Tuesday, October 19Multi-awarded Filipina blogger, publicist and social media specialist
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Korea

The BTS Meal

The BTS Meal

Features, Food, Korea, Mindanaoan Update, Musings, Recipes, Reviews
Hello, fellow BTS Army! Yes, I'm a proud and loud BTS Army! My ultimate bias is Kim Taehyung (I love you, V!) but ever since I watched Jimin in "Blood Sweat and Tears" and Jungkook in "Butter," my heart has been subdivided :D Now for the uninitiated, BTS is a 7-member South Korean group that's responsible for the mega hits "Dynamite," "Boy In Luv" (my favorite!) and "Anpanman," among many others. BTS Army, on the other hand, is the official fandom of the Bangtan boys. A few days ago, McDonald's launched The BTS Meal and of course, I had to get my share! The BTS Meal is composed of 10-piece Chicken McNuggets, medium fries and soft drinks. It's actually the same McDonald's Chicken McNuggets we all love but this time, you get two limited-time special sauces picked by BTS themselves -...
Club Clio Korean Beauty Brand New York USA opening

Club Clio Korean Beauty Brand New York USA opening

America, Beauty, Blogging, Events, Fashion, Korea, New York, Society, Style
Hello from New York! I actually vlogged about the Club Clio Union Square New York reopening first so apologies if this blog is a tad late :D Anyhoo, I was invited to check out the grand reopening of the Club Clio USA Union Square New York branch late last year. It was an invitation I simply cannot turn down! For one, I absolutely love Korean stuff. They're high quality, very cute, fun and definitely value-for-money. Secondly, I have visited Korea and needless to say, I fell in love! It's a beautiful, modern country with amazing food, friendly people and rich culture. Check out my Mindanaoan In Korea travel series. Thirdly, it's a beauty event invitation for me as a blogger in New York! Enough said ;) Anyways, for the uninitiated, Club Clio is a very popular Korean cosmetics line, repres...
Prepping for an Asian Vacation: Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Trip

Prepping for an Asian Vacation: Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Trip

Korea, Mindanaoan Update, Travel
Traveling halfway across the globe for a vacation is a once in a lifetime experience. There are so many sights, sounds and tastes that you want to try out. Before you head off to the airport, learn how you can prepare for a vacation into Asia. The cultures and beautiful landscapes will capture your imagination. Pick Your Flights and Tours Carefully Regardless of which country you're visiting, Asia itself is incredibly far from the United States. Select a flight that has a few comforts, such as ample leg room or convertible seats. You might bundle the flight with a hotel so that the costs are much cheaper than scheduling them individually. Take a look at various excursions in your chosen country, such as Asia tour packages. Experience the top attractions while receiving a good deal for fo...
Chicken678 from Korea opens first Philippine branch in Mindanao

Chicken678 from Korea opens first Philippine branch in Mindanao

Business, Cagayan de Oro City, Consumer, Food, Korea, Reviews, Seoul
During my most recent visit to Korea, I noticed so many chicken and beer food places. I later found out that eating chicken and beer (maekju) is a very big part of the Korean food culture. Hence, the many chimaek or (chicken+maek) restaurants all over Korea. In popular Seoul tourist spots like Myeongdong alone, you'll probably spot a number of chimaeks along every street. So when I learned that Chicken 678, one of Korea's popular chimaeks, is set to open a branch in the Philippines, I was pretty interested. Perfect time to reminisce all about my trip to Korea! I was all the more interested when I found out that their first ever Philippine branch will be in Mindanao! How cool is that? Chicken 678, owned by well-known Korean MC and comedian Kang Ho-Dong, has opened a branch at the Grou...
Secret Garden for good Korean food in Cagayan de Oro

