Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Super Delayed Post About Japan

No I have not quit blogging yet! Instead of posting another lengthy excuse, I'll get straight to the point.

There's a 90% chance I'm going to Japan with my family next March to experience Sakura, the once-in-a-blue-moon blooming of the cherry blossom trees, or as I'd like to call it, a "beautiful mess". My mom had asked me to search for tickets online at the Delta Airways and Philippine Airlines websites. Like an ecstatic eagle scout, I obliged. The tickets for both airlines are in the $600 range. Expensive, I thought, but mom didn't seem to care. Our trips would last 8 days. Naturally, as with all trips with or without me, I was tagged responsible for creating our itinerary.

I've had numerous layovers in Osaka and Narita en route to the United States and back. In one unfortunate trip back to Manila, our flight had to be canceled. I, my mom, dad and aunt, equipped with no luggage, yen currency nor linguistic know-how, had to spend a night in Narita. I did not see much in Narita but for the hotel and a nearby convenience store where we bought bathroom supplies and underwear.

My interest in Japan goes well beyond the place. I want to see firsthand its insane people and more insane culture. I may have watched a little anime, eaten too much sushi, threw my money away at Saizen and Uniqlo, and stuff you'd rather not know... hell, I might was well be half Japanese! I see no better way to explore my pseudo ethnicity than an immersion in the Land of the Rising Sun, and that's finally going to happen next year!

Have you been to Japan? Any suggestions, tips, advice for a newbie traveler? :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

New Resolutions for 2012

It's 2012 and I'm thinking "hey why not come up with a new set of resolutions and publish them in a blog post?"

But before I do that, let me share with you my 2010 list and see if I'm up to no good.

1. Have a complete set of abs. - Well I realized that this isn't what I want. My abs are visible but not ripped, which is fine by me. :) HALF CHECK

2. Shop less, give more. - I have given away a TON of my clothes last year to flood victims. Made me feel good to empty my closet and at the same time helping out others! CHECK

3. Reduce my bills. - Switched my cellphone and web hosting plans to cheaper ones. CHECK

4. Travel less. - I came back to Europe and visited China last year. NO CHECK (no worries I had so much fun!)

5. Learn a new skill. - I learned tennis! CHECK

6. Make more friends. - I think I did. lol. CHECK

7. Run a marathon. - Only got to run 10km tops. NO CHECK

8. Design more. - Totally slacked off on this one. NO CHECK

9. Play Dota again. - No time for Dota! Ugh. NO CHECK

10. Play badminton again. - I'm back to playing badminton 2-3 times a week. CHECK

Scorecard: 5.5/10 Not bad eh?

Honestly 2011 was year full of ups and downs, with the downs outnumbering the ups. But I'm happy and looking forward to a great year ahead, and this is how I'm gonna do it: (drumroll please)

1. Travel to Vietnam or Japan. Already made plans with my travel cousin Tinky. If not I'll try to brainwash my friends to come with me.

2. Save up for a trip to London. Four of my friends who traveled to London in 2011 alone all say I should. So I guess I should! I'd like to emphasize that I'm merely "saving up".

3. Visit a local destination: Palawan. I'd love to see the Underground River and Coron. Yes, I have to do this! Right Mica and Renz? :D

4. Shop even less. Yeah I think now is the time to simplify my life. The less stuff I own, the better. And yes, London.

5. Have a more offline life. That means less Facebook, Twitter and Plurk. I'm slowly weaning myself away from Plurk, and cleaning up my Facebook and Twitter timelines. Online detox, so to speak. That, too, means some online properties that are giving me a headache need to be discarded.

6. Buy a new camera. In line with #3, buying a new camera will help me haul my ass off my computer chair and get out more. I wanna shoot nice pictures and possibly get into filmmaking. Hello there Canon 60D.

7. Learn a new language. Perhaps Chinese or Italian.

8. See my nieces more often. My three mini-me's (pictured above) live in Manila and I miss them like crazy. I plan to go to Manila at least twice this year. While I'm at it, I hope to catch up with my friends and my dad.

9. Read more. Now that I have an iPad (thanks to my dear Tita Nora), I can load up ebooks and spend my time just lying around reading.

10. Love life.

What are your resolutions this year?