It is also called Le Petite Prince French Cultural Village. Located between Nami Island and Cheongpyeong Lake and near Homyeongri.
French Cultural Village
It was a filming site for famous Korean Drama like Secret Garden and Man from the Stars and also for Running Man, a Korean Variety Show. There are memorabilia from the different Korean Drama in the cultural village.
Saint-Exupery and Little Prince
Aside from the picturesque French village, it is the home for the gallery of the famous French author Antoine Marie Roger De Saint Exupery.
You can check out the Saint-Exupery Memorial Hall. There are life-size images of Saint-Exupery’s renowned book of Little Prince.
My favorite spot in the cultural village is Fountain Square and the Butterfly Garden which is overlooking the Cheongpyeong Lake.
You can also go inside the different buildings and check out the decorations, art paintings, galleries and also to appreciate the European style houses.
There are special French art performances in the Amphitheater. For more information, you can check the website for the performance times.
There’s a miniature Eiffel Tower of Paris in the cultural village.
How to get there
From Nami Island you can ride a shuttle bus with the Gapyeong Tourist Attraction. It is a 15 – 20 minutes bus ride from the island bus stop. You can see the bus stop along the road. You will also see the entrance tunnel in Petite France.
Going back to Seoul, you can also wait for the shuttle bus going to Cheongpyeong Station and take the subway going back.
Nami Island is one of the favorite destinations. It is located at the Chucheon area. Nami Island is the result of the construction of the Cheongpyeong Dam.
Nami Island is dedicated to General Nami who led the victory against the rebels during the Joseon Dynasty. The tomb of General Nami is the first attraction that can be seen alighting the ferry. Carved in his tomb is a poem he wrote.
The Metasequioa road and Central Korean Pine Tree Lane is the most famous attraction in Nami. This was the filming site for the famous Korean Drama “Winter Sonata.”
The Winter Sonata park is dedicated to the memorabilias inside the park inclduing the life size image of the actors and the bike they used during filming.
Nami Island is designated as a Unicef Child Friendly Park. They are one of the 14 parks in the world and the first in Korea.
Another place is visit is the handicraft studio in Nami Island.
There are different hotels in Nami Island. You can spend a night on Hotel Jeonggwanru. There are coffees and restaurants around the area.
Another attrection is the Namipungwon Garden, home of the different plants and trees.
One of the four seasons in which Filipinos like me will not experience in my country is Autumn. My first Autumn was in South Korea.
Arriving in South Korea
We arrived in Incheon International Airport at 8PM in the evening. When we had our passport stamped, I waited for our luggage and I head to the Travel Center. I bought a ticket for the express train going to Seoul Station. When we reached Seoul Station, we took a taxi to look for Seoul City Hotel.
The driver was an old man and he had a hard time looking for the hotel. But after checking the Korean characters, we were able to find it. It was already cold in Korea when we arrived. Even the taxi’s aircon was off, and the windows were open and we could still feel the breeze of the cold night.
Seoul City Hotel
Seoul City Hotel is located in Teorgyo-gil and we were near Hoehyon Station. We were greeted by the manager Mrs. Kim and she immediately took us to our room. But before that, I talked to her on how to go to Nami Island. And she gave me maps to check and assisted me with the map guide in Korea on what to ride going to Nami Island. The following morning we had our breakfast in the rooftop of the hotel. They served Korean food and some American food. Our view from the top was buildings from the nearby establishments.
I inquired about the card to use in the station and the receptionist wasn’t speaking in English. But the guy inside the booth went to us and explained to us how to get the card and how to reload it.
From Hoehyon station we need to transfer to two other MRT Lines to reach Gaepyong station. The first transfer was in Dongdaemun, where we transferred from Line 4 to Line 1. Upon reaching Hoegi Station, we transferred to GyeongLine.
Upon reaching Mangu Station, we transferred to Gyeongi-Jungang Line. We alighted at Gapyeong Station. From the station, we went to the other side of the street to wait for the bus going to Nami Island.
The bus from Gapyeong Station is about 10 to 15 mins. Many tourists rode the same bus. Upon reaching the bus station in Bukhanganbyeon-gil road, we checked the different restaurants nearby.
