July 2014 – Guilin

This was the awe-inspiring view from my hotel room – typical Guilin, where the numerous mountains surrounding the area unexpectedly blend seamlessly with the growing amount of houses and buildings cropping up. Wait, Guilin? Yup, I was back in the beautiful city last July, and enjoyed every minute of it.

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January-February 2014, Boracay: Gone Beachin’

OH MY GOODNESS. Here I was since last month, complaining about having nothing to blog about. Then, our Mindoro trip happened, and I had all the time in the world to put up the pictures and blog about it. While checking my blog, however, I discovered that I DID NOT FINISH MY SERIES ON BORACAY. 😦 I just started with an “arrival” post, but never got around to finishing the other pictures. Dayum. My forgetfulness is having too much of a good time.

So without further ado…

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My 2014 Valentine’s

How did you spend your Valentine’s this year? Yeah, I know… “seriously, you’re asking me this question one month after Valentine’s?!”

But you see, that’s because I want to share mine:

DSC_82001) beautiful young girls; Continue reading

September 2013, Nanjing – Work

Is this blog going to be a travel blog? I certainly wouldn’t mind, but what about the new nail polishes that are purchased from time to time? 😮 Ahaha.

Anyway, God has blessed me again by giving me the opportunity to travel (again) to China (again) for translation work. That’s my third visit to China this year, and the third new place in China I have been to! Blessings truly abound. Not only that, I had the privilege of working for and beside Dr. Peter Tan-Chi and his wife Deonna, people who I truly look up to in the areas of spiritual guidance and parenting.

A photo diary of our almost week-long work days:

Nanjing Jinling HotelNanjing Jinling HotelWas so blessed to have been booked at one of the best hotels in Nanjing, the five-star Jinling Hotel. They have good service (considering how bad service is in China), and their breakfast buffet is to die for! One unrelated point: I got my fill of bacon and cheese in their breakfast buffet. 😀

Nanjing Jinling HotelNanjing Jinling HotelNanjing Jinling HotelNanjing Jinling HotelNanjing Jinling HotelLOOK at that magnifying mirror. It’s an honest-to-goodness one that really magnifies, and is not of the sucky quality of those cheap ones sold outside. I wish I had a mirror like this for my makeup everyday!

Nanjing Jinling HotelDSC_6026DSC_5953Le new boss.

DSC_5957DSC_5961DSC_5965DSC_5977Although their church is recognized by the government – in fact, the land their church was built on was donated by the government!! – to be sure, no close-up shots of the participants will be posted.

DSC_5974DSC_5982DSC_5962DSC_6002This was our work setup. To be honest, I wasn’t too excited about it at first just because it reminded me so much of a traditional church where I easily fell asleep, but I warmed up to it after a few hours!

DSC_6007DSC_5984DSC_6010DSC_6023Lunch breaks took me back to pack-lunch days in Jinan University.

DSC_6036DSC_6045DSC_6054DSC_6060DSC_6073DSC_6076Well, this photo deserves to be posted. 🙂 In the Lord’s work, if there is a group of 100 people with only 5 people inside who are actually willing to learn and work, then our travel has not been in vain. 🙂


July 2013 – Guilin – Liu Sanjie Impressions 印象刘三姐

Quite a weird name for a show, no? Not the most attractive, in my opinion, but wait until you see the show:

印象刘三姐印象刘三姐印象刘三姐印象刘三姐Here’s the entrance. Looks like a villa or something, right? Almost resort-like. Needless to say, it got me intrigued. So we went inside, checked in with our tickets, and got seated…

印象刘三姐Wow. Amazing, right? They truly picked this place right!

We were seated far in the back, so we were able to have this overall view. Once you get in, you are given a disposable plastic raincoat as well, just in case there’s an unexpected shower. Quite thoughtful, actually!

印象刘三姐印象刘三姐印象刘三姐We waited for quite some time, and were already getting a bit impatient. Pretty soon dusk faded into night, and we suddenly got this:

印象刘三姐Everybody literally went “whoa!” at this. This was even more stunning in person. See, China, at what plain white light can do? SO much better than the usual technicolor lights!

