Monday, August 20, 2012

Exploring Jeju Island

Jeju-do was our latest travel conquest this year. My husband and I would usually try to squeeze in some traveling during the short vacations our schedules would allow. Usually, we would spend a weekend or a few days out of town for summer or winter breaks. To date, Jeju island is the farthest we've been to within Korea as this takes one plane ride from Seoul.

I have always wanted to go to Jeju Island from the time I learned about it. Ideally, the place is for honeymooners given the climate and scenery it offers. When we got married, we were not given the luxury of time to spend our honeymoon anywhere special because we had to tour my family and friends from the Philippines who came to visit the wedding. Somehow, life events just got in the way right after and we just forgot about it, or opted to visit the Philippines instead if we could afford longer vacations. This year is our third year being married so husband agreed (after some serious prodding from me!) to give it a go.

We took the earliest morning flight from Seoul Gimpo airport. Thankfully, we were blessed with fair weather on the flight out.

Upon arrival we proceeded to our car rental. Car rental prices vary depending on car model and travel season. There are a bunch of travel agencies to choose from online offering hotel/car/plane packages (also combinations of 2 are available) which are also great deals. Bottomline is, all prices depend on the season whether you choose to get agency services or not. Summer is obviously the peak and they drop from fall to winter seasons. Cars already include GPS navigation. I suggest to bring your own navigation if you have so as not to waste time exploring a new gadget while on new territory.

Jeju 2012
Jeju's iconic palm trees
(Jungmun Resort Complex)
We had a planned itinerary for each day however, the weather wasn't too cooperative when we arrived. Initially, we intended to explore the northern Jeju city and the Western coasts on the first day. With the help of the officer from the Tourist Information Office in Yongdu-am, she provided us suggestions of places to visit should the rain wouldn't stop the rest of the day. So we ended up in Seogwipo/Jungmun area in the south which we originally intended for the second day. Fortunately, it was quite sunny down there but still too windy for some lazy stroll by the beach and the tides were soaring that most people like us skipped the beaches and chose to tour various themed museums. Thankfully, the rain had stopped around early afternoon. We were almost exhausted by the time we drove back to our hotel in Jeju City but that didn't stop us to try the famous 'black pig' samgyeopsal.

Overall, there are a million and one ways to enjoy the island. We spent three days and two nights here but time is too short to explore every attraction it has to offer. We were not faithful to our itinerary yet we enjoyed the luxury of driving around in traffic-free scenic roads, stopping by wherever and whenever for a photo-op, being in awe of nature, and fill our curiosity with each theme park or museum we had a chance to visit.

Here's a slideshow of some places we visited on our first and second days. Will write more about Jeju in the coming posts.

List of Places: (in order of appearance)

Chunjeoyon Falls
Saeseom Bird Island
Teddy Bear Museum
Sooinguk Theme Park
Gimnyeong Coast
Wind Power Complex
Gimnyeong Beach
Jungmun Beach
Jungmun Resort Complex
O'Sulluc Tea Museum

Saturday, April 14, 2012

the things you write when you couldn't sleep

I love it that Blogger's interface has never changed over the years. This way, I can easily get back from where I left off no matter how long it will take me. My so-called 'blogging life' has its own mood swings that usually takes months to recover. For starters, I am my own audience. I write here for ME. This is a little testament of my own (in)sanity, err, vanity. I applaud myself whenever I could formulate one paragraph right off the bat. If I could express my ideas in one cohesive sentence. If I could spot grammar lapses before I hit Publish. My posts have varied tones that I myself am amused at revealing different personalities.

So forgive me dear reader,
...for revealing some, but none too much
...for leading you on, but getting you nowhere
...for making you wait, and wait some more
...for being a tease, feeding your ego by reaffirming what you thought, knew or felt
...for making you expect more but letting you down
...for disappointing you with yet another meaningless post as this

And I appreciate you too
...for reading and commenting with your true identities
...for reading and commenting Anonymously
...for browsing uninterestedly then clicking randomly through my multitude of links
...for finding yourself here coming from the better blogs linking me
...for reading and digging through older posts hoping to find dirt
...for reposting my pics, with credit or not, who cares cause I don't check this blog as often as you anyways
...for commenting with links to Viagra, NAKED MEN and mortgage/lending sites
...for reading and telling yourself you knew better
It has been seven years now since i started this blog. Who knows if this will still survive another seven or more. As long as Blogger will remain unchanged, patronized and free--and I'm still here, certainly it will. If you happened to be there all those times or merely at one point, appreciating or loathing my short, sweet and senseless posts, to YOU I am greatly indebted.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Hello there, old blog!!!

I know it's been a while. Sorry for the long hiatus! If only blogger has a blackberry app, I could update this page every now and then...Guess, I'm too caught up with this smartphone craziness and my new 'mobility' that I could stand not being in front of a pc for weeks. Oh well, I promise to get back to you the soonest. I might even dress you up a little bit. Just like old times...

