Thursday, October 5, 2017

TRAVEL | Our Ha Long Bay cruise experience (Part 2 of 3)

Continued from:

halfwhiteboy - halong bay cruise 29
Endless variations of these limestone rock islets along Ha Long Bay.

Bai Tu Long Bay
And so it began: the seemingly endless sight of limestone islets jutting out of Ha Long's placid, emerald green waters. Yes, it was surreal and I couldn't stop myself from snapping photos, like I had this urge to immortalize them in pictures I most likely would rarely look at again. Eventually I grew tired but every now and then there's an outcrop or formation that I found intriguing enough to photograph.

Monday, October 2, 2017

TRAVEL | Our Ha Long Bay cruise experience (Part 1 of 3)

halfwhiteboy - halong bay cruise 01
Though of course different, somehow this reminds me of that vantage point going to Kayangan Lake in Coron, Palawan.

It was an unplanned trip but in less than a week we found ourselves aboard a Chinese junk-style boat, cruising along Vietnam's famed Ha Long Bay. With 2,000 or so mostly limestone islets spread across more than 1,500 square kilometers, Ha Long is a surreal experience. Yet with such a vast number of islets there is hardly any beach here and the best way to explore the bay is aboard a cruise.

The sheer number of cruise options alone can be overwhelming, with each operator offering something different. Your choice depends on what you want. Is it comfort and luxury or are you on a budget? Do you want a bigger boat with more amenities, but which means you'll have to share it with more guests, or do prefer something more intimate with fewer people aboard? Are you in for a lesser known route or are you more comfortable with what's tried and tested, but which will expectedly be more crowded? Are you pressed for time or do you want to go full 3D/2N?

As for us, we shortlisted several options and gradually narrowed them down. In the end we settled for Dragon Pearl Junks, which offered a 3D/2N cruise aboard a smaller boat with fewer guests but with smaller rooms. Here's a rundown--albeit a lengthy one--of our experience.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

FRAGRANCE | Vial trial: Boss Bottled Night by Hugo Boss

halfwhiteboy - boss bottled night 01

I recently went through one of our drawers at home and realized I have quite a few unused fragrance samples--you know, those little vials in tiny packaging handed out by department store sales people whenever you buy fragrances from them. I thought I should use them. And review them perhaps. After all, my fragrance reviews on this blog tend to be generally positive because they're mostly fragrances that I bought, that I picked after several rounds of sniffing and trying stuff on at stores.

These samples, on the other hand, were merely given to me. I didn't choose them, so I think it would be a little fun to review stuff with which I don't have any biases to start with. Hence, my "vial trials!"

First off is Boss Bottled Night by Hugo Boss.

Monday, September 18, 2017

LOOKBOOK | 'Plaidly' buttoned up

halfwhiteboy - long-sleeved henley shirt and plaid pants 01

It's probably easier to wear a plaid shirt than plaid pants. Maybe it's because most pants are plain, so wearing a printed or patterned top doesn't really become a problem at all--unless matching colors already is a challenge for you to begin with.

But wearing plaid pants shouldn't be hard if we go by that logic on wearing a plaid shirt with plain pants. Just do it in reverse.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

LOOKBOOK | Gray day

halfwhiteboy - gloomy day outfit (gray and brown) 01

Rainy day today--with occasional wind gusts and flooding in areas to boot. While a pop of color would be nice to cheer things up a bit, I shunned all thoughts of wearing something colorful on a gloomy day. Instead I embraced the gloom and wore gray.

Monday, September 11, 2017

LOOKBOOK | Teddy bear fluffy

halfwhiteboy - khaki and maroon, fleece jacket 01

Dark skies and rain have once again held court after a very summer-like hot and sunny few days. Time to enjoy this really soft and supple fleece jacket from my favorite store Uniqlo. T'was another unplanned purchase but how can I resist its softness? It's so fluffy!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

LOOKBOOK | Vacay mode in floral and teal

halfwhiteboy - floral shirt and teal swim shorts 01

I know it's cliché but where else is it best to wear florals but to the beach? For weekend getaways and other short vacations, sneak in a collared floral shirt or two into your bag to break the monotony of your t-shirt and tank top-dominated wardrobe.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

FRAGRANCE | Penhaligon's English Fern: Classic and dependable

halfwhiteboy - penhaligon's english fern EDT 01
English Fern is my first bottle of Penhaligon's.

Despite my penchant for fragrances, I still know very little about them, brands included. Case in point: my discovery of Penhaligon's, which I've never heard of prior to that time I walked into Adora in Greenbelt 5 and caught a few sniffs. I guess the fact that their fragrances are not as ubiquitous as the likes of Ralph Lauren, Davidoff, or Bvlgari explains my ignorance. But just a couple of spritzes and I already fell in love.

Penhaligon's is a very old brand, dating back to 1870. It's also been awarded two Royal Warrants that they proudly display on their fragrances's packaging. With such a wide selection available, it was hard to pick my first bottle. Eventually, though, I settled for English Fern.

Monday, September 4, 2017

LOOKBOOK | Brown and cerulean blue

halfwhiteboy - brown and cerulean blue 01

We probably all know that brown and blue are perfect together. This mix, however, is often associated with navy or dark blue clothing and brown leather. It's a classic. But how about other shades?

Here I tried brown with a light cerulean blue shade. I probably wouldn't have thought of it if not for the shirt's print. It was an aha moment for me and I immediately remembered I had pants in almost the exact same hue. Perfect, I thought.

Friday, September 1, 2017

TRAVEL | The once famed Hinulugang Taktak of Antipolo: There's hope

halfwhiteboy - hinulugang taktak antipolo 01
Still beautiful in its own right.

I first learned of Hinulugang Taktak from Araling Panlipunan (Social Studies) textbooks back in grade school. From what I remember it was a popular place where people can actually bathe and swim. There's even a folk song called Tayo na sa Antipolo (Let's Go to Antipolo) where this waterfall is prominently featured in its lyrics.

Too bad I've never seen Hinulugang Taktak during its glory days because as urbanization spread, houses and establishments gradually inched closer towards the waterfall and the waterways that feed it, dumping sewage and garbage in the process. Sad, I know, considering the place is declared a national park.
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