Yee Peng Festival 2016: Of Tangled Dreams and Reality

Yee Peng Festival 2016: Of Tangled Dreams and Reality
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When you have a dream, make it happen. I DID.

The most awaited trip of the year has finally happened. Attending and participating at the Yee Peng Festival was almost a year in the making as I booked my flights to Bangkok as early as December of 2015.


The Yee Peng Festival or Yi Peng Festival is a festival celebrated by the Lanna in Northern Thailand every full moon of the second month of the Lanna lunar calendar. For 2016, the full moon fell on November 14.

I first saw it in the Disney movie, Tangled.

But seeing it in real life was magical. Lanterns illuminated the dark sky at Doisaket, Chiang Mai.

The Lanna people believe that releasing the khom loi (lanterns) to the sky would drive away one’s misfortune or bad luck.

Watch this video and be amazed:


Southpole Central Hotel: Your Strategic Abode in Cebu

Southpole Central Hotel: Your Strategic Abode in Cebu
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Strategically located just a few meters away from the South Cebu Bus Terminal, Southpole Central Hotel was the perfect choice, if taking an early bus trip to popular tourist spots such as Kawasan Falls, Oslob and Moalboal. All of these can be reached via Ceres buses situated at the said terminal.

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Step-by-step Maiko Make-over

Step-by-step Maiko Make-over
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So you’ve read my narrative about becoming a maiko. But one post of my maiko make-over is not enough. Let me give you a peek inside the studio of Gion Aya in Kyoto, Japan.

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Japan Spring Edition: Becoming a maiko

Japan Spring Edition: Becoming a maiko
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The sakuras have fallen in Kyoto. But the bloom does not stop in flowers alone.

In a flick of a brush, the magic begins. I closed my eyes and felt the gentle hands of my make-up artist, Saki, as she painted the white foundation called Neri Shirako (oshiroi) unto the canvas—my neck and face.

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Hakuna Matata at The Funny Lion Inn in Coron

Hakuna Matata at The Funny Lion Inn in Coron
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Coron, Palawan is one of the places that I always return to. There’s always something different and something new. Our experience in Coron was one Hakuna Matata! Remember that song?

Hakuna Matata… 

“It means no worries for the rest of your days. It’s a problem-free philosophy. Hakuna Matata!” – Simba, The Lion King

The jungle atmosphere started to unfold as I rode the free airport transfer of The Funny Lion Inn. The van passed by the grassland, where cows were grazing until it stopped at the modern-contemporary hotel in 25 minutes.

Warm smiles of the staff and a glass of refreshing drink welcomed us as we checked in at the newly-opened boutique hotel located at Governor’s Drive, Sitio Jolo, Poblacion V. The staff then ushered us to our room called the CUB ROOM.


The room was neat and tidy with twin beds covered with white linens and comforter. I approached the desk and saw a note from the manager, Mr. Edwin Taghoy. It was thoughtful. The personalized welcome note is  a signature of the One-of-Collection group of hotels, which include the Funny Lion Inn.

Room Amenities:

  • Slippers
  • Toiletries
  • Safe
  • Coffee and Tea bags with electric kettle
  • Hair Dryer

The bed was comfortable that I slept soundly throughout the night.


The night before, the kitchen staff handed me a checklist of breakfast choices. I like how they prepare ahead of time for the guests’ meals. I chose the lamayo (a local dried fish) and bacon paired with sunny side up egg and hot tsokolate drink.

It was perfect. I’m in love with the breakfast by the pool set-up while the sun embraces us with its warmth.

After breakfast, I had a chat with the Funny Lion Inn’s manager, Mr. Taghoy. He fondly related a folklore of a cheerful lion which once lived with the Tagbanuas in Coron Bay. He said that they have adapted the story, hence, the name of the boutique resort.

He then introduced us to the executive chef of the restaurant, Rafael Ongchiong. Chef Rafael shared that they offer a mix of Asian and European cuisines.

Take a look at these mouthwatering dishes. Meals range from Php 250- Php 500.00.

Noteworthy among these dishes is the “pinangat”. Pinangat is a local dish of Coron with ground pork meat, salted egg in the middle wrapped in gabi leaves and boiled in coconut milk.

“Mahilig kasi ang mga taga-Coron sa gata (The locals of Coron like dishes with coconut milk),” said Chef Rafael.

Guests may dine outdoor or inside the restaurant. You can also play board games inside the resto.


The infinity pool of the resort was fantastic to cap off the whole day of island hopping in Coron. It was indeed relaxing.


By sunset time, I went to the Pride Rock, which is the lounge and bar of The Funny Lion Inn. One can take a dip at the two jacuzzis with a bottle of wine and a view of Coron Bay.

That’s what you call Hakuna Matata!


  • The Funny Lion Inn is the first resort that has the technology to reuse water from the toilets for gardening purposes.
  • The resort uses biodegradable soaps and shampoos.
  • Solar Panels are used for power generation. They have a back-up electric power as well.
  • There are two access roads to get to the resort. One is from Coron Town itself while the other one is used when you’re coming from Busuanga Airport.
  • Guests can use the safari-type jeepney to get to town for free at scheduled times. Or you can borrow the bikes for free at your own convenient time. It’s 10 minutes away from town.

For bookings, check out their website: