Sunday, December 31, 2017

Postcards from South Batan

Batanes - a breathtaking blue and green wonderland. A place that lets you believe that postcards are real. Let's start 2018 with a #travelinspo ayt? If you've never been to this place, I highly recommend it for your 2018 #travelgoals. 

Funny, I almost never made this trip if not for my brother barging in my room at 4AM to get something leaving me with just enough time to gather my things and book an Uber for a 6AM flight. Yay! It's probably my first flight without uhmm shower but thankfully, the tour at 9AM gave me enough time to prepare after the 1h-hr flight. The first day started with a tour of South Batan, the most inhabited island of Batanes. Here goes...

Chawa View Deck. On the way out of Basco the capital, the first stopover of South Batan tour is this lookout of the West Philippine Sea. From here you can take 100 steps down so you can the adjacent cliff to enjoy the rocky coast below. If I could go back to Batanes again (please, please!), I would schedule a visit here during sunset. 

Mahatao Shelter Port. Studying the pictures before the trip, it seemed to me like an ordinary boring port for boat docking (lol, sorry!) but when I got there, I was quite stunned of its appeal in person. It's basically an infrastructure for supporting the fishing industry and safeguarding the marine resources of Batanes and yep, a must-see! ;)

Hedgerows. This wasn't actually part of the tour but I just had to ask my tour guide to stop for a photo-op on the way to the next stopover. What a labyrinth!

Tayid Lighthouse. This modern 21st century structure was built on the opposite side of Batan island facing the Pacific Ocean. There's just something so charming about lighthouses with their red and white painting and the view they offer, no? This sentinel is not available for climbing though but the other one is - Basco Lighthouse in my next post. :)

Mount Iraya. Standing at 1,009m, this active volcano's presence is imposing (it's the first sight that greets you at the airport) and is considered one very important landmark for the Ivatans.

Marlboro Country (Racuh A Payaman). The name was given by the American tourists but it didn't strike me as landscape for a cigarette advertisement (ugh!). Seriously, they should change this name. The very thought of associating its fresh air to smoke, it's repulsive. 😤 

This is actually where the set lunch is served for the tour and later that day, I was informed that this is where the Anne Curtis "supposedly" chose to get married (which we know we didn't happen). But from the actual location in Wellington, I could surmise that this was an option. Up until that time I traveled, mobile data (of any network!) is not available in Batanes. I know, I can't believe I survived two days either, haha! But if I wanted solemn without mobile interruptions, I'd totally do it here and in colder months. (Groom, please? Haha!)

I traveled solo on this trip and since I didn't wanna join a big crowd, I opted to get Kuya Dale's (+639176197009) tour service. He does it in this unique trike with the cogon-roof style that's imported from Sabtang island (see post here). It maybe not so skin-friendly (slather on sunscreen) but I love that it's very stylish and that he took all these amazing photos. :)

Top: Zaful; Skirt: Zara; Shoes: H&M

Saturday, December 30, 2017

17 of 2017

It was hard to narrow it down but in no particular order, here are my chosen 17 best looks for 2017. Have a great 2018 everyone! :)

Monday, December 25, 2017

NYE Dressing

New Year's Eve. Your last chance to impress and go all out in dressing for this year. Still not sure what to wear? Typical. In my last post, I did give tip on what to wear using items that you may already have in your closet. But this time, we turn to another stylist who gave us more cool tricks in order to standout on the occasion.

While she did give a lot of rules (you may read everything here), we focus on two tips that are demonstrated in the looks below. (1) Embrace items with movement. Because what's one detail of your clothing that will get you noticed on the dance floor (aside from a sea of glitters and sequins of course?) - FRINGE! Apart from its standout color, this red fringed dress below guarantees you shimmy like there's no tomorrow. Haha!

Another tip we're taking? It's being unique by avoiding the same sequined/ body-hugging dresses that girls might wear on the floor. From one pantsuit fan to another, it's your one and done piece. And this item from Rosegal below with its again, standout color, will just give you the right impression for a festive and comfortable NYE. :)

Mesh Panel High Waist Jumpsuit

P.S. All styling are by yours truly. This post was made in partnership with Rosegal. Use the code RosegalChen to get additional discounts.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Rock Gala

Picking outfit for holiday events can not only be stressful, it can cause conflict as well. Lol. Trust me on this. If you work for a company that's dominated by male introverts, there's no way you can push for a gala theme 'coz ugh I'm tired of this, everybody wants to be a rockstar. So let me just quickly move on to the outfit...

One option to wear for upcoming shindigs, a shimmery slip dress. But as style experts have mentioned, throw on a leather jacket and it makes all the difference. It's even a red-carpet worthy outfit as seen here. Riri also stepped out in a similar party-perfect combo here. Sexy and confident and with a touch of rocker-cool, isn't that how you wanna look to ring in 2018? ;)

Dress: H&M; Shoes: Mango; Jacket: Topshop; Sunnies: Sleek Collective 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Mercure JKT

Switched hotels from last time where we regularly stayed at to be closer to the client’s office, Mercure’s location in Central Jakarta is just a huge relief given Jakarta’s traffic situation.😅 It’s just around 15 minutes away from the shopping locations in the city and there’s a metro station a few minutes’ walk away from the hotel.

Though most of the time I stayed in my room to work, it’s good that they have a trust speedy wifi connection that doesn’t limit the number of device that connects to it. (Fyi, I work with multiple phones in my job hehe). But I love the design of the room and how it’s just separated to the shower with a glass panel. Haha. Uhmm, it took time for me to adjust to this set-up (lol) but there are blinds provided too if you’re sharing with someone in the room.

I’ll probably spend most of my future biz trips here so I appreciate that they have a small gym at the 8th floor where the pool and rooftop bar is located. When I’m away for work, I usually do my workouts in the morning since some of the evenings are spent having dinner with clients. I either go for run or a swim. Just quick 15-30 minute cardios would do. 😅

I’ve also tried their mocktails at De’Langit Rooftop bar one time in the late afternoon while my room is being serviced and it was a good alternative for a workplace with their discotheque music blasting in the background. Hehe. I’ve yet to try their Karaoke nights though since the last two times I stayed at were rainy evenings in JKT.

Lastly, the lobby. You can tell that the lobby means business with PCs provided for the guests. It’s nice that short informal meetings can be held here in this set-up and that I can always ask for a cold ginger tea from the reception. One of the receptionist (I forgot her name, my bad! 😅) who greeted me personally in my return (she assisted me in my check-out last time :)) told me that I can ask for it anytime. Love that she remembered me and this extra service. Uhm, if anything, I don’t remember getting my chocolates on the first day of my second stay though. Lol. 😅

Though sometimes you really don’t look forward to biz trips because of the work it entails and lost time going to and forth, but it’s not bad when you know you’re taken cared of in hotels like this.  Last time I explored the Cikini area by myself and found a good place for coffee. I look forward to exploring some hidden gems of this city during my stay in the future. And thanks to Mercure Cikini for the hospitality during my stay. ‘Til my next trip. ;)

**This trip is not paid by Mercure. Just sharing my personal review of the hotel. :)