Bluer than Blue

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I'm sick and alone. My husband left me! (what's bluer than that?!)

Okay, so it's just an exaggeration. I'm not divorced at the age of 24.lol

Blue left for China this morning for some work that his company asked him to do and he won't be back till Sunday (the first ever since we got married!) Well, I should be kinda happy I have some time alone and I don't need to worry about cooking and stuff cause I can eat anything I want. But the thing is, I'm feeling really terrible. My nose is clogged. My head feels heavy. My throat is itchy. My body feels kinda sore and I'm feverish (wait a sec... does it sound like swine flu?!! gosh, hope it's not!lol) Actually, it was Blue who got sick first and then I got sick, too... a day before his trip! Great! I begged him not to go but it was just all drama!lol cause I know it's impossible!

Jagiya, please come home soon!:(

Fashionista

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Seeing a lot of korean women who live and breathe style was definitely a "culture shock" for me (who's been trying to dress up but still a certified fashion mess)! I remember reading someone's blog saying that koreans "changed the definition of the word casual". And I think I kinda agree wih that!

Coming from a tropical country where I can just get away with flip-flops, tees and jeans, it was kinda hard for me to adjust. Not that I want to stand out or something or be, literally, a fashionista, but if i'll be walking along the streets of Seoul or meeting some people, I want to be at least presentable (I know that it really doesn't matter what clothes I wear but looking good somehow boosts my self-esteem:)

And so it's been a habit of mine to check different styles of clothes and stuff. So far, the site of The Chic Fashionista has been very helpful. It's very informative for people (like me!) who badly need a crash course in fashion. Through this site, you will get to know your body shape, face shape , the perfect color for you and the likes (which are really essential in finding the right clothes) plus the latest trend and some useful fashion tips that will definitely change your shopping habit. I have learned so much from this site... errrr... at least theoretically!lol We'll see when I go shopping...

Gamjatang (감자탕)

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It was a bit late already when Asul arrived home last night and I forgot to take out the "naengche" (chilled cucumber soup which Koreans usually eat in summertime) I made for him for dinner from the freezer (so it was not just chilled but frozen!) so I tried to talk him into eating out instead. We seldom do it on weekdays, anyway. And so we headed to the first restaurant we saw with a large GAMJATANG streamer outside.



"Gamjatang" is a spicy pork bone stew. The word “gamja” means potato and “tang” means stew. Its rich broth is made from boiled pork backbone. This stew generally has assorted vegetables such as cabbage, mushrooms, parsley, green onions and bean sprouts and seasoned with garlic and red chili pepper. This dish is known to be rich in proteins, calcium and Vitamin B1 (from the pork bones) and is believed to prevent snoring as well as aging.


I was just wondering, though. It's called "gamjatang" but I only saw a chunk of potato in it. How come?!lol

Hear ye! Hear ye!

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1. To receive this award your blog must be exceptional in design and content; presenting us with new knowledge, a sense of style, or at times just giving us a smile!
2. Each recipient of the award will acknowledge (through a link) the person who honored them with the award.

It was so kaka-windang for someone to actually give me this award (i'm so feeling it!haha:) thanks jehan! (por dat sineryoso ko talaga!:)

I also actually have a few people I want to pass this award to. They don't really need this award anymore but I'd like to pass this to them just the same :)

Ate Betchay (nyay! okay lang ba na ate?!lol)- Her blog was the first ever blog about Korea I stumbled into (how can it not be? it's all over google?!lol). I have had a daily dose of it since then. Very informative and there's always something new so it's never boring. Ate Betchay's so accommodating, too! (kala ko mahirap siyang ma-reach!lol) I only sent her an email once to ask her about the school she goes to and she really took her time to reply. She even gave me her number! (first Pinay I got in touch with since I arrived here:)

Ate Wendy (ate rin?!lol) - Her blog is not only very informative but intellectually stimulating as well:) I also love reading her posts about her Little Dynamo :) Plus, she accepted my invite in Multiply (though we barely know each other!) Thanks po!


Cher- How she presents info about Korea is so engaging that you will be left craving for more:) I also love seeing her baby Zach's pictures... soooooooo adorable:)


Emma- I so love her writing style. Witty, at times mushy (a lot of her posts shout "every girl's sentiment!"... well, at least in my opinion) and she has her way of making her posts come to life which makes you look forward to what she's gonna write about next.


Asian Conqueror- Nakakatanggal ng stress ang kanyang mga posts!lol and I was so na-lurkei with his reply when I wrote a comment in his blog once!:)


Thanks guys! Reading your posts made being an expat here in Korea less hard for me (and quite fun,too!) especially when I was having plenty of emo moments when I first arrived here:)

oh,and I want to add Mitch, a dear friend for more than a decade (we're so not getting young anymore!!) it's just so nice to stay updated to what's happening to her (but I hate it when I drool over the food pics she keeps on posting!lol)

Keep on writing people! I'm one your avid readers:)

Shopaholic

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Ooopps! Not me, (I do have the tendency though!:) but Rebecca Bloomwood, Sophie Kinsella's heroine in her shopaholic series.

