Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas in a foreign land

How does it feel to celebrate Christmas in a place far from home, from family, friends, and relatives? It's definitely a sad one but Christmas should not be spent in such manner. Everyone deserves to be happy on Christmas.

This is my first Christmas in a foreign land. I was expecting all the merriment this holiday brings but reality check, I am in Korea. Since people here are not mostly Christians or Catholics, Christmas is not a big thing. Unlike in the Philippines, the start of the -ber months (from October) means the start of the most wonderful time of the year. Come December, Christmas decorations are already everywhere, Christmas songs are being played in shops and malls, and people are all in rush buying presents for their family and friends. I just missed the Christmas spirit back home.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

New place. Happiness!

I am not yet finished unpacking and organizing all of my things but I just can't wait to write something about the big move...well moving into a new place that is. I am sitting here on my bed, tired and sleepy already but I just can't contain the happiness that I'm feeling right now. Yesterday, me and my friend moved in to our new place. And the night before, it took me more than five hours packing and I never thought I'd be accumulating so much things/baggage here in Korea. I arrived here with two big bags but now all my things are in those two big bags, one big box, two small bags, and several paper bags (coz I forgot to buy another big box). Whew! I even ditched some of my things (several pairs of shoes, some hand-me-down jackets & coats, and a never-been-used thrifted coat) because I seldom use them and my storage box and bags don't have enough space to accommodate them. I feel sorry and sentimental about them but for the sake of moving, I need to let go of them (haha! now I'm sounding dramatic).

I am very thankful for the two Korean undergrads who helped me and my friend in moving our things. From the second floor (good thing we're not on the fifth floor), we moved our things to the first floor, infront of the dorm. They carried the big and really heavy things while we carried the paper bags and other not-that-heavy bags. And it's like adrenaline rush. Everyone was carrying bags or boxes one or two or three after another and in just a few minutes, everything's done. And we even had some pictures taken. And our fellow Filipino friend also came to help.





We had a cart ready to transfer the things from the dorm to the goshitel but I never expected that the owner of the goshitel would even come and help us and provide a free transport. Our things were put in his car and he drove us to the goshitel! Weeee, aren't we so lucky?!? The move, which I thought would be difficult, was made easier by the people who all lend a helping hand. Thank you, thank you very much!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Two weeks before Christmas

It's already December! Well, the first week of December has passed already and it just means that it's only two weeks before christmas. Yeah, you read it right. TWO WEEKS BEFORE CHRISTMAS! And people must be busy already doing some christmas shopping, attending lots of christmas parties, and of course, going back to their homes in the province to spend this wonderful time of the year with their family. And here I am, as usual, with lots of things to do in my experiment and since it's already the end of the semester, there are some requirements that need to be submitted. So honestly, I really can't feel that christmas is approaching. Hello, what happened to my world? I haven't even started buying gifts for my family. And I'm broke (moolah, where art thou?) because I've allotted my allowance for the deposit in the apartment. And I'm not going to spend this christmas season with my family because we're oceans apart. And it's just sad...a sad one indeed.

Last year, I was like this:

our group's Christmas dinner


our lab's Christmas party


with Tita Ofel during our dorm's Christmas party

with my family during Christmas


I definitely enjoyed everything that happened to me last December. But now...okay, enough of my rants. I really must get myself back into the christmas spirit. Oh well, it's not yet too late. I should start somewhere. So probably next, next week (when my deadlines for reporting and submission is already finished plus the transfer to the new place) I'll be able to start focusing on all things related to CHRISTMAS.

By the way, Happy Birthday JESUS!=)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fix You

But if you never try you'll never know just what you're worth.


Note: You know the feeling when every word in the lyrics of a song perfectly reflects what you're undergoing right now? 

Thank you Coldplay for this genuine music.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Someday...

someone will come and paint my world red.


Do I sound like a little romantic? Mushy? Hmm. Just look at the background of this picture and you’ll know what I’m talking about. There’s a couple at my back and they look sweet and—oh well, everything a couple should be. And there I am, standing solo, taking a picture of myself, never minding what others are thinking while I take some more shots. My outfit kinda reflect my life, or should I say love life. Everything’s in black and gray but I do hope that someday, somebody would come and paint my world red, just like this ruby-colored scarf.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Dog Days Are Over



The dog days are over. 
The dogs days are done.