Secret Garden for good Korean food in Cagayan de Oro

Cagayan de Oro City, Commentary, Food, Korea, Reviews
Ever since I first visited Korea, I've fallen madly in love with Korean food. I love how healthy and clean-tasting (i.e. not oily, very flavorful) Korean dishes are. So I'm pretty happy to know that there's a restaurant in Cagayan de Oro that serves good and pretty affordable authentic Korean food. Located along Masterson Avenue, Secret Garden Restaurant is owned and managed by a friendly Korean, who even had a big smile on his face as my friends and I entered the place to have dinner. There were tables and chairs at an open space but there were also smaller, airconditioned rooms. My friends and I opted to stay outside. The huge overhead fan was enough to keep us comfortable. We were served complimentary kimchi, pickled vegetables and spiced tofu. Oh, how I miss kimchi! And how I ...
Mindanaoan In Korea Travel Series: Insadong Seoul

Mindanaoan In Korea Travel Series: Insadong Seoul

Culture, Features, Food, Korea, Mindanaoan Update, Seoul, Tourism, Travel
Insadong was one of my favorite places during our Seoul, South Korea trip. Also known as Seoul's culture street, Insadong has so many shops selling traditional Korean goods, teas, candies, street food, wooden cooking utensils, crafts, staple food like bottled kimchi and roasted nori sheets (yum!) and souvenirs such as hanbok and hanji. Although there's a main street in Insadong (no vehicles allowed here), don't hesitate to explore the inner streets. There are small but nice tea houses and restaurants that have "English OK" signs (meaning their servers can speak English :) ) along alleyways. Insadong is a safe place to "get lost in." Just go back to the main street and you'll be fine ;) How to get to Insadong: My brother and I took the subway. We rode Seoul Subway Line 3 then took ...
Mindanaoan In Korea Travel Series: Breathtaking Gyeongbukgung Palace Seoul

Mindanaoan In Korea Travel Series: Breathtaking Gyeongbukgung Palace Seoul

Arts, Culture, Korea, Leisure, Mindanaoan Update, Seoul, Tourism, Travel
Built in 1395, the Gyeongbukgung Palace in Seoul, South Korea used to be the seat of power. Also known as Gyeongbok Palace, this palace was made during the Joseon Dynasty and is perhaps the most popular among the 5 palaces in Seoul. Just like what happened when we visited Changdeokgung Palace, we didn't have to pay for the entrance fee. It was Chuseok Festival time (autumn harvest holiday, Seoul's biggest holiday) and all entrance fees to palaces were waived. Spotted these little girls in their hanboks. This is the Keunjeong-jeon. This used to be the royal throne hall and as such, top officials then conducted state affairs here. This is Korea’s largest surviving wooden structure. Inside the Keunjeong-jeon We also caught the changing of the...
Mindanaoan In Korea Travel Series: Changdeokgung Palace

Mindanaoan In Korea Travel Series: Changdeokgung Palace

Arts, Culture, Features, Festivals, Fiesta, Korea, Leisure, Mindanaoan Update, Photos, Seoul, Tourism, Travel
Changdeokgung Palace, a 600-year old UNESCO World Heritage Site, was the very first palace we visited in Seoul, South Korea. Changdeokgung Palace is one of the "Five Grand Palaces" built by the Joseon Dynasty kings. Located at Jongno-gu district, this is a beautiful palace complex to roam around in and take photos of. We picked a good day to visit this Seoul palace. It was Chuseok Festival, Seoul's biggest festival, and entrance fees to all palaces were waived. This is the Injeongjeon (Main Hall) These seemingly stone markers were placed so that officials knew where to stand. The premises are very well-kept and well-maintained, as you can see in the photos. I can already imagine how pretty this area would be during fall or...
Mindanaoan In Korea Travel Series: Scenes in vibrant Hongdae Seoul

Mindanaoan In Korea Travel Series: Scenes in vibrant Hongdae Seoul

Fashion, Features, Korea, Leisure, Mindanaoan Update, Photos, Seoul, Tourism, Travel
Hongdae is a busy and very vibrant area in Seoul, South Korea. Known for its numerous cafes, clubs and shops, Hongdae is undoubtedly one of Seoul's must-visit areas especially if you like to immerse yourself in Korean urban culture, music, fashion and arts. Hongdae is actually the Korean abbreviation of Hongik University (Hong-ik Dae-hak-kyo), which is best known for its Fine Arts and Design programs. When in Hongdae, you can't miss the Hongik University rectangular arch. I consider Hongdae as one of those places that you simply can't stop taking photographs of. There's just so much to get inspiration from, so much to see, so much to hear and so many things you want to try! And, if you're curious or interested about anything Korea, you will enjoy Hongdae. Th...
Mindanaoan In Korea Travel Series: Hello Kitty Cafe and Cats Living Cat Cafe Hongdae

