Hello, everyone! Just wanted to share a small update! My third term in university just started two weeks ago, and I’ve been keeping myself pretty occupied lately.
First, if you noticed on my blog, I have a new tab labeled “Features (When in Manila)”. I’ve finally achieved my dream of being an actual contributor to a website/publication! I’ve published one article so far and there’s another one on the way! Thank you for all the love and support! I’m one step closer to achieving my dreams!
Second, I’ve bought/got some things this month and I want to share them with you!
Just wanted to make a quick post about what I’ve been up to.
School just started (for me) a few days ago and I’m happy. While staying at home is nice and all, there’s just this sense of peace and achievement within me whenever I go to class or complete a task. For my “last hurrah” before school started, I attended a watercolor pencil calligraphy workshop (courtesy of Faber Castell) last week with my cousin.
The funny thing is that it’s supposedly for mothers only (as a treat/celebration for mother’s day). My aunt (who is a mother) signed up so I decided to sign up as well (well, technically I can be called the mother of my two dogs heehee). Anyways, my aunt couldn’t go last minute so my cousin stepped in for her.
As you can see, MOMS EVERYWHERE. The photo is blurry because they all started looking at me and I felt shy HAHA.
A bit of a delayed post since I’ve been having trouble uploading all the pictures, but here it finally is! 🙂
After 8 months, I’m extremely lucky enough to go back to Tokyo, Japan! I was in charge of creating the itinerary and planning other details alongside my aunt – which was a really exciting and awesome responsibility!I was looking forward to this trip for several months – it’s what kept me going in school (“Suffer now, enjoy later”) as I spent fewer hours sleeping and more hours into school work. Like my previous travel/ Japan posts (click here to read one), I’ll break down my trip per day. For this trip, I went with my grandmother and my two aunts (all from father’s side)!
Day 1: April 11
Our flight to Tokyo, Japan leaves at 9AM, so my family and I were in the airport by 5:30AM. After dropping our bags off, we headed for the airport lounge for a light breakfast (since they’ll also be serving brunch in the plane later on) as we waited for our boarding time.
I was itching to leave since at this time of the year, it’s really hot here in the Philippines and I’m missing the cool air of Spring. Fast forward to four hours, we finally landed!
I was immediately hit with nostalgia when I saw all the Japanese characters all around and when I heard “arigatou gozaimasu” from the usual “thank you” and “salamat” that I hear at home. I was grinning from ear to ear as we made our way to the Narita Express to catch a train to Shibuya.
Honey hotteok (pronounced ‘ho-tok’) is something like a “Korean filled pancake bread” and is a popular Korean street food. It got me curious – I’ve never tried to make any Korean food yet, so why not try something new? (Plus the fact that I won’t be using an oven?) The best part is that the ingredients aren’t too difficult to attain (also, I didn’t need to go to the supermarket for this recipe since I had everything I needed at home)!
Here are the ingredients:
For the dough: Bread flour 400g, Dry Yeast 6g, Salt 6g,
Sugar 45g, Milk 240g, 1 Egg, Butter 60g
For the filling:
Honey 60g, Brown sugar 100g, Water 100g,
Corn starch 20g, Cinnamon Powder 1/4 tsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
Several months ago, Coldplay announced that they’ll be having a concert here in the Philippines – as expected, tickets sold out right away, so even if you DID have the means to watch their concert, you couldn’t watch (and that’s already around 35,000 tickets)! My best friend, Courtney (whom you probably would recognize from this blog post) is an avid fan and was devastated when she found out that she wouldn’t be able to watch. As a supportive best friend, I couldn’t just stand by and do nothing – so I searched for every single contest for tickets available and joined as much as I could. Our last shot was Pepsi’s contest:
I swallowed my pride and embarrassment and used my ~communication arts skills~ to good use and made the video (which can be viewed on my Instagram (@philosophieyu). We had so much fun making the video and after a few days –
Today, I wanted to try something different. A few weeks ago, I read this article about Pixar offering free lessons in storytelling through Khan Academy. I was simply ecstatic when I found out since I wanted to improve my writing and my storytelling skills – what better way than to practice? I’ll be uploading all my outputs and thoughts here on my blog’s journal section. The first activity was to express a memory. I thought about it for a few seconds and found the perfect memory.
[Now, this is the part where I write about my fears and personal life – and I’m simultaneously nervous and excited to actually post it. After just two short lessons, I’m filled with the inspiration to share my memory. Warning: This is going to be a bit long. I’m about to bare my soul.]
My memory would be the time I went to Tokyo DisneySea with my friends while I was on an exchange program in Japan. I had this incredible fear of heights and roller coasters simply because I have thanatophobia, which is the fear of death or the anxiety I feel thinking about death. (I accept death on its own, but I’m anxious about painful death, extreme sickness, and torture in particular. It’s really exhausting.) (I’ve been struggling with this for a few years on my own – since I’ve had trouble receiving support from others.) Anyways, when we arrived in DisneySea, we immediately headed for Indiana Jones’s Temple of the Crystal Skull ride. I was really scared but I made a vow to myself that I would ride it since I wanted to spend the day with no regrets. My friends all encouraged me and calmed me down while we were lining up. The ride was done in what felt like seconds, and I ended up enjoying myself! The ride was really beautiful and I loved the feeling of adrenaline rushing inside me. Feeling extremely confident, I headed for the next ride…where I quickly lost my confidence. This ride (Raging Spirits) had a loop. I closed my eyes the entire time, crying as I did so as I felt my body go weightless against gravity. When I ride was over, I was shaking and attempted to brush off my fears in a nonchalant way despite me not being able to speak for a few minutes. I begged my friends if we could ride something very “harmless” so that I can calm down and stop shaking. They agreed and we rode Jasmine’s Flying Carpets. Fast forward to several hours later, my friends and I lined up for the Tower of Terror. I got an idea on what the ride will be since one of my companions actually rode it some years ago.
Last month, my favorite local bookstore Fully Booked sent me a newsletter about children’s books followed by a link with their top ten recommendations (click here to read it)!
At the bottom of the list, they announced that they were giving away specially curated sets of children’s books! I excitedly joined. They only asked for two things: one, to visit their Facebook page (which I usually do, anyways); and two, to leave a comment on their list answering the question “what is your favorite children’s book?” I answered from the heart and a few weeks later –
I haven’t updated my Japan 2016 blog in a LONG time – but bear with me. I’m writing it slowly, and you should expect a post probably next week (if school work doesn’t drown me).
In the meantime – I’m very excited to announce that for the past month, I’ve been working on a secret project. I was looking through my past photos when I was in Japan and I was suddenly struck with inspiration – why don’t I make a photo album? So that’s what I did – I combined my photography, my brush lettering, and my photo editing skills together in one huge project.
Join me as I take a trip down memory lane through my photo album!
It was a difficult process to choose only a hundred photos for the entire album – I distributed it to 20 photos a month (excluding the collages, it counts as “1 photo”) – but after much deliberation, I finally completed it. I arranged the photos in the order that it happened. If some photos don’t make much sense, it’s because it’s probably an inside joke or story. Maybe if I have the time, I’ll write about it in my future blog posts!
Without further adieu, here it is! The product of several sleepless nights, blood, sweat, and tears: