Sep 11-13. While Brunei may not be on the top of our “must visit” list, we still decided to give it a “why not” when me and my friends were looking for a place to go. We booked months advanced and planned the trip only weeks before the actual flight. We originally wanted to cross by the border off Miri, Malaysia but the tight schedule made it impossible to do so. Alcohol-and-cigarette regulated (imagine how sad I was because beer in a foreign land please huhu), I still found myself enjoying the trip. :)

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The Energy Kitchen, Kampong Kiulap, Brunei 

Eating breakfast like a sultan! Situated below our hotel, it’s definitely the best place to go to begin any day. Had a great time chilling, not to mention almost everyone of the restaurant staff was Filipino. The interiors have an interestingly artistic colourful design to add a playful energetic feel to the décor. We’ve been treated to quite a spread during our stay in Brunei. Probably the chillest place, ever. I wouldn’t mind waking up everyday, spending time here.

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The Empire Hotel & Country Club

Exploring Brunei jumped off by visiting their first class, 7-star hotel. A lobby with grandiose lobby with high ceiling, furnishings that are adorned with semi-precious stones and the gold plated decorations. Probably the best golden staycation. It’s the dream!

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Jerudong Park Playground

Spent the entire afternoon ‘til dusk in Jerudong Park. Because amusement park. Lol. Kid in us was happy! Most of the rides were closed, though. If not every hour, we had to stroll around because they paved way for prayer now and then. Still had loads of fun! Aah, I can still imagine every bit of memory. How dreamy.

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Jame’asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque

When you’re travelling through Muslim states, visiting Mosques will inevitably be on your agenda and it becomes part of the travel lifestyle. You can’t avoid them – they spring up everywhere. They are also works of art worth getting up close to and checking out. The one that stands out is the Jame’asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque — best described as one of the jaw-droppingly over-the-top mosques I’ve seen. The sheer volume in itself is amazing, the golden dome and the myriad structured pillars are astonishing. I think we went there on a Friday, meaning, it was worship time for them. Almost all the places here closes at around noon. But screw it! Upon touchdown Friday morning, we visited the mosque at around 2 A.M., and it’s stunningly beautiful! Travelers must see this mosque at night!

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Kampong Ayer (Water Village)

Venice of Southeast Asia. Sounds promising and interesting, right? I honestly didn’t know what to expect when we saw this village on stilts. We arrived past 4 P.M. in the waterfront under the scorching heat of the sun. The real amazing experience happened when the guy driving our boat invited us over to his house — or shall I say mansion? We didn’t expect it coming — their homes plainly looking from the exterior but were overly furnished inside! Food was served when we arrived and that was just really, really accommodating for Bruneian locals to do.

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Pasar Gadong Night Market

If there’s something we looked forward to every night, it was to munch on local food found in Brunei’s night market. We particularly loved the milk tea they refer to as teh c special. Best. Milk. Tea. Ever. Vendors also offer every cooked comestible imaginable, from satay and barbecued fish to chicken wings and kueh melayu (sweet pancakes filled with peanuts, raisins and sugar topped with chocolate syrup).photo 2014-10-01133710_zps310a5801.jpg

Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque 

Make no mistake about it: Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque is another one of the most beautiful mosques I’ve seen. The mosque is located just across Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, a shopping complex, where we spent hauling goodies to bring as pasalubongs. Photo ops and photo ops everywhere. You can never go wrong bringing the right people because we enjoyed taking pictures in every part of Brunei.

— — —

I still haven’t talked about the museum we toured, and roads we traveled. Thousands of photos are currently sitting on a gig of my hard drive and there’s just too many to upload.

I’ve never been to a trip this stint yet exciting. And it’s important to mention that it’s the cheapest (yes, cheapest!) international trip I did and that just added cherry on top of this amazing travel experience.

Special thanks to all the Bruneian locals we’ve shared moments with for their hospitality. If one day I have decided to go soul-searching, Brunei will definitely be on top of my list for the best places to go. I would also like to thank these travel junkies with me — Brittany, Rizelle, Bianca, Robbi, Yves and Hex (the best officemates everrr) — who made this trip amusing. ‘Til our next, right?

Salaam Alaikum, Brunei Darussalam!



21 Oct 2014 at 11:00 AM ∞




{ Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque x Brunei Darussalam 2014 }
It’s not about where you’re going, it’s about who you’re traveling with.
Salaam! 

{ Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque x Brunei Darussalam 2014 }

It’s not about where you’re going, it’s about who you’re traveling with.

Salaam! 



21 Oct 2014 at 10:59 AM ∞




{ t w e n t y - t h r e e }
Some people seem to sail through life’s calm waters and life’s storms, minor or raging, with a sense of direction. As if they were born with the delight of being a seasoned captain who follows his true calling with all his heart.
Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me. Because more often than not, I ask myself existential questions, especially whenever I turn a year older. I’m frequently lost, like a blind child eager to make way through the absence of sight.
Well, I may not necessarily know the answers to some of the questions, but I may be a bit closer to answering each of them as I slash another year off.
Here are mighty words I gathered that seem to fit at this time of my life.
Learn to put on your bracelets and zip up your dresses by yourself. There will be times when you will be alone.
Get on a long plane ride. Look out the window. Understand the immensity of our world. Understand your insignificance. Understand your absolute importance.
Press the send button. If you don’t say it now, you never will.
Do not sneer at happiness or roll your eyes at sadness. Be aware that apathy is not healthy.
Something you need to learn about people… If they do it once, they’ll do it again.
That pit in your stomach when he doesn’t text you back, it shouldn’t be there. No one should be able to control you like that.
Shopping is cathartic. Buy the shoes and deal with one-ply toilet paper for a while.
It will get better, but it will never be perfect. Learn to live through the small moments of happiness. When they disappear, remember they will resurface.
I promise that cookie will not change anything (except that it will make you smile).
Please, please, take care of yourself. You are everything to somebody. You are everything to yourself. That, alone, is enough.
So as I celebrate my birthday I look within to my soul to again make sure that I’m living my truth — the truth of who I really am. And I ask you to do the same. Maybe this year will be more on target.
Steady. Chill. Fun. Beautiful. Happy. Carefree. Adventurous. Epic.
This year that’s going to be me.

