7N/7D of Winter in Busan-Seoul (with Ski info)

I posted some tipid (thrifty) tips and learned that a lot of Filipinos are still interested in going to South Korea. I thought the hype died down because of the requirement to go through travel agencies now which makes it more expensive and more of a hassle. Actually the fee is minimal, but ofcourse I’d rather not pay anything for something I can do on my own. Also, I’m surprised a lot still wants to go during winter. Maybe given that we live in a tropical country. I personally would avoid it if I can. I was able to visit South Korea during Winter, Spring and Fall. I’d say Fall is still the best season to visit.

Anyways, because of this, I got an inspiration to share info again. The itinerary, instructions and estimated expenses below were drafted in 2017. But before I wrote this article, I checked and confirmed that they are still applicable. 🙂

Itinerary..

korea iti png

To see this more clearly.. https://www.facebook.com/wanderrina/photos/a.1117731958406634/1117731968406633/?type=3&theater

Details on the itinerary above..

BUSAN 09Jan to 12Jan
Day 0 (09Jan Mon) – Travel from Airport to Haeundae
City Bus:
Bus 307 (To Haeundae)
Go to: Domestic/International Terminal 1st Floor Bus Stop 3
Price: Cash 1,300Won / Card 1,200Won
First bus : 05:15, Last bus : 23 : 20 (Interval: 20 minutes)
Or Subway:
Airport Station (Busan-Gimhae Line) → Sasang Station (Line 2) → Haeundae Station
Fare: 1,900 KRW / Approx 1hr 20min
-Haeundae Spa
Open 24 hours
Cost: 7,500W jjimjilbang (10,000W after 9pm)
– 5 minute walk from the Haeundae Bus Terminal
– 5 minutes from Subway Station (Line 2), Exit 1
-10 minute walk from the Tourist Information Center
– 5 minute walk from Paradise Hotel
Day 1 (10Jan Tues)
-Haedong Yonggung Temple
5am-8am, FREE
Haeundae Station (Busan Subway Line 2), Exit 7.
Take Bus 181 and get off at Yonggungsa Temple Bus Stop.
-Taejongdae
9am to sunset, FREE, 3-4hrs
Bus within @2,000W
From Busan Station, take Bus 88 or 101 and get off at Taejongdae Cliff Bus Stop.
Other buses bound for Taejongdae: No. 8, 13, 30, 88, or 101.
-Check in: Kimchee Busan Guesthouse (W9,000)
Nampo! BIFF Square!
Nampo Station (Line 1). Exit 1 or 3 – Shopping street OR: Jagalchi Station (Line 1). Take Exit 7, cross the street, and BIFF Square will be on your  left. Look for the yellow and red umbrellas.
Day 2 (11Jan Wed)
-Bujeon Market
-Seomyeon Medical Street
Check in: ​Guesthouse 710 in Haeundae (W10,000)
Day 3 (12Jan Thurs)
AM: Jog along Haeundae shore, check out Wet Market
-Centum City
-BIFF
PM: Bus to Seoul (General) W23,000@
Departure time
12:30 14:40 16:40 18:30 20:30
http://www.kobus.co.kr/web/eng_new/schedule_result.jsp –if this won’t work anymore try the main page, then translate this page to English. https://www.kobus.co.kr/main.do
SEOUL 13Jan to 16Jan
Day 3 (12Jan Thu)
Check-in: Kimchee Downtown Guesthouse W44,000/pax (11,000W/night)
Day 4 (14Jan Fri)
-Ski (Jisan Forest Resort) W21,000 (check for 20% foreigner or credit card discount)
Gangbyeon Station – exit 4 (Dongseoul Bus Terminal)
Bus to Icheon W4,700
From Icheon to Jisan (Bus #12). T-money W1,200. 15-20 mins.We decided to go here as it is close to Seoul and is accessible via pubic transportation. ​i.e., 1) Board a train to Gangbyeon Station – exit 4 (Dongseoul Bus Terminal); 2) take bus to Icheon; and 3) From Icheon bus terminal, board Bus #12 and get off at Jisan Ski Resort. Note: Go as early as possible if public transportation is used since when we went the last bus from Jisan to Icheon Bus terminal left around 5~5:30pm. There are ski gear rentals along the way. They offer as low as P500/hr but if you are a newbie, I’d say better get the package from the resort.
-Gangnam
Shopping max: W25000 (P1,100)

winter in korea 2

If it’s not winter this day would have been for Everland. The 2nd happiest place in South Korea~ after Nami Island. ❤

