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iKON 2018 CONTINUE TOUR IN SEOUL (Korea Version)

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4.21.2019

A Complete Guide to El Nido.

Hundreds and thousands of tourists head for El Nido every year. And why not? After all, it is the primary base for exploring the stunning Bacuit Archipelago. El Nido is world famous for its impressive limestone formations, the clear turquoise waters, and those absolutely astonishing beaches. What adds to its lure is the emerging restaurant and bar scene.

One can reach El Nido by air, boat, or land and the most popular way is by air. This is the easiest and fastest way to reach El Nido and there are plenty of daily direct flights to El Nido from Manila and Cebu. Get ready to explore the beautiful northern coastline, the fantastic beaches, and the coastal villages.

Here is a brief but complete guide to El Nido to help you plan your next island vacation.
Photo credit: The Backpack Adventure.
The best time to go
The best time to enjoy and explore El Nido is between November and May. One should avoid the rainy and cyclonic season. Still, the average temperatures in El Nido remain the same. If you want to avoid the crowd’s, avoid April which is the busiest month. Take advantage of cheap pal promos and codes to make the most of your trip.

Where to stay
El Nido offers accommodations for almost every kind of tourist. You can stay at highest-rated places for a luxurious treatment or you can look for budgeted options. The luxurious hotels include names like El Nido Resorts, El Nido Resorts Lagen Island, El Nido Cove Resort, Vellago Resort and more. If you are looking for a place to stay in El Nido on a budget, then you will find plenty of options in El Nido town that offer a wide selection of cost-conscious accommodations.
Photo credit: Tabanka Divers.
Top things to enjoy
El Nido is a cluster of 45 small islands, and there is plenty to do and see here. You will come across the most beautiful and enchanting islands in the entire world. Some of the most sought-after beaches are the Duli Beach, Maremegmeg Beach, and Lio Beach. Find yourself surrounded by large limestone cliffs and rock formations. Dive in the Dilumacad Underwater Tunnel and swim through the sea life, or head for the small lag on the northern end of Miniloc Island, which looks like an alien landscape. Nagkalit-kalit Waterfalls and Balay Cuyonon are also some of the island's major attractions.

Where to eat
While Filipino food can be greasy, you will not remain short of options. However, it is a must to try the breakfast of sweet cured pork with garlic rice at least once before you leave. Some of the top restaurants in El Nido are Republica Sunset Bar that offers fairly large portions. It is the right place to enjoy your meal, and the sunset as well. Bella Vita El Nido is a beachfront restaurant that serves delicious pizzas, and you can dine on shakshuka and hummus at Happiness Beach BarAltrove is far less crowded and serves the best pizza in all of El Nido.
Bounty from the sea.
Where to shop
El Nido has a reputation for not just being a picturesque location in the Philippines; it also boasts of many shops and stores that are just perfect for any shopaholic. Visit the Traditional Souvenir Shop where you can purchase little gifts and souvenirs. There is a variety of items sold here like bags, scarves, hats, keychains, shawls, bracelets, and desk decorations. El Nido Boutique & Artcafe is another favorite among shoppers. While you can shop for swimwear, sunblock, snorkeling gear at the Boutique, the Artcafe sells typical souvenir items like t-shirts, postcards, and other local items.


4.19.2019

Seoul Searching | 7 Must-See Spring Festivals in Korea.

Traveling to Korea but couldn't make it in time for the cherry blossom festivals? Don't fret! Springtime in Korea isn't just about cherry blossoms. In fact, the country hosts a cornucopia of festivals all throughout the months of April and May - some celebrating the (other) flowers in bloom, while others celebrating culture, arts, and even food.

Here is a guide to some of the best festivals that will make your spring trip to Korea even more memorable. If you're visiting the country during these times, do seek them out and enjoy the spirit of rebirth, renewal, and rejuvenation, which is exactly what spring is all about.

Goryeosan Mountain Azalea Festival (April 13 - 21, 2019)
Goryeosan Mountain Azalea Festival.
Goryeosan Mountain in Incheon earned the monicker 'pink mountain' because in the spring, it transforms into a stunning beauty carpeted with vivid pink and magenta azaleas. This mountain is one of the most popular destinations outside of Seoul, attracting more than 400,000 visitors each year.

During the Azalea Festival, several walking/hiking courses are offered to visitors, all between 1 to 2 hours long. You'll walk through a myriad of pink and purple flowers to reach the peak of the mountain, and get to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the West Sea and a glimpse of the North Korean coastline.

