Surf and Sea: Elyu Day 2.

This post is definitely long overdue. The last post about this trip was posted months ago. If you want to check that out, it’s rightย here. This is day two of our trip to La Union, spent mostly on the beach, but with some gems found in the city. Read on to find out more.ย ๐Ÿ˜Š

The day started with breakfast care of the place we were staying. It was simple–hotsilog and coffee–but very welcome, and the view we had while eating was amazing (we managed to score the window seat with the view of the beach). It was calming and serene, and was a great start to the day.ย ๐Ÿ˜Š20170827_071613

After breakfast, we chilled in our room to let the food settle, but didn’t wait too long before going down to the beach. It was a cloudy morning so it was a bit dim out, which just made it more relaxing. We spent some time wading around, playing in the waves, and sitting on the sand, and then back to the room we went to get ready for the day’s adventure.ย ๐Ÿ˜„

We didn’t have much planned this day, just lunch out and a visit to the nearby temple, but I have to say, it was fun but tiring. The first stop was a 10 minute drive away, and was a well known barbecue spot called L.U. BBQ. The interior was very modern with touches of brick, cement, and wood, and the minute we walked in we were engulfed with the enticing smell of the grill and barbecue.ย ๐Ÿ˜

 

When we got there, it was a bit empty–maybe like two or three tables other than us–so we wondered if the hype was just that–hype. But then as we waited for our food, the place started to fill up fast, and it turned out that we got there just barely before the lunch rush came. That was great.ย ๐Ÿ˜†20170827_11562020170827_115804

We took a long time looking at the menu and couldn’t decide what to get. In the end we settled for this sample platter thing (can’t quite remember what it’s called) that has some of their best sellers, with iced tea and rice. Now. This was a meal for 4. We were 2 people and we finished it. Uhm. Probably shouldn’t have but it was so good. I mean just look at that photo, doesn’t it make you hungry?ย ๐Ÿ˜†20170827_121241

That was an amazing meal. We were insanely full after it, but not in theย I never wanna go back here ever again, regretful kind of way. It was sooooo good and I wish it was closer to Manila so I could go back whenever I wanted to.ย ๐Ÿ˜…

We drove a little ways off after lunch, to the Ma-Cho Taoist Temple, and just spent some time looking around. It was cool seeing such a calm place amidst a busy city–it was like a different world. We were mostly quiet, with silent gasps here and there, as we took everything in.ย ๐Ÿ˜Š

 

The main entrance of the temple was located around back, and while you’re walking towards it, you pass by this wall of greenery, where some statues stood at every nook, each having some Chinese engraving on them. I tried to look them up when I got access to internet, and what I found said they were 18 saints, but I’m not sure about that. There’s also a statue in the garden above the temple that seems to be that ofย Guanshiyin — the Goddess of Mercy.ย ๐Ÿ˜Š

There were so many statues of dragons–two large ones stood at the foot of both flights of stairs that led to the temple, and on the rails were tiny ones as well. In the center is also a dragon, with some Chinese engravings. When you get to the top of the stairs, you get to the main chamber of the temple, which is both simple and extravagant at the same time.ย ๐Ÿ˜„

It’s extravagant in the sense that there’s a lot happening in the altar area, but in front of that, all you have are several rows of kneelers where you can light up some incense and pray. There are instructions in the area where you get the incense that shows you how to pray to which god, as well as what they symbolize, and there are also people there at the temple that can help you if you wanted more about it.ย ๐Ÿ˜Š

I’m not sure about other temples in the country, but this one is so open and welcoming that it fascinated me so much. I’m all for exploring other cultures and religions, and was very much happy for the chance to see this amazing place.ย ๐Ÿ˜„

With calm smiles on our faces, we headed back to the resort we were staying at and rested for a while before going back to the beach. For dinner that day, we decided to just get some snacks from the restaurant where we were staying, and enjoyed a night in.ย ๐Ÿ˜

The next morning was just breakfast, packing, and one last time in the beach. And then it was back to Manila and the reality of work and life. It was a short trip, but still very much worth while. We’ll definitely come back sometime, and hopefully actually get some surfing done.ย ๐Ÿ˜†

I know this took me a long time to post in relation the first part, I’m sorry about that. One of my goals in 2018 is to be more consistent about posting, so please do bear with me. Thanks so much for sticking around and reading, I am truly grateful.ย ๐Ÿ˜Š

โ€™til next time,

๐Ÿฐโค๏ธ

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A new year, a new chance.