Day 5 (15Jan Sat)
-Nami (Jamsil Station) or
Seoraksan (Gangbyeon Station) W3,500
Line 2, Exit 4 >> Dong Seoul bus terminal, 06:25 to 23:00
Sokcho intercity bus or Sokcho express bus: W17,300
Sokcho bus -> So Gong Won bus stop: KRW 1,100 (BUS No 7 or 7-1)
-Ehwa Shopping max: W20,000 (P1,000)
-Hongdae Shopping max: W10,000 (P500)
Day 6 (16Jan Sun)
-Yeouido (Yoido Full Gospel Church, Han River)
-Myeongdong Shopping max: W50000 (P2,200)
Day 7 (17Jan Mon)
-Seoul Fortress Wall
http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_6.jsp?cid=1982051
-Dongdaemun
-Nandaemun

Estimated Expenses: ±P15,000 excluding airfare.

Normal promo fares are around 5k round trip with excessive baggage allowance ;p ..So that’s an estimate of around P20k, all in!

Also, on flights, aside from Cebupac and Airasia, try checking Jeju Air too. Their promo fares are literally cheap~

 PHP  KRW Cash/Credit Note
Taxi to NAIA  200 Credit
Airport tax  1,630 Credit
Train to Busan (Heaundae) 1,900 Cash
Jjimjilbang 10,000 Cash
Haedong Yonggung Temple 3,000 Cash est fare
Taejongdae 2,000 Cash
Kimchee Busan Guesthouse 9,000 Cash
Guesthouse 710 in Haeundae 10,000 Cash
Bus Seoul to Busan 23,000 Credit
Kimchee Downtown Guesthouse 44,000 Cash (KRW11,000/night)
Ski (Jisan Forest Resort) 21,000 Credit
Bus to Icheon 4,700 Cash
Seoraksan 31,000 Cash Bus Fares and Entrance
Transpo (P300*6days) P2,000 40,000 Cash
Food (P600*6days) P3,600 72,000 Cash
Total 1,830 271,600
Total in PHP (KRW1:PHP.05)            15,410

Hope you find the above helpful. Comments, suggestions, inquiries, clarifications and even violent reactions are welcome. :p

 

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The Mask of Sarcasm

I hated myself for being so grumpy.

Then I hated myself for hating myself.

But sadly there were times that I just accept it as a fact of life.

I thought I just normally transitioned from being the senseless Patrick Star to the naive and dreamy Spongebob to being the old bitter Squidward.

Yeah, I know I’m not grumpy grumpy. But everyone around me knows I’m sarcastic. Like reaaally sarcastic.

And I think the feeling inside is just the same.

It’s heavy. It’s dark. Lifeless.

Especially if you have habitually used it as defense.

So today I won’t say sorry not sorry.

Cause today I am sorry.

I am sorry to the people I have hurt.

I am sorry to the people I did not forgive soon.

Why.

I have been too hard on myself that I have expected too highly from people around me too.

And when they don’t meet my expectations I get disappointed, sometimes even hurt, so easily.

So if a person appears, speaks or acts the way I don’t approve of I deassociate myself instead of trying to work it out.

But.

These past few days and especially yesterday God led me to see how prideful and unforgiving I am.

He has been slowly showing me how I was acting wise and worthy to judge.

He showed me how I was living an emotionally-driven life. Despite all the denials that I am not emotional.

I was brushing the offenses off by convincing myself I have forgiven.

But sadly they just piled up within. Pushed back in my innermost being. Pulled up whenever I feel defenseless and weak.

Still.

Thank God for His never-ending grace. Thank God that he never gave up on me like how I gave up on people.

He led me to see that I was unable to let go completely cause I think I deserve justice.

Then I was unable to move on because I didn’t believe things can change. That people change. And that even that is not my job.

At church yesterday I heard the preacher say that “Forgiveness is not a feeling. It is a decision to lift judgment.”

So.

Today I resolve to move away from the judgment seat. Today and going forward I will try to be quick to forgive and remember to ask for forgiveness. Not just in words and pretensions. Not just when I feel like it already. Not when it’s already too late.

