30 December 2011


As 2011 comes to a close, let's all count our blessings. =)

Photo credit: candyfortoes.com

Among the greatest gifts I received this year:

  1. iPad2: Hubby's birthday gift to me (Wish come true!)
Non-Material (and far more precious)
  1. Fashion school.
  2. My birthday gift to me: Freedom! Read more about it here. I'll forever remember 2011 as the year I took the BIG LEAP into the great unknown.
  3. Our gift to us: Living out our dream! Hubby and I have been living in Singapore since the last quarter of 2011. We left our comfort zone to follow our hearts and explore the world. (Praying that we receive the "working in Singapore" gift soon.)
  4. Career Break. At the start of the year it seemed impossible, even after reading this article from Lonely Planet. But guess what?! We've been enjoying our longest vacation leave ever!  
  5. Spending time with our family, even for just awhile. My parents and sister came home to Manila for a month. We got to be with them only for a week. But that one week was priceless. And for the very first time in my life I flew alone (alone!) from one country to another -- just to be with my loved ones. (Hubby took another flight because of a scheduled job interview.) 
  6. Being able to hold my Mama's hand in the O.R., all throughout a medical procedure. The greater blessing: Doc declared her lump clear, on-the-spot! Fatty tissue lang! Yey! And the bonus: the procedure was free. We're blessed with kind-hearted, generous, loving doctors and nurses in the family. 
  7. Being able to tell my Papa, "Now that I'm a Pinoy abroad like you, lalo akong bilib sa iyo. For so long, you faced the challenges of being an OFW on your own. Idol talaga kita!"
  8. Learning every day about WHAT TRULY MATTERS IN LIFE. We're grateful that we have enough. Sometimes nga, more than enough pa. Even on career breaks. We're overwhelmed by the blessings. 
  9. Our SG Adventure has been one hell of a roller coaster ride. And it has shaped Hubby and Me into stronger individuals and more loving partners. If a couple can laugh together through rejection, discrimination, and a stretch of "no paydays muna," then they must really be meant to happily journey through life together. *wink*
2011: Another year filled with
life, laughter and lots of love!

THANK YOU, GOD, for loving me, loving us the way you do. We're forever humbled by Your grace, love, mercy and faithfulness. May you continue to bless us all in 2012 and the coming years. We know Your Plans are always greater than our dreams. 

29 December 2011


Another former colleague from Manila is visiting Singapore. We had a lovely evening with the blooming bride-to-be, K, at the Chijmes (located at the Bras Basah area, right across Carlton Hotel, Raffles Hotel and Raffles City). 
Chika over Margarita & Singapore Sling
at Cosafe, Chijmes

Panna Cotta

Beef Nachos

At the Carlton lobby for our group shot

HAPPY NEW YEAR, K! Again, on your wedding day, do not sweat the small stuff. Just be beautiful, and enjoy every moment! Best wishes to you and J!

28 December 2011


I love the interiors of the Food Republic in Vivo City (L3, same floor as the Sentosa Express). Very old Chinatown. Mas feel ko tuloy ang pagkain ko ng fried rice and dimsum dito. Lol.

Raise the Red Lanterns

As if we've been transported back in time...

Lovely Light Pieces!
Reminded us of our First Home
which was very Oriental.

I love fried rice and dimsum!

Bird Cage Lamp


"When the dog bites
When the bees sting
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad..."
--  My Favorite Things, Sound of Music

While waiting for the "right" job (Don't want to settle.), these are the things that have kept me sane and smiling...

IKEA. Every visit to Ikea (Tampines and Alexandra branches) inspires me. In my mind, buo na ang aming little Singapore home. Everything's just so pretty. And they all seem to be so affordable. I get really dreamy when I'm here.

GLAMOUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE. As I've written too many times in my other blog, Glamour's my favorite fashion magazine. I'm too down-to-earth for Vogue, hehe. (Don't get me wrong, I love Vogue but I won't name it as my favorite / monthly must-buy.) Anyway, Glamour's e-mag is so much cheaper than the printed version. It's like buying a back issue so I don't feel guilty about spending for it monthly.

LONG WALKS. Especially those that have led Hubby and me to non-touristy destinations like the Punggol Reservoir. Look at the pretty restroom in the middle of the park, photo below. Restroom pa lang yan! The reservoir is filled with joggers, bikers, and skaters during weekends. Perfect for family days.
Hubby calls it "The Modern Cube-beta." Lol.

LAU PA SAT. It's our favorite hawker place because it's the only one with Pinoy stalls -- Baliwag, Tapa King, Mang Kiko and Hapag Kainan. No matter how good SG food is, we do miss our sariling atin.

