7 Steps for a #GUAM-azing (and Affordable) Vacation!

This is a long overdue post, so forgive me! In fact, it’s so long overdue, it’s even 30 lbs. ago — at least for me! Haha! Yaasss, friends! Meet my tamsy version — a.k.a. nung ako’y isa pang matabang sexy! Wahahahaha! But now you know that even if a lot of changes have occurred in my life in the past year, one of the things that remains consistent is my quest for adventure! Traveling will always be something I’ll do as much as I can, and I don’t need to explain myself to anyone about that. If someone couldn’t accept that, then #kthxbye! I’d rather be in the company of people who respects and understands the value of traveling (and my other values) than be surrounded by negatrons! Okay, dami ko na namang sinabiKaya nga WORDY eh! Mwahahahahaha!

ANYWAY, let’s get down to business.

When I first found out that Philippine budget airline, Cebu Pacific Air (CebPac), would be flying to Guam, United States of America (USA), I won’t deny that I got really excited! Haha! And guess what? When CebPac released their promo fares for MNL-GUM and back, I didn’t think twice and immediately scored round-trip tickets for less than Php8,000 (or around US$150 only!). Of course I was confident with that because I already had a US visa prior to booking my plane tickets, but as a rule of thumb, it’s best to NOT purchase plane tickets if you don’t have any visa yet — and this applies to ALL countries that require Filipinos to have visas, not just the US.

Now that we’ve got that covered, here are some steps I suggest you do to make #GUAMazing not just a hashtag, but actually a reality! Hahaha! 😛


First, get a US visa.

Again, I’ll repeat, Guam is a territory of the USA. And for Filipinos, it’s not a surprise anymore that going to any US territory requires acquiring a US visa! So yes, if you want to go to Guam, you must first have a US visa — no exceptions! Please don’t believe any fake news concerning US visa applications. Trust me, if you don’t see it on any of the official pages/websites endorsed by the US Embassy, then it’s probably best to NOT treat any “news” as legit.

The complete step-by-step process on how to apply for a nonimmigrant tourist visa at US Embassy Manila can be found here! And NO, I WON’T ENTERTAIN FURTHER QUESTIONS CONCERNING US VISAS! My only answer would be, “GO TO THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE!” 😉

Second, book your flight/s.

As mentioned earlier, I booked via CebPac. I’m in no way affiliated with the aforementioned airline, but I really like flying CebPac despite its sometimes “infamous” reputation for delayed flights, etc. PEACE! Besides, it’s a Filipino-owned company, and I’m all for supporting Philippine businesses!!!

There are other airlines that fly to Guam, but of course that choice will be up to you already. I call this “different flights for different folks.” Basta, book your flight/s! Wahahahaha!


Third, stay at a budget hotel.

Since we’re talking about budget travel here, I’ll suggest staying at a three-star hotel or even a hostel. I haven’t tried couchsurfing or Airbnb-ing yet because I have trust issues (HA HA HA), so next to a luxury hotel, my fallback would be an affordable hotel!


My friends and I stayed at Oceanview Hotel and Residences (which is half-hotel, half condo! haha!), and I can say it wasn’t that bad. After all, we only used it to sleep, take a shower, the usual. And the shopping malls are just a stone’s throw away! Speaking of which…


Fourth, shop ’til you drop (or not!).

Guam is known as a shopping haven (or even heaven! haha) for shopaholics everywhere — whether you prefer designer brands or outlets! Of course if you’re on a budget, you’ll stick with the latter, and that’s what me and my friends did!

GPO was one of my favorite places when I was in Guam. I was able to buy a pair of brand-new Nine West boots for just a little over a thousand pesos! I was also able to score a Michael Kors sweater for less than a thousand pesos, too!!!

Before going to Guam, I was eyeing the Tory Burch fragrance for women but found it too expensive in Manila (around Php6,000 for a small bottle). When I went to Micronesia Mall in Guam, there was a Macy’s store, and you guessed it — I was able to buy the fragrance for a cheaper price!

one of the signs inside Micronesia Mall

one of the signs inside Micronesia Mall

This mall isn’t really for budget travelers (even if it’s supposed to be “duty free shopping”), but it was the closest to our hotel — and that’s where I was able to buy a Guam-exclusive Pandora charm! Heehee!

a Guam-exclusive Pandora charm with the traditional greeting "Hafa Adai!" (pronounced as "half a day")

a Guam-exclusive Pandora charm with the traditional greeting “Hafa Adai!” (pronounced as “half a day”)

Fifth, EAT.