I will trust that really God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose for them.”

Two Things. On Getting a U.S. Visa for Filipinos.

Oh yeah! I just survived that horror story of getting a Non-Immigrant U.S. Visa. And yes!! I got approved of a 10-year multiple entry visa without any annotations.

First of all, I thank Father God above all. I feel so much like a spoiled daughter. 😁

And now, for those who are eager to know those two things, let’s get straight to the point. What you need:

1. Compliance; and

2. Honesty.

More details:

  1. Go online. http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/ph-niv-visaapply.asp
  2. Pay the fee. http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/ph-niv-paymentinfo.asp
  3. Fill out Application Form (DS-160) truthfully. http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph/ph-niv-ds160complete.asp
  4. Schedule your appointment. (Create an account first. https://cgifederal.secure.force.com/?language=English&country=Philippines)
  5. Appear on the interview.
  6. Answer interview questions with all honesty.

Notes:

  • Most of the answers during the personal interview may be found on your application form. Then only further details related to those will be asked from you. Thus, consistency on the answers and confidence on what you are saying is key.
  • No document was asked from me during the interview. Not even my old passport. My new passport has only one trip stamped on it. (But as they all say, bring them just in case.)

Then, if you are curious to know what were the questions asked, here are some of those I can remember:

  1. What’s the purpose of your visit to the USA?
  2. What do you do (for work)?
  3. What’s the name of the Company you work for?
  4. How long have you been working there?
  5. Where do you work before that?
  6. Where do you stay here?
  7. But your parents are in Palawan?
  8. Where did you attend College?
  9. What course did you take up?
  10. Who lives with you here?
  11. Who’s coming with you on this trip?
  12. How much do you earn?
  13. What other countries have you visited? (He didn’t even let me finish. haha.)
  14. And you always travel solo on these trips?
  15. Do you have any relatives in the States?
  16. Do you know anyone in Guam
  17. Are you going to stay with him?

Quick background for those who can’t relate. In 2017 only 82% of U.S. Non-immigrant Visa got approved in the Philippines. That’s like 8 in every 10 applicants. Everybody always seem to know somebody whose application got rejected.

Because of this, a lot of myths has been going on regarding how you get approved and the reasons why one gets denied.

At the U.S. Embassy, while anxiously waiting for my turn for the interview, I checked out the TV presentation about these myths and the facts related to it. Some that I can remember (which I attest, are among those I always hear from people who applied before) are as follows:

  • You’ll get disapproved if you’re single, young, a nurse, and/or a student.
  • Only the rich gets an approved visa.
  • Pending immigrant visa will affect your Non-immigrant visa application.
  • The approval is based on the consuls’ subjective opinion.
  • The consuls have quota.

The related facts they provided are:

  • Your honesty is more important than your civil status/age/profession/financial status.
  • The approval of your application is subject to compliance with U.S. Immigration Laws.

And that’s it.

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Life of a Wanderlust – On Finances (or to where did they go)

Memories. Ofcourse, It’s obvious! I have no savings. Except for those I arranged for auto-deduction so I won’t be able to allot the budget for travelling. This is a must for all of us people. I know we have this strong desire that’s so hard to resist. So we do prevention rather than cure. Btw, those auto-deducted are more of investments than savings. But hey, I “believe” they are well-diversified. So yeah, sorry not sorry. And yeah, let us all strive to increase our financial IQ that we may be able to travel more in the future. HAHA.

Anyway, it’s that time of the year that I need to perform accounting of my personal finances. I do it every end of quarter, at mid-year, and ofcourse at the end-of-year. To see if I am still living a well-balanced imbalanced life. Haha.

Actually.. that’s all for the finance part. HAHA. Go educate your self. John Maxwell said, “Experience is not the best teacher; evaluated experience is the best teacher.” And I am not the best person to get evaluated on. :p (Except for those below. They are my treasures. Joke. Half-meant.)

I am here to share what happened with my  supposed-to-be quarter-end accounting. I just ended up tracking where I have been to. So the main purpose of this post is actually to help you guys with your budgeting by entertaining questions you might have in the future regarding the places I’ve been as listed below. For me, research is one of the must-have-been-done to travel cheap. So there you go!