Us at the Lau Pa Sat Festival Market

iPAD GAMES: Words with Friends, Solitaire and Pop Words. No, I'm not into Angry Birds or Plants versus Zombies.

MOVIE MARATHONS. Oh, we're loving our long vacation all the more because of these! We often stay up until 5am! Bad.

FACEBOOK and SKYPE. The best! I'm very much in touch with my family, relatives and friends from all over the world because of these! In my book, they are among THE BEST inventions ever, ever.

CHURCH SERVICES. Love, love, love. We come home with renewed spirits all the time. So happy that we have services twice a week.

SPICY MOS CHEESEBURGER. We first had a taste of MOS in Taipei. We loved it so much we even thought about hand carrying some burgers home. Lol. Here in Singapore, we're addicted! As in! Lesson learned: the Spicy Mos is best for dine-in. We discourage it for take-out as the chili will drip out of the packaging! Ganun kasi ka-generous ang serving.

KAYA. Our favorite: Toast Box's Traditional Kaya Toast and Kaya Soft Bun. The hawker centers' Kaya variations taste tipid / kulang / bitin versus Toast Box's. Yes, we have Toast Box in Manila. The branches here taste so much better (dapat lang!).

SALMON. Among my favorite fish (aside from bangus and tuyo and danggit)! I get my fix from Kopitiam at the Punggol Plaza. Only SGD6 for the entire set -- miso soup, a bowl of rice, kimchi and salmon. Sa dami na ng Chicken Rice na nakain ko, it's not my go-to-food anymore. Itong salmon na, hehe.

TEH-C. That's tea with milk. Our favorite SG drink! It's great anywhere. We love it so much I've actually blogged about it earlier, read here.

LUCKY PLAZA's PINOY GROCERY STORES. We haven't been impressed with the food joints there but the grocery stores are heaven -- Chippy, Choco Mallows, Clover Chips, Mang Tomas, Yes!, Green Cross, Spicy Tuyo, Barrio Fiesta bagoong, Datu Puti suka and toyo, etc.

MR. BEAN. Our favorite soya snack place. Cheese pancakes and Soya drink (hot or cold), we like them a lot! I've also blogged about this before, see here.

THE TODAY SHOW. My favorite TV show, even when we were in Manila. To this day, I have a dream of one day working with the Today Team. Galing ng content. Always so informative and entertaining and siksik. I love everyone on the show -- Matt, Ann (love her fashion sense!), Natalie, Al. But Hoda and Kathie Lee are my favorites, they crack me up!

What are on your favorite list?

27 December 2011


I'm not really into New Year's resolutions. But if there are two things I need to do for me very soon, they'd be --

(1) Eat more fruits and vegetables.
No, I won't vow to "stop eating junk food" or "stop eating red meat" or "stop drinking Coke" because that would be torture for me. But I know I need to take in more of the healthier stuff.

Photo from elcivics.com

(2) Learn to relax.
I have to stop worrying too much, especially about things that exist only in my mind.
Based on experience, most of what we're worrying about never happen anyway (Thank God!).
Crazy, much? Lol

Photo from aleighedwards.com

Do you do New Year's resolutions?
What are on your list?

25 December 2011


To keep our December 25 date tradition of watching films (read: Metro Manila Film Fest marathons back in the Philippines), Hubby and I saw "Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows" today, at the Golden Village,Vivo City, here in Singapore. We watched in the very same cinema where we saw "New Year's Eve," read about that other date here. Yes, we left the theater through the Fire Exit again, fun!

We enjoyed the film. Tight storytelling. Great actors. Amazing set and costume. Exciting action. Funny antics. Naaliw ako sa scoring. We say it's a must-see (Holmes for the Holiday!).

Pero aaminin ko, naiintriga ako with Star Cinema's "Segunda Mano" (The MMFF opens today). Dreaming of home (not Holmes). Dreaming of Manila...

24 December 2011


It's our first Holiday Season in SG. Yes, totoo ang chismis, the celebration is more "relaxed" here versus Pinas. Proof: Our building was so quiet on Christmas Eve. Parang unit lang namin ang gising until the wee hours of the morning, hehe. 

After church, Hubby and I bonded with our housemates over crispy pata, kare-kare, roast chicken, biko, leche flan and lots of picture-taking. Fun!

As Rudolph & Mrs. Claus
with our SG housemates

Highlights (nope, not our head gears, haha):

  1. Video chatting with my family! Thank God for Skype and Facebook.
  2. Of course, J, our housemate's 5-yr old daughter had the most gifts. Among all her new toys, guess which one she picked to play with first? Our Hello Kitty Cafe gift! Proud to say consistent ako dyan -- kids choose to play with our gift first, pati sa Pinas. Maybe because I'm a kid-at-heart? I know what they'll enjoy. (And no, the toy need not be expensive.) 