{ t w e n t y - t h r e e }

Some people seem to sail through life’s calm waters and life’s storms, minor or raging, with a sense of direction. As if they were born with the delight of being a seasoned captain who follows his true calling with all his heart.

Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me. Because more often than not, I ask myself existential questions, especially whenever I turn a year older. I’m frequently lost, like a blind child eager to make way through the absence of sight.

Well, I may not necessarily know the answers to some of the questions, but I may be a bit closer to answering each of them as I slash another year off.

Here are mighty words I gathered that seem to fit at this time of my life.

  1. Learn to put on your bracelets and zip up your dresses by yourself. There will be times when you will be alone.
  2. Get on a long plane ride. Look out the window. Understand the immensity of our world. Understand your insignificance. Understand your absolute importance.
  3. Press the send button. If you don’t say it now, you never will.
  4. Do not sneer at happiness or roll your eyes at sadness. Be aware that apathy is not healthy.
  5. Something you need to learn about people… If they do it once, they’ll do it again.
  6. That pit in your stomach when he doesn’t text you back, it shouldn’t be there. No one should be able to control you like that.
  7. Shopping is cathartic. Buy the shoes and deal with one-ply toilet paper for a while.
  8. It will get better, but it will never be perfect. Learn to live through the small moments of happiness. When they disappear, remember they will resurface.
  9. I promise that cookie will not change anything (except that it will make you smile).
  10. Please, please, take care of yourself. You are everything to somebody. You are everything to yourself. That, alone, is enough.

So as I celebrate my birthday I look within to my soul to again make sure that I’m living my truth — the truth of who I really am. And I ask you to do the same. Maybe this year will be more on target.

Steady. Chill. Fun. Beautiful. Happy. Carefree. Adventurous. Epic.

This year that’s going to be me.



3 Oct 2014 at 7:37 AM ∞




Life lately.
Just a bunch of travels that happened weekly which almost made me look awol from work lol (need to clear my Palawan and Brunei backlogs!)
Currently hyped over EDM and amazing how it keeps me going in the office. This one time I watched a Tomorrowland set for like four times on a single day
I would like to think that I’m on a morning shift (6am-3pm) for my own good but I feel like I’m also torturing myself during the process. I plan on going to the gym (Ha! Yes!) which entails mandatory freeing my afternoons to attend my program. Wish me luck! (Update: this Life Lately post was on my drafts for weeks now and no, I wasn’t happy about the gym thing. Nope. No. Not for me. And P.S. I am now loving my morning sched.)
Oh, wait, I cut my hair short! Why was this bullet placed last like it wasn’t important or anything? Drastic, of course it was. They say every girl’s haircut is a story — maybe true for me? More importantly though than some feelings that need to die is that my hair simply looked horrible I just had to… let go.

Life lately.

  • Just a bunch of travels that happened weekly which almost made me look awol from work lol (need to clear my Palawan and Brunei backlogs!)
  • Currently hyped over EDM and amazing how it keeps me going in the office. This one time I watched a Tomorrowland set for like four times on a single day
  • I would like to think that I’m on a morning shift (6am-3pm) for my own good but I feel like I’m also torturing myself during the process. I plan on going to the gym (Ha! Yes!) which entails mandatory freeing my afternoons to attend my program. Wish me luck! (Update: this Life Lately post was on my drafts for weeks now and no, I wasn’t happy about the gym thing. Nope. No. Not for me. And P.S. I am now loving my morning sched.)
  • Oh, wait, I cut my hair short! Why was this bullet placed last like it wasn’t important or anything? Drastic, of course it was. They say every girl’s haircut is a story — maybe true for me? More importantly though than some feelings that need to die is that my hair simply looked horrible I just had to… let go.


24 Sep 2014 at 7:40 PM ∞




I only write when I am falling in love, or falling apart. And I don’t know which one is worse.

People have always seen me as a strong person, or at least that’s how I wanted them to see me. I survive though, somehow I always do. I seemed like a solid thing but it’s actually quite frightening.

It was then that I realized that in my efforts to act strong, I had been denying myself the feelings I wanted to experience all along. I realized that the more I bottle up my emotions and suppress them, the more I deny others the opportunity to stand up for me.

I haven’t cried in a while, and not surprisingly, I bawled my eyes out the days I started to visit Church again. I can’t be strong all the time. The pain was too much to bear, the figurative nights the blackest, that light can’t penetrate the all-encompassing darkness of my emotions. I just sat down there the pew for an hour a day to ask for divine intervention. I wanted forgiveness. Recollection. Silence. Sound decisions.

Because at the end of the day, I’m still a frail soul captivated in this deep dark abyss. I would like to believe that this doesn’t mean that I’ve become a person who constantly feels sorry for herself. I’m slowly, slowly, resurrecting in the truth that there is a Greater Good that I can look up to infinitely.



23 Sep 2014 at 9:39 PM ∞






Anonymous: Ate ishel I really like you. I know you like me too(more?). Haha. :*


Someone asked me to describe home and I almost said your name but I stayed quiet instead; people expect me to say a damn place but I felt more home in your two arms more than I ever am in my own bed.

In other words, yes, I like you too. :)


23 Aug 2014 at 10:20 PM ∞