Fun Run Experience – Sparks Run 2.0 2017

I hated exercise. I know it’s good for you and that there’s a thrill to feeling the adrenaline running through your veins but I hated moving in general. I’m a sloth in nature.

But lately I decided I want to be healthier. So I decided to join a fun run with my significant other. I hate jogging, it’s repetitive. So I looked for a fun run with all the cool gimmicks that would actually motivate me to jog for a few kilometers.

So I found out about Sparks Run 2.0. Here’s a link to the event.

As you ran through the course, they would spray high pressure water, colored water, colored powder, and foamy bubbles at you in different stations. I knew I wasn’t a weakass mofo, so we went for the 5k track.

Oh, and the whole race would happen at night, which is rare for a fun run.

We practiced for the run a total of…

2 times.

And that was a month before the event. The event got delayed by a month, so we ended up being lazy about the whole thing.

It was fun, actually. I was pretty nervous at first but I did some breathing exercises to help calm me down. We were told to go to CS Amphitheatre. They told us that registration would start at 4pm even though the start of the race would still be at 6:30pm. We ended up going there at 4:30pm and it was still too early for anything.

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I’m kinda nervous, not sure if it shows in this photo

And so after a warm-up, the race started.

We were pretty familiar with the whole track since we studied here for college but for those who aren’t familiar with the place, it’s pretty easy to get lost. Majority of the start of the track is dimly lit. There are barely any lights and it’s kind of creepy if you’re jogging alone.

The first station was being sprayed with colored water. While it was pretty fun to pass through that station, it was composed of a couple of students who used water guns for a few hundred people. So once we got to the track, they were almost out of water, and the whole experience lasted literally 10 seconds.

The second station was a high pressured spray of water. That one was hella fun. They had two fire trucks spraying the road and it just felt fun. And cold. It was night.

The third station was pretty disappointing. Colored powder literally being thrown at you in very tiny handfuls. They only had one visible sack thrown in a very small area of the track. It wasn’t exactly what we were expecting. Literally just one handful for each runner, I think.

The fourth station was the best one. They really had a huge bubble foam machine so the bubbly foam was up to my waist. You could run through it several times, even stay for a while if you don’t really care about your time in the race (which is how we felt since we were doing this for fun).

We only saw two drinking stations but they were sufficient enough.

Once we got to the end of the race, I was getting pretty tired. However, I found a dead frog on the road and I only realized it once I was right beside it. I screamed (aggressively) and ran so fast and screamed so loud, I managed to startle the guy in front of me by running past him so quickly.

I hate frogs. 😦

During the last stretch, a bunch of the organizers would spray you with more water, cheering you on for the last part of the race. We ran, they took our photos and we got our finishers kit (full of goodies from their sponsors: Gatorade, Kratos, a gift certificate to Prime Salon, and a shirt from NewBalance)

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TRIUMPHANT!!!!

Evaluating the experience

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PHOTO NUMBER TWO OF TRIUMPHANT RUNNERS WHOOOO!

Overall, the event was a fun one to attend. They had a concert after the whole event but we didn’t stick around because I was going back to Subic and my SO had family dinner planned out.

I think that their marketing could have been better planned, though. As far as I know, the event was planned by UPCE (UP Circle of Entrepreneurs). I’m pretty sure they delayed the event because they didn’t reach the minimum quota of participants, but this is all speculation. They have a lot of members that could have shared their pubmats on Facebook but I barely saw any.

There were very few participants, to the point that they accepted walk-in registration (which is kind of unheard of in a fun run). When they asked us to line up according to category, I think there were barely 50 people running the 3k track.

The stations could have been livelier. “Sparks Run” is supposed to have the party vibes without the party. So there should have at least been music playing on each station as well as a huge sign to identify that station. Instead, the organizers had to make do with screaming at the participants “I’m going to spray you!” which, props to them, made me laugh and enjoy myself anyway.

The concert had three concessionaires. Or four. I don’t know. They reserved a pretty huge area for a few concessionaire stands.

I don’t really have anything to say about the concert, since we didn’t really attend it.

I think that with regards to organizing the event as well as marketing it, they could have done a better job (???). Though they did take into account insurance and a booth to place your bags, I felt like there was much to improve. Registration took an hour and a half, actual assembly was thirty minutes later. That’s two hours of waiting had you been there at the start of assembly.

They should also know that people love taking photos after the run. Why wasn’t there a tarpaulin backdrop for finishers to take photos at after? It would have immensely improved impact and the number of photos this brand has online.

