TRAVEL: Around Taiwan (Taipei/New Taipei City) in B&W (part 1)

Traveling with my parentals is a double-edged sword. You’d love them because they’re not a killjoy and they wouldn’t say no for any adventure. On the other hand, you’d hate them because they do not like traveling if everything isn’t arranged/booked ahead of time.

A little backstory: my parents had a traumatic experience when we first went out of the country. We visited Malaysia and we didn’t have any itinerary with us; totally cool for us kids but a hassle for these adults. We were there for more than a week and we didn’t know what to do. As soon as we got home, my mum and dad said that we won’t travel anymore without booking with a travel agency to arrange everything for us.

The last time we all traveled together was in 2018. We visited Taiwan, per my mum’s request. As you’d expect, everything has been arranged by a travel agency. Despite a delightful experience, I still didn’t like it when the tour had to cut short because we’re following a strict itinerary and schedule.

Fact: I hate traveling when I’m pressed with time.

We were in Taiwan for about 5 days. We went around Taiwan, as far as Taichung, but for this post, I’m going to feature some snippets during our time in Taipei and New Taipei City.

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I love the ceiling of the Taipei International Airport.
A little aerial glimpse of Taipei at night time.
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Around Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial.
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Inside Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial.
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Witnessed the changing of guards at the Martyrs’ Shrine.
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Taipei has lots of gaming/arcade centers and this was one of them. I saw this cute couple whispering something to each other and took a photo of them.
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A nice graffiti art somewhere near Ximenting.
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Ximenting at night.
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Trying to find my luck for a local sim in Zhongshan District.
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Right outside of our hotel (Hotel B-1) in Zhongshan District).
Taipei 101
A view of the infamous Taipei 101 from below.
Beef Noodles
Local Taiwan Beef Noodles at Chef Hung Taiwan Beef Noodles at Ruihu Street, Taipei.

For some weird reason, I didn’t want to use my camera (Nikon D3200) to take photos and videos. Instead, I opted to use my old Samsung Galaxy S8 and tried shooting everything on B&W.

What I love about Taipei and New Taipei City during our visit was the cleanliness. I love how refreshing it is to see how things are highly organised and how the air isn’t as humid as it is in Manila.

If you fear that the language barrier will stop you from exploring (most people don’t speak English and would only be comfortable conversing in Chinese/Mandarin), you shouldn’t get worried. In fact, you can either Google your way to your destination or simply hail Uber if you feel a little extra (yes, they have Uber in Taiwan – how I miss Uber in the Philippines!)

I highly suggest getting their local cuisine. Taiwan is really known for its rich selection of food. I recommend going to Chef Hung Taiwan Beef Noodles shop and enjoy their Taiwan Beef Noodles + unlimited noodles and soup!

More photos (and stories about my parents) on my next blog – until then!

Travel Notes: 20 October 2018

Quezon City, Philippines

It was Becs’s idea to meet up here at Marindo, a newly opened restaurant located at the heart of Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City. Conveniently located at the G/F of Manhattan Garden, it’s not that hard to find but caveat that there are no parking space available except the open parking outside.

They were operational since 6 October and serves Indonesian-Malay menu. I MUST try their Laksa, even if it meant skipping my diet for the night, and boy, it did not disappoint for something worth PHP195 ($3.61). I’ve also ordered Vegetable Fritters for PHP90 ($1.67) for everyone (not in the photos) which was surprisingly good and it reminded Japan’s Okonomiyaki but less savoury which is what I like. ($1 = PHP54)

The first I’ve noticed was probably the clean vibe that Marindo exuded and I have to give it to those white walls, clean utensils and Instagram-worthy lighting which only some restaurants have. They operate on a self-service set up and you have to pay as you order, so please do not expect this to have a fine-dining set up.

Some of the best people I’ve known for roughly 9 years, albeit my first time to meet Marvz with Kiefer today. Thanks for Jeric, too, for still going all the way to Cubao from Cogeo even if it was already late. If it wasn’t for Becs‘s business (go check @powercasesmnl!), this wouldn’t be possible. Look at what I’ve ordered from them too, and it costs way cheaper than your Starbucks Venti drink! It was seeing everyone last night, and I think I should do this more often now. X

Weekly Update: Week 32

Work Life

Some of the former Sourcing Team. From left to right: Mama Nica, Jylla, and Louise, who were all from the Offsite Team and are now part of the Selection Team; Clarize, who were originally from the Call Outs Team and is now part of the Management of Information System Team; Blue, my former supervisor in Sourcing; Rich, former Leads Generation for Online; Gian, former Digital and Marketing Specialist for Recruitment and Site; and myself, former Leads Generation for Employee and Applicant Referrals, and is now calling it off. 🙂
After midnight dinner/bonding/chikahan. I’ll miss everyone for sure.

