Friday, June 16, 2017

Hong Kong: Where to Stay?

From our 5-day trip to Hong Kong, 1 thing I observed is that this place is not cheap. You'll definitely get what you paid for. We stayed at Crystal Hostel inside Chungking Mansion during weekdays mostly because we thought we'll spend most of the day wandering around, but then it was really tiring (bring really comfy shoes) so we kinda take rests during late afternoon since Chungking Mansion is in Tsim Sha Tsui (located at the center of most tourist spots).  We transferred to Stanford Hotel during the weekend since most of these cheap hotels' rates rise up to which they are the almost same price with high-end end hotels.

Stanford Hotel, Mongkok

  • Very spacious room (Skyline room)
  • Affordable and very accessible
  • Near the MTR, malls, restaurants, food stalls, street markets
  • Good breakfast buffet
  • Very cozy and clean room
  • Nice window view
  • A free phone you can use while roaming around
  • Very friendly staffs
  • Complimentary water
  • There is a user-friendly safe
  • You can also leave your luggage in the lobby if you are checking out but still want to go around a bit more


  • The only thing I can say that may be needed to be out in there is that, there was no bidet. lol

There is a 500HKD deposit, not sure if this goes up if you stayed more than 1 night. Better use a credit card so you won't have to take that money off your vacation budget.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Chungking Mansion: What to Expect

You can check out this video if you wanna see what's inside Chungking Mansion.

We Stayed in a double room at Crystal Hostel, booked thru
Note: When you book here, you'd be credited by some percentage only.
Their system only holds the amount for reservation, then you'll pay the whole amount when you get there via Cash or Credit card.

Double Room (Crystal Hostel)
  • Tony the receptionist was excellent, he was accommodating and polite.
  • Room temp is cool, we didn't use the AC on some nights. it was 25-32 degree Celsius outside, just to give you an idea on what the weather was.
  • It is very near establishments, train station (Tsim Sha Tsui-red line)
  • It is located in Block E, at the back of the building.  more people go to Block A, near the entrance.
  • If you just need somewhere to sleep because you'll be out all day, this is the place to be.
  • Safe and secured. we had no troubles leaving valuable items in the room
  • The Western Union(first one on the left side upon entrance) inside Chungking Mansion has the highest money exchange rate from what we've seen around Tsim Sha Tsui and Mongkok area.

  • So many Indian people that might come on aggressive in some sort to sell you something or offer you rooms, if you're not comfortable with this, do not book here. although my partner was relieved when we enter the hostel because our receptionist is polite. I just told her to not look at anyone when we get past all the stores since the hostel is in Block E.
  • It is located in Block E, at the back of the building. 
  • The room has limited space. we had to put our luggage under the bed, and also enter the room one at a time.
  • The toilet was also cramped but doable.
  • I suggest bring your own toiletries, towels, and blanket.
  • There were stains on the blanket.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Ukuleles: Happiness comes in 4 strings

It was Tracy McConnell-Mosby that gave me the impression on Ukuleles. That scene from How I Met Your Mother (9x16 "How Your Mother Met Me") where she sang La Vie En Rose was one of the most memorable scenes for me.

After a year, my friends were getting married and they asked me to sing on their first dance (Well, technically I sang during their 1st-more-serious-dance. lol). Months before the wedding, I asked the bride what song/s does she want. She was hesitant to request at first but then we were actually thinking of the same song, You and I by Ingrid Michaelson. Which for me, fits them because they are both free-spirited. And just to add on that, their wedding theme is Bohemian. Perf! She also requested Somewhere Over The Rainbow by Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole.

The venue was far from my home and I don't want any hassle so I thought thought of buying a ukulele since it's easier to bring anywhere and the song was actually played on ukulele.

It was really hard finding a good and affordable one. Since I'm going to use this on a wedding reception, I figured the one I'll buy should have pickups (If you have this, you can plug and play your instruments on speakers/amplifiers). Until I found Clifton Guitars ( online, they have guitars, ukuleles, accessories, and also do customization. So I bought this Rosen Ukulele, concert size, with the price of 2015 pesos that comes with free classic ukulele strap if paid in exact amount. It has nice finish and great sound quality. I customized it with pickup with built-in tuner and strap hooks, then I also bought this Enya padded ukulele gigbag.

Ukes are very handy, it's easy to learn, I'ts something worthwhile. Go get one!

I had a gig where everyone else were rocking hard, then there's me.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Japan, Favorite Place on Earth

This is the 2nd time I visited Osaka, though this was a shorter visit than before. The last time I went in Osaka was back in July 2013, with my previous company. This time I was allowed to extend my stay and go to Tokyo.

We stayed in Hilton Hotel, the location was nice. Shopping malls, train stations, coffee shops, restaurants are nearby. I stayed there for 2 nights, I went to Tokyo on the 3rd morning, exhausted because of Universal Studios and no sleep. But it was all worth it, I got some sleep while I was riding Nozomi Bullet Train from Osaka to Tokyo. From Hilton Hotel, the Osaka train station was a walking distance but it was raining so I had to call a cab. then from Osaka, I took a train going to Shin-Osaka which was 10 minutes away. From Shin-Osaka, I waited an hour for my scheduled bullet train trip going to Tokyo, travel time was approx. 3 hours.

