Getting Lost in Japan: Osaka

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Osaka Castle

Finally, I had the time to write about my Osaka trip– the second part of my Japan blog post. Just like Tokyo, I had tons of fun in Osaka but frankly, I like Tokyo better. I dont know maybe because we only had 3 full days to explore the city that’s why I wasn’t able to appreciate Osaka more? But now, let me tell you about our 3 days in Osaka.

We took the shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo Station to Shin-Osaka Station. It took us 2 hours and 30 minutes but ok let me tell you first how hard it is to navigate through Tokyo Station with our 12 suitcases. Yeah, you heard it right. We have 12 suitcases and imagine how difficult it is to walk around the station with that many luggages. It took us 2 hours to buy 12 shinkansen tickets not because the queue is long (there’s none actually) but because we got lost on our way to the ticket counter. Tickets were approximately 13, 260 yen (around Php 7,000) per person as we picked the Nozomi Shinkansen Train, the fastest bullet train. The train just arrived when we passed through the gates so we were rushing towards car number 3– car for non-reserved seats (we were in front of car 16 that time lol). When we got inside the train, I was amazed because it didn’t look like a train at all. It looks more of an airplane to be honest. What I also really like about it is that it has a huge leg room (wayyyy better than a plane’s leg room). It can fit my huge luggages and my legs without feeling uncomfortable at all. We took few stops at different stations before arriving in Osaka. We hailed a van and a taxi going to our Airbnb house and it only took us around 15 minutes. Our Airbnb host is very friendly and the interior of the house is also cute since it’s full of pastel furnitures and decors. What I like about the house that we stayed at is it’s very close from Dotonbori. By just 2 minutes of walking, you’ll be able to get there.

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We just spent the whole day relaxing in the house. The next day (May 9, 2018), we decided to go to Osaka Castle and explore Dotonbori, Namba, and Shinsaibashi. We took the train going to Osaka castle and I just have to say that it’s easier to navigate in Osaka more than Tokyo probably because you can see more signages in Osaka. We hike our way going to Osaka Castle and we took A LOT of pictures on our way to the top. We stroll inside Miraiza Osaka-jo, a shopping mall just beside Osaka Castle. We ate Takoyaki (for the nth time) because we were starving! Afterwards, we made our way to Namba and stroll along the shopping areas until we reached Shinsaibashi where we bought and ate Pablo Cheesecake. I forgot the name that I bought but it was a cheese tart with an ice cream beside it. It was so delicious that I was able to finish it in less than 3 minutes. We went to different stores in Shinsaibashi until we found McDonald’s along the way and spent probably an hour there. ALSO, I was so happy when I saw that their McNuggets is on SALE. YES! ON SALE!! I forgot how much exactly it is but ugh, my McNuggets heart is so happy! After some time, we went to Dotonbori and explored the place. My brother and I also tried the gigantic clams which costs 500 yen each (around Php 250). It’s expensive but we didn’t regret spending our money because it was soooooo delicious! After buying another set of Takoyaki and Onomiyaki, my mom and I went to Forever21. I spent an hour there just sulking in one corner. Why? Let’s not talk about it hahaha. After an hour of giving my mom an attitude, I went to the third floor of Forever21 and dang! Everything there was on clearance! It was 9:00 pm that time and I wished I didn’t sulk in the corner an hour ago. Everything was 50-75% off and I scored a looooot of items. A lot, really! What’s also good about it is we got some items for free because they had a promo going on. We were the last customer to pay that time because I took so much time picking stuff.

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The following day (May 10, 2018), we woke up early to go to Universal Studios. I was very hyped while walking along the City Walk. We took quite a few pictures in front of the Universal Studios Globe. After some time, we went straight to the entrance since we already bought our tickets from Klook. It was my first time going to Universal Studios and dang, all rides were beyond my expectations! It’s unique and very far from Disney. I would say it’s more adult-friendly since most rides are extreme. We first tried the 4D Minion Ride. The queue was very long and it took us an hour before getting on the actual ride. We thought it’s kid-friendly but we thought wrong hahaha! My 4-year-old cousins ended up whining and crying throughout the ride. What is it about? Just see for yourself! Hahaha. Anyway, so we proceeded to Jurassic World and my brother, sister, and parents decided to ride the Flying Dinosaur in to which I declined because I’m a scaredy cat. I waited for around an hour for them to finish but while I was waiting, I bought myself some caramel popcorn. I was quite disappointed there’s no other choice but caramel because I hate that flavor, swear! After the Flying Dinosaur ride, we went to eat at Discovery Restaurant. I picked Korean BBQ just because I’m craving for Korean food that time. While we were eating, a dinosaur came out of nowhere! Hahaha. It scared the hell out of my little cousins but it was really entertaining to watch. After eating, we tried the Jaws ride then The Dream Ride Rollercoaster. Hell, I almost fainted while we were on the queue. My parents forced me into that ride and when we got into the actual ride, I’m already at the verge of vomiting (because of too much anxiety! hahaha). Good thing, I didn’t. I just kept my eyes closed throughout the entire ride and I can’t help but scream everytime there’s a drop. I didn’t regret trying that ride, though! It was fun and it literally took me out of my comfort zone hahaha! After that life-threatening (it really is!) ride, we went to try Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Of course, I can’t leave USJ without trying their famous butter beer! I was craving for it prior to this trip and so I can really say, cravings satisfied! I’m not really a fan of Harry Potter and to be honest, I don’t know what it is about (I haven’t watched the movie nor read the book yet, forgive me) but I enjoyed the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride. I won’t spoil you on what it is about. The Flight of Hippogriff ride was short but amusing. It’s basically a rollercoaster but not an extreme one, it’s something I would enjoy. Afterwards, we took a few pictures and then we went home early. I would love to go back to USJ if given the chance. I also like their rides better than Disney since they’re more inclined to adults but they also have kid-friendly attractions. The others went to Dotonbori while I stayed home to eat my convenience store-bought food. I had Gyoza, Onigiri, and Tonkatsu. I packed my stuff and went to bed since we have an early flight the next morning.

