DARE TO BELIEVE: My KGSP Experience

We all have dreams. But there is that one dream that would just complete every empty spot in our field of dreams. That one dream we want to chase after but is so elusive. That one dream that even when years has passed without a hint of it coming true, you still want it. That one dream which can never be replaced by other dreams or bucket lists. That one dream where fighting difficulties and doubts is a battle you need to overcome. That one dream which just seems so impossible.

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From Google Images

I have that kind of dream.

The dream to study abroad.

7 years ago, I got myself into self-studying Korean. I self-studied until I reached the level where I can handle a conversation, write blogs in Korean and understand at least parts of the dramas and variety shows I watch without subtitles. Then I basically planned out everything for my “journey to South Korea”. Guess what? It didn’t happen as I have planned. I got caught up with what the world expected of me. After getting a degree, I had to find a job. The dream took a backseat. Until last year (2015), I was reminded. So I hoped again. I didn’t know how it was going to happen or if it will ever happen but I dared to believe.

At the start of this year, I have hoped and prayed for an open door to pursue my Master’s degree in Social Welfare. I was planning to take up the course in UP Diliman when I read online that the application for Korean Government Scholarship is open. It was the first time in the past 6 or 7 years of waiting that I finally found the post open! For the past years, I was always late or too early —  the application period has lapsed or has not yet opened. Now, the timing’s perfect, I thought.

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. – Isaiah 43:19

It’s impossible to have a way in the wilderness or streams in the wasteland, but He will do it.

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. – Exodus 14:14

I had nothing but this promise from God who loves you and me. And though every thing was uncertain, there’s one thing I was very sure of: His love NEVER fails.

So I chased the dream.

With more than a month in my hands, I went ahead and prepared all my documents. I am based in Eastern Samar so it was quite a challenge gathering my documents from Davao and Manila. I had to ask my Dad and brother to request documents for me. Applying for the scholarship isn’t really that expensive if you have all your documents with you. In my case, I had to fly to Manila a couple of times to process some documents personally which took a lot of my savings. I was convinced the money and time spent will all be worth it.

I sent my documents a week before the deadline. The waiting part was totally agonizing. Especially when the date for interview drew nearer. No calls or emails yet? Was I not shortlisted?! I worried a lot, you see. I even lost hope. I was already comforting myself that it’s okay, move on.

Then the Friday just before the scheduled interview week, I got the call! Out of 100+ applicants all over the Philippines, I got into the Top 20! You can just imagine my delight!!! This is it!!! I had more or less 3 days to book my ticket to Manila, pack my things and prepare for the interview. Just one more round to get recommended by the embassy for the scholarship. I need to be in the Final 5.

I was confident with how the interview went. I will pass.

Then a week later, the results came out….. I did not pass. 

But this story doesn’t end here because God promised. And He who promised is faithful. 

A month later, I did not just witness a miracle. I experienced it.

I got a call telling me that the director who interviewed me wanted to personally recommend me for a full scholarship at a university in Korea.

It took time before I finally understood what was happening.

All I could think of was, “It’s You, God. No one else. Thank You.”

Indeed, this battle was His. He is a God who can make ways in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. A God who performs wonders that cannot be fathomed and miracles that cannot be counted.

However this story will end next year, I’m in faith that it will serve its purpose which is to bring glory to His name.

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From Google Images

 

KGSP Interview Process and Tips

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Oh no, I am not in Korea… YET! @Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum, Hong Kong

I was informed that I got into the top 20 out of 100+ applicants that qualified for the Korean Government Scholarship Program  (KGSP) interview at the Korean Embassy. It was the Friday before the interview week. I only had three days! I immediately booked my flight and began searching online for interview tips hoping to find good sources of information regarding the KGSP interview in particular. Unfortunately, blogs about KGSP interviews are almost non-existent. So I’d like to help out those who will be shortlisted for the KGSP interview by sharing my own experience. Hopefully this will guide you on your preparations in nailing that interview!

