Shy was at Baguio Village Inn

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

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4 Crucial Things to Consider when Planning Travel Itinteraries

Everyone has his or her own reasons why they travel.  Some people travel to experience another culture, some people travel to be alone for awhile, some people want to break free and experience the pleasure in life. No matter how grand or banal your reasons may be, sometimes we forget it when we start planning our trip.  Here are some pitfalls that people forget during their plans.

1.  Remember your reason for travel and align your plans around it. 
Some people stack their itineraries with activities when all they wanted is to find themselves.  Yes experiencing fun things are great but you miss out on the chance on some real deal introspection.  And just because you are trying to find yourself, you would lock yourself in your room.  It is a matter of balancing these activities and making sure you are able to find what you have wanted to find in the trip.

2. After finishing your plan, honestly ask yourself if you are willing to do what you have set out to do.
Sometimes you are not so serious about your plan that you didn't even plan out on how to succeed in it.  You just have a general idea on what you want to happen.  When you're not planning, don't expect to succeed much.  Commit, dedicate and accept what you have set yourself to do.

3.  Think if you are fit enough to do them.
Stop scheduling activities back to back or else you'll find yourself exhausted.  If you are determined to tick out on activities that you want to experience, you have to physically train your body for activities throughout the day.

4. Ask yourself on how to make it extra special.
You don't want to have the same experience like what other people in the blogosphere had.  There are ways and means to up the ante on making moments extra special.  One is by combining 2 things or 3 things that you are planning to do.  For example, if going around in Vietnam and experiencing it at the same time are the main activities you want to have, then why not join a food trip tour that goes around in bikes.  Or if you wish to see aurora borealis in Iceland and also to experience dipping in their white spa, why do them at the same time.

Publisher: Shy - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Friday, October 21, 2016

#FreeTheJoy with Limited Edition Cadbury Dairy Milk Christmas Flavors

Oh my gosh! I am feeling the Christmas spirit you guys! 

Can I just say how excited and over-the-moon I am that the 3 SUPER OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD limited edition variants of Cadbury Dairy Milk are already back in the market?

I CAN NO LONGER WAIT to get my hands on these goodness!

If you have not tried them, please do, because these will totally change the way you see chocolate.  These sexy, yummy, rich and delicious chocolate variants are NOTHING like any other chocolates out there!

I'll stake my honor, my life, my reputation, and my presidency, I mean, my womanhood on it. [taga-davao din ako kaya stake din ako nang stake!]

They are SO GOOD that you could give them as gifts this coming Christmas season or even in any special occasions.  As a matter of fact, I am already thinking of whom I'll be giving these to, just in case they haven't tasted them.  I wish they haven't so I could personally introduce them to this higher level of deliciousness and maybe they'll be so grateful to me that they'll give me a fantastic gift in return (wink wink Ninja moves ya'll).

I'm sure they're going to love it!!!

First let me introduce you to Cadbury Dairy Milk Black Forest.

If you guys haven't tasted this, then you should because you are missing out a LOT.  The first time I tried this, my eyes popped out, and my mind exploded and that was it.  I was in love.  This has everything I wanted and more.  The citrus flavor of the chewy cherry jellies inside and the cherry popping candies (for the lack of better term) are just mind blowingly good.  The cherry flavor cuts through the rich and milky velvety taste of the Cadbury Dairy Milk that we know.  It totally balances out the flavor.  The yin and yang.   It's so good it's going to take you to nirvana.  So please for the sake of the god of chocolate and all things good in this world, do try this and you'll know why I'm going loony here.

This Blackforest variant is perfect for my sister.   She's a yin and yang of all sorts.  She's hot and cold, she's yes and she's no, she's in and she's out, she's up and she's down.  But I'm sure once she gets to try this, she'll not have 2 sides on this one. She'll be all in too like I am.

Next, is the Cadbury Dairy Milk French Vanilla.

This is something I haven't tasted before but I am setting my evil chocolate-lusting eyes on this one.  I will be waiting on the supermarket's shelves like a thief in the night, like a hungry vulture, like a chocolate-lover which is what I am and, darn it, I am not ashamed to admit it!  

Why the anticipation you ask?  


I tell you why.  

Deep inside this chocolate case is an oozy gooey wonderful layer of French Vanilla 
I know right.