I first saw the book, Confessions of a Shopaholic, in National Bookstore like 6 years ago (but it was actually first published in 2000). It easily caught my attention because of its girlish cover (soooper pink:) but I didn't really pay much attention to it because I was usually checking other books (and it was not as if I was going to actually buy it there! I was more of a BookSale person!:)


Anyway, Asul happened to have a copy which, take note, he found in the airport! Apparently, somebody left it (shhhhh, finders keepers!:) And so I had the chance to read it.
It... was...so... hilarious! Becky was the type of protagonist who has a warm spirit and a big heart but prone to getting into trouble (especially being, obviously, a shopaholic herself). How her "damage-limitation brainwaves" work made me burst into laughter every time. I actually thought we have quite a similarity (what, with my overactive imagination and all!) Anyway, you should read it, really. If you're all stressed out and not in the mood for anything, this could be a real treat (It's way much better than watching the film! I was so disappointed it was nothing like the book and I wasn't even able to finish it!)

Being so satisfied with it, I looked for the other books Kinsella wrote. I bought the second book Shopaholic Takes Manhattan last year. The other two, Shopaholic Ties the Knot and Shopaholic and Sister, I purchased through the internet along with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (which all cost around 23,000 won (approx. $18)... quite good deal!:) and they just arrived a few days ago. I'm actually way too late now because there's Shopaholic and Baby already (in fact 2 years ago!) and there are several books presenting a new character as well.


hmmm... I'd be so busy devouring these books for the next few days. Can't wait to finish them all!

Panjak Panjak (sparkling:)

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Okay, so this is not about Girls' Generation.lol It's about the laser show we saw last Saturday in Cheonggyecheon in the upstream area of Gwanggyo near Jonggak Station.

It was actually Digital Canvas, a type af art using lasers and fog fountains, created by a renowned French artist Laurent Francois. I thought the show would run for like 30 minutes nonstop, rest for a while then resume afterwards. But no! The show was only for 8 minutes every 30 minutes from 8-10pm. Por dat, hinintay talaga namin:)

The soooooper amateur video below was only a clip of the first part of the show:) The latter part was much nicer:)

video

The show will run until January next year. It will start however from 6pm and end at 8pm from October.

Festival Galore

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It has been almost a week since Asul and I had been to Cebu, Baguio, Bacolod, Davao and Aklan all in one day without flying back to the Philippines!lol

The Philippine Embassy in Seoul, with the help of different organizations, brought some of the most popular festivals in the Philippines to South Korea as part of the celebration of the 14th Filipino Migrant Workers Day, 111th Philippine Independence Day and the 60th Year of the Philippines-Korea Bilateral Relations.

It was held in Banpo Park.

This was the really nice fountain which could be seen from the venue of the festivity.

Pilipinas. It was quite a performance (kahit mejo parang nalurkei na sila sa bandang huli!lol) And I thought it would just work in dark places!:)


SINULOG of Cebu City.


PANAGBENGA. A festival of flowers in Baguio City:)


ATI-ATIHAN. From Kalibo, Aklan.


KADAYAWAN. A thanksgiving festival in Davao City.


MASSKARA. A parade of masks in Bacolod City.

And FLORES de MAYO/Santacruzan which is celebrated across the nation.

A musical concert was held after the street dances. This is THE FORTISSIMO, a Filipino group based in Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seoul. (Na-LSS ako sa "Oh my love, my darling, I've hungered for your t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-touch" lol)

We didn't stay till the festival ended because I noticed how tired Asul looked. So we just took some pictures instead and then went home...

This is me with my newfound friend. She's my classmate in my Korean language class:) (danda ng view... tsaka, sige na nga, kami na rin!lol:)

iL-Bak-i-iL (1night, 2days): Final Stop

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We saw more of Yeongju the rest of the afternoon and we visited "Seo Won" and Buseoksa Temple.

Seo Won was the first national authorized private high school institute. It was so neat and the environment was so relaxing (too much sun was still burning my skin, though because it was around 12:30 in the afternoon!)

This used to be the students' dormitory.

And this was a diorama of their classroom set-up (they all looked serious!lol)

And this was where they kept their books.

I didn't take more pictures because most of the structures looked similar to me. It was nice to see this kind of place though:)

We left for Buseoksa Temple afterwards.

Now, I have come to see several temples already and I was not actually very fond of them. However, what I appreciate more is the scenery around the structure. Many temples are located on the mountain and the view could really be breathtaking.

This was what welcomed us right after we got off the bus:)

Apple trees we saw on our way up to the mountain.

See how the couple in front of us alternately carried their son?! That's how tiring our hike was!

And this was the start of the 108-step-stairs going up to reach the main hall.

The structure above is the main hall of Buseoksa. It is famous for being one of the oldest wooden buildings in the country. It was nice inside especially the ceiling but we were not allowed to take any pictures.

Asul freshening up:) The water's really cool!


On our way down...

It was around 3:00 pm when we left Yeongju and we were finally back in Seoul around 7:00 pm.

