Trip to the Philippines – Manila

We had so much fun in the Philippines! This trip was to mainly spend time with family so we stayed in Manila for most of the time but there is so much to see there we didn’t mind. We made our way to LAX on New Year’s Eve 2016 and rang in the new year inside the Tom Bradley Terminal.
Waiting to board our plane to Korea
Waiting to board our plane to Korea

There was a lot of turbulence on the way to Seoul but Charlie and I were KO’d and too tired to really be worried about it. One thing we did always wake up for was FOOD! lol. We were really impressed with the food Asiana Airlines served. Our personal fave: Bibimbap!


We finally arrived at Incheon Airport and made our way to our connecting flight to Manila. Incheon Airport is really nice! But we didn’t have much time to explore, unfortunately.
View from our plane
View from our plane
When we arrived we were just excited to not be sitting down anymore! As much as we liked Asiana Airlines the seats made our butts numb lol! My dad and lola (grandma) picked us up from the airport and it was really smooth sailing with immigration and getting our luggages.
My dad is from Antipolo so we stayed there with my family. It was a home away from home, that’s for sure! Every morning we would wake up to a delicious breakfast, there’s nothing like home cooking in the Philippines! After breakfast we would head out to see the city and eat some more lol!
We spent a week in Manila, went to Palawan for a week, and then finished off our trip with another week in Manila. 
We went to different parts of Manila, we were so surprised at how many shopping centers there are! I knew the Philippines had some crazy malls but there are so many more now. Tons of places to shop, tons of good places to eat, tons of things to see. One of the things that was really pretty to see was the falls at Hinulugang Taktak. It was really close to my grandma’s house but have never been. It’s a really nice place to read, have a picnic, etc.


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Stay tuned for more pictures from our trip! I can’t believe I took over 500 pictures while we were there! There were so many things to see, not to mention EAT. 
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Hello from Palawan!

Hello from the beautiful islands of the Philippines! We arrived in Palawan this morning and just got back from a city tour. We’re planning on visiting Honda Bay, taking a ride through the Underground River, and (of course) eating all the seafood!!! 😀

It’s cloudy and humid here, but still absolutely gorgeous. Check out this view from one of our stops from the city tour – Mitra’s Ranch, a home situated on a mountain. It wasn’t a clear day but you can still see to the ocean and the neighboring islands across the way. Takes my breath away. 

View from Mitra’s Ranch – Puerto Princesa, Palawan

I’ll be posting a couple recaps of the trip when I get back to LA, but if you’re interested in seeing what I’m up to during my travels follow me on instagram – @justkissa.

Til next time!


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Top 5 Things I Want to Do in the Philippines

I’ve been to the Philippines a few times, but mostly as a young child. The last time I was there was in 2008 and was only there for 1 week. Not nearly long enough to do much except spend time with family, eat as much food as I can, and do 1 touristy trip.

My dad moved back to the Philippines in April of this year, but even before that Charlie and I have been planning a trip back to the motherland for over 2 years. There have been a couple times when Charlie and I were going to go because my mom was having surgeries or cancer treatments there, but she didn’t want us to. She said she wanted to go “next year” when she would be done with treatments and we can enjoy a vacation together. Even though we never got to take that trip I know we’ll be taking this vacation together. It’ll make my mom so happy that we’re going.

Charlie and I are leaving on Dec. 31 (technically our flight is Jan. 1st at midnight) until January 22nd. The main thing I want to do there is spend time with my dad and my Lola (grandma). But of course, my dad has some things planned for us while we’re there. I don’t have much of an itinerary while we’re there mainly because I’m so busy with work and would rather let my dad take care of all the planning lol. We’ll be doing a little bit of business and pleasure as we have some meetings for Ninong’s while we’re in the country. Though I’m going to let my dad plan our itinerary I have a few things that I’m personally looking forward to.
Here are my top 5 things I want to do while in the Philippines:

1. Eat good food! Charlie and I experience different places we travel through their local cuisine and I’m so excited to eat the food there but most importantly my Lola’s cooking. YUMMMMM. Some of the dishes I remember from my childhood that I’m looking forward to eating are: my grandma’s alimango (crab), green mango shake, laing (taro leaves with coconut milk), and lots and lots of seafood! Not just that but more lol!!! The other awesome thing about Filipinos is that we make really good desserts. Hence, Ninong’s passion for pastry. I’m excited to try all the new desserts that they have come up with. It’s so inspirational to see their creativity and I know will inspire us to create new items of our own.

2. Visit the malls. I don’t plan on doing much shopping except to bring back gifts for friends and family, but you can’t go to the Philippines without going to their malls. Their shopping centers are huge! What better way to burn off all the food we eat than walking around a 5 story mall? 🙂

3. Go to a spa. I want to get a nice mani/pedi and a massage. Every girl needs a little bit of pampering once in a while right? In the Philippines spa services are much more affordable so I’m definitely going to take advantage!

4. Do a little bit of sight seeing. Like I said, I haven’t really been to the Philippines since I was young. I have pictures of my cute younger self (I have no idea what happened lol) with a volcano in the background, in front of a waterfall, and fishing on a beach but I barely remember any of those things. Charlie also hasn’t been since he was 2 years old so it would be great for him to see the Philippines and how beautiful it is!

5. Go to Palawan. Everyone talks about Palawan and Boracay being the main attractions when visiting the Philippines. Conde Nast Traveler named Palawan as the Number 2 best island in the world (Number 1 being Boracay). The country has so many islands which means so many beautiful beaches. I’m so excited to go since I heard the beach is beautiful, the beer is cheap, and the seafood is plentiful! Check out those crystal clear waters!

Stay tuned as I’ll be blogging here and there during our vacation with all the happs on where we eat, what we do, and places we visit!


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