If you’re not really the type to notice how the event is organized and focused solely on your experience, it’s still pretty fun. The runner kit and the finisher’s kit are both great. I love the shirts (which I could use for future workouts YAAAS) but yeah, they’re going to have trouble pitching this as a source of income for the org in the next GA.

 

 

Gulugod Baboy: A travel guide

Hello friends! Today I’m going to share my hike to Gulugod Baboy in Anilao Batangas. It’s legitimately a hike for beginners!

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Note: We drove there so if you’re looking for the commute details, click this link here.

Also, very important note: Batangas City is very very traffic starting 9am onwards. We thought that there was an accident but apparently it’s really a normal occurrence. We were set back about 2-3 hours because of the traffic caused by two intersections. Ugh. =_=

The way to all the resorts is full of road construction as of this writing. Please be careful driving.

To get to the starting point of the hike, you have to get to PhilPan Dive resort. It’s actually kind of at the far end of the set of resorts (You’ll even pass by the Santorini look alike!) but ask around and the locals are sure to send you on your way.

There’s only one restaurant near PhilPan and their garlic rice is pretty good!

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You’re supposed to register before starting the hike. It’s not very obvious where to register but it’s actually the sari-sari store across the street of the registration booth. They have people register so in case you get lost. It’s only P35, so it’s pretty cheap. They use that money to maintain the mountain, so please register!

You can opt for a guide or not, it’s up to you. The guide costs P500. The path is pretty straightforward and you can ask locals if you think you’re lost. There are some houses on the way. There are also a bunch of halo-halo stores at the start of the hike. The guide is optional. We decided not to get a guide.

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And off we go!

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This is a few steps from the registration booth!

The hike actually doesn’t take that long but we took a lot of breaks and pictures in between. Because we didn’t have a guide, we got lost at some point but some locals directed us back to the path.

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A house at the start of the trail

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The trail looks so gorgeous

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Looking back at the camera hehe

The path has a lot of dogs, so be wary. Some of them bark at you and follow you around but most of them just chill around looking at you.

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Taken at the start of the climb!

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The hikers we met going down the mountain

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One of the photos we took when we got lost

There are a lot of stops in between. Also, there’s a certain area in the path where there’s a really steep cemented short path, like 2-3 meters of steep cement. Be careful at that area!

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Cheesy romance photos because why not

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Taking breaks in between all the hiking

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The climb uphill is pretty tiring but the view is gorgeous

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Almost to the top!

We hiked uphill for about 2-3 hours. The whole climb was okay, it was just really hot because we started at 1pm (Also please bring sunscreen).

The top of the Gulugod Baboy was gorgeous!

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So gorgeous ❤

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The two summits (out of three)

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Pretty!

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Look at the ocean!

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Jumpshot!

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Least goofy photo of them all!

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Fooling around before leaving!

Eventually we finished taking photos. We didn’t really have a lot of time left so we didn’t manage to climb all the way up. Beside the summit of the mountain is a parking/camping space. There’s also a shop and a bathroom. You can actually just drive all the way up to the top.

We didn’t have time to climb back down, so we took a trike back to the registration booth. The trike costs P500 but it’s a 45 minute trip that goes uphill and downhill a lot.

When we got back down, we logged out of the registration booth and changed clothes in the car. Afterwards, we went straight to Tagaytay for some bulalo! ❤

Anyway, that’s it. Hope you found this helpful!

 

Describing the Philippines through memories

What’s the Philippines like?

To describe it to most people unfamiliar with the place, it’s a tropical country full of wonderful beaches and amazing mountains. It’s an archipelago in the middle of Asia with a surprising number of people who speak English well.

I hate the Philippines so much.

Or rather, I love it so much.

It’s funny how the just literally being born in a country can make you love and hate it at the same time.

The Philippines is more than just beaches, mountains, and tropical fruits. It’s more than its violent history with Spain, the Americans, and the Japanese. Mostly, the Philippines is my life. It is my culture.

It’s not just the national costumes, the national anthem, or the national flower. It’s a way of life. Honestly, all of that is done just to unite the country, but what really unites us is our shared experiences. Let me tell you about a Filipino childhood.

Memories of riding the jeep with your mom and sitting on her lap because she didn’t pay for your seat (kids don’t take up much space). Being threatened with a tsinelas when you didn’t do your chores. The weird trinkets they sell at elementary school like the necklace with colored sand, blue ink that disappears after a few minutes on your clothes, or the random street vendor who sells i-scrambol that has that distinct purple (or sometimes pink) colored ice.