I haven't tried this yet, but just the thought of it, just the mere thought of it drives me to the edge of my mind.  Okay, I need to take a pause to keep myself together because that thought of it, ugh, shatters me

It breaks my heart why I don't have it now. huhuhu

This is for my partner because I am addicted to him as I am addicted to the thought of this variant.  I'll be dreaming on this in my sleep for now.

And last but definitely not the least, the Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate Mousse.  

I am going to cry.  Literally.  I am a chocolate afficionado, and Cadbury Dairy Milk just did the best thing for humanity by combining the 2 things that make this world smile: chocolate mousse and Cadbury Dairy Milk bar.  Let me describe to you this miracle.  When you see this, it looks like your regular Cadbury Dairy Milk Bar.  But wait, there's more.  When you bite it, guys, there's some friggin chocolate mousse inside it!!!

WAHHHHH  [and doing my happy dance]

So soft, so decadent, so want it, so much.  Huhuhu

This suits my friend, Ivy.  She's good inside and out.  She's tough on the outside but really soft in the inside, but both are perfect. Just like this heaven sent right here.


So I guess I have probably creeped you out already.  I just cannot contain my happiness.  Cadbury Dairy Milk is killing it y'all.  It's slaying other chocolate brands out there by releasing these masterpieces of variants.

These are definitely Cadbury Dairy Milk's gift to the world.  These 3 amazing variants send a fleeting message in my heart saying - I LOVE YOU!

Well Cadbury Dairy Milk, I LOVE YOU MORE!

Cadbury Dairy Milk Black Forest, Cadbury Dairy Milk French Vanilla, and Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate Mousse are available in 180g packs for a suggested retail price of P180.00. Hurry and get all flavors – available until supplies last! #FreeTheJoy this Christmas with Cadbury Dairy Milk! 

Publisher: Shy - Friday, October 21, 2016

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

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3 Smart Ways to Pack for Travel

I always pack light and I pack what's needed.  

On the other hand, my friend doesn't.  One time, she brought 3 big bags full of clothes with her for our trip to Bangkok.  I was surprised she didn't bring her closet. Good thing I've taught her a thing or 2 on packing.  This post is what I told her and more.  These are my smart tips on how I I pack for my travels.

First is the obvious and that is I take notice on the culture and the climate of the place.  If you'll be visiting during winter season, throw in some gloves, jackets, cover ups and what not.  But if during summer, use cotton tops, or any clothes that's made of light materials.  I don't really bring jeans with me when I travel. It's just too bulky to pack.  That's just my preference though.

1. I plan per day base on the itinerary 

So if the first day would involve touring around an open field or just visiting museums, I would bring a tank top and shorts (if it's allowed), or any cotton top and leggings or a full dress.  If it involves going to the beach, of course bring in the extra towels, the mats, etc.  Aside from clothes, I plan the toiletries, documents, food, snacks, tools, essentials that's needed for the day.  Once day 1 is done, I move on to the next day.  This is what I do so that I don't get to miss out on anything.

- when planning I make sure I don't wear the same style of clothes on consecutive days.  Let's say I packed a top and shorts for the 2nd day, the next day I'll wear a floral dress.  Also I plan it depending on where I'll go.  When I went to visit historical museums and heritage houses with my family, I wore a vintage style dress to be ''one" with the place.  I'm dramatic like that.

- I also bring an extra smaller sling bag with me that I could use everyday to carry my passport, cp, make up, and wallet.

-Here's my rule of thumb.  I use sleepwear twice.  So if I have to spend 4 nights.  I'll bring 2 sleepwears.  I prefer to bring slip ons or dress so it's just 1 piece.  Also I bring 2 extra tops especially if I'll be doing an activity that I may sweat.  The sleepwear1 would be placed under set of clothes1, sleepwear 2, would be under set of clothes2.  I don't like wearing the same sleepwears on 2 consecutive nights.  Again this is just my preference.

- when wearing a closed shoes, don't forget to bring 3 pairs of socks.

2. When I'm set to pack, Í strategically group together pieces so its easier to get.

I fold a clothes for the day with underwear in it already.  I put things in compartments and organizers.

