29 February 2012

FEB 29

February 29, a day that comes only every four years. It's made even more special as it marks our very First Date, twelve years ago. Read about that First Date here

We celebrated at celebrity chef Mario Batali's Pizzeria Mozza, at The Shoppes, Marina Bay Sands. According to our research it's among the more affordable celebrity chef restaurants in Singapore. Totoo naman. See their price list here.

We tried calling to reserve a table, but no one was picking up. Fortunately, we were able to get a table for two, as walk-ins, at around 8pm. 

Hubby and I happily reminisced about that First Date, twelve years ago, kaya tawa kami nang tawa the whole time. Good thing casual dining naman doon, hehe. Pwede maingay.


Bone marrow al forno: To die for! Sinfully good.
Aaminin ko, I ate most of it.

Meat Lovers' Pizza with mozzarella cheese: Heaven!
Especially for carnivores like us, hehe.

Gelati (Espresso, Olive Oil, Vanilla): Perfect ending!
The olive oil gelati was a pleasant surprise.

Even their appetizer (in the packet)
and raspberry iced tea
were yummy!

Hubby is making a short film on our little celebration. I'll post it as soon as it's done.

To the date that started it all! Love, love, love!


Hubby's currently into videography and post production. His love for learning is truly an inspiration. Among his recent projects is a series he calls "Silly Shorts: Singapore Snapshots."  

He's a one-man production team. Shaping himself into a "predator" (a broadcasting term): producer, director, writer, videographer, editor, musical scorer, post production artist. Lahat siya lang. Amazing! 

I'm part of his fifth shorty. I agreed to go on-cam with my "lazy look" -- no make-up, hair in a messy bun, wearing a shirt and peasant skirt. We had fun filming all around Singapore. 

The project speaks for itself. Among the many must-haves to the road of "Married Bliss": Stay silly. Have fun together. Do not take yourselves too seriously.No matter where the road leads you, ENJOY THE RIDE!

25 February 2012


 There are six reasons why you're not married, according to Tracy McMillan:

  1. You're a bitch.
  2. You're shallow.
  3. You're a slut.
  4. You're a liar.
  5. You're selfish.
  6. You're not good enough.
OK, calm down. 

Bago magwala, read the full article here.

24 February 2012


More on marriage, from one of my favorite shows, The Today Show --
  • A study revealed that if you're bored in your marriage at 7 years, you'll be in real trouble in 16. (Me to Hubby: We have very good chances of staying crazy in love until our 75th year. Yey!)
  • Some people's idea of marriage: "I can lay back, roll out of bed in my sweatpants, never brush my teeth again, and that's unconditional love." To which KLG says, "That's the relationship you have with your dog." (Me: Oh, the perks of being vain. Haha!)
  • Tip: You have to try to keep that excitement going. (Me: The operative word there is TRY. Yes, people, it takes effort, from both parties. You don't wait for excitement to happen. You two should make it happen.)
Watch the full segment here.

I'll end this with my favorite marriage quote (chanced upon this when I read the book, "Committed"):

"There is no greater risk than matrimony.
But there is nothing happier than a happy marriage."
-- Benjamin Disraeli


We've been wanting to try Din Tai Fung, named by The New York Times as one of the world's Top Ten restaurants. (Its Hong Kong branch has been awarded a Michelin Star.) But the queue has always been too long in all the SG branches. We finally got lucky today, lunch time, at the Wisma Atria (nearest MRT: Orchard).

We've all had dumplings, noodles and fried rice. Pero iba rito. I must say our DTF experience raised our Chinese food standards. We had the best xiao long bao (steamed pork dumplings), special braised beef noodles (the only one on the menu with double reco: a thumbs up and a star), and fried rice with pork chop here. This is how Chinese food should be done. Even their bottomless house tea is very good. Our bill, with two Coca-Colas, was around SGD42. So worth it. 

One of our yummiest lunch dates ever!

Happy lunch crowd at Din Tai Fung, Wisma Atria

We'll definitely be back!

Me: Like tomorrow?
Hubby: OK.


Two days to the Oscars and we've seen only five and a half of the nine Best Picture nominees. We loved Midnight in Paris, The Descendants, Moneyball, and The Help. Just saw Extremely Loud, Incredibly Close. It was extremely disappointing, incredibly dull. Did I miss something there? Why was it nominated at all? We still haven't found the will to finish The Tree of Life (hence the "half"). We'll watch The Artist tomorrow. We'll probably get to see Hugo and War Horse after the Awards Night.

Here's E!'s Oscars predictions.

Our Best Picture bet: It's a 4-way tie, as of today.

It'd be great to see George or Brad do an acceptance speech for their performances. Wishing...


Jennifer Hudson beautifully sang at The Grammys. Friends posted their favorite songs on Facebook. People did Whitney karaoke nights.

In honor of  Whitney Houston, I watched (er, endured) "The Bodyguard." It was my first time to see it. Muntik ko nang hindi kayanin. Out of respect, tinapos ko. I'm cheesy. Pero may hangganan pala. 