I recall my childhood full summers at the beach. Full days spent under the sun (even during noon hours), sunburnt skin at the end of the day. I have photos wherein you can distinctly see the difference of my skin color through the outline of my swimsuit. I recall making sand mounds (castle would be too much of a stretch, they never lasted too long) with cousins and friends.

I recall strict teachers and nice teachers. Classmates having their seventh birthday party at lunch time. After school activities included running around in just a sando and the school skirt (we were always sweaty and in the sun, looking and chasing for grasshoppers in the grass). After school activities included chasing after classmates, doing cartwheels in the carpeted hallways.

Going to Baguio as the top vacation site. It was, in our definition, pretty cold in Baguio. We would walk around with gloves on our hands, knitted hats, and jackets. It was a treat to ride the brightly colored horses. Film photography was expensive, unlike the millions of selfies we take now, taking photos back then was a cherished moment.

Storms were frequent too. Signal number 1 was a frequent category Zambales was placed in. School would often be canceled due to the freakish rain and thunder that visited this tropical country. Floods would occur. People would flee from their homes to evacuation centers in the baranggay. Donations are frequent. Losses were even more frequent.

There are so many more memories in my head about the Philippines. Just looking back at all these memories, it just occurs to me how much of a big part of my life this country has become. I love this country because this is where my life began. This is where my parents were born too. I may not know any cultural dances at heart but I can belt out to Aegis. I can’t understand Ilocano, but I eat like one (diningding, pinakbet, bagnet, you name it).

I don’t know. This whole this is just me rambling about my memories as a Filipina. I thoroughly enjoy living in the Philippines. Despite all the political issues, stressfully influential church over the government, and all the mishaps and tragedies that happened, a lot of good has happened here too. I just have to make sure to contribute to all the good that’s happening here.

 

To my younger self,

Hi. You’re about to start high school. It’s a whole new school. Your best friend is going to a different high school. You’re about to be left behind. To be honest, you didn’t really think of it that way, did you? In your mind, you guys will always be best friends.

You’re only eleven, but you’ve been through a lot. To be honest, you’re kinda nerdy and you don’t take care of yourself. You’ve got internalized misogyny. You didn’t take care of yourself because natural beauty is better. You played video games. You saw yourself as one of the guys. You beat all the guys in your classroom in arm wrestling.

You hate yourself.

You’re asking for help. But you don’t know who to talk to.

I still remember that entry. In sixth grade, we were required to make daily logs in our journals. I still remember that vividly. You wrote in your diary terrible things.

You wrote about cutting yourself. You wrote about how the blade felt nice against your skin. It was better than what you were actually feeling. Being numb. Feeling empty. Scared of the future.

Every week, our teacher made us pass our diary. You passed that diary. Along with that journal entry. You were scared that our teacher would read it. Yet, you were also relieved. I guess somewhere deep in your mind, you thought that maybe he would help you out.

The weekend passed slowly. You were in agony waiting for that Monday morning. Would he call your parents? Would he talk to you about it? Would you get in trouble?

Monday morning came. You got to your seat. Our teacher started class. He called out for attendance. Made some morning announcements. The hum of the airconditioning filled the room.

“I’m giving back your diaries now.”

You could hear your heart beating through your ears. Palms sweaty, your knuckles almost white from your closed fists. Minutes felt like hours.

He calls your name.

You get up from your seat. You walk towards him, in the middle of the classroom. You grab your diary from his hand.

He barely looks at you. He calls out the next name. You turn around, you’re confused. You walk to your seat slowly.

There it is. Your diary. Your half-assed diary, to be honest. A cut out of Snow White (which you grabbed from an old kiddy magazine at the last minute) stuck to the cover page. Pages upon pages of entries filled half of the notebook. The first few entries were long. Covering one or two pages. As you flip page after page, the entries become shorter and shorter, to the point where an entry was just a sentence long.

I would know. I wrote all of that. I half-assed it after several months in school. There was nothing to write about. Or rather, I didn’t really feel the urge to write so much when we already had enough schoolwork.

And you finally get to the latest page.

“Dear Diary,

Today I cut myself. I was mad and upset. I grabbed scissors and just kept running them through my fingertips. It felt really good. I don’t know why. It made me feel better. It helped me stop being upset. Please don’t tell my mom!”

On top of the paragraph was a huge red check mark.

You let out a sigh of relief. Or was it disappointment? I’m not really too sure. It’s been eight years since I was last you. I can’t really remember.

I do remember though, what you did right after. You grabbed your correction tape and erased that whole entry. Instead, you placed a stupid wishy washy entry about doing homework, eating dinner, and playing computer games that night.


