JAPAN 2017: 7D6N Kyoto-Osaka-Nara Itinerary

We just got back from our trip to Japan last week and I’m so excited to share with you guys our itinerary that I planned and used during the trip! First of all, we decided to not get a tour for this trip because you know, Japan = Everything is Expensive!!! So my mom gave this task to me and my sister, Dana, to plan everything out and be the tour guides because she doesn’t like to study for it anymore. This made me really excited because I always wanted to make our own itinerary and for once, be in charge (and maybe to prove to my parents that we can travel on our own already? Haha) 

You might be asking how I found the time to plan this? I started doing it last January, during our Christmas break. I was supposed to do it with Dana, but she’s busy with school and I didn’t have anything to do for a week before school starts, so I decided to do it on my own.

It was really hard to research everything. I read from different travel sites, blogs, instagram and watched vlogs to find out which places are a must-go for tourists. I even googled every place to locate it in the map and find the route from our AirBnb to every destination! For those of you who are travelling to Japan with family and  loves adventures, then this itinerary is perfect for you! I’ll be posting another blog of our Japan trip for more details and tips so please do check them out 🙂 Meanwhile, here’s a little preview of our itinerary 🙂

DAY 1: KYOTO

1. Arrival at Kansai International Airport

2. Travel to Kyoto via JR Haruka Express – Tip: You can buy the JR pass valid for 1 day worth 2300 yen than 2850 yen (One-way). You can read more about the JR Haruka here.

3. Arrival at Kyoto and check-in in our AirBnb – Tip: Rent an AirBnb because you will definitely save money than booking a hotel especially if you are a big family.

I highly recommend Cheiko’s Apartment ! Aside from its good location and neighborhood, it really exceeded our expectations! The place was very comfy and cozy for a family of 6. It is fully furnished and very clean. Plus Cheiko is a really accommodating host! Make sure to check out her apartment. 🙂

4. Familiarize yourself with the neighborhood – check out nearest convenience stores, restaurants and bus stops.

5. Rest! 

I also included destinations such as the Golden Pavilion/Kinkaku-ji Temple, Ryoanji Temple and Ninnaji Temple for our first day, but since we arrived late in the afternoon and had trouble finding our AirBnb, we weren’t able to reach it before closing time.

DAY 2: KYOTO

1. Go to Arashiyama 

2. Arashiyama Bamboo Groves 


3. Tenryuji Temple

4. Kimono Forest

5. Togetsukyo Bridge6. Monkey Park**

7. Lunch

8. Travel back to Kiyomizu-Dera Temple

9. Walk through the streets of Higashiyama District ( Sannen-zaka and Ninen-zaka streets) to reach the Kiyomizu-Dera Temple

10. Yasaka Shrine**

11. Gion District

DAY 3: KYOTO – OSAKA

1. Fushimi Inari Taisha2. Nishiki Market**

3. Nijo Castle **

4. Kinkakuji Temple/Golden Pavilion

5. Depart for Osaka through Rapid Express

6. Arrival at Osaka, Check-in at AirBnb

Here’s a link of our AirBnb in Osaka. It is very convenient especially if you’ll be using public transportation to explore Osaka. It is near the Matsuyamachi station, just 2 stops away from Shinsaibashi Station and 4 stops away from Namba station! If your feet are strong, you can walk from here to Shinsaibashi to shop and Dotonbori to go on food trips!

7. Dinner at Shinsaibashi

DAY 4: OSAKA CITY TOUR

1. Osaka Castle2. Osaka Museum of Housing and Living

Just a short reminder that the museum is closed during Tuesdays and Holidays. We went there on a Tuesday so we weren’t able to go inside but there are lots of stuff to see inside! You can dress in a Kimono and walk through recreated old town streets of Japan!

3. Tenjinbashishuji Shopping Street

This shopping street is just beside the Tenjinbashishuji Station and Osaka Museum of Housing and Living. There are a lot of drug stores, convenience stores, food stalls and other merchandise!

4. HEP Five Ferris Wheel

5. Hankyu Umeda Main Store**

6. Grand Front Osaka**

7. Umeda Sky Building

8. Dotonbori

9. Tombori River Cruise 

 

DAY 5: USJ

1. Universal Studios Japan 

2. Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!!! 

