Tag Archives: Travel

[Okinawa] ~ Discoveries within Naha City

~    First in one Japan’s less busy cities – 03.24.2016

After my Manila misadventure which led to spending the night in Taipei Airport, it was finally Okinawa early the following morning. Trying to make most of an already shortened trip, I was out as soon as I checked in bag in my capsule hotel. My day then mostly spent walking around shopping strip KOKUSAI DORI (also called International Road) until that discovery of a monument of a GIANT ROPE used during the city’s yearly tug-of-war event. Unhappy with a cancelled ferry ride to Zamami, I pushed for a quick trip to the nearest beach in the city called NAMINOUE. 

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[Philippines x Taiwan] ~ Airport (Mis)adventures

    Airport beyond departures and arrivals – 03.23-24.16

With Japan being more known for things other than beaches, my trip to Okinawa last year was something I looked forward to more. It was also a gift to self as I turn 3-0. But life sometimes has an odd play with us that this trip had its rough parts – from being a shortened one to unexpected delays and mishaps as I was checking in at the airport which made me miss my flight that I had to take a reroute.

That reroute took me back to Taiwan for a night – the very same airport I was in just the previous month – except that I had more time to discover that there can be more to this space beyond departures and arrivals.

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[Baguio]~ (Our) place of family tradition

03.12-13.16

At around the same time as last year, this was a weekend I fought for as Baguio has always been a family tradition with this being Mother Goose’ (my mother, obviously) favorite plus the fact that I missed celebration last year because of some unforeseen situation at the terminal.

We had no specific itinerary so day but spent time at the BOTANICAL GARDEN because it was closed the last time that we were there, meet with that big dog at MINES VIEW and ending the day with people at the “ukay-ukay” stalls at this NIGHT MARKET which closed a major road until the parents slept that my brother and I grabbed some beer at BOHEMIAN CAFE which was location shoot for a local film called That Thing Called Tadhana.

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[Ruifang District, Taiwan] ~ An almost lantern festival

  For this day will always be one of my what-ifs – 02.22.16

In general, I have always been fine with my lack of solid plans because it allows me to be impulsive and just go where that ‘itch’ takes me. For my last day in Taiwan though, this disposition backfired on me.

The overall plan that day was to go see the lantern festival in PINGXI for a few hours and make it back in time for my early morning flight the following day. Badly surprised by the crowd and the complex, limited train schedule, that plan suddenly became a bad and/or too risky one. I ended up chickening out and not pushing thru. I then stayed in this ‘in-between’ town called RUI FANG – walking past through homes, street food stalls until that now-just-funny-but-then-depressing moment at a bench in front of the station.

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[Taiwan] ~ Hours of Firsts and Goodbye

I’ve been to many beaches but this was first when I am in no swimsuit. I’ve been to many bars but this was first I was tucked in a blanket -02.21-22.16

After braving the chill in YEHLIU GEOPARK, I again hopped on the tour bus on the way to another destination which is the kind of place I consider my sanctuary – the beach.  It was different from most kinds I have been in though because it was on its off-peak season the only people I was with was two kite-flyers and small group of friends who waded in the water for a few minutes then left. After beach is beer again on that spot behind the Red House. It was the usual beer night except another first that I was in a blanket as comfort from the cold.

A day of firsts then followed by my last in the country. But before that was xiao long bao someplace in the city.

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[Northern Taiwan]~Braved the Cold in Yehliu

  It was a visit to  this landscape formed by sea and wind – 02.21.16

My second day in Taipei was spent upnorth as I visited a park structured by nature. It was a walk around a place filled with interesting shapes – as I hold on tightly to my coat during that rather chilly and windy midday – one that almost did not happen should my wallet has not been lost and found.

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[Taipei, Taiwan] ~ City at night

  When I saw too many lights in a nighlife – 02.20.16

After a day that is packed with tourist spots and random discoveries, what followed was a night as filled – with a LANTERN FESTIVAL,  more MARKET and STREET FOOD finds and beer in XIMENDING and all else random in between.

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[Taipei, Taiwan] ~ Some things I did when there was nothing planned

  Experiencing the city in random and in cold – 02.20.16

It was similar to one destinationless afternoon in Penang wherein after cuteness overload in craft stalls and shops in Huashan Park, I just had to keep on walking which led me to try one of the city’s street food, experience the MRT in its busyness, discover more installations in another factory-turned-park until end of daytime spent braving the cold while finishing my beer homeless-style.

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[Taipei, Taiwan] ~ Little finds in a factory turned park

 An afternoon of all things (forgive the word) cute – 02.20.16

What followed my visit to an ‘artist village’ is to a so-called ‘creative park’. It was not exactly the name that intrigued me though but the idea that the area used to be an abandoned wine factory converted into a place for cultural events and other exhibitions. My afternoon spent there turned out fun being a fan of trinkets (called “abubots” in Filipino) with a rather similar scene in my country wherein local artists share their crafts in pop-up bazaars and markets.

Indeed it was an afternoon filled with (window-) shopping for stickers, postcards, notebooks etc.

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[Taipei, Taiwan] ~ Finding treasures in an artist village

Seeing what was and what is  – 02.20.16

After visits to more known landmarks in the city LONGSHAN TEMPLE and CHIANG KAI-SHEK MEMORIAL HALL,  my next destination during my first day in Taipei was on a lesser known historical site. Called TREASURE HILL ARTIST VILLAGE, this place caught my attention due to its story of transformation. Originally resided in by illegal settlers, this place was rebuilt as a place for residence and/or crafts for artists in 2010. This transformation is not without its controversy as certain parties felt it was not a very good decision to make people lose their homes to promote arts.

For tourists though, it was nonetheless a place for quite a stroll – with vibes of contradictions of what was and is.

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