Thursday, July 28, 2016

Moving over to my new home in cyberspace!


I finally have my own domain! Please head on to http://sayotekingdom.com/! :)

Thank you, Blogger for listening to my stories for more than a decade. I'll leave this blog activated for the meantime until I am settled in my new home in cyberspace.

Monday, July 25, 2016

2016 Week 30 Recap: Priorities vs Commitments

July 18-24, 2016

Work

Our HR department, who are the process owners of the systems we are deploying decided to delay it to two weeks because of employee readiness. According to them, not all employees have attended the training still. This impacts 15K+ employees and this translates to their payroll so it is really important for employees to undergo the training. Keri lang. We are slowly implementing what we can implement in advance. We will still get there in two weeks. Why in two weeks? Because we also need to time our implementation based on Payroll cut-off. Ours are  days 7-21 for end of month and 22-6 for the 15th. So all implementations should be guided by these days to lessen/totally avoid risks.

Basta kami sa team, keep calm and deploy pa rin hehehe.

Priorities vs. Commitments

Eto medyo nawindang ako last week hehe. Months ago, I said yes to a 1st birthday party on the 23rd and a wedding on the 24th. Last Monday, my favorite tita messaged me to go to their place last weekend for their house blessing. I declined at first because I don't want to be stressed of choosing between the events and going through the process of letting those people know that suddenly I can't go to their events anymore. Plus, nakabili na nga ako ng dress na dapat susuutin ko sa wedding eh. 

But I felt guilty. Event ng tita ko yun eh. I was looking forward to that event kasi milestone yun ng family nila. Yung tita kong yun and her husband, sila kasi yung madalas sa bahay namin talaga. Ilang years nang sa bahay sila lagi for New Year. Nung nawala yung nanay ko (na ate ni tita), sa bahay pa rin sila. Almost always present sa lahat ng invite ng nanay ko. Yung tito ko pa nga ang kasama ng nanay ko nung inaasikaso ni Mama yung house blessing ko rin (Oo, nanay ko talaga ang punong abala don. Hiyang-hiya ako kaso nasa Manila ako eh so di ko maasikaso talaga so sya na lang). At sila din yung nandon to guide us nung nawala ang mga magulang namin. So big deal talaga sa akin yung pagpunta/or di pagpunta sa event nila.

Come Wednesday, my officemate and I were talking about how to go to the venue. She mentioned that the wedding was on the 23rd. Nawindang ako at napakalkal ng FB messages. At 23rd nga talaga  so conflict na sya don sa birthday party :(. Na-confuse ako sino na ipaprioritize ko since umoo na ako sa 2. Thursday night, my tita was asking me again if I really can't go to their house blessing. Tinanong ko sya if magtatampo ba sya if di ako nagpunta. Silent treatment ang inabot ko. Mas lalo akong naguilty. Come Friday, I really felt uneasy na. I told my officemate that I was having second thoughts. Sabi ko, I think my best option was just to go home and don't attend both events na lang. Ganon. Syempre drama-rama with my officemate. I decided until the last minute possible. Umuwi pa ako ng apartment para maglaba. Nakapag-games pa ako. Pero come 3AM, I decided to go home na. I remember nasabi ko in one of my blog posts na first come, first served na lahat ng events na pupuntahan ko, unless may sumingit na pang pamilyang ganap. Eto na yun. Family comes first. And so....

Weekend

Carrots....ng kapitbahay nila hahaha
Eto ang view nila. Tanaw ang garden ng kapitbahay hahaha. Carrots yung tanim. So refreshing! Surprise ang pagdating ko hahaha. Di ko na sila sinabihan. Kasi nga di ba, ni-silent treatment na ako hahaha. Anyway, so glad I made that decision. At syempre kailangan matulog sa kanila. Sa lahat ng galing ng Baguio (sa Atok sila nakatira), ako lang nagstay for the night hahaha. Single eh. Pero eto ka. Nung medyo naka-inom na tito ko, nagsabi syang magtatampo raw talaga sya sa akin if di ako matutulog sa kanila hahaha. Hokey.

