[UPDATED] SOUTH KOREA 2017: Guesthouses in Seoul

EDIT: Updated March 2018

Since I began traveling mid-budget, I rarely stay at hotels. I’ve never stayed in a hotel in Seoul. But I loved staying at guesthouses.

Guesthouses, generally, gives you a feeling of community, like a home away from home – but not quite (depending on your perspective of home, I dare say). To begin with, I’ve stayed at three different guesthouses whenever I’m in town. This is because I still want to explore staying at different parts of town and find out which is the best neighborhood for me.

For this post, I’ll discuss each guesthouse based on the following criteria: proximity to nearest subway station, proximity to Airport Limousine Bus stop, breakfast, reception, toilet/bath, space, price, facility, night life, and shopping. These are the ten points I look at when choosing a hostel or guesthouse in general. This can be your starting point in choosing your guesthouse in Seoul. Or even in other cities.

To make comparing objective, I’ll give one (1) point if it’s positive, and zero (0) if it’s negative, and point five (0.5) if there’s both positive and negative, based on my experience. I will also give explanation as necessary.

So let’s get right down to each of them.

Continue reading


Getting NBI Clearance (Batangas City Branch)

Hi Guys!

For this article, I am going to share with you the experience I had from getting my first NBI Clearance, written in an open letter.

The NBI Clearance is sometimes a requirement for when you travel abroad, and a mandatory requirement for people who plan on working abroad.

You can check the website of NBI for the instructions and request of clearance here. It is said that effective December 27, 2016, you can no longer transact without an online appointment.


This article will be about my experience in getting my NBI Clearance from the Batangas City Branch.

Dear NBI Batangas City Branch,

Continue reading

AirBnb: Why I decided to use this in Scotland (plus discount code!)

Hey guys!

Here’s another post for my UK 2016 series.


So we visited Scotland for 2 days and 1 night. And for the accommodation, we decided to stay at Susan and Andrew’s Top of the Royal Mile, a flat at Upper Bow, Edinburgh.

We initially had Ibis hotels in mind for this stay, but for our September 13-14 trip, we were booking this on September 10. It was really late and the hotel prices have skyrocketed. I remembered Mem saying that her friend used AirBnb in Paris and my Boss said he also used it in Scotland. One of my fangirl friends was also in Scotland the week before and her family also used AirBnb. So without thinking twice, I logged into AirBnb and searched available accommodations. Since I didn’t do any research on Edinburgh, I decided to use the station we’ll be alighting from (Waverley) and also my friend’s place (which, unfortunately, was no longer available) as reference.

Susan and Andrew’s flat seemed the perfect place, on the map.


When we got to the flat, it indeed, was pretty much close to everywhere. The plan was only to explore Edinburgh city anyway, so this is a good location already.

The flat is pretty spacious. Were were 4 adults and the flat has 1 room. But you can easily pull off a bedroom with the common room. Take note though that we only have one overnight bag each.

There were also reading materials in the flat, and I found this booklet on the walking tours of Edinburgh. I decided to pick that one up because we’re not planning to leave the capital city anyway. And I have always loved walking through and to beautiful places so that wasn’t a problem.

If you’re planning to use AirBnb for the first time, please use this link. It will give you P1,517 ($30) in travel credit (and will give me the same amount too!). You’ll need to sign up to AirBnb to claim it.


[Review] Gu Family Book: Thoughts after 20

from AsianMediaWiki

from AsianMediaWiki


I thought so! Right after Kang Chi said that they should meet again, I felt that the ending would be like that. And it was like that.

What surprised me, though, was that they stuck to the premise of one dying because of the other. It was bittersweet but I’m glad they were at least able to stand their ground and make the “fate” happen.

Even if after each episode I was ranting how things aren’t really logical, it’s like the next episode hears my rants and just explains everything – then makes things logical again.


from MnetWave

from MnetWave

Let me just emphasize the story arc of Wol Ryung (Choi JinHyuk was pure awesome in his smiling eyes AND in his evil identity crisis) and Seo Hwa (who was pretty Yeon Hee and gorgeous Se Ah). Their story was just so beautiful but so painful. Even with just a few episodes, a story of deceit, misunderstanding, betrayal, and sacrifice was all because of love. Theirs is basically a simplified version of how love stories are, minus of course the myths and massacre. I definitely missed them when their story came a close. I was glad that I was given that chance to see them be given a chance to close their story.