 3.  Strategically place the clothes in order of usage.

I place the set of clothes that I'll be wearing for the last day, at the bottom of the bag, and the last, which would be on top will be for the clothes on the second/first day.  If you're using a luggage, you could arrange it from right to left, or left to right.  The towels, extra clothes, and sash right beside the set of clothes for the itinerary. The slippers,  toiletries are placed on the sides, with its own compartments or bag. Chargers and documents I placed in compartments with zippers outside the bag for easy access. Snacks, cp charger, make up bag, glasses, wallet, candy, moisturizer, alcohol, tissue, sash I'll bring with me in carry on bag.

Publisher: Shy - Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Thursday, October 13, 2016

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19 Extremely Helpful Things to Know before going to Hongkong

1.  Don't bring a lot of clothes  
Buy it there instead.  There are plenty of great deals out that you might not be able to resist.  Go to Mongkok and you'll understand why.

2.  Know what you want to experience and focus on those instead of ticking all items and squeezing everything in the itinerary  
What will happen is you'll the end up not following it.  You'll miss out on the better stuff and got the ones you never really truly enjoyed.

3. When in the escalator, stay on the right side when you are not in a hurry, the left side is for those who are. 
This is not the thing in the Philippines so when I was there I was scolded by a local because I was blocking her way as she was wanting to pass through.  There's a sign on there, but I never get to notice it much before the incident.  As a fast learner, I was able to comply thereafter.

4. Boots are great, but it's better to have a shoe wear that are comfortable.  
Looking good is important but you'll realize in the end that it'll not going to be fun after awhile of walking on it.  Do try to choose slippers or shoes which have cushion at the bottom.  Comfort reigns supreme.  And when wearing some type of shoes, don't forget to wear socks.

5. You'll not be figuring out the train system at first, and maybe even on the 2nd day.  
You'll get by soon enough, don't worry.  What makes it confusing is that there are too many people passing in different directions and there are too many signage to follow that it's easy to get confused.

6. There are things you could enjoy for free, but make sure you've got yourself covered on the miscellaneous expenses. 
In my other posts I have enumerated things that you could do for free.  I didn't even bother putting everything on there as I may just overwhelm you (as if 19 things is not enough).  A smart traveler always bring extra money, just in case.

7. In fastfood chains, throw your trash at the garbage and place it neatly on top of the stacked trays.
It was just on my second trip to McDonalds that I was able to catch up on this.  I was with a fellow filipina on my first one.  Since I was too preoccupied chatting with her, I wasn't able to dispose my leftovers and left it behind on the table.  On my second trip though, I was alone so I became observant and noticed locals, some expats and tourists cleaning up their trays and stacking it up with the rest.

8.  Know your eating etiquette.  
You might be traveling alone, eating with locals or just eating with a friend, it doesn't matter, you have to do what the Romans do.  You have to adjust accordingly so as not to offend anybody around you. Here are some tips here.

9. Just because Hongkong is a safe place it doesn't mean that you throw all the cautions out of the window.  
I've read that there are still some crimes happening. So precautionary ways should still be followed like not going to seedy places at night especially when alone.

10. Hongkong is small, but it doesn't mean you can already go around everywhere in one day. 
It's too diverse to be only enjoyed for 1 day.  There are the beaches and the hills, the fishermen village and the skyscrapers, the buzz during daytime and the craziness and awesomeness at night time.  It has plenty of experiences to offer.  Surely you can't fit it in a day.

11. It's easy to find your way around the streets as they are labeled properly.  
But if for some reason you get lost, you can always ask someone, preferably hotel staff, store staff etc.

12.Be aware of the scams happening.  
There are currency exchange staff and taxi drivers who could rip you off.  Just be wary.

13. Gentle hand shakes when meeting someone new.  
Remember gentle.  In business, a firm handshake is advised as it means confidence, but we should set that aside for other days, that and patting, hugging, pointing with fingers or mouth.  When pointing, point with your hand instead.  Check here for more info.

14. Don't forget to bring the essentials.  
During the colder season, don't forget to bring chapstick or else your lips would be cracking from the cold, if it's summer season, bring sunscreen.

15. Purchase your octopus card.  
It's pretty much essential to have one.  So don't be surprised that another travel blogger is preaching about this again.

16.  Hongkong is slowly becoming the Dubai of Asia. 
It has the tallest hotel (Ritz Carlton) and the biggest floating restaurant (Jumbo Kingdom) in the WORLD.  It also has the world's largest permanent Light and Sound show , the world's biggest clock and watch fair, and is now building the World's biggest Gold vault and trading hub.