While the earth is getting blessed by the rain and the cool wind from the North, I am grateful to have survived yet another busy but fulfilling week. I reward myself with a good 16 hour sleep today, coming from a late night out with my team mates at Mercato Centrale BGC.

We were grateful to have Miss C’s presence last night and boy, her stories and her kindness never fail to amaze and inspire us! She’s been our mentor, our dearest friend, and our biggest supporter ever when we’re all still in the Sourcing Team.

Yes, I’m confirming it here—I’m resigning from my company due to health reasons and because I’ll be moving out. It has been couple of weeks—exactly a month from the time I’m writing this—when I’ve had my Urinary Track Infection, kidney stones, and high uric acid count and I haven’t been well since then. I literally had to fake it till I make it, but unfortunately didn’t pull it off. I couldn’t walk properly because of the pain and all my savings were gone in a snap to support my medication. I tried my best to take care of my body better but just failed at addressing the real problem.

I didn’t want to blame my work because I love Sourcing but because I’m handling everything in Sourcing now—without a supervisor and team mates—the work load is taking its toll on me. Up to yesterday, I was responsible in handling Leads Generation for online postings  for both Facebook and Jobstreet, Leads Generation for Employee and Applicant Referrals, Job Fair leads consolidation, school coordination and tie ups, and online/digital marketing. At the same time, I was responsible, too, in doing call outs and invites to all the leads that I’ve encoded. I couldn’t fit everything in the 9 hours shift (including lunch, or working lunch if I may add) so I would normally be in the office for more than 13 hours in a day. I would come in at exactly 8 AM and would go home around 11 PM, 12 in the midnight.

I love my job and everything about Sourcing but my company does not love me back.

A simple reminder yet something difficult to keep in mind and do. Photo taken at Serenitea at Bonifacio One Technology Tower, 31st Street.

Food Discoveries!

Recently, I’ve been discovering good places to dine in with my friends and team mates around Bonifacio Global City. I always consider the place and the proximity. Scrap price from the equation! When we talk about food, I believe you cannot compromise quality over anything else. First on my list is Passion by Gerard Dubois.

Passion by Gerard Dubois

A little piece of heaven on Earth.

Passion by Gerard Dubois (or the awesome French bakery according to Ms C. Haha!) is at Shop C2 of the NetPark, 5th Ave, Taguig, 1634 Metro Manila. From its website, I quote, “…patrons seeking a traditional French café experience can sit back to savour a crispy oven-to-plate baguette with a rich chocolat chaud, in a homey country cottage décor and the aroma of freshly baked bread.” 

A slice of Framboisier from Passion by Gerard Dubois is something you need in your life when things aren’t going your way. See more at Kimmy’s Instagram.

Passion makes you feel that you are in that place in Paris, France where you enjoy a peaceful, laid-back, sunny day by a plate of French goodies and a cup of good coffee. I’m not the type of person who is particular with the interiors and whatnot but Passion amazes you with its concept and upbeat vibe.

A platter full of Royal Potato Salad to share with your family and friends, best when served cold. If you’re a big fan of salad, then this is a must try! See more photos at Kimmy’s Instagram.

Food and quality wise, Passion by Gerard Dubois serves only the best. From good pastries, freshly baked goodies, mouth-watering pasta, and delicious flat bread, to awesome sandwiches, thirst-quenching beverages, and delightful desserts, Passion is a good definition of a little piece of heaven on Earth.

Passion is open daily from 8 AM to 11 PM.

A cup full of Strawberry Gelato for only Php98! Why strawberry? I don’t think I need to answer this as I’m clearly stating the obvious. Ha! See more photos at Kimmy’s Instagram.
A fix of a good cappuccino in this gloomy, rainy weather is something we all need, even if I don’t drink coffee these days anymore.

Chicken & Beer

Passion, indeed, was a runaway winner this week but I can never forget my experience in Chicken & Beer with—who else?—my team mates.

Sourcing Team almost complete! Missed Em and Kim that night.
All smiles because food has arrived! From left to right: Me, Clarize, Blue, Rich, Louisa, Mama Nics, Chef, Louise, Gian, Jylla, and Jann.

