31 October 2011


An inspiring read. Thanks, N!


The other night, I had a conversation with a young woman who had a number of decisions ahead of her, one of which was whether she should go to grad school or travel the world.

I told her to travel. Hands down. No excuse. Just go.

She sighed.

“Yeah, but…”

Never were more fatal words spoken.

Yeah, but… what about debt?
Yeah, but…what about my job?
Yeah, but… what about my boyfriend (or dog or car or whatever)?

“Yeah, but…” is pernicious. Because it makes it sound like we have the best of intentions when really we are just too scared to do what we should.

It allows us to be cowards, while sounding noble.

Most people I know who waited to travel the world never did. Conversely, plenty of people who waited for grad school or a steady job and traveled still did those things — eventually.

Be careful of the yeah-but. The yeah-but will kill your dreams.

I was so stirred by this conversation that I shared it with a group of about thirty young adults last night, many of which are asking these very questions.

The life you’ve always wanted

When you get older, life seems to just sort of happen to you. Your youth is a time of total empowerment.

You get to do what you want. As you mature and gain new responsibilities, you have to be very intentional about making sure you don’t lose sight of what’s important.

So if you still have a reasonable amount of control over your circumstances, you should do what really matters. Because life won’t always be just about you.

During early adulthood, your worldview is still being formed. It’s important to steward this time — to give yourself opportunities to grow. A good way to do that is to travel.

So, young person, travel.

Travel wide and far.

Travel boldly.

Travel with full abandon.

You will regret few risks you take, when it comes to this. I promise you.

There are three reasons to travel while you’re young:

1. Traveling teaches you to live an adventure

When you look back on your life, you will have moments of which you are proud and maybe a few you regret. It’s likely that the following won’t be on the latter list:
  • Bicycled across the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Appeared on Italian TV.
  • Hiked a Mayan ruin.
  • Learned Spanish in three months.
  • Toured Europe by train.
They’re not on mine (fun fact: I’ve done all of the above)
What, then, will be?
  • Holding back.
  • Being afraid.
  • Making excuses.
  • Not taking more risks.
  • Waiting.
While you’re young, you should travel.

You should take the time to see the world and taste the fullness of life. It is worth whatever monetary investment or time sacrifice that is required on your part.

It’s not about being a tourist. It’s about learning the importance of experiencing true risk and adventure so that you don’t have to live in fear for the rest of your life.

2. Traveling helps you encounter compassion

In your youth, you will make choices that will define you. The disciplines you begin now will be with you for the rest of your life.

Traveling will change you like little else can. It will put you in places that will force you to care for issues that are bigger than you.

If you go to southeast Asia, you may encounter the slave trade. If eastern Europe, you may see the effects of genocide and religious persecution. If Haiti, you’ll witness the the ugly side Western paternalism.

Your heart will break.

You will begin to understand that the world is both a big and small place. You will have a newfound respect for the pain and suffering that over half of the world takes for granted on a daily basis. And you will feel more connected to your fellow human beings in a deep and lasting way.

You will learn to care.

3. Traveling allows you to get some culture

While you’re still young, you should get cultured. Get to know the world and the magnificent people that fill it.

There’s nothing quite like walking alongside the Coliseum or seeing Michelangelo’s David in person. I can describe the city of San Juan and its amazing beaches and historic sites to you, but you really have to see it for yourself to experience it. You can read all the books in the world about the Great Wall of China or The Louvre, but being there is a different story.

The world is a stunning place, full of outstanding works of art. See it.

Do this while you’re still young. Do not squander this time. You will never have it again.

You have a crucial opportunity to invest in the next season of your life now. Whatever you sow, you will eventually reap.

Please. For your sake, do this.

You won’t always be young. And life won’t always be just about you. So travel. Experience the world for all it’s worth. Become a person of culture, adventure, and compassion.

“What if I’m not young?”

Travel, anyway. It may not be easy to do, but find a way to get out of your comfort zone. It’s really never too late.

But if you haven’t gotten sucked into the routine of life yet, I implore you — travel. It will never be easier than it is right now for you to do that which really matters.

30 October 2011


Love the lines of this long walkway to the Yio Chu Kang MRT Station (red line). Photo was taken around 10pm, after church in the Ang Mo Kio area. It was so quiet, so peaceful, so serene. Perfect mood after a spiritual service. Pero dahil Halloween gusto ko rin takutin ang sarili ko -- "Ano ang nasa dako paroon?" Boo!

Walking the line between sanity and insanity...LOL


From the Inquirer -

The world's 7 billionth person will be born on Monday into what UN leader Ban Ki-moon calls a "world of contradiction"...

"Plenty of food, but still a billion people going to bed hungry every night. Many people enjoy luxurious lifestyles, but still many people are impoverished."

27 October 2011


Topshop's on sale. They seem to be the only one. Hmmm. H&M is over-crowded. There's an event in front of TripleOne Somerset, a launch party for some high-end motorcycle. Construction at Wisma Atria (whenever we visit SG, laging may construction dito sa Wisma.). Lots of shoppers, as usual. 

