If I Win The Lottery Today

I’m taking a break from all my Hong Kong posts and figured I’ll venture into the personal category for the day. Now, if I were to win the lottery or quick payout casino today, then just how much would I be able to take home? PHP 52,000,000. That’s how much I’ll be able to take home. Now, what would a 20 years old girl like me do with that much money, you ask? Funnily enough, I kept thinking of scenarios like this up – even if I don’t actually place bets for the lottery! Haha! This is what I daydream about. I thought it’ll be fun to share so here it goes.

The first thing I’ll do is buy a new car for my grandfather (2M). My Dad used to drive me to and from school even up to college. It was very rare in college but when I was in elementary and high school, it’s almost once a week even if I have a service in high school and my elementary school is like ten minutes away. I think it was his way of spoiling his first granddaughter so this would be me giving back.

Next thing would be to start a college fund for my brothers (3M)I would also set up a college fund for my little cousins (3M). Education is really important, no matter what those articles in the internet that says “Steve Jobs didn’t graduate college so you don’t need to, as well!” Load of bull.

For the future, I would be setting aside money for my parents (10M), my own savings (7M), my brothers (4M) and other relatives (2M). This would all be on each other’s names so they’ll have total control but my brothers can’t touch their money until they’re 21. Mine would be invested so it can grow while it’s not being used. Whatever my parents want to do with theirs is their choice. The ones for my relatives is to make sure there’s an emergency fund for anything and to just generally help them out with life.

I would also be starting a business with 5M. I’m not sure yet what it would be exactly, but my parents are seeing promises in the transportation side. Maybe own some jeepneys. Buy a few cars for UBER and GrabCar. Or maybe venture into food. Then Papa can come home and just help us manage this business and rest.

For something more permanent, I would be buying a house for our family (7M) and a condo unit for me (2M). I like the idea that no matter what happens, there would always be a home waiting for me and my family. That there would always be somewhere to go. I want it to be big and in a peaceful enough environment for my brothers and I to grow up in and for my parents to rest at.

I would then jumpstart my ultimate life goal and travel the world (3M). I would be bringing some friends to Asian countries. My family would be visiting some America states with me and I’ll be backpacking Europe. #YESPLEASE

Lastly, I would be doing some donations. I would be giving back to my elementary, high school and church (1M). You don’t need money anymore MAPUA, so I’m skipping you. I still love you, though! I would also be donating to World Vision (3M). If you guys don’t know, World Vision sends underprivileged kids to school. We sponsored a child or two during our high school and it has been a really nice feeling when he send back a letter and told us about what he’s been up to and his education.

That’s it! That’s PHP 52,000,000! It’s roughly $1,200,000, by the way. Not really a huge amount of money if you think about it. Now, if I won America’s Powerball lottery (which was $1.6 BILLION), then I could donate more than half of the money, do whatever I want, provide for my entire extended family, donate to cancer research and have more than I could ever find a use for.. That’s probably not that interesting to write or imagine about, but would be really sweet if it happened in real life. Haha!

What would you do if you win the lottery?

Pinto Art Museum

I’ve never been to an art museum. Ever. Until now. The events that led me to plan this trip to Pinto Art Museum was actually seeing my colleague’s photos of the place on my IG and FB feed. And they are just so beautiful. Which led me to Google… and the rest, as they say, is history. My trip has been delayed for a few times because of work but my friends and I finally stepped foot on the place last Saturday, September 19.

Picture quality is low, but hey, what can you do?

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 preset

Pinto Art Museum is located in Antipolo, Rizal – just more or less an hour away from the busy streets of EDSA. It’s kind of a hidden gem since it’s not located in the main roads and that adds to its charm. This unassuming museum actually has five galleries – if I’m not mistaken – and only costs PHP180! (PHP150 for seniors and PWD; PHP100 for children and students.)

Never Have I Ever: 7 Things I’ve Never Done in this Lifetime

I’ve been really behind on making blog posts. That’s because I’ve been working on something that I will hopefully blog about within the week. In the meantime, I hope to introduce myself more to you guys in way of this blog post. Without further ado, here are the 7 Things I’ve Never Done in This Lifetime.

1. Never have I ever drank coffee.

They say there are only two kinds of people in the world: the ones who are addicted to coffee and those who wouldn’t even want to get near it. I’m the latter. I don’t even like the smell of coffee; I don’t know why. I survived on soft drinks and energy drinks when making my college capstone (more known as thesis), while my teammates drank cup after cup of coffee.

