What Matters Most

As we head on to 2019, it's high time to review our priorities and goals. This Christmas morning, I spent moments greeting my favorite people and listening to a previous Lenten message from Fr. Jerry Orbos.

Yes, his Lenten message is timeless and is relevant to the year that has been. Briefly, I'm drawn to the thought of living a blissful life. What matters most is peace with God, with others, and yourself. Fr. Jerry asks, what is the use of more money or more power if there is no peace in your family?

He also reminds us to stop hurting people. To extend kindness to everyone we meet for we won't pass this way again.

And 2018? It taught me to rise above failure, selfishness, and pride. There were days when I seemed driven, and some days when the only thing that kept me going was my faith. There have been battles and miracles, big and small. Humility and honesty were my key takeaways. It also taught me to value my parents and friends more. I'm happy to say that this yea…

Street Food We Tried in Japan

Aside from the meals I've mentioned in my series of posts about our vacation, we also snacked on some grilled and fried treats from food stalls:

Japan: The Fifth and Last Day

Whenever a vacation is coming to an end, I experience mixed emotions. Part of me wants to hang on,  while another seeks home. Always, there’s no place like home.

So we just made the most of the day by visiting the Nagoya Castle. First, we bought a one-day bus and subway ticket for 600 yen so we could save on transportation costs. With the card, one can ride as many times on the date displayed. Meanwhile, the entrance to the castle grounds is 400 yen (discounted from the original rate of 500).

The walls of the entrance hall  had depictions of tigers while the main audience chambers and connecting rooms are decorated with paintings of famous sites, scenes of the four seasons, and groups of people.

For brunch, we had the oh so fluffy pancakes at Flipper’s.

Finally, before heading back to the inn and going to the airport, Maita still had a last minute shopping at Don Quijote (Donki). I just took pictures of other Kitkat flavors I haven’t seen yet in the earlier parts of our trip.

I shoul…

Japan: The Fourth Day

We did a lot of walking since we landed here, and today's no exception. We planned to go to Korankei but drop by the Osu Shopping District first. This is an ideal spot for getting your loved ones some pasalubong items and having lunch too.

There is a temple by the entrance of the shopping district, so Gianne and I entered and spent a moment there.

We reached Korankei in the afternoon by bus. Here, one can enjoy nature, streetfood, and night time views with illuminated trees.

We were able to catch a show with monkey tricks before dark. Nope, this is not a caption for the picture above. Though I'm fun to watch too. Haha!

Tired feet come with hungry tummies. Upon going back, we were decided on trying these chicken wings near the inn. We also had salmon sashimi, potato salad, and other items recommended by the staff.

Japan: The Third Day

One of the advantages in a DIY tour is being able to manage your own time and not feeling rushed. For today, we decided to go on a half-day tour of the World Heritage Shirakawa-go.

From Takayama, we took a bus to Shirakawa-go and prepared for a very cold temperature in the mountains. It takes 2 to 3 hours to visit the whole Ogi-machi Gassho style village.

What types of travels do you prefer? For me, serene views may be enough to take my breath away. Good food, shopping, city tours, and amusement parks are also welcome, though extreme activities are not really my thing. I prefer a relaxed pace (and that says a lot about how my personality has evolved).

While it's good to take photos, we also realized the importance of truly being in the moment. We almost complained that wherever we look at, there's a nice view that compels us to bring our cameras out!

Going back to Takayama, we snacked on Hida burger before checking out of K's House and boarding the train back to Nagoya. W…

Japan: The Second Day

We checked out of First Cabin and temporarily left our luggage at Meitetsu Inn before taking the 2-hour train ride to Hida Takayama. Instead of sleeping in the train which I normally do (haha), I braced myself for scenic spots like this:

We checked in at K's House Takayama where we got a Japanese-style room. Since it was lunch time, of course, we looked for the recommended Hida beef resto.

After having a dose of beef, we were ready for a lot of walking. We headed to the Takayama Jinya.

For our afternoon snack, we tried beef sushi and later on, crepes.

Japan is also known for fake food. There's this shop that we visited where keychains and magnets were an eyecandy! I got a sushi and sunny side up egg for 540 yen each.

We were able to explore the old town and went back near K's House by night.

It was getting really cold (5 degrees) and having miso ramen was a nice idea.