Overview of the KGSP Process for Embassy Track:

  1. Embassy Selection (Application, Shortlisting and Interview)
  2. NIIED Selection
  3. University Selection (you need to pass in at least 1 of the university choices you indicated in your application)

This is purely based on my experience as a KGSP applicant from the Philippines. In our country, out of the 20 shortlisted applicants, only 5 will be recommended to NIIED. There will be 2 or 3 more people on the waiting list. Most of the time, when you get to the Final 5, the probability that you’ll go all the way to Korea is very high ^^ As for our batch, the 2 shortlisted applicants also passed the NIIED selection.

How is the interview done?

  1. You’ll be scheduled in groups of 4 with a panel of 3 interviewers.
  2. Questions will be given and the applicants take turns in giving their answers. It is quite a challenge especially if you have to go last!

How long does the interview take?

Approximatley 30 minutes. It doesn’t take too long considering that there are 4 of you in a group and there are 5 groups to be interviewed.

What are the interview questions? (This is only based on my experience and I might have already forgotten some. Most questions they asked are spontaneous and are based on our introduction and answers)

  1. Introduce yourself. I’d say this is the most important question they asked. It could make or break your whole application! Be sure you will be able to set yourself apart from the others.
  2. Why do you want to study in Korea? Do yourself a favor and DON’T answer because you watch a lot of Korean dramas and gush over KPOP.
  3. How are you going to adjust to the language barrier? Especially to those who had no background of the Korean language
  4. Give a positive and negative thing about Korea.
  5. How is your chosen major gonna help in the Philippine-Korea relations?

Any more tips?

  1. Be prepared! Think of possible questions other than those I’ve specified above. Prepare your answers, write them if you need to.
  2. Establish why your chosen major is beneficial for Korea and the Philippines. Or why you are choosing to study in Korea with that major.
  3. Talk about your achievements. It’s not bragging. The competition is tough and you are sitting with 3 more applicants with excellent credentials fighting for a spot in that scholarship!
  4. Make your answers brief and straight to the point.
  5. Learn about Korean culture, politics, economics, and why it interests you.
  6. Relax. Be confident. Smile :)
  7. Pray. The battle is not yours, but God’s. If it’s meant for you, nothing can take it away from you.

Take note that the KGSP scholarship gives an edge to those who will be majoring in natural sciences but it’s still worth a try. You see, I am pursuing MA in Social Welfare. It didn’t go exactly as I have planned (which I will be blogging about soon) but surely I want to encourage everyone to just go ahead, chase your dreams!!! It is better to try and learn from the experience than spend your lifetime wondering about what ifs.

Questions? Leave me a message! I’d be more than glad to help ^^ 

[REVIEW] The Face Shop Velvet Skin Primer and Nature Republic Face Masks

Working in disaster response and recovery for the past two years in far-flung areas, it is almost impossible to pamper myself with facials, massages and other beauty regimens. So when I get the chance to go to the cities nearby or visit Manila for a business meeting and seminars, I make it a personal mission to get some products for my skin (it isn’t really that great so I need to take care of it with a little more effort, y’know).

Here’s a review of some of the products I picked up while in Manila earlier this month. Note: I am no professional when it comes to beauty products. Haha

The Face Shop Velvet Skin Primer 

Since I am always out in the sun and prone to oily skin, I need a primer that would hold foundation for the whole day. However, I also like something that could be easily washed off with the make up at night to prevent clogged pores. In my opinion, this primer does both.

As it says on its packaging, “covers pores, and fine lines to make uneven skin look smooth”. Well, it doesn’t only look smooth but feels smooth and smells good, too. However, for a thrifty soul like me, it’s a bit pricey at Php 695.

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Nature Republic Face Masks

I’ve tried face masks from Watsons and that of The Face Shop several times and decided to give Nature Republic a shot. I must say this will go on the top of my list. It leaves your skin hydrated, feeling soft and gives you that glow in the morning :)

I think the only negative point on this product is that it dries up quickly. You really have to use it for only 15-20 minutes! Unlike other face masks I’ve tried which I extend the use up to 30 minutes.