This letter is never going to reach you, younger me. It’s not possible. Several years later, you would have a conversation with that teacher (he was, after all, one of the very best ones you’ve ever had). He would confess that your handwriting was so bad that he didn’t read your diary logs at all. He would also confess that he thoroughly read through your classmates’ entries though, because their handwriting capabilities were better.

You laugh with him. You try to defend yourself by joking around. It’s all a secret.


To my younger self,

I honestly don’t know what to say to you. You’re eleven years old. You think about death often. You cry a lot. Your best friend is leaving for another faraway school. High school is going to suck. But honestly, you’re just excited about school. You’re excited about studying and making new friends and having fun.

You’ve got a long way to go before you become me. You’ll be spending majority of the next few years hating on your parents, hating on your life, but clinging on to it because of your friends. I still remember you.

If I have to tell you something positive, it’s this. Things get better. Things get tougher. But they get better. You will face hardships you wouldn’t have known possible. You will cry a lot. You’ll be awkward. But it’s okay.

Because you’ll have a support system with you. Your parents are your biggest supporters. You just don’t see it because you’re blaming them for a lot of things.

To my younger self,

Because no one told me this when I was you.

I see you. I know what you’re going through. I’m sorry this is happening. You will be your own person, not the worst case scenario you’re thinking you will become.

To my younger self,

You are important. Isn’t it amazing that out of all the stars, the mountains, the rivers, and the people of the earth, the universe decided it needed you too?

You will do great things some day. I know it.

To my younger self,

I love you.

La Mesa Eco Park

A week ago, I dragged my parents to La Mesa Eco Park, this little area of greenery in Quezon City. My parents enjoyed it a lot, here’s some photos (since I finally learned drag and drop works!)!!!

We got there at around 10am. It was a pretty cloudy day and I was still playing around with the camera, so forgive the quality for now. I’ll get better through practice (prolly).

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Pretty dark, but whatever.

We got there by car. La Mesa Eco Park in located in Commonwealth. It’s a little bit farther than the Commonwealth Market. It’s kinda hidden though. You can only ride the trike going inside the park.

You can take photos on this huge sign they have outside. It’s pretty cute.

We paid P50 for each person for the entrance fee because we didn’t bring any IDs. Senior citizens, students, and residents of Quezon City get a discount. The park is open until 4pm. The place is amazing. It’s very picturesque. A lot of people were on their bikes. Some of them were jogging. Some people had a picnic.

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There were a lot of huge trees covering us, so even if it were sunny it would still be breezy in the park.

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The walkway going into the park.

There’s a lot of walking involved, be warned. Wear comfortable shoes. You can bring food inside the park too.

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The lagoon beside the picnic area.

There are a lot of activities you could do inside the park. We didn’t really do any of them but mostly they’re fun family activities. You can go swimming (they have two swimming pools but only one is functioning as of this writing) but you have to pay extra for that. Fishing is also possible, for a price.

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The statue in the middle of the waterbiking lake.

You can ride a horse around the area too. There’s also a bungee trampoline jumping thing. Water biking was also offered but not a lot of people were availing of the service. Mostly though, the visitors bring food and have a picnic in a rented hut and enjoy the greenery.

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Stairs leading to nowhere. Literally.

They also have these stairs that go up really high. We climbed up on to the top but there’s literally nothing there but the La Mesa Dam. You can’t take photos of the Dam from up there. The only advantage is you can see the lagoon and catch your breathe. A lot of people were catching their breathe halfway through the stairs so it’s best to bring water and pace yourself walking up these things.

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Some of the plants on the uphill climb parallel to the stairs.

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The view from the top of the stairs leading to nowhere. It’s a pretty view, considering how urban Quezon City can be.

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Halfway view from the stairs

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Flowers are planted everywhere. You could do photoshoots here with friends, actually. :>

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A smaller lagoon beside the uphill stairs.

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A lot of people brought their bikes. Bike trails are available so that’s pretty cool!

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The horses that provide the the horseback riding experience look well-fed in comparison to those in Baguio. 🙂

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Mini rice terraces!

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The path in the Drilon Orchidarium

They also had an Orchidarium full of orchids. Not a lot of the orchids were in bloom though. They had a lot of flowers inside the mini-maze thing. It was super pretty!

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My mom and I went inside the Orchidarium by ourselves. There were a lot of great places to take photos. Plus my mom loves flowers so she took as many photos as she could.

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I took a lot of pictures of my mom. Here’s my favorite one ❤

We only stayed for a few hours but my parents enjoyed it and that made me happy. They don’t usually enjoy a lot of stuff so it was nice to see them walking around enjoying themselves.