No longer will I be an underdog. It's been 8 months...I felt like giving up but I have come to realize that I need to be strong and continue running the race with all my might.





Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sundays and something new

It's a Sunday night and who never love Sunday nights? I absolutely love Sunday nights, oh well, Sunday as a whole! And for today, I get to go to the church. It's always a good feeling being able to hear God's word. God's word is my energizer and one of the reasons that keep me going. After attending mass, I roamed around the shops in downtown Daegu and guess what? I bought not a single item. Yes, nothing, not even a small trinket. Because I need to save a million won for a new beginning...I mean, a new place. Haha! But I do get to take some pictures.

Oh, hello winter outfits! at Zara




beanies in a variety of colors. in a Korean shop

knitted scarves. in a Korean shop

These past weeks, I 've been longing for a Christmas atmosphere and look what I found. 
thank you Accessorize for these cute decors in your shop

such an eye-candy =)

Now speaking of  that new place, you see I've been spending eight months living here in the dormitory (gisuksa) and eating the same food every week (or two). And the food - it's either spicy or too salty or no taste at all (just let your imagination work). So yesterday, me and a friend went on to look for some new place. And after checking several goshitels (1) a quite expensive but very good one, (2) a modest one, and (3) a cheap but ugly one), we found the one that we've been looking for (well, that is number 1!). And I really, really, really love the place! It's a room good for one person, with the following: bed, cabinets, shoe cabinet, refrigerator, air-conditioner, heater, internet, study table, and toilet. Just what I really need! And there's a common kitchen, complete with all the stuff plus a free coffee, and laundry room. This afternoon, I already signed the contract. Good thing one of our lab's undergrad who just lives nearby was there; he's the one translating everything the owner was saying. Lucky, lucky! I paid part of the deposit (a whooping one million won), the rest will be paid when we transferred. So, I really need to save a lot for the rest of the deposit. And every month costs 270,000 won. It's quite expensive for me because if you're going to convert it in peso...okay, enough of the conversion thingy! But here in Korea, it's just the normal price.

So yeah, new place, new home, and hopefully a new beginning.

Monday, November 7, 2011

So how does it feel to be in love?

Autumn in my ♥


This is my first autumn experience and I must say autumn is indeed beautiful. Fall colors, fall foliage, plus the fact that it's starting to get cold - everything is just so perfect! There's something special and dramatic in this season. And the best way to see nature in its autumnal glory is to, none other than, go to the mountains.


Daegu is surrounded by mountains. I've been to Palgongsan last summer and for this autumn, me and my friend explored Apsan. It's just less than an hour away from our university and it only takes one bus to get there. Aren't we so lucky? =)

So, I'm not going into the details, I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves. By the way, if there's one word that perfectly describes our experience, it would be HAPPINESS!




Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dreaming...

Dreaming of this http://med.stanford.edu/ism/2011/april/stem-phd.html. And yes, Stem Cell Research is my dream research. I can still remember the moment I first encountered it - it was in a seminar conducted by Dr. Samuel Bernal and I was just a third year university student back then who was unaware that a field like that really exists. Oh my, wish I could apply (or have the guts to apply) someday. And if ever I'd be accepted, that would be so, so, so AMAZING!

But as of now, I need to live my life here in Korea. To be honest, sometimes I feel so tired already and I just want to go home and relax. It's just work, work, work, and never ending work here! I miss enjoying my life with my family and friends. I miss having my "LIFE".


By the way, I definitely need a breather. So my friend and I are planning for a trip tomorrow in Apsan Park. Hopefully, we'll have a great time seeing nature in its autumnal glory.=)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Messed up me

OMG! It's been a very long, long time since I last wrote something here. Actually I have planned to write some entries but I just couldn't do it, and it's like - so [many] entries, so little time, or better yet, NO time. tsk tsk! I am such a terrible blogger. I told myself, "even just one entry a week" but failed. These past weeks, I am a very busy bee in my small world called the laboratory. And this coming week, this I consider my dreaded week because I'll be having my reporting on Friday. And everything is still a mess. And all I wanted to do is this T_T cry like a baby. Talk about stress. So yeah, just droppin' by here to pour out some emotional crap I am undergoing right now.


