UK:London Calling!!!

Keep calm and carry on

United Kingdom

The London Eye. It rains all the time. The Double Decker Bus, TUBE, LONDON EYE, BIG BEN, Tower of London Bridge, The London Bridge. West Minister. The British Museum. Madam Tussaud’s Museum.

As I was anticipating my arrival at the Heathrow airport. I have every inclination to probe the place that i have just met. I did not think that i was more excited than i ever imagined. I was no longer in Manila. I was ready to conquer London,England.

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We arrived at our hotel called Holiday Inn. Somewhere in Kensington. It was our first night on this greater vacation.

As for my curious self. I gave in i was walking through the streets of london trying to find south kensington and its gleeful shops such as topshop, Zara, TK maxx, and so on.Shopping at its finest. The shopping is bizarre or mental as the British would call it.Indeed the British accent was like music to my ears.The brits are actually nice and helpful people.That night was a bit cheeky. I was looking forward to the next few days.

Finally the time to actually experience the sights and sounds of London.

Tower of London

Telephone Booth
“The Queen is Coming.”I did not have the opportunity to meet her but I was able to visit the Buckingham Palace. I did get a chance to have a picture with Prince Harry’s wax figure.

with Prince Harry

It was a walking adventure and I was really ecstatic to have had the opportunity to experience this place.

The tour of the City of London was splendid.

London Eye

I would seriously go back and visit Notting Hill and the Harry Potter Museum.

Just a quick stop to Stonehenge

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and a short visit to Bath specifically the Roman Baths.

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Cheers,

Mae

I LOVE New York

What comes to mind when I think about New York?

The Chrysler Building.The Empire State.Brooklyn Bridge

Manhattan Bridge .Williamsburg Bridge

NOLITA. SOHO. TRIBECA. TIMES SQUARE

Statue of Liberty. Ellis Island

Fordham University. Columbia University

New York University. PARSONS School of Design

New York City Chinatown. Starbucks everywhere you go.

UPTOWN & DOWNTOWN Manhattan

Why I love NYC ?

I love New York because of the picturesque buildings, wonderful sights of the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge and Williamsburg Bridge. The city of lights that is  C’est Magnifique!  The Chrysler Building and the Empire state. Lady Liberty,. I love watching Broadway. I love to go to Museums and shop.

I’ve always wanted to try the French macarons of Laduree.

The fast paced lifestyle of every New Yorker has always been something that I yearned for. Growing up watching films :Who could forget the movies “An Affair to Remember” “You’ve Got Mail” “Serendipity” “Breakfast At Tiffany’s”. And the hit Tv series Gossip Girl.

New York.. Concrete Jungles where dreams are made of… start spreading the news..

It has been a place where a lot of people have been featured and where dreams are made of.

The City that never sleeps.

It was the end of Spring and the start Summer, when I was gallivanting around the streets.  I came to a realization how surreal it was to actually be in the city where people began to start living their lives.  Taking pictures was a highly important spectacle to capture every moment there. “Pictures worth a thousand words.”

During my first few days in NYC, I stayed at the Chelsea area somewhere in Manhattan. Not so many places to eat or dine out.

If you do want to dine out somewhere decent. To name a few good places to eat at .It’s good to try Applebee’s, Brooklyn Dinner, Serendipity III, and Heartland Brewery, Carnegie Deli etc.

If you are familiar with the movie Night at The Museum, I did go around that Museum, The Museum of Natural History.

I also rode the virtual sky ride in the Empire State Building and enjoy the view. Remembering the movie, Sleepless in Seattle and An Affair To Remember where the lovers had to meet on top of the building.

Who could forget the Television series F.R.I. E. N. D. S and How I Met Your Mother showcasing the beautiful places and sceneries around New  York.

I went to D.C.

When I got back to NYC, I stayed near the Rockefeller Center.

It’s near the NBC studio. I just saw Chris Brown dancing from the back singing “Forever”.

I had the chance to join the Behind the scenes of the Broadway Musical “Wicked”.  I want to watch “Wicked” on Broadway when I do come back. During my last few days in NY, I was able to enjoy “Memphis”. It was totally an awesome Broadway production.

10 Things to do you must try to do:

  1. Visit the Empire State Building
  2. Visit the Museums (MET, MOMA,ect.)
  3. If you have time, jog or simply walk around Central Park
  4. Watch Broadway
  5. Shop
  6. Eat
  7. Walk around Times Square
  8. Ride the subway or NYC taxi. Ride across or around NYC to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
  9. If you don’t know where to go, join the Hop on-Hop off Tour or simply get hold of a map of New York
  10. Watch NBC live

P.S. I did try almost every single thing on my list. More pictures to follow.

