Thursday, December 3, 2015

Lost in Beijing

I've been busy as a buzzing bee flying from one flower to the next in search for the sweetest nectar. Too busy, that even taking a peek into my blog needs to be rostered for duty. I won't lie that I've been so caught up at work but never have I stopped savouring every journey. Re-visiting my first Wonder of the World makes the best way to mark my half-a-year now living in Doha. Forgive if my upcoming posts are a bit dusty from my archive! 

One of the best and unforgettable layovers I had happened in Beijing - Home to one of the World's Wonders. I am above and beyond to share this experience with the loveliest crew anyone could have with onboard. Girls from every corner of the world, from totally different backgrounds but sharing the same flame was truly Godsend! We were the self-proclaimed #ChineseSheikhas representing The Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Kenya, Romania and Serbia. The flight bound to Beijing gave me the gift to view the Himalayas in broad daylight. That alone was a #HappyMoment right there. 

Upon reaching the hotel, us girls had already arranged with the concierge for a bus to take us to The Great Wall and The Forbidden City. Haggling (more like, bargaining and negotiating) is highly recommended in China. With just 4 hours of sleep, we were out and about! 

The Great Wall of China  

But first, The Great Wall of China. Surrounded with the most beautiful of landscapes I'd only seen in movies before like Mulan and Kung Fu Panda. The trees, mountain ranges, lakes and the simplest sight of flowers (or cows) made our hearts flutter - for people coming out of the sandpit. But that was just the cherry on top of the cherry. Beijing's weather was perfect on a mid-October's day. We took a Cable Car ride up the Great Walls seeing the thick foliage beneath our feet and the empty sky above us - and there I was - making it on top one of the Seven Wonder's of the World, standing strong for over 600 years. I couldn't have felt more alive and grateful. A lot of tourists still make their way to this landmark which is part of human history. I think going up is as exhilarating as going down The Great Wall thru the Tobaggo Slide ride! A good 20mins. sliding downhill on a cart with only a stop-and-go stick shift made me feel like a Happy Kid again! (Caught in video!) 

The Forbidden City

Seeing the entrance gate to this historical place brought me back to the days I saw it printed on my SIBIKA or HEKASI textbooks. The suddenness made me feel walking into and being part of history. We appreciated the Chinese temples, palaces and the Imperial Garden housed within. Beijing is also where we found the most fluffiest and fat feline and canine friends which brought wearing fur to a whole new level! Getting lost in Beijing with just a few hours for minimum rest and bearing in mind you have a flight (to operate) got our hearts pounding. Not to mention the language barrier to make things a little bit more exciting. We found (lost) ourselves in the massive Tiananmen city square and saw the palace by misadventure. That has made the sweating and experience all the more worth it.

Getting back to the hotel was a whole other story when the car won't start for us! As our flight was just a few hours away, we couldn't stay put and went on to grab a taxi - sleeping there like a baby out of too much adrenaline and exhaustion. Only to find out later, our flight is (thankfully!) delayed for another hour. Time and again, things do happen for a reason.

That leaves me ecstatic than ever, for I have only 6 more Wonders of the World to go! :)

Saturday, November 21, 2015


From my dusty archives and impatiently stored in my drafts... Finally I share with you - Morocco has long been a dream country to me mostly because of Marrakech. The rich art, heritage, topography and it's people have a magnetic effect on me. By living in the Middle East, I've met and made a few Moroccan friends who just enliven my desire to see this beauty. Morocco is a destination I've been bidding for. Funnily, other crew won't 'bid' for this flight. Which makes me... a weirdo. (Haha!)
Luckily for me, I was granted my request twice! Consecutively! With our service flights into Casablanca - a city unknown to me - where all I knew was it's my gateway to Morocco. On my first arrival there, I got down with a flu during Eid season. And I did absolutely nothing, but rest and heal myself in a foreign far away land - Panadol, a bottle of water and a book (The Nightingale) kept me company. Since then, I've noticed the French influence in Morocco is ever-present. People in the Concierge would answer my calls in Francaise, and I try to throw them my broken French as well. HAHA!

For the second time, Casablanca has not disappointed! My Pinay co-crew and our lovely Taxi driver - Nour-eddine - were Godsend! After a quick shop for souvenirs at the Souq, we bumped into the most friendly Cab driver who was more than happy and enthusiastic to show us around his beautiful city - in his distinct Moroccan/French accent. With a handy map in his little red Peugeot, I knew we were in for a road trip.

1. Souk De Casablanca - souvenirs from Morocco, a variety of souq finds, and made-in-chinas. Don't forget to bargain!

2. Hassan II Mosque - known simply as "Big Mosque", the second largest mosque in the world (as introduced by Nour-eddine), with a towering minaret, built in Islamic Arabic details in an area that made me feel how big the world is again and situated next to the coast - was a breath of fresh air. Alhamdullilah!

3. Corniche - there's no other word that comes close to describing it as gorgeous. And knowing that I'm at the tip, caught in between North Africa and the Mediterranean, this is my closest encounter with the Atlantic Ocean. 

4. Notre Dame du Lourdes Church - stopped by to whisper a little thank you.

5. Old and New Palace in Habous - visit and see Morocco being the Royal Kingdom it is.

6. Les Fleurs - our last stop at the restaurant near our hotel for some authentic local food and I made sure I didn't miss out on a tender and yummy veal meat cooked in Tagine - a traditional Moroccan dish.

From Moroccan Tea, to Tagine, to Argan Oil - She was all sorts of surprises and nothing short of beautiful. Maybe the reason I flew back-to-back Casablanca was because I was down (with flu) the first time and needed to come back. Maybe.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


Another month has gone and so has another roster been done! It gave me a whole lot of thrill to actually salubong the month of September in Melbourne, OZ! My first destination in Oceania and first Ultra Long Haul flight with a crew rest experience onboard. I was very ecstatic to land in Australia – the home of some of my favourite bloggers namely Kim Jones, Gary Pepper Girl, Tuula Vintage and Margaret Zhang - the few influencing/inspiring ladies whom I've been following around. But with my phone camera broken (and my ONLY camera) at that time, even I felt a bit down to go and explore the city. However, with a wonderful stroke of luck, my fellow Pinay crew now-turned- good friend – was way more a photographer than I consider myself and loves to be in front of the camera for #selfies! Thanks to her GoPro Hero 4 (which I should invest on my own very soon.)

God, really has a way of doing things. What I loved about Melbourne is how they were able to marry the urban life with nature. Just within the vicinity of our hotel, I felt like we had explored and seen much of what this bustling beautiful city has to offer on a crisp cold day. In just one day! We were right at the heart of Melbourne’s city centre where everything was a walk away and picture-worthy for us to stop for a photo op. Allow me to chant - Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!

1. Yarra River – right when you step out of the hotel we were staying in and across was the Crowne Casino where we had a selection of food chains for dinner.

2. Polly Woodside – a showcase of Melbourne’s sea port life with everything navy installations.

3. Melbourne Exhibition Center – (where we took most our photos!)

4. Graffiti Walls – these works of art are actually spread across the city, so there’s no chance to miss it.  

5. Eureka Skydeck – get a vast bird’s eye view of Melbourne from the 88th floor on top of Eureka. I found you!

6. Flinder’s Street – our desire to stop by this striking architecture brought us to the famous Flinder's Street which was actually a train station.