Hello, again. 

Let’s catch-up a bit and Vasquez Rocks pt 2

Hello my dear little neglected space in this abyss called the internet. It’s been a while, and I’m so sorry for neglecting you! (Kinda…)
I started off this personal blog with somewhat a vague vision to share my travel experiences with you. But in a world where everyone is pretty much doing the same thing, I didn’t want to just create for the sake of creating. And to create without a purpose would also bother me…

But just to keep you guys up to speed of what’s happened to me this past nine months since coming back home from South Korea:

  • I’ve started, quit, and started a new job.
  • Traveled to Cebu, Philippines for two weeks while a war broke in the southernmost island (Marawi, Mindanao).
  • Hit up Napa Valley, California for a weekender.
  • Began MBA school. #CLASSOF2019
  • Made new friends through my friend, JR, and had a ton of fun taking them to new places.

Although I do my best to keep everyday interesting, the weekend adventures are what I look most forward to.

Take for example, this past weekend…

If you’re not familiar with the place already, let me introduce you to a place out of this world: Vasquez Rocks. Located about an hour from Los Angeles, you’ll find yourself wanting to sing the Lion King theme song (or is it just me…?). 

To give it more of an added effect, you can climb to the highest tip and pretend you’re Rafiki holding up baby Simba… just an idea…

Personally, I would suggest coming here late in the afternoon, close to closing time. Based on the times I’ve been there, there tends to be less people and it’s just amazing when you and your friends just own the place for more uninterrupted photo shoots. Plus, getting there for golden hour is an extra win.We tend to associate SoCal to Disneyland, LA, and Hollywood. Even I, myself, have fallen into this trap. It isn’t until you allow your curiosities to take you to meet new friends who would open wide your world and introduce you to new places and spaces that would make you realize: there’s more to SoCal than what meets the generic storyline we’ve constantly watched on screen.

It’s either that, or I missed the memo that we’re supposed to keep these beautiful spots a secret.

Lantern’s at Jinju

A photo journal of my trip to Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival.

Last weekend, I had an amazing time hanging out with Melissa, Julian and Julian’s former student, James, at the Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival. Wished that we had more time to see everything (and the fireworks !!!!).

Overall, the short trip wasn’t disappointing.

– A
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For the past 24 years of my life, I’ve received nicknames from family, friends, and schoolmates. Some of them are unique whereas others are just… random with no connection to who I am. These nicknames do reveal something about myself as an individual. Well, some do at least.

  1. Dimple. Since my birth, this name has always been a part of my identity. How did I get the name? I was told that when I was born, I had about 18 dimples on my face (I must’ve been one chubby baby). Thus the name stuck with me. It was so that I didn’t even know what my real name was until I entered elementary school. Although I knew that Dimple was just my nickname, I never used my real name until my family emigrated to the U.S. Then, I became Arve. I’ve always thought that this nickname was my Philippine identity, whereas the name I now go with is my American me.
  2. Harajuku Girl. Back in high school, when I was part of the show choir, my friend Vallene Karamoy (now Mrs. Hasibuan) and I spent so much time together. It got to the point that our show choir leaders noticed. Apparently, we’d always be walking into our rehearsal room together and would always be spotted together around school. Our leaders dubbed us as the Harajuku Girls for our “twin-like” and inseparable habit. And also because we were both Asians…
  3. Agave. The most randomest nickname of all. This came from my best friend’s ex. Apparently, my name reminded him of “agave.” Go figure. Because of that, my best friend, Nadinne, became Nektar – dubbing her and I as “Agave and Nektar”.

Have a nickname? What is the story behind it? Share with me!

– A


I’ve accomplished 17 days out of the 100 Happy Days Challenge.

Day 1: Happiness is… smiling big because you’re surrounded by one of your favorite things: flowers.

This challenge was the rage a couple years ago and was begun by the 100happydays foundation. Their goal is to make the world a happier place. The foundation claims that 71% of those participating in this challenge failed to accomplish it, due to time. In a world that is fast-paced and quick to look for the next, up and coming thing, it’s no wonder why such a small percentage were able to accomplish the challenge.

The foundation challenged the internet world with one question:

Can you be happy for 100 days in a row?

Like the 71%, I started to do this challenge about two years ago, and failed on the 46th day.

So, for the past 17 – going on 18 – days, I’ve been challenging myself to find the things and moments that make me happy. It doesn’t matter whether they are big or small, pertaining to one’s self or towards others, as long as it makes you happy in a healthy and positive way. I say healthy because there are many things that could make us happy. However, such happiness is bad especially for our mental, physical, and spiritual health. I seek to find things that invigorate me positively and healthily in those three aspects.

Day 11: Happiness is when you successfully get your students to enjoy the class material you’ve planned.
Day 17: Happiness is having a brother and (future) sister whom I could talk to.

So here’s to restarting the #100happydayschallenge.



P.S. Check out my #happyarvedays on Instagram! I hope it makes you smile!



Places and Spaces to Be In: Boseong

Who doesn’t like adventure on a gorgeous and sunny day? On top of that, be surrounded by green tea! When Bruce, a friend who happens to also be my student, invited us for a trip out with his girlfriend – Chad, Maddy, and I definitely had to say “Yes!”

Aside from Nami Island, Boseong County is a definite go-to spot if you ever visit South Korea. It not only gives you great views and fresh air, but also is an amazing break from the busy city life. The only downsides to visiting this place are that it has made me miss NorCal – especially the Napa Valley – and that it isn’t a walking distance from my apartment. A girl can only wish.

Before heading to this lovely place, I took some time to sit down and learn a bit of history about the place and how tea made it’s way over to this side of the earth from China. Most of the information was from Wikipedia (don’t judge), Boseong County’s main website, and from this blog. Learning the historical aspects of a location before and during the trip allows me to enjoy and appreciate the visit to the plantation. Sadly, our trip was too early for us to participate in tea picking as the event usually falls on April. But at least it gives me something to look forward to in the future, eh?

Directions to Boseong: here.