La Mesa Eco Park: A review

Overall, the park is a great place to visit during the weekends. It’s very family friendly. I didn’t get to take a shot of the playground and the other facilities like the butterfly garden, so you’re going to have to discover that stuff on your own. A lot of people visit the place for a quick family bonding trip. Bring picnic stuff like food, cups, refreshments, and blankets if you feel like having a picnic.

If you don’t want to bother with bringing food though, there’s several outdoor restaurants that sell meals like Bulalo, grilled meat, or snacks. Note that they don’t open when it’s rainy. So I’m pretty sure it’s best to go here during the summer.

Bathrooms are also clean! That’s a very big plus!

It’s also a fun cheap date place if you want to bring your significant other to spend time together walking around trees. You don’t always have to spend money to have a good time ❤

Anyway, I hope more people come and support this park! 😀

An introvert in a party

Today, surprisingly, I went to a party my friend was hosting because it’s almost his birthday. I honestly thought that it would be okay since some of my close friends are coming as well. When I got there with my boyfriend, we were the only ones from our circle who had arrived.

I mean, I knew the other people but only by name. I didn’t expect to socialize with people. Recently I’ve been very heavily introverted. If I didn’t like people before, I certainly don’t want to talk to people now. It tires me out. So we kinda spent the whole party just… attempting to avoid people as best as we could.

I brought my camera but I was too shy to take so many photos of people. It kinda sucks being an introvert sometimes.

Here I was, at this pretty cool party with all this beer and alcohol with all these people I could possibly get to know, yet because I’m an introvert, I’d rather not socialize. I avoided talking as much as possible. I ran into a corner with my equally introverted boyfriend and we stayed there taking photos or selfies. It sucks.

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Yeah, we got there pretty early, so no one’s photobombing me yet.

It was a party. An opportunity to get to know other people. These other people probably had pretty cool stories to tell. We could have sit ourselves down and learned more about their lives, exchanged cool stories, or maybe even made a permanent friend. The possibilities are endless. All you have to do is talk.

Just. talk.

“Hi, what’s your name?”

“Cool, so how do you know Sski or Kends?”

Conversation starters. Drinks all around. Listen to people some more. Enjoy the night.

Yet because I wasn’t prepared, because I wasn’t expecting to talk to new people, I was not in the mood and I wanted to go home. It sucked.

You know how I met my friends in college? I socialized. A lot. I went to all our dinners and parties. I studied with them. We drank the night away, laughing at random things. We texted one another frequently. We met up randomly in the day and built ourselves up to our currently level of closeness now.

Even though sometimes I didn’t want to socialize, college expected you to do so. Once I had my permanent set of friends, I stopped socializing with strangers. Why would I want to? The only reason I socialized back then was to actually make close friends.

Back then, I felt like a loser if I didn’t go out to parties or dinners with other people. It felt unnatural to be home by 6:30 pm. I was always out late, sometimes getting home the next day smelling like smoke or alcohol. I was always tired but I had fun too.

Nowadays, I enjoy my nights in. I love spending time watching TV, reading a book, or writing on my blog. I love my friends but it’s hard to spend time with people when it drains you five minutes into the conversation.

Sometimes though, I miss the feeling of jumping in spontaneous roadtrips with friends, running wild into the night, spending hours upon hours just enjoying several people hanging out studying or drinking.

It was fun while it lasted.

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A group of friends, after college. Feb 4, 2017

 

Happy Chinese New Year!

Met up with some friends at the mall today. They had some pretty cool stuff for Chinese New Year. Posting them here because I am giddy. ;D

They had these stalls for Chinese New Year! Here are some of my experiences :>

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Tried out Chinese Calligraphy for the very first time! It was super fun

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Photo with proper calligraphy! You get the chance to hang up yours on the tree too! I asked my boyfriend to hang it up super high ❤

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One of the shops had a Panda Hoodie! ❤ I tried it on. It was sooooo cute. I danced around inside shop and the employees laughed at my awkward dancing =))

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I tried on these clip on wings for your hair! The stall was selling them for P50 only, I couldn’t believe it! 0_0 I didn’t buy it though. When would I ever use these things? =))

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Released my inner cat with this really cute headband! (Again, didn’t buy it but I totes would when I see it again HAHAHA)

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Meow meow mofos ❤

Haha, sorry this turned out to be such a fest full of my photos. I would have taken more photos had I known I’d decided to post this in my blog.

I thoroughly enjoyed the day! There were lots of stalls and they even had Dragon Dance. Almost everyone was wearing red and it was just a really fun day.

Happy Chinese New Years everyone! :3