2. Never have I ever been to a date.

I think this makes me sound lame. 20 years old and have never been on a date. I’ve been on dates with friends, family, and myself; I even became a third wheel for friends but never on a date date. Maybe I should add this to my bucket list… LOL.

3. Never have I ever travelled alone.

I have this fear of somehow ending up in a ditch somewhere. I’m planning to change this and soon, I hope. I think this is just one of those things that I have to do for no particular reason. And, yes, this one’s already on my bucket list.

4. Never have I ever done any water-related activities.

Except swimming. I’ve never snorkeled, ride a banana boat, helmet dive, cliff dive, dive, etc. Mostly because I don’t know how to swim – I only know how to float enough to not drown. Haha! Another is because I have terrible eyesight without my glasses.

5. Never have I ever seen a waterfall.

I don’t really know why I haven’t seen a waterfall. If my family goes to a trip that involves a waterfall, I’m either a. sick, b. have school/work or c. way too busy to go otherwise.

6. Never have I ever liked marshmallows.

Yes, they are fluffy and they are cute. But I don’t want them in my ice cream or near my hotdogs. That is all. Thanks.

7. Never have I ever eaten any seafood except for fish.

Despite my family’s numerous tries, I still don’t eat seafood (except for fish). My reason for this is really weird. I just feel like they’re still alive since they’re still in shells and stuff. Like I said, really weird since I love lechon and fried fish.

This is also a good game to play with your friends. I think this was originally a drinking game? One person will say a “Never Have I Ever…” statement and if you (and other participants of the game) has done that statement, then you will have to take a shot (or something.) Please note that I neither confirm nor deny if I have played this game in real life. (My parents read my blog sometimes…)

This was a fun blog post idea. I had fun making it. Let me know if you have something like this up in your blog; link back to me, or comment the link down below. I’d love to read it!

So, what’s one thing you haven’t done in this lifetime?

 

2018 Travel Plans

Hi guys, I haven’t done a life update post in forever. As you might have noticed, I have been posting so irregularly and inconsistently these past couple of weeks. Work has been busy, I’ve travelled a bit on the weekends, and I went back to another hobby that is frankly taking up so much of my time. I won’t talk about that other hobby since that’s more of my guilty pleasure – but I’ll say that it sure helped my English skillzz.

For this life lately update, I’ll be talking about my 2016 travel plans – as inspired by Aileen’s latest blog post. It also gives me a timeline on what I have to look forward to as my planner is already so whacked with all the plans (and poems and lyrics) I wrote on it.

January

Calatagan, Batangas City, PH. Vitamin sea with my mother’s side of the family. In which I saw plenty of weird sea creatures and somehow stepped on a sea urchin. Blog post will be up soon.

Venice Piazza, McKinley, PH. A taste of Italy. Pastel houses, river boats. European vibes. Blog post will also be up soon.

 

February

Hong Kong. 4D3N trip with my college friends. Our first time out of the country and with no parental guidance whatsoever. I made the itinerary and there are so many things we have to do with a short amount of time. I predict running after buses and/or trains.

Baguio, PH. Strawberry picking with my officemates and visiting a known haunted house. Wish me luck?

March

Pinatubo, PH. Planned hike with my uncle and aunt.

April

Calaguas, PH. Proposed trip with my college friend and her officemates. I’m not sure where Calaguas is, but let’s go.

Singapore. 9-days vacation with the fambam. I only just found out about the extreme bungie and swings rides at Clarke Quay so that’s where I’ll be. And for the first time ever, Battlestar Galactica at Universal Studios Singapore will be open while I’m there. (Please don’t let this jinx that.)

May-August (I haven’t plotted the dates yet.)

Fortune Island, Batangas, PH. A taste of Greek – which I am desperate for! Been planning for this trip since last year! Hopefully it’ll push through around summer.

Baler, Aurora. I’m trying to kick off an item from my 7 Things I Have Never Done Before post. I want to try out some surfing.

100 Islands, Pangasinan, PH. And speaking off kicking things off a list, I want to cliff dive from one of the islands in here. Been planning for this since last year, too.

September

Masungi Georeserve, Rizal, PH. I was supposed to celebrate my 21st at Singapore but since we’re already going on April… Change of plans. And the place looks amazing! I hope there’ll be no storm at this time.

October

South Korea. 5D4N stay to have a taste of autumn with my college buddies – again. If my VISA got denied, you guys will know. I’ll cry about it, lol.

That’s… it! So many things to be excited about – and so many travels I still have to save up for, tbh. This is why I was so keen on saving up last year! Haha! My post last year should have been called, “How I Saved Up 100K In a Year to Travel for Next Year.”

Also, I can’t wait for the year where my travel plans will include Europe or America. That’s probably on or before 2020, thus, my, #RichelGoesToEurope2020 travel goals.

Where will you be going this year?

 

Life Lately + Can Leo Win an Oscars now?

These past few weeks have been crazy. This entire February has been crazy. I miss my bed. I miss sleeping in. I miss being a bum on weekends. I’ve just got back from our Baguio trip around 2 AM then I set off for work around 7 AM. Yep, I’m still alive. Oh yeah, hello February 29!!

I pretty much run myself ragged this month but I’m happy. Tired, but satisfied. The house didn’t burn down when Mom was in Singapore for a quick Valentine’s getaway. Valentine’s weekend with my dork excuse of brothers. My friends and I’s 4D3N Hong Kong trip went off with only few hitches – like delayed flights and getting really lost only once. The Baguio trip with my officemates were cool; I get to know them more as a person other than just the professional image I have of them.

I’m currently working on a lot of travel backlogs – Singapore, Tagaytay, Ilocos, Hong Kong, and now Baguio to name a few. I have thousands of photos to go through and lots of memories to reminisce about. It will take a while to finish it, but I’m in no rush. I might start with the Hong Kong ones first just because I feel like telling those tales of adventures and misadventures I had with my friends. Most of the misadventures are already stated in my Lost in Hong Kong: Culture Shock post.

To add, I’m burned out with all the recent travelling. Gasp. I know. Who would’ve thought I’ll be admitting that? I used to be a real homebody before the travel bug bit me. And by homebody, I mean, I don’t leave the house except for the occasional mall and cinema trips. I guess my body’s missing the comfort of home (and my bed). I actually passed on a Calaguas trip that’s supposed to happen next weekend. And my next confirmed travel is my Singapore trip on late April. I have time to settled back in at home and rest my feet for a while. I’m okay with that.

I’m also thinking of taking a leave from blogging. Because the perfectionist in me likes organization and my blog looks like a mess to me. I want to do a new look for my blog and make sure that my posts are in sync with each other. Sounds difficult but it’s just a thought for now. Or maybe I’ll just do it part by part on weekends so I can still make updates once in a while.

Music wise, The 1975 finally released their second album (!!!)I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet unaware of it.Seriously. That’s the name of the album. Favorite songs so far are A Change of Heart, The Sound, and Love Me. Favorite lyrics: “You used to have a face straight out of a magazine / Now you just look like anyone / I just had a change of heart.

Today’s the Oscar’s and I am still rooting for Leonardo di Caprio to win his first Oscar. Seriously. It’s been robbed from him a lot of times already. And frankly, the only reason why I still read updates from that awards show. Mad Max already won a lot of awards as I’m typing up this post (I’m on my lunch break) and I’m happy about that as well. It’s well-deserved.

Update: Five minutes after my post went up, it was announced that Leo won a freaking Oscar! Freaking finally!!! I can’t wait until my work shift is over so I can properly celebrate my baby’s win!!

I usually do my life lately posts in bullets but somehow this ended up in paragraphs. I’m not sure why. Maybe I just feel like being rambling today. I feel like making my future life lately posts in paragraph form, though. Feels more personal and I like that.

50 Things To Do in Singapore (Some are FREE)

From my last post regarding Singapore, it seems many people think that SG’s only attraction is Universal Studios Singapore. And that, my friends, is so not true. I’ve spent three summers in Singapore (and going back this April!) and there was always something new to do every time. I have to admit that I only visited the more known tourists and local destinations as my father’s not really keen on exploring much (sorry Pa, I love you). In this list, I’ll be combining the things I’ve done and things I’ll be doing on my visit next April.

