Today, I receive all God’s love for me. Today, I open myself to the unbounded, limitless, overflowing abundance of God’s Universe. Today, I open myself to your Blessings, healing and miracles.Today, I open myself to God’s Word so that I become more like Jesus Everyday. Today, I proclaim that I’m God’s Beloved, I’m God’s Servant, I’m God’s powerful champion, And because I am blessed, I will bless the world, In Jesus Name, Amen.

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The Great Wall of China in Mutianyu

The Great Wall of China is referred to in Mandarin as Wanli Changcheng   (10,000-Li Long Wall or simply very long wall) BEIJING, ...

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Use your Japan Multiple-Entry Visa Wisely

Posted On Wednesday, April 24, 2024 by Food Blogger 0 comments

Many Filipinos in online groups I frequent ask about extending their stay in Japan. The reasons behind these inquiries vary widely.

If you hold a Multiple-Entry Japan visa and extend your stay to the maximum allowable number of days without using your original return ticket and buy a new ticket for a later date instead would you be penalized?

The answer is No, you generally wouldn't be penalized for extending your stay in Japan with a Multiple-Entry visa as long as your new stay adheres to the following:
  • Total滞在期間 (taizaikan - period of stay) doesn't exceed the maximum allowed for your visa type. (This information should be on your visa itself). A Multiple-Entry visa allows for multiple entries within its validity period. Extending your stay utilizes this feature, as long as you stay within the total allowed days.
  • You have a valid new return ticket. Not using your initial return ticket isn't a problem, but having a confirmed onward travel plan is helpful.Buying a new return ticket demonstrates your intention to leave Japan eventually.
  • You comply with Japanese immigration regulations.  It's advisable to notify immigration of your extended stay. You can do this at the nearest Regional Immigration Bureau in Japan. This ensures transparency and avoids any potential issues upon departure.

Yes, In theory, extending your stay in Japan to the maximum allowable days on a Multiple-Entry (ME) visa and buying a new return ticket shouldn't directly affect your chances of getting the visa renewed. However, there are a few things to consider:Immigration officials might ask questions: While not a penalty, staying the full duration on your visa, especially repeatedly, could raise questions at immigration upon re-entry about your true purpose for visiting Japan. This is because ME visas are typically intended for shorter, repeat visits.

Renewal process considers past behavior: When reviewing your visa renewal application, immigration may consider your past travel history. If you consistently stay close to the maximum on your ME visa, it might raise questions about your ties to your home country or suggest you might be working illegally.

Here's what you can do to minimize any potential issues:Leave before the maximum: Try to avoid extending your stay to the absolute last day. Leaving a buffer demonstrates responsible visa usage.

Provide strong justification for renewal: During the renewal process, be prepared to explain why you need the ME visa again and how you plan to use it responsibly.

It's important to note:Visa renewal is ultimately at the discretion of Japanese immigration officials.
It's always best to consult the nearest Japanese embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date information and specific requirements for your situation.

Here are some resources that you might find helpful:Embassy of Japan: (https://www.mofa.go.jp/)

Frequently Asked Questions - Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan: (https://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/faq.html

Blast from the Past: Reconnecting with Old Friends

Posted On Wednesday, April 24, 2024 by Food Blogger 0 comments

Life moves fast. One minute you're glued to your best friend's hip, giggling over inside jokes, and the next, you're navigating careers, families, and different cities or even countries. But the funny thing about getting older – those friendships from your youth, the ones forged in shared experiences and late-night talks, take on a new kind of importance.

Maybe it's because the constant churn of new faces makes you appreciate the ones who've known you at your worst (and hopefully, your best!). Or perhaps it's the realization that the foundation of a good friendship is something precious and rare.

Whatever the reason, I've found myself reaching out to some of those old friends lately. It's not about asking for favors or rehashing the past – it's more about a simple "hello" and a chance to reminisce about the fun times we shared. 

Remember our grueling YDT/CAT trainings under the scorching sun? Or that crazy Christmas party where we had exams the next morning?How about those times when we laughed until our sides ached. And how our idyllic field trip took a frightening turn when unidentified people began throwing stones at us. Who can forget trying to "howl," er, sing at the Alleluiahan? I know our voices are more suited to poetry than melody and harmony.

Those memories are golden, little time capsules that hold a special place in my heart.

Life has undoubtedly taken us all on different paths. We've grown, changed, and maybe even become a little (or a lot) different from the people we were back then. But that shared history, that foundation of friendship, is still there. So, to my old friends – the ones who knew me before social media filters and adulting existed! – I'd love to reconnect. Let's catch up, share stories (both old and new), and maybe even create some new adventures together. Who knows, maybe this time, we'll actually nail that "Sana'y Wala ng Wakas" duet!