 

DAY 6: DAY TRIP TO NARA/SHOPPING DAY

1. Travel to Nara

2. Kofukuji Temple**

3. Nara Park 

4. Todaiji Temple 

5. Travel back to Osaka

6. Shopping at Dotonbori, Shinsaibashi, and Ebisujibashi – Recommended places: Don Quijote, Tokyu Hands, Daiso, GU, 3 coins store

 

DAY 7: DEPART TO MANILA

  1. Travel from AirBnb to Kansai International Airport

Our itinerary changed a bit because of the rainy weather so we had to move our USJ trip the next day. We were also not able to visit some of the places (I placed an asterisk** on them) because our feet were too tired and we were not able to wake up early during some of days. If you have the luxury of time, I highly suggest you visit them because they are famous tourist spots as well.

Comments are very much appreciated! This is my first time to share our travel itinerary so I’d really love to hear from you on how I can improve on this. Thank you so much! ❤

Day 1 of 7: Arrival in Japan + Tips on Travel Passes and Accommodation

 

 

Travel Vlog: ILOCOS NORTE!

I apologize for not updating so much on this blog. I do try to post some of the happenings in my life but Med is just a pain. Anyway, I’m now sharing our travel vlog from our trip in Ilocos Norte last December! (I know, I’m 3 months late haha)

I used our Go Pro Hero 5, which was a gift from my parents last Christmas, to shoot this video and edited it using the Quik app. It’s my first time to use this editor because I used to edit through iMovie and decided to just give it a try. 🙂

Trip to the North from Jena Dominguez on Vimeo.

It’s 2017 and I’m still broken

Despite having a lot of precious moments in 2016, it came along with feelings of hurt and regret. The feeling of emptiness and loneliness were just  few of the things I’ve felt throughout the past year. And as the new year came, I’m afraid that I still haven’t let go of them.

I didn’t want to blog about something sad, but I guess this is one way of letting it all out. Just wanted to blurt out everything that saddens me and makes me feel helpless of not knowing how to get through with them.

It makes me sad whenever I put effort in things, but not get appreciated.

It makes me sad whenever I see the things I gave to people, just being put aside, never used.

It makes me sad when I give time to people, but get ignored.

It makes me sad when other people get mad/annoyed at me when I didn’t do anything wrong (not that I know of).

What’s worse is that they don’t have the guts to tell me so.

It makes me sad when someone’s holding a grudge on me.

It makes me sad when people leave me out of the group.

It makes me sad when no one notices my efforts.

It makes me sad when I am underestimated.

It makes me sad when I’m being put aside.

It makes me sad whenever I see my ugly face in the mirror.

It makes me sad when I lose a friend, and not knowing how to get them back.

It makes me sad when my presence is not worth your time.

It makes me sad that I lost so many things for the past year.

It makes me sad that all my efforts of saving were put to waste. (Goodbye, 4k 😦 )

It makes me sad when I put all my efforts in studying, but still not get good grades.

And the list goes on.

I still manage to put a smile on though. Still thankful for my family and friends even if they were a big part of why I feel this sadness.

This year, I will try harder and be better. When one door closes, another opens. It’s time to take new challenges and bigger responsibilities, and push all the negativity away 🙂  #NewYearsResolution

B4 Goes to La Union

The past 3 weeks had been so stressful, I was literally counting down the days before our Christmas vacation/Sembreak. For the first time in forever, we finally pursued our plan to go to La Union! I was so happy when my parents finally let me go, even if I was the one who made the plan in the first place haha!

Our 3D2N trip to La Union was budget-friendly since we didn’t have to pay for our accommodation (+ some of our other meals!) We were warmly welcomed by Francis’ tita, who took care of us the whole trip.

For the first day, we embarked on the Farinas bus headed to Laoag at 6AM.  It was a long bus ride since we didn’t pass through TPLEX I think? So the usual 4-hour ride to La Union, became 7. It didn’t feel like it took 7 hours though because we were all knocked out throughout the bus ride (I blame the 3 weeks of exams we just had hahaha). 

As we arrived at the house, we settled down first, had our lunch, then headed to the beach, which was just 5 minutes away! I didn’t swim though because I had my period then (bad timing!!) but of course I will not pass surfing! It was my #1 reason for suggesting La Union as the destination of our trip. I was really looking forward to surf again after more than a year!