But these are what caught my eye the other night...

A street performer in front of the Ngee Ann City.

I wonder how long he stood there?
Hindi talaga siya gumagalaw.

 Over at the massive Ion Orchard Mall...

There's a giant orchid at the Orchard.

It's there to promote 
the 20th World Orchid Conference
on November 13-20, 2011.
(Yes, binasa ko talaga.)

There are swings 
along the entire Orchard Road stretch
to promote the orchid event.

Ad Copy: Swing your mood back to happy.
Sat on one of the swings (my playground favorite, FYI).
Masaya nga. LOL.


Yesterday, October 26, was a holiday here in SG, as Hindus celebrated Deepavali or Diwali, also known as the "Festival of Lights." We saw a bit of the street decors around Little India. But we didn't witness the festivities. We were warned masyadong maraming tao.

Along Selegie Road

We believe the next SG holiday will be on November 7 for Hari Raya Haji or Eid al-Adha, or "Festival of Sacrifice," celebrated by the Muslims. 

Since we're on career breaks, wala naman masyadong impact ang holiday sa amin ngayon. LOL. Obviously, we're constantly on a holiday mode. But I hope not for long. *wink*


The other day, we explored the streets near the Dhoby Ghaut MRT station. (Yes, we're now allowing ourselves 'breaks', pwede na mamasyal. Hehe.). 

We've always been in awe of SG's architectural wonders (from the Esplanade, to the shop houses, the museums, The Marina Bay Sands, etc). We're now adding these two buildings -- The Cathay and School of the Arts -- to the list.

Simple joy: sight-seeing. 

The Cathay
It's a mall / cineplex,
right beside the School of the Arts.

of the School of The Arts (SOTA)
"...creative learning space...designed to
reflect the rich diversity of the arts and
the academic rigour of SOTA." --

I especially loved the steps of the School of the Arts!
From UP Diliman's A.S. Steps to SOTA's Steps

Kidded Hubby -- "Ikaw na lang magtrabaho, mag-aaral na lang ako dito." And then we found out the school is pre-tertiary (aka high school). Students are 13-18 years old. Ooops. Baka sa Esplanade meron art workshops for me. LOL.

25 October 2011


Because they have it here in SG. Yey!

Back home, Pepper Lunch is among our Shangrila Mall comfort food choices. Ayan, parang di rin kami nalayo. But we love that mas solid ang pepper dito sa SG - hot! We had our usual PL favorites: Chicken Pepper Rice for Hubby, Salmon Pepper Rice for me. Almost SGD7 each, comes with miso soup (sa Pinas, walang soup na kasama).

Peppered with Love

Happy Lunch!

24 October 2011


Simple joy: Hubby found more free talks on photography here in SG! 

Over the weekend, he attended "Creating Winning Shots" by Liew Tong Leng at the Selegie Art Center (nearest MRT station: Dhoby Ghaut, two stops from Orchard). His first free talk on photography, "The Art of Balance," was at the Singapore Art Museum (nearest MRT stations: Bras Basah or City Hall), last April, when we were here for our 7th Wedding Anniversary celebration. The great news: he found another one scheduled this coming weekend -- "The Photo Impressionism Seminar" at the Ion Art Gallery (MRT station: Orchard). Yey!

Back in Manila, he's a photography workshop addict. Just this year, almost every weekend, for seven months, he paid for photography classes (And they were worth the money, time and effort. Bilib ako!). But since we're currently on career breaks, he'll have to settle for free sessions muna. Hehe. 

The Selegie Arts Center
houses The Photographic Society of Singapore.

PS: Over the weekend, I explored SG on my own while Hubby attended the two-hour workshop. Spaces in our togetherness. *wink*


Feeling right at home, we joined our new neighborhood's event yesterday -- it was the opening of The Punggol Waterway aka "The Venice of Punggol" (the largest man-made waterway in Singapore, 10-85m wide, 3-4m deep, 4.2kms long). Read more about the project here.

Sharing some photos from our neighborhood fiesta...

No photo: the fireworks display. Sorry, masyado akong naaliw. As expected, the background music was Katy Perry's "Firework." LOL.

There were free shuttle buses
going to the event venue.
Free! Yey!
The Punggol Waterway is a 10-minute ride
from our building.
Shuttle Drop-Off
Welcome to the Punggol Waterway!
The kids' play area.
Bump Boats 
The water playground.
Gusto ko sumali!
Sandcastles Galore
SANDamakmak na bagets enjoying the sand
Another part of The Waterway
via a wooden foot bridge.
Loved this kite!
It was a family event.
Grandparents, Moms and Dads, Kids, including Babies
enjoyed the festivities.
(Na-miss ko tuloy ang family ko.)
Bulol was part of the Fiesta
The Punggol Waterway's horseshoe bridge
One of the art installations along the Waterway
Octopus Kites at Sunset
By sundown, families found viewing spots on the hill.
We were all waiting for the Prime Minister,
and the fireworks display.
The Fiesta's Guest of Honor:
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong,
who officially opened the Punggol Waterway.
We found a spot on the hill,
together with the rest of our neighbors.