17. There are free walking tours that you can choose from.
This was something I wasn't able to take advantage of.  Here are the options available: hk free walk , freetour and the hongkong free tours.

18. You might be approached by people randomly and may try to be friends with you. 
Be careful, they may be up to no good.  I was approached too many times by Indian nationals in many places I've went to.  Best to be friends with people in your guesthouse instead.

19.  Public toilets are open 24 hours.
These are cleaned every two days.

Publisher: Shy - Thursday, October 13, 2016

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

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15 Awesome Things You Could Enjoy in Hongkong for FREE

If you are planning to visit Hongkong, and you want to enjoy it the best way you for free, then you have come to the right place.

First things first

Go to Visitor's station.  It's a kiosk in the airport where there are a lot of tourist maps for the taking.  Get one for free and there will be tourism staff who could recommend you of some places for you to check out.  There you'll see all the things you could do during your stay.  Please don't miss out on this as it became very helpful for me. I believe that there are some Visitor's stations in major landmarks in Hongkong since I spotted one in Sky Peak although I got my copy at the airport.  You could book tours with them.  Some are free and some aren't.  You could find them at the airport in the address below:

Address:Buffer Halls A and B, Arrivals Level, Terminal 1, Hong Kong International Airport, Lantau Island
Opening hours: 8am-9pm daily

You need to book your tour in advance at Visitor's Station.  As far as I know, there are no tours given English (only Chinese), but if you don't mind that then good.
Chinese Museum

2.  Flag Raising Ceremony at the Golden Bauhinia Square

This happens from 7:50 to 8:05 am.  If you're curious to see anything of this sort.  You might want to check it.

3. Symphony of lights

You could find this in Kowloon along Harbour bay.  Scheduled to start at 8pm, try to look for a nice location since a flock of tourists will be there as well to enjoy it.

Symphony of Lights

4. Tai Chi class at Sculpture court in front of the Hong Kong Museum

Go there around 8am so you could experience everything from the start.  It's available on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and it's said to last for 4 hours.

There are street performances in Mongkok area.  If you get lucky you could get to witness them for yourself.  Street performances could range from Kung fu and jazz performances.

street performers

6. Old and New HK walk tour

Before you do this you have to have a background on each landmark for you to appreciate it more.  I suggest you walk closest to the buildings than the street as people don't like you blocking their way.  They like to walk fast here, I don't know why.  What I did is copy the itinerary for walk tours and just did it myself.

7.  Sai Kung Beach 

I've heard a lot of housemates recommending me to go there.  As a solo female traveler, it seems an odd location to visit.  I don't know, it makes me feel sad thinking about me sitting in the sand and just staring at the sea.  It's such a melodramatic sight.  But if it's your thing then go right ahead.

Sai Kung Beach, Hongkong

8. Fishermen village

Going here costs a bit but when you're already there, you would get to see the other side of HK.  It's a totally different and low key environment.  
Tai O Fishermen Village at Lantau Island

9.  Witness the party area of HK at Lan Kwai Fong

See bottles everywhere, and people getting drunk.  It's exhilarating and interesting.  Best to enjoy it with new friends and party the night away.  As for my company, we just passed by there, took a selfie and drank some place where it's peaceful.

Party at Lan Kai Fong

10.  Flower, fish, ladies and bird market  

You can access all these in one walkin
g tour.  Start at King Edward MTR station, go through these markets and work your way out of Kowloon's shopping center.  You may check your guide here.

11. See the Jumbo Kingdom, the world's largest floating restaurant lit at night Aberdeen Harbour

It's the biggest in the world, so why don't you pay a visit, even when you don't plan to get inside.  Just outside would be fine.  Best to enjoy it at night when it's all lit up, smiling at you like a humongous firefly.

Jumbo Kingdom Restaurant
12.Visit Museums  
Here is a list of museums which are free every Wednesday. the Museum of Art, Museum of History, Heritage Museum, Science Museum, Space Museum, Museum of Coastal Defence and the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Museum. The Flagstaff Museum of Tea Ware, Hong Kong Railway Museum, Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum, and a handful of folk museums are free of charge on every day, as are the exhibitions at the Hong Kong Film Archive and the Hong Kong Arts Centre.  For more information do check here.

