Seoul, South Korea 5D/4N Itinerary

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Seoul South Korea Itinerary

I started the year 2017 with a wonderful adventure. I, along with my sister and some friends, travelled all the way to South Korea to experience the chilling Winter breeze for the first time. I never thought I'd be walking all over Seoul, not in the immediate future anyway. But because of a very cheap airfare promotion by Cebu Pacific Air, the travel dates of which coincidently matched the South Korean Winter months, deciding whether or not to go was easy. You have to understand that booking these promo tickets would require you to make a decision in a matter of minutes since it sells out very fast. So really, the decision to take them were more because of the spur of the moment.

I will be creating a South Korea Travel series which would document the highlights of our trip, but for now, I'd like to share with you our travel itinerary during our stay in Seoul.

Day 1: The Arrival

We departed Cebu City for Incheon International Airport at 5:40pm and arrived at 11:30pm. Prior to the trip, we already made transportation arrangements that would bring us to Seoul. The cold winter breeze surprised our summer accustomed skin. Seoul is approximately 1 hour away from the airport. We got settled in our AirBnB rented room, which was very nice and located in the heart of Seoul.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Day 2: Going Around the City

We spent the entire morning (most of it, at least) getting used to their transport system which is complex yet surprisingly organized and tourist friendly. We then met other Filipino's who are currently residing in Seoul. They were nice enough to offer to be our guide for the day. We hopped from one palace to another, since they are just a quick walk away from each other. We also visited the National Palace Museum of Korea. We were going to visit other places within the area but a lot were closed at the time. Please note that this day happened to be the Chinese New Year's Day so it was technically a holiday. This saved us a lot of money from paying entrance fees in the palaces though. During holidays, entrance fees in the palaces are free to all. We had dinner at Dongdaemun where I had my first ever Sangyeopsal and Soju experience (more on Korean food in future posts!). Afterwards, we went strolled Dongdaemun's shopping district and proceeded to see the architectural wonder, the Dongdaemun Design Plaza.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Nami Island

Day 3 - Nami Island and N-Seoul Tower

It started to snow during our third day in Seoul and I was glad that it also happened to be the day we went to Nami Island. We were ecstatic because it was our first time to actually experience snow. It made the situation far more perfect since we get to see snow, for the first time, in such a remarkably beautiful place. Nami Island is well known as the shooting location of a popular Korean Drama, Winter Sonata. Our trip to Nami Island was some sort of magical, except for the unignorable fact that we were freezing cold. Brrrrrrrrr. We had planned to go to Petit France afterwards, a mock-up France village that's themed after the popular children's book The Little Prince. Unfortunately, the roads were blocked by snow so the bus couldn't get through. We went back to Seoul and traveled to MyeongDong where we walked up a steep path to reach the cable car which would take us to N Seoul Tower. The cable car ride was not scenic at all, because the snow was blocking the view. The tower was a bit hard to spot because of the heavy snow. It was also way too slippery. Nevertheless, it's an awesome place to visit since it showcases a great night cityscape of Seoul. After exploring the area for a while, we went back to MyeongDong and strolled its seemingly endless shopping streets.

Nami Island

Nami Island

Nami Island

N Seoul Tower

N Seoul Tower

Day 4 - Everland

Day 4 began with us watching Ms. Universe 2016 live from the Philippines. We waited for it to be finished before we went on with our plans for the day. We went to Everland, one of South Korea's best theme parks. We enjoyed the day as kids and ate a lot of food/candy there as well. Oh and by the way, they have a live panda. You've read that right, a panda. It's also important to mention that the snow from yesterday was now starting to melt, just when we thought it couldn't get any colder. Some rides were closed because of the snow. The theme park was huge! We didn't even get to see everything because we decided to leave due to it being crazy ass cold. We went back to Seoul and had a very late dinner at Itaewon, Seoul's party district.
Everland Korea

Everland Korea

Day 5 - Shopping Time and Goodbye 

 During our previous days, we agreed not to buy anything yet since our last day in Seoul would be dedicated to shopping, purely shopping. We started early and went to MyeongDong. We shopped through underground shopping centers, etc. K-Beauty overload. You get the idea. After MyeongDong, we went to Lotte Mart to buy some "pasalubong" or keepsakes for our friends back at home. The food and treats choices in Lotte Mart is so wide. Our flight back to Cebu is scheduled at 10pm so we had a lot of time to go around. We arrived in Cebu the following day at 2 in the morning.