Please don’t be shy. I’m always bored so I listen well. I will try to answer patiently. :p

Overseas:
May 2013 – Hongkong; Macau
Nov 2013 – Singapore; Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Jun 2014 – Bangkok, Thailand
Oct 2014 – Seoul, S. Korea
Apr 2015 – Seoul and Busan, S. Korea
Jun 2015 – Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Feb 2016 – Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Oct 2016 – Hanoi, Vietnam; Bangkok, Thailand; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Jan 2017 – Busan and Seoul, S. Korea
Jun 2017 – Osaka and Tokyo, Japan
Jun 2018 – Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Domestic:
(I can only easily track those after I joined Facebook. haha)
Apr 2009 – Subic, Zambales
Dec 2009 – Tagaytay, Cavite
Dec 2010 – Tagaytay, Cavite
Oct 2010 – Manaoag, Pangasinan; Baguio, Benguet
Apr 2011 – Puerto Princesa City, Palawan (Underground River)
Nov 2011 – El Nido, Palawan
Jun 2012 – Boracay, Aklan
Jul 2012 – Cebu, Cebu; Tagbilaran/Panglao/Loboc, Bohol
Apr 2013 – San Juan, Batangas (Laiya)
Aug 2013 – Davao, Davao del Sur; Samal, Davao del Norte
Dec 2013 – Laoag/Paoay/Pagudpod/Bangui/Batac, Ilocos Norte; Vigan, Ilocos Sur
May 2014 – Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
Nov 2014 – Sta. Cruz, Laguna; Tagaytay, Cavite
Apr 2015 – Puerto Princesa City, Palawan (Nagtabon)
Jul 2015 – Nasugbu, Batangas
Oct 2015 – Calayan, Cagayan
Dec 2015 – Rodriguez, Rizal (Mt. Pamintinan & Mt. Binacayan)
Jan 2016 – Tarnate, Cavite (Mt. Pico de Loro)
Mar 2016 – Moalboal/Badian/Oslob, (South) Cebu
Apr 2016 – Porac, Zambales
Apr 2016 – Baguio, Benguet
Jun 2016 – Dagupan, Pangasinan, Tinglayan, Kalinga; Baguio, Benguet
Nov 2016 – Cagayan de Oro, Cagayan de Oro; Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon; Mambajao, Camiguin
Apr 2017 – Baguio, Benguet
May 2017 – Alaminos, Pangasinan
Jul 2017 – Coron, Palawan
Oct 2017 – Kabayan, Benguet (Mt. Pulag)
Dec 2017 – Diadi, Nueva Vizcaya (Lower Magat Eco-Tourism Park)
Mar 2018 – Dumaguete/Dauin, Negros Oriental; Enrique Villanueva/Larena/Lazi/Maria/San Juan/Siquijor, SIquijor
May 2018 – Koronadal/General Santos/ Lake Sebu, South Cotabato
Jul 2018 – Naga, Camarines Sur; Sorsogon City/Gubat, Sorsogon; Legazpi, Albay

Lastly, sharing my upcoming travels too as I am needing any helpful tips as well. TIA! XOXO

UPCOMING TRAVELS:
Sept 2018 – Guam, USA
Nov 2018 – Taipei, Taiwan
June 2019 – Bali, Indonesia

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Happily Thirty

Dating lessons this 30-year old grandma has learned for the past 3 years, 3 months, and 3 weeks.

3 Years | He’s not man enough.

In this life you will meet people who will be interested in you. If you entertain them you may end up liking them even if they are not your type. In the same way, they may end up liking you even if you do not meet their standards as well. You both may end up liking each other, even loving each other. But consider this, there’s a lot to consider still. Like if he is not ready to be in a serious relationship yet, if he is just starting out in his career, if he is still starting out with all the adulting, he most likely will not pursue you. And that’s okay. You don’t want a guy who is not man enough to handle all that. Stop waiting. You don’t deserve to be just one of the reserves. Move on.

3 Months | That’s a beast.

A player is good with his words and with his ways. He will make you feel special. But don’t fall for it. Test a person always. Results will show his true intentions. Behaviors will reflect what’s on the insides. Always remember you are worth far more than another person’s pleasure. You are God’s princess. Do not give up your identity for momentary gratification. Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

3 Weeks | It’s just their culture.

So what now? You just got over a very passive and then a very aggressive guy. Then you meet a gentleman who stares at you but not aggressively jump into you. Before you fall head over heels, stop and do some background check first. Do not think by default that you are an exception. Do not assume he is different from the rest. If you did your assignment you would know that there are times you thought a person is lovely; but actually what you are falling for is not a person’s quality but what his culture is like. Sad truth. I know. At least now, I know.