It comes with different main ingredients such as Avocado, Tomato, Royal Jelly, etc and costs around Php 55. It’s a good deal!!! You can choose depending on what you want to achieve with your skin. I chose Cucumber and Aloe which are good for my struggle with acne scars and dark spots.

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Regardless of whether you have a problematic skin or not, I think feeding our skin with natural juices is a good practice with positive effects! So let’s go ladies!

#HKMacau2016: Day 4 – Ocean Park and Departure

ALL PHOTOS BY ARTHELURMA REABETH AMBIDA SAGAOINIT aka my Travel Buddy

We had until 4PM to explore and enjoy our last but definitely not the least destination in our #HKMacau2016 trip — the OCEAN PARK! Originally, we schedules it on our first day upon our arrival but the weather did not permit us so we had to reschedule everything and decided to move our Ocean Park visit to the last day before our 9PM flight back to Manila.

Tsim Sha Tsui to Ocean Park: Cost – HKD 20

  1. Ride the MTR going to Admiralty station (HKD 9.4)
  2. Take the Exit B. Once you’re outside the station, you see the Bus Station going to Ocean Park. Ride the Citybus 629. Fare is 10.60hkd/person. You can use the Octopus Card.

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Ocean Park is a HUGE place. I recommend allotting the whole day just for this particular attraction especially if you are fond of scary rides like me. The lines for the rides might take a lot of time but fortunately we didn’t have to cue too long since there weren’t a lot of people when we visited. We went there in March and the weather was really freezing (especially for us who came from a tropical country) which may also explain why the park wasn’t really crowded.

Hong Kong Ocean Park is divided into two areas – The Waterfront and The Summit. You may go to and from these two locations via the Ocean Express train or the Cable Cars. Note that you can’t do a round trip through the cable car.

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The Waterfront

Aquariums, museums, souvenir shops and restaurants can be located at the Waterfront. But if this bores you and you are more interested with the rides, then head over to the Summit (which we did)!!!

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Experiencing Old Hong Kong

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Old Hong Kong

The Summit

We took the express train and reached the Summit in no time. There were still a lot of souvenir shops and eateries at the Summit but the moment I stepped out of the train and saw all the rides, I forgot I was hungry and just wanted to try everything. haha I was THAT excited!

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The Flash

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It was indeed the Hair Raiser!!!

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The Abyss (extreme drop!!!)

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View of the Summit from the Ocean Park Tower

Honestly, it was “bitin”. If we only had more time, I’d get to try all the rides and see the Ocean Theatre performances :( We had to rush back to our hotel and to the airport for our evening flight.

And that concludes our #HKMacau2016 :)

For the detailed breakdown of our itinerary and budget, visit my previous post: HK MACAU ITINERARY AND BUDGET

There you go! If you have any questions, leave a message :)

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#HKMacau2016: Day 3 – The Peak, Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum, HK Disneyland

I should probably finish this #HKMacau2016 blogs. So let’s go look at our Day 3!

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View from Sky Terrace

We had the same breakfast for our second morning in Hong Kong, choco drink and some bread we bought from 7-Eleven, which is not bad at all for a budget trip like this. Then after getting ready for yet another freezing day, off we went and started our multi-destination schedule for the day!

THE PEAK (via Tram), SKY TERRACE AND MADAM TUSSAUD’S WAX MUSEUM

These three attractions are located conveniently in the exact same place. There are also packages where you can avail of all three for a much cheaper price. We got ours at HKD230 (The Peak Tram (roundtrip) + Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum + Sky Terrace). Website packages sells at HKD 295. TIP: Cheap destination tickets are usually available at guesthouses/hostels.

Tsim Sha Tsui to The Peak – Cost: HKD 9.4 (MTR)

1. Wherever you come from, it’s very easy to go around Hong Kong via MTR. For this route, just get to Central Station and the rest will be on foot.
2. At Central Station, Exit at J2.
3. Walk through the Chater Garden and turn to the right where you have to cross the street.
5. Before reaching the flyover, cross the street and walk through the Bank of China until you reach the street on the other side. Cross that street as well. And walk to the right.
6. Along the street, you’ll see a small alley to your right called Battery Path. Walk up the stairs until you reach St. John’s Cathedral (photo below).

