Exploring the universe: Baguio 2016

I’ve always dreamt of having an artambay with friends outside of manila and recently that dream came true!
Visited one of my fave places in the Philippines, Baguio, with my friend Ella πŸ™‚ Met up with Aileen and we had a mini artambay while munching on yummy pastries from Hill Station:

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I was also able to draw some Baguio memories in my travel sketchbook:

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Painted this linnet while we were waiting for the bus:

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Exploring the universe: Hoover dam and Bryce Canyon 2016

We explored Hoover dam and I really loved the art deco style and all the astronomical-related details there:

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The door above was seen in the restroom, and I love how gold was everywhere: gold, rose gold, mint green and cream. πŸ™‚

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Bryce canyon was majestic. I was able to go down in some areas but went back because the sole of my shoes didn’t have enough traction and I didn’t want to injure myself. I took photos instead, and stalked chipmunks.

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After New York, my cam’s memory card got so full so I had to resort to using my cellphone to take photos. These are all taken blindly with my phone. Samsung’s camera is clear, but i’m not too fond of it autofocusing all the time. Most of my photos are blurry lol and in the daylight I really did not see what I’m taking a photo of or if the photo was captured haha. It made me feel like it was an analog camera (every shot a surprise haha) which makes me feel a bit better. πŸ™‚ Dear universe, I want a new camera with wifi please thank you lol.

Exploring the Universe: Vegas 2016

From New York, we flew to Cali and drove to Vegas. Amazed at how bright Vegas is at night, and how similar the morning weather is to Manila (except less humid and more windy).

I’m not a huge drinker but I do enjoy seeing colorful things and structures heh. My fave activity from Vegas would have to be sampling the 16 international coca-cola flavors at the Coke store! For only 8 dollars you can do this, and it was a fun bonding activity for the family:

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I wrote notes in my journal about each one and my fave would have to be the Smart watermelon one from China and the Fanta Pineapple one from Greece.

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Also enjoyed the colorfulness of the M&M store–resisted the urge to splurge inside, probably because I just ate a huge dinner before going here:

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I got some tsum tsums, finally! These are mystery ones and I was hoping I could get the Cinderella one, but oh well. Look at that cute mermicorn tho:

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Um, I got some plush tsum tsums too:

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I enjoyed faux Paris and faux Venice and faux NY! I loved how you can travel to various places in a day haha:

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I also enjoyed the fishes made from flowers at the Bellagio! The real fishes in Caesar’s Palace freaked me out a bit so this was more awesome for me haha:

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Look at that beautiful ceiling!

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I also thoroughly enjoyed the dancing fountain show:

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Exploring the Universe: New York 2016

What I love most about NY is how easily I can go around the city via subway. I was intimidated and confused by the many different lines ar first but when I figured it out a bit, I was able to visit all the items in my NY bucket list!

Rode the ferry to Liberty island and Ellis island:

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Walked along the high line a la Abbi and Ilana from Broad City:

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I would have loved staying there for longer, I loved the plants and flowers and the view:

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Saw the Alice sculpture in Central Park after around 2 or 3 hours of walking haha:

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Really steep subway escalator:

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Ceiling mosaic from a subway station:

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Checked out the Guggenheim museum, and my fave would have to be the exhibit featuring artworks by children:

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Saw these black and white cookies first from seinfeld first, and bought some as my drawing snack while I did some urban sketching at Bryant park:

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At the MoMa, I serendipitously bumped into Victoria! We were looking at the same painting (seen below, the one behind us) and I noticed that the girl beside me looked familiar. When I asked her if she was Victoria, I was actually surprised that she was! Haha πŸ™‚

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I loved the MoMa but was really happy I caught the Degas exhibit, with all his monotype works:

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My fave from the Met, entirely made of glass:

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Was also able to finally meet my lj friend Keith! We met in lj ten years or more ago and we were able to finally meet in person! Thanks for everything, Keith πŸ™‚

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She took me to Koreatown where we had really yummy sweet and savoryΒ  waffles and this unforgettable jasmine matcha latte (still dreaming of it till now):

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Then we walked around Times square, saw a Strand stall, and went inside the Disney store where I went a bit crazy (tsum tsumssss):

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Offered to take photos of tourists and tourists offered to take photos of me, which I gladly accepted haha. The Grand Central station is as beautiful as they say it is. Wore my Ghostbusters shirt becauseeee New Yorkkk

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We rode the Roosevelt island tram (I want to live in Roosevelt island):

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Brooklyn 99 is love, so I snapped some photos of this police station in Brooklyn when we walked towards the Brooklyn bridge:

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Also visited the NY public library:

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And walked to St. Patrick’s cathedral and the Rockefeller center:

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We stayed near the NY Times building. Got myself mexican corn and hibiscus juice from the popup stalls near the area, and took this photo of the buildings nearby:

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Brooklyn bridge:

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While walking around, I was able to catch a glimpse of the Chrysler building from a side street:

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Travel journal peek: Taal, Batangas

We stayed at the beautiful Paradores del Castillo and the place was so relaxing and the food so delicious that we didn’t want to leave. The staff was so accommodating and friendly and we felt at home. It was also filled with art made by local artists (on our first time to stay there last year, I got to talk to the artist of the painting in the wall in my journal below and it was an interesting experience). They had a common sala with a long table which was bright and airy so I felt very inspired to work on my travel journal. I used a midori insert, and I can say that I am now a midori believer!

