Wednesday, September 17, 2014

First Anniversary Travel: Ben Thanh Market, HCMC ( Vietnam)

By: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda - Isidro

Modern 1st Anniversary Gift: CLOCK 
(4) Picture by the Ben Thanh Market's clock at the entrance.
On our first night in Saigon, we walked around Cho Ben Thanh (or Ben Thanh Market), a large market area in the central tourist district of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It is one of the earliest surviving structures in Saigon and a very popular symbol of Ho Chi Minh City. In fact, it is said that you have not been to Ho Chi Minh City if you haven't been to Ben Thanh Market and have not taken pictures by the belfry and the clock at the entrance. At night, the market is at its liveliest, with all kinds of colorful food stall parasols, fruits, shirts, bags and other souvenir items being sold there. It also turns into a giant food court with all tourists converging there to try Vietnamese local cuisines. 

Traditional 1st Anniversary Gift: PAPER
(5) Origami / Kirigami Art Pop - Up Greeting Cards 

Abounding at the Ben Thanh Market are unique and interesting handmade three - dimensional pop up greeting cards made by Vietnamese by combining the techniques of Origami (Japanese traditional art of paper folding) and Kirigami (paper cut-outs in English, or the art of folding a sheet of paper a few times and then cutting a pattern to reveal its silhouette). There are several creations which are made of stark white paper which emphasizes the shadowing effects of the cuts and folds. Most of the designs involve Vietnamese architecture such as Saigon Ben Thanh Market, Notre Dame Cathedral, Vietnamese in bicycle, occasions such as weddings and holiday seasons like Christmas, Valentines, etc. I bought the Wedding Day and Ben Thanh Market design 3D - greeting cards for $5 as symbols of our First Wedding Anniversary.

Wondering what our First Wedding Anniversary Gifts 1 - 3 ? Please click Airline Tickets, Travel Insurance and Boarding Passes.

First Anniversary Travel: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam & Paper Gifts!

By: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda - Isidro
Our Exotic Holiday Coin Bank, Passports and PAL Boarding Passes 

As a travel buff married to my hubby who hasn't been anywhere out of the country, we agreed that we would always celebrate our wedding anniversaries (September 21) by taking a trip together at anniversary time. Early on, we drew up our vision board and save up every P5 and P10 coins in our exotic holiday coin bank. We know that the money we save up there, would not be enough to cover the cost of our annual trip. But seeing the coin bank gives us a daily reminder of the romantic getaway ahead of us and that builds up the excitement!

Border Land Crossing Map showing
Vietnam - Phnom Pen & Siem Reap (Cambodia) 

So for our first anniversary trip, we decided to travel to Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon, the second most important city of Vietnam, from September 17-23, 2014. I have been there before but we found a qualified company engaged in the manufacture of Virgin Coconut Oil and made arrangements to visit their plant. But aside from being able to combine business and pleasure, Saigon also has a overland border crossing thru Moc Bai / Bavet to Siem Reap, Cambodia, a place that I had always dreamed of visiting. 

Traditional 1st Wedding Anniversary Gift: Paper
Anniversary Trip Gift: (1) Philippine Airlines Round Tickets MNL-SAIGON- MNL and 
(2) PAL Travel Insurance

PAL In-Flight Meals & Beverage from MNL-Saigon & Saigon-MNL

Although we booked our plane tickets only two (2) weeks to go before our date of travel, we were still able to score a pretty good deal with Philippine Airlines  All - In- Round Trip fare. For only $250 each, our ticket comes with a Complimentary In-flight Hot Meal and Beverage and a Twenty (20) Kilo Free Baggage Allowance both ways. This assures my hubby a good meal while on flight! 

We also availed of "PAL Travel Insurance", especially designed for Philippine Airlines passengers departing from the Philippines and underwritten by Prudential Guarantee and Assurance, Inc. For only $23, the PAL Travel Insurance is one paper gift that allows us to have a complete peace of mind when unexpected things happen at unexpected times during our travel. The PAL Travel Insurance gives us: 
  • Coverage for medical expenses due to accident or sickness during your trip
  • 24-Hour Emergency Medical and Travel Assistance
  • Protection for non-refundable travel expenses if your trip is cancelled
  • Payment for delayed flights and for lost or damaged baggage
  • Travel accident protection

Indeed, we can Worry Less, and Travel More!

Traditional 1st Wedding Anniversary Gift: Paper
Anniversary Trip Gift:  (3) Philippine Airlines Online Boarding Pass

At the PAL Web Check - In Counter in Tan Son Nhat Airport in Saigon 

My hubby was all smiles when I told him that we can check in on our own and print our own boarding passes at home (or at our hotel when in Saigon), at least 24 hours to 2 hours before our flight. Philippine Airlines has a web check-in facility that allows us to check in our luggage and select our own seats long before we head to the airport. It is very easy to use, and assure us that we are seated together, which is the only way for love birds to fly! 

For more First Anniversary Travel, you may click Ben Thanh Market in Saigon, Vietnam.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Breakfast Cereals on Ice Cream: Another Similarity in Differences!

by: Mhe-anne Ojeda - Isidro

As a newly married couple with completely different taste buds, I am very enthralled at finding another way Red and I could enjoy the same food together. Cereals on Ice Cream!

Cereal is a food made from processed grains usually eaten for breakfast with milk and fruits. My hubby Red loves this American bedrock breakfast meal and regularly buys the Kellogs Frosted Flakes or Frosties! On the contrary, I haven't eaten cereal since I was young because I am lactose intolerant and can't have milk. But since our "cereal" differences isn't so conflictual, we haven't really paid much attention to it for almost a year since we got married. 

But a few days before we hit our first "adjustment" year wedding anniversary, I am happy that we have a chance discovery on how we can enjoy cereals together. For dessert the other night, Red sprinkled the cereals over our favorite rocky road and double dutch ice cream (and topped with marshmallows). I initially thought it was odd to have those "cereals" on my fave frozen delight, but after tasting it, I scream "Yummy"! The cereals are crispy perfect for ice cream!  Now, I don't see anymore eyebrow raising when Red includes the Kellogs Frosties in our weekly grocery list because "They're GR-R-Reat!"