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St. John’s Cathedral

7. Walk around the cathedral til you reach the main road again. Walk straight til you find the building below. The signages will lead you to the Garden Road Peak Tram Lower Terminus where you can ride the tram to get to The Peak.

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The Tram will take you to the Peak where the rest of the attractions are located. It was an awesome experience riding the tram overlooking the whole of Hong Kong on the way!

Once you get off the tram, cheap souvenir shops will be at the entrance. In our case, we just moved on to the Sky Terrace first before we went to the Wax Museum and shop a little.

At Sky Terrace, they provide electronic guides for free to listen to some podcasts about the country’s history and culture.

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Look at all those escalators going to the highest point in Hong Kong!

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At Sky Terrace

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View of Hongkong from Sky Terrace

It was really cold so we had to rush back inside the building and move on to Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum, a collection of life-size wax statues of famous people from movie actors and TV personalities to historians and politicians. Of course, I was very much excited about the Korean corner of the museum.

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Who would ever forget Bae Young-Joon of Winter Sonata? <3 Not I.

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I have always been a fan of Super Junior. I was actually sad they only had Siwon. Well, I couldn’t really blame them. Super Junior has 13 (original) members!!! That would be a lot of waxes! hahaha

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Out of all the wax statues, I was the happiest when I found Jackie Chan!!! I watched a lot, if not ALL, of his movies since I was young. When we entered the museum, they already had a Jackie Chan statue but we were not allowed to take pictures. I was so disappointed not knowing there’s another one inside. Imagine my delight when I came across this!!! I went totally and embarassingly crazy! haha

We spent our whole morning in the area and I still find it a little rushed. We were not able to go around the garden at the Peak and explore more shops.

HONG KONG DISNEYLAND

From The Peak, just go back through the route you took until you reach the MTR Central Station.

Central Station to Hong Kong Disneyland (Central – Lai King- Sunny Bay – Disneyland) – Cost: HKD 27.9

  1. You have to go through 3 MTR Lines to reach Disneyland from Central Station.
  2. Take the Tsuen Wan Line from Central Station towards Tsuen Wan and get off at Lai King Station.
  3. Transfer to Tung Chung line, Tung Chung-bound and alight at Sunny Bay Station.
  4. Transfer to Disneyland Resort Line and enjoy the Mickey inspired train. ^^

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Make sure to get a map! There are lots of interesting rides and theatre performances in Disneyland but they close a little too early so you have to choose wisely which rides you want to try. When it comes to the rides, I’d say Disneyland is more for the “kids” based on my preference where I enjoy very challenging rides which usually entails stomach-churning, heart-stopping, upside-down rides! If you like them, too, go ahead and run to HK Ocean Park (stay tuned for my next blog).

Still, being young at heart and a Disney baby, I enjoyed the park a lot. It’s every child’s dream, right? And I am soooo thankful I get to experience it.

DON’T EVER MISS the Parade of Lights at 8PM to see you favorite Disney characters up close dancing with beautiful lights and the Fireworks display at 9PM. TIP: Find a spot in front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle for the best view. Stay there even if you have to wait an hour or else, you’ll lose that spot. There’s wifi so you won’t get bored. ^^

ENJOY THE MAGICAL NIGHT :)


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For the detailed breakdown of our itinerary and budget, visit my previous post: HK MACAU ITINERARY AND BUDGET

There you go! If you have any questions, leave a message :)

Making friends through studying Korean

Through the past years that I have been self-studying Korean, I’ve virtually met some good friends through this blog and kept in touch with them. I find it so awesome how the world is so advanced, one can enjoy studying a language and make friends all over the country and the whole world!

For two years now, I have been living in Eastern Samar for the ongoing recovery and rehabilitation projects for the Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) survivors. I’m based 2 hours away from Tacloban where one of my K-study friends lives — Angeli of meloncreme.net.

We personally met for the first time earlier this year and talked like we’ve known each other since childhood. Haha. It’s also quite interesting how all these years, we have all pursued our love for almost anything Korean and actually excelled in it!

