31 January 2012


Did I instantly know that Hubby was The One? No. We weren't even talking as friends (only as distant colleagues) before our supposed "blind date." But after that date, I did wonder - Could he be the one? The question crossed my mind because (1) He got me talking sharing. I trusted him with personal stories on that very first date. A first in my dating life. Actually, a first in my life. All my friends know it takes awhile for me to open up. But with J it all just happened naturally. (2) On that first date, we enjoyed talking to each other so much na halos mapagsarhan na kami sa Uva! As in nakaligpit na lahat ng tables and chairs, except ours. Kami na lang ang customers sa resto. Ang dilim na. And the staff was giving us that "Hindi pa po kayo uuwi" look. Lol. 

So when did I know for sure? When we were already boyfriend and girlfriend. Our relationship revealed that He was more than I prayed for, the Life Partner I'd want to grow old with. For details, read about our altar date vows.

Glamour Feb 2012
All about Valentine's Day
and Men, Men, Men.

Glamour's February 2012 issue has an article on this - Is He The One? I got to read it on the train, sitting beside my dear Hubby. Sa sobrang relate ko, I asked him to read it too (first time for him to read Glamour, hehe). We had such big smiles after finishing the article, mukha siguro kaming sira sa MRT.

Here are bits from the article, dedicated to everyone who's still on the search...

IS HE THE ONE? Actress and comedian Ali Wentworth spent years dating the wrong dudes--but meeting the right one, George Stephanopoulos, set her straight. OK, Ali, share your secrets!

"One of the women wanted to set me up with her friend George...  'Absolutely not. I am not being set up - ever,' I replied. Blind dates sounded like unmitigated hell.

But I am a woman who enjoys a good story. I like to tell them at dinner parties, to strangers on the bus, anywhere I have an audience. (I am an actress, after all.) So when I was in New York for work a few weeks later, I decided to call George Stephanopoulos...I spent my professional days taking risks, so why not do so in my personal life?

He wanted to meet for dinner. I said coffee. We settled on lunch. I thought Barneys was the ideal place; that way if the date were a complete disaster, I could still buy my Kiehl's face cream. I had very low expectations.

We entered the store's bustling restaurant at the same time and were seated in the center of a cacophonous room. And what precipitated over the next hour was, for lack of a more precise word, cosmic. I had never met George, but I felt such ease talking to him. I didn't put on a show or try to be a better version of myself. There was a profound coziness. He was like a down comforter I wanted to live in. And he got me: He understood my humor, my observations and my beliefs the way someone from your own tribe does. It was more than the fact that we both ordered crab salad; it was the feeling that we were home.

And that is how you know: It's never the surface stuff -- Oh, I like sandy beaches and stormy nights too...Nora Ephron got it exactly right with that famous line from When Harry Met Sally..."I knew the way you know about a good melon." It's instinctual. It's from the gut.

We were engaged after two months and married after eight. And during those planning days, I didn't care where we lived, how many kids we had or whether our decor should be modern or traditional. I just knew I wanted to spend my life with George. When you know for sure, you don't dwell on the fantasy of the union: What will my wedding dress look like? Should we serve chicken or fish? What will we name our twin girls and boys? You focus on how he makes you feel -- empowered and beautiful..."


How can we not relate to a love story about GEORGE and ALI, who also met on a blind date? *wink*


I've always loved Mastercard's "Priceless" campaign.

When I saw this outdoor ad
(yes, sa sobrang successful ng campaign,
yun pa rin talaga ang ginagamit nila until now),
ang nasabi ko lang ay 
"Kumusta naman ang pose?"

Ang pagpapakatotoo, priceless.

30 January 2012


Today's funny sight: feet on display at the fish spa! Lol.

Very interesting window display at The Shoppes

Have you tried this? I know we have it in Manila, at the Ocean Park. The fish is supposed to eat off dead skin from your feet - tama ba? It's by far the most interesting window display we've seen here in SG.


Today's simple joy:
a compliment on the job I used to do:

"You made it look so easy.
Ang hirap pala."

29 January 2012


First trip to Haji Lane: Last year's dinner at Le Bistro Parisien, see here.

We went back to see the street in a whole new light (in broad daylight!). We so agree with JP, it has the same vibe as Cubao X in Manila. What's in there: boutiques selling one-of-a-kind fashion items, made-in-Japan bike shops, unique furniture stores, indie record bars, restos, tattoo parlors, bakeshops, you get the drift. To read more about Haji Lane, check their website.