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Stripped of Power but Stuffed with Dreams.

That’s what nature did to me.

When I told my friends I am going to Calayan Island I was flooded with interrogations.

“Hindi ka ba natatakot? Paano pag lumubog ang bangka? Sure ka na ba? Ano trip mo?!” (“Aren’t you afraid? What if the boat sink? Are you really sure of this?”)

I answered repeatedly, “Pag oras mo na, oras mo na.” (If it is your time/turn to die, then you die).

I was reminding myself then that I wasn’t raised with the mentality of “Baka lumubog ang bangka.” (The boat might sink). I was psyched to be prepared for it instead.

For the benefit of those who don’t know how far Calayan is.. It’s like the third topmost island in the Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of only 16,702 people. It is so far and remote. But that makes it more like a paradise.

 

Before, the only way to get there is via boat (lampitaw) with approximately 5-7 hours travel time. The boat mostly brings goods that are imported for the islanders’ consumption. They accomodate 1-2 passengers on the way. The boat is so small the Pacific waves tower over it. All the stuff are put in plastics to “waterproof” them since water crashing to the boat and splashing all over is a sure thing. The boat trips are not regular but are always dependent on the weather condition.
This was one of those soul-searching solo trips. I don’t normally admit this but yeah. Haha. I was ongoing quarter life crisis then so I wanted to be just no one in the middle of nowhere.
Well, it worked.
While and after this trip I was able to really appreciate what matters more. Nature was so great and amazing. It showed me how small and vulnerable I am.
I was ready to lose everything in exchange for my life and the people who believes in me.
Until now I am fully aware that the material things, social status, and whatever I have gained in this temporal life on Earth really amounts to nothing when you are faced with death. Thus, I don’t sweat much about them anymore. 🙂
Some of the epic moments here were as follows:
-When the first big wave hit our small boat in a split second I find my self praying: “Lord, alam ko may misyon pa ko sa buhay. Wag Niyo po ako hayaan mamatay dito.” (Lord, I know I still have a mission to fulfill in this life. Don’t let me die here). 😜.

 


-When I trekked going to a waterfall in the island, the trail was so hard you have you to literally hug the mountain to move forward, like Spiderman. One time I had to jump to the other side but I can’t see where I should land. I only see my guide’s hand. I had to hold to it, trust him and jump. He pulled me towards where I should land. (Yup, he is that strong! Good thing! Haha!) It was like a hike of no return. I was telling myself, “You have to return alive. You have to keep your word to your friends.” 😜.

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Excuse my fats. But yeah, this is how the trail looked like.
-On the beach, the waves are so strong I’m afraid it may eat me alive. I was alone. So I didn’t go for a dip. 😜.

10632718_10205584756243054_4328129636685147494_n

So inviting yet so scary.
-There was a lighthouse on top of a hill. beside it is a cliff. I was never afraid of heights. But my knees were shaking when I climbed it. I hugged the tower and the rails with all I have. 😜.1463290_10205584851565437_5863327453573408747_n

1610063_10205584849725391_3948490646804020474_n
-The town do not have electricty at night. I was staying in homestay good for 30pax. But I was alone. 😜. (But hey, they said they pride in zero crime rate so I held on to that till I fall asleep. Haha).

1919293_10205585063890745_4654501131658907751_n

more pics here!

How to go there:Fly/Bus Ride to Tuguegarao; Van to Claveria; and Lampitaw to Calayan.

Where to Stay: Homestays. I stayed with Mommy Tessie Singun (0929837573)

Must see: Sibang Cove, Nagudungan Hills, Cabudadan Falls (I booked a habal tour with Mommy Tessie as well)

Estimated Budget: <to follow>

Estimated time of travel/stay: atleast 3D/2N

Visited: October 2015.

1723329_10205585046850319_7068014594550513523_n

2018 update: Regular Roro (boat/ferry whatever) now travels there I believe. And there are packaged tours being offered now. No more excuse not to visit this paradise. No more excuse not to visit this paradise. Almost no more excuse not to visit this paradise.