It was a rather long journey with the Gu Family Book. A roller coaster ride that at the end of the day, everyone still managed to have a happy ending.

I won’t anymore go into much detail of the acting – except that Cheong Jo was awesome in the climax of her arc, and I just wish Yeo Wool’s character was given more dimension.

With all these, I will give this drama a 9 out of ten. What did you guys think?


[Review] That Winter, The Wind Blows (Episode 1)

That winter the wind blows poster


It’s a season late that I am watching this drama with Jo Insung and Song Hyegyo as the leads.

It’s pretty amazing how this drama is making Winter in Korea look breathtakingly beautiful. I was in Seoul earlier this month, and though it’s technically Spring already (and despite the brutal cold for someone from the tropics) I regret not being there earlier in the year.

Then again, this drama is not just about the cinematography – although it presents colors and blurs and broken backgrounds splendidly. I think the beauty of the backdrop used in this drama was to compensate Youngie’s blindness. And to also make us – with the eyes that see – appreciate how beuatiful life really is, despite the ups and downs that we experience.

I refused to watch the movie version of this drama because the poster was too sad to look at. And come to think of it, the drama poster for That Winter was also too sad that I refused to watch it. Anyway, so far the story is working it’s way slowly.

While building the characters of Oh Soo and Oh Young, I came to realize that the drama is taking its time to make the viewers understand the personalities of the two at the same time build the complications around them.

But the evil of Secretary Wang is confusing. I’m guessing she wants to take over PL Group but she can’t do anything about it since she’s technically a stranger in the family.

Anyway, I still have a long way to go for this drama. It’s attractively short with only 16 episodes – well compared to other dramas nowadays at 20 or 24.

What about you guys? What do you think?


[Review] The Innocent Man – 100th Post

Because this is my 100th post, i decided to give it to this sort of awesome drama. I intended to give this honorable post to The Princess’ Man, but the review writing is taking longer than I expected and my blog was expecting a post.

taken from Wikipedia

taken from Wikipedia

And they finally close it at episode 20, overlooking a river of some sort in some secluded provincial town. Which I happen to like the colors that they used.

I am not going to write an extensive review (like the one I’m preparing for The Princess’ Man) but more of a reaction paper to this melodrama that piqued my interest and reasoning in real life.

I started off ranting on this drama until episode 8 when the story pretty much circled around EunGi’s hatred to the world, MaRu’s vengeful self, JaeHui’s ambitiousness and pretty much everyone’s attempt at keeping their so-called rightful place in society, while at the same time making the sane characters crazy. Then it took off when EunGi lost her memory and became this cheerful and bright chic in long skirts and pretty boots.

Then I was pretty much watching it.

Continue reading

[Review] The Innocent Man – First Look

taken from Wikipedia

taken from Wikipedia

It’s been 7 episodes already and I still don’t get the point of this drama. My frustration is growing, but exactly like the curious cat in me, I can’t seem to stop watching and finding out what will happen in the end.

The synopsis briefly goes like this,

“Betrayed by his ex-girlfriend Han JaeHee, Gang Maru uses the heiress Seo EunGi who lost her memory to take his revenge.”

And I am still waiting when Seo EunGi will loose her memory.

dating in Aomori

dating in Aomori

I only started watching this because of Moon ChaeWon. She’s all sorts of awesome in The Princess’ Man. She still is in The Innocent Man (I do see what they did there) but the story simply just doesn’t grow in me. I need more material, and more concrete plot direction to actually watch this without my mind going to an entirely different direction.

And it doesn’t help that I keep on skipping the scenes without Maru and EunGi. Even Park SiYeon’s Han JaeHee doesn’t work.

Ugh. Please let this drama take on a steadier beat rather than the EunGi-hates-the-world-but-loves-Maru-but-then-Maru-just-hates-the-world drama. Don’t let me hate on Song JoongKi because of this.

And right now, I would really appreciate any non-spoiler tip you can give just to move on with this drama. Any comments?