Nearest MRT: Bugis (green line)

To Haji Lane from Arab Street.
Love the graffiti.

BluJaz Cafe

An Egyptian Resto

Mexican Tiles

More awesome graffiti.

We must try this Mexican place soon.
(It was closed the day we were there.)

Piedra Negra

Stencil Art

More dresses, bags, shoes, etc.


You've got mail!

That's me!

My Fat Lady bakeshop
(Parang dapat "That's me!" rin ang caption dito. Lol.)


Mga eksenang Chinese New Year 2012 (aka Spring Festival) around Singapore...

In Chinatown
Red Overload

At the River Hongbao
Lights Off

Lights On

At the Esplanade
Installation in the Esplanade Lobby.
And the gorgeous lanterns along the Outdoor Theater.

In Sentosa

Spring Flower Festival
It was hard to take photos dahil over-crowded talaga!

Along Orchard

In Sengkang, and more from the River Hongbao
Dragon Arch at Compass Point, Sengkang;
Dragon made of porcelain plates;
Among the many rides sa River Hongbao "perya"
(May perya!)

Pahabol pic: The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Raise more Red Lanterns

CNY thoughts: Nakakaaliw ang astrology and feng shui, especially the bits I can understand (and afford - LOL). But we choose to entrust our lives in the Hands of God. The Father is far more powerful than any trinket or charm or animal.


Nagpapanggap na healthy.
Grilled Chicken Salad at McDo (SG).

Does McDo serve salad sa Pinas? Di ko maalala. Here, meron kasi. I know I have healthier options (yung totoong healthy) pero sige na, ibigay na ang 'A' for effort. Haha.

Anyway, over my McDo Grilled Chicken Salad and Hubby's Double Cheeseburger, we discussed Manila updates. Funny, we never ask for them but people are volunteering info. Dumarating kahit hindi namin hinihingi. Lol.

Chika Minute!
  • Sad: More people have turned into monsters. 
  • Bright side: Thank you, God, for delivering us from evil. 

  • Sad: Wicked wolves are still so into us daw. Fish nang fish! 
  • Bright side: Kami pa rin ang nasa headline ng mga balita sa mundo n'yo? Wow. We've moved on, matagal na, and you still can't let go. Pathetic. Ugh.
  • Bright side: People only rain on your parade because they're jealous of your sun and tired of their shade.

  • Sad: Were you really my friend? Hmmm.
  • Bright side: Now I know better.

On to healthier stuff...

28 January 2012


Mosi Cafe along Haji Lane

And so the search for the best (and cheapest) kebabs and shawarma continues...

We tried Mosi Cafe, along Haji Lane (nearest MRT: Bugis, then walk to the Arab Street area). It's the first Moroccan Cafe in Singapore. Hubby had Chicken Kebab with the pita bread on the side (yes, hindi wrap like the usual shawarma). I had Beef Kofta with bread and salad. Our orders were both good. But mine's more flavorful. Mas powerful yung spices nung kofta. As usual, Hubby had his meal with his favorite Coca-Cola, while I tried the Vanilla Milk Shake (milk is best with spicy food). Total bill: SGD30 (around Php1050). For their menu, check the Mosi website.

Here's to more food discoveries! Yum!


The Kebab Guy made sure he was part of the photos. Hehe.

Hubby and I love shawarma and kebabs. We're currently on a search for the best (and cheapest) here in SG. We chanced upon a stall at the River Hongbao this week. Signage said: Turkish Chicken Doner Kebab, SGD5 (that's around Php175). Masarap naman. But we both agreed it'd be best to explore the Arab Street area.

Kebab Guy: 
Where you from?

Manila, Philippines

Kebab Guy: 
Kebabs taste different there because they put curry.

Hubby and I looked at each other 
with the same thought bubble
They do?

We just smiled at him and said his kebab's good. 
Totoo naman.

After he walked away to attend to the next customer...

Me to Hubby: May curry ba ang shawarma at kebab sa Manila? Sa lahat ng natikman natin (Behrouz. Mr. Kebab, Hossein's at yung mga sa kanto-kanto), parang wala naman. Nilalagyan ng hot chili and garlic sauce, pero curry? Echoserong palaka.

(O baka naman meron nga, di ko lang alam na curry pala yun? Enlighten me. Lol.)