Because guess what? Angeli just won the 2016 Korean Speech Contest! I know this is late, but congratulations, Angeli!!! You have truly come a loooong way!

Anyone curious? Go over to her page and read her awesome journey to her recent victory!!!

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[PHONE APP REVIEW] HelloTalk

After years and years of self studying Korean, I have finally decided to take my first ever TOPIK this coming October. With that goal in mind, I have been taking my Korean study schedule very seriously these days (I hope I will be able to sustain this though, with the work I’m doing, 어떡해~!!!). For the past years, I have been doing the same routine so I looked for other kstudy ways to keep myself motivated to improve my skills particularly in handling conversations in Korean. I’m glad I did because I was able to gage where I’m at now.

Last night, I searched for a language exchange app and found HelloTalk on Play Store. So here’s a review of the app.

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First, you can set up you profile by indicating your native language and the language you are learning. This way, you can easily match up with other language learners. You may also write an introduction or some more details about yourself on your profile.

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There’s a status update tab which works just like facebook where people can like a post and leave comments. The plus is that you can also post corrections on the post through the press and hold option which I have a screenshot below for the details on how each feature symbol works. It’s quite convenient to use :)

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PRESS AND HOLD OPTION:

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When you make or receive corrections on posts, chat messages or comments, it shows a very detailed reply as shown in the screenshot below. In my opinion, it is very helpful to see where you made a mistake and take note of it so you can review/study about it later on. You may also ask your “new HelloTalk friend” how to use certain grammar rules or how to express something more naturally. You’ll get instant replies from native speakers!

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I’ve been on it for just a day but I’m totally hooked. ㅋㅋㅋ I’m glad I can now hold a decent conversation in full Korean without getting into panic mode when I encounter difficult words. Yay!!! Achieved!

I think I’ll be using this app on a regular basis now. Hahaha. Making new friends and improving my Korean language skill is like hitting two birds with one stone. ^^

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#HKMacau2016: Day 2 – Macau Tour & Mongkok Ladies’ Night Market

Been on the road for work-related domestic travels for almost 2 weeks now and had no time for my extra activities such as blogging. Now that I’m finally on a rest day, I’ll take the opportunity to complete my HK-Macau travel blogs. So here we go.

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We slept late and woke up late on the second day, had our quick breakfast of hot choco and bread we bought from 7-Eleven the previous night (we were definitely on a budget trip), then off we went to the China Ferry Terminal bound for Macau. You will get off another ferry terminal on the way back so make sure to read til the end of this post for the directions.

How to go to China Ferry Terminal – Cost: 0

China Ferry Terminal is located in Tsim Sha Tsui on Kowloon. It’s just a 10-minute walk from our hotel (Golden Crown Guesthouse) and other nearby hotels such as the Mirador Mansion.

  1. Walk along Nathan Road then turn toward Carnarvon Road
  2. Turn left on Humphrey’s Avenue and walk until you reach Haiphong Road.
  3. Turn right to Canton Road.

TIP: Make sure you get a copy of a tourist map. It is very helpful.

Inside the ferry terminal, look for the ticket counters and buy yours with your preferred time. Some guesthouses and hotels also offer round trip tickets to Macau. The prices are nearly much the same.

Look for your trip number and gate number flashed on the big screen before you enter the waiting area.
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TRIP DURATION: Approximately 1 hour

The winds were very strong during our trip so a lot of passengers were throwing up. If you are very sensitive, then I suggest you bring your own plastic bag to avoid leaving too much mess. haha

ARRIVING IN MACAU

As soon as you step into the terminal, there will be a lot of people, our fellow kababayans, who would be following you around asking your Macau itinerary, offering a tour. I find it actually refreshing to hear our familiar language and see our “modern heroes”.  So if anyone is considering hiring a tour guide in Macau, here are my thoughts:

