Notice: This entry was published 5 years ago and may no longer reflect my views today.

Alternative Title: Days Two and Three!

I haven’t had the chance to wander around and explore by myself. So far, I’ve spent my time meeting Michael’s relatives who have been so wonderful. I was afraid of the language barrier at first, but they’ve been really welcoming towards me. I should get serious about learning Chinese so I can get to know them all better without relying on my husband to translate for me. Perhaps I’ll take formal classes when I get back to the US. I’ve never felt expected to assimilate into their culture, but I feel like I should make the effort anyway.

Building clusters in Taiwan

We’re staying in Keelung, and I’ve noticed that building clusters like this one is a common sight — five or more identical buildings spread across the city. Since Taiwan is a small country, building up is much more preferable than spreading out. These are residential buildings in the picture, and I swear there’s at least 20 of them!

Flowers and buildings

A pretty picture just because~ I actually only have a point-and-shoot with me right now. It’s not a particularly good one, but I do the best I can (with Photoshop heh). I owned an SLR for many years when I blogged and took many pictures a long time ago. Both those hobbies fell out for me in college, and my little sister began using my SLR more and more. So I decided to give it to her. Now I’m back to blogging and I only have my potato camera to work with. I don’t regret giving my good camera to my sister though. I love her!

Milkmaid braids

I decided to sport milkmaid braids yesterday on our way to meet Michael’s uncle. We stopped by a salon first to give him a haircut, and the ladies wouldn’t stop staring at me. Getting stared at actually makes me feel uncomfortable. I can only feel ~fierce and fab~ when I feel safe and alone. Apparently, they also liked my voice. I hear that a lot from Chinese people which is pretty nice because others can be mean about it. I have a tiny voice and it sucks. No one takes me seriously.

Casual outfit

Striped top from SM, Old navy shorts, Forever 21 earrings, Aldo watch, Griffith purse, Predictions sandals

Comfy outfit yesterday. The top is the same one from one of my older Chictopia posts in a different color! I have a bad habit of purchasing the same clothing item in all sorts of colors. I can’t just pick one sometimes. I really love the back details on this top. I always make it a point to have my hair up when I wear it.

Helly Kitty EasyCard

Today, we went to Taipei to visit Michael’s ancestral shrines. How cute is my EasyCard? We took a bus there this morning, and all I had to do was scan this and I was set. I then used this same card to take the MRT around Taipei, and then I used it again to take a different train back to Keelung. According to Michael, all public transportation in Taiwan uses the EasyCard system. It’s so amazing and convenient! I wish this was available in Manila and the States.

Ancestral shrines in Taiwan

This hill is completely covered in shrines. We had to climb around and jump over a lot of them to get to ours. It was very steep too. Hardcore parkour!

Burning money for his ancestors

After burning incense for his ancestors, we burned some paper “money” for them to use in the afterlife. They used to burn real money in the old days, but that’s not a very good idea now so we used paper with gold foils on them.

We went to three shrines all in different locations in the city. It took us the whole day and there was a lot of hiking and climbing. One of them listed all of Michael’s ancestors as well as the generation they belong in. When he passes, his name will be added to the tomb. He belongs in his family’s 23rd generation. It’s so impressive how far back he can trace his lineage. I don’t even know who my great grandparents are.

Hot mess outfit

Mossimo top and jeans, Scene wedge sneakers, Aldo watch

Looking like a piping hot mess after all that hiking. You’ll be seeing the purse and shoes a lot these coming days, as I only brought one purse and three shoes. The top actually has a keyhole on the back. It seems I gravitate towards tops with back details as opposed to front. I might as well be a spokesperson for Mossimo since I wear it all the time.

Tomorrow, we’ll finally be able to explore around by ourselves. We’re off to Taipei again for some shopping finally!


  1. I wish you the best of luck in learning your husbands language. I also think it would be best for you to take formal classes.

    I get uncomfortable when people stare at me, too.

    You have such a lovely blog.

    Ps; new readers :)

    1. I took Japanese classes in college, and I did pretty well even though I’m rusty now (argh). I can’t learn a new language with just self-study. I need a lot of direction.