 

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Travel. Fall. Move On. Repeat.

To Aurora.

It hurts me whenever I am reminded that you do not like me the way I like you.

I like you. As a person. As a man. For real. And exclusively.

But I think you like me the way you like everything else. You are just being appreciative. Cause you were just having a good time.

The way we met was, for some people, like a match made in heaven. I’d say for me it was special. I guess to you it was just normal.

I acted cool.

I met a lot of interesting people during my travels and I am always able to establish that deep connection. I know I could bid goodbye when it’s time to go.

Should be. But I failed with you.

I let you in. I was emotionally tired and you were everything I wanted. Thus even though I know that my everything amounts to nothing to you I willingly gave them anyway.

And now fool me can’t get over it. Silently hurting deep inside. But still not wanting to let go.

I know by now I should accept that you are just one beautiful mistake. It’s hard. I’ve built my fortress in a decade’s time but you crushed it only after a few days.

I still want to justify my actions. I still want to hear more of your lies.

I know this too will come to pass. Hopefully soon. Maybe later. Prolly on my next travel.

——

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Why I now avoid haggling when travelling..

I used to pride myself for travelling on a very very low budget. Okay, I still do and part of it is cause I want to encourage people to travel now and not use having no money as an excuse for delaying it. Our spending is always relative to our earnings. As we earn more we spend more. Even our responsibilities multiply to the nth power as we go on in life. So I say start travelling even if you are just starting out in life. It’s just a matter of budgeting. Anyways, that’s off topic.

Going back to how a tuk-tuk driver in Cambodia changed my life (the original title of this write up 😆). Let’s start with how I, a Filipino backpacker, is always torn between being thrifty and going all out when I travel. I am very much conscious of my spending cause my Philippine currencies are always lower than my fellow Western backpackers’ currencies. It’s just not practical for me not to track how much I am spending. I don’t have the liberty to say, “Oh, when I convert this to my currency back home this is equivalent only too this and that.” Cause every dollar spent away from home always hurts. Haha. But when I am out there already there’s this thought that you are here now so why not give it all, enjoy and stop worrying.

Being thrifty always win btw. But just recently when I visited Cambodia, the tuk-tuk driver who picked me up from the airport gave me a sudden mental shift. On our way from the airport to the hostel he was being very friendly and accomodating, but not in a harrassing or begging way like how the #WhenInCambodia stories always goes. When he dropped me off my hostel I asked him if I should pay him directly or pay through the hostel (since I book the transfer through the hostel). He said I can pay through the hostel. So I took that option and did not pay him that night. Since I didn’t pay him and I was dead tired thinking only about getting shower and sleeping right away, I forgot to give him a tip.

The next day, early in the morning he was there. I realized a little later that he was there to wait for potential tuk-tuk tour clients from the hostel guests.

Anyways, we had a little conversation. He told me about how his daily earnings provide for like 5 families. Yup, families and not persons. He explained that aside from his own, his sisters’ family stays with them too, etc. He said that the number of meals in a day and the quality of food on the table depends on whether he earned anything and how much for the day or the day before. The further details of his daily life came to me a little blurry because I got conscience-stricken realizing how I might have deprived children on his household a better meal that morning.

This life scenario is actually not that new to me. In the Philippines an expression for this goes like: “Isang kahig, isang tuka.” Kinda meaning living from hand to mouth. Just like how a chicken scratches the soil to find a food to peck.

So yeah, let’s continue the story. I initially informed the hostel that I will take a joined tour that costs $13. But after all that conversation and realization I informed the hostel that I will book tours with that tuk-tuk driver instead. They offered me a sunset tour that same day for $7. Then a temple tour using the same temple pass the next day for $18. The tuk-tuk ride may be shared by upto four (4) people, which will make it very cheap (Some offers this for $25). But I was travelling solo then so I needed to find other people to join me. I was so moved I was willing to pay the whole $18. I know for some people this is just cheap but remember, I am thrifty (literally every cent counts!) and I pride in paying less for travels. Besides it’s almost equivalent to my one way flight going Cambodia already. That’s how big of a deal that was to me. To top all that, I only brought $150 for this 4-day trip.