  1. There are free shuttle buses in Macau which can bring you to the main tourist destinations, hotels and casinos. You need to research well on the routes, though. However, if you are on a tight schedule, figuring out the routes and where you can find these shuttle buses would take time.
  2. A Filipino Tour guide costs around 150HKD (you can bargain!). Naturally, we doubted if it was a scam or something so we asked for his ID or passport (We are so sorry to our Kuya Tour Guide but he said he understood knowing how it is in the Philippines). Of course, you still need to be careful. You need not pay anything from the start of your tour. All monetary transactions will be done at the END of the tour.
  3. PROS: Having a tour guide helped in identifying the picture perfect spots, have someone to take your group picture, not waste too much time figuring out where to go or which exit to take, which shuttle bus will bring us from A to B, get us some coupons for a cheap but delicious lunch, and will get us to the pier just in time for our trip back to Hongkong.
  4. CONS: Quite expensive. There are free shuttle buses and the local transportation is also cheap. Always on a hurry to go to the next destination (but of course assuming you are on a limited time in the first place, you’d want to cover as much places as you can, right?). And you don’t really get that fulfilling independent-traveller-feeling which comes with getting lost and finding your way back. haha

In our case, we only had less than 5 hours to tour Macau so we opted to pay for a tour. It was one of the best decisions we made during our whole trip. In Filipino, SULIT!!! It’s worth every dollar. It was stress-free, and we were able to go to the places we wanted to visit.

Is one day enough in Macau? 

  1. If you just wanted photos and check out the buildings and stuff, then YES.
  2. If you wanted to explore more of Macau, the culture, the transportation and the life there, then NO.

For me, I’d definitely visit Macau again.

WANT A TOUR GUIDE? 

Leave me a comment below and I’ll connect you with the tour guide we met during our trip. He is very kind, informative, helpful and accommodating.

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Galaxy Hotel

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BRILLIANT Lights Show at Galaxy Hotel, Macau

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This is the ONLY full meal we had during our trip. Thanks to our Tour guide for the coupons he got for us. COST: HKD38

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NEXT STOP: VENETIAN HOTEL

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We hopped from one hotel to another through the free shuttle buses til we arrived at our last destination… Ruin of St. Paul. Having a tour guide, we even had our tummy full of free-taste food! :)

Places we visited: Galaxy Hotel, Senado Square, Venetian Hotel, City of Dreams, St. Paul Ruins, Etc

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Tastes like our very own Puto Seko in the Phils.

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We took the public bus from Ruins of St. Paul to the pier just in time for our trip back to Hongkong (our tour guide even paid for the bus! No scam, really! haha)

It was a full and COLD day. 12 degrees but felt like 10 as per our guide. Take note that from Macau to Hongkong, the ferry will drop you off at HK Macau Ferry Terminal. The nearest MTR station would be the Sheungwan Station.

HK Macau Ferry Terminal to TST – Cost: HKD 11.6

  1. As you exit HK Macau Ferry Terminal, facing the high way, walk to the left until you reach the MTR Sheungwan Station.
  2. Sheungwan Station to Mongkok Station via Tsuen Wan Line. Use the E1 Exit, Ladies Market is right at that Road. (We dropped by Mongkok to shop at the Ladies’ Night Market)
  3. Mongkok to TST Station.

For the detailed breakdown of our itinerary and budget, visit my previous post: HK MACAU ITINERARY AND BUDGET

There you go! If you have any questions, leave a message :)

#HKMacau2016: Day 1 – Around Tsim Sha Tsui and Avenue of Stars

We arrived at NAIA Terminal 3 around 3 hours early for our 6:00 AM flight so we didn’t have to wait on long lines for check-in. Thanks to the traffic-free Manila at dawn. And oh, praise God for such a smooth immigration check. Got off something huge from my chest after that (immigration officers are quite scary you know) and was finally able to enjoy the thought that I’m going to Hongkong! Yay!

Manila to Hongkong takes only 2 hours.

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My travel buddies. It was both their first out of the country trip. I hope you enjoyed and did not get annoyed with me. haha

Arriving in Hong Kong is already a WOAH-filled moment. Passengers had to ride the airport train to get to immigration and arrival hall. I was like, “That’s how big their airport is? We had to ride a train?”. When it’s my first time in a country, I just go with the flow of the majority at the airport while constantly checking the signs to make sure we’re not getting lost.