      And yes, it seems odd to be uncomfortable with attention when I have so many pictures of myself here lol, but I really do feel nervous. I geuss I only want to be looked at on my own terms, you know?

      And thank you! :D

  2. It sounds as if you’re having a good time visiting your husband’s family. I definitely know what you mean about not knowing who your great-grandfather is…I’ve been doing genealogy research the past couple years and I still barely know this. :( Your hair looks super cute in milkmaid braids, and I love the EasyCard. Is it something that has to be turned in when you leave? Or do you get to keep it? It would make an awesome, yet cute souvenir! Have fun shopping! BTW, I do the same thing with clothes…especially if I find something I really like.
    Jessica recently posted…Part of My LifeMy Profile

    1. Aww, I hope you found out someday! I’d be interested in mine, but my family moved around a lot and I don’t know how well they kept records of that kind of stuff in the Philippines.

      Yes, I keep the EasyCard. :D You load it with money and it gets deducted when you scan it at the station. Some stores even take it as payment! Very cool.

    1. Yes, there’s food everywhere! It’s awesome but it’s a different dining experience for sure. I feel the same way about Korea. I land there all the time but I’ve never actually left the terminal. :(

  3. Wow, so amazing. The shrines would be so interesting to see, and it is amazing his ancestry can be traced so far back, and it’s nice that it’s still an important thing to appreciate and honour them too. :)
    Kya recently posted…New Domain TLDs are here! :DMy Profile

    1. Yeah, it’s something I admit I don’t think about very often. I’m the type who always likes to look forward but it’s also important to remember your ancestors. If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be here.

  4. Amazing photos and journey!! I’ve never been to Taiwan so these gives me a glimpse into what it looks like or should be, so thanks for sharing the beautiful views.
    I can’t believe how close the condos are!

    I hope you the best in learning the language, I’ve no doubt you will get there :)
    Tess recently posted…Intense PressuresMy Profile

    1. Thank you! I don’t understand the language so I’m afraid I don’t know as much as I’d like. I did observe the current Sunflower Movement though.

  5. Raisa, you look fabulous & even with this potato camera of yours, the photos look amazing. Photoshop did them good! The composition of the photos is great & I love the vibrance in the photographs. Your sister is quite lucky for inheriting your SLR (analog or digital? guessing analog because you didn’t say DSLR haha)! Will you be getting a DSLR anytime soon or will you be saving up for other expenses?

    Love the milkmaid braids!! I guess it’s high time you did try to learn some Chinese to help assimilate yourself with Michael’s family, but it’ll be nice when you two decide you want kids too (if you want them) so you can teach them English & Chinese! Besides, in the future, Chinese will be quite useful if you’re in the business world. There are a billion of them so it’s a useful language to learn!

    That easycard is soooo cute. Love the HK! I get kind of flustered when people stare at me too, so don’t worry! Unless of course, I know they’re staring at me because they’re admiring me…? But then it gets award after the staring goes from 3 seconds to a minute. Don’t you just hate when you enter a room & all eyes are on you like you have a potato on your head? *awkward*

    Quite impressive that Michael’s family has such a well kept record of his lineage. Just like you, I don’t even know who my great grandma is!!
    Tiff recently posted…A Small Taste of AsiaMy Profile

    1. It was digital, I just tend to omit the D out of habit haha! I’m saving up for a Sony RX100 MII right now. I think that one would suit my current needs better.

      I am learning very very VERY slowly but surely! We’ve talked about how we were gonna raise our future kids before, and I fully support them going to Chinese school and spending summers in Taiwan with their grandparents. I do wonder how I’d instill Filipino culture in them as well. Culture-wise I had a complicated upbringing (grew up in the Philippines but my expat American stepdad kept things different plus I had a lot of peers from all over the world), so I’m not quite as in tune with my home country as he is. Oh well, kids are a long ways away!

      I guess we can always begin our family legacy with us! :D It’s never too late. I’ve never really cared about ancestry before but now I understand how important it is.

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