But guess what, despite being introverted and lazy, I was so moved within that I moved outwardly. I was able to find two (2) living beings to join me. We went on a sunset tour that same day. But we decided to rent motorbikes for the temple run the next day instead. I felt sad for the tuk-tuk driver but since I was able to generate $21 for him that day already I also give in to the idea of driving motorbikes instead.

After that, whenever I get the chance to spend while travelling I do spend. I did not notice it then but I realized now that whenever I was to pay I always think that I am so privileged I could travel while these people I meet are doing what they had to do unselfishly for the people they love or for the dreams they want to pursue. Thoughts like — most probably in my entire life, this is the only chance I will get where I can directly bless this person, their family, this business, the employees working for this establishment, this community — now come crashing over me. Preventing me from haggling and being thrifty.

And yeah, as stated above, I don’t limit myself in directly helping only the less fortunate. Even business owners, even corporations.. they employ people and so feed a lot of people. They also pay taxes and sometimes are better developers of community than the government. So I support by patronizing their goods and services as well.

I had these thoughts for years now but I didn’t had enough will to transform my compassion into action. I guess wisdom indeed comes with ageing. haha.

I am not that well off (for now 😉). I am afraid to ran out of money myself so I still have reservations. I also had the thought that being born poor is not a crime but your existence on earth should be enough to get your self out of it.

But God said in Deuteronomy 15:6-11 “For the LORD your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you. If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need. Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward the needy among your fellow Israelites and give them nothing. They may then appeal to the LORD against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.”

So whom am I to disobey. Who am I not trust God’s promises. Who am I to resist being an instrument of God’s lovingkindness.. after all He has done for me.

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That smile. 🙂

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Temple Run. Siem Reap. Cambodia. US$55. 24hrs.

So I went to Cambodia with exactly US$150 cash for Pocket Expenses. Turned out, I was overbudgeting. The trip and the budget was for a 4N/4D stay. With 2 days each for Siem Reap and Phnom Pehn.

Here’s an ideal itinerary and expense plan for Siem Reap:

Day 1 – Sunset

Day 2 – Temple Run with Sunrise

Day Pass $37

Accomodation $1.5

Meals ($3×3) $9

Scooter $6

Gas for Scooter $1.5

That’s a total of $55 only!!!

Notes:

1. The Day Pass is good for Sunset after 5pm and whole day temple run the next day. Saves a lot of time and obviously cash.

2. Scooter and gas may even be split to 2 if you have company. Rental good for 24hrs.

3. In Angkor Wat, there are several food stalls. The food in the menu are priced at $5 and the drinks at $2. I’m not sure if it was because we were there during low season, but you can actually haggle to get the food at $3 and the drinks at $1.

If you are interested to visit Phnom Phen too then read on.

A day tour would be enough to cover all usual “must-see” in Phonm Phen. Accomodation and food is pricier but cheap still. A night in a dormitory would cost around $2.5 and a meal around $3~5.

Backpacker tip: You can take an overnight bus to save on time and accomodation. Booking through your hostels costs $10 and it includes free pick up from the hostel to the bus station. Booking online or directly provides price ranges of $7-$15.

My actual trip and itinerary is worth story-telling for but not guide-worthy. I was lazy and I splurged a lot on food. Thus, the above information are the only ones I shared. However if you have any questions or is interested how feeling local I get when I travel please feel free to ask. I will be super willing to answer. 🙂

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Dumaguete-Siquijor (4D/4N | Solo)

Hmmm.. Not so much on itinerary…


Day 0 – Half day, afternoon stroll

Day 1 – Siquijor

Day 2 – Apo Island

Day 3 – Manjuyod (planned) | Chill (actual)

Day 4 – Early Morning flight

Apo Island takes only half a day. Manjuyod should be visited very early in the morning so these two can fit into one day. 🙂

I opted not to push through with Manjuyod cause I think it’s too expensive for dolphin watching when you can actually just see them randomly sometimes.. haha. Also, I’ve never met anyone who actually saw them when they visited. As for the sandbar, pictures say it’s overrated. Lastly, I don’t want to wake up very early for it since this is a no pressure trip. Leave the hostel times for Siquijor and Apo Island was around 9am. So yeah. It’s just me. Go if you can. 🙂

And for the expenses..

Dumaguete Exp

….

 

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