Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign

foreign \ˈfȯr-ən, ˈfär-\: situated outside a place or country; situated outside one’s own country; born in, belonging to, or characteristic of some place or country other than the one under consideration; of, relating to, or proceeding from some other person or material thing than the one under consideration; alien in character : not connected or pertinent; related to or dealing with other nations; occurring in an abnormal situation in the living body and often introduced from outside

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these are the photos that crossed my mind when i found out about this week’s photo challenge. this was taken during a solo trip at bali, indonesia. i was visiting one of the temples when i saw these reminders posted at the entrance gates. as a traveler, i was curious as to why having a period is not allowed inside the temples. of course, i do respect the balinese culture and i’m blessed not to have one during that time of visit. honestly, it still puzzles me. :)

Random: Best of 2011

Thank you Lord for a wonderful 2011 — for the many firsts, fulfilled dreams and new experiences. It’s not a perfect year, still it’s a happy year for me. Hoping and looking forward to a more positive, explosive, juicy and fabulous 2012. Hahaha!

(Oh, it’s not yet the end of the world!)

-=The Best of 2011=-

solo @ bali * gardenasia valentines * primo girls @ bangkok * dad’s 60th and family @ sg * birthday bungy @ macau * our 8th yr anniv @ cambodia * boudoir * marathons

(the fun moments with myself, my love, my work colleagues and my family)

Best of 2011 :)

i’m not gonna make any new year’s resolution for now since i wasn’t able to fulfill some of last year’s (especially on the dieting part). i’ll just do my best in everything and be more positive i guess. also, i’d like to go to hk, taiwan or china next this year as part of my travel goals — if money, time and circumstances permit. inshallah.

the best is yet to come.

Travel: Bali, Indonesia (Day 2)

Day 2…

This is my 2nd and last day in Bali. Bali is such a beautiful place, at home masyado. And everything I saw reminds me of the Philippines – people, hospitality, sights and nature. Contrary to the popular belief that Indonesia is entirely a Muslim country, majority of the people here in Bali are Hindus. So for my last day, I booked a tour to visit the 6 famous temples in this island. Bali is also known as the ‘Island of Thousand Temples’.

I left the hostel at around 830 AM. Again, sumakay na naman ako sa habal-habal para makatipid. Thank God at ako ay naka jacket, leggings at helmet sa buong byahe at di ako masyado nangitim. At hayun ulit, kasama ko ang soulmate ko na itatago naten sa tawag na…’Kuya’.

1st stop: Goa Gajah or Elephant Cave (Bedulu, Bali)

Failed expectation. I was expecting to see elephants inside the cave as in ni-literal ko yung tawag na ‘Elephant Cave‘. The entrance to the cave looks like a devil’s mouth and inside it, people can offer prayers to Ganesha, the Hindu God of Success. Ganesha is an elephant-headed deity kaya na-i-relate ko na bakit sya naging ‘Elephant Cave’.

Goa Gajah

2nd Stop: Gunung Kawi Temple or Poet Mountain (Tampaksiring, Bali)

This place reminds me of Sagada Mountain Province – from the rice terraces to the makalawlaw panga and dila sa pagod na pagpanik-panaog sa hagdan…hayzzz. Sagadang-Sagada lang ang look and feel. May waterfalls sa baba malapit sa temples. The temple has stone carvings which is 7-8 ft high each.

Gunung Kawi

3rd Stop: Pura Tirta Empul or Holy Water Temple (Tampaksiring, Bali)

This place reminds me of Baguio City. Above the temple is where the Indonesian President’s house is located, mala “The Mansion”. As in striking resemblance yung itsura nila. Since this is also called ‘Holy Water Temple’, most people go here to take a bathe, believing that all sickness will be healed and they will be cleansed. Few meters from the temple, there’s a hot spring that still ripples from time to time.

Up up to “The Mansion”

Holy Water Temple

4th Stop: Kintamani and Mt. Batur (Kintamani, Bali)

This place reminds me of Tagaytay because from the overlooking and viewing deck, you will see Mt. Batur which is an active volcano at Bali. Beside the mountain is the lake which they call Lake Batur. Parang nag sight seeing lang sa Taal Volcano with the Taal Lake sa gilid. Also, while I’m taking advantage of the nice view, I was also able to see their prayer ceremony.

