Emma’s arrival. Of course I was worried I might get lost with no internet connection and phone line.

 

Always a fan of airports and how they gather people 🛫

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In the end, although I got myself a T-Money card (reloadable card for transportation that does not expire) for 4,000 KRW (card alone, without balance) at the airport CU Mart, I bought an Airport Railroad Express (AREX) train ticket to Seoul for 8,000 KRW.

 

It took me 47 minutes to get to Seoul, but I didn’t mind because of the fast Wi-Fi, view (I used to see only in Korean movies and series, huhu), comfort of my seat, and ‘Train to Busan’ movie feels (huhuhu)! I couldn’t contain my excitement and gratefulness to God for the chance to see Korea that my heart is crying tears of joy deep inside. The guy student who sat at my back was an angel to help me carry my heavy supersized luggage to the shelf.

Train to Busan feels! CARLA WAS HERE hu hu hu ❤️

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Arriving in Seoul, Rome2rio told me to get at Line 4 to ride the Korail train going to Dongdaemun. I should alight in Hoehyeon, the nearest station to Dream Guest House. When you use the subway in Seoul, take note of the correct Exit numbers, guys. In my case, way out is Exit 4, then I can just walk to our hotel. I had my first rice meal in CU Mart for 4,500 KRW, and arrived in my destination thanks to the good-looking guy receptionist of the T Grand Hotel. Hihi.

 

Dream Guesthouse was a boutique hotel. The receptionist recognized me when I told her I am ‘Emma’s friend.’ She guided me to the 3rd floor (there are 4 floors), into a locked room that houses 3 separate rooms for different groups and a shared toilet. Our room was small, but the area was clean. We have our own toilet and I liked how the double-decks each has a curtain, 2 switches (for charging of gadgets), and light. How smart and private!

 

I rested and slept from 6 PM to 11:30 PM until Ate Thess and Ate Emma arrived and I had to open the main door since there is no more reception to welcome them (closes at 11 PM). We went out to have dinner at the nearby Korean restaurant to eat Bibimpap, Pork Cutlet and Kimchi – their staple side dish. Each meal costs around 4,500-7,000 KRW.

 

Authentic #bibimbap

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We liked it! The auntie was also nice to open the TV, mix the Bibimbap, and have a short talk with us. Even though we couldn’t understand her since she doesn’t speak English, her smile was warm and friendly. Unlike in Singapore, Koreans serve free water and tissue.

 

Here’s the breakdown of my expenses for Day 1:

 

11,310 PHP – Roundtrip Ticket

1,600 – Travel Tax, NAIA

4,477.45 PHP (105,700 KRW) – Accommodation for 6D 5N

291.62 PHP (8.33 SGD) – Wi-Fi connection for 5D

169.44 PHP (4,000 KRW) – T-Money

338.88 PHP (8,000 KRW) – AREX train Incheon-Seoul

42.36 PHP (1,000 KRW) – T-Money load for train to Hoehyeon, I got some change!

190.62 PHP (4,500 KRW) – Heavy pork cutlet meal in CU

232.98 (5,500 KRW) – dinner in Korean resto nearby

 

= 18,653.35 PHP Total (440,352.93 KRW)

Our Day 1 ended at 3 AM. Stay tuned for my Day 2 feature of our visit to Nami Island and Petite France!