It was thrilling traveling alone in a non-familiar place where people hardly speak English. I tried to stay awake during drop offs on stations. It was really nice to see the beauty of the provinces, there were mountains up until you see buildings and feel that you're getting near the city. The city where I found great memories 11 years ago (2004).

I stayed in Adachi-Ku with my aunt, uncle, and cousin. We drove days and nights in Tokyo, it doesn't matter what time it is. there are restaurants and shopping centers and spas that are open until...I'm not even sure if they are open 24hrs.

We drove to Shibuya to see Hachiko, it was late midnight and people there are everywhere like it was still 6PM. Of course,

I wouldn't forget to go back to where I first fell in love with a street, I came back to Ochanomizu. It was a place where music stores are everywhere. Sadly, it was not like 11 years ago, where you see bands walking with their gears, streets are loud and guitars are literally everywhere. I stopped by some shops and bought some for me and my drummer brother. We almost bought a telecaster type guitar, I'm not sure if it was Fender though it looked customized. I didn't bother to hold it and take a picture because I already decided not to buy it, and it breaks my heart.

After roaming and reminiscing, me and my aunt left Adachi-Ku and stayed in Fussa. We shopped and drove around. And man, have I told you I'm a thrift shop junkie! I can spend the whole day just looking for Home-use items. We also shopped inside U.S. base, too bad my timing wasn't perfect because there was a sale after I left Tokyo. We also pub crawled, and this time I felt more homey, as there were more Americans than Japanese, so it was easier talking to anyone.

Right now, the only countries I've been to was Japan and of course Philippines. And still, Tokyo's my favorite place on earth. That's why I want to travel more and see if I will still have those butterflies when I'm in other places.



Monday, July 6, 2015

Songs for the 90's Kids

Publishing my favorite playlist here on my blog for people who doesn't have Spotify (Best Music App as of today).

I continuously edit this playlist whenever I remember nostalgic songs, songs that personally take me back 10 years ago.

I also have other playlists from/for other genre or moods.

Follow me on Spotify:

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

SJcam SJ4000 Wifi

If you like to go on outdoor activities, take pictures and/or videos and also happens to be a budge savvy. Fret no more! We now have an alternative for GoPro. 

Introducing the SJcam SJ4000!

At first glance, it almost looks the same as GoPro 3+, people may thought of this, especially those who are not familiar with the details of the looks of GoPro. 

Every year, me with my best friends, we go to places we haven't been before. Or at least we try to take the time out on these busy manila streets. So this year we decided to go to Puerto Prinsesa, Palawan. We usually bring our cameras, tripod, and some lenses with us and yes they are quite a baggage, just them alone. So now we decided to get an action camera. Of course our first and only option back then was GoPro since it was the only handy sports camera I knew and it's the most leading brand everywhere. But considering I don't usually go outdoors like mountain hiking/trekking, hell I even hate the deep sea waters(but yes, I like the beach shores), I did a research on other sports camera brands and found out that there are several brands that can stand beside GoPro. 

Xbase SJ4000 and SJcam SJ4000
Yes. They have the same model. I read from some forums that they have rebrandings on different countries. 

The experience
Before I get into the goods, I'd like point out first the issues I encountered for your checklist. 

-When I change the settings thru my iphone app, it doesn't save.
Problem figured out:
There were delays on wifi transfers.

-I had some power issues. Probably because of a defective battery. The time when the store staff was showing me a demo for my newly bought device, they were charging it. -It was charging while while were testing it- So I thought and asked them, shouldn't the device have at least a factory charge. And I totally forgot what they answered. And so, when I got home and charged it then used it the next day. I noticed that the battery indicator is still in "charging" mode while it was unplugged already. After a while we noticed that the "charging" mode is gone but the battery is halfway through or only one bar was left. Another power issue was, the device keeps turning off even though the Auto Shut Down and Screensaver options are OFF. 
Problem resolved: I went back to the shop (bad experience when I explained the issues all over again to 3 different people because some of them doesn't know the What's and How's of SJ4000 since GoPro's the popular one that they know of, unprofessional) however, after all the hassle they replaced my battery, and so far that solved the issues.

What I like:
It also has a wifi feature so you can pair you android/ios device with sj4000. You just need to download the app, you can find the QR code for the app's link on the side of the box. You can use this as remote, preview, and configurations.

Wide lens. most sports cameras have wide lens, but there are also some that don't. I almost bought a GoPro 3 White edition since it's the cheapest of GoPro 3 variety. But comparing the lens, I'd totally go for sj4000.

LCD. Yes! built in LCD, although at first it kinda looked cheap because it's very tiny. But it's really helpful.

Accessories. There are lots of mounts that came with the package, actually week after I bought the camera I still don't know how to use the other mounts. Plus there's also a spare back cover for the underwater case.

Sample shot (low light)

More pictures will be posted on my photography "Eyes Cream" section soon.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sharmila, Dampa Experience

I decided to make a review for Shamila after our 2nd try there since I also happen to find blog reviews before going there.
Sharmila is located in Dampa, Macapagal, Pasay City. The restaurant is almost at the back of the line near the parking lot.
As usual, food is great, the ambiance is good for eating. They have tables outside, airconditioned rooms on 1st and 2nd floors and they also have karaoke.

What I like about them (compared to other restaurant I tried in Dampa) is they also ask you for shrimp size, mussel size, and they suggest if you are not sure what to order.