27 January 2012


Current juice of choice:
Sugarcane Juice from SG hawker centers

I'm currently into sweet drinks: Honey Milk Tea (as blogged earlier) and Sugarcane Juice. If I grow really big, I only have me to blame. Yes, hindi ko sisisihin ang drinks. I take full responsibility for my actions. Hehe.

I know we also have this in the Philippines (Hello, Negros!). But sadly, the juice is not readily available. Mas buko ang omnipresent sa Manila, right? Here in SG, sugarcane juice is sold in almost all hawker centers, for around SGD 2-3 per cup.

The drink's health benefits: it's a natural diuretic and a natural coolant. Perfect for SG's humid weather.

The juice is triggering childhood memories. Sweet summers in Nueva Ecija, early '80s. Afternoons with my Mom, Titas and cousins, at our dear Ima's home. Kinakagat, nginangatngat at sinisipsip namin yung tubo (sugarcane) for the ultimate sugar fix.

Buti na lang may juicer na ngayon! Lol.


As I always say, God's Plans are greater than my dreams...

"For I know the plans I have for you,"
says the Lord.
"They are plans for good
and not for disaster,
to give you a future and a hope."

-- Jeremiah 29:11
New Living Translation


It's awards season again. We're trying to watch all the 84th Oscars Best Picture nominees before the February 26, 2012 Awards Night.

As of today, we've seen 4 of the 9 nominees:

  1. Midnight In Paris: We saw this last year, see my entry here. Fantastic screenplay! We really love Woody Allen's wit. The guy's a genius (meron pa bang hindi nakakaalam nun?). 
  2. The Tree of Life: We've been trying to finish this one too many times. Pero ang hirap talaga niya panoorin. Dahil kaya it's...pretentious? 
  3. The Descendants 
  4. Moneyball 
  5. Hugo
  6. The Artist
  7. The Help
  8. War Horse
  9. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

The Descendants

We loved the family drama. Such an engaging story. Great performances, especially from George.  

A family drama that hits home

The film's first lines got me hooked...

Matt King: My friends on the Mainland think just because I live in Hawaii, I'm in paradise. Like a permanent vacation. We're all just out here sipping Mai-Tais, shaking our hips, catching waves. Are they insane? Do they think we're immune to life? How can they possibly think our families are less screwed up, our cancers less fatal, our heartaches less painful? Hell, I haven't been on a surfboard in 15 years. For the last 23 days I've been living in a paradise of IVs, urine bags, and trachea tubes. Paradise? Paradise can go fuck itself.  

A winner.


Very inspiring. Especially since it's based on a true story. Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) is the General Manager of a loser baseball team, out to change the game for good. No one believed in his numbers strategy until their team started winning games. Enjoyed it. A lot. And I'm not even a baseball fan.

It's not about the money,
money, money...

How can you be a game-changer? Let us count the ways:

  • Movie tagline: What are you really worth? [Reminded me of the quote, "Some people are so poor, all they have is their money.]
  • Beane: "...But if we win, on our budget, with this team...we'll have changed the game. And that's what I want. I want it to mean something."
  • Beane (after declining the Red Sox's USD12.5M offer): "I made one decision in life based on money. And I swore I'd never do it again."

Definitely worth watching.

Both George and Brad deserve the Best Actor trophy. Hindi sila ang mapapanood mo. Kundi sina Matt King and Billy Beane. Husay!

26 January 2012


SG Milk Tea Favorites

Among my simple joys here in Singapore - milk tea! They're everywhere. The locals are so into it, madalas mahaba ang pila.

As I've blogged several times, Hubby and I are really into Teh-C (tea with milk). We order them hot from hawker centers.

But for my iced milk tea cravings, I go for Honey Milk Tea, no pearls, from (1) Ice Talk - in our neighborhood mall, Punggol Plaza; (2) Koi - in the next town's neighborhood mall, Compass Point; (3) Gong Cha - found in major malls like The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. I ask for zero sugar since honey milk tea na nga. These three brands taste relatively the same. So my top pick is the cheapest - the one from Ice Talk. Only SGD2.30 (around Php80) for a large cup.

We heard about the Happy Lemon craze in Manila. So we tried the Ion Orchard branch (no one hour waiting time here, unlike sa Greenhills - Yey!). We're not really fans. Our review: OK lang. I liked the Tea Latte with Oreo cookies & cream. Hubby's into the Rock Salt Cheese series - Green Tea or Cocoa.

