Cali galleries: Balboa park.

Over a week later, and this adventure is coming to a close. If you want to check out the other installments of this series, you can check this post. We’re starting this off after lunch–with my stomach, heart, and soul being full with burger and fries. After we ate, we drove over toΒ  we went to Balboa Park, and this was where we spent much of our day. 😁

It was pretty overwhelming when we arrived. There are so many things to check out in the area that I think you could even spend two days and not have checked everything out. We didn’t want to spend a lot though, so we checked out the free attractions (which did mean not going inside some interesting places). 😞

The first thing I took a photo of was this vintage car that was just parked outside the San Diego Air & Space Museum. I’m a sucker for vintage things, and this beauty immediately caught my eye. 😍

In Balboa park there is this place called the International Cottages, and each one shows the culture of a different country around the world. We didn’t go to all the cottages, but we did go to the following: Germany, Philippines/France, England, and China. Each cottage is manned by natives of that particular country, and some offer local snacks or experiences (the Chinese cottage had someone doing calligraphy for people–it was really cool. 😲

After the cottages, we walked around until we encountered this museum–the Timken Museum of Art. It wasn’t too big a museum, but the photos below only represent a fraction of the pieces. As you can see, I gravitate toward the more scenic paintings, although all of them were quite beautiful. My phone memory was pretty small at the time so I had to be picky.Β πŸ˜…

After the museum, we went to this botanical garden, and I pretty much went wild. Throughout this trip, I’ve taken photographs of the different landscapes I’ve seen. Nature fascinates me, and this place made me so happy, I had to take a lot of pictures. I also saw a cute little bunny hopping about the plants and that added to my happiness. 😁

After that, we just ended up walking around the whole park. The weather was great, and the structures and foliage were beautiful. I’m not quite sure how much time we spent just walking around, but I took quite a number of pictures. These are what I saw there, and the black little bunny there was the little cutie that I got to cuddle for a bit for a polaroid shot. It was a really nice day.Β πŸ˜„

So that was the end of my touristy trip. The next day was spent with family at the mall, watching Beauty and the Beast, and at home just chilling and packing to go back to Illinois. I had an incredible time in California, and I’m definitely going to go back someday–maybe even stay for a while. It was great meeting up with family (some I’ve never met before, others I haven’t seen in years), and getting to explore a new place.Β πŸ˜„

That’s it for this trip, but not this photo journal. There’s one more post–the one where I show you my mementos of this trip. Thank you for sticking by me this far. My most sincere apologies for the sporadic posts in this series. 😞

’til next time,



Taking a break. . .

Hi! I know I missed a week of posting, but I’ve been feeling really crazy lately. My head is really cluttered and confusing, and I think I need some time to reorganize and get my stuff together. That said, I decided that I will be taking a break from posting for the rest of the year, and alongside getting myself together, I will be looking at this blog and re-planning it in time for the new year. I need to close out two series I have going (my Cali and La Union trips), but apart from those posts, I will more or less be silent for the next two months.

In the meantime, feel free to check out my past posts, hit me up at, and let me know what you think I should do on this blog in 2018. Thank you so much for sticking with me, it’s been an amazing year of growth and I am very much grateful to each and every one of you.

Although this blog will be still, the venturing continues.

’til next time,


Music monday (on a tuesday): Soap.

The Voice is probably one of my favorite talent shows, and I like to sometimes rewatch the performances from past seasons. Recently, I fell down a rabbit hole of The Voice videos, googled where some of my favorites are now, and I stumbled upon Melanie Martinez and this song. It’s kind of a weird track, but I think that’s why I like it. It’s very chill and I don’t have a problem with hearing it over and over. It’s a really nice track, check it out! 🎢

Just a little update.

Hey! I know my last post was two days late, and I was going to apologize there, but I decided to just make a separate post about it. I’m really super sorry about the late post, and also for not yet posting the other Cali Gallery and La Union posts.

I’ve been kind of out of it lately, but I’m trying to get out of the funk. I’ve been struck by an intense wave of insecurity and worry about what I’m doing with my life, and whether or not I will amount to anything in the end.

Coincidentally, the song I posted about last week is a track that I kind of resonate with these days–at least in the sense that I need help. I’m hitting a slump of feeling alone and not feeling like I matter at all. It doesn’t quite make sense to me, but it’s also my reality at the moment.

I’m really hopeful that I’ll get over the slump soon, and I’d like to very sincerely thank you for sticking with me. I’ll be back with consistent posts soon, but I hope you understand that they’ll be sporadic for a while. Thanks again so much! You’re amazing. 😊

’til next time,


Music monday (on a wednesday): Help me out.

I haven’t heard of a new song from Maroon 5 for a while now (although I may just have been out of the music loop for years), so when I saw this track a few weeks ago on Spotify, I decided to give it a play–and I really liked what I heard. It fits well with music nowadays, it’s catchy, and it has pretty honest lyrics. It’s a good track to add to a work out or commute playlist because it’s such an easy song to bob your head to, a really awesome find! Check it out! 🎢

Let’s cook! Bistek Tagalog

I’m making lunch today and I had a thought to document the process. Bistek Tagalog is one of my absolute favorite Filipino dishes, and it’s very simple to make yourself so that’s a huge bonus. Now, I don’t remember where I got the recipe that I use. It’s been a note in my phone for over a year, but it works so that’s great!Β πŸ˜†

The ingredient list for this recipe is pretty short: soy sauce, calamansi (Philippine lime), pepper, beef tenderloin (I used breakfast steak), onions, and oil and butter. Calamansi is a key ingredient in this recipe, and although you can substitute it with lemon, there’s nothing like this citrus fruit from my homeland. 😊

So we start by putting together 1/4 cup calamansi juice, 1/3 cup soy sauce, and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Into this mixture, we put 1/2 kg of the beef, make sure they’re cut up into smaller pieces, although the size depends on you, and let it marinade for 15-20 minutes. I let it marinade for an hour or two, although I don’t know if this changes anything.


After marinading, put some oil and butter in a pan and then sear the beef. Don’t forget to set aside the marinade as this will be used later on. This is the longest step in this recipe because the meat should be seared one layer at a time. I cooked 3/4 kg of beef and it took me about 30 minutes to sear everything–it really depends on the size of your pan and the amount you’re searing.

When all the beef is seared, set them aside and put the onions in the pan, sliced into rings, and cook them until they’re translucent. I like onions so I put in a large whole one, but the amount depends on your preference. When the onions are translucent, put the beef back into the pan and mix them in with the onions. Pour the marinade into the pan, as well as 1/4 cup water, and let them simmer for about 2 to 3 minutes.

That’s it! Pretty simple right? This is a classic Filipino dish that I think you will enjoy. It’s savory and kind of sour, with some sweetness coming from the onions, and it pairs very well with white rice. Try it yourself and let me know what you think. 😁

’til next time,


P.S. – I had to leave right after cooking and then chowed down as soon as I got home so I wasn’t able to take a photo of the final product. Sorry about that. πŸ˜…

Music monday: Helium.

I first heard of this song when my best friend played over Spotify during a drive. I asked what the title was and who sang it, and made a mental note to check it out later on. I found the lyric video on Youtube, and I’m just fell in love with the track even more. It’s such a creative and beautiful way to express support to those people that are important to you. It speaks the words that I myself don’t exactly know how to say. Whether you need a pick me up, want to send a pick me up to someone else, or just want to listen to a new heartwarming track, this is an amazing choice. Check it out! 🎢