Kintamani and Mt. Batur

5th Stop: Mother Temple of Besakih (Besakih, Bali)

This is the most holiest and largest temple thus the name ‘Mother Temple‘. Unlike the smaller temples, one is not allowed to enter the temple unless s/he will offer a prayer. So bumili kami ni Kuya ng offering. At di porket Holy ang isang lugar, ibig sabihin nun na wala ng mga mapagsamantala sa tourist na gaya ko. Aba’t may bayad ang sarong na 5000Rupiahs at binigyan ko ng 6000…hala, ayaw ako suklian! Nakipag argumento pa tuloy ako…1000 din yun noh

Besakih Temple

6th and Final Stop: Samuan Tiga Temple (Bedulu, Bali)

On way back to Ubud, we passed by Samuan Tiga Temple. Ano meron dito? Wala lang…malapit lang sa Ubud so napadaan lang.

Samuan Tiga Temple

Ang weird lang ng policy sa bawat temples na bawal pumasok sa temples ang mga babaeng may ‘Monthly Period’…

No Men(s) Allowed

*More pics here*

Travel: Bali, Indonesia (Day 1)

This is it pansit friends! Q1 goal mission accomplished kaagad. I’m Dora na mag she-share sa inyo ng aking solo adventure here at Bali. Gusto ko na ata gawing panata yung ‘travel solo’ every year, nakaka adik lang. Let me get it straight. I’m not doing this for the sake of boy-hunting or whatsoever, it’s more of…soul searching - Nakkkssss! It just so happened that I love the feeling of traveling alone and I’m happy with it, just the same satisfaction I get when I’m traveling with my friends, family or with Darwin. Balance! :)

To continue with the story, here’s what happened to me on my first day…

Departure: It’s a 3-hr flight from Singapore. So technically, para din akong umuwi ng Pinas. Thanksss sa mga naghatid sa akin sa airport, ang saya lang nila kasama na almost ma-late na naman ako for the nth time dahil humahangos na akong tumatakbo sa Terminal 1 dahil nag fa flash na ang ‘Gate Closing’ papuntang eroplano. hahaha Nakakaloka lang! As in masyado ko naman pinapanindigan yung chill and relax at hayan tuloy maiiwan na naman ako ng eroplano. 1st time ko rin maka-try ng Air Asia and ok naman siya parang Cebu Pacific lang, masikip at budgeted bwahahaha and di ko lang na enjoy ang byahe ko dahil sa amoy ‘anghit’ ang eroplano (puros kase foreigner ang nakasakay at ako lang ang local looking person…hayyyyzzz).

Arrival: I arrived at Ngurah Rai aka Denpasar Int’l Airport at 1120PM. No time difference between Singapore and Bali so ayos dahil di na ako malilito mag compute ng oras. hahaha. Airport – Pinas na Pinas parang NAIA Terminal lang. Then the driver from the hostel picked me up at the airport. It took an hour and 30-mins from airport to Ubud, where Jati Homestay is located. Sa di sinasadyang pagpapabooking ko, ang swerte ko pala at sakto dito shinoot ang Eat Pray Love sa Ubud. :)

Welcome to Bali

Accommodation: Jati Homestay is a very relaxing place. Para akong nag check-in sa probinsya. Sobrang close to nature na tipong may palaka sa lalakaran mo, may butiki sa ibabaw ng router, may talahiban sa bakanteng lote, may sagingan at niyogan pa. Kung relaxation ang hanap mo pero di nalalayo sa attractions, this is the place to be! And kung dengue ang hanap mo, andito na rin ang mala-butterfly sa laki na mga lamok na nakita ko.

Jati’s Homestay

1st Agenda: Monkey Forest.

I’ve never seen as many monkeys as that in Monkey Forest. Pakalat kalat lang sila. Buti hindi aggressive ang mga unggoy. There, you’ll see monkeys of different size, shape, gender and character. Ang kulit pa meron silang diving spot sa may fountain. At ngayon lang ako nakakita ng mala-baboy na unggoy dahil sa sobrang pagka-obese lang!

Monkey Forest

After that, I had my lunch break at Kafe, a nice cafe/restaurant 2 blocks from my hostel. My location is very good since it’s accessible to all souvenir shops, restaurants, stores, atm’s, etc. Yun lang since medyo tourist spot ang area, medyo pang-tourist din ang presyo ng mga bilihin.

Kafe

2nd agenda: Lake Bratan/Ukan Danu Bratan Temple

Kung anu-anong adventures at pagmamatapang ang ginawa ko makapunta lang sa lugar na to. Dahil sa ultimate dream ko na makita ang temple na yun, pumayag ako umangkas sa motor at humabal-habal ng 4 na oras at nandyan pa ang abutan ka ng ulan sa kalsada. Super adventure nga! Ganun pala ang feeling ng nagmomotor at nauulanan. Mukhang basang sisiw ako pero kebs at go pa din ako say ko kay Kuya Driver. Thank you po Lord at buo akong nakaalis at nakauwi ng hostel during my 4-hr motorcycle ride. Nagkaron tuloy ako ng instant soul mate sa katauhan ni Kuya Driver na wishing pa magkaron ng souvenir pic with me dun sa temple (for memories daw – echosera) Boyfriend kita Kuya!!?? Feeling ko tuloy tumutugtog sa background ang Stephen Speaks – Passenger Seat…

Oh and I’ve got all the I need
Right here in the passenger seat
Oh and I can’t keep my eyes on the road
Knowing that she’s inches from me

Passenger Seat

Dream Come True

3rd agenda: Taman Ayun Temple

After our Lake Bratan journey, another few hours of long habal-habal ride at dumoble pa ang pagmamatapang ko dahil di na ako humawak sa balikat ni Kuya dahil baka humingi na naman sya ng souvenir pic with me. Juskooo! So kapit ako sa rails sa ilalim ng upuan ko at nagdadasal sa isip na “Lord, huwag po ako mahuhulog…please keep me safe. Ayoko po mamatay sa Bali at di alam ng parents ko na andito ako.” hahaha Next temple I visited (I have fascination with temples sa sobrang totoo lang) was Taman Ayun Temple. It’s a beautiful place with nice landscaping. Yun lang, I was wearing shorts kaya di ako nakapasok. I promise to wear pants for tomorrow’s tour.

Taman Ayun Temple

*More pics here*

Travel: Dream 2011 Travel Destinations

I have multiple tabs open in my laptop, all of which are budget airline websites. For the past 1.5 hrs, I’m staring blankly at my computer, trying different flight combination and checking which among those is the cheapest. I’m thinking of having a solo get away trip (sequel to my quirky alone Phuket adventure) and attempting to pull a Julia Roberts stint ala Eat,Pray,Love.

I’m torn between “The Cheap Destination” vs “The Dream Destination”. There are many budget friendly places within Asia to consider. Yet, I’m confused because I also want to go to some dream destinations which I can cross out from my “Bucket List”.

So here are the places I’m targeting for next year (in makatotohanan order).

  • Angkor Wat (Cambodia) – I want to go to this place because it’s exotic, another UNESCO World Heritage Site and not the common place people would go to. Plus, Angelina Jolie set foot here during the Tomb Raider days. Cool!

Angkor Wat

  • Ayutthaya and Bangkok (Thailand) - I’m always fascinated with the sight of temples. So if there’s any other place within Asia which has lots of temples in it, I’m rooting for Thailand. I also want to go to Bangkok, particularly in Khao San Road to see what the fuss is all about (This is where Leonardo di Caprio stayed in the movie “The Beach”, my all time favorite travel movie) =)

Leo and the Reclining Buddha 

Ayutthaya

  • Bali (Indonesia) - I learned of Bali after watching the hit Korean series “Memories of Bali”. And now, after watching Julia Roberts in the movie “Eat Pray Love”, my eagerness to go to Bali increased by threefold. Waaaaahh! Another beach getaway next to Phuket. I don’t mind eating ABC Mee Goreng Pancit everyday as long as I can visit this place soon.

Island Of Thousands Temples, Bali

  • Taj Mahal (India) – Why? It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and I saw it in the movies “The Bucket List” and “Slumdog Millionaire”. My heart and mind is set to go to this place if not only for the budget. Yeah, I need to have at least a thousand++ SGD to make this dream come true. Haaaayyysss makataya sana sa lotto para mapanalunan ko ang 450M pesosesoses!!!

Taj Mahal

These places are my top choices for next year’s getaway. Pangarap ko din mag Japan para makita ang cherry blossoms at ang South Korea para makita ang KPop stars. I need to save a little more, magpa alila sa night shift, kumain ng once a day and I’m ready to go. As a personal promise, kelangan ko muna maubos ang Asian countries bago mag level up sa ibang continents. hehehe! Syeeet wala pa nananalo sa 450M sa lotto, ako na lang ata inaantay tumaya. (“,)

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