Mindanaoan In Korea Travel Series: Hello Kitty Cafe and Cats Living Cat Cafe Hongdae

Features, Korea, Leisure, Mindanaoan Update, Society, Tourism, Travel
The first shopping district we went to in Seoul, Korea was Hongdae. It's the area where Hongik University is (best known for their Fine Arts and Design programs) and where lots and lots of shops, cafes and clubs are (presumably because it's near a popular university). Click this for more of our Hongdae exploration. One of our discoveries in Hongdae was the infamous Hello Kitty Cafe. (UPDATE: as of November 2014, they're now in a new location, see below) I placed the Hello Kitty Cafe as one of the tourist attractions in Hongdae on my kodigo (cheat sheet) i.e. our TripCase travel app. It wasn't easy to spot, though. It was located in one of the inner streets. New location of Hello Kitty Cafe: (map nicked from their official website) Anyway, a stone's throw away from the ...
Mindanaoan In Korea Travel Series: Seoul City Hall

Mindanaoan In Korea Travel Series: Seoul City Hall

Government, Korea, Leisure, Seoul, Tourism, Travel
The Seoul Korea City Hall is one of the world's eco and energy efficient buildings. It's also a pretty cool building to look at! Just check out the photos I took of the Seoul City Hall. Located at Taepyeongno, Jung-gu, which is basically the heart of Seoul, the City Hall is right across the Deoksugung Palace and just a few minutes away on foot from the Cheonggyecheon Stream. How to get to Seoul City Hall: Take Seoul Subway Line 1, 2 to reach City Hall Station. Take Exit 2. Found this cute little thing on the right side of the City Hall :) Want to follow more of my Korea trip? Click on Mindanaoan In Korea How to apply for a Korean tourist visa Very helpful Seoul, Korea Travel Tips Cheonggyecheon Stream Deoksugung Palace Changing Of Guards More Korea post...
Mindanaoan In Korea Travel Series: Lotte Mart Seoul

Mindanaoan In Korea Travel Series: Lotte Mart Seoul

Korea, Leisure, Mindanaoan Update, Shopping, Tourism, Travel
Lotte Mart in Seoul, Korea sits on a pretty huge complex. Considered as a hypermarket, Lotte Mart is where you can buy groceries, toys, clothes, electronics and lots of other goods. My brother and I weren't there to shop, though. We went to Lotte Mart to EAT! (and take photos, of course!) The Lotte Outlets is in a building right beside Lotte Mart Should you decide to shop, by the way, and your purchase has reached at least 30,000 KRW (Korean won - roughly US $30.00), you are entitled to Lotte Mart's tax refund service. Before you leave, bring all of your receipts to the tax refund counter at Level 1. We went to the supermarket area. Found this food court. Yum! Lotte Mart Seoul Station 122, 2-ka Bongrae-dong, Seoul, South Korea Store hours: 10 AM to 12 m...
Mindanaoan In Korea travel series: Cheonggyecheon Stream

Mindanaoan In Korea travel series: Cheonggyecheon Stream

Blogging, Features, Korea, Leisure, Mindanaoan Update, Musings, Personal, Travel
After visiting Deoksugung Palace and witnessing the changing of the royal guards ceremony, my brother and I then proceeded to Cheonggyecheong Stream, an 8.4 kilometer long stream that flows west to east through downtown Seoul. What used to be a neglected overpass in the 70's was restored as a massive urban renewal project worth $900 Million in 2005 and is now one of the popular tourist destinations in Seoul, South Korea. Actually, even locals love hanging out here as well. From Deoksugung Palace, we walked for about 250 meters to Cheonggyecheong Stream. If you're at Deoksugung Palace facing the Seoul City Hall, Cheonggyecheong Stream is on your left. Just go straight and look for Chongye Plaza or this cone/shell sculpture. This signifies that you're at the mouth of the stream :) ...
Mindanaoan In Korea travel series: Deoksugung Palace changing of guards