We just enjoyed our time at the beach since we had nothing planned for the day. We stayed there for 2-3 hours and then headed back to the house. And that’s when Mark, April and Megan arrived too! Now we’re complete! 🙂  After that, we just played the guitar and sang along using the karaoke mic I brought 🙂


After dinner, we went to Surf Shack to chill and have some drinks. Of course, Celine and I ordered the non-alcoholic ones! Glenn, David and Celine even sang on the open mic! Hahaha It was quite embarrassing since they were not prepared at all but who cares right? None of the people there knows us anyway! It was a fun moment 🙂 And that’s how our first day ended. I wouldn’t elaborate more on the other happenings since they were a little personal hehe

 

On our second day, we had Tangadan Falls and Surfing on our itinerary. We woke up at 5:30 AM to have breakfast and then made our way to the falls. It took us a 30-minute tricycle ride to the entrance and then 1 1/2 hours to reach the falls. The trek was indeed very tiring, but the view was incredible once we reached our destination. It was amazing! We even had the falls to ourselves!


We enjoyed the cold water, swam here and there and even rode the balsa to go under the falls! It was so refreshing! Even though the water was very very cold, it won’t stop us from taking pictures and enjoying our wonderful view!


We also climbed to the top of the falls and discovered a smaller one where we can actually cliff dive! It was only I think 20-30 feet high? Not that high, but since it’s my first time to try cliff diving, I didn’t hesitate to climb the rocks. All of us tried it, so yeah #SubsecGoals!

Our trek back only took an hour since we didn’t stop for rest or anything. We went straight to San Juan Surf School and had our lunch at one of the restaurants nearby. We rested for awhile and then it was time to surf!

Alec, April and I planned to take the lesson for 2 hours since 1 hour is bitin for us, based on past experience. The massive waves made me feel more excited than ever! But since it was too big for beginners, we transferred to a different location. Oh! And we were able to get a discount since we were a big group. Normally, it costs 400 pesos for 1 hour of surfing (includes the instructor + surf board), but we got it for 350 pesos.

First batch to surf was me, Alec, April, Celine and Glenn!

Next batch was David, Mark, Chiara, Megan and Francis!

After an hour of surfing, I was too tired from drinking too much water and paddling/breaking through the big waves so we decided that 1 hour was enough. :)) It was still fulfilling though, because we were able to experience these waves which were only present during the -ber months.

 

After a very long and tiring day, we still had the energy to push through with our bonfire by the beach! We divided the group into 2: the bonfire group and the drinks/snacks group. I was part of the bonfire group along with Alec, April, Celine and Glenn. We proceeded immediately to the beach after dinner to set up the fire and it was exhausting! I didn’t expect that it could be this hard to build a fire with just a few wood and charcoal as our materials. After at least 30 minutes, we were able to start it. It wouldn’t have been possible without April and Alec’s perseverance. Haha! We had a few drinks, sang our hearts out using the portable karaoke and of course, had an open forum (parang retreat lang ang peg!) Anyway, that part’s personal so I won’t share any of it here. It was getting scary around 11:30PM because of the big waves and our bonfire already died too so I suggested that we go back to the house already. And that’s how our second day ended. 🙂

The next morning, we had our breakfast and got ready for our beach photoshoot! We even went to a resort nearby for a better view 🙂 And after that, it was time to say goodbye! We went to the bus station and waited for a bus that can accommodate us. It was a long ride home once again (almost 8 hours!). We rode a jeep to UST and then parted ways. Celine and I had dinner in McDo, while waiting for my GrabCar. But nobody picked me up :(, so I just took a jeep back to the condo. 🙂

 

It was very tiring indeed! But I had a lot of fun with my B4 family. It was one of the best ways to end the semester with new memories to treasure! I hope this is the start for more adventures with them! (sana payagan ulit ako hehe)

WONDER NOTES – Start Med School with a Bang!

One of the things that made me busy this vacation is because of a new business endeavor that I co-founded with Celine. I’ve always wanted to do business. I’ve already started with Coco Manila, an online shop that my cousins and I own. We basically sell clothes and make-up. But since all of us are busy with our schedules, we are not that hands-on with the business.

Celine and I always talked about putting up a business. And since we’re partners when it comes to making reviewers, we finally decided to share them to our fellow aspiring physicians through Wonder Notes!

We had a difficult time thinking of a good name for our notes. Celine suggested Wonderwoman notes, but that’s too long and a little close with the existing SuperSubsec Notes by MSE. So I told her, why not just make it Wonder Notes? 😂 And here’s the result!

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Our reviewer is composed of topics from Anatomy (Embryology and Clinical Anatomy) and Biochemistry (1st-4th shift/51 topics). It’s basically a compilation of the reviewers/notes we made and used during our freshman year. Some topics are contributed by our friends, then most are written by the founders 🙂 We offer it in colored printing + with tables and figures for easier learning!