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Cherry Cloud Bliss: My Tokyo Hanami Extravaganza

Posted On Thursday, April 18, 2024 by Food Blogger 0 comments

The air crackled with anticipation as I joined the throngs of people headed towards Araiyakushi Park in Nakano City. It was finally happening – my supposed to be first ever hanami, Japan's legendary cherry blossom viewing party! Unfortunately, the iconic trees are not in bloom yet. I can only imagine, how their delicate pink petals would have started forming a canopy overhead like a soft, fragrant cloud.

Despite the unfortunate delay of the Sakura Blossom, a lot of people still showed up at the park according to schedule. Finding a spot in the maddening crowd proved to be an impossible feat. There are plenty of vendors selling potatoes, hotdogs, cotton candy and other feast. Bento boxes are overflowing with colorful delights, fluffy onigiri rice balls, and of course, sakura mochi – sweet rice cakes filled with red bean paste, a special hanami treat – were all available for sale at the park to tempt your taste buds.

The park was a vibrant tapestry of activity. There is a dance presentation. The dancers were consist of several older ladies and a young child. Families and their friends picnicked under the weeping cherry trees with not a single bloom in sight. Yet, you can see friends laughed and chatted, and couples strolled hand-in-hand, taking in the fleeting beauty of the weather that day. Music drifted from portable speakers, and the air was filled with the excited chatter of children chasing each other.

As we tried to scout the food stalls to choose our lunch, a sense of serenity washed over me. I was imagining delicate petals fluttered down like pink snow, creating a magical atmosphere. The beauty of the blossoms would have been fantastic have they bloom according to the prediction of the weather bureau of Japan.

With no bloom in sight, my brother, his girlfriend and I were really disappointed. We paid a premium room rate for our home stay. The owner Annie Cheng justified the rates as just for the season. Of course she enticed us about the 2 kilometers stretch of Cherry Blossoms she said was there because it was supposed to be the height of Cherry Blossoms.

Her accommodation is just around 2 to 3 minutes walk to Araiyukushi-Mae station. We stayed there for 7 nights. So imagine our disappointment when not a single blossom appeared.  All we can do is sigh. The first 3 nights, we find it weird that there is no heater during night time until morning. I complained it to the owner to no avail. So, on our third night with still no heater, I was fed up and would like a reimbursement so we can change to another accommodation with heater.

The only redeeming factor for choosing that area is seeing how hanami was done. I was bowled over by the sense of community by the Japanese people. 

I was in awe with their shared appreciation for nature despite the absence of ephemeral display of the cherry trees.  It made our very first hanami so special.

Spring evening would have been perfect with yozakura, the nighttime cherry blossom viewing according to my research. The trees were supposed to be illuminated by soft lanterns, casting an ethereal glow on the scene. The atmosphere was supposed to be more subdued, with an air of quiet contemplation. It would have been a perfect way to end the day, reflecting on the beauty I could have witnessed.

My first hanami experience was more than just a picnic under the no show weeping cherry trees. It was a glimpse into Japanese culture, a celebration of the fleeting beauty of spring, and a reminder to slow down and appreciate the simple things in life. I can't wait to experience the real deal next year, maybe under a canopy of a fully bloom cherry blossoms in a serene Kyoto garden, or perhaps amidst the lively crowds of Ueno Park.

Have you ever experienced hanami? What are your favorite traditions or memories? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Kyoto Kaleidoscope: A Wanderer's Blog

Posted On Wednesday, April 17, 2024 by Food Blogger 4 comments

Hey everyone,

Just got back from a whirlwind adventure in Kyoto, and let me tell you, it was pure magic. This city is like a living museum, where ancient temples brush shoulders with bustling streets, and serenity hides around every corner.

I wasn't sure what to expect. Kyoto is famed for its history and tradition, but there's a modern energy here too. One minute I'm sipping matcha tea in a charming teahouse garden, the next I'm browsing quirky anime stores in Nishiki Market.

But for me, the true charm of Kyoto lies in the little moments. Getting lost (happily!) on cobbled backstreets lined with traditional wooden houses, stumbling upon hidden gardens tucked away behind unassuming gates, or sharing a smile with a local in a perfect little tea shop.

Speaking of food, Kyoto is a foodie paradise! From melt-in-your-mouth okonomiyaki to delicate kaiseki meals, my taste buds were on a constant journey. Wandering through Nishiki Market, the "Kitchen of Kyoto," was an assault on the senses in the best way possible. So many colors, smells, and the freshest ingredients you can imagine!

The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove was pure tranquility, sunlight filtering through the towering stalks creating a peaceful, almost mystical atmosphere.