To get to Goryeosan, take the subway to Sinchon on Line 2 and leave exit 4. Go straight for about 260m to arrive at the bus stop in front of Arteon. Take bus 3000 for about 2 hours to Ganghwa bus terminal. From the bus terminal take bus 1,23,25,27,30,32 or 35 and get off at Dolmen Square. Follow all the hikers to Goryeosan

Taean International Tulip Festival (April 14 - May 12, 2019)
Colorful tulips at the Taean International Tulip Festival.
Hailed as one of the top five tulip festivals in the world, the Taean International Tulip Festival showcases over 1.5 million tulips from over 300 different species, as well as beautiful displays of spring blooms such as lilies, pansies, daffodils, lupine, and canola.

This festival is recognized by the World Tulip Summit Society and takes place at the Korea Flower Park a 30-acre flower theme park where you can walk among gorgeous spring flowers and enjoy the beautiful glow of the Taean sunset.

To get there, head to Dong Seoul Bus Terminal and take an intercity bus to Taean. From Taean Intercity Bus Terminal, take a village bus bound for Gomseom and get off at Morenon Bus Stop.

Royal Culture Festival (April 27 - May 5, 2019)
Gyeongbokgung Palace at night.
One of my favorite cultural festivals in Seoul, the Royal Culture Festival is the perfect opportunity for tourists to learn more about Korea's royal palaces and delve deeper into Korean culture. During the festival, Gyeongbokgung PalaceChangdeokgung PalaceChanggyeonggung PalaceDeoksugung Palace, and Jongmyo Shrine are open to the public for free, and host an array of cultural programs, performances, exhibitions, and experience zones. Some of these palaces will be open until night time, though the special evening admissions come with a small fee.
Promotional poster for the 2019 Royal Culture Festival.
This year's Royal Culture Festival promises to be a very exciting one as it aims to present Korea's rich history and culture through state-of-the-art technology. A special augmented reality (AR) game will be available at Changdeokgung Palace during the nine-day event, while Gyeongbokgung Palace will host a performance chronicling the Gyeonghoeru pavilion’s construction process using 3D technology. And for the first time since the festival's inception, Gyeonghuigung Palace will join in the revelry and will host traditional dance performances using robots.

Locations and how to get there: 
Gyeongbokgung Palace - Gyeongbokgung Station (Seoul Subway Line 3) 
Changdeokgung Palace - Take Bus 100, 102, 104, 90S tour bus or 91S tour bus.
Changgyeonggung Palace - Take Bus 100, 102, 104, 90S tour bus or 91S tour bus.
Deoksugung Palace - City Hall Station (Seoul Subway Line 1 or 2)
Jongmyo Shrine - Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, 3 or 5).


Lotus Lantern Festival (May 3-5, 2019)
Lanterns in Jogyesa Temple.
A prelude to Buddha's birthday, the Lotus Lantern Festival (Yeong Deung Hoe) is one of the most celebrated events in Korea. It's also one of the oldest festivals, with a history spanning over 1200 years. Originally an event with Buddhist significance, this occasion has now become a cultural festival celebrated by everyone in Korea.

Traditional lanterns in various colors, shapes, and sizes are hung all over downtown Seoul, and both Bongeunsa and Jogyesa temples host various cultural performances for locals and tourists to enjoy.
Photo credit: Korea.net.
The highlight of this festival is the Lantern Parade, where thousands of lanterns illuminate the metropolis and create an illusion of stars streaming through the milky way. In the previous years, more than 300,000 Koreans and 50,000 foreigners have participated in this event, and is said to be the biggest of its kind in the world.

To get to Bongeunsa Temple, take Samseong Station (Line 2) Exit 6. Walk straight for approximately 600m, and turn left. Walk straight for approx. 150m to arrive at Bongeunsa Temple 
To get to Jogyesa Temple, take Jonggak Station (Line 1) Exit 2. Walk straight for about 200m to arrive at Jogyesa Temple.


Boseong Green Tea Festival (May 2-6, 2019).
The picturesque hillside of Boseong.
Boseong, an idyllic town in South Jeollanam-do, is said to be the birthplace of the commercial tea industry in Korea. It accounts for 91% of the total green tea production in the country, and is home to the nation's oldest tea plantation.