Hey! Happy new year! It’s been one helluva year, 2017. So much has happened all over the world, it’s kind of unreal. That said, 2018 has come upon us, and with this comes a new chance. A chance to be healthier, be more productive, be happier, be better. This is the time when people start making lists of goals and resolutions, fully committed to getting them done in 365 days. Whether they succeed is a whole other story, but at least in the month of January, these resolutions stay strong.ย ๐Ÿ˜

For me, this means a renewed commitment to becoming healthier and lose the weight that I’ve gained in the past few years. It also means emptying out my temper jar and putting a fresh effort to being a happy and positive person. For this blog it means another rehash–well, kind of. I’m pretty happy with what I’ve put out in 2017, and in 2018 I want to push through with improving it. I’m figuring out how to be more regular in terms of posting, as well as writing more relevant content. I’m going to expand my social media as well (maybe even go to Youtube ๐Ÿ˜ฒ), and just focus on reaching out and growing even more.ย ๐Ÿ˜Š

If you’ve been with me from any point in the last year, I am insanely grateful for you. Although it was better than years further prior, it was still pretty disorganized. But the posts are out there, and I am thankful that you took the time to read (and hopefully enjoy). If you just stumbled upon this post and are new here, I am grateful for you as well (also omg how did you find me? ๐Ÿ˜…). Feel free to read through and let me know what you think and how you think things can be improved. Thank you for stopping to read.ย ๐Ÿ˜Š

These said, again Happy New Year! I hope you had an amazing holiday with those that are near and dear to you, and that your bellies were utterly filled with delicious food and drinks in celebration of both the previous and upcoming years. I’ll talk to you in my next post. Until then, stay amazing!ย ๐Ÿ˜„

โ€™til next time,

๐Ÿฐโค๏ธ

Cali galleries: Mementos.

Throughout this trip, I collected some bits and pieces throughout the trip. As much as I love shirts and hoodies as souvenirs, I think that there’s something about small trinkets that just draws me to them. Looking at it now, I wasn’t able to get one from every stop, but regardless I think this collection is pretty cool. This is my trinket loot from California.ย ๐Ÿ˜ŠIMG_4975

From Old Town San Diego, I have this pressed penny, and this crystal necklace and a little sliver of stone (I forgot what it was exactly). I’m a fan of stones and crystals, so when my cousin I found the shop that sells many different kinds, I had to pick something up. From USS Midway, I got these two coins. They’re pretty heavy, which is cool, and came from a vending machine that gave four at a time (my cousin got the other two). I got two more pressed pennies along the way: one from SeaWorld, and the other from the San Diego Air & Space Museum atย Balboa Park.ย ๐Ÿ˜Š

I have other souvenirs from this trip, clothing, plush toys, etc., but these mementos are easy to keep, and it’s really nice to think that I can look back so many memories by looking at small, simple things.ย ๐Ÿ˜„

So yeah. This is the last post for this series. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for sticking with this series. If you just got here and have no idea what this is about, check out the introduction and links to the other posts here. You’re awesome, thanks again!ย ๐Ÿ˜„

โ€™til next time,

๐Ÿฐโค๏ธ

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 toย  we went to Balboa Park, and this was where we spent much of our day.ย ๐Ÿ˜

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).ย ๐Ÿ˜ž

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.ย ๐Ÿ˜

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.ย ๐Ÿ˜ฒ

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.ย ๐Ÿ˜…

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.ย ๐Ÿ˜

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.ย ๐Ÿ˜„

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.ย ๐Ÿ˜„

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.ย ๐Ÿ˜ž

โ€™til next time,

๐Ÿฐโค๏ธ

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 renmblogs@gmail.com, 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.

โ€™til next time,

๐Ÿฐโค๏ธ

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!ย ๐ŸŽถ

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.ย ๐Ÿ˜Š

โ€™til next time,

๐Ÿฐโค๏ธ