Winter Sonata Cafe
My mother and I saw the Winter Sonata Café, which was on the second floor of Master Koffee. Winter Sonata Café includes pictures and memorabilia inside the restaurant. We ordered our food here and took a rest from the long ride going to Nami Island.
Getting to Nami Island
After having lunch, we looked for the main entrance of the ferry that would take us to the island. You will easily spor the immigration going to Nami Island.
We also saw the Zip line going to Nami Island. this is another option in getting to Nami Island.
We bought tickets first and then we lined up to the entrance for the 15 minutes ferry ride from the wharf. The ferry was full of different nationalities.
The boat ride was short and we were on the island, where different flags welcome the tourist. After which we started touring the island. After Nami Island you can go to Petite France.
Mentors are invited for the Annual Global Science Alliance (GSA) Summit in The New York Academy of Sciences in New York for the annual gathering of young scientists, international researchers, mentors, mentees and their parents or guardians. It is held every July and it was on its third year.
I went to New York to attend the Summit last July 24 -26. The highlight of the event was the gathering of the future STEM leaders across the globe, showcasing their projects and achievement from the different mentoring programs of the academy. I also met notable persons from the academy especially those program managers who handles the GSA and the Mentoring programs.
While the mentees were having their activities, the mentors were also invited a talk by Josh Henkin.
On the third day the mentees were also awarded with their winning projects.
I was glad that there was a lot of young scientist from my countries whom I met during the summit. There were seven from young Filipinos who attended the event.
For more information about the mentoring program please check NYAS Mentorship.
I submitted my application in September of 2018 to the website of The New York Academy of Sciences. I was reminded of completing the application by an email in which I didn’t finish. The mentorship is I cooperation with the United Technologies Corporation. One of the qualifications of being a mentor is graduate students, postdocs or professionals working in STEM-related fields with expertise in green buildings and sustainability or related topic area. Another criteria to be passionate about engaging and inspiring the next generation of STEM innovators.
I was able to complete the application and I was scheduled for an interview by another mentor in October. After the interview, my background was checked by a vendor to provide a secure and comfortable mentoring environment to the NYAS program. It took 3 weeks to finally be cleared of the background check.
In the first week of November, I was admitted to the program. I was given access to the portal. We were then given a welcome package on how to use the portal and what are the reminders of being a mentor.
I received an email that I was matched with my mentee in the second week of December. My mentee is budding 17 years old girl from Bulgaria who wants to be a Chemical Engineer. I was matched with her because I graduated with BS Chemistry in college.
We were introduced and our first meeting was in the same week. She’s a very pretty girl who is active in her hometown in different science-related activities and also with her advocacy with her community as one of the young leaders. She planned to study in a different country and she’s learning French.
There are four modules with the STEM U that will also help and guide the young generation and it was distributed for the whole school year. They are an interactive module that helps the mentee with their personality and personal goals going to STEM.
At the end of the school year, both mentees and mentors will receive their certification in being a part o the program.
For more details about the mentoring programs, you can check the website www.nyas.org
After our tour with Bohol Grand Scenery, we rested for awhile in our resort in Panglao. After dark, we stayed at the sands of Alona Beach.
Our resort is located in Alona Beach, Panglao Island. There are different resorts, hotels and hostels around Alona Beach.
We woke up early the following and waited for the boat that would take us for our island tour. The sun was rising from the horizon and we took pictures of it before going to the site for the dolphin watching.
There were so many boats on the site who was also taking a chance to see the creatures. We were happy to see a bunch of dolphins lingering around the boats. They were having their own show for the people to watch.
We then had lunch in Balicasag island.
After which we went snorkeling in the Balicasag Island Marine Sanctuary where there was a diverse marine environment to explore. It is a dive site if you go further beyond the snorkelling area.
Our last stop was Virgin Island or also known as Pungtod.
This one was my favorite island from all other islands I had seen in the Philippines because of the long sand bar. We even went to the middle of the island where the sand bar was no covered with water.DSC03512
There were vendors on the island. In his boat were coconuts, clams and sea urchins.
We went back to our resort to check out. After which we went to Hinagdanan Cave in Panglao. Stalagmites and stalactites surrounded the cave with a deep lagoon. The cave is also made of limestone.
Panglao Shell Museum
The tour ended in the Panglao Shell Museum and with us getting souvenier.