THOUGHTS:

I just wish the weather wasn't deadly hot. It definitely made the trip less enjoyable. And I also wish I was good at Korean. Our guide spoke in Korean and I got tired asking Asul for translation(he probably got fed up answering my questions,too!) And also, I felt so bad knowing that most of the foreign spouses I met were way much better in speaking the language to think that some of them studied only on their own (and I have two classes! kumusta naman?!) anyways...

Over all, it was definitely an amazing trip (what's more amazing than being able to go on a trip for free?!lol) And learning and seeing more of Korea makes me appreciate this country more. Hope URI gets in touch with us again next year!lol :)

iL-Bak-i-iL (1night, 2days): Etiquette

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After breakfast on the second day of the trip, we had an hour session about Korean "ye-beob" or etiquette.

I have bowed in front of my mother-in-law several times and the rest of the family once but I had no idea whether I was doing the right thing or not. And Asul didn't bother checking me anyway. The thing I knew though is that we bow only once in front of people who are alive and two and a half for dead people.

I remember Dae Jang Geum's first few epsiodes where young girls were being taught how to bow. I finally was able to learn it, too!

We were first taught how to put on "ye beok" or Korean men's school uniform before.

We were all seated on the floor while the teacher was demonstrating how to put on the ye- beok.

Asul and me in our ye-beok:)

Asul was definitely the cutest!haha

Emote!:)

Presenting... the graduates?!LOL These were the Koreans and foreign spouses who joined the camp. No kids were around because the staffs found a way to keep them busy (to avoid disturbing their parents!:)

iL-Bak-i-iL (1night,2 days): Traditional Motel?!:)

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At last! After a long hot day, we were finally done with the day's itinerary. And so we went to Seon bi Munhwa Su ryeon won (Seon bi means gentleman:) where we spent the night. It was located in Yeongju near Andong in North Gyeongsang province. It was like a very small village with traditional korean houses they call "Haneok". Asul told me that it was originally for people who would like to meditate or go on a retreat.




This is the entrance. And you can see ASul somewhere there in the middle!:)


Everyone's wondering where their rooms were. Bangenge na ko nito.



They looked so nice... felt like I was Dae Jang Geum!lol:)


And this was where we slept! Complete with a fan, an aircon, pillows and warm blankets, errr.... fire extinguisher?! (masyado silang prepared!lol) and complimentary bottles of water (o, di va?!) The only problem was we had roommates in this tiny room... you know, bugs, mosquito and any tiny crawling and flying elements! It was understandable because the place was literally in the middle of nowhere with mountains and stuffs all around. Good thing the room had screen plus they provided insecticide. It was a really a unique experience.

This was taken the next day early in the morning:) hmmm.... fresh na fresh,lol

Asul again.. with our second Japanese-Korean son!haha:)


sigh*

It was still an exciting day ahead...

iL-Bak-i-iL (1night,2 days): Hahoe Mask Dance Drama

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Before leaving the village, we had the chance to watch the Hahoe Mask Dance Drama which is one of Korea's most traditional folk plays. It was believed that one should watch this drama at least once in his lifetime or he won't go to heaven (sigh* glad I was able to see it!lol)

The villagers before performed this drama to please their local goddess and exorcise evil spirits. It was also their way of praying for abundant harvest, peace and prosperity.

The characters in the drama also represent social classes which were satirized to relieve the social tension among the families in the village.

The young lady dancing on the shoulder represents the local goddess. She was asking the people to make offerings for their blessings and wealth.

They were the male and female Juji (lion) dancing and playfully fighting.

And they were the ones giving some groove to the drama,lol. They provide the sound effect kumbaga!lol with traditional Korean instruments.

The big brown bull which forgot its manners!lol tama bang magweewee?!lol It was fun, though.. not the bull but the reaction of the audience:)

A butcher killed the bull and took out its heart and cut out its testicles. He then asked the spectators to buy them... anyone? errrrr... no thanks!:)

I love this character! Her "grandmother dance" was so funny!lol (What's a grandmother dance anyway? Actually, i just made it up. I guess it's the way I've seen a grandmother dances!lol) Anyway, she portrays a granny who became a widow three days after her wedding at the age of 14! And that's a hand loom with her. This act showed the conflict among social classes and the pain of life for common people.


And she was the treasurer i guess?lol

The man was a wandering monk who got attracted to a young lady. He caught her peeing and even smelled her pee when she was gone... seriously!lol This act criticized the corruption in religion of their time.

These three represented the scholar, the fool and the busybody.

This was the most interesting part: seeing the "Man in the WOODEN Mask"! lol There was only one woman in the cast. Most parts were portrayed by men.

The thing that I noticed the most though was the enthusiasm of the crowd. There were many foreigners, yes. But I noticed there were more Koreans in the audience. It was just amazing to see the Korean people's appreciation of what they call their own. I know I wouldn't be THAT enthusiastic while watching "balagtasan" or hearing a "kundiman". (see the attitude? i hope my country doesn't make me an exile!lol) But I know it's still something that we Filipinos should work on.