In the spring, these seemingly endless fields of green welcome visitors from all over the country to the Boseong Green Tea Festival, a celebration of the town's booming green tea industry and rich cultural heritage. Various programs and workshops are scheduled during this five-day event, but the hands-on activities such as picking tea leaves, making tea, and preparing green tea snacks are the real crowd favorites.

How to get to Boseong:
From Seoul Express Bus Terminal, take an intercity bus to Boseong (보성) or to Gwangju (광주). From the Boseong Bus Terminal, take a Boseong-Gunhak (보성-군학) route bus to Daehan Dawon (대한다원). From Gwangju U-Square Bus Terminal, take an intercity bus to Boseong (보성).


Hangang Seoraeseom Canola Festival (May 11-16, 2019)
A sea of yellow at Seoraeseom Island.
The canola flower, also known as yuchae, is one of the spring flowers that represent Jeju. But that doesn't mean these dainty yellow blooms can only be found there. Sure, Jeju Island is home to the longest-running canola festival in the Korea, but you don't need to go that far just to see the canolas.

At Seoraeseom Island, a small (artificial) island located between Dongjakdaegyo Bridge and Banpodaegyo Bridge, you'll find canola flowers blooming in full glory by mid-May. The Hangang Seoraeseom Canola Festival is held around this time, and gives visitors the opportunity to capture beautiful memories of spring. During the festival, visitors can enjoy many photo zones, culture and art performances, and hands-on activities all over the island.

To get there, take Gubanpo Station (Seoul Subway Line 9), Exit 2. Go 370m towards the Olympic-daero Highway. Follow the street signs for Hangang Park to arrive at Banpo Seoraeseom Island.

Seoul Grand Park Rose Festival (May 25 - June 9, 2019)
Roses in full bloom.
Seoul boasts of not one, but two Rose Festivals in the spring - the Seoul Rose Festival held in Jungnang-gu, and the Seoul Grand Park Rose Festival held in Gwacheon. I have attended both festivals during my previous trips to Korea, and although they're both fun, lively, and lovely, I prefer the latter in terms of diversity of species, available facilities, and the size of the area.

The Seoul Grand Park Rose Festival usually kicks off in the last week of May until the first week of June, and is held at the botanic garden of the Seoul Grand Park. Visitors will marvel at the beauty and splendor of more than ten million roses sprawled across the 10-acre garden. Workshops, concerts, and cultural events are some of the highlights of this annual event, and these activities are all free of charge.
At least year's Seoul Grand Park Rose Festival.
To get to the Seoul Grand Park, take exit 2 of the Seoul Grand Park Station (Line 4).

Ready to experience the beauty of spring? Which festivals are included in your itinerary?


4.18.2019

Fashion Pulse | About Shop Patches.

Do you want to add a personal touch to your uniform, shirt, or jacket? Then the answer for this need is a custom embroidered patch. If you have a specific design in mind, then you can simply get a custom-made embroidered patch that can make whatever you are wearing stand out from the crowd.
Patches add a personal touch to your outfit.
What is an Embroidered Patch?
This is also known as a cloth badge. This is a kind of embroidery that is made of thread. It shows a specific design. Generally, the common patch is backed by fabric. The thread used can be made from a single color or several colors depending on the embroidery’s design. Know more about these patches in this link. The patches are usually sewn into shirts using adhesives, thread, pins, and a lot of other methods.

When did the Embroidered Patch become Popular?
Thousands of years ago, a lot of old cultures from the Middle East, South America, and the Mediterranean used stitches and fabric decoration designs in order to embellish the robes of religious people or royalties. A person who wears robes with elaborate stitches mean that he might be an important official or he belongs to the elite.

In today’s times, these patches are made to identify somebody that is in the military or in the police. A lot of military forces use embroidered patches so that they can be easily seen in public. There are also companies, sports team, or private individuals who use these patches in order to denote that they belong to a specific organization. Others prefer embroidery directly sewn on their shirts for design.

What Do You Consider as a Patchwork?
A patchwork is a kind of technique that involves putting together small pieces of fabric in order to create art. There are a lot of colors, patterns, textures and geometric designs available that the maker can sew into a specific kind of logo. This logo can depend on the client’s preference. This is also the technique in making patchwork quilts. However, the clothing interior and design have adopted this to be one of the popular trends of today’s times.
An array of patchwork.
How to Find a Great Embroidered Patch Company
If you have a logo in mind, you might not have the time to make it on your own. If several members of your workforce need logos on the organization’s uniform, you might need a legitimate company to complete the orders for you. Here are some tips on how you can find a great company for your needs:

They should let you create the design.
As there are a lot of companies out there that can recommend different kinds of patches for you, you should still be able to decide the design yourself. After all, it is you who is going to wear it on your denim jacket or on your uniform. Find a company that will let you input ideas, upload your preferred digital patch image, and can provide artful suggestions on how to improve the image without making too many changes on it. The size and the length of the patch should be clearly shown on a computerized image that is sent back to your email for your review.