I also want to share this amazing song, Take Heart, my inspirational song of the moment. 
Take heart. Hold on to hope and take courage again.

P.S. Hope to write some good stuff, the great things and trips I had experienced when the reporting's over. I badly need a miracle with my report. And oh, autumn is finally here. I'll be leaving you with this picture I'd taken in the campus. Looking at this makes me forget all the stress surrounding me...even just for a little while.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Everything that is ZARA is ♥

So this morning, I once again explored the shops in downtown Daegu and there's no better way to start it off by visiting my most favorite shop, ZARA. I just love everything that is Zara. I usually go there at 12 noon. I think that's the best time for me since there are only a few people so I can really walk in every part of the shop and check every item that caught my eye. Since it's the start of fall season already, everything just screams FALL Fashion. (I forgot to bring my camera so the following photos were taken using my phone. Sorry for the poor picture quality.)



When the coast was clear, I tried to steal a picture of myself in the mirror. Haha!


There are four things that caught my eye...and captured my heart! But I'll just post only three since I can't find the picture of my favorite knitted dress.

1. teal, pleated scarf
    When I saw this, I felt like I was Rebecca Bloomwood when she found the green scarf, except this one is much better (in my opinion) because it's teal. I have never worn a scarf back in the Philippines. Obviously because of the weather. So this autumn, I just can't contain my excitement to wear one.

2. white, lace dress
   As I've told in my other post, I am starting to love everything made of lace- lace dresses, lace blouses, you name it. There's just a romantic feel to them. And they're so classy and feminine.

3. gray, double-breasted coat
    This one is really a must-have for fall and winter and I want it so freakin' bad. Haha! I tried it and all I can say is I love it! For several minutes, I was just just there standing infront of the mirror admiring the coat I was wearing, I took it off, put it back in the hanger and after sometime, went back, tried it on again, stared in the mirror, and admired it, which seemed like forever. In my mind, So this is what a model feels like. I feel like one now. Actually I didn't want to take it off. But I have to because I still need to save some moolah.

Here's a close-up of my much coveted coat.


Zara is definitely one of the best stores when it comes to fashion. However, I must admit their price is too high for me (as a graduate student relying on her allowance). But thinking more about it, the price is actually just right because the quality (the textile used, the way it was tailored, the fit) is not compromised. 

And thanks to Sale Promos I was able to buy two coats from Zara - one I bought from a store in the Philippines the other one, I bought here in Korea. Hmmm.. *wondering when will the next sale be*

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Here I am again

Here I am, sitting/lying in my bed, listening to some christmas songs. It just feels so peaceful. But in my mind, there are a lot of things going on...

After dinner, I decided to do some jogging/walking in the campus. The weather was perfect, it's already getting cooler. I tried the routes other than the ones I usually take. There weren't many people so it's just so nice to walk and explore other parts of the campus. And the inevitable thing happened - me pondering about my life. Once in a while, I do get into this stage. It's nothing new and I think other people also experience this (right?) but whenever this happens to me, there's something different, something special. I feel like I'm in a trance. The first thing that came into my mind is this, I am not getting any younger. I am approaching the point in my life where I have to become fully matured. Technically, I am already considered an adult - hello 24! And in a few months time, I'll be 25. Whew, time flies! But I still feel like I'm not yet matured, emotionally. 

Love is probably the word I am ignorant of. Well, let's be specific - romantic love that is. In my age, I should be in a relationship, enjoying the moment with my prince charming (boyfriend being the realistic term). But no! There ain't no prince charming. However, I must say I am enjoying the moment. But there's just me. Just me... No other one in the equation. One might say, "Oh how sad," but don't pity me. It's fine. Well, not very fine but I can handle it. I have learned through the years how to act in front of other people, especially the ones who are in a relationship. I have learned to convince myself that it's okay, that I'm still young, and that someday I will meet him. But reality check - I am not that young anymore and when will that 'someday' come, or will it ever come? Well, I hope it will still come because I want to know what love actually is.

P.S. Since christmas is just around the corner and I'm in an emo state tonight, might as well dedicate something to him




Monday, September 19, 2011

First ever climb (Juwangsan)




I'm climbing mountains figuratively but I never thought, in my entire life, that I'll be climbing a mountain literally. This is my first climb and reaching Juwangsan peak is really AMAZING! Actually, the climb itself - the energy you put into, the determination to pursue, and the sight of nature's pristine beauty - is such a great and very rewarding experience already. Bonus point is me being one of the first three people to reach the top. Wow, thank you God for giving me the strength!

with two of our lab's undergrads, GyuTae and YongGu

























This activity, although physically demanding, has also enabled me to reflect on some things. Firstly, that nature is such a wonderful gift from God. From the moment we arrived in the area until we reached the top and then hiked back down, I was just in awe with the beauty of the surroundings, the mountains, the forests...everything!



Secondly, that there's just so much hardwork put by the people who made and build the trails. They all deserve a huge THANK YOU! It's kind of unimaginable how they're able to make trails especially on the difficult areas, such as the rocky cliff.

This is going to be one of my memorable moments here in Korea. And I also consider it as an accomplishment. My first ever climb - wow, I am just so proud and grateful!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I feel pretty unpretty

I'd like to share this from a Glee episode. I've been playing it over and over again since Sunday. I just love everything about it -the very meaningful song, the video, and of course, Quinn and Rachel.



P.S. I would love to have Quinn's lace blouse! I don't know but I'm starting to love clothes made of lace. =)

Chuseok (추석) celebration

Today is the second day for Chuseok (추석) celebration here in Korea. It is considered as a Thanksgiving event wherein people celebrate good harvest with their families and relatives. It's a three-day holiday and for this year, it falls from Sunday to Tuesday. Wow, THREE-DAY HOLIDAY! This, I must say, is my first ever long vacation since I arrived here (which reminds me that I've been staying here for 6 months already). And this is also my first time to experience buying groceries like there's no tomorrow (now that's an exaggeration but I did buy a lot) because they said that shops will be closed.

While I was in Homeplus, I also saw some Hanbok (Korean traditional clothes). These days, they say that only children (and probably some elders) wear hanbok during Chuseok. 


So, me as a foreigner, how did I celebrate/spent the first two days of Chuseok? Well let me include Saturday, the day before Chuseok because I also felt like it's a holiday since I didn't go to the laboratory. I was a total bummer during that day. I just lie in bed and watched movies and series and read other blogs. The next day, I was supposed to attend the 11am mass but I woke up late and when I arrived in downtown, I was already 30 min late for the mass so I just decided to go to the 2pm mass. But to my shock, I learned from a friend that there was no 2pm mass. And I felt really awful about myself for not being able to attend the mass. Hayyy... The rest of the afternoon was spent looking for the things that I will need- shoes, bag, shirt & jogging pants- for our lab's mountain hiking activity on Friday. I was able to buy a pair of Adidas running shoes, a Jansport backpack, and jogging pants. Oh my, better reach the top of the mountain since I just spent a month's moolah just for those things. In the evening, even though I was having a migraine, I still managed to watch some series. 

Next day came, which is today. Me and my friends went to a Korean friend's house to celebrate Chuseok with his family. And wow, we're such a lucky bunch because the family was wonderful and very accommodating-apa, oma, and grandma, and of course kuya Taek.

They prepared a lot of food and all I can say is 맛있어요 (delicious)!




After all the eating and drinking, we had some fun conversations with the family. Grandma, even though she's already old aged, was still very active. She worked in Japan as a nurse for 20 years so she knows the Japanese language. And we proudly said, "Arigato!" which is probably one of the few Japanese phrases we know. Hehe. And she's so sweet she even gave us ice cream! She also let us in in her beautiful room. Oma was the one who always serve the food after food after food. I think she did all the food preparation. She's kind and smiles sweetly and looks young for her age. Opa seems like a good and understanding father. Kuya Taek, even though it's his first time to meet some of us, is very friendly.



We, definitely, had a great time spending Chuseok with kuya Taek's family. Thank you so much apa, oma, grandma, and kuya Taek! 감사함니다!
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