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I was too focused to find the bus terminal that I was not able to take pictures at the airport.

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First thing to do upon arrival and doing all the immigration check and luggage claim, is to buy an Octopus Card. This will be your best friend during your whole stay in Hong Kong. It can take you anywhere!

The hotel we booked was located in Tsim Sha Tsui area and to get there, we rode the A21 Bus, a double-decker bus. It’s very easy to find at the airport’s exit. Just follow the signages.

Airport to Tsim Sha Tsui (vice versa) – Cost: 33 HKD / Php 198

  • Ride the A21 bus from the airport and use your Octopus card to pay. Just follow the signs inside the airport going to the bus terminal and locate A21 going to Tsim Sha Tsui. Don’t worry, it’s really very easy to find. Hongkong is very generous when it comes to signages it’s almost impossible to get lost.
  • Airport Express Train
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The mighty octopus card.

It was approximately an hour ride from the Airport to TST.

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After unpacking and resting for a while, we bought entrance tickets for Ocean Park, Disneyland and the Peak at our hotel’s reception (READ HERE). I think it’s a lot cheaper than those sold online or at the venue itself. We first had our lunch before we went on our adventure for the day.

Food was quite expensive ranging from 45 to 60 dollars per serving.

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As scheduled on our original itinerary, we went to Ocean Park but it rained so hard! We considered going in but decided against it as we didn’t want to waste our tickets and not fully enjoy our HK Ocean Park experience due to the weather.

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We went back to TST and just decided to explore the area. It was beautiful at night with all the lights coming from the buildings, shopping malls and local stores.

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Next on our itinerary was the Avenue of Stars located  a few blocks away from our hotel in Nathan Road. We walked there and had a little window shopping along the way, too.

Tsim Sha Tsui to Avenue of Stars – Cost: 0

1. From TST Exit E along Nathan Road, walk until the end of Nathan Road towards Salisbury Road.
2. Go down the pedestrian subway to cross Salisbury Road. You may also take time your time while in the subway as it’s also kinda like an art museum with the walls painted and filled with infos.
3. Follow the street directions to Avenue of Stars.
4. Take the stairs going to the deck for the best view of the Harbour and the Symphony of lights at 8PM.

Even just by walking to the Avenue of Stars, you can stop by a lot of picture-worthy places. So take your time and enjoy. Just make sure you get there by 8:00 PM for the Symphony of Lights show.

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The Subway going to the Avenue of Stars.

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We ended our day with a food that is new to our taste buds – Cheung Hing Kee Shanghai Fried Buns.

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For a detailed summary of our itinerary and budget, READ HERE.

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#bffgoals

Korean-English Language Exchange via Skype

I’m taking a break from all my travel posts on my recent Hongkong-Macau trip. Today, I shall write about one of my favorite ways to self-study and practice Korean. I’ve done this before (and blogged about it 5 years ago ㅋㅋ) and I’m doing it again. If I’m not mistaken, I have posted an invitation on Lang-8 earlier this year for a language exchange via Skype and I’m just so glad to have met a wonderful language exchange partner!

So what we basically do is speak in the language we are learning. She speaks/writes/chats in English and I do in Korean. At first, it feels like you have to be perfect in your grammar and word use and it takes a lot of time to construct even just a sentence for fear of embarrassment. But after a chat or two, it just becomes natural (I hope) and no longer an anxiety-filled chat but actually an enjoyable one like you usually do with your friends.

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Skype has this convenient feature wherein you can comment on a specific part of your conversation. This is really helpful especially when correcting a certain part of your language partner’s sentence while avoiding confusion on which you are talking about.

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My language partner and I talk about a lot of things, we share dreams and hopes, what we are doing and what we like to do. We talk about food and our country’s culture and traditions and basically just anything under the sun.

I highly recommend anyone who is self-studying any language to try this. It does not only help you practice but it also paves the way for your to meet new friends from the other side of the globe!

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