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This is all made by our own efforts, from the editing to printing down to the binding. I was in charge of the editing and printing that’s why it took most of my vacation (I’m stuck at home, printing 😭😂). Meanwhile, Celine took care of the advertising, communicating, and binding. 🙂 Big thanks to MC (Celine’s BF) for being our supplier and driver too! Haha

Hardwork and perseverance is put in every copy so we would really appreciate it if you wouldn’t photocopy/reproduce this in any form 🙂 If you were able to grab a copy, you can comment below and tell me what you think! I’d be really glad to accept questions and suggestions 😉

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Support System

Med school can be really tough, to the point where you’d already want to give up and you tend to forget why you pursued this in the first place. Of course, some people couldn’t handle the stress, pressure and failures, so they give up. But most medical students are fighters. Even though they were used to having good grades during Pre-Med, it doesn’t make them automatic achievers in Med. This is a different arena. People here are the best of the bests. So you really need to keep your pace up, and not let yourself get left behind.


I entered Med school without really having a clear picture of how life-changing it would be. At first, I thought it was not too different from when I was a Nursing student. I’ve heard a lot of stories about Med, but I failed to imagine how they really go through their everyday lives. But then I realized, this is Post-Graduate School. Things are really tough here. I think I was taken aback by the sudden change and how fast pacing everything was. Even though this is already post-graduate, our attendance in class are still graded, our schedules were fixed from the start till the end of the semester (every activity per day was already scheduled even before the semester started), and we still had quizzes for almost every day of every week. This is way more intense than Pre-med.

My first semester went really fast, and I was only able to adjust after 3-4 months. I know, that was a very long adjustment period. But 3-4 months is not enough. I still tend to lag at times. I still fail my short quizzes, I still get depressed from my small failures, and I still compare myself to my classmates who again, are the  “chosen ones”. The best among the rest. But that’s not a bad thing. You just have to get up, forget these failures, and move on. Because if you keep on getting saddened by your failing marks, that would continue for forever and you wouldn’t be able to recover yourself up. And this took me 4 months before I told myself to get a grip and learn to move on. I kept myself motivated. I told myself that this is just the beginning. More challenges will come, but I will get there. I just have to keep pushing myself, and never ever give up even if times get rough.


Of course, another factor why I was able to adjust and handle all the stress was because of my support system. I am very, very thankful for these people because I wouldn’t be where I am now without them. These people really helped me believe in myself and kept on cheering for me as I go through the toughest days/weeks/months of my life as a first year Med student. I’m sorry for a very lengthy post 😅✌🏼

MY B4 FAMILY

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Although it was also difficult to fit in with this group, eventually they became like my new family. We’re together 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 4 weeks in a month, doing everything together from reports to case discussions down to recreational activities. I’m glad that I became part of this family, and I’m still looking forward in getting to know each of them more and spending more years together until we achieve our childhood dreams and become professional physicians one day. yay!


SMEGS

Smegs is what we call our college barkada. Even if we graduated from Nursing already, we still keep in touch and hang out on our free time. When they visit me, we usually eat. That’s why most of the pictures above were from our eat-outs. 😂  They’re willing to cross traffic just so I can join them for lunch/dinner! 😢

I am very lucky to have this set of friends because whenever I’m with them, I can be myself. I can be silly, I can be a bully, I can tell my jokes, I can laugh my heart out. Life is so much easier to handle with them. 😊


MY CONSTANTS

These people deserve a special mention because they are the best! Whenever I needed to forget about all the stress and just let all my frustrations out, they are the ones who were by my side. I think I don’t have to say out all the things they’ve done for me. All I know is that they have a special place in my heart and that I’ll always treasure the times we’ve shared. 💕

YANA

My B1 💛 We’ve been together since first year Nursing and I’m glad that I have her with me in Med school. The first few months would’ve been very difficult if it weren’t for her. I get to know new people because of her. We also try to motivate each other as much as we can haha

JEM

My very makulit and loving friend. She’s the one who constantly asks me to meet-up for lunch or do random activities together. Whenever she craves for Ababu, Makchang, and Erra’s Ramen, she would kulit me to come with her. Hahaha Most of the time, she’s the one sharing stories of her work and love life and I’m there to listen and give advices 🙂