The next morning, I need to leave early dapat for the 10 AM mass sa Baguio. Early as in at 7AM, dapat nakasakay na ako ng bus. Kaso alam nyo na, ang sarap matulog don kasi malamig lamig. Plus ang sarap lang tumambay sa labas at magkwentuhan habang nagkakape. Aga kong nagising eh. 6AM. Kaso kumilos ako 8AM at 9AM na nakaalis hehe. Buti na lang, nakasakay ako sa bus agad after 10 minutes of waiting siguro. 

Bakit nga ba kailangan kong makabalik ng Baguio? Kasi may lunch date kami ng jowa ko hahahaha. Napakahirap magschedule with him since he works on weekends. Tapos may supposedly lakad pa sya ng Sunday night so lunch na lang yung option namin. Natuloy naman kami. Gusto kong kumain kami sa labas na kami lang at makapag-post anniversary celebration man lang dahil 1 year na kami last July 13. Akalain mo yun hehehe. While it was not always smooth sailing, milestone yun for us so big deal sya for me, kahit di big deal masyado sa kanya ang mga ganon. Ayun. Simple lang pero  masaya naman.
I asked him to take our selfie/groufie...whatever. Sya dapat para mas malayo ako sa camera hahaha! Basa nyo nakasulat sa shirt ko? Yan talaga ang ramdam ko especially kahapon. 

Hirap nung una kasi malaki raw phone ko...pero nawili nung kalaunan at click lang ng click :p

"Sir, bakit po parang ayaw nyong ngumiti?" Ay...baka gutom na sya pero pinagpicture ko muna yung server bago kami kumain kasi hahaha.

Palaparan ng mukha, pasingkitan ng mata :p

Tawang tawa ako dito kasi nahuli ko sya kung paano mag-selfie. May nalalaman pa syang tingin muna sa malayo, then tingin sa camera, smile, click. Kaloka! Hahaha!
Blessing in disguise din that I was not able to attend the 10AM mass. Don na lang ako sa 4PM na sakto, yun din ang schedule ng preggy friend ko. At least I was able to see her pregnant before she gives birth to her baby boy. Malapit na kasi yun! 

Anyway, yun lang ang mga chika ko. Nobela. Have a great week ahead.

P.S.1. Napaka-aligaga ng morning namin because some friends are trying to book tickets for the Wicked show in February 2017. Upon opening dapat since there's a 10% discount if you use Visa to book. Sayang din. Php1,645.88 yung final price after discount, kasama na dyan service charge. Yung original price ata is Php1,700++. 

P.S. 2. Gusto kong manood ng SONA ni PDu30. Sang link kaya pwede? Hehehe.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Pasyal Japan Day 3: Off to Kyoto


Day 3: July 6, 2016

Today's my mom's 3rd death anniversary. I'll just see you next month, mudra. Pramis.

Going back.

We checked out from Hotel Mystays in Tokyo and travelled to Kyoto via Shinkansen (Bullet train). From the Kyoto station, we took a bus going to Hotel Mystays in Shijo-Nishinotoin. Checkin then rest for a while before going out.

First stop was at Nijo Castle. Buzzer beater because we were the last batch to be sold tickets to. Nakaka-haggard kasi panay ang reminder over the speakers that the main gate will be closing by 6PM. So mabilisang lakad lang inside the palace and ikot ikot sa garden. They have a vast garden. Gets ko na kung bakit 5PM pa lang, nagreremind na sila about closing time. Sa lawak kasi ng garden, malayo talaga lalakarin mo bago ka makabalik sa main gate hehehe. 

From the palace, we went to Nishiki market. Since it was already past 6PM when we arrived, most of the shops were starting to close. Yung tipong while walking, saktong sinasarado na rin ng shop owners ang main doors nila hahaha. Anyway, tingin tingin lang naman balak namin. My friend tried the takoyakowith ice cream. Masarap naman daw. 

From Nishiki market, our next target was Pontocho. This is a place where restaurants open up/extend their dining area facing the Kamo River. We got off a bus stop but it was near a shrine naman, whose name I can't remember right now. We just checked out this shrine for a few minutes. From this area, we saw a river and establishments that look like restaurants so that must be the Pontocho hehe.

