23 April 2011


Me upon reaching Marina Bay: Where did the Merlion go?! (Panic, is that you?!)

J: May hotel na siya.

A: Oh. Sosyal!

Above: The Merlion Hotel temporarily houses
the half-fish, half-lion Singapore landmark.
Taken during our April 2011 trip.

Above: Merlion Park
from our Feb 2010 SG trip

From the Straits Times: "The 'hotel', a 100 sq m luxury room built around the Merlion, is actually an art installation by Japanese artist Tatzu Nishi. It has been commissioned specially for the Singapore Biennale, which will showcase local and international artworks from March 13 to May 11. The biennale is organised by the Singapore Art Museum.

The Merlion Hotel will host overnight guests from April 4 to May 5 at $150 nett, though daytime visitors can walk through for free for the duration of the biennale. Only 32 nights were available for public booking, with the rest set aside for winners of contests held by the biennale organisers or for sponsors and the media.

The suite can accommodate two adults and will be operated by The Fullerton Hotel. It comes with a double bed, bathroom, amenities, as well as a dedicated Merlion Butler. Overnight guests will also get a complimentary breakfast at The Fullerton Hotel."

Above: Imagine sleeping with the Merlion!
Visitors can walk through, for free, from 10am-7pm.

Above: The Lioness
(Yes, that's my zodiac sign.)

Above: Love the interiors!

Above: Your gorgeous view from the bath tub --
the Singapore Eye, the Arts&Science Museum,
the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

Unfortunately, the hotel was already fully booked so kahit gusto ko sana gastusan for the experience, di na pwede. Anyway, naaliw ako sa idea -- pwede laruin ang landmarks nila. They're not too de kahon after all.

22 April 2011


April 22 is Earth Day.

Our biggest green contribution: being childless by choice.

What's yours?

If you want to read more on this, here are my past entries:

May 2009: No kidding!

Sept 2009: FAQs

Jan 2010: Green Minded

21 April 2011


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Robert Indiana's "Love" at Taipei 101


One of our recent weekend musts: meals at Trattoria Gourmet, 5F Shangrila Plaza. We love their soup, salad, pasta and pizza -- consistently good Italian fare! So glad to have them in the neighborhood (we're really blessed with a winner condo location!).

On weekends, the place is usually filled with families enjoying the buffet. We prefer ala carte and sitting on the tables outside the resto (not exactly al fresco because it's inside the mall pero may umbrellas pa rin, haha), perfect spot for people watching.

A few of our favorites:

Above: Minestrone Soup
Tastes so healthy with all the vegetables & beans.
Above: My favorite Four Cheese pizza in Manila!
Around Php300 for the "round" serving.
Above: Insalata di Ricotta (around Php195)
and Melon Shake (around Php60)

What we also love but have not photographed: the fresh bread with liver pate and pesto (appetizer on the house), their Pasta Arrabiata and Pizza Marguerite (this is what we order on our "Vegetable Days" -- yes, we try to have Veg Days at least once a week.).

What we love about Trattoria: So homey. True to its name. Not as "commercial" as the other pizza-pasta places. It has the same vibe as another gourmet favorite, Uno.

Buon appetito!


Thirteen years after graduation, I say
U.P. Diliman's Beach House pork BBQ
is still among the best!
Dragged J to U.P. the other day. We had a total of six sticks of the Beach House's super famous BBQ, with rice, ginisang monggo, salted egg and tomatoes. Dessert: dirty ice cream from one of the parked carts at the Faculty Center.

I don't remember how much the BBQ costs when I was still a student. Now, it's Php25/stick. Sulit pa rin.

Why is the canteen called the "Beach House" e wala namang beach? Until now, hindi ko alam.Am I the only U.P. alumni clueless about this? (Uh-oh.) I'm asking Manang next week. (Yes, we're going back!)

When we were still living in QC, we were often in U.P. for jogging, running and fishball dates. Now that we're in another city, pwede pa rin naman dalasan! *wink*

16 April 2011


Came across the very inspiring commencement address from Steve Jobs. Allow me to share excerpts of it --

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.


No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

-- Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios,Commencement Address at the Stanford University on June 12, 2005


Something we've never done during our past SG trips: watch a movie. So finally, we did it! We chose the Bugis Junction's Shaw Cineplex since it's nearest our budget hotel. It reminded me of the old Robinson's Galleria. Hopefully, next time, we'll get to try Singapore's more first world movie theaters, haha.