FRAME

This girl deserves a special award. She really is my shoulder to cry on. Whenever I’m having a bad day or had an argument with someone, I’d get a text from her saying “I miss you” or sometimes a text saying that she’s craving for Makchang or Pepper Lunch or BonChon (those are our favorite restaurants), and then she’s there to save the day! We’re both very emotional so she also cries whenever I cry. Hahaha

DYLAN

My review and lamon buddy, consistent supporter and forever date 😜 Even if we argue sometimes, he doesn’t fail to comfort me when I’m at my worst state. Despite my annoying attitude and mood swings, he’s still there to cheer me up. 🙂


MY FAMILY

Of course, the last but not the least would be my family. They’re the reason why I’m pursuing this career and why I’m here in the first place. Without them, I would be nothing. Even though I only get to see them during the weekends, it makes me feel good whenever we are together. Even if we have ups and downs, I’m still thankful that we’re complete, happy and healthy 🙂 I’m very lucky to have such supportive parents and sweet, loving sisters. They’re the ones who understand me well, even with my very sensitive and emotional self.

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My Bambang Haul

It’s been soooo long since I posted my last blog. I’ve been very busy in my “summer” vacation (not really summer because it was June already). Anyway, I’ll try to share what I’ve been up to and hopefully finish it before school starts again!


First thing I would like to share would be our trip to Bambang! I am very fond of buying school supplies/materials, so I can’t help but share this. 😁

In preparation for our Medicine 1 course, we were required to buy Med Bags. These contain the paraphernalias that we would use when doing physical examination as well as other consumables. Severel sororities/fraternities have been offering these med bags for 1,200-1,400 pesos each, excluding the stethoscope, sphygmomanometer/BP cuff and pulse oximeter. But my Mama and I decided to just visit Bambang and buy these stuff ourselves. (Tipid! 👍🏼) I included the pictures and prices below for reference 🙂

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We went to Mac Tycoon (Bambang branch) because my Mama’s friend told her that they sell cheaper there compared to the smaller stores. For the list of things to buy, I followed the one that the sors/frats were offering. These are the MUST-BUY’s

  1. Tuning Fork (without bell) – 170 pesos
  2. Reflex Hammer (with brush) – 170 pesos
  3. Allen and Irving Penlight150 pesos (You can buy a cheaper penlight which costs 60 pesos only. I decided to buy this one because it has pupil sizes and a ruler)P1300193
  4. Retractable Tape Measure – 25 pesos
  5. Digital Thermometer – 60 pesos
  6. Masterguard Sterile Gloves – 10 pesos/pair
  7. Tongue Depressor – pesos each
  8. 1-inch Micropore – 35 pesos
  9. 1/2-inch Micropore – 20 pesos (I wasn’t sure about the required size, so I just bought both sizes)
  10. Cotton Balls*
  11. Alcohol*
  12. Visual Acuity Chart – (This wasn’t available on the stores that I went to, so I wasn’t able to buy one)
  13. 6-inch ruler*

*I didn’t buy these because they’re available at home. Haha

Higher years recommended that we don’t need to buy the Med bags anymore because a belt bag would be much useful when we have our hospital duty. But if you still like to buy one, it only costs 150 pesos 😉 If you total everything on the list, it would only cost around 640-750 pesos!! 


Some of the things that I bought were not required. I just bought them because it can be very useful during missions and also because I still have my old ones I used during my Nursing days (such as penlight, thermometer, stethoscope and BP cuff/sphygmomanometer). These are the NOT REQUIRED ONES:

Yuwell Infrared Thermometer – 1,800 pesos (Okay, so this is not the recommended one to buy. A regular thermometer will do. 🙂  But I got this one because again, it’s very useful during missions and our hospital duties in the future).

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Pulse Oximeter – 900 pesos

Some brands cost 1,200-1,800 pesos, but they all work the same so I just bought the cheapest one I could find. And of course, I had to hunt for a pink one. Hehehe

Welch Alynn Otoscope/Ophthalmoscope (Single-Handle) – 13, 800 pesos

This is usually required to have as a group, but I decided to buy my own because this would be very useful on our Starkey Missions in MMI.  It can be both an Otoscope and Ophthalmoscope.

 

And there you have it! I hope this helps when you buy your stuff for Med 1. If you don’t have time to go to Bambang, you can just buy the ones offered by the sororities/fraternities. But if you’re nagtitipid and would like to save that money for other stuff, then this would be a good reference 🙂 Like I said earlier, this is not the required list of things to buy. You can buy a cheaper kind or a different brand, it depends on you. Just make sure that it can last long so you won’t have to visit Bambang often. 😄