If you do ever end up going to New York, let me know what you think.

Cheers!

XOXO,

Mae

Photography By: Loraine Garcia

Sawadee ka! Sawadee krup!

My first trip abroad without my family. It was time for me to see the world.

It was last September, 2011. I needed a break from all the stresses at work. I needed to get away and clear my mind for sometime.

What comes to mind when you think of Thailand? I was actually reminded of the movie A Crazy Little Thing Called Love. P’Shone, P’Nam. All about first love :) Thailand.

Never have I imagined riding an elephant. 

Riding a tuktuk. Seeing Buddha in different positions and statues. Buddhism. The Floating Market. Private Tour.

Quick Trivia: Did you know that Thailand was called Siam before? Thailand is a monarchy.

Sometimes language can be a barrier.

Some tips :Always always bring your money and wear shorts, bring shades.

It was an awesome trip that made me appreciate Thailand’s street food. Chilly powder, sugar, mangoes and pineapples.Yum? No one will ever be hungry in Thailand.

The Verdict is that Bangkok is a must see place especially to those who like to shop. Cheap bargains, sale, awesome food and culture.

Thank you Thailand ! For you will always be remembered in my heart.

XOXO,

Mae

Photography by :Therese Marcelo

A Tribute to My Mentors in Life

Ever since I graduated or even in college. I came to the realization that no matter what happens I will never become a teacher.

I do not like the idea of teaching students. It was totally in utter spontaneity. Will I fight or flee?

At first, it was a way to escape the idea of not getting allowance or the gradual improvement of myself to be independent.

I was struggling. I was new. I did not study education in college. My concept of teaching is totally different. I had no clue.

There were moments when I wanted to just leave since I do not even need this job. I was only there for the experience and nothing more. Financially, the frugality of things did not really matter to my nuances of what teaching was all about.

It was not the preparations. The countless papers to check. The never ending preparations for a class the following day. It was enigmatic. I was in the quest of finding the main reason and purpose as to why I chose that profession.

Mentors are people who rear you to become better. They keep track of your performance in class. When I was in college, I admired my professors who taught differently, who were the deadliest and frigid people who turned out to be awesomest interesting approachable individuals.

Prejudgments does not define who a person is. Rather the thought that these things are already boundaries or walls keeping you from knowing who they really are. They may appear mean, strict and boring but they can change and have an impact in your life.

I am not a quitter. Something I firmly believe in. I felt quiescent but fear and the idea of  fighting ran through my mind.

I realized that teaching is a very noble profession. Only few people are called for it. Only few people deserve to be called great mentors.

Thank You, dear teachers who were patient and pertinent individuals.

But most of all thank you to my parents who were my first teachers.The people who reared and helped me become who I really am.

The teaching profession will always be in my heart. I may have never experienced a lot of triumphs, failures and randomness without being a teacher.

Some people really are awesome people. Some are called great mentors. I have never survived being a teacher without you guys.

And the friendship that always has to be remembered. To my dear students, thank you. :) I have never surpassed everything without you. To my colleagues, thank you for being there. :)

Teaching? I’m still hanging by a thread but you did matter to my growth as a person. I did learn a lot :) seriously.

“Be not afraid of greatness; some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them”- William Shakespeare

Picture from Google.

To my Benedictine Family. You will surely be missed :) Thank you!

Lola :) Thank you for being a great teacher!:)

Italia Nostaglia

I was a bit nostalgic about my trip to Italy last summer.

ITALY.

Ciao Roma! Rome is the divine city.  Side walk vendors here and there, selling rosaries, scarfs and so on. I was not in Manila anymore. A place with a mixture of ancient and modern architecture. The Vatican where the pope stayed. Sistine Chapel that was very magical. Saint Peter’s Basilica. The Colosseum where most gladiators would fight, Trevi Fountain where you could wish. Swiss Guards. Food. Pasta, Gelato, and Pizza.

It was totally different,talk about a 2 hour dinner with 4 courses.

We’ve been walking all day that night I had cramps but there’s always an ugly beautiful thing in traveling.  I was able to walk around Rome with a camera at hand. Taking pictures of the beautiful scenery.

It was sunny, cold and a bit rainy.

Sono felice! Prego! 

I wanted to fall in love with somebody but ended falling in love with the city of Rome.