Above: Our tickets
SGD9.50 each (approx Php313.50 each)

We watched Morning Glory. I've been waiting for its Manila run, sa Singapore ko inabutan. Bakit ko inaabangan? I have a silly dream of working for NBC's "The Today Show" someday. In the movie, Rachel McAdams works as an Executive Producer of a flop morning show. And eventually, she gets an offer from The Today Show! *Kilig*

The movie was entertaining enough. But we were disappointed with the ending -- yan talaga ang choice mo?! NYE. Pero aaminin ko, tumatak siya sa akin. "Morning Glory" reminded me why I said "no" to a recent "offer." Sigh.

Rachel McAdams' character: "Only my job is not my whole life."

Good morning, every one!

15 April 2011


As we celebrated our 7th Wedding Anniversary at the Universal Studios Singapore, one of the many television jingles written by my dear hubby J started playing on my head--

"Ang buhay parang pelikula
Written, produced, directed by
Tayo rin ang nasa starring role
Ito ang buhay ko..."

Above: real-life movie lovers

Experiencing movie magic was overwhelming. Especially for me. I'm such a fan of everything film, TV and showbiz.

I was like a little kid, super thrilled to be walking down Hollywood Boulevard, New York, Sci-Fi City, Ancient Egypt, Far Far Away, Jurassic Park and the jungles of Madagascar! Same feeling when I entered Hong Kong Disneyland. Ganito ata talaga pag adult ka na nakatapak sa amusement parks, haha.

Thank you, J, for agreeing to go. I know this is so not you. But again, pinagbigyan mo ako. Buti na lang you also had so much fun! =)

memories from Universal Studios Singapore

Bulol at the Universal Studios Singapore;
Me with Melman, Marty, Alex, Gloria;
park maps, film clapper board, film reel container;
Revenge of the Mummy
indoor roller coaster ride entrance;
New York yellow cab;
Me with Frankenstein;
Far Far Away 4D Adventure

Above: Am I supposed to be
at the New York public library?

Above: Two-thumbs up!
Amazing sound stage experience
at the "Lights, Camera, Action!"
hosted by Steven Spielberg.

Above: Mel's Drive In

Above: Chili burger meal x 2
plus Vanilla milk shake for me.

Total = SGD25.50
approx Php841.50

  • Easily got our one-day weekday tickets online. Only SGD66 (approx Php2178) each. You simply print out the PDF file, present at the entrance, have your tickets' bar codes scanned; and you're in!
  • We loved The Mummy's indoor roller coaster ride! Sa start, akala namin pambata, at simple lang. But no, it's not for the faint of heart! May additional fear factor for being indoor dahil ang dilim! Wala ka nang makita so hindi mo alam what's next, saan kayo papunta, how would the ride go. I screamed my heart out! And sa official ride photo, I looked so scared! Hahaha!
  • The Far Far Away 4D film viewing was fun. Be ready to get wet. Pag may wind sa eksena, you'll feel it too! Makiki-horse ride ka rin, hahaha! Aliw.
  • Ang galing nung "Lights, Camera, Action!" hosted by Steven Spielberg. Be blown away as an empty sound stage becomes the setting for a major hurricane about to hit New York City -- right before your very eyes. I wished there were more sound stages to experience. Bitin.
  • The park's small enough for a one day visit.
  • Hi-tech lockers. (Walang ganun sa bundok namin.)
  • We didn't try all the rides and attractions. Too pambata or too scary (for me) or too mainit na. OK na kaming umikot. Sulit na.
  • It's hot anywhere in SG, lalo na sa outdoor amusement park. So dress accordingly. Bring an umbrella and fan (or buy from the shops).
  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • If you come in early on a weekday, wala masyadong pila. The crowd thickens after lunch.
  • Check the show schedules so you can work your itinerary around them.
How to get to Universal Studios Singapore via train:
  • Take the purple line or North-East Line of the MRT to Harbour Front. Then go to Level 3 of Vivo City Mall for the Sentosa monorail (SGD3 round-trip ticket).


Since we have no time and budget for Incredible India yet, dito muna kami sa Little India, Singapore. The sanitized version of the real thing, hehe.

We've been to Singapore a couple of times. But for the first time we decided to stay in Little India (You may consider Hotel 81 Dickson. Around SGD109 / night. Queen-sized bed, aircon, cable TV, hot/cold shower. Stay away from the other branches, especially those located in the red light district of Geylang.).