What's your cup of tea?


A Happy Birth-Date in Chinatown, SG
20 January 2012

We celebrated hubby's first Singapore birthday in Chinatown (MRT Station: Chinatown. It's along the Purple Line, same as our town, Punggol). Three days to the Chinese New Year, the place was extra festive so it felt like everyone was celebrating with us. Happiness!

Date highlights:

  • Authentic foot reflexology c/o very well-trained therapists. Heaven! 
  • A mini dimsum feast along the Chinatown Food Street. Yummy! 
  • Our devotional prayers that day. Blessed!
  • Affirmation: Life is amazing! Singapore was merely a dream during Hubby's birthday last year. And now, eto na, we're actually living the dream. Wow. 

Hubby took a video
of the 45-minute reflexology session
but I'm still unsure whether I want
to expose my tired feet here. Lol.

We love that you don't need dipping sauce for
the dimsum here. Malasa na sila as they are.
I'm not a siopao fan in Manila.
But I'm loving the char siew bao here in SG!

Happy birthday to my Life Partner & Daily Date! I love you. I won't say much here dahil ang haba na ng private birthday message. At yun ang mas mahalaga. *wink* Here's to growing old with you, Baby! Mwah!


Birthday message to Hubby: I love that we choose to take the roller coaster over the carousel. *wink* Here's to more life adventures together! Happy birthday to my Life Partner and Daily Date! I love you.

Photo credit: askmissa.com

Life's ups and downs are more bearable, more meaningful, more fun when you go through them with someone you love.

Thank you, God...

1) for allowing us to get off 'that crazy carousel' just in time. Lol.

2) for the 'tickets' to this roller coaster ride

3) for allowing Hubby and me to take this adventure together (Bow ako to those who are on the roller coaster alone!)

4) for allowing this journey to shape us into the best versions of ourselves

5) for the fresh perspectives (seen from the highest of highs and the lowest of lows).

We're so blessed. 

18 January 2012


There are books
that impact your life
because you get to read them
at the perfect time.

"From Maria's diary, one night when she lacked the courage to go out, to live or to continue waiting for the phone call that never came:

I spent today outside a funfair. Since I can't afford to fritter my money away, I thought it best just to watch other people. I stood for a long time by the roller coaster, and I noticed that most people get on it in search of excitement, but that once it starts, they are terrified and want the cars to stop.

What do they expect? Having chosen adventure, shouldn't they be prepared to go the whole way? Or do they think that the intelligent thing to do would be to avoid the ups and downs and spend all their time on a carousel, going round and round on the spot?

At the moment, I'm far too lonely to think about love, but I have to believe that it will happen, that I will find a job and that I am here because I chose this fate. The roller coaster is my life; life is a fast, dizzying game; life is a parachute jump; it's taking chances, falling over and getting up again; it's mountaineering; it's wanting to get to the very top of yourself and to feel angry and dissatisfied when you don't manage it.

It isn't easy being far from my family and from the language in which I can express all my feelings and emotions, but, from now on, whenever I feel depressed, I will remember that funfair. If I had fallen asleep and suddenly woken up on a roller coaster, what would I feel?

Well, I would feel trapped and sick, terrified of every bend, wanting to get off. However, if I believe that the track is my destiny and that God is in charge of the machine, then the nightmare becomes something thrilling. It becomes exactly what it is, a roller coaster, a safe, reliable toy, which will eventually stop, but, while the journey lasts, I must look at the surrounding landscape and whoop with excitement." -- Eleven Minutes, Paulo Coelho

17 January 2012


Let them eat cake!

Among the many cakes in my college barkada's New Year reunion (aka Cake Party), I loved the Caramel Cake from Becky's Kitchen the most. It was E & A's contribution.

We all agreed it's better than Estrel's. Becky's is less sweet so hindi ako mabilis naumay. For me, mas balanced yung flavors nito. Nothing overwhelming. Every bite just made me want more. Anyway, I just learned that we're not alone in proclaiming it as the best caramel cake in Manila. It's among the Top Desserts (2010) in the website of the leading local food magazine, Yummy. (Do I hear 'confeeermed'? Lol.)

I'm craving for a slice as I write this piece. Torture.

Caramel Cake from Becky's Kitchen
(My shot: center kung center! Sorry.)