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The lower left page above is the view from when I read for a bit, and contains the painting I mentioned above. For a closer look at the pages, you may check out my instagram: @mabuhaydiy  πŸ™‚

Am thinking of making these into a zine, what do you think? πŸ™‚

Happy easter!

Exploring the universe: Taal, Batangas

For holy week, my family and I visited Taal, Batangas. It reminds me of Vigan because of the old houses. Look at the beautiful door knockers:

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We ate at cafe G, walking distance from Taal Basilica (we were craving halo-halo) which had very beautiful interiors. Ambience: A++! I love the theme of the resto, which was love. πŸ™‚

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The service was warm and friendly, and prices are reasonable, but unfortunately, the food left a lot to be desired. We enjoyed the tuna salad and broccoli and cheese soup (which arrived after all the main dishes were finished). My pasta order arrived after everyone was already finished eating, (they apologized since they ran out of pasta but I wish they mentioned it earlier so I could have simply changed my order, no big deal) and my chicken and mushroom alfredo did not have any mushrooms at all. 😦 It tasted like canned cream of mushroom soup but I was expecting even some mushroom bits. The canned cream of mushroom soup base also made it taste too salty, sadly. I could not finish my order because of it. My mom’s order was rosemary chicken which was too dry to be eaten and when she complained to the server they served her a better-cooked chicken, which was really nice of them. Props to them for that.
The halo-halo looked gorgeous:

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It tasted just okay, a bit too sweet for my taste. It had nata de coco, macapuno, red kaong, ube halaya, whipped cream and a cherry and a thin crispy waffle on top. The other tables seemed to enjoy their cold drinks which was perfect for the hot summer weather. I really hope they improve on these shortcomings and I’m willing to give them another chance, maybe for merienda. πŸ™‚ 

I love the mural outside Tampuhan Cafe. We weren’t able to eat there but hopefully next time. πŸ™‚

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Exploring the Universe: Japan 2015- Nara Highlights!

From Osaka, we went to Nara, where I went crazy because I dearly love deer. And Ninjas!

Sakura trees everywhere.

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My fave mascot.

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We stayed in this beautiful inn with deer origami and teeny tiny crane origami. They had the most beautiful yukata too, which I wore incorrectly accidentally heh:

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First deer sighting, near the temple:

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Inside the temple, you can donate a thousand yen (if I remember correctly) for temple restoration/and they’d give you a tile in exchange where you can paint your hopes/wishes, to be used in the temple. (I’m Rean, btw. My brother and I asked if we could split a tile and they agreed)

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Sakura ice cream!

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We went to the Ninja Museum, where they had ninja-themed trains:
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My dad and brother joined the shuriken-throwing thang after the ninja show (which I thoroughly enjoyed) and I’m happy to report that I was able to hit some areas of the target (not a bulls-eye, but the target nevertheless hehe).

Cute kids in ninja costumes:

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I wish we had ice cream vendo machines here too! I try to eat new ice cream/cold icy things when traveling abroad and I had the strawberry one, I think. I forgot to snap a photo because we were in a hurry, eep.

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Holding hands with deer, checking out the sights:

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Bye Nara! I really loved the Nara vibe, it reminded me of artsy Baguio. IMG_2426

Exploring the Universe: Japan 2015-Osaka!

I can’t get over how happy I was that we were able to visit one of my dream destinations last March: Japan! My excitement was beyond words–I was dreaming of this since I was a kid and I couldn’t believe we were finally going! There will be miracles when you believe!

I borrowed sd cards and filled around 10 gb with photos. In my excitement, most of those shots are blurry, though. I wanted to capture every moment but my hands wouldn’t cooperate, heh. I also wanted to fill my travel sketchbook with daily observations/food/people dorkwings but I couldn’t really decide if I wanted to draw or just stare at everything with happy tears streaming down my facee

(I did some drawings after, though, before I forget the happy memories. See my instagram for sneak peeks: @aphazia)

Here are some highlights of our Osaka trip. We went to Osaka, Nara, Kyoto and Tokyo.
Click each photo if you want to enlarge it. πŸ™‚
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Touchdown! First photo op, with vendo and Pikachu because why not:

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