21 December 2011


Our first IMAX movie date ever: "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol," at the Shaw Theatres, Orchard Road (nearest MRT: Orchard). Tickets: SGD20 each. Good thing the movie was worth it. Pang-IMAX siya!  

What we liked best about the film: Technology failed too many times during their mission. So the team's success depended largely on the agents themselves, hindi sa kanilang hi-tech gadgets. Pasok sa tunay na buhay!

No Plan. No Backup. No Choice.

I know we're all facing life "missions."  When our missions prove to be overwhelming, take these inspiring quotes to heart. No they're not from the film (hehe) but from three accomplished individuals who made so many things possible in their lifetime.

  • It always seems impossible until it's done. - Nelson Mandela
  • It's kind of fun to do the impossible. - Walt Disney
  • Nothing is impossible, the word itself says "I'm possible!" - Audrey Hepburn

20 December 2011


"We may have humored ourselves and seen the human race as a master of nature; in truth, elementally, we are, and always have been, at its mercy." (PDI, March 2011)

Remembering our family's Ondoy experience. And all the other natural calamities that hit the Philippines, and the rest of the world. Truly humbling.

Let's continue praying for everyone, especially for the families hit by Sendong. May God bless us all.

19 December 2011


Our first time at the Singapore Botanic Gardens was in February 2010. 
We were there to attend a cousin's wedding. Below is our group photo taken at The Bandstand.

We wanted to see the Garden again, minus the wedding frenzy so Hubby and I went last weekend.
Below is the Botanic Garden gate from the MRT station (Circle Line), it's at the corner of Cluny Park and Bukit Timah Roads.

There were so many benches in the Garden that reminded me of the secret garden from Notting Hill, among my all-time favorite rom-coms!

"For June who loved this garden 
from Joseph who always sat beside her." Some people do spend their whole lives together. -- Notting Hill

Loved the many pocket gardens!
One of the cottages.

At the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden.
The gorgeous pedestrian overpass, in front of the Garden gates. Along Bukit Timah Road.


We would have wanted to explore the 63-hectare Garden but it started raining real hard.

Here's a harassed me, in one of the cottages, waiting for the downpour to stop. It did not.

So we're going back on a sunnier day for a picnic!


Cheese pizza. White wine. Our gift bag back. Three good things, all in one great afternoon. 

We were at the Wine Connection just last week. We vowed to come back -- (1) to try their cheese pizza (because we loved the cheese platter from our first visit); (2) ask for a wine reco that would go best with it (perfect but can't remember what it's called, starts with "S"); and (3) to see if they still have the gift bag we left a week ago. Check! Check! Check!

Lovely shop houses cum restos
along Cuppage Road.

We dined al fresco this time.

Cheese Pizza and White Wine

We got our gift bag back,
one week after we left it in the resto.
Itinabi nila! Yehey!


One of our favorite quotes / moments from the film: 

Ernest Hemingway to Gil (Owen Wilson): All men fear death.  It's a natural fear that consumes us all. We fear death because we feel that we haven't loved well enough or loved at all, which ultimately are one and the same. However, when you make love to a truly great woman, one that deserves the utmost respect in this world, and one that makes you feel truly powerful, the fear of death completely disappears. Because when you are sharing your body and heart with a great woman, the world fades away. You are the only ones in the entire universe. You conquer what lesser men have never conquered before, you have conquered a great woman's heart, the most vulnerable thing she can offer to another. Death no longer lingers in the mind. Fear no longer clouds your heart. Only passion for living, and for loving, become your sole reality. This is no easy task for it takes insurmountable courage. But remember this, for that moment that you are making love with a woman of true greatness you will feel immortal. 

Hubby and I looked at each other and I asked, "Kaya fearless ka?" 

He smiled. And then we kissed. 

A lovely midnight movie date in Singapore, thanks to Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris."

15 December 2011


We don't do Christmas. Read more about it here. But I love dreaming so I'm joining the season's wishing spree! I'm sharing three of the many items on my list.

(1) I'm hoping to be one of those people who wake up every day to their calling, doing something that does not feel like work. Dreaming of fashion / beauty / travel / performance-related careers. 
Photo from careervanity.com

(2) New York in 2012. I don't know how. Pero libre mangarap...
Photo from antarticaedu.com

(3) Our very own Ikea home here in SG. 
OK, kahit bedroom lang muna by 2012. Lol.
Photo from smarthomearchitectures.us
Top 30 Ikea Bedrooms for 2011/2012

What's on your wish list?