They should give you information that you need. 
The right patch store will make a price quote after they see the initial design. They should also add if there are minimum and maximum orders that you should know about. If the minimum order quantity is more than 300, then that’s a good sign that you are in good hands. If you are in a rush to complete your orders, ask them if they can deliver it to you at the soonest time possible.

The companies should offer you plenty of patch border options.  There are die-cut and merrowed patch borders. The merrowed borders are slightly raised on the outside borders. They can have shapes that include circles, ovals, squares, and other designs that are not too complicated to make. On the other hand, there are die-cut borders that have complex shapes and protruding edges. There should be no price difference between the two regardless of the border that you have chosen.

Inform you about free thread colors.
With patch embroidery, it can be possible that there will be more than fifty colored threads involved. Usually, companies can inform you if you are able to get 10 to 15 free colorful threads. You have the option to select your twill’s color if you opt for a 99% embroidery. Get more information about embroidery in this site: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/embroider. You may or may not be an expert when it comes to choosing the right colors that can stand out. However, the right company can certainly recommend the right colors that can suit your design in the best way possible.

Cute patches.
Other Things You Need to Know about Patches
Many choose embroidery because they are eye-catching and beautiful. However, there are certain limitations when it comes to the design of your patches. You must make sure that any words on your patch are readable. You may also want to have a simple design especially if your patch will be placed on a uniform.

Your designs should not be too crowded to look at. You can focus on a single side of your patch design and remove tiny elements. Sometimes, these tiny elements make the design too crowded to look at. Make the overall look simple and elegant. Consider giving space to the important elements.

The Bottom Line
Embroidered patches are attractive decorations on your uniform or clothes. You have to find the right company that can make your patch design into reality in the least possible amount of time. There are a lot of things that you need to consider before getting the help of a company. Make sure to ask the proper questions before you consider them. Work only with the experts and professionals in the field. Read more about patch designs on sites and magazines in order to know more about them.  


4.16.2019

Spotlight | Missha Superfood Apricot Seed Lip Scrub.

I love lip care products as much as I love lip tints and lipsticks. As such, when I chanced upon the Missha Superfood Apricot Seed Lip Scrub back in stock on the Althea website, I purchased it (together with the rest of my Lunar New Year haul) without a moment's hesitation. I've been eyeing this product since December, but it was always out of stock whenever I checked on Althea.
Missha Superfood Apricot Seed Lip Scrub.
So anyways, the Missha Superfood Apricot Seed Lip Scrub is a lip care product that softly exfoliates and smoothens rough lips. This lip scrub is part of Missha's new Superfood line, which features lip care products made with nutrient-rich food/ingredients. Apricot is considered a superfood because of its powerful antioxidants that protect the skin against free radicals, and its laetrile content, a substance known for its ability to fight cancer. In terms of lip/skin care, apricot seeds make great exfoliants.
Hangul text at the back of the box.
This product is also blended with shea butter and three kinds of naturally-derived oil extracted from jojoba seed, argan, and camellia. All these ingredients condition and moisturize the lips and make them soft and supple.
I'm liking the new logo of Missha. Are you? :)
The Missha Superfood Apricot Seed Lip Scrub comes in a handy squeeze tube, small enough to fit in your purse and even in your pocket. To use, simply squeeze out a moderate amount of the product on your lips, gently massage in circular motions, then rinse in lukewarm water.
Supreme vibes in the packaging. :)
I like how this lip scrub buffs away the dry patches on my lips without being abrasive, and how my lips look plump and healthy after every use. Yue tried this product too, and he says he likes this more because it does not have that bitter taste that the Bubi Bubi Lip Scrub has. It tastes sweet, actually, and has a lovely, fruity scent. 
A small amount of the lip scrub, with tiny bits of exfoliant in it.
Yue and I both love the results of the Missha Superfood Apricot Seed Lip Scrub, and this will be our go-to lip scrub - at least for now. Not only does it bring dry lips back to life, it's quite reasonably-priced too - just Php 240 for a 9.8 gram tube.
Yue's lips BEFORE using the Missha Superfood Apricot Seed Lip Scrub.
Yue's lips AFTER using the Missha Superfood Apricot Seed Lip Scrub.
Now I'm looking forward to trying the rest of the products in the Missha Superfood line. I hope they'll be available on Althea soon!
Missha Superfood Black Soy Lip Sleeping Pack, Missha Superfood Avocado Lip Balm,
Missha Superfood Barley Lip Oil, Missha Superfood Honey Lip Oil.


