Hokkaido 2017 (Part 2)!

ย Without further adieu, here is part two! (You could read part one here.)

Day 3: September 2

I booked a private van via SkyExpress for today’s trip since we’d be traveling quite aย distance. I got the Furano and Biei Day Tour package and it was amazing! The package included visits to Furano Cheese Factory, Jam Factory, Anpan Man Shop, Tomita Farm, and Patchwork Road. You could also request up to two stops without additional cost. This particular tour is only available from June to September.

Our driver for the day picked us up from the hotel early in the morning and off we headed for Furano! Our driver gave us about an hour or two per stop, as we only have limited time; which is understandable seeing that we still have a LOT of places to go! ๐Ÿ™‚ย Our first stop was Shikisai no Oka, which we requested as an additional stop. My cousin and I were the most excited because we saw photos of the flower fields online! And, boy, did it not disappoint.

Literally took my breath away.

Additionally, you could rent a cart to drive around (I think for 15 minutes)? Just make sure to bring your driver’s license.

(L-R) My cousin, my mom, and I

 

We had a mini-photoshoot with all the flowers!

Behind-the-scenes HAHA

Aside from a blooming flower field, they also had a small alpaca farm where you can pay ยฅ500 to feed them.

Aren’t they cute? Huhu they’re really fluffy too.

Continue reading “Hokkaido 2017 (Part 2)!”

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Hokkaido 2017 (Part 1)!

This post is long-delayed, I admit, but it’s finally here! Yey!
The reason it took so long was the photos! I have a LOT of photos to share, so I’ll be splitting this blog post into two!ย ๐Ÿ™‚

A few months ago, I went to Hokkaido with my family for a few days (August 31 – September 5, 2017). While I’ve been to Hokkaido in the past (Kushiro, to be specific), this would be my first time in Sapporo. I was in charge of the itinerary again and this is what we did:

Day 1: August 31, 2017

Our flight to Sapporo took a grand total of nine travel hours (including the layover)! We departed from Manila at 9 in the morning –

landing at Narita Airport by 3:00PM –

then flew off for Sapporo by 6PM and finally arriving at 8PM!

Phew! We rode the train to Sapporo Station and walked to our hotel, Hotel MyStays Sapporo Aspen, from there. We had takeaway dinner from the nearby Coco Ichibanyaย and headed to bed for another early start the next day.

Day 2: September 1

Waking up bright and early, we headed for Otaru.Otaru Station! It was such a beautiful day.

Otaru is so gorgeous and we were lucky to go on such a good day!

Just look at these flowers!

We arrived a little too early (I guess I was just too excited, woops) and most of the shops were still closed, so we walked around and took our time enjoying all the sights!

I love all the architecture and history of all the buildings here.

Coming to Otaru, I had a few things Iย knewย I wanted to see and do (not to mention, eat hehe) – which I’ll get to in a bit.ย  Walking around, we encountered a small market that sold souvenirs, fresh Hokkaido sweet corn and melon, and dried seafood.

Sweet Hokkaido melons selling at ยฅ500 per slice! Expensive, but worth a taste. It’s so good.

Since all the stores were still closed, we headed for the Otaru Canal next.

There was an elderly man painting the canal and there were various artists selling postcards and their paintings of the canal on the side. I couldn’t resist and bought a postcard for myself.

Continue reading “Hokkaido 2017 (Part 1)!”

MIBF 2017 Book Haul!

Last month, just like every year, I went to the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF, for short). As expected, my wallet wasnโ€™t ready for it (despite me trying to save for a year.)ย  Unlike last year, where I was able to go to the MIBF on two dates, I was only able to go once this year.

My aunt and I started on the second floor for children’s books!

Check out the number of people there are on the second floor!

Unfortunately, my phone died by the time my aunt and I headed for the first floor, so I didn’t get to take any more photos ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Here’s my book haul this year!

Continue reading “MIBF 2017 Book Haul!”

Sophie Bakes: Homemade Dog Treats

A couple of weeks ago, my little sister climbed one of our kitchen shelves and accidentally knocked over a jar of oatmeal. Instead of throwing it out, I decided to make dog treats instead (since my dogs started eating the oats on the floor like there’s no tomorrow.) I found this easy recipe from this website and tried it out.

That’s a lot of oatmeal.

The recipe calls for rolled oats, salt, egg, and beef broth or chicken broth. After I combined them all in a bowl, I found this bear-shaped ice tray (only because I don’t have cookie cutters at the moment) and filled it in with the mix.

I placed all the oat treats on a baking tray and popped it in the oven at around 325 degrees.

Continue reading “Sophie Bakes: Homemade Dog Treats”

Asia Pop Comic Con 2017!

It’s that time of the year again – Asia Pop Comic Con 2017!

Just like last year, I went with my best friend Courtney!

We went on August 26!

I’d like to say that this year, I came more prepared (meaning, I brought more money – HAHA.)

When we go to APCC, we usually have three reasons why. First, the artists and their merch:

Just look at all those stickers!

Second, the special guests (guest artists or celebrities):

I wanted to buy an Artgerm print, but they didn’t have the design I wanted huhu.

And lastly, comics!

Continue reading “Asia Pop Comic Con 2017!”

Philippine Road Trip!

Last month, my professor from my Philippine history class gave the class a unique finals project. We had to go to six specific historical locations in the Philippines and take six specific photos: Aguinaldo Shrine (near his grave), Luneta Park (GomBurZa marker), Barasoain Church (Aguinaldo’s carriage), Mt. Samat (cross), Clark Museum (near the canon), and the San Agustin Church (grave of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi). What’s more is that we were given two weeks to go to all these places! To get an idea on how far all these are (from where I am), here’s a map:

I was seriously stressing out – but miraculously, I was able to visit them all! Now, hang on tight for a lengthy post as you tag along with me on my adventure!

