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Showing posts from February, 2015

Swapped the snowboard for my camera.

Since I couldn't do any more snowboarding for the rest of this trip, thanks to my injured wrist, I just had to do something else. I couldn't be sulky or be a pain; otherwise, I'd ruin both our moods. So, time for my Plan B: photo walk! To think I even considered leaving my camera behind! Shocking, right? Thank goodness I opted to lug my gear with me despite my carry-on's weight breaching the upper limit. 
Anyway, while Matty enjoyed skiing on the slopes, I enjoyed the photo walk day! It's more landscape photography, more than anything else; but I was also able to chase after birds and to do a bit of hiking... none of close-up snowboarding or skiing action shots though because I didn't want to hang around the piste. 
Yongpyong Ski Resort is just one beautiful place to explore on foot (and technically, by air, too)! 
So, without further ado, here are some photos I took that day. Yes, my injured left wrist was not an excuse to avoid having fun with the lens that …

Knowing Korea via the food

Food. This is an adventure in itself, I think, particularly when visiting new places. I have to admit that during our trip, I didn't go as far as listing down must-try restaurants... I'd rather trust Matty's restaurant choices because he has very good taste. And I've been proven correct again and again throughout our adventure week. :)
Our food trip began at the Incheon International Airport. After a long tour of the different restaurants, we ended up in one that served pizza. This is becoming a tradition between us, it seems: land in a new city and the first place we go to has pizza. To shake things up a bit, I opted for a pine nuts and mushroom udon. It was just delicious! Perfect to warm my tummy since I know we'd face the cold real soon.

When we arrived in Hoenggye, there weren't many options for dinner because of the lateness of the hour. We settled for hot drinks and pretzels at the cafe near our hotel. Those were also good though I was wishing we'd…

Jazz, Once in a Blue Moon

Given that we only had an evening back in the city, we should at least get a sense of what the soul of Seoul is like, right? Since we arrived in the afternoon, most of the tourist destinations were (we assumed) already closing. And so we opted to just take a walk into the city... This is one of my favourite ways to explore: no concrete planning; just let our feet bring us to where we'd end up (the other one? Drive and drive and drive). 
Anyway, our long and winding winter walk (in the rain, if I might add) led us to a jazz club named Once in a Blue Moon. What we didn't know is that this bar is actually one of the most famous places in Seoul as it is often a film shoot location. According to a blog post I've read after our vacation, many marriage proposals have been proposed in Once in a Blue Moon. In fact, a proposal must have been taking place stage left because the couple there was uber sweet with each other. 
Matty really has a nose for finding really good places!

We w…

Medical tourism.

Well, as Matty walked me over to the medics' office, he told me to keep him posted and that I should get my hand x-rayed as soon as possible. He certainly wasn't happy when he learned that the soonest that this could be done was Monday, the next day.
What could I do, right? I wasn't about to wallow in self-pity or ruin the rest of our week by being a pain. I saw this, instead, as an opportunity to see the rest of Pyeongchang-gun, and perhaps even another part of Gangwon province because I was going to a hospital (Jay kindly offered to drive me to one). Medical tourism it is. 
Game over. After three hours of snowboarding on the Mega Green, I had, at last, a good run... until I made a very bad fall that landed me in the resort's medical center. A photo posted by Rochie Cuevas (@rochiecuevas) on Feb 23, 2015 at 6:20pm PST
Jay brought me to the Dong-in Medical Center in Gangneung. It was a unique experience, being a patient in a hospital where doctors and medical staff did…

Snowboarding 101 :)

Friday, bright and early... It was the moment of exciting truth... I was about to go snowboarding!!
The evening before, Jay (Ski Korea) had picked us up in Alpensia and had equipped us with snowboards, boots, snow jackets, and snow pants. Junn (also of Ski Korea) kindly met Matty and me at Yongpyong Ski Resort's Tower Plaza on Friday and brought us to the snowboarding school where I'd meet my teacher for the day. 
Nervous? Nah. Snowboarding would be FUN!!

Okay, everything became different when I finally had to carry my snowboard with me to the edge of the New Yellow slope, where all the beginners were getting oriented. I felt jittery because this was really it. My teacher's patience and confidence made me feel that I could at least not break a bone while learning to snowboard. Day 1, here we go!
Lesson 1: The anatomy of the snowboard. The terminology just had to be right because I had to know where to put my weight when teacher tells me to do so. Heel-side, toe-side, nose…

Korea-bound :)

Finally, the lunar new year had arrived! I was very excited because we were finally flying to Korea! Matty did promise a painful week and I expected to get bruised knees, but no matter... I had enjoyed snowboarding with Biboy and Barbara in Boreal over Christmas so this week in Korea should be full of great stuff too.
Matty just arrived from Thailand the night before so I was amazed that he's up in the wee hours to pick me up in time for our AirAsia flight to Incheon (while I was not as awake; Rochie <-- crammer packer). He also came armed with The Office and Fawlty Towers on his iPad to keep us entertained during our trip. He was really prepared.

The sun was just rising in the east when our plane got ready for take off. Our snowy adventure was about to begin!!

A few hours later, we've escaped the tropical heat of Manila and I got a taste of what winter in Korea was like: it was cold outdoors! I had swapped my ballet flats for socks and winter boots while in the plane and …

That Thing Called Tadhana (2014)

"Where do broken hearts go? Can they find their way home?" Were those rhetorical questions, Tita Whitney? Apparently not, since the movie about That Thing Called Tadhana is all about two broken hearts traveling to find themselves. They bumped into each other in Rome (where one's dream came true while the other's was shattered), flew back together to Manila, and then embarked on a road trip to Baguio and to Sagada. Along the way, they learned to let go of baggage, literally and figuratively, and to trust each other enough to share their stories.
Contrary to what other people may think, I thought that this movie is perfect for those who didn't plan on spending their Valentine's Day with their (formerly) significant others; as I've mentioned to a friend when she asked if it's okay to watch it without a date. In fact, for those who haven't gotten over broken relationships, they'd have a lot to say about the movie and it's catchy pop culture re…

Hot-air balloon festival 2015

My first drive to Pampanga alone. I did say that I'd go to the hot-air balloon festival whether someone's going with me or not because I really would love to see the balloons. This year, my annual pilgrimage to  where everything flew landed on Valentine's Day. Naturally, nobody was interested to join.
My life is not about to be put on hold because nobody wants to join the adventure. Ahh... So this must be what one friend of mine meant when he said I march to the beat of a different drummer. 
Anyway, I opted to leave for Pampanga around 12nn to arrive in plenty of time for the sunset event. As I looked for parking space, I groaned when I realised (and I really should have been expecting this) that I'd park in the dust. Hello, espasol-looking cars! But that's okay because once I was in the venue, I forgot all about the dust and enjoyed watching the balloons light up the night sky!
The bonus? There was a free concert right after the night glow. There were a few actors wh…