13. Go to art galleries  

Hongkong has a vast array of art galleries that you could check for free.  Do see the list here.  Each has different open hours so please be mindful of these if you wish to visit any of the galleries.

art gallery in Hongkong

14.Go up the Ritz Carlton and check the magnificent few of HK at night.  

You don't really have to spend a dime to enjoy the view.  But if you want to stay a bit more, then you might have to shell out some money for drinks and what not.  Go up to the 118th floor where the bar is.  Take note, it is the highest in the world. so feast your eyes on some world class scenery. 

Ozone Bar at Ritz Carlton

Hongkong has plenty of these spiritual places.  You could get inside, get a feel of the atmosphere and ambiance, or pray if you wish.  But please limit or refrain from taking selfies and photos of the place inside especially when people are praying.  

Man Mo temple

Publisher: Shy - Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Sunday, October 2, 2016

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5 Helpful Tips for a Stress-free Photoshoot in Intramuros

Photoshoot Intramuros

So you are already set for a photoshoot in Intramuros.    It's not enough to bring yourself and your camera with you.  There are some things on the side that you have to do so everything would go smoothly as planned.  Like we all know, preparation is the key to success.  So let's make this photo trip a successful one by not forgetting these 5 essential things.

1. A checklist.  

Sometimes it doesn't hurt to be OCD once in a while if it means having a great shoot.  List down all the essentials, from the extra lenses, permit, down to the blush on and lipstick.  And please bring tissues, and oil blotters because the oil and sweat glands would start kicking in as the day gets hotter.

2. Assign a time checker.  

Yes, time flies by so fast that you wouldn't notice that an hour has already passed and you haven't gotten your perfect shot yet.  Someone in the group should be assigned to budget the time accordingly to each 3 places, included in the allotment is the time it takes to move from point A to B, as some places are located far from each other.  He or she is also in charge of reminding the couple and the photographer that it's already 30 minutes, 15 minutes before the time that they have to go and move to the next location.

3.  Know your direction.  

There will be a map of Intramuros provided along with the permit.  Some people are great with directions, but some are not.  Don't waste time getting lost, but instead figure out which way to go or ask for direction.  Time is not our friend here.  In our case, we almost walked past the Casa Manila Patio.  You wouldn't really see it as it is located inside a building.  Good thing we read the sign board outside, pointing us to a pathway towards the patio.

4.  Snacks, umbrella and water.  

Like I said in my other post, food and water are a bit expensive so better bring some with you.  Avoid buying from small stores or sari sari stores because the price is just too high, go to 7 eleven instead.  Don't forget to bring flip flops for the couples, unless they're wearing shoes that are extra comfy to walk on for longer period of time.  If you have a car, then no need for this.  The main idea here is to make it as comfortable as possible for the couples because if they'll feel hungry, thirsty or just in pain, then stress levels would easily go up, which means that it'll take time for them to ease in the shoot. 

5.  Have fun.  

Okay I know it's obvious, but when many odds are against you, then it's easy to make the whole experience a stressful one.  Have a playful and positive mindset.  Have a great music playing in the background if you have to.The more fun it is for everybody, the better the whole experience would be, thus better shots.  

Do you have anything to add on here?  Do share in the comment box. :)

You might also want to read:

6 Places to Have a Photoshoot in Intramuros, Manila
How to Apply Permit for a Photoshoot in Intramuros

Publisher: Shy - Sunday, October 02, 2016
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6 Places to Have a Photoshoot in Intramuros, Manila

There are only 6 venues available for photoshoot in Intramuros.  That's a few knowing that there are plenty of photoshoot-worthy areas.  And if that's not bad news, you can only choose at most 3 of the 6 .   Yes, 3 places to go around in 4 hours, some places situated far from each other.  If you think of it, 4 hours is not enough.  So to make your photoshoot worth it, it's best to pick the best locations and wrap things up fast.

Sample map of Intramuros.  (Not the one given to you with the permit.)

Here are a list of the 6 venues, so choose wisely. :)

1. Casa Manila Patio

Guwardiya sibil guarding the patio

2. Puerta Real Gardens

Bougainvillea draping down a patio in Puerto Real Gardens

3. Baluarte de San Andres

Old building in Baluarte de San Andres

4. Baluarte de Dilao

5. Baluarte de San Diego Gardens
Remnants of the building

6. Plaza Moriones/Fort Santiago Gate

Fort Santiago Gate 
Publisher: Shy - Sunday, October 02, 2016
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