Assisi was different, it was small and still beautiful.  The Churches were magnificent. It was a pilgrimage. I appreciated St. Francis because he was a very rich person but he gave up everything in his life to serve God.  St. Claire was also there.

I love the cypress, laurel leaves everywhere.

SIENA was a smaller city but it was still wonderful it is own little way.

PISA,  the Leaning Tower.

FLORENCE, Michael Angelo, Pinocchio, Leonardo Da Vinci.  Renaissance paintings. Mesmerizing streets with brands such as Gucci, Prada, H&M, Zara, Chanel, Promod and other Italian Brands. It is a great place to shop for bags and shoes.

Walking and walking to appreciate everything Italian. One word: AWESOME!

I want to go back to ITALY again.

This was the best College graduation present. Thanks Mom and Dad:)

Se bellissima ! Ciao! Arrivedeci. See you soon ITALY.

XOXO,

Mae

Photography by: Erika De Leon

A New Beginning

Talking and talking, I seek help from my friend.  I wondered “What big thing should I do to make this year memorable?” As the conversation ended, I realized that anything can happen, what seems to be something that I aspired for has become a reality. I am now writing my first entry.

Looking through the internet, I came across this interesting blog. I realized that anyone can write. Even someone like me. A little girl who had a dream, now a grown woman in her early 20’s searching for what she really wants in life.

Why did I name it Galavantingwallflower? I was a bit  of a wallflower during my teen years. As time passed, I realized the importance of loving myself but the wallflower that I used to be will always be inside. Inside my heart, it will always and forever be an inkling of who I am as a person. Galavanting, I have traveled to places like Italy, Thailand and just recently Shanghai. I really enjoy traveling so I believe that this is a better medium. To write this blog, to fully express my thoughts and feelings.

Last New Year’s Eve was the same every year. I’ve always celebrated New Year in Manila.

This New Year’s Eve is different. The Philippines is a very tropical country so its very humid. Totally utmost perspiration dripping from your forehead during the months of March to April.

As I was reading the pages of ” Have a Little Faith” By Mitch Albom inside the plane. I was so ecstatic that I was able to finish the novel that inspired me to live life to the fullest. In a couple of minutes, I will be entering a new place. I was on my way to Shanghai, China.

Due to the fact that I studied basic Mandarin. I was caught up with it, I was not able to utilize my knowledge of this language. I’m sorry lao shi (teacher) if I failed you. I need to polish my Mandarin. A few words and phrases like “Ni hao ma?(How are you)”  “Zai jian!”(Bye), “Peng You”(Friend) that I was not able to forget.

“Xie,xie(Thank You)!” The shopping stores, making shopping a necessity. But most of all Thank you to my parents for making this trip possible. Thank you GOD for making me live for another year!

My dad kept asking me this question “Where is the Chinatown in Shanghai?” It was actually a joke since majority of the people in the world are Chinese. We kept laughing at this corny joke that made sense. China really is taking the world by storm.
I came across this interesting place, a somewhat Old China, Chinatown.YU Garden with the Chinese stores with delicacies, dresses, Chinese things,etc.
Another place I went to is  a place called Xintiandi or French Concession. Who knew that GODIVA had a chocolate store there? Of course there are shops, markets, and people. Clothing stores like ZARA, BERSHKA and H&M. More shopping for me! :)HAHA

The beautiful scenery from the hotel room, as I peeped through the window. A very modern place. With high rise buildings, neon lights and cold misty air.

I stayed in this place called Park Hotel, it was called so because it was literally almost near this park. For you to galavant in the area,you need to walk a little bit further so as to reach  Nan Jing Road. A shopping district in Shanghai. Walking and walking, in the cold. 5 to 10 Degrees Celsius. Shoppings stores that I am a fan of , some brands like ZARA, UNIQLO, WE and so on.

My first two days were spent joining a tour. My third day there was actually a Shopping day!:) I have been to Hongkong and Macau but Shanghai will always be remembered as an awesome and chill city.:)

“The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.” – Samuel Johnson

This quotation by Samuel Johnson is something I believe in. It’s by taking risks, doing something to make your dreams come true. As well as looking, exploring the place you are in. :)

Should you stay at your hometown? or Travel like what I did?

How was your New Year’s Eve? Tell me your views.

I realized that traveling abroad during the New Year’s Eve made me appreciate the idea of going the distance. Thank you 2011 and Bring it on 2012!

HAPPY 2012 Guys!

Cheers!

XOXO,

Mae

Photography By: Erika De Leon