Mindanaoan In Korea travel series: Deoksugung Palace changing of guards

Blogging, Features, Korea, Leisure, Mindanaoan Update, Personal, Seoul, Travel
Since we arrived late in the evening in Seoul, Korea, my brother and I decided to start the first day of our Korea escapade a little late as well. First order of the day was go to the nearest subway station and buy a T-Money card. As I mentioned in my earlier Seoul, Korea travel tips post, T-Money is a "reloadable" card that you can use to buy subway tickets, bus fares or even to buy stuff at convenience stores. After buying our T-Money card, we took the train to go to Deoksugung Palace, one of the "5 Grand Palaces" built by the kings of Joseon Dynasty. How to get to Deoksugung Palace: Take Seoul Subway Line 1, 2 to reach City Hall Station. Take Exit 2. You will see scenes like these: Walk for about 100 meters to your left. A good landmark is a Dunkin' Donuts store (th...
Mindanaoan In Korea travel series: Seoul travel tips

Mindanaoan In Korea travel series: Seoul travel tips

Blogging, Entertainment, Features, Flights, Korea, Leisure, Mindanaoan Update, Musings, Seoul, Shopping, Society, Tourism, Travel
So before I really get down to business with my Mindanaoan in Korea travel series, please allow me to share a few travel tips and tricks that you may find helpful when you travel to Seoul, Korea. I like to be well-prepared whenever I travel and hopefully, these Seoul travel tips can help you, too. 1. Do you already have a valid visa for travel to Korea? Here's how I applied for a Korean tourist visa 2. Check the weather in Korea at the time of your trip. This way, you can bring proper clothes. 3. I suggest that you bring U.S. Dollars (instead of Philippine pesos) and have those changed to Korean won. The exchange rates at the Incheon International Airport are fair but I got the best exchange rates in Myeongdong, the famed shopping district in Seoul. Here's a handy tip: 1,000 KRW i...
How to apply for a Korean visa – requirements for Filipino tourists

How to apply for a Korean visa – requirements for Filipino tourists

Features, Flights, Government, Headline, Korea, Leisure, Mindanao, Mindanaoan Update, Musings, Society, Tourism, Travel
When my friends and relatives first learned that I was set to visit Korea, all of them got really excited. Can't blame them as Korea is one of the favorite travel destinations of many Filipinos these days, thanks to the ever growing popularity of K-Pop, Koreanovelas and continuous visits to the Philippines by popular Korean celebrities. As of this writing, Filipinos still need a visa to enter Korea. Filipino tourists who intend to stay for 59 days or less can apply for a Korean tourist visa FOR FREE. The thing is, though, you must apply at the Korean embassy in Manila for you to avail of the FREE South Korea tourist visa. For people outside Metro Manila (like me and my brother!), the cheaper option is to have an accredited travel agency fix our applications. In our case, since our fligh...
Mindanaoan in Korea travel series: itinerary, tips and more

Mindanaoan in Korea travel series: itinerary, tips and more

Blogging, Culture, Entertainment, Features, Flights, Korea, Leisure, Mindanaoan Update, Musings, Society, Style, Tourism, Travel
I have been traveling a lot the past few weeks! One of my recent foreign travel destinations was KOREA :) It was my very first time (and most definitely not the last!) to visit the world's only divided country and my brother (who was my travel companion) and I had the most amazing time! We stayed for a little over a week - just the perfect number of days to explore Seoul, Nami Island and a bit of North Korea (yessir!) I can't wait to share with you more details about our Korea trip! Please follow my humble Mindanaoan in Korea travel series by CLICKING ON THIS FEED and bookmarking/saving the pages :) You may also want to take a look at some of my photos on Instagram. I will share budget travel tips, very helpful travel apps, recommended hostel in Seoul, delicious Korea food finds, videos...