From the shrine, we went back to the hotel. Pagod at gutom na. We just had dinner at a restaurant near our place. Medyo nakakatanga kasi you have to order "online" at their computer. No English translation. Nagamit ko pagka software developer ko years ago dahil hinulaan ko lang ang mga buttons based sa placement nila sa screen hehehe. Tumama naman hula ko at nakakain kami ng masarap na dinner hahaha.

End of day 3.

Pictures!

Bullet train. My wish is for my beloved Philippines to also have this type of transport. Tapos una, ung papuntang Baguio please hehehe. Or pwede rin kahit until La Union if terrain is a problem.

This is the entrance to the Nijo Castle taken from the inside na. Ang luwang ng grounds!

This was taken on the left side of the castle, medyo malayo na sa entrance. This was the most decent shot I had pala. Walang panahong maghintay na mawala ang tao since it was already close to closing time. Gaano ka-close? Mga less than an hour, ganon.

Part of their garden. They have beautiful and well-maintained parks. Inggit ako.

Panoramic view of one part of the castle. Again, this so far from the entrance na. The whole area is really huge. And so green :).

Nishiki Food Market. So clean and dry! Halos sarado na lahat.

Shrine near Pontocho.

Lanterns and more lanterns!

Panoramic view of the place where the bells are. The vertical post looking things are actually ropes. People pull those ropes to ring the bell, then say their prayers. 

These are wishes or prayers written in paper this time. 

My dinner which we successfully ordered and paid "online"! :)

To be continued.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Pasyal Japan Day 2: More of Tokyo

Day 1 Part 1
Day 1 Part 2

Day 2: July 5, 2016

This day was dedicated for exploring Shibuya area, Diver City and Ueno Zoo.

Shibuya muna. We went there via train, as always. I love Japan's transport system. Very efficient. 

Picture taking with Hachiko, May pila para lang makapagpa-picture with Hachiko. Who is Hachiko? Here.

Afterwhich, we crossed all pedestrians at the Shibuya crossing. That crossing is indeed very busy! That's one best place to people watch. Malilito ka na sa dami talaga ng tumatawid hehehe. We stayed there for about 30 minutes. Tawid lang kami ng tawid. At picture picture. 

We checked out the Disney store. So many beautiful things for kids! Pero syempre mahal hahaha. Plus, yung totoo kasi, hindi ko talaga kilala lahat ng Disney characters. Walang TV sa bundok at di ko sila nakilala nung bata ako. By the time I heard about them, parang I was too old na to become too attached to these characters. Kaya rin pala wala sa itinerary namin ang Tokyo Disneyland and/or Disney Sea. Saka na lang if may kids na ako hehehe.

We also planned to have breakfast at Hello Kitty Cafe but the Shibuya branch has already closed huhu. The very helpful concierge in one of the malls told us that there is one in Diver City so we decided to just go there. Diver City is like BGC. It's a newly developed area. Ganda! There's a wide open space that's leveled maybe with the 2nd floor of the buildings. You can stroll that area and is also the gateway to some of the buildings. Below it? The usual busy street. Aliw. May Statue of Liberty rin sa area.

When we got to Hello Kitty in Diver City Mall, nagulat kami sa sobrang liit nung space. No space to eat. Basta bibili ka lang ng maliliit na bread (not sure what it's called) na may design ng Hello Kitty. We ordered na lang ice cream with the hello kitty bread. Green tea flavor syempre para masulit hahaha. So yun lang ang ipinunta namin don. Hahaha!

From Hello Kitty, we passed by Calbee+. It sells potato chips in different flavors. Since nabitin kami sa Hello Kitty, at tinawag kasi ako nung potato chips with Royce chocolate, sige na pinagbigyan na namin si Calbee+ hehehe. We shared a seat with a stranger. She also wanted to taste my order so she offered to swap 1 of her fries with one of my chips. Go! Syempre gusto ko rin. Imagine tasting 3 flavors in just 1 seating. I told her to get some more pero nahiya ata at pinanindigang isa lang ang kailangan nyang matikman hehehe.

Syempre breakfast pa lang yung sa Hello Kitty. We had lunch at the food court. I ordered ramen at one of the restaurants. I forgot the name. Mahaba kasi pila so pumila na rin ako. Masarap naman. Ang daming serving so sulit ang bayad.