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Kimchi and more

In between bouts of laundry and  The Hills reruns, I managed a thought of kimchi outage on our table for the past weeks (or has it been months?). We sure had our constant supply from my mother-in-law replenished every so often but the last time she returned our huge plastic container, it was not the cabbage kimchi I expected but radish or chonggak kimchi which I cannot stand! I love our regular cabbage or paechu  kimchi which I helped make for the first time last November along with my omonim's ajumma neighbors! That was my first daunting task as a dutiful daughter in law. :) And mind you, my MIL's kimchi is the best surpassing the restaurants' deliriously MSG filled goodness. Legend has it that my husband couldn't eat kimchi in his friends' houses when he was young.

I understood it's not kimchi making season yet so I opted to buy pre-packaged, over-priced cabbage kimchi from Lotte Mart. I definitely can never stand the chonggak kimchi's bitter taste and dreadful smell when taken out of the fridge. To date, we don't own a kimchi refrigerator as we're getting the stash from the mother ship (a.k.a. in-law's house and farm) along with other vegetables and rice. They live just about 5 minutes by car so it's almost just a trip down to my neighborhood sari-sari store! We're truly blessed to have in laws providing us with our basic needs as a newly-married couple. Btw, my neophyte tip to remedy the awful kimchi smell not to dominate your entire fridge or the kitchen for that matter is to cover the container first with plastic or saran wrap before putting on the lid.

So what takes me to this point is this news article I've read a few days back on Chinese cabbage price hike affecting Korea's staple food for next year. The culprit it says is the unusual weather conditions that we are experiencing. True enough, it's almost we're skipping fall season this year with unusually cool to cold temperatures come nightfall and early mornings.
Read full article on JoonAng Daily Cabbage crisis causes kimchi crunch. To quote "Even the Blue House has been hit. President Lee Myung-bak has switched from kimchi made from Chinese cabbages to European cabbages..."

Now, who knows the relation between Heidi and cabbages? kidding...lolz!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Well, I've been out of the loop for a while. It's not that I've been totally hibernating 'coz I still check this site once in a while or my blogger friends sites for the matter. Maybe I've been spending too much time on Facebook or Twitter reeling on more real-time posts (mostly not mine, though) that blogging may seem as ancient as mIRC trying to connect to a server!

It's almost the last quarter of the year...and the most (un)eventful so far. I'm pushing my third year in Korea and still struggling to learn the Language. I'm not blaming it on anyone or making excuses any longer for this sad fate. Heck, I don't want to even talk about it. I'm a big snob when it comes to this. So, pardon me...

I've started on a new job/employer at the start of the year and eventually, next week will be my last...Nice try, huh! Another tragic story that I'm not too happy talking about, either. It wasn't a big loss, anyway. One good thing came out of it though. I've gained experience in teaching adults in a classroom setting. So I've finally found some decent conversation while in class and not just playing silly games or tongue-in-cheek chants! And realized that I'm made for the latter anyways.

Our love story hasn't gone sour yet, I suppose. Rather, it has stabilized to where it should settle in the first place---reality. It's almost we're back to square one. We're still to coming to terms with living together. For the longest time, we couldn't live without each other. Now, we're torn as to which actually worked better. Don't get me wrong, we're still crazy about each other! And we're bound to have our own offspring sooner the better, I hope.

Again, pardon my 9-11, pre-chuseok musings. Not much to stir my husband's ancestors in high heavens! This is one difficult year, undoubtedly. But I'm still hopeful and thankful for the adequate 'harvest' and wishing for all my ajumma friends likewise.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


The 80's wasn't really my coming-of-age decade, but I have undying fascination of the youth culture that sprung out of the era. Blame it on my fanatic observations of my elder cousins, our underaged helpers, John Hughes' teen flicks, and mostly from the pop/punk/new wave music that defined the decade.

A recent discovery is the film Adventureland (2009). Set in 1987, about a group of teenagers on summer jobs at a local amusement park. Typical 80's teen movie elements aren't missed--the nerd virgins, the troubled pretty girl, the obnoxious hunk, the pot heads, the popular slut etc. But everything wasn't too typical at all! In fact, I enjoyed the gloomy suburban feel to it. And really, what could go wrong when Kristen Stewart is one of the leads?

A real treat is the awesome soundtrack. Here's a playlist of the songs I enjoyed in the film. Hope you'll love them as much as I did!

1. Satellite of Love - Lou Reed
2. I'm in Love with a Girl - Big Star
3. Just like Heaven - The Cure
4. Don't Dream it's Over - Crowded House
5. Rock Me Amadeus - Falco
6. Pale Blue Eyes - Velvet Underground

p.s. Lou Reed/Velvet Underground and Big Star were icons of the 60's and 70's respectively. Songs and artists featured in the movie OST were not necessarily part of the 80's music genre.