The Quarter Life Wishlist

25 wishlistIn less than two weeks I’ll be turning 25. I’m excited and nervous and terrified. Truthfully, birthdays don’t always appeal to me. Instead of growing older, I’d rather grow taller. But as I mature (ha!), I learn to accept that it’s not so bad. Not that I’m getting any wiser, but there’s comfort in knowing that I don’t really have to rush anything.

I’m only 25! I have a lifetime ahead of me! Why am I panicking! So I learn to cope and pray for the best, because what else can you do right? (Answer: Do something about my situation, duh.)

Just like every year, I anticipate my birthday with a wishlist. Surprisingly, it’s a lot shorter than my previous wishlists. Maybe because I’m needing less material stuff and leaning more towards the immaterial yearnings of my heart. I’m kidding. I have about three dozen books on my to-buy list, but I have more than 50 unread books gathering dust at home.

I’d also love to get a MacBook Pro, but it’s next to impossible with my salary and non-stop spending. Instead, I’ll ask my lovely officemates to fix my vintage MacBook since they’re IT guys and all.

Now, off to my materialistic wishlist! Continue reading

Fall in Korea Day 4: Ihwa Mural Village at Naksan Park, Seoul

naksan park seoul featured photo

Fresh from Busan, our first day back at the Capitol capital of South Korea was spent exploring artsy-fartsy neighborhoods in Seoul. Despite being incredibly tired and groggy, we dragged ourselves out of our comfy hostel to travel all the way to Hyehwa-dong.

On my first trip to Seoul back in 2012, my family stayed in Hyehwa-dong but we didn’t get to explore the district. It’s known for the student theaters dotting the area, but we didn’t know that back then. This time, my friends I still didn’t go there to watch a play. Instead, we went to Hyehwa-dong to walk up to Naksan Park.

At Naksan Park, you can find the Ihwa Mural Village, which has been featured in numerous Korean dramas like Rooftop Prince. It’s an off-the-road destination, but just like the Gamcheon Culture Village in Busan, the community has turned into a booming tourist spot.

In 2006, the community transformed itself in what they called the Naksan Project. About 60 artists participated in painting the walls and installing art pieces around the area. Now, local and foreign tourists alike regularly visit the park. Continue reading

Fall in Korea Day 3: Busan Tower and BIFF Square

busan tower korea Some of the best things in life don’t last forever. Thus, our Busan trip sadly had to come to a close. It was short, but it’s definitely my favorite part of the trip. We decided to end the day exploring some of the popular landmarks in the province.

From the Jagalchi Fish Market, we flagged a taxi and asked to be dropped at Busan Tower located at Yongdusan Park. It’s near the market, but we wanted to save time so we rode a cab. The taxi driver drove away from Napo station, but ended up taking a U-turn and dropping us back near the market. Apparently, we merely had to cross a street or two to reach Busan Tower! We should have just asked for directions. Oh well.

The entrance of the stairway leading to the tower is at BIFF Square, but we decided to leave the shopping street for later.

On our way up to Yongdusan Park, two Korean college girls working for the tourism department asked us to answer their surveys. They asked us what’s the first thing that comes to mind when we think of Busan, and we unanimously answered, “CNBLUE!” Continue reading

My Life as a Night Owl in Bullet Points

life latelyThis lazy blogger is back, and I’m proving my laziness once again by writing this post! It’s a really quick update, mostly because I realized that I haven’t been doing much blogging around here.

As you already know, I started a new job last month. I’ve been a busy bee and adjusting to the night shift schedule has proven to be difficult. Not only do I get to start living life as a night owl, I also get to see people less! Even people around me are learning to sync their schedule with mine, and for that I’m eternally grateful. I feel like Alex has a more difficult time adjusting than I do!

The cons are more striking than the perks. First, I can no longer go on movie dates on weekdays because I’ll end up being late to work. Second, traveling with friends even on weekends is near impossible because I’m mostly asleep on a Saturday. Goodbye Batad, goodbye Nagsasa. Oh well. The things you have to sacrifice for you career, right?

It’s not so bad, though, because I am enjoying my schedule much more than I thought I would. Continue reading

Fall in Korea Day 3: Lunch at Jagalchi Fish Market in Busan

jagalchi fish market

Jagalchi Fish Market in Busan is known for the array of seafood available at any given time.  It is also Korea’s largest seafood market. Visitors can buy their fish and seashells, and bring it to a restaurant nearby and have it cooked or served as Hoe (Korea’s version of sushi).  However, this isn’t what we did when we visited the market.

Straight from Gamcheon Culture Village, we rode a taxi to take us to the fish market located near Napo Station. Though we know perfectly well how to get there by bus and subway, we decided to save on time instead of money because it was also our last day in Busan. We were incredibly hungry by that time, too, so we decided to have our lunch at Jagalchi Fish Market.

We didn’t doubt for one second that the taxi driver dropped us off at the wrong place. The moment we stepped out of the car, we were greeted by a lovely site of a street full of all things edible you can fish from the sea. Continue reading

Fall in Korea Day 2: Gamcheon Culture Village in Busan

gamcheon cultural village busan 8

When I reached the top of Gamcheon Culture Village, I wanted to shout, “Hello Busan!”

The view was pretty spectacular, and I knew that we made the right decision to visit the village and to forgo other popular attractions in the province. Nestled in a residential area of Taegukdo Village, Gamcheon has blossomed into a popular tourist attraction, far from the shanties that it used to be, back when it served as a home for war refugees.

I did a little research before going, and it was interesting to learn that after the Korean War, hundreds of families flocked to this little area in Busan to start a new life. The village is named after the religion Taegeukdo, in which most, if not all, the residents were followers. Now, the number of residents had drastically decreased from 20,000 to around 10,000, leaving most of the houses empty. Though the Taegeukdo temple in the area is still visited by believers, most of the residents of the village are no longer followers of the faith.

The local government had been hands on in transforming the little village into an arts and culture hub, while still maintaining its traditional identity. True to this, the commercialization has made little changes in the landscape of Gamcheon, only making the blank walls and streets a lot livelier with colors.

These days, the main roads are flooded by tourists, but some nooks and crannies are untouched by commercialization. I’m pretty the Hallyu wave helped popularize the village, thanks to shows like Running Man and We Got Married using it as a filming location. Continue reading