Shopping at MyeongDong

Shopping at MyeongDong

So that's it for the summary of our South Korea Winter trip. We know our Seoul itinerary could have been better but due to weather conditions, we're just glad we made through the trip without getting hypothermia. We're happy with what our trip had become anyway. Once again, separate posts will be created for some of the highlights of our trip. Watch out for my Korea Travel Series!

Salvatore Ferregamo Incanto Shine Perfume

Friday, December 1, 2017

Salvatore Ferregamo Incanto Shine Perfume

As the famous saying goes, a woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future. It goes to show that for women, perfume plays an important part in our day to day lives.

I love having various scents ready at my disposal. There's always a perfect one for whatever occassion, mood and season. Each one patiently waiting for their time to shine. This doesn't seem to be a problem for Salvatore Ferregamo's Incanto Shine.

This perfume was created by the design house Salvatore Ferregamo as part of the Incanto perfume line which originated in 2003. Several other scents such as Incanto Dream, Incanto Charms, Incanto Bliss, Incanto Bloom and Incanto Heaven are also a part of this line. Incanto Shine, in particular, was launched in 2007.

This rich floral aroma with hints of fruitiness is specially packed in a beautifully adorned rainbow bottle. The bottle itself would remind you of walks in the park during summer season. The smell is composed of fresh notes of pineapple, passion fruit and bergamot.

Salvatore Ferregamo Incanto Shine Perfume

I have been wearing Incanto Shine to work every day since I opened the bottle. The scent is just light and fresh enough to work well on a daily setting. I wouldn't consider wearing it during night outs though as I would usually go for something that doesn't smell as sweet. The staying power is good but not really something I'd be jumping up and down for. It is also quite affordable considering its designer brand name (so are all of the other Incanto perfumes). I got this 30ml bottle with a free Incanto Sky mini bottle (which I haven't tried yet).

Salvatore Ferregamo Incanto Shine Perfume

All in all, Salvatore Ferregamo's Incanto Shine is a great perfume to have that can easily be used daily. Due to its fruity notes, it's probably best suited for teenage girls and young adults. I would buy again when I finish this bottle up. This fragrance had me excited to try what's left of the Incanto Collection. I have only tried Incanto Bloom so far.

Have you tried any perfume variant from Salvatore Ferregamo's Incanto line? What's your favorite scent and what do you think I should try next?

Note: This post is not sponsored in anyway. 

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Sirao Flower Farm, Cebu's Little Amsterdam

Friday, November 24, 2017

Sirao Flower Farm Cebu

I've been living in Cebu City for over a year now. I moved here, from my beloved General Santos, to pursue a career as a Structural Designer. I have yet to explore all the wonderful places Cebu has to offer. One of these places is Sirao Flower Farm, also known as The Little Amsterdam of Cebu City

The urge to come here was because of a splurge of photos that bombarded my social media feeds. Even my friends from General Santos who are visiting Cebu have photos taken here. It's safe to say that this place has already been established as a go-to location as far as tourist destinations in Cebu go. Sirao Flower Garden contains a field of flowers, mostly are Celosia flowers which derived its name from a Greek word that means 'burning'. This name is appropriate because its head does look like burning flame.

Tourist Spots Cebu

There's an entrance fee of P50.00 as means of maintenance and for further improvements.

I was immediately awestruck with the flowers when we arrived. However, after a while, I got a bit disappointed because it wasn't what I had expected. The flower garden was way smaller, there were too many people, and it really took a lot of effort to take a good photo (without any photobombs). The flowers at Sirao Flower Farm were fabulous though and the vivid colors were a fantastic visual treat for my eyes. It was also great to breathe in fresh air after being stuck in the polluted city for so long. 