印象刘三姐印象刘三姐印象刘三姐印象刘三姐印象刘三姐Overall, the show was about the different cultures of China and certain customs even I haven’t seen before. All of them extravagantly use light and different colours to make a truly show-stopping experience. Right before the show, we learned that it was actually directed by Zhang Yimou, one of the best directors (if not the best!) in China. He was also the one who directed the jaw-dropping opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. I must say, I enjoyed the show because there was a good combination of showmanship and discipline throughout the show that didn’t read tacky (quite common in Chinese performances…), and showed the director behind it all. This was one of the better experiences we had in Guilin! 🙂


July 2014, Guilin – The Arrival

Moving on to better and more recent events! LOL anyway. Remember when I was blogging about Beijing, and just awed by the fact that God made a way for me to return to China, and in a place I’ve never been? Well, after recovering from the excitement of Beijing last May, God allowed me more than a month of routine and rest before dropping the next bomb…

I’m going to Guilin! (桂林) Woohoo! 😀

For those unfamiliar, Guilin is an insanely beautiful place. It’s surrounded by naturally formed mountains, giving any shot (yes, even a random shot inside the city) a natural charm. It’s comparable to Switzerland in the sense that, wherever you go, there’s always a mountain to be seen behind any structure. 🙂

GuilinWe had quite a lovely welcome from our hosts, and I quickly learned that a main fixture in Guilin cuisine is luo han guo (siraitia grosvenorii in English – try getting a mouthful of that!), a sweet fruit whose inherent sweetness is 7 times sweeter than sugar. SEVEN! (Wikipedia says 300! OMG) The ironic thing is, it’s used as a treatment for diabetes, among others – now that is something my dad and other diabetics would like! Natural sweetener, safe for diabetics!

GuilinGuilinOne thing different about this trip is that I’m not so free to divulge the identity of the people who hosted us and the people we worked with. Disclaimer, though: this place which they run is approved and regulated by the government, so no worries there. However, better be safe than sorry, though! #sensitivematters

GuilinGuilinGuilinTake a gander at this thing. Dust, shine, and polish in one! We couldn’t really figure it out, but if it works, it must be amazing!

GuilinGuilinGuilinWe had comfortable rooms in a beautiful ambiance of nature… however, again, we’re not free to disclose where we were. If there’s something I can tell you, it’s that by actually living there, we got into trouble and managed to squeak out by the tiniest skin of our necks. Yes, actual drama went on!

GuilinGuilinDSC_5502Another thing I can tell you: I was there as a translator. The picture you see is of Ptr. Jim, our trainer, and Nancy, my fellow translator. I owe everything I learned about translating to her!

GuilinGuilinGuilinTo end this random post about our first few days at Guilin, behold – the famous 桂林米粉 (Guilin rice noodles)! I am NOT a fan of noodles, but I gulped down as much of this bowl as I could. Super delicious! To avoid a bad first impression, especially if you’re not a noodle person, I suggest you go to this place. (See the picture above with the sign and telephone number.) According to our hosts, who are locals of Guilin, this store has the best one in town!


2013 Chinese Teachers’ Yearly Meeting – Naga City

Naga CityLet’s post something more recent before we go down the photos of months past, shall we? Last August was the three-day meeting & seminar of all the Chinese schools in Luzon, happening once every two years. This year’s host was Naga City, and let’s be honest – I was more excited about seeing my friends and being reunited with them than the actual seminar itself. Ha! 😀

DSC_5727Every year of this event, several teachers prepare for an actual class like the usual (yes, it’s not a demo-teaching), the only difference being us and all the other teachers are there watching you. This year, my friend Janne got to do not one, but two classes, and pulled it off with aplomb! So proud of you, Date! ❤

DSC_5739DSC_5729DSC_5751Day time for work, night time for play! We spent one night at the local Starbucks (WHEN SHALL LUCENA CITY HAVE STARBUCKS?!) and another night at a cute little café named White Bean. This was the only photo I got using the DSLR, but the whole area was like this – quirky cute and whimsical.

Naga CityNaga CityNaga CityNaga CityNaga CityNaga CityNaga CityOne thing I have to say: their strawberry cheesecake was amazing. I haven’t had a lot of cheesecakes in my life, yes, but for me this one takes the cake. (Har har.) However, good food is only half as good if you’re not with people you love, right? 😉