  1. Roam around Changi airport. There’s even this little table where you can color SG attractions and have it as souvenirs!
  2. Enjoy dirty ice cream while walking down Orchard Road
  3. Volunteer to feed/swim with dolphins at Underwater World and Dolphin Lagoon
  4. Dive with the sharks at Underwater World
  5. Watch a light show at Marina Bay Sands*
  6. Party it up with locals and foreigners at Clarke Quay*
  7. Feed elephants at Singapore Zoo
  8. Pose with the Penguins of Madagascar at Universal Studios Singapore*
  9. Cross the Suspension (hanging) beach to reach Palawan beach at Sentosa. (Perfect photo op!)*
  10. Have a picnic at Gardens by the Bay*
  11. Get an aerial view of Singapore by riding the Singapore Flyer
  12. Make a wish at the world’s largest fountain at Suntec City*
  13. Get a bird’s eye view of the infamous Orchard Road from the 55th level of ION Orchard*
  14. Stroll Down Changi Point Boardwalk*
  15. Do a nature walk at Bukit Batok Nature Park*
  16. Visit the ION art gallery – art in the middle of busy shopping malls!*
  17. Feed birds at Jurong Bird’s Park. Birds may land on your entire arm or shoulder or head if they liked you enough (or if you have plenty of food).
  18. Picnic at Esplanade Roof Garden*
  19. Find (and take a photo with) the 8 Merlions of Singapore*
  20. Visit Sri Mariamman Temple*
  21. Water show at Universal Studios Singapore
  22. Ride the wave pools at Wild Wild Wet
  23. Roam IKEA – and pretend the show rooms are your rooms*. Don’t forget to have some meatballs!
  24. Ride the double decker around town
  25. Take photo ops at the ten bridges of Singapore*
  26. Take the cable car going to and from Sentosa Island
  27. Photo walks around Sentosa Island – day or night
  28. Experience zero gravity at iFly Singapore
  29. Tour Little India*
  30. Photo walk around China Town*
  31. Roam Merlion Park*
  32. Window shop at VivoCity – and get a view at Sentosa*
  33. Take a walk at Emerald Hills*
  34. Take in the breathtaking views from the infinity pool on top of Marina Bay Sands. (I’m still saving up for this.)
  35. Shop at Haji Lane
  36. Visit Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum*
  37. Reverse Bungy at Clarke Quay
  38. Stargazing at the Science Center Observatory
  39. Go on a foodtrip
  40. Attend a sermon at St Andrew’s Cathedral*
  41. Cruise the Singapore River
  42. Shop ‘til you drop at the infamous Orchard Road
  43. Go on a food trip
  44. Do the MacRitchie Nature Trail – a rainforest within the city. Beware of wild monkeys though, lol.*
  45. Stroll the Waterfront Promenade*
  46. Catch a free outdoor concert at Esplanade*
  47. Enter Cloud Forest – a forest veiled in mist!
  48. Swing to your heart’s content at the Forest Adventure Course
  49. Spend a day at Singapore Botanic Garden – a UNESCO World Heritage Site*
  50. Travel out to the end stations of every MRT line

Hope this will give you an idea on endless things you can while in the Lion City. Free things to do are marked with an asterisk. My favorite things to do are in bold.

 

4 Days – 3 Night Hong Kong Itinerary

This is probably my last post regarding my Hong Kong trip last February – unless I find motivation to do a travel video, that is. I will be sharing my 4 Days 3 Nights Hong Kong itinerary and how we managed to do it on the budget of 20K. I will be also noting down some tips for a more budget-friendly trip. This will be a really detailed one so you guys can get a glimpse on exactly how long it’ll take to one place or another, how much things cost, etc.

Scoring Cheap Flights

Taken at Hong Kong International Airport.

Our plane tickets was bought four months in advanced. We waited for piso fares from budget airlines and when the opportunity to get it at a really low price came, we bought our tickets. Round-trip ticket was around PHP 2000 (USD 48/ HKD300) but we decided that one of us would get the 20KG baggage for souvenirs and such so we divided that and it left us with PHP 2200 (USD 52/ HKD328) each for the flight and baggage.

Finding Cheap Accommodations

Cosmic Guest House, Hong Kong.

Next thing we did was to score ourselves a cheap accommodation. February is a busy month in Hong Kong because of the Chinese New Year celebration. We search Agoda.com, Booking.com, and HostelWorld.com trying to find a good hostel with affordable price, great location, and positive reviews. Just do your research to get the best deal there is! That’s the only secret on finding cheap accommodations. We were supposed to stay at Cebu Hostel but after reading a review about how there are cockroaches (ew!) in the room, we cancelled our reservation and booked at Cosmic Guest House instead.