Because CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM!!!

Because of the interiors (haha) and their platters (chicken, ribs, etc.)!!!

Because it’s a diner-style restaurant chain that’s not yet in the Philippines! HA HA HA

  • McDonald’s

Because of their McWrap! (That I wish will be available in Manila, too! huhu)

Sixth, explore…

If you were to choose only three destinations that could fit your limited itinerary, then I’d suggest you explore three out of the four following places:

It was raining when we went to the most popular tourist spot in Guam (hence the umbrella), but we still went because like I said, it’s a “must” when in Guam. Haha! There’s a legend behind Two Lovers Point (mala Romeo and Juliet ang peg!), and you can also have a great view of Guam’s waters (for a fee, though).


And yes, you won’t be able to miss these love locks, which have become a famous “tourist spot” in different parts of the world! ❤

  • Ritidian Beach

Next to El Nido, Palawan, Ritidian Beach probably has one of the clearest waters I’ve seen in my life so far!

Guam has a lot of World War II history, and this park is proof of that. There was an event when we visited, which explains the mini flags planted on the ground.

  • Chammoro Village

The Chammoro people are the natives of Guam, and visiting their village will give you a chance to learn about their culture and even buy some of their traditional products. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to visit it because of time constraints, but I heard that it’s an interesting thing to do when in Guam so I still included it here. Maybe I’ll visit it next time!

(Optional) Seventh, meet with and make new friends!

My travel buddies and I were fortunate enough to have some friends based in Guam, and this is the part where I’d like to express my gratitude to them for being amazing “hosts” while we were there!

To Kuya Nonie and Ate Nette, THANK YOU for bringing us to places in Guam that we wouldn’t have been able to go to if it weren’t for the two of you! Hanggang sa next #GUAMazing trip namin! Hehe!

To my long-time-no-see girl friend, Jian, kaloka! It took us almost half a decade to be reunited! And this post is so long overdue that you’re already based in Chicago, mainland USA! Hahaha! But yes, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to eat, drink, and be merry with me while in Guam! Alam naaa ‘pag nagpunta rin akong Chicago! Hahaha!

And after meeting with your long-time friends, you might even make a new one on the road! Jian and I were walking the streets of Guam when we met Alejandro! That “meeting” was a really funny story to tell, but then again, that’ll be just among us three. Haha! After all, one of the good things about traveling is the priceless memories you make, which no amount of money can ever buy. Pak! Ganern!!

with our new-found friend, Alejandro

with our new-found friend, Alejandro


Have you been to Guam?
Share your #GUAMazing story, too! 🙂

Euro Trip 2017: Imperial Highlights

Time to take a break from all the #hugot posts you’ve seen and read on my blog! I’M BACK, FRIENDS!!! Back to my beloved Manila. Back to reality. Back to my travel-loving single self (MWAHAHAHAHAHA!). And most especially, back to my own kaloka and unapologetic blog writing style! That was evident in my posts from early 2012 and before! Love it, then thank you! Hate it, I. don’t. care! 😛

So what’s the topic for this one? If it wasn’t obvious enough, well, I’ll spell it out to you: E-U-R-O-P-E. Yes! Two years in a row! Even I was amazed at God’s provisions in my life despite the setback I’ve encountered later last year/earlier this year. After my UK-Ireland trip last year, I thought I’d be seeing Europe again in, say, five years? But no, obviously, God’s plans are always better and THIS TRIP was just another testament to that! I’m claiming, though, that my third Euro trip will already be my honeymoon! So future husband, you better be reading! I want to go to France and Italy for that! Don’t worry, I don’t expect it to be next year (but who knows?! haha). I won’t even expect it the following year. In that year though, I’m claiming that I’ll be in Panama for World Youth Day 2019! Maybe you can come along? Haha! 😉 After that, then I think I can start to think about settling down. “Start” being the operative word! Char!

Rambling aside (serious muna ulit!), I went to Central/Eastern Europe — the “heart” of Europe they say because this region used to be part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Not just a kingdom, but an EMPIRE!!! Did you know that the last “empire” remaining now is Japan? I went there, too, in June, and I’ve yet to write about it! Hehe! Anyway, this entry will serve as a “teaser” of what you can expect to read and see on this blog in the next few months. Since pictures paint a thousand words, I’ll let them do the “talking” for me for now until I can finally write separate blog entries for each country. In summary, I traveled with two of my sisters in a tour group to the following countries: Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Austria.