Of course, the temples and shrines are the stars of the show. Kinkaku-ji temple with its iconic golden appearance was breathtaking. 

Kyoto is a city that stays with you long after you leave. It's a place that whispers stories of the past, vibrates with the present, and leaves you wanting to come back for more.

This is just a taste of my Kyoto adventure, I've got more stories and photos to share in the coming posts. In the meantime, if you're thinking about a trip to Japan, Kyoto absolutely deserves a spot on your itinerary.

Stay tuned for more Kyoto Kaleidoscope!

P.S. Any recommendations for must-see sights or hidden gems on a future visit? Leave a comment below!

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Tokyo Twist on a Timeless Icon: Finding Lady Liberty in Odaiba!

Posted On Sunday, April 14, 2024 by Food Blogger 0 comments

Forget everything you think you know about Lady Liberty! This week, I'm taking you on an adventure to a place where the iconic symbol of freedom gets a Tokyo twist – the Statue of Liberty in Odaiba, Japan!

Sure, she might not be the colossal green goddess guarding New York Harbor, but Odaiba's Lady Liberty packs a punch of her own. Standing at a proud 12 meters (about 40 feet), she's a charming mini-me version of the original, but don't let her size fool you.

Here's why this little Lady Liberty is a must-see for any adventurer with a global spirit:

  • Unexpected Delight: Wandering the vibrant streets of Odaiba, brimming with futuristic skyscrapers and trendy attractions, you stumble upon this familiar figure. It's a delightful surprise, a reminder that history and culture can weave themselves into the fabric of even the most modern landscapes.

  • Picture Perfect Tokyo: With the majestic Rainbow Bridge as her backdrop, Odaiba's Lady Liberty offers some of the most unique photo opportunities in Tokyo. Capture the juxtaposition of the classic and the contemporary, the enduring symbol of freedom standing tall against the backdrop of a booming metropolis.

  • Symbol of Friendship: Did you know this petite Lady Liberty is actually a gift from France to Japan, a testament to their enduring friendship? It's a beautiful reminder that the ideals of liberty and hope transcend borders, inspiring connections across the globe.

  • A Smaller Package, Bigger Inspiration: Sometimes, the most powerful things come in smaller sizes. Odaiba's Lady Liberty might not be the original, but her spirit shines just as bright. She's a reminder that the fight for freedom and justice is a continuous journey, no matter where you are in the world.

So, the next time you find yourself in Tokyo, ditch the crowded tourist traps and head to Odaiba. Seek out this little Lady Liberty, stand beneath her torch, and let her spirit of freedom ignite your own wanderlust and inspire you to chase your dreams, no matter how big or small they may seem.

Have you ever seen a replica of a famous landmark that surprised you? What inspires you to travel the world? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Friday, April 12, 2024

Chasing Cherry Blossoms in Japan: A Dream Come True!

Posted On Friday, April 12, 2024 by Food Blogger 0 comments

Hey everyone!

For years, we've been obsessed with the idea of seeing cherry blossoms in Japan. Pictures just don't do them justice – the delicate blooms, the vibrant colors, the whole atmosphere...it all seemed so magical. Well, this year we finally made that dream a reality, and let us tell you, it was even more incredible than we ever imagined!

We landed in Tokyo in the dates which supposedly coincides with the published dates of the peak bloom season for many areas as per Japan weather bulletin. Despite the sudden weather change the city was still buzzing with excitement. People were everywhere, strolling under the blossoming trees, having picnics in parks, and snapping photos. The air was filled with a soft, sweet fragrance, and the whole scene felt like something out of a movie.

Our first stop was Ueno Park, a sprawling oasis in the heart of Tokyo. The Somei Yoshino cherry trees, the most common variety, were just starting to bloom because the weather got messed up and it had just snowed the other day so the early blooming cherry blossom were not in it's full glory yet. Their pale pink blossoms formed a canopy overhead, creating a tunnel of delicate beauty. I wandered through the park, mesmerized by the sights and sounds – the chattering crowds, the fluttering petals, the occasional burst of laughter. It was pure joy.

Over the next few days, we ventured to other iconic cherry blossom spots. We marveled at the weeping cherry trees in Nakai. The sole tree we saw has its branches cascading down like a waterfall but the pink Sakura is just starting to bloom. Not yet in it's full glory.

While In Araiyukushi temple in Nakano, the towering stalks of the delicate cherry blossoms were just starting to bloom too. Every location offered a unique perspective on this fleeting spectacle of nature. How we wish the original Sakura bulletin were on schedule. Then, it would have been perfect!