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Morning came (May 11, 2018) and I felt very sad leaving Japan. I went on a last-minute run to Lawson and spent my remaining money to buy Onigiri. I realized I bought way too many Onigiris while I was in Japan and I’m really going to miss it. It was a cold morning (around 13 degrees celsius) and I just don’t want to leave Japan yet. Osaka was good to us. We didn’t get lost while we were navigating our way through the city. There were also a lot of cheap finds compared to Tokyo. It’s so sad we only got to spend 3 full days on such amazing city. I completely have no words for Japan. Hands down! It was an unforgettable trip, indeed. Mata ne, Japan!

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Hong Kong– A True Beauty

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Do not claim the pictures shown. Take it out with full credits. Thank You!

Photography: Kyle Alexandria Mirano

Make It Happen With Maybelline

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Recently, I’ve been really loving Maybelline’s products and here are a few of my favorites from their brand. Disclaimer: I am not a professional beauty guru and the following comments and impressions are based solely from my opinion. Additionally, this post does not give a thorough evaluation about the products and is not sponsored.

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1.) Maybelline ColorSensational Creamy Matte Lipsticks. Out of all the drugstore lipsticks that I have tried, this is by far the best. I’m so in love with their nude shades, most especially Nude Nuance and Clay Crush. It has a buttery feel when applied on the lips and also, it glides on easily. It has a velvety, matte finish that you can wear throughout the whole day. My lips didn’t feel dry when I used this. Perfect for an everyday look! I would rate it 10 out of 10.

2.) Maybelline Dream Satin Two-way Cake. What I like about this product is that it feels light on the skin when applied unlike any other drugstore pressed powder. It also gives a flawless coverage when partnered with Maybelline’s Dream Satin Liquid Foundation. Since I have a morena skin, I use the B3 shade for both the products. I will not recommend this to people with oily skin type. As for me with an extreme oily skin, I oil up profusely after an hour of application. You might want to try Maybelline’s Fit Me! Matte + Poreless Powder. I would give it an 8 out of 10

3.) Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm. I must say, I’m not actually a fan of this lip balm. Is it just me or it really feels strange on the lips? On the brighter side, I also love this because it gives a natural pink tint finish (I have the Cherry Kiss flavor). When I’m not in the mood to apply lipstick, I use this one as a replacement. This is an 8 out of 10.

4.) Maybelline Baby Skin Pore Eraser. Finding this product was tiresome. I had to go to different stores as it is always out of stock but this primer gave justice! I super duper love the product because it blurs out big pores on my cheeks. My foundation also lasts for an entire day, thanks to this primer! I would give this a 9 out of 10

5.) Maybelline Fashion Brow Duo Shaper. Okay, can we just talk how much I love this eyebrow product! It can either be in a pencil form or powder form. Moreover, it gives a natural-looking and full eyebrows. I’m lost for words on how great this product is. I would rate this 10 out of 10.

6.) Maybelline Hypercurl Volume Express. To my surprise, this mascara makes my eyelashes volumized and it does look fuller when applied. I honestly love this more than my Dolce&Gabbana Volumized Lashes Mascara. It is water-proof and smudge-proof so it lasts longer. I would give this product a 10/10.

 

That’s it for my favorite picks from Maybelline. You can wear these products anytime, anywhere, and as much as you want to. Always remember, Make It Happen with Maybelline!

 

Photos by Kyle Alexandria Mirano

 

A train of unfiltered thoughts vol. 2

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It’s just one of those nights where I lie in my bed, awake. Million of thoughts is the sole reason for my sleepless soul. I often think about things that gives no answer to itself. I reckon of countless possibilities in life and of what’s in store for tomorrow. There i came thinking, how is there a tomorrow? How do we know there’s life the next day? I remember His greatness. He gives life surely. He gives life kindly. And day by day, he reveals His greatness in the most delicate way. He keeps me going. When life is tough, the way it always is, He serves as my strength. With high hopes of surviving from life’s daily struggle, I run to Him. I am deeply grateful for having to experience the throes He continuously provide. Its absence will not culminate hard work and self motivation, truly. I will unceasingly thank Him for His enigmatic works of wonder. At certain times, when life is unusually blissful, I unknowingly neglect how He worked His way to where I stand. I would often disregard the mere actuality that I arose from the lowest ground existing and my triumph will not come about if wasn’t for Him. There are instances where in I would look down from the mountain I stand on without feeling neither satisfaction nor gratification. My psyche shouts for more. I would forget that in order to climb another one, I must go down again. More often than not, I feel hate for having to descend, for having to interact with people of lower standing. I conceal my unnecessary slurs for them. But I forgot that we are of the same standing, we strive for a similar aspiration, and we are His people.

 

Photography: Kyle Alexandria Mirano

A train of unfiltered thoughts vol. 1

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She stands in the most intimidating way

She walks as if a red carpet is beneath her

She speaks like she knows everything

She laughs as if no one is watching her

She acts like no one is judging her

She thinks in the most interesting way

She does best in all things

She is the person you’ll rarely meet out of the 7.5 billion people in this world

She is unique

And that, she is aware of

She is one of a kind

She deserves everything best there is

She hides under another person

In the most subtle way, she cries

Her roar of pain is so loud that you could barely hear anything

Her tears are precious like a diamond that you could not see it

She’s so good in everything

That even her feelings, she was able to keep it hidden

Photography: Kyle Alexandria Mahry Mirano