From Diver City, we went straight to Ueno Park. Since late na kami nagstart that day and since medyo ine-enjoy namin ang stay in each place na pinupuntahan namin, di na namin naabutan ung ticketing office ng zoo. Di tuloy namin nakita ang panda :(. Pero di bale na. Naglibot na lang kami sa park. We were able to check out Toshogu Shrine since ito na lang ata ang bukas pa at the time we were there. In looking at some sites now, parang mas exciting pala don during cherry blossoms. Next time. The park's is really huge. Di na namin na-cover lahat since kulang sa oras. I guess at least one day should be spent here if you want to explore the whole park since there are still a lot of temples and museums inside. 

I love their parks. Full of trees, well-maintained and so wide and spacious. Ang sarap maglakad-lakad.

After Ueno Park, we dropped by Starbucks to grab some snacks and to rest a little. Nagsusumigaw na sa sakit ang mga paa namin at this point. We went home after for a much needed rest.

Pictures!

The sidewalk has a lane for bikers.

Picture taking with Hachiko

Panoramic shot of the Shibuya crossing

Disney Store

Panoramic shot of Diver City. Below this wide open space are the roads. 

Statue of Liberty in Tokyo

Look at the details of the signage. So creative.

Ito talaga yung dinayo namin sa Diver City eh. Tapos ito ang aabutan namin...

We ended up buying this. Desert muna...

Then lunch hahaha. This is the only time I ate ramen. Ang dami nung serving. Sobrang nakakabusog.

In one of the entrances to Ueno Park. Close na ang zoo :p

Toshogu Shrine. Daming tao. Di man lang ako nakatyempo to get a shot without people.

Omizuya (Water Purification Building). Those are used to wash your hands and rinse your mouth. There is an instruction about proper washing and rinsing.

Wishes are written in these small blocks of wood.

Stone pillars

Pagoda
To be continued...


Sunday, July 17, 2016

2016 Week 29 Recap: Back to the Real World

July 11-17, 2016


Work

I am so excited! We started deploying some of the components this week. While it will be busy until we complete everything and ensure that there will be no more issues, I am so happy to finally see this project in its completion stage. Hopefully, there will only be few issues. This implementation will affect around 15K PH employees so it's a little intimidating but I know we've all done our best to minimize whatever risks there are. I am confident that all issues will be addressed as quickly as we can. Kaka-excite talaga! :)

Travel

I have started posting my Japan stories. I have most of the narratives completed, as I started writing all about it at the airport while waiting for my friend to refund her ICOCA card (OSAKA IC card). However, I wanted to post with pictures in it and it's taking me longer to sort out/select the pictures hehehehe. Anyway, I'll get there. Matatapos ko rin i-post lahat.

Speaking of travel, another friend is requesting for travel to a beautiful beach daw. Stressed si ateng. Gusto mag-out of town. Hopefully, we can find a reasonably priced place that's near Manila.

Savings and Investments

I'm thankful that the Japan trip is over. While it's exciting to always travel, I would like to pause for a while. I'd like to focus on building up my savings. I'd like to reach my first million in cash and investments, excluding real estate :). Opo, sa tanda kong ito, wala pa akong isang milyon in cash. Napunta lahat sa ibang bagay pero hindi naman lahat nilustay. 

Weekend

I missed malling so I met with my friend yesterday for dinner and to hand her the Japan goodies for her. We met in Glorietta. We went to SM Makati after. I saw that Loreal still has their free hair color application when you buy their hair color. I wanted to avail of it so earlier today, I went back. Unfortunately, I have my hair rebonded last May and they have strict rules that they won't color if rebond session is less than 3 months. So better be safe than sorry hehe. I'll just go back in August. So another malling session for us. She met up with me again because she's supposed to see my new hair color pero dahil di natuloy, ikot ikot na lang hehehe. 

Ahhh, I was also looking for a blouse that I can pair with the skirt I bought around 2 months ago. I am attending a wedding next week and the theme is rock and roll, so casual ang peg. However, medyo kupas na ang mga blouses na meron ako na pwedeng i-terno don sa skirt so I decided to look around. Nakahanap naman ako, and more hehehehe. I was able to buy a dress na parang sinukat lang para sa akin. Di ko na pinakawalan. Bihira kasing mangyari yun sa laki kong 'to. Ok rin sya with Chucks so ito na lang isusuot ko sa wedding hehehe. Hay pero utang na loob Mylene, tama na ang gastos. Wala ka nang kailangan :p.

