A Day in London

Hola!

Where do I start? It feels weird, even to me, to be opening this blog after how many months. A lot of things happened and I didn’t think I’d find time to write again. Until today and until I went and saw London for the first time.

I’m sure you’re probably wondering how months ago I was still in the Philippines whipping up food reviews of restaurants I’ve been to and what has happened to me since then. Or maybe not. Anyway, backstory is, like all my Filipino nurse friends, I decided to embark on my OFW journey. I left the Philippines for many reasons but I won’t bore you with those so to cut to the chase, I’m in the UK now.

I’ve been here since April of this year but sadly, have not had time to do much traveling. Mostly, it was work and getting adjusted to the weather, life, people – basically everything that is the UK. Aside from that, reviewing for the OSCE had taken too much time as well. And the fact that I promised myself not to indulge on anything until I pass and had my PIN.

Fast forward to the present, I was invited to meet and catch up with former workmates in London. It was a reunion waiting to happen and so, the ecstatic me said yes without thinking twice. “London,” I thought to myself, “one of the great cities in the world. Who was I to say no to that?” I’ve never been anywhere outside of Gloucester and figured this could well be the perfect time for me to travel and get together with friends.

Traveling time varies between 2½ to 3 hours by train or bus. I took the bus for fear that I’d be lost changing trains at different stations every so often, which was likely, because I knew nothing about stations and which platforms to get on for the next train. Plus, I’m pretty bad with directions too. 😥

It took me a good 3 hours and 5 minutes to get to London Victoria from Gloucester. My friends picked me up from the coach station and off we went to have lunch at Wetherspoon in Victoria Station. That, right there, was my first meal in London!

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From there, we headed to my workmate’s place in Orpington to spend the rest of the day. We took the Underground from Westminster to London Bridge and boy, was I too excited. Hooray for first times! 🤗

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After that, we needed to hop into a train going to Orpington.

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As it was pouring, we got off at Orpington and took a cab to Tesco to buy ingredients for our biko (sweet rice cake) and mango sago which we planned on making for the sleepover. Taking a picture before we get ourselves wet in the rain. Classic. Here we are, 8th rear babies thriving in the UK!

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We spent the rest of the night eating, laughing, watching movies, talking about life in the UK, how we miss our families in the Philippines, what to do and where to go next.

The day after seemed more promising. The sky still looked gloomy, it was still chilly, but it wasn’t raining anymore. And it didn’t look like it was going to, according to the weather forecast. Thank God. This was my only shot at a London tour with my friend because I was heading back home by early evening.

Jez was generous enough to show me around London and take me to the famous spots. I realized a day alone isn’t enough to visit all these places as we still missed a few. Nothing to fret about, there’s always time to go back and revisit. It was simply amazing. London is a wonder. Staring at it in postcards, seeing it in the movies and actually being there to take it all in, it was just inspiring.

First Stop: London Eye, River Thames, Westminster Abbey and Cathedral

Second Stop: Leicester Square, Chinatown

Third Stop: Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace

It really was a day well spent. Here’s to a city I can finally cross off my bucket list! Thank you, London. I can’t wait to be back. I’ll see you soon. 😘😍

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The Cafe at Hyatt City of Dreams | February 24, 2018

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Smorgasbordin’ at 28

You know you’re getting old when birthdays hardly seem birthdays anymore.

I decided to celebrate my 28th year in this planet dining at a buffet restaurant with my mom and sister. I haven’t given much thought as to where I’d like to eat for my birthday, except for the fact that I knew I wanted to try the high-end Vikings buffet experience. I’ve been to several branches of Vikings and not once have I been disappointed. You could just imagine why I couldn’t wait to try and get a sense of what they call their next level – NIU by Vikings.

I love buffets. Nothing beats variety when it comes to food. Whether you’re into desserts, anything fried, noodles or seafood – buffet restaurants have you covered. If you’re just looking to stuff your tummy with nothing but food, you might as well eat-all-you-can. 😉

Continue reading “Smorgasbordin’ at 28”

Food Review: Samjung Grill Restaurant, Poblacion, Makati, PH

Admittedly, this is already a long overdue post. However, as I was perusing my photos in the hopes of clearing up some space on my SD card, I decided, why not write about it.

Last July 14, some co-workers and I braced the rain for hot ramen at Mendokoro. Little did we know that the place was jam-packed and that a lot of people were still in line, waiting for to be serviced. Saddened yet starving, we had to change plans and look for somewhere else to eat. Left with not a whole lot of options, we took a cab to Makati Avenue and ended up dining in a quaint Korean restaurant named Samjung. Continue reading “Food Review: Samjung Grill Restaurant, Poblacion, Makati, PH”

Food Review: Filling Station, Poblacion, Makati, PH

What was supposedly a ramen night for a friend who’s bound to the UK very, very soon turned into American dining, which I couldn’t be more thankful for.

I would hear about Filling Station once in a while and I would see pictures of the place and the food here and there. Unfortunately, as it seems I’m the “boring” person who won’t even leave the comforts of her bed, I am quite ashamed and proud to say that I have never been to the so-called Red District at night, nor have I had the chance to experience dining at this restaurant. Until last Friday night. (Thank God for Fridays!) 

Getting to Filling Station isn’t quite a bit of a trouble, if you think about it. It’s within the heart of Makati and is definitely accessible from all parts of Metro Manila. Traffic, though, can make it such a hassle, so watch out for payday Fridays and holidays. Although we anticipated that there MIGHT BE and WILL BE traffic, considering that last November 29 was payday Friday because the following day was a holiday, we sure underestimated how bad it could get. What was initially set for 17:30 became much, much later as two of us managed to arrive past 19:00. Continue reading “Food Review: Filling Station, Poblacion, Makati, PH”

Lucia’s Bed and Breakfast: Home Away from Home 

I’ve been meaning to write this review for a long time now. Our trip to Baguio couldn’t have been more amazing if not for Lucia’s Bed and Breakfast. 😄

Lucia’s Bed and Breakfast is a former house that was converted into a charming bed and breakfast. Lucia takes its name from the owner, Lucille and her daughter, Lia. Located at #7 Navy Base Road Extension, Baguio City, Lucia’s is a hidden gem, tucked away from the hubbub of Session Road and streets alike. 

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Weekend Getaway in Baguio: Day 3

Day 3: All Good Things Come To An End

Things seemed to fuzz up from here on out. We only had a few more hours left before we traveled back to Manila. Coming to terms with it was rather heartbreaking. It was like getting to the last page of a book you didn’t want to end. 😢

It started as a usual day. We woke up to another one of Lucia’s signature homemade breakfast meals. Ugh, can’t wait to write about this one. Really soon, I promise you guys. 😉

As soon as we were done breakfast, we headed out to buy our pasalubong. We initially planned to do this whole shopping thing yesterday, but sadly, we didn’t make it to Good Shepherd on time. It was still early when we left Lucia’s, and from what we’ve gathered, the convent doesn’t open until 8 am. We had an hour or two to spare, so we figured a quick stopover in Mines View Park won’t hurt. Continue reading “Weekend Getaway in Baguio: Day 3”