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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Memorable Trips of 2014

Memorable Trips of 2014
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“Back to reality na naman bukas,” said someone after our tour.

“Ito po ang reality namin,” I replied.
That was the same statement that I used to say years ago. Travel is like a dream and facing the daily grind is the reality. Before, traveling meant escaping the stressful work to find happiness. But then I realized, life is short to be lived in misery. So I took that leap to the risky yet exciting world of business.  I live and breathe travel. It has been my life ever since I left the corporate world.

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God has blessed me this 2014. It has been a very good year to me both in the professional and personal aspects. Thank you Lord for the blessings of traveling with my family, my love, and my clients who later became friends. Despite the terrible aviation disasters, I’m fortunate that I haven’t encountered any untoward incidents during my trips this year. Thank you Lord once again.

On the professional side, I’m grateful to my corporate and individual clients who continue to trust Explore8 Travel with their trips. It has always been our mission to travel beyond the usual that would bring priceless memories beneficial to both the guests and the communities that we visit.

The highlight of my 2014 travel year was our European trip with my grandmother and aunt who are first time travelers at the age of 81 and 72. We visited Paris, Lourdes, Amsterdam, Keukenhof, Volendam, Milan, Florence, and Rome. They proved that travel is not only for the young. It’s not yet too late to travel. Taking the first step is the key in moving forward.

Here’s a throwback of my memorable trips this 2014 (6 international destinations covering 18,831 miles and 12 local destinations):

This is Tripadora signing off… Goodbye 2014 and Thank you!

Hello Awesome 2015!

Family accommodation in Singapore

Family accommodation in Singapore
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Most hotel rooms in Singapore are only good for two. Only few hotels can accommodate four or more. Fortunately, we found a family accommodation in Strand Hotel Singapore during our April 2014 trip. It can accommodate six people.

LOCATION

Strand Hotel is strategically located at 25 Bencoolen Street. Location is strategic as the Hawker Food Center is just three minutes away on foot.

ROOM

Here’s the family room. The room has one single bed, one roll-away bed, and two queen beds. We were charged 380 SGD per room per night as six people occupied the room. It’s Php 12,849.52 per room per night in Philippine currency. If you divide that by 6 pax, it would cost Php 2,141.58 per head. The rate comes with free breakfast and inclusive of government taxes.

Pardon the reaction of my brother. He had a hangover.

Breakfast is buffet but the selection is so-so. Good thing, there’s a hawker center nearby.

PWD Accessibility

The entrance of the Strand Hotel has no ramp for wheelchairs so one has to take around five steps before getting to the lobby.

Amenities and Facilities

Toiletries and towels are provided. The hotel does not have a swimming pool but for the price, I guessed it’s understandable.

NEAREST ATTRACTIONS: 

The reason why we chose Strand Hotel is because of the Catholic churches that are in close proximity. My grandmother wanted to visit churches.

  • Cathedral of the Good Shepherd
  • St. Peter and Paul Church
  • St. Joseph’s Church

Singapore Art Museum is also within walking distance. It’s about 10 minutes leisurely walk from Strand Hotel.

TRANSPORTATION: The Strand Hotel is just a stone’s throw away from the Dhoby Gaut MRT Station and walking distance to the Bras Basah MRT, which can be helpful in going around Singapore.

VERDICT:

It was clean and comfortable enough for us. Though the rate might not be cheap, it’s affordable for the location and accessibility. I’d definitely recommend Strand Hotel Singapore to families who want to stay together in one room.

Meeting Pope Francis at the Vatican

Meeting Pope Francis at the Vatican
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“Whenever we feel weary or discouraged along the journey of faith, let us ask the Holy Spirit to grant us the gift of fortitude to guide our steps…

Through the gift of fortitude, the Holy Spirit enables us to remain faithful amid every difficulty.” –Pope Francis’ message during the Papal General Audience, 05/14/14

Walking along the cobblestone road of Rome towards Vatican City, I thought we were early at 7:30 am for the papal audience scheduled at 10:30 am. But lo and behold, thousands of visitors from all over the world gathered at St. Peter’s Square hours before us.

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