Ok, that's it for now. Good night and may you all have a great week ahead :).

Pasyal Japan Day 1 Part 2: Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree

Day 1 Part 1

Day 1: July 4, 2016

After settling down in our hotel room, we rested for 2 hours before we headed out again. Mga pagod sa kakahanap ng train lines and platforms so kailangan talaga mag-recharge hehehe.

For this trip, we didn't have a solid itinerary. We just planned our next day's activities the night before. For the directions, we just used Google maps. The hotel has free wi-fi so mega hanap muna then screenshot so that the next day, we just show it to the staff for them to point us to the right direction. Nabuhay kami sa ganon ganon lang. And I appreciate the Japanese because they have all been helpful even if we have language barrier. 

First stop was Tokyo Tower. From what I remember, maliwanag pa nung naglalakad kami para hanapin 'to eh. Nahanap naman namin after many stops to ask for directions. Picture picture sa labas then pasok na sa loob to buy tickets and go up the main observatory, which is 150 meters high. Charge is Y900 per adult. They have different rates for adults and children. They also have a special observatory but more expensive and since we were trying to cut cost, the main observatory was enough for us. 

What is Tokyo Tower? It is a communications and observation tower. You can check here and here if you want to learn more.

What can be done at the observatory? Get a 360 degree view of Tokyo, enjoy the milky way illumination while walking around the observatory, and take lots of pictures. They also have shops and restaurants in another floor, which you can go to if inabutan kayo ng gutom.

Next stop was the Tokyo Skytree. We got there via trains rin lang. We paid Y2,060 per adult for the admission fee. Again, they have different rates per age bracket. We just bought the tickets at the time we visited the tower. I'm not sure if you can buy tickets in advance. Pwede siguro. But the lines were not long din when we were there so it wasn't a hassle even though we did not purchase the tickets in advance. Maybe it's because of the time na rin. We were there almost 9PM na. Almost closing time at 10 PM. 

What is Tokyo Skytree? It's also a communications and observation tower. It's also the tallest towere in the world as of March 2011. You can check here and here to learn more. 

While at the observatory again, one can see a 360 degree view of Tokyo. Ang masasasabi ko lang ay ang taba ng utak ng mga urban planners ng Tokyo or entire Japan siguro. Napaka-ayos ng zoning/sectioning ng areas which can be seen from way above the ground. Ang ayos-ayos tignan ng infrastructures even at night. Hay, wish kong mangyari din yan sa Pilipinas kong mahal. Libre ang mangarap hehehe.

After Tokyo Skytree, we had dinner at Torikizoku, a Yakitori restaurant. I can't remember the exact location but I think it's near Ueno zoo. Marami namang ibang branches pa. Everything for Y280. Dahil sa gutom namin, ayun, naka-7 orders kami including rice and drinks. At ayun, inabot din kami ng Y2,718. For two lang yan ha hehehe. Lamon pa.

Dahil sobrang pagod na pagod at antok na antok na kami, we took a cab going home. It was already past 12MN and we paid Y730 for the fare. Not sure pero parang fixed rate sya since parang hindi naman umaandar yung metro. Anyway, it's ok. Pagod na talaga kami eh. 

And so, we survived Day 1! Hay, wala pa akong nakikitang hindi ko gusto at this time. And I always hear about their toilets (pasintabi sa mga kumakain) with shower and/or bidet. Syempre yan ang una kong ni-try as soon as I had the chance. Gusto ko rin ng ganon sa CR ko! Hehehe.