Among Manila's Top Desserts as per Yummy.Ph
Photo credit: www.yummy.ph

Info from Yummy: Php455 for 9-inch cake

2 branches: 
  • Community Center, Suha Street, Valle Verde I, Pasig City
  • 1601 P.Ocampo corner Bautista Streets, Singalong, Manila

Telephone Numbers: 
  • 671-7606 
  • 525-1648

16 January 2012


16 January 2012: Historic day for the Philippines as it marks the start of the Corona Trial.

To help me better understand the Impeachment Case, I read this primer (Thanks to my friend C for sharing).

Under the articles of impeachment, this line sounded too familiar:

"Following the mass resignation (of the members of the John Hay Management Corporation), Mrs. Corona got promoted."


Mid-way into January 2012 and gifts are pouring in! 

  1. Today's Greatest Gift: my nephew T. He was the reason why we took a short trip to Manila. The last delivery update when we were still in SG: "Lalabas na. Anytime!" So we booked a flight and waited...for a week! Puro false labor, hehe. We had to fly out Saturday night, wala pa rin. Finally, nag-totoong labor na ang sister-in-law ko the next day, Sunday, when we were already back in SG. Baby T was born today, Monday, 16 January 2012. Pilyong bata ito! Hahaha. Nevertheless, we're very grateful. Mom and Baby survived the delicate delivery. Thanks to our Dear Doc, Ate P who took great care of them. We're all so happy! And way too excited! My parents want to go home for Baby T (sorry, Papa and Mama, hindi kayo 3.5 hours away from Manila). Today, 16 Jan 2012, is a historic day for the Philippines as it marks Day 1 of the Corona Trial. But for our family, Baby T's birth is the more important headline. *confetti blast*
It's a boy! 6.10 lbs.
Today, my niece S is officially an Ate.
Welcome, Baby T! We love you.
      2.  The Manila break.
      3.  More projects. *big smile*
      4.  Green Card.
"And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; Seek, and you shall find; Knock, and it shall be opened unto you." (Luke 11:9)


We started the New Year right by taking a short trip to Manila. Yes, I love that it's only three and a half hours away from SG. Yey!

Mandaluyong, Philippines. January 2012.
View from our condo unit's balcony via Instagram.
New Year Must Do: mag-"general cleaning." (That term is so Pinoy!)

With the non-stop reunions (aka kainan), it really is more fun in the Philippines!

Banapple lunch with my brother's family.
 Beef stew, crispy bangus, some yummy cheesy pasta,
blueberry pancakes and blueberry cheesecake.

Made it to our UP Barkada's annual reunion!
E to Me: "Thanks for flying thousands of miles
to be with us."

Cake Party (cakes not in photo)
at M & C's brand new home.
Plus salad, tacos, lechon manok, liempo, white rice.

Foggy or Smoggy? Tagaytay or Baguio?
View from M's balcony. Guess where.

Recipes dinner with my dear cousins and nieces.
Kare-kare, gising-gising, General's Chicken,
General's fried tofu, lechon kawali and kangkong, lotsa rice!

Cafe Breton.
Hubby and I love Breton's Tarzan
so we ordered one each, for the first time!
Miss na miss? We usually share lang. LOL.

More than the country's breathtaking natural wonders (Palawan, Boracay, Sagada, Batanes...) and good food (Hubby and I ate too much Max's crispy pata and Lapid's chicharon during this trip), we enjoy coming home to chika time with family and friends.


We're really happy here in Punggol. 

Feel namin ang pagiging "probinsya" niya. It's at the end of the purple line. Around 45 minutes away from the city, via train; 15 minutes away from the city, via taxi. It's quiet, clean, green and spacious. Amidst the many HDBs (public housing / flats) and condos in the area, may effort to go green. Yey! 

Below are photos from the reservoir, a mere 10-minute walk from our building. 

The reservoir.

bike parking

The park's lovely wooden benches.

I could just sit and read (and nap?!) here for hours.

The bridge that connects
the Serangoon Reservoir
and the Lorong Halus Wetland.


Perfect for joggers, bikers, skaters,
Moms with strollers / prams.

monkey bars

The park's restroom.
Hubby calls it The Modern Cube-beta.

restroom interiors

Empty pag weekdays.
Puro families during weekends.

This bridge looks lovelier at night, with its lights.
Try namin kuhanan next time.

Round and round we go.

Uulan na!