It's Been a Great Year of Adventure, 2016



Oh, wow, haven't the last couple of months been busy? I've been reflecting on my trips this year (with the help of, which is an site that generates your best nine photos on Instagram), my planner, and my blog posts (or lack thereof).

Five Things That Made Me Fall in Love with Ilocos



There are some places that, when you visit them, you fall in love with them and leave a part of yourself behind. Maybe because of the experience, because of how it looked, and how it felt. Maybe because of its history or its scenery. When I went to Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur last month, the tour package included a lot of stops in different places, but there were certain places that I liked the best and would love to visit again should I find myself once more in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur someday.

The Liebster Award



The Liebster Award is an online award given to bloggers by other bloggers that helps spread the love that we all so desperately desire. Liebster is a German word that translates to “dearest” so getting nominated for this is bound to give you a warm, fuzzy feeling.

Video: Triplets Explore Ilocos 2016



Last week, I went on a trip to Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, which are northern provinces of the Philippines. Lengthy post coming up about what we did and where we went and a bit of what we ate, but in the meantime, watch the video below that one of my friends made of our travels (and she's really good at it!). We call ourselves the Triplets, though we are neither siblings nor the same age nor have the same birthday. Ilocos is just one adventure, we are looking forward to more.

(Thanks for the video and the photos, Kim!)

Triplets Explore Ilocos from Kim P. Veria on Vimeo.

The 'One Lovely Blog Award'



Shout out to Hannah Henderson of Hannah Henderson Travel. Thank you so much for the nomination! I'm honoured.

As part of the nomination, I have to surrender a portion of my soul. Just kidding.

Packing Tips & Tricks for Travel [Infographic]



Got too many stuff to bring on your next vacation? What goes in your carry-on? What should you put in your check in? What are essential and what can be left behind?

I'm a huge fan of travelling light—and smart. I used to be the kind of person who would take a week to pack, but after being on several trips and reading countless articles and watching countless videos, I've learned that there are better ways to pack that will help me save time and space and make the experience all the more fun and less stressful.

The infographic below is a great guide to packing and travelling smarter.

Books to Inspire You to Travel



Books have inspired me in so many ways. Not just to try to write my own stories or to use writing as a means of expressing myself, but as I mentioned in a previous post, my love for travel was born out of my love for books.

How I Fell in Love with Travel



Most people fall in love with travel on the first trip that they take away from home. Kids who go on camping trips that are destined to change them forever. Who go to Disneyland or DisneyWorld or what other form of Disney there is and enjoy the delights of their childhood while screaming from the top of their lungs as the roller coaster whisks them from one spot or another in an exhilarating, dizzying, adrenaline-rushing ride. Or teens. Teens who are off on a school trip or any other trip where they get to volunteer rebuilding a school or a church. It might not be to another country, but a one-week venture to some place where the sights, sounds, and smells are so different from what they know to be home. Others are already adults when they take that first step into the unknown. Perhaps it is to visit a relative or family members. Perhaps they finally decided to take that long vacation their best friends have been convincing them to take. Perhaps they want to see what is this fascination with flying and travelling that they keep hearing everyone talking about.

Not so with me.

Adventures in Puerto Princesa, Palawan Day 3: Island-Hopping



Note: Wow, this post is overdue. Way overdue. Like one year behind overdue. But I have been taking a class here and there about Blogging and Content Marketing with Shaw Academy, and I've been learning that consistency is key. And in work, I have been learning to close the loop, to not leave any nail unhammered, any candlestick unpolished, any pie unbaked. I may not be able to post everyday or every week, but I will do my best to post once or twice a month.

We saved the island-hopping in Honda Bay for our third day in Puerto Princesa. They say that if you're in a big group, it's cheaper to customise your own tour and pay for the boat and entrance fees to each island, but if you're only 2-4 persons, it's better to get one of those fixed tours where they group you with other people. Puerto Princesa has a lot of those—tourist shops lined along the streets where you can book all sorts of tours. Even bed and breakfast inns and hotels have them, so we just had ours arrange by Casitas.

On Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes, and [Broken] Friendships



Photo from Huffington Post

So much spoilers here. Please, if you haven't seen the Captain America III: Civil War, and don't want things spoiled for you, don't read this post. Just bookmark it so you can come back here once you've seen the film and we can have a good tête-à-tête. *wink* So much fangirling here, too, albeit as subtly as I can put it. You have been warned.

I think this is—without a doubt—one of the most anticipated films for the year 2016. It's been several months after the battle of New York and the Avengers have often been seen on the streets, fighting crime and conspiracies, battling against bad guys who steal bio weapons, keeping hostile creatures at bay. Not all their missions have happy endings, however, and some even end in disaster, like the opening scenes of Civil War where, in trying to contain a bomb from exploding in a market place, Scarlet Witch diverts it to a building filled with people. This causes the leaders of the United Nations to ask "Who is keeping the Avengers in check?" The series of tragedies brings forth the Sokovia Accords which means that the Avengers can only operate under orders from the U.N. They are divided on the issue, with both sides of the argument having very compelling points, but, unlike the comics, which further explores the topic, this movie takes a different, more personal turn.

27 Things I'm Grateful for at 27 Years



Photo from Unsplash

Note: This is not enough to count all the blessings I have received in a lifetime and the blessings I receive everyday. But it is a list from my heart, a list of gratitude for all the people, circumstances, blessings in my life. So, in no particular order, here are things off the top of my head—things I'm truly grateful for:

Beyond the Barricade: A #LesMisManila Review



As far as spectacular experiences go, I'd say this was pretty first-rate. If you haven't seen Les Miserables yet and are going to and you don't want things spoiled, go no further. If you are easily annoyed by excessive fangirling, this post isn't for you. But if you love Les Miserables, whether or not you have seen the current play in Manila, whether or not you are going to, whether or not you have memorised the songs, whichever version you think is the best, join me in fangirling, though I must warn you that this is going to be a long post. (However, if you think Nick Jonas was the best Marius...)

Foodventure: The Chocolate Kiss Café



Location: Bahay ng Alumni, U.P. Diliman
Cuisine: Filipino, Italian
Prices: Ranging between P195-295 for a meal; P85-90 for a cake slice
Food Rating: 4/5
Service Rating: 4/5

I chanced upon The Chocolate Kiss again last Saturday—a delightful little café situated in one of the cosier corners of Bahay ng Alumni in U.P. Diliman. I'd only been there once or twice and for cakes (that are absolutely delicious, by the way), so this was my first time to taste their savory dishes.

My Life According to Literature (2015)



Oh my word! This has been so much fun to do! Huge thanks and shout out to Kara from Flowers of Quiet Happiness. I think I'm going to be doing this every year starting forward. And, just like Kara, I did this for my 2015 reads only because 2016 has just begun and my reading list is quite short and everything else would take forever for me to decide which ones to put.

Foodventure: Wabi-Sabi



Location: Tomas Morato, Quezon City
Cuisine: Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese
Prices: P180 for ramen; P80-100+ for side dishes
Food Rating: 4/5
Service Rating: 4/5

Raise your hand if you love Japanese food!

Oui, moi aussi, j'adore la cuisine japonaise!

Join the Little Women Read-Along in February



Picture from here.

Wondering what to read this February?

Join us for a read-along of Louisa May Alcott's best-loved classic, Little Women which follows the story of the four March sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. This is one of the very first books I read while I was growing up (after Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables). I've read it a few times over the years, but not recently, so I am excited to be doing this challenge. Little Women takes a special place in my heart because it is about four girls and we are four girls in the family who bear several similarities to the March girls in the exact same order too!