Day 1 summary:

5:25 AM: Departure at NAIA Terminal 3
10:40 AM: Touchdown Japan!
Around 11:15 AM: Out of Japan Customs
11:15-12 PM: claim JR Pass, reserve car seat in JR line, ask for directions
12:23 PM: bound for Tokyo via Narita Express
Around 1:45 PM: Touchdown Inaricho (train station nearest our hotel), lunch at Mc Donald's
3 PM: Checkin at Hotel MyStays (around 10 minutes walk from Inaricho, shorter if with no luggage hehe)
3-5PM: Rest and refresh
5PM-12AM: Gala and late dinner

Pictures!
Tokyo Tower at around 6:30 PM in Japan, 5:30 PM in PH.
View from the top. I love the parks amidst the urban jungle.
Obligatory pic :p
Thinking of you...char! :p. Balik tayo dito, hon :)
We are this high from the ground!
Wow abs! Hahaha!
Night shot taken at the base of the tower.
Night shot taken a few meters away from the tower's entrance.
View from the top of  Tokyo Skytree. We were trying to beat the closing time, hence no pictures from outside. The Tokyo Tower can be seen from the Skytree. See upper right of picture.
Another shot from the observatory of Tokyo Skytree.
Taking a peek at what's below...Tokyo Skytree.

Yakitori dinner! Ubos na ang soup, at wala pa ang kanin! Hehehe.
To be continued.

Day 2

Monday, July 11, 2016

2016 Week 28 Recap: A Week in Japan

July 4-10, 2016

A friend and I visited Japan last week. We were back yesterday. We had a blast! I am forever thankful to our Heavenly Father for the blessings that enabled me to do this trip.

I'll share about our trip in upcoming posts. I'll also include our expenses. I actually started it while we were in Japan but I got sick and we were always tired at the end of the day so it was better to rest as soon as we can hehe. #tanders

Cheers to a productive week ahead.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Pasyal Japan Day 1 - Part 1: Train Adventures

Day 1: July 4, 2016

Hello Japan!

We were able to land in Japan without any problems. Thank God for that. We left Manila at 5:30 AM and went out of Japan Customs at around 11 AM, and reached our hotel's area at around 2PM. Basta medyo matagal din kasi ang byahe from Narita to Tokyo station.

First order after passing through Japan Customs was to exchange our Japan Rail (JR) pass voucher at the JR office. We ordered this online a week before our trip. My friend received the voucher in Pinas 2 or 3 days after ordering. Bilis. We got this because our itinerary includes Kyoto and Osaka so this is more cost effective. We can use this pass in any JR line, which based from experience in Tokyo, most of the places we went to has a JR line passing through it or at least passing through a connecting line where we can transfer to reach our destination. Cheaper this way because train rides are really not that cheap here. Well, everything's generally expensive talaga hehehe.

We also got the Suica card, parang beep card ng Pinas. Very convenient. Kaso sobrang na-shock ako sa unang gamit ko since kalahati agad ng ni-load ko ang nakaltas when we rode the train from Tokyo station to Inaricho station, the station nearest our hotel. I initially loaded Y1,000 at Y500 na lang natira after we got out of the train. Laking gulat ko lang hahaha.

Di naman kami naligaw sa trains kahit ganon ka-complicated hehehe. The staff are helpful everytime we ask them. At sa dami ng platforms nila especially on areas where different train lines intersect, kabisado talaga nila what line and what platform dapat sumakay based on destination. Winner talaga.

Funny story. I was in line while waiting for my friend who was at the Information desk at that time. A mother came to me, stared at me for maybe 5 seconds (as in yung tipong palapit ng palapit yung mukha nya, and then said:

Stranger: Are you Chinese?
Me: Oh sorry, no.

Hahaha! Kulang lang ho ako sa tulog kaya mas singkit than my normal singkit ang mata ko hehehe. Mukhang ligaw or lito rin sila sa mga kaganapan sa airport hihihi.

Anyway, we still had to search where our hotel was. It was hot and we were hungry so we went to where else but McDonald's hehehe. Not inteded but it was the nearest food chain that we saw hehehe. It was just across the street where we got off. 

We stayed at Hotel Mystays Inaricho. Very convenient because it's near a train station. Maybe 5 minutes walk. Check in was very quick. We were lucky because we have Wifi even in our room hehehe. From what I read kasi, some hotels don't have.

Anyway, we took a 2-hour rest and then went out late afternoon to check out the Tokyo Tower and the Sky Tree.

Pictures!

Hello, Narita!

Hello, Japan!

Japan Rail Pass and Suica
What train line?! What platform? What exit? Hilong talilong pero smile lang para sa photo ops :)
To be continued.

Day 1 Part 2
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