I really have a love and hate relationship with spicy food. I was never a fan of any spicy food but I keep eating it anyway. We ordered Paris Chicken (8 pcs for Php 325), Hot Wings* (8 pcs for Php 325), Honey Garlic Chicken (6 pcs for Php 335), and Original Chicken (6 pcs for Php 295), 1 rice per person, and tons of water!!!

*It’s really, really, really, really, really spicy!

Plates full of assorted chicken wings. How can that get any better? See more photos at Kimmy’s Instagram.

The place also plays and features Korean music videos, a good addition to the upbeat ambiance that it parades. And how else can you enjoy it? They serve ice-cold beers and tons of other liquor choices. It’s also allowed to smoke inside the premises, although my friends went out to smoke as a courtesy to others who dined in there, too.

Anyway, we had fun during the team’s open forum a.k.a. chikahan session while enjoying the good customer service provided by the crew of Chicken & Beer. What makes it more interesting is its fast service. All of our orders were complete in less than 15 minutes and that’s plus points to someone who values service and food quality over anything else.

Our food share per person: Php 170 + Php 70 for the booze I drank. My share: Php 240!

Personal Updates

I’ve been sick, lately, but it should never be an excuse not to dress up well and look good. It isn’t cheap to support your medication, take care of your skin, and to update your wardrobe from time to time—who said it’s going to be easy anyway? However, this isn’t about vanity but lifestyle.

You may look well outside—dressed up fine and dandy, living a good life—but dying inside, and I talk about this literally.

To those who’s asking why and how I’m losing weight, the only secret I have is to cut down my food intake. From my regular rice meals to my beloved soda, I had to give it all up and change it with fruits-oatmeal diet plan and water. Before, my calories intake would normally shoot up to 2000 to 2500 calories in a day and that’s without any exercise. I was tagged overweight for my height and age. Now, my calories intake is down to 1400 calories in a day—sometimes 1200 calories if the diet plan asks for it.

Not that I’m afraid to gain weight but it’s really about maintaining a healthier lifestyle now. My uric acid count is too high for my age and I couldn’t do anything but to eat healthier, live healthier, and be in medication maintenance.

Here’s to a healthier self! I’m doing the best that I can to fully recover ASAP and get started with my plans for the rest of the year.

Preppy and dressed down on a Sunday at Immaculate Conception Seminary when we visited my brother. Shirt from American Eagle, shorts from Uniqlo, shoes from Sperry, foot socks from Burlington. See more photos at Kimmy’s Instagram.
Rainy day essentials: boots from Caterpillar shoes, jogger jeans from Jag Jeans, pullover from my grandpa’s closet. See more photos at Kimmy’s Instagram.

++++

Seafood Aioli

 

More of Boyong’s(see here for my Creamy Pesto w/ Grilled Chicken post) I ordered this Seafood Aioli for 110 PHP. Imagine, getting a scrumptious meal for a very affordable price, what more can you ask for? Hallelujah, thank goodness!

Honestly, I got this because yours truly is a huge fan of any seafood pasta. It’s more into the richness of the flavours which I really am after. I like the pasta dry, and by dry meaning it wasn’t too oily. It wasn’t hard to eat because the pasta was well-done. The pasta came with a sliced, garlic-flavoured bread and a dash of Parmesan cheese. Those fish fillets came from Boyong’s newest addition to its men, and this is a must try! It’s a platter full of fried appetizers — fish fillet, fried squid rings, and chips — and it costs only for less than 300 PHP.

Visit Boyong’s at #15 E. Dela Paz Street, San Roque, Marikina, 1801 Metro Manila. Contact number: +63 (02) 682 0403.

Creamy Pesto w/ Grilled Chicken

Heading out for a Friday night but don’t know where to go? I best suggest you go and visit Boyong’s in Marikina City today.

This was a long, overdue post but I’m posting it anyway today. My friend ordered this at Boyong’s for 145 PHP only. It was my former office mate, Verna, who introduced me and my other office mates here. We had a blast, I shall say, and we enjoyed the food a lot. More than the good food, it was the ‘chill’ kind of environment which we did appreciate the most.

Boyong’s offers wide selection of affordable yet scrumptuous sandwiches, burgers and pastas, making it a very good way to beat the summer heat and to get those empty stomachs full. Visit Boyong’s at #15 E. Dela Paz Street, San Roque, Marikina, 1801 Metro Manila. Contact number: +63 (02) 682 0403.