My first stops were the closest to my university: Luneta Park and the San Agustin Church.

Luckily, I’ve been to Rizal/Luneta Park before so I knew what exactly to look for and where it is. We literally ran out the car, took the photo, and ran back – HAHA. We were running on a tight schedule (since they picked me up after my classes) and still needed to go to…

San Agustin Church!

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The next day, I went to the Aguinaldo Shrine.

Continue reading “Philippine Road Trip!”

Kevin Kwan in Manila!

Earlier this week, my aunt and I went to UP Town Center for Kevin Kwan’s book signing!

(That’s my aunt there in the background.)

We read Kevin Kwan’s books about a year ago and became instant fans! I found his book,ย Crazy Rich Asians, relatable and entertaining (I am Asian, after all) and laughed harder than I should’ve when I first read “aiyah” in the book.

We arrived around 12 PM for registration. Since it was still early (Q&A and signing would begin at 2 PM), my aunt and I went around the mall and had lunch.

At around 1:30 PM, my aunt and I went back and found some seats. Soon, it was time for the Q&A portion and Kevin Kwan entertained us not only with our questions, but with a reading from his latest book Rich People Problems as well.

Soon, it was time for the book signing!

I only had Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend signed because Rich People Problems isn’t available in smaller print yet. Continue reading “Kevin Kwan in Manila!”

Sophie Bakes: Nutella-Peanut Butter “Cookies”

“Cookies” because it was originally a recipe for cookies – but then…well, you’ll see why by the end of this post.

So, just like last time, I was inspired by a YouTube video to bake! I was craving for some cookies and ended up doing Gemma Stafford’s 3-Ingredient Cookie recipe! Assessing the ingredients I have in the kitchen, I decided to make some peanut butter cookies. The recipe is very simple, and as the title suggests, it only requires three ingredients!

Unfortunately, I lacked peanut butter and decided to substitute half of it with Nutella. I combined one cup of peanut butter + Nutella, 1 cup of white sugar, and 1 egg into a bowl and combined them all together (1:1:1 ratio).

Afterward, I prepared a “cookie sheet” and asked my 6-year old sister to drop the cookies on top.

I literally turned away for a minute or so and my sister poured the batter on the cookie sheet – thus, it became a brownie.

See? Oh well, ha-ha!

I did the best I could and cut it into little pieces, but no one believes me when I said that it really cookies.

It surprisingly tasted really good! I would recommend this to anyone who wants to make a quick treat to satisfy their cravings.

Click here to get the full recipe!

June Wrap-Up

I want to start a new series where I wrap up my experiences per month in one blog post! So to wrap up June, I want to share with you some things I’ve been working on plus some packages I got!

First up, packages!

1. Pedigree Dog Food Samples

I have two cute dogs at home and I wanted them to try out some Pedigree samples (that’s specific for their weight class). Luckily, Pedigree Philippines offers free samples for your dog to try! I sent in the details of both my dogs and got this a few weeks later:

Inside each package contains a small pack of dry dog food, a small pouch of wet dog food, and a small booklet on feeding information. It was really interesting to receive these since I wanted to see how my dogs would react to wet dog food (as compared to their normal dry dog food portions).


You can get a sample hereย (for Philippine residences only)!

2. Books, books, and more books!

The next package I got was really exciting for me since I’ve been waiting for severalย months to receive it. I pre-ordered two books from Book Depository a couple of months back and it’s finally here!

It’s the 20th-anniversary copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone! It’s so pretty. I love everything about it.


I’m a proud Ravenclaw. #HousePride! While one of my best friends (Courtney) is a Slytherin. I bought her a copy as her birthday gift. (Don’t worry, she already saw it.)

Continue reading “June Wrap-Up”

A Thousand Words

They say a picture speaks a thousand words. While I might be a better writer than I am a photographer, I agree with this statement. If you’ve been following my blog (or even if you’re a new reader), you’ll notice that I love including photos in all my posts – I think it helps tell my story the way I want it to be told through photographs. I sometimes let the photos do the talking to get my point across or for appreciation’s sake.

In participation with the #VantagePoint project, I want to share with you some of my favorites photographs. (The #VantagePoint project is by a startup company called light.co and they sell these really awesome compact cameras, which is unfortunately sold out (for now). As part of their marketing campaign, they shared the #VantagePoint project with me, which is basically me sharing a photo of my favorite location and the story behind it – which is what I love doing anyways.)

Since I took so many photos over the year, I thought that I’d showcase my top three photos from my travels.
(Disclaimer: please note that these are the top three best photos not because of aesthetic’s sake, but because of the memory that goes with it.)

1.ย El Nido, Palawan (Philippines)

This place took my breath away when I was physically there. Without a word, I made my way to the front of the boat and bravely took my phone out (despite my fear of it falling down the boat). I made sure the lighting was just perfect and waited for the moment to capture it. I assessed the positioning and symmetry with the grids. I made sure that there were different kinds of action happening everywhere that would make people want to look at this photo again and again. This was the highlight of my trip.

2. The National Museum, Manila (Philippines)

It was Independence Day when I took this photo and I went to the National Museum (one of my favorite places in Manila) to celebrate. When I left the museum, it was really windy and I looked up to see several flags proudly displayed out in front. It was really sunny as well, so I squinted, aimed my camera at the highest flag, aligned it to my grid, and shot. I waited for the right moment so that all the flag would show it’s entirety. I loved how the blueness of the sky made the colors of the flag pop out! I think this photo shows peace and nationality together.

Continue reading “A Thousand Words”