Here, you'll find some samples of Guiltless Getaways. This is where my love for travel, adventure, culture, language, music, food, arts, history and having fun come together.

I am inviting you to see the world and its people in a different light. I am not the expert but the people I come across are. My goal is to share my experience and what I saw. I consider myself as a willing road tester (so that I may get lost first before you and gladly show you the way), an eager foodie (I love convincing you to try different cuisines - and I'm so glad I was introduced to organic food through this blog), a time traveler (I love telling you to revisit the places that my elders talk about and encouraging you to remember the lost places you used to enjoy as a child) and a repeat traveler (I love filling you with experiences of places that I love over and over because the world changes with time). I want to leave a legacy and a trail that you can continue in your own journey - to live this life without regrets.

Soon, you'll get to know the beauty of Manila, the Philippines and the World.

Love,
Meloy =)

Learning Gayageum - Korean Zither Classes in Manila and Seoul

I've only been in Seoul for a few days and I'll be missing a part of school (literally and emotionally) for my trip. You see, I've been so into making progress these past few weeks with the Gayageum =D This is, by far, the closest I've been to playing an instrument and putting music back into my life. It has always been my dream to sing while playing but I've long given up hope because I've failed at numerous attempts in learning to decipher the notes in the music sheets haha. This type of Korean zither creates one of the most relaxing music for me when I hear it. Originally observed from the instrument guzheng of China, King Gasil of Gaya commissioned Wu Ruk to make a Korean version according to the stories of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. There are different kinds of Korean zithers (some up to 18 and 25 strings, more modern) and what we have for the class is the Gayageum (12 strings and more traditional). The latest good news I've received from this morning is that my Seoul homestay host has a gayageum I can practise on!!! Hihihi. I quickly asked my classmates to send me a copy of our music sheets today LOL. Now the only thing to do is schedule a house day here to play! :D Let your heart beat for the Korean zither and fall in love with the Gayageum through this post...

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I'm pretty sure the feet are not 100% correct haha.

Worst Travel Moment in Korea

There's this saying that when it rains, it pours. Well, I'm sitting a bit edgy on the plane because I happen to be going back to Seoul (Incheon Airport) today. My latest first day last July in South Korea didn't go so well and I just remembered all the horror that happened in just one day with the theme of PTB's (Pinoy Travel Bloggers group) carnival this month! Haha. I was tired, drenched, hungry and everything that could go wrong just did! I'd been preparing remedies/solutions/must-do's for the past few days just in case. I'm just saying that this can happen to you (and me again) so it's probably best to write this entry now. I think that as I increase the frequency to go back again and again to the places I love (repeat travel), the more I will encounter both good and bad travel moments in that particular place. As we put ourselves out there to go somewhere or try something new, we are bound to have these moments of unrest and uncertainty - making us remember the best actions to take for the next time we return :)

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Korea view from above - plane

Discovery Travel Through Conversations and Over Dimsum

It's amazing how a simple event can turn into a fun-filled experience. I tend to get carried away when there's talk of travel, food and culture. I'm so glad I was able to dine casually with Discovery Primea's General Manager and Director for Sales & Marketing. I just couldn't help myself but fire away my questions out of curiosity without any inhibitions (especially when they're just right beside me and the atmosphere was super relaxed). Haha. The result - an afternoon of new discoveries, food talk, new friends and excitement for the developments on Discovery Leisure Group's new luxury business hotel Primea in Ayala Avenue (opening early next year)! I was just at the Visit Discovery Travel Mart Launch at the SM Mega Fashion Hall for this. Check out how you can score 50% off weekend stays there along with other Discovery Hotels in Ortigas, Tagaytay, Boracay and Palawan this week! :)

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Discovery Primea's GM David Pardo de Ayala

Jazzy Sunday American Brunch Buffet at the Oakroom! + Giveaway

What do you do on Sundays? For some of us, it's our only alone time away from our work from Mondays to Saturdays. Is music part of your chillax day? There's a new Sunday lunch buffet concept that combines American food with live jazzy entertainment at the Oakroom until next month only! I happened to try out their buffet last week and I can only say that a combination of lunch + music + good company + travel conversations is a great way to start your Sunday =) It was like a mix of alone time and friends time in one go. Enjoy Oakroom's Jazzy Brunch selection (below) from 12 noon to 3 p.m. every Sunday until November 2014 ;)

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Where Am I Now?

How are you today? Are you on a trip or are you in the process of planning a trip? Did you experience anything awesome lately? Do you have a lot on your plate and have been absent in the present? Well, if you are, then you're not alone. Haha. This month actually marks the 4th year of this travel blog. So much has happened in those years and I want to celebrate them all this year to add to my crazy 2014 Ber months.



The Pinoy Taste Buds: What's Cooking in Philippine Food Tourism? Philippine Festival List and Kulinarya Food Trip Itineraries for Quezon, Taal, Bicol, Bulacan, Pampanga, Davao and Many More!

I just attended the latest forum The Pinoy Taste Buds: What's Cooking in Philippine Food Tourism held by the AIM (Asian Institute of Management Makati) Dr. Andrew L. Tan Center for Tourism about Pinoy food :) Representatives from the Department of Tourism, the academe and chefs were the speakers this time around. The discourse revolved around our cuisine and the various ways to include it and promote it as an integral part of Philippine tourism. I've included links and details about nationwide Kulinarya Food Trip Packages available to the public which you can use as a guide for your itineraries. ;)

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Basic Korean Language Class Hangeul at the Korean Cultural Center of the Philippines!

A couple of years ago, when I decided to feature more of Korea in my travels, I would have been satisfied just getting by using English and Mandarin (yes,some Koreans can speak fluent Chinese if they chose to learn it or Japanese as their second language instead of English ;) ) for my trips there. It was easy because of the various Tourist Information Centers all around the popular areas and the wealth of useful information online (in English) thanks to the Korea Tourism Organization. There was a point though when I wanted deeper conversations with newly found Korean friends and I wanted to understand things in their original context (like actually watching telenovelas the way they were written) instead of relying too much on translations and subtitles. This year, I've taken that step to diligently learn the Korean language Hangeul - first at the Pusan National University for the K-CLIP 2014 Program and at the Korean Cultural Center of the Philippines now that I'm back in Manila. Want to learn basic Korean language or Korean culture in Manila (classroom type with Korean teachers) once or twice a week? Why don't you read below to see if it's what you're looking for ;)

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