We've taken photographs of the Hindu temple (Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple) and the colorful shophouses before so hindi na yun ang kinuhanan namin ngayon. This time, we were more attracted to visuals of every day life.

Above: We call this
"Little Boy Blue in Little India"

Above: The colorful residence of Tan Teng Niah
Must be one happy person, eh?

Above: more of the blue wall
I like this shot, mine.

Above: At the market,
we were greeted by very familiar sights.

Above: garlands galore

Above: dried chili, anyone?

Of course we tried Indian cuisine. Below are a few of the super spicy meals we had. (Sometimes, we're too hungry na to take photos.) As expected, hindi sila nagtitipid sa anghang! I actually took a photo of hubby J sweating like crazy over his chicken meal (was it chicken masala?). As in, naligo sa pawis! But I'm not posting it, I love him too much. In Little India, I ate with my hands, feeling local. J requested for spoon and fork.

Above: My curried shrimp with vegetables was very spicy!
Wanted to eat more kasi masarap pero at one point, di ko na talaga kinaya.
Kahit gusto ko pa, tama na.

How much?
J's chicken set plus
my shrimp set
and 2 Coke
= SGD 12.40 (approx Php409.20)

Above: This is where J sweated it out!

Sa sobrang saya niya (he loves spicy food), he had a little chat with the owners of Aravind's Curry after our meal. He expressed his appreciation of their food. And the Indians were asking naman where we're from, how long we were staying in SG, etc. It was so interesting for me to watch these men do their small talk despite the language barrier (the owners were not really comfortable speaking in English but they tried). Aliw.

Above: We were disappointed with Meera's curry.
Where's the kick?!

My meal: Fish Set Meal
White rice, 2 vegetables, onion raitha,
papadam, fish curry, masala mutton & pickle
SGD 5.50 (approx Php181.50)

J's meal: Chicken Set Meal
White rice, 2 vegetables, onion raitha,
papadam, chicken curry, masala mutton & pickle
SGD 5.50 (approx Php181.50)

Here's another highlight of our stay in Little India -- We were there when India won the Cricket World Cup 2011. Indian men, including police officers, filled the streets (I know someone who'd be very scared of this sight, hehe). They watched the game from the pubs' TV screens. Imagine the pandemonium that night! Loved the energy.

Above: India vs Sri Lanka
on the pubs' TV screens

I wanted to take photos of Little India's colorful bangles and saris and their gorgeous gold (naglalakihan sa stores!) but I was afraid mapapagalitan ako. Next time.

09 April 2011


After our 12-day Singaporean food trip, we missed...

J: buko juice
(Pinas' buko tastes fresher, sweeter, yummier. And is cheaper.)

A: pork binagoongan
(But since my Ma's away, Recipes' version will do for now.)

A: Jack 'n Jill Chippy
(Ordered one during our CebuPac flight back to Manila. Couldn't wait!
I didn't like the SG chips I tried.)

Dahil sa inyo, we're glad to be back. LOL!
What Pinoy food / drink / snack do you miss most when you're abroad?

06 April 2011


Date venue: IKEA Tampines, Singapore

Date plan: Ala-500 Days of Summer
To play house in every room set-up, hahaha!


photo from Wikipedia


What do you call people who claim to dislike you and yet they:

1) Check your space, your pakain, your meetings and projects, where you are, how you've been, what you're wearing, where you live. (Obvious naman kayo!)

2) Stalk you on FB. (Huli ka!)

3) Read your blogs. (Hello po!)

4) Can't stop talking about you. (Thank you for the time and attention.)

So this is how Enteng Kabisote feels like. "Hi, Fans!"

05 April 2011


Condo Living in the eyes of children...

My baby sis when she was six, viewing our condo's model unit years ago:
"Why would you want to live in a hotel?"

Made us LOL.
To a six year old, a condo unit and hotel room are one and the same.
Magkasingliit kasi! Hahaha!

My four year old niece on our current unit:
"Tita A, you must be rich because you live in a condo. Your building's so tall! And you even have a pool."

This made us laugh even harder.
Sana nga, Dear, but no.
Mayaman lang sa pagmamahal. Hahaha!

Enough commercial break.
Now back to looking up at real estate ads.

03 April 2011


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed
by the things you did not do
than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain

One day soon perhaps I'll be able to write about this little adventure hubby and I are taking. But not yet. Not now. It'll be part of our "world of two" muna. =) I don't know where the roads will lead us but I'm glad to be here, with my dear Life Partner. (Thank you, J, for holding my hand every step of the way.)