Monday, January 22, 2018

Brgy. Alano goes to Seoul - Part 3

Day 1

Let me start this post with our day 4 because I don't want to end my telling of our Korea trip on a low note. Then let me go back to our Day 3 afterwards at the end of this post. 

On our last day, we didn't really have anything on our itinerary. I really made our itinerary that way. I figured the kids can just rest at the hotel while Joema and I will shop around Myeongdong. Or if we want to go anywhere else, then we can go on our last day. Again, we went out of our hotel by lunch time. We went to a different restaurant because I told them we can explore Myeongdong afterwards. So we went deeper into Myeongdong and did not eat at our fave Korean resto. We went inside a Chinese restaurant and ordered noodle soup, fried rice, some pork and chicken. After eating, I asked them if they want to go anywhere else but they all didn't want to. So we decided to all just go back to the hotel and then Joema and I will just go back and shop. Before going back to the hotel, we passed by a mini-grocery store and bought some Pepero and food for the kids. Immediately when we got to my parent's hotel room, Nina vomitted. I thought it was only because Jay was obstructing her stomach when he carried her. But after Nina, Miya also felt sick and vomitted as well. We originally wanted Miya to go out with us and told her we will find the Hello Kitty restaurant in Myeongdong. But because her tummy was not okay, we told her she should stay at the hotel and we will just go back and get her around 4pm then we'll go to the restaurant. She agreed. In hindsight, she was probably not really feeling well at that time for her to just agree with us to stay behind. 

So anyway, Joema and I went out and went back to the shops. Around 3pm, my brother texted me that the two girls are still vomitting and if we could buy Gatorade to hydrate them. Joema and I then decided to go back to the hotel and bought Gatorade first before going in. We picked up Miya and Nina from my parents' room and went to our own room, Javi was left with my parents. We immediately had Miya drink the hydrite that Joema had with him and I nursed Nina. Unfortunately, this worsened Miya and Nina's condition. They kept on vomitting what we gave them, which led to their stomach being more upset. It was only around 6:30pm when both girls were able to sleep. I lost count how many times they vomitted the moment we were with them. They were so kawawa, so exhausted after their ordeal. While they were sleeping, Jay texted me that Javi was vomitting na rin. This was the time I went on panic mode, I began texting my Mommy friends and asked them to pray for the kids. I counted the hours and it took the girls 5 hours to recover. I told my brother not to give Javi anything so as not to further upset his stomach. We were both monitoring the time gaps of his vomits. I asked our hotel to resched our airport transfer from 8pm to 10:30pm so that the kids will have enough time to rest. When Nina woke up from her nap around 8pm, she was feeling better. She was so hungry and thirsty but I can't give her so much because it might accept her stomach again. Heili advised me to give Javi some ice chips because Javi was so thirsty and when he was given some water to drink, like Miya and Nina, he will vomit again. When Nina and Miya were feeling a bit better, I took Javi from my parents' room and transferred Nina to their room. Javi also vomitted twice while he was with us. But good thing his conditioned turned for the better before we left for the airport. 

Javi all smiles at the airport - so happy to see the airplanes
Thank God they were all feeling better and were all awake actually while we waited to board the plane at 2am. 


Okay, since that's out of the way, let me finish this post with our third day and the most awesome day because we experienced snow!

Outfit ready for snow!

My cute little boy excited to see snow

We went to Seoulland for the sledding. 

How to get there: Exit 10 of Myeongdong Station, take line 4 to Seoul Grand Park (13 stops) - Exit 2. Then walk towards the big building in front of the exit, to ride the Elephant train. Get off the second stop of the Elephant train. 

Tickets: KRW30,000 each for adults plus KRW17,000 each for the two kids. We got the One-Day pass so that we don't need another ticket for the sledding. We got the tickets on a discounted price because we were foreigners. Then another KRW1,000 each for the adult plus KRW700 for Miya for the Elephant train (one-way; you need to buy again when going home). 

This is the way from the train station exit to that building at our back

The building where we bought our elephant train tickets

This shows the route of the Elephant train
Tickets to Seoulland can be bought after getting off the Elephant train, just by the entrance of Seoulland.

She has so many solo shots because most of the group shots, she wasn't in the mood or sleeping or nursing hehe

Our tickets gave us admission already to the sledding area of Seoulland. 