4.15.2019

Awesome Ways to Style Your Quote T-shirts this Summer.

We get it. It’s always scorching hot outside this season. It’s extra challenging not to look haggard. For you, what matters more is how you feel inside rather than how people would look at you on the outside. It’s more important that you feel comfy and confident with the clothes you wear rather than look extra edgy, fancy, or stunning but it feels like your body is going to explode with the summer’s higher than high temperatures!

No worries if you see your tees as the last resort. They’re the comfiest thing on earth after all. The problem though is when you’re getting tired of the t-shirt-denim combo. Well, we’ve come up with awesome different style equations for your basic quote t-shirt seven days a week.
What's your quote today?
 Monday: Boyfriend jeans + Quote Tee + Pointed Pumps + Fringe Bag
Okay, we know you can’t let go of jeans. So, just in case you’re having Monday blues and you’re feeling some weekend lag because you might have left your heart somewhere, perhaps the beach, grab a quote t-shirt and pair it with your favorite boyfriend jeans.

You might want to click here to find nice shirts with quotes you can use as a Monday motivation for an extra boost of inspiration. To balance the look, opt for a pair of pointed pumps. Stash your work essentials and knick-knacks in your fringe bag to finish off the look.

Tuesday: Blush pink jumpsuit + White Tee + Heels
Perhaps, the workload from yesterday has set your mood for productivity. Great! Time to sport a nice corporate outfit. But how can you do it without feeling heavy and coming across as too intimidating for this season when everyone’s off for vacay?

Get a white tee with motivational statement for a casual basic. Then, get a pair of blush pink jumpsuit to layer it. You’d still look fresh even with layers of clothes on. Besides, a blazer won’t be bad for a full-blast aircon in your office, right? Wear your heels and enter the boardroom with confidence for your next project pitch.

Not a fan of pink? Okay, pick some other pastel colors of your choice instead.
Show your quote!
Wednesday: Culottes + T-shirt + Statement heels
Before you say “no” to culottes because you’re petite and you’d appear shorter with it, check out our suggestion first. You can actually rock your culottes and t-shirt with a pair of statement heels—oh, look at that faux fur pom poms high heels, they make excellent contrast for your business casual outfit. Besides, wearing heels with your culottes actually makes your legs appear longer. Check out this article, too.

Thursday: Plaid skirt + Shirt + Chunky Heels
Well, this style equation is no-brainer. T-shirts and plaid skirts always look good together in the same way that you and your boyfriend are a perfect match for each other. Finish off the look with a pair of open-toe ankle strap chunky heels.

Friday: Spaghetti strap dress + Tee + White sneakers
What better way is there to remind yourself that the work week would soon be over than to dress up as if you’re super ready for a laid-back weekend stroll? Spaghetti strap dress worn as a pinafore for your tee plus a pair of white sneakers would fit that label. It’s a fun, youthful look as always. Why not choose a yellow dress to look extra vibrant and summery?

Saturday: Maxi skirt + Tee + Slip-on sandals + Rattan bag
“I can’t believe the workweek is over”, you say. Still can’t get enough with your quote t-shirts? Match it with a maxi skirt for a super chic, cool, and airy look. Top it off with a pair of slip-on sandals and rattan bag for a perfect beach outfit. And oh, don’t forget to accessorize with your tassel earrings or gold round earrings. Tie your hair up in a bun or style it with a braid. This related article also talks about what you can wear on your next beach getaway: https://www.rappler.com/life-and-style/fashion/57104-style-beach-fashion-bloggers-secrets

Sunday: Lace pencil skirt + T-shirt + Ankle strap heels + clutch bag
Who says you can’t glam up with a t-shirt? That has to change from now on. Pair it with a white lace pencil skirt plus ankle strap heels and a dainty clutch bag for a Sunday date night with your boyfie or hubby. Don’t forget to style your hair in perfect beach waves.

Which one among the style equations is your favorite? We’d love to see how you nail it!