A symposium with a title of “Trends in Biobank and Genetics” was conducted last 18th of July in the Shangri-La EDSA in Mandaluyong City. It was a seminar of Technidata in collaboration with St. Luke’s Medical Center Human Cancer Biobank.
The symposium was attended by the different Hospitals both private and government hospitals and research institutions. researchers, medical technologists, doctors and scientists took part in the seminar. The rain was pouring heavily in the morning and the traffic going to the hotel was really bad, but luckily the turn out of the participants was really high.
The first part was the introduction of the Technidata corporate profile by the General Manager, Ronan Mage. The second part was the Future in Cancer Genomics and Cancer Biobank by Dr. Daphne Ang of St. Luke’s Medical Center. After the very highly anticipated talk of Dr. Ang was a snack break.
The third part was about TDGenetics of Technidata by Kristine Agustin, the Business Development Manager of Technidata before they proceed to the lunch break. After lunch, Carlo Fernandez, Technidata’s Senior Service Engineer talked about TDBiobank and had a demo. The last part of the seminar was a talk by Loraine Kay Cabral of St. Luke’s Medical Center.
The best part of the symposium was the sharing of knowledge and ideas with regards to biobank issues related to the industry and the problems that arise from the different laboratories on how to set up the facilities. The biobank is still new in the Philippines. There are many hospitals and researches who want to put up their biobank lab to preserve the different specimens to help researchers.
It was a one and a half land trip to San Antonio to Candelaria after our Anawangin trip We went to Dawal beach resort in the town of Candelaria for an overnight stay. After having lunch in Dawal, we asked for a boatman to take us to the island.
Potipot island is a 15-20 minutes boat ride from the jump-off point in Candelaria, Zambales. The Island is a small island in Uacon on the West Philippine Sea. It has fine white sand and lots of trees which shades the tourist on their camping site. From docking of the boat and the payment of the entrance fee, we went around the island starting from the left side.
There were no visitors at the side of the island. My friend Maki and I were all alone exploring this side of the island. Potipot is a very small island that you could explore within an hour.
We stayed in some part of the beach in the secluded area. After an hour we then reached the part of the island with the tourist and campers. There were nipa huts in the area and you could also avail of tents for overnight stay. But it gets fully booked. We stayed there for some time before heading back to the beachfront of Dawal.
From the beachfront of Dawal, we waited for the sunset while overlooking Potipot Island. We sat at the fine black sand on the beach in Uacon.
We went to San Antonio in Zambales during the height of Southwest monsoon. After 3 hours of driving from Manila, we reached San Antonio, Zambales and asked direction going to Pundaquit. The road going to our resort was a little rough and we also crossed a signal from a Chinese radio station with our local station.
Canoe Beach Resort, Pundaquit
After 15 minutes from the town proper, we reached Canoe Beach Resort. It is a resort with good amenities like a swimming pool, with a beautiful beachfront – overlooking Capones and Camara Islands, a nipa hut to stay and a coffee shop. The beachfront was also a site for surfers and there was an incoming event for surfing when we got there. We booked a room for an overnight stay good for 3. We then asked for a boatman to take us to Anawangin. The sky was dark on the horizon when we left the resort.
We headed to Anawangin cove with a small boat. The sea was not rough going there. As we enter the coast of Anawangin, everything was breathtaking. The rich greenish trees of the mountainous area that surrounded the cove and the white sand beach engulfed our adventurist site. Anawangin is a place for camping. There are restrooms and store for campers. We weren’t there to camp but just to enjoy the view and to swim with the waters. I love the line up of trees in the cove.
It rained while we were in Anawangin and decided to go to Capones Island after the rain. We didn’t know that after the waters of the cove as you turn left to the open sea, it was raining hard and the waves were violent. Our boat was not that big. There was a thunderstorm in the open sea, as we saw lightning struck the waters. It was scary and longest boat ride I had for a short distance journey from Anawangin to Capones Island.
It was still raining when we arrived in Capones and we weren’t able to explore the lighthouse. We were on the other side of the island. We only took shelter because of the raging waters and the thunderstorm we encountered in the open sea. After 30 minutes we went to Camara Island.
I love sand bars between waters. Camara has a long stretch of the sand bar. We stayed here for a while before heading back to the beach resort.