The kids immediately lied down on the snow. Good thing there was a flat area of the snow, I was a bit worried that the only thing there is the slope for sledding.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Brgy. Alano goes to Seoul - Part 2

We woke up late the next day again. Actually, I didn't get enough sleep while we were there. I don't know if it was because namamahay ako or jetlag (ahihi). But we woke up like the previous day and was out of the hotel around lunch time. We found a very nice and cheaper restaurant still along the same street as our hotel (this is where we went back to eat almost all our meals while in Seoul).

Yes, Korean BBQ again hehe
After eating lunch, the next agenda was the hanbok experience. I researched a lot on where we can rent the hanbok, there were several places actually - some with a fee, some are for free. I was about to book a hanbok rental via Klook when I read about KStyle Hub. This was a tourism information center near Cheonggye Plaza. My original plan was we can go outside the building and have our photos taken at the stream, and then the plan B was take photos inside the hub - which was what we eventually did. Anyway, we went straight to the 5th floor for the hanbok experience but we were told we need to go to the other floors and get a brochure before we can borrow the hanbok. We enlisted for a 1:30pm session and went downstairs to the 2nd floor. And we didn't regret it. The place was teeming with things to do and sights to see actually - and with the convenience of a heater haha!

Going there: Exit 10 of Myeongdong Station, take Line 4 to Seoul station (2stops); transfer to Line 1 to Jonggak station (2stops) - Exit 5. Head straight, cross the Cheonggyechoen Stream, take a right and walk a few meters; the building of Korea Tourism Organization Building where KStyle Hub is is to your left.

If you're going before the winter olympics, this was right outside the building.
The 2nd floor is basically a virtual reality section. You can use VR and you can also have a virtual experience with K-pop idols.

The third floor was like a museum showing their food process, I think.

The fourth floor was a "restaurant" where they also have food preparation workshops. We actually spent more than an hour going around, and then it was time to go back for our appointment for the hanbok.

The kids were so cute donning the national costume of Korea. Sorry to bombard you but here are some of my favorite photos from the set. Kudos to my brother who took all the photos. After this he has a new-found respect for children photographers hahaha. 

More photos of us in hanbok...

Friday, January 19, 2018

Brgy. Alano goes to Seoul - Part 1

In advance celebration of Miya's 7th birthday, our whole family went to Seoul last week. We took the 5:30pm flight to Incheon by Cebu Pacific and arrived in Korea by 10:30pm (local time).

Waiting to board at NAIA Terminal 3
Still awake! Waiting for our luggages at Incheon International Airport
Arrived to very cold weather! 
I booked our airport pick-up via our hotel who sent us a Jumbo Deluxe taxi. Our driver patiently brought us to KT roaming center's kiosk (between gates 7 and 8 upon exit of the arrival hall before exiting the airport) to get our pocket wifi. Booked our wifi via Klook. We had to present a credit card for the deposit and the passport of the credit card holder.  We didn't have time to exchange our money to Won.

It was our first time to experience winter so we really came prepared. But we were not prepared with the heater once we entered the taxi hahaha! Fortunately, Miya and Javi fell asleep during the one hour ride to Seoul. But they woke up when we arrived at our hotel - Hotel Creto Myeongdong (I booked via Agoda). Since we didn't have local currency when we arrived, we paid our taxi using credit card. Check-in to the hotel was a breeze - I only had to sign their guest information card and we were instantly handed our room keys. The desk receptionist even offered us the adapter for their electric plugs - we were lent two each for the two rooms. I booked two family twin rooms for us - the website is accurate, the room had one king sized bed and one single bed. We thought it would be tight in our room so we asked Miya if she could sleep with her Lolo and Lola in the other room on our first night.

The next day, maybe because the sun rose later than our usual time here in the Philippines, the kids woke up late - maybe around 8-8:30am. We left the hotel around lunch time (this was the case for the succeeding days as well).

Getting bundled up before leaving our hotel
We exchanged our money first and then had lunch in a Korean BBQ restaurant just a few steps away from hotel. The money exchange was also just at the corner down the street our hotel. I cannot recommend this hotel enough. It's affordable, clean and location is awesome.

Praying before eating

The kids ate bbq and japchae. I thought we'll have a hard time feeding them thinking that everything will be spicy. Good thing it wasn't the case when we got there. We just ordered bbq most of the time for the kids and then ordered spicy food separately for the adults.

After eating, we went to Gyeongbokgung Palace. I really researched and researched our itinerary. Most of the places we went to are one or two transfers away from our station.