GERMANY

Munich

Regensburg

Bavarian Alps /
(Adolf Hitler’s) Eagle’s Nest

Berchtesgaden

CZECH REPUBLIC

Prague

SLOVAKIA

Bratislava

HUNGARY

Budapest /
The Danube River

Szentendre

Gyor

AUSTRIA

Vienna

Salzburg

To be honest, my pictures don’t really do justice to the actual beauty of each place we visited. And that’s what I’ll try to capture through my words in the coming blog entries. Until then! ❤

2016: The Year of Wonder, Wander, and Faith

2016. WANDERing in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

2016. WANDERing in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Ever since I started posting year-ender entries on this blog, I’ve always been amazed on how each post serves as a reminder of how blessed, at the same time, how humbled I was for the year that was ending, as well as on how each post serves as a “guide” for the year that’s about to start. Each year-ender post has its own unique “highlight” which I try to reflect on (“try” being the operative word! haha!) before hitting the “publish” button.

And this year, it’s WWFWonder. Wander. Faith. (not World Wildlife Fund, although I totally support that too!) 😉

WONDER

If there was a year that made each person on this planet scratch their head in wonder or because of WTF moments, it’d probably be 2016! Just take the “current events.” From the never-ending wars and struggles in some countries to the results of local and international elections, to Brexit, to a controversial burial, etc. — it seemed like everyone WONDERed (at least those that I know!) what the eff was happening to the world!!!

But you know, even if I don’t agree with some of the things happening now, I still believe that everything happens for a reason — just continue to pray and keep the faith that it’ll always be for a good reason and for the greater good! “Bad” or for personal interests just won’t cut it! But yes, it has truly been one big “WONDER” for all of us this year!

WANDER

As I’ve mentioned in a social media post earlier this month, 2016 was my second “travel year” — the time when I travel as much as I can using my own hard-earned money and making the most out of my work leaves and holidays. The last time this happened was in 2012 (four years ago!) when I found myself traveling to Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei in January; Bohol and Cebu in April; Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam and Siem Reap, Cambodia in May; and Hong Kong (for the nth time!) in June.

my 2012 "travel year"

my 2012 “travel year”

This year, it was extra special because I was finally able to achieve one of my lifelong dreams: travel to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (in short, the UK!) ❤ For those who are close to me, they know that I’m such an Anglophile (and British Royal Family fanatic!) and going to the three “lands” (England, Scotland, and Ireland) was really one big dream come true for me!

Wander Mika's second "travel year"

Wander Mika’s second “travel year”

But aside from that, I also went to other places I haven’t been to before (and two places I’ve been to before — can you guess which?! haha)

Anyway, it seems like my “travel year” happens every four years! So if I follow through with that pattern, my next “travel year” will be in 2020!? It’s highly likely! Like I said, one of my “secrets” on how I can go on travel sprees is pacing — which you can read all about HERE.

But you know, even if my travel years happen rarely just like the Olympics, I make it a point to travel at least ONCE A YEAR during my non-travel years. So yes, I will still travel in 2017, but not as frequent as I did in 2016! Wahahahaha!

Aside from the literal travels, though, the “wander” part of this entry also involves other things that unleashed my inner “Wander Mika” — my yearning to pursue my “impossible-turned-possible” dreams without really knowing what the future holds, but guaranteed with lessons to be learned! Hehe! This year, I also “wandered” in…

  • Starting a business

In July, I attended a basic jewelry making workshop without really knowing that it will lead to what it is today: Metallic Gems & Crafts by MGC — MGC being me! But connecting the dots backwards, it’s not that surprising because I’ve always loved all kinds of jewelry, fancy and real, and I realized that I just needed the right push to finally make it a passion project/business. So that “own a business” item on my bucket list? Consider it check! check!! check!!!

handmade, handstamped, and custom-made metal accessories by moi!

handmade, handstamped, and custom-made metal accessories by moi!

  • Registering a new domain name

In the first half of this year, I’ve rebranded my blog from The Lady Is In to Wordy and Worthy (WAW). I came up with the WAW theme more than a year ago actually, and I’m just really glad that I finally had the guts to “publicize” it, even name my blog after it. Why Wordy and Worthy? The answer is HERE! Hehe!

