Memories of Yudanaka

The way to Yudanaka

We have arrived at Yudanaka Station after having an amazing 50 minute of watching the beautiful mountain sceneries through the windows of the train from Nagano Station. There were apple farms, colorful and breath-taking landscapes. I didn’t even realize that we have arrived already at our destination. 

The Japanese Lifestyle

We stayed our first night at Hotel Yudanaka, where we have experienced a very unique vibe. I had the chance to wear a kimono and sleep on a Japanese bedroom.  

Yudanaka is a very preserved yet friendly little town. For dinner, we went to Japanese GOEN Restaurant and enjoyed delicious soup and yakitori where I had the chance to make a my own chicken meatballs with vegetables and finish with noodles and Sake to add a little bit of character. 

The next day the hotel served us their Japanese breakfast–which I didn’t like that much because I normally don’t favor pickles for breakfast–( but coffee was good!) After breakfast, the accomodation normally include free ride to the Snow Monkey Mountain trip.

On the way back you’re gonna have to take the bus that leaves atleast every 1.5hrs but we preferred to walk to see more of the little town. 

Along the way, we passed by a brewery that opens around 11am for tasting, a buddhist temple and (my favorite of them) the small street adventure with so many little Japanese stores and restaurants along the way. If you are also looking for ATM, you can find it inside the post office. 

By the way, the snow welcomed us when we arrived but the next days, the weather got more dry and sunny which made our trek to the snow mountain easier. We finished the night with a bath at the hotspring inside the hotel which was also very interesting to try. I had to be naked with all the other women and enjoyed 10mins of relaxation. 

The Snow Monkeys

Female snow monkeys live together while male snow monkeys only join the group when during mate season. They stick together to keep each other warm especially during winter. Just like humans, they are very protective of their children. 

A night to remember

We decided to have another night in Yudanaka and moved to another hotel called Shimaya. It was owned by amazing old Japanese couple who were bery accomodating and always try to help out to make every one of their guests trip easier. It was atleast 5-10mins walk from the station. Just like the other hotel, it also had a Japanese style bedrooms. We went to Takayama for dinner, a local restaurant very close to the Japanese GOEN (all walking distance). When we entered the restaurant, there were only locals. The vibe was super authentic Japanese. 

We ordered another Japanese soup which turned out to be the food for Sumo wrestlers. (But ofcourse smaller serving good for 2). It was managed by old Japanese Couple as well which the chef was the husband and the wife was the one taking care of the service. Before we left the restaurant, I had a photo only with the chef because the wife was too shy to join the picture. 

The group of Japanese guys came over to us after eating to give us a basket of fresh apples from their farm. It was so kind and sweet of them. And just like the other night, we reserved the hotel’s private ONSEN (hotspring), a 3 minute walk from the hotel to bond together since other ONSENS don’t allow couples to be together and we had the whole little cozy place for the night before going back to the hotel. It was such an amazing and unique experience. The cold weather and the hotspring, the wonderful mountains, the amazing culture and food, everything was worth it. 
Arigato Yudanaka!

The Beauty of a Lisa Crosswhite

“She is amazing in every way. I am inspired by her attitude towards making her visions come to life, for believing in me and for seeing the beauty of everything through her heart.”


Who is Lisa Crosswhite?
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Lisa Crosswhite is one of the most remarkable women I have worked with. She is the CEO and founder of Gnossem, a retail business and later on founded her own brand, Chi Chi Von Tang, both based in Singapore. She started sketching fashion collections when she was nine but she was trained in Political Science and literature. As an artist and someone with such excellent background, there is no doubt she was able to execute extra-ordinary results. Her love and passion for Asian beauty and its diverse design heritage is the inspiration behind the brand Chi Chi Von Tang.

The Burma collection

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I walked for the show and chosen to model for the look book and cover of the website wearing the latest collection of Chi Chi Von Tang inspired by her travel in Myanmar where she lived with four different tribes. Burmese women are known for their strength, sophistication and mysterious way of living… so is Chi Chi Von Tang

The latest collection was made of fine silk, cuprous, highly textured linens and leathers. bag-2

9-3.JPG5721d9e162d90SHOP THIS LOOK!

Working with Lisa Crosswhite
First impression, Bad ass!

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Where on earth can you find a woman with such beauty, brain and mad skills? She’s a Founder and a CEO, she owns a unique brand, trained in Political Science and Literature but still with genuinely beautiful heart? She is amazing in every way. I am inspired by her attitude towards making her visions come to life, for believing in me and for seeing the beauty of everything through her heart.

Follow her Instagram: @myessentialself @chichivontang




It’s not happiness that we need, there’s something else.

“There are splashes of milk moving in slow motion across the sky. The water is alive and it’s coming back and forth like it’s showing me a simple philosophy in life. It feels like I am back in the old days when my eyes were still focused and I see the colors of the world clearer and more vibrant. 

    I was sitting in between the pink sky and the green mountains. The whole universe is smiling at me. I am satisfied.”

My happiness were theirs. It was when I wasn’t capable of giving anything but gratefulness when everyone was joyful. The only time I didnt forced people to be happy around me by giving them something or making up for their struggles. All I had to do was to have fun. I felt grateful about everything and it gave me happiness I didn’t have to take from someone else. It was all coming from me and it was contagious. Every one started dancing as I danced and even laid down on the sand.

I was watching the clouds. Even the trees are like saying hi. I even thought about how lucky are these trees in between the oceans and the mountains. They are able to contemplate all these beauty.

It was when I thought everything’s  so perfect that there was actually more to come. There was only gratefulness inside me and I didn’t know how I’m going to keep all these memories in one day.

This lady started dancing with us while she was watching us. Everyone who watches us started dancing.

I understood what lesson the universe left me that day.




And it is about gratitude that make people happy.


No matter how big or small things are in front of me, if I am not grateful, I will never be happy.

I also learned that I cannot take happiness out from myself and give it to someone else. Happiness must come from me first. I can only show people where its coming from. I cannot give it.

I’ve found a beautiful place without looking for it. I had most remarkable time of my life when I didn’t ask for it. I had everything I didn’t ask for, and I’m grateful to have had it.


      If you want to find happiness, find gratitude.
Follow @realsurfph

Photos from @patejercitado

Forney: Filipino Women as sex objects in Asian Ghetto, Ansabeh??

I was trying to search Filipino characteristics and ended up on a blog describing Filipino women as sex objects and other more insulting comments coming from this God-looking guy. I was like.. What the Fuck? SMH.

captured from my camera from Matt Forney's blog.
captured from my camera from Matt Forney’s blog.





Filipino women are a blend of Spanish, Japanese and Chinese. They are claimed by the western men to be the best Asian women because of their Oriental and Spanish blood. They cook amazing dishes and can speak very good English. Foreign men marrying a Filipina would always have money issues with the families because of their sharing culture. They were raised to be compassionate and selfless.

Filipino culture even though we are still on the process of developing our laid-back characteristics makes our women easier to fall to among other women. First it’s not only that Filipino Women are naturally caring and passionate about their families but also possesses natural attractiveness that makes them more magnetic to men who are exhausted of women being obsessed with all the gender equality issues and motions, riding carousel horses.

Women all over the world possesses remarkable qualities like intelligence, independence, empowerment or in short the ‘modern woman’ climbing the corporate ladder. Most men prefer to settle with women who value families and motherhood. Filipinos can make great wives as I have met lots of Foreign who are happily married to their Filipino wives. They say Filipinos can create happy homes as western men adore them by their natural attractiveness, fertility, sharing and caring qualities. They gentle-spoken and try to be by no means of dispute just to avoid having arguments in public because it’s not very lady like. Filipino women were taught at home and at school with proper manners and right conduct that’s why they are very polite and kind. Values for Filipinos are very important. 

Filipino women give until they have nothing left for themselves especially when it’s for the sake of their families. Even though every women strive to live the women’s dream of independence in the Philippines, Filipino women look for every ways to help families get out of the chaotic life. Filipino women are not greedy and still keep this laid-back Filipina characteristics inside them like being on-hand taking care of the family and letting the males be the male as they need to be. Filipino women will do anything for their children even if it means working abroad cleaning toilets or taking care of strangers living in a more fortunate country.

Most Filipina women can easily fall to men who are passionate, sincere, caring, and dependable despite of the age gaps. Filipino women fall to caucasians because they make them feel beautiful and they give them new definition of love, they take care of them, they help them get up, they bring them positive hopes in life and treat them as a woman. In return, they do their best to be the best wives, they thank and love them, serve them with all their heart. Who wouldn’t fall to a man lifted you up like you are a precious gem that was placed in the mud? It’s not easy to teach the heart. Some people just couldn’t help but to judge every couple who have big age differences together. Wake up, there are prostitutes and gold-diggers everywhere. It’s very mediocre to think that some people actually believed they are better just because they are living in a society with full of hypocrisy. Society that set rules and limit them to do what other people are not scared to do.

We are different but we are not better. Above all, Filipino women just like any other women, they also also make decisions that a lot of people won’t understand. It’s the society who wants to understand everything in the world and scared of the things that they don’t understand.

And I’m a Filipina, I’m proud to be one of THEM.