Going there: Exit 10 of Myeongdong Station, take Line 4 to Chungmuro station (1 stop; transfer to Line 3 to Geyongbokgung station (4 stops) - Exit 5.

Right by the exit is the National Palace Museum of Korea and just across it is the Gyeongbokgung Palace. We arrived just in time for the changing of Palace guards.

Javi got a bit stressed with the loud banging sound of the drum used during the changing of guards
After that, we bought our tickets to go inside the Palace. But since we wanted to go on a guided tour we waited until 3:30pm to enter the Palace. The guided tour is free. Here's the schedule of the English tour: 11am, 1:30pm, 3:30pm.

So while waiting for that we went inside the museum.

We actually stayed in just one part of the museum where they had a screening of the different parts of the Palace. Nina was able to nap and at the same time we were able to rest our feet. Before going out, we saw this stamping station. So we immediately took one card from the reception desk for Miya to fill up. It's now part of her memorabilia from Korea.

Then we went back to the Palace and waited for the tour to start.

Unfortunately, Miya can't understand the tourguide so we ditched the tour and just went about our way. We stopped by a cafe inside the Palace and kept warm there, while the kids played with the pigeons outside. They had a grand time haha! Funny how itineraries for kids are really different from adults. Different things really spark wonder in them. So even though we didn't have time to go around the Palace, we just let them be.

He enjoyed chasing the birds

So happy to see a small patch of snow

We had to leave at 5pm because the Palace closes earlier during the winter. We went to Dongdaemun Design Plaza because there's a skating rink there and I told Miya she can go skating. The younger kids cannot since there's an age requirement.

Going there: Exit 5 of Gyeongbokgung Station, take Line 3 to Jongno 3(sam)-ga station (2 stops); transfer to Line 5 to Dongdaemun History and Culture Park station (2 stops) - Exit 1.

There were a lot of Kbeauty stores before the exit so I bought some items from The Face Shop - they were on sale heehee! Right when you get out of Exit 1, the skating risk was there.

Miya and I tried lining up for the skating rink. But when I inquired they said that the next slot would be around 8:30pm and it was only around 6pm then. So I just let the kids play with the "snow" right by the skating rink - this is actually the ice they scraped from the rink after a session hahaha! After that we had dinner there.

At the Kakao Friends Store at DDP

DDP at night

After dinner we, we went to find the LED rose garden. It was so cold that Nina was crying the whole time we were walking (Joema was wearing her in a carrier). She was wailing by the time we reached the rose garden, so both Joma and her are not in photos. They took refuge from an enclosed room near the garden while we took photos hehe.

Then we called it a night and went back to our hotel.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Our 2017 In Review - Part 2

This is the second half of our 2017. Here's the first half.


Nina had mysterious rashes in her body. Though pedia said it was only allergy.

Javi's first day in his his first school!


Miya's first day in school

Nina's first visit to the dentist - as you can see she didn't like it! hahaha! Though it was only an introduction for her, no procedure was done.

Javi's first prophylaxis - not his first time to sit on the dentist chair but his first cleaning!

Javi's first Buwan ng Wika celebration in school


Our Singapore trip for Javi's birthday. We went to Universal Studios Singapore...

..and watched the Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Javi's first field trip, they went to Kidzoona.

Celebrated Javi's birthday at home with Lolo and Lola...

...and Ninong Mek.

And still continued the celebration at EDSA Shang.

We also celebrated with Javi's classmates...

..during Mother's Day in school (where we did yoga).


Had one of Javi's front teeth fixed

Belated birthday celebration of Lola - we watched Beauty and The Beast

This was also Javi's first time to watch a musical play.

Put up our Christmas decors early

Nina's first time in Kidzoona


Javi broke my iPhone

First PTC with Miya's teacher

Javi met PJ Masks (he's super obsessed with Cat Boy)


Picked up our visas

Migs Christmas party

Went back to the dentist to fix Javi's other front tooth (the photo was taken while waiting for our appointment)

Christmas party with our family (no photos of the whole family but this was taken on the same day)

Javi as King Balthazar in his very first Christmas program

Christmas celebration

Joy's birthday salubong

New Year's Eve


Missed out on blogging on our happenings this year. Will try to make up for it as this blog was usually a good reference on our previous travels. I hope I still remember some details of our trips in 2017.

Here's to more family time in 2018!

Brgy. Alano goes to Seoul - Part 3

Day 1 Day 2 Let me start this post with our day 4 because I don't want to end my telling of our Korea trip on a low note. Then let...