Tourist Spots Cebu

The famous Sirao Flower Farm was originally just meant for growing and selling flowers. However, over the years, it has attracted flocks of tourists and photo enthusiasts. The influx of people wanting to see the celosia flowers in full bloom convinced the owners to turn it into a well maintained tourist destination instead. 
Tourist Spot Cebu

Travel Destination Cebu

Travel Destination Cebu

Previously, you would have to wait for the flowers to be in season to enjoy this spectacular site since the flowers will have to be harvested for Sinulog and All Soul's Day Season. If you didn't know, Celosia has grown to become the official flower of Cebu's Sinulog Festival. Currently, you can visit the farm all year round and still get a glimpse of a sea of flowers. The management purposely leave some flowers unharvested for the visitors to see.

To increase the European feel of the garden, several ornaments, such as a windmill, rainbow bridges, statues, bicycles, etc., can also be seen in the area. 

There is also a cafe where you could enjoy refreshments like buko juice and a lot more. A lot of stores offering these are present outside for a cheaper price.

You can also purchase bundles of flowers that are grown from the garden which you can take home.

When visiting, you have to dress appropriately. It could get muddy. This means wearing your favorite white sneakers could yield an unfortunate mess. 

How to get there: 

The most common way to reach Sirao Flower Farm is by riding a motorcycle (locally known as habal-habal) from JY Square Mall. A bunch of drivers would instantly approach you especially if you look like tourists. P200.00/head roundtrip fare is already enough. You can discuss additional charges with your driver as an incentive for waiting for you. You can also opt to ride a taxi but the usual charge would start at P1500.00. If you have a car, you can simply just Waze it and you'll be good to go. 

  • Make a very clear payment arrangement with your driver so there are no gray areas that could cause misunderstanding. Be wary of being tricked to pay more though. Some habal-habal drivers (definitely not all) are known to charge a whole lot more especially if they realize you're not from Cebu. Speak Bisaya if you can. 
  • If you're taking your own car, be careful as the road going up could get pretty challenging and slippery. 
  • Some habal-habal drivers would offer you a three-way tour, which would allow you to visit three famous Cebu tourist destinations: Sirao Flower Farm, Tops Skyline Garden and Temple of Leah. This is already very worth it. The usual price is P300.00/head, excluding entrance fees.
  • Please be a responsible tourist and give respect to the management's effort of beautifying the place. Don't pick flowers, step on them or leave any trash behind. The destruction of these lovely flowers is a big price to pay for your perfect selfie. Please be mindful of other tourists as well. They, like you, are struggling to take the perfect picture too.

Althea Un-pore-gettable Box

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Althea Un-Pore-gettable Box

Every time I receive a promo email from Althea that they just launched a newly themed beauty box, I get very excited. I have only discovered these boxes early this year and found that you can really get huge savings. The excitement is usually in vain though because when I reach the site, the beauty box would already be sold out! How sad. I vowed that when I get the chance, I would definitely purchase one. Luckily, I was able to buy Althea's Un-Pore-gettable Box and it is my first Althea Box ever. See more below to know about the products it came with.

Althea Un-Pore-gettable Box

I ordered this from the Althea website last October 26, 2017. It arrived at my doorstep on November 06, 2017 - just 11 days after. This is outstanding considering the free shipping fee, holidays and the 15 day guarantee from Althea. It came wrapped in their signature pink plastic bag. I expected to have their signature pink box as well but I had received their 'Happy Birthday' box instead, which is a pleasant surprise.


Althea Un-Pore-gettable Box

Item No. 1: Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask

Product Description: This mask with it's super volcanic cluster capsules powerfully absorbs sebum to intensively resolve pore concerns.

Althea Un-Pore-gettable Box

Item No. 2: Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Care Kit

Product Description: Enriched with volcanic cluster and green complex from pure Jeju Island, this line helps control excessive sebum for soft skin.

Althea Un-Pore-gettable Box

Item No. 3: Common Labs Mild Peeling Finger Pad

Product Description: This is a mild exfoliator before you apply any other skincare product. The peeling pad provides gentle yet effective exfoliation of dead skin cells and impurities leaving your skin ready to absorb all the good ingredients in your normal skincare routine.