In fact, a few months after I decided to rebrand this blog, I got a prompt that it was my 7th blog anniversary on this site. And to commemorate that, I also officially registered the domain name WordyAndWorthy.blog (yes, dot blog — which WordPress proudly started!). So whether you type that or my main domain name, MikhaelaGeorgette.com, either way, you’ll still end up HERE on my little happy place on this big, big worldwide web! I do this whole blogging thing mostly for myself and no one else (so yes, even if nobody reads it, I’ll still continue to do it), so despite that, I want to thank you for still taking the time to read (hopefully you get something meaningful in whatever post you end up reading, btw! haha)!!! 😀

7th Blog Anniversary last December 9, 2016

7th Blog Anniversary last December 9, 2016

FAITH

And of course, the highlight of my year: my renewed self and relationship with the Lord!

Most people would probably think that my travels this year are the most memorable in my 2016 “life” book. But to be honest, you’d be surprised to know that my travels take only second place. The first place goes to the silent retreat I attended at the start of December. 🙂

In the last few months of 2016, I “struggled” with my faith. No, I didn’t become an unbeliever. After all, I know that I believed, believe, and will always believe in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The struggle I encountered was more of not being satisfied with my then “walk of faith” that instead of working harder to find my “answers,” I chose to become complacent instead. I knew that I still had the belief, but I thought that was enough. I started missing Sunday masses, almost became tired of praying, blah, blah, blah. In short, I had a lot of “excuses” — deep inside, I knew I could do more, but the enemy really was trying to make me believe that my then state was okay. My soul, as per one of the novena intentions in the Divine Mercy Chaplet prayer, had “become lukewarm and indifferent.” It could also be called sloth or something else, but the bottomline is, there was a struggle, and it sure as hell was very real!

But you know what, God really works in mysterious ways. Sometimes, things happen in our life — good things and unfortunately, bad things — as God’s way of waking us up from our ungodly way of life. This meme here from the Internet pretty much sums up what I realized:

5/7, I think.

5/7, I think.

To make the long story short, after that beginner’s silent retreat (which lasted for one entire weekend), I came out renewed and refreshed. That’s what you call soul searching! The real kind! Not traveling!

Of course I’m still human, there are still struggles in bettering my ungodly way of life, and changes for the better don’t happen overnight. But the important thing is, I’m more discerning now than before. For example, if someone has wronged me, my initial reaction before was to blow up in anger (either obvious or hidden), think of revenge, and pretty much anything that’s opposite of being Jesus-like. Now, when someone has wronged me, I still feel anger (again, it’s a human thing!), but I already take a step back, think that if I stayed angry, the only person who would be dragged down by that anger would be me and not the one I’m angry at, PRAY, and then I would slowly start to relax and release the anger — even forgive, not just the one who wronged me, but also myself.

I’ve also started reading the Bible again (which is why my social media contacts can now often read Bible passages/quotes on my feed/timeline!). In my current walk of faith, I still chose to belong to the Roman Catholic Church and supplement it with the guidance of the Light of Jesus family (e.g., Brother Bo Sanchez‘s ministries, The Feast, etc.). This is my personal choice, and each person has his/her own walk of faith, but in Catholicism/Christianity, reading God’s Word is really a must!

And again, God has reminded me that He really just “woke me up” this latter part of the year because when I saw a photo of me from seven years back (see below), I realized that reading the Bible has always been a “me” thing. I just really kind of lost my way.

Featured in Candy Magazine, July 2009 issue

Featured in Candy Magazine, July 2009 issue

So yeah, I guess now, you can say that I was a lost daughter that has been found — AGAIN. It’s easier said than done and the whole thing’s a process, but yes, I realized that it’s not impossible to feel inner peace despite all the outer chaos happening in my life. It’s really just all thanks to Him!

And there you go. 2016 has been a year of wonder, wander, and faith FOR ME. Life goes on this coming 2017. I’m grateful for all the lessons I learned, learn, and will learn along the way! As I mentioned in another social media post, in this journey called life, my own definition of “wandering” is living without knowing the future. This kind of wandering is continuous. And that’s where FAITH comes in. Luckily, in this wandering of mine, I always have the best travel buddy: God.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance." -James‬ ‭1‬:‭2-3‬

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” -James‬ ‭1‬:‭2-3‬

So yes, in all that I’ve been through this 2016 and all that I’ll go through this 2017, to God be the power, kingdom, and glory!!!

2016, signing off…

short hair_wacky

HAPPY NEW YEAR, friends!

Let’s all start 2017 with peace, joy, and of course, looove! ❤