 

Itinerary

The hardest thing about every travel plan ever is doing the itinerary. It took me days to finish an itinerary and then modifications when I shared it to my travel buddies. Then there’s the problem of how to get to one place to another and where to eat and such. I googled a lot of blogs to see a detailed HK Itinerary but there’s very few so I’m trying to be as detailed as I could in my itinerary below.

A word of caution to anyone planning to use our itinerary: don’t do it if you’re going with little kids or elderly. At least remove one destination per day because you will get tired if you follow this. Your feet will almost literally curse you out. I know mine did. We were basically up at 6 AM every day and home by 11PM-ish each day.

 

Exchange rate I used for the itinerary: HKD 1 = PHP 6.70 = USD 0.16. For reference, USD 1 = PHP 42.00. We did however managed to exchange some pesos at the rate of HKD1 = PHP6.55. Still, better I use the higher amount than the lower so you guys can have an allowance if you plan to use my itinerary as a guide! 🙂

Octopus Card

Octopus Card is basically all you need to survive Hong Kong’s efficient transportation system. You can use it on MTRs and buses. Not quite sure if it works in taxis. You can also use it on some stores like 7-Eleven.

You can rent an Octopus Card at the airport for HKD150 / PHP 1,005 / US 24. HKD100 is consumable while HKD 50 is refundable when you return the card. Octopus Cards can be conveniently reloaded at all 7-Eleven stores. Note that the minimum reload amount is HKD50. If you have excess consumable amount in your card when you refund it, you can get the back as well. You can refund it at any MTR station or at the airport.

CHN Sim Card

 

Sim card can be bought at the airport.

This can be bought at the airport for HKD 80 / PHP 536 / USD 12.76. We already planned on buying one so we are can contact our loved ones in the Philippines 24/7 and it’s way cheaper than using our own PH sims. We asked the lady selling the sim to subscribe us to a cellular promo. For around HKD35 of the balance, you get 1.5G of cellular for 5 days which is more than enough. The extra balance you can use for calls and texts. This is also cheaper than buying one of those pocket wi-fis. Just be sure to bring power banks since the phone that will hold the sim will be your personal hotspot and the phone will be lobatt fast. Jsyk, my phone’s the one who ended up being our personal hotspot for the entire trip and we had like HKD30 balance left in the sim which I still have.

Tips

  • You can bring packed lunch and water at Hong Kong Ocean Park. Food there is really pricy. Snacks are at HKD 40 already! Cheapest option is McDonald’s – which we took. McDonald’s doesn’t even offer free water.
  • Ditch the cabs and ride the train. It’s very, very efficient and will get you from point A to B directly and cheaply.
  • Feel free to haggle at night markets. They expect it and when you make a move to leave their stalls, they will offer you lower prices.
  • Better stuck up on water. Personally, I bought a liter and a small bottled water. I just refill the small bottle every time we go out so I can still get liquid in my body in a small price.
  • Know your directions. A lot of Hong Kongers doesn’t know how to speak English. Better yet, write down the place in Chinese and show it to them.
  • It’s a good idea to visit Lantau Island on your last day as you can leave your baggage in the Citygate Outlet lockets for HKD20 per hour. It’s also only ten minutes away from the airport! You save on transportation.
  • Lines for The Peak Tram is very long on weekends. Try going on weekdays if your schedule allows it. We waited for at least an hour before getting on the tram.

Our over-all trip (excluding the shopping) is around PHP 18,975 /HKD 2,832 / US$ 450. You can even keep this cheaper by making sure your meal cost doesn’t exceed HKD40 per meal and to just take the standard cabin rather than the crystal one when going to Lantau Island. And if you decide to only do one out of Disneyland and Ocean Park, I’m sure you can fit it in PHP 15,000 / HKD 2,238.80 / USD 357.14.

 

So, that’s it! This concludes my Lost in Hong Kong series! If you’d like me to send you an editable Word doc of our itinerary, just send me a comment below and I’ll send you the file in your email. Or if you need any help making your own itinerary, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email or send me a quick tweet. I’d love to help! In case you missed it, there’s a link up there for the PDF version of our itinerary. Whew! This was a hard post to make!