Althea Un-Pore-gettable Box

Item No. 4: Laneige Powder Fit Cushion SPF 50+ PA+++ No. 23 Sand

Product Description: Cream to powder twist cushion with a soft, lightweight finish, this feels just like skin.

RiRe All Kill Pore Tightening Ice Stick

Item No. 5: RiRe All Kill Pore Tightening Ice Stick

Product Description:
It contains Icelandic glacial water which supplies moisture to loose and enlarged pores, and contains xylitol which gives a cooling sensation to the skin and helps with temporary pore tightening.

My Beauty Red Ginseng Gold Hydrogel Mask

Item No. 6: My Beauty Red Ginseng Gold Hydrogel Mask

Product Description: Ginger which is 100% grown in Korea, is used in My Beauty Hydrogel Mask. Ginger is known for its high content of antioxidants. Ginger's unique substance, ginerol, helps protect and rejuvenate skin.

Item No. 7: Dear, Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner

Product Description: Supple Preparation Facial Toner is formulated with a base of various botanical extracts to balance the skin's PH level and provide full nourishment to the skin. It also helps prepare the skin to better absorb following products and boosts their effectiveness.

Free Random Samples:

Althea Un-pore-gettable Box

Random free samples are part of this box. I misunderstood the box description that it would contain 20 random samples. I was really excited because who doesn't love free samples right? I got disappointed when I only received 8 samples. Reviewing the box description now, they really didn't say it would have 20 samples but the sentence used could easily get misleading. It wasn't just me either. Althea's Un-Pore-gettable Box somehow got negative reviews because of this. Regardless, I am very happy with what I received.

IOPE Dermal Trouble Cleansing
Free Sample No. 1: IOPE Dermal Trouble Cleansing

Madagascar Centella Asiatica Cream
Free Sample No. 2: Madagascar Centella Asiatica Cream

Free Sample No. 3: Mamonde Hydrating Flower Essence Mark Narcissus

Dear, Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil
Free Sample No. 4: Dear, Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil

Dear, Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Serum
Free Sample No. 5: Dear, Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Serum

Skin Miso Pore Corset Serum
Free Sample No. 6: Skin Miso Pore Corset Serum

CP-1 Premium Silk Ampoule

Free Sample No. 7: CP-1 Premium Silk Ampoule

Pure Smile Black Pearl Mask
Free Sample No. 8: Pure Smile Black Pearl Mask

Bonus Product Haul (not included in box, bought separately)

Every time I order from Althea, I never forget to include a tube of this gem. It has become a personal favorite. 

Nature Republic Aloe Vera Soothing Gel

Item : Nature Republic Aloe Vera 92% Soothing Gel

Product Description: Made from 92% Aloe Vera gel, Nature Republic Aloe Vera Soothing Gel is enriched with vitamins and can be used for just about anything, from soothing sunburns to hydrating the skin and hair in the form of a mask, to an everyday moisturizer for supple skin.

Overall Verdict: Althea's Un-pore-gettable Box is surely worth it. It only cost me P1450.00 (28.50USD), this already includes free shipping. These products would cost a total of P4780.00 (94USD) when bought individually, and that's if you buy it from Althea. Prices could still increase if bought elsewhere. Althea sells such awesome Kbeauty products for way cheaper prices. If you ever find any of their boxes in stock, consider yourself lucky. Fortunately, this one is still available. You can get it here.

I'm looking forward to trying all of these products, most especially the Dear, Klairs Supple Preparation Toner because it's been all over Instagram. I'm excited to try the Laniege Cushion as well because it's my first ever Laniege product. The brand has gotten lots of rave and love from beauty lovers worldwide. Can't wait to use Innisfree's Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask also, like the former, it has gotten great reviews and the packaging is too fabulous not to pay attention to. Common Labs' Mild Peeling Finger Pad is interesting as I have not tried (and seen) anything like this before. RiRe's All Kill Pore Tightening Ice Stick, is equally intriguing as well. I could already imagine how refreshing it must feel to use it (basing this from the packaging and smell alone). I will be posting separate reviews of these products once I've used them. 

Note: This post is not sponsored in anyway. 

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