The dove release


Do we have this is Manila? Saw it during our recent grocery trip. Got me very curious -- chocolate bubbles?! Hmmm. 

I bought a bar for almost SGD5 (around Php175). The experience burst my bubble! Nothing fancy about the taste -- it's your usual Cadbury. Butas-butas lang sa center so hindi solid yung chocolate.  There really are no chocolate bubbles (sorry, umasa talaga ako, haha). It was just a "different" eating experience. LOL.

Nabiktima ako ng packaging. 

Where are the chocolate bubbles?

21 October 2011


Look what we found! *cartwheels and confetti blast* There's a Public Library at Serangoon's Nex Mall! Yahoo!

Our love for reading is an open book. I've written about it a lot of times here. So to find a Public Library in our "new home" is bliss! We're very impressed with their collection of books and magazines. Titles na wala sa Pinas, andito. We'll be able to read them for free. Yey! The reading spots are comfortable (kaya may mga natutulog, LOL), we reco the spots by the window for maximum light. 

Bagong tambayan? Hehe.

The Serangoon Public Library is open Monday to Sunday, 11am-9pm. Closed on Public Holidays. 

How to get there: Go down the Serangoon MRT station (also in the Purple Line, like Punggol), enter the Nex mall, it's on Level 4.

Read more about the Public Library here.

We just found out that there's a public library nearer Punggol -- at the Compass Point mall in Sengkang (the next town). But Serangoon's titles are more updated, hehe.

20 October 2011


I'm such a scaredy cat but I love watching horror films -- I enjoy Asian horrors the most! I also like riding horror trains and walking though haunted houses in theme parks, kahit sa perya pumatol na ako, FYI. LOL. So upon seeing what's in store for Halloween at the Universal Studios Singapore, I got so excited! 

This will be my Halloween Treat (Trick?) for Hubby and Me. I'm so ready to be spooked! Aaaahhhh!

Watch the You Tube clip here.

See the Horror Nights details here.


Sometimes, the most brilliant ideas are the simplest ones. Those that'll make you say -- Why didn't I think of that?! Like the stairs handrails here in the Punggol LRT stations -- there's a handrail for adults, and another for kids. Oo nga naman! Kids need the handrails more, so they should have their own, yung pang height nila. Husay! 
At the Punggol LRT Meridien Station

Two-level Handrails


Remember my "Missing Mr. Bean" entry back in May? Well, we're now reunited with the soya snack shop! Yey! 
Simple Pleasures indeed!

We love the cheese pancakes!

Yummy soy drink!
Very taho.


More eye candies at the train stations...

At Serangoon

At Serangoon

At Paya Lebar


Inspired by the traveling gnome from one of our favorite films, Amelie, Hubby and I travel with Bulol. We try to take photos of him wherever we go. He actually has his own album on my Facebook page. LOL. Of course, he's with us on This Adventure. And here are a few of his most recent shots. 

What's for breakfast?
Kaya toast, soft-boiled eggs, cups of Teh-C.

Bulol in Punggol

Why a rice god (aka Bulol)? Kasi mas Pinoy (vs Amelie's gnome).

Hubby's a mountaineer. Among his favorite places to climb in the Philippines: the Ifugao province, where Bulols are part of the culture. The carved figures are usually kept in the rice granary to supposedly bring abundance and prosperity. And me, well, Baguio's my hometown (Dad's side), so yes, I'm exposed to what Bulol stands for. We agreed it'd be our best (pocket-size) travel companion.

And like my Hubby, our Bulol is inked (Thanks to one of the most talented Art Directors we know - M!). Bulol's Kalinga tattoos reflect the highland culture, while Hubby's tattoos are all about Philippine folklore.

We embrace the Pinoy culture that way.

Other entries on Bulol:

  • Earlier travels, click here.
  • Beijing photos, click here and here.
  • At the Universal Studios Singapore last April, click here.

Universal Studios Singapore: Halloween Horror Nights 2011

19 October 2011


Spotted at the Fair Price grocery: Bobo chicken balls. I'm sure Pinay moms will think twice before feeding this to their kids. Natawa lang ako. Babaw. Lol.

I promise to research on the brand name BoBo.


Who said you have to spend a fortune to enjoy a trip to Orchard Road?

With Singapore's warm and humid weather, it's always a perfect time for ice cream. And along Orchard Road (SG's shopping haven) there are lots of ice cream carts, manned by old men (Natutuwa talaga ako that senior citizens have work here.).  I had the "Traditional Ice Cream" on sugar cone the other day (will try the ice cream sandwich next time). Parang nasa Manila rin ako because it looked and tasted like our "dirty ice cream." There's also Chocolate like Manila's version, but here, it's Corn instead of Cheese, and Strawberry instead of Ube. It gave me the same cheap thrill! *big smile*

So true: Ice cream and sunny afternoons are perfect combinations anywhere in the world. 

My Simple Joy along Orchard Road:
"Traditional Ice Cream" for only SGD1.