Before 2018 ends, it is time for my year-end essay! I will compensate for my inability to update the last few months with this mega post.
Compared to the holidays of the previous years, this year is quite laid back. It was not as frantic as before.
Ayala Malls Circuit’s Christmas decoration
One of the things I am proudest of this 2018 is that I was able to make better choices for my health. This includes a change in my diet, and a better drive to exercise regularly.
Back in January 2017, I wrote of my back-to-school post. I began taking up further graduate courses in ASEAN studies, as I began recognizing the crucial position that Southeast Asia has in the region and in the world.
It was also, by coincidence, that my next employment is Asia-centric. This background in ASEAN studies will serve helpful.
UPOU’s Oblation silhouetted against the setting sun, with Mt. Makiling in the background
Time flew by and I finished the course I enrolled in. I never thought I’d attend the commencement exercises, but I decided to opt in at the last minute. Both of my parents have never attended a single graduation ceremony together, having worked overseas since 1988. Mama was able to attend, however, my graduate school graduation in 2012.
We made it in time for my graduation
For our last day in Taipei, Mon still had some last minute souvenir shopping to do. This is honestly my least favorite part. As Ximending Night Market is just a cartwheel away from the inn, Mon has already bookmarked the shops he wanted to visit.
Most of the stuff I will be giving to family and friends had been taken care of the night before. So for the morning’s adventure, I will just be tagging along. We also planned to visit a cat cafe somewhere in Taipei in the afternoon.
Last minute shopping at Ximending Night Market
The prices of the boxes of mochi were nearly the same as Carrefour. Mon also meticulously looked for small non-food items for his family. Meanwhile, I just sat outside every bench or chair I could find. Before the end of his shopping, I also bought boxes of pastries to be given to my family and his. I also used my credit card for this one-time purchase (NTD 750).
Searching for the perfect pair of earrings
By the third day, we have been already getting on each others’ nerves. This was quite expected like clockwork during our trips. Mon wanted to just rest and wait out our trip to Shifen and Jiufen via Klook, which will start by 1:30 pm. I, on the other hand, thought that perhaps we could squeeze an attraction in the morning.
Returning to Jiantian Station, the stop for Shilin Night Market, I insisted in visiting the National Martyr’s Shrine. However, there were no buses servicing the area that time, and it will take another 2-hour roundtrip before reaching the place.
Searching on Google, I looked for the nearest attraction: the Confucius Temple.
At Taipei Confucius Temple