But it wasn't just about the aesthetics. Cherry blossoms in Japan are more than just beautiful flowers; they're a cultural touchstone. The tradition of Hanami, or cherry blossom viewing, is a celebration of spring, renewal, and the impermanence of life. Picnicking under the trees with friends and family, enjoying the beauty of the moment – it's a reminder to slow down and appreciate the simple things.

This trip was an unforgettable experience despite the Sakura bloom delay It wasn't just about ticking something off my bucket list; it was about immersing myself in a different culture and appreciating the beauty of nature. If you've ever dreamed of seeing cherry blossoms in Japan, I say do it!  It's truly a magical experience. And it would be better if all of the Sakura trees were in full bloom. I hope the Japan weather bureau would be more accurate next time around. I wish we would get a FREE all-expenses paid trip to Japan next year when all of the cherry trees is in full bloom!

Do you have any questions about my trip? Have you ever seen cherry blossoms in bloom? Share your experiences in the comments below!

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Royal Wax Works: An (Almost) Regal Encounter in Tokyo!

Posted On Thursday, April 11, 2024 by Food Blogger 0 comments

Tokyo isn't exactly known for its palaces and pomp, but on a recent trip, I stumbled upon a touch of British royalty – well, almost! Let me tell you about my hilarious (and slightly surreal) encounter with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge...in wax form, of course!

Nestled in the heart of Odaiba, Madame Tussauds Tokyo is a haven for pop culture and historical figures. As I wandered through the museum, I rounded a corner and came face-to-face (or should I say face-to-wax?) with Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Now, I'm not gonna lie – the detail on these figures is incredible. From Kate's perfectly styled hair to William's sharp suit, Madame Tussauds' artists did an amazing job capturing their essence. For a moment, I almost felt a royal aura!

Of course, the experience wouldn't be complete without the obligatory photo op. I struck my best regal pose (think afternoon tea with the Queen level of elegance) and snapped a picture with the future King and Queen (of wax, that is).

This "meeting" was a fun and unexpected highlight of my Tokyo trip. It's a reminder that a little bit of whimsy and a dash of imagination can turn any museum visit into an (almost) royal adventure.

Have you ever had a close encounter with a wax figure? Share your stories in the comments below!

Thursday, April 4, 2024

ODAIBA, TOKYO JAPAN: Happiness at Madame Tussauds

Posted On Thursday, April 04, 2024 by Food Blogger 0 comments

OMG, guys! I just had the most fun-filled day at Madame Tussauds Tokyo, and I NEED to share it with all you fellow fangirls and fanboys out there!

First off, let me just say: childhood dreams DO come true!

Remember the era when we have 
posters of our idols on our wall growing up? Yeah, well, I practically got to hang out with them all today!

finally meet Jackie Chan face to face! He happens to be my childhood idol because of his funny antics in his martial arts movies.

I remember going to his gym in Hong Kong whenever we went on vacation there. My Papa Vito is such a good dad because he would accompany me to Jackie Chan's gym and inquire if Jackie was there. I was dreaming of having a snapshot or even to get a glimpse of him. Unfortunately, he was so busy and was always out! Finally, in Tokyo Japan we did some high kicks together (well, I attempted some, haha).

Next off is Michael Jackson! I moonwalked right next to him (okay, maybe just shuffled awkwardly) Ha ha ha 🤣

Then, I got all cultured, posing for Michael Angelo as the Mona Lisa except that I had a giant, cheesy grin.

The music legends were next! Madonna, Beyonce, Lady Gaga - slay queens unite! We belted out some (questionable) karaoke together.

And speaking of legends, Bruce Lee was also there! We exchanged fighting stances (again, mostly me flailing around, but hey, the spirit was there!).

Of course, it wasn't all action and pop stars. I got to channel my inner Audrey Hepburn with a classic pose, then went full-on Captain Jack Sparrow with Johnny Depp. ‍☠️

Even royalty wasn't off limits! I rubbed elbows (virtually, of course) with Prince William and Kate Middleton and even got to sat at the Queen of England's throne!!!

And let's not forget the history makers! Sharing a moment with Nelson Mandela and President Obama was truly humbling.

Finally, I got a little taste of Japan with Prime Minister Abe (hope I didn't bow incorrectly!).

This wasn't just a trip to a wax museum, it was a journey through my fangirl fantasies!

Seriously, if you're ever in Tokyo, Madame Tussauds is a MUST. You might not get to hold an Oscar or become president, but you can definitely get the perfect Instagram pic with your idols!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go rewatch all the movies, listen to all the music, and maybe (just maybe) try to recreate some of those epic poses.

Who are your ultimate fangirl/fanboy icons? Let me know in the comments, and maybe we can fangirl together on the next adventure!



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