The biggest surprise: While I was watching, Hubby revealed that he actually saw it back in 1992.

Hubby: "It was as big as Ghost."
Me: "OK, Honey, I will always love you... Sa presinto ka magpaliwanag."


Anyway, I was more moved by Kevin Costner's eulogy six days ago. "I was your pretend bodyguard once...and now you're gone too soon." And after talking about Whitney's insecurities, he ended with "When you sing before Him, don't you worry. You will be good enough." He made me cry.

I may not have liked the film but yes, I know, as long as there are love stories (happy or sad), Whitney's songs will live on.


Today I'm in awe of the many hats life allows us to wear.  

to a great balancing act!
Photo credit: bluesunstudio-inc.com

My favorite roles: being my life's Leading Lady (you should be too!) and being Hubby's Life Partner. 

Next on the list: Daughter, Sister, Tita, Cousin, Friend.

Being a Colleague, Teammate, Blogger, Copywriter, Project Manager, Events Host, Stylist, Teacher, Student, Classmate, Neighbor, Churchmate, Relative, Acquaintance, Tourist have / had their moments.

I'm grateful that the past months gave me the opportunity to wear more hats. That of:

  1. Early Retiree. (Wow that sounds old. Lol.)
  2. Dreamer.
  3. New Kid on the Block. (In a foreign land.)
  4. Housemate.
  5. Traveler. (Level up from Tourist?)
  6. Job Hunter.
  7. OFW-wannabe. 
  8. Bum. 
  9. Freelancer. (Earning in my PJs has its perks.)
  10. Soul Searcher. 
So what's next? 

Do I see myself wearing the Balikbayan hat soon? 

22 February 2012


Date: The "Stories Behind Singapore Streets" exhibit

Venue: 7F and 8F, Singapore National Library (nearest MRT: Bugis and City Hall)

Library Hours: Monday to Sunday, 10am-9pm (closed on Public Holidays)

Exhibit Run: Up until 29 June 2012. (It opened January 2012.)

No entrance fee

No photography is allowed on the exhibit floors. Photos below are from the National Library's ground floor. 

Men-on-the-street byte from Out On a Date: The exhibit is interesting enough, especially for SG starters like us.

As expected, street names here in SG came from the place's history, myths, legends, folk tales, people, topography features, landmarks, trades and activities. 

Although we learned a lot from the exhibit, one street name's story remains a mystery to us -- what's the story behind Manila Street in the Bugis area? There was no curator around so wala kaming napagtanungan. 

Manila Street, Bugis area

Is the street connected to Manila, Philippines at all?

21 February 2012


As cover? Wish!

Hubby's back from a short Manila trip. Among his many pasalubong: Yes! (my guilty pleasure, binilin ko talaga) and Health Today (see the article on how to break dating cliches, we were among the interviewees!). Sayang, hindi siya umabot sa March issues ng Preview, Esquire and Rogue. 

Devoured the latest Manila showbiz chismis with Red Ribbon pastillas. Sarap! Ito ang chika: Yes' Best Dressed List does not include Kapuso stars. Mostly Kapamilya (Anne, Gretchen, Dawn, Piolo, Vice Ganda, Vhong, Kim, John Lloyd, Iza) and isang Kapatid (Lucy). 

Today's simple joy: Our dating philosophies (sabeh?!) are featured on a magazine. "Free yourself from dating cliches," Health Today magazine, February 2012 (Iya Villana on the cover). 

Here's the article, found on page 69. (Nice one, JVR. Thank you.) 
Photo: No, that's not me and Hubby, hehe.

The dating cliches, according to the write-up:

Cliche #1: That dates should be for special occasions.
(Out On a Date: Go for daily dates. Make every "ordinary" day count.) 

Cliche #2: You need money to have a good date.
(Out On a Date: Long walks, stargazing, reading in the park cost nothing.)

Cliche #3: Valentine's Day is exclusive to couples or ladies.
(Out On a Date: Try family road trips, barkada reunions, food or historical walks...)

Cliche #4: The date has to be well-planned.
(Out On a Date: Be spontaneous. Get lost in a new city.)

What's your day's simple joy?

19 February 2012


Hubby got everything to help ease my pain.

Cut my right thumb with my umbrella last week. Don't ask me how. I'm engot that way.

I'm really so blessed to have a Hubby who rushed to the neighborhood mall to buy everything I needed for the wound. Including Oreo McFlurry! "To help ease the pain." *sniff, sniff*

After I washed with soap and water, he dressed the wound. And did so every day. The wound's totally healed by now. Thanks to my personal Nurse-Doctor.

Just want to share a prescription for a happy, loving relationship: Be each other's Ultimate Caregiver.


"Would you like fries with that?" goes the old office joke. Have you actually said this to a colleague requesting for something?

Syempre, that was top of mind when we tried EWF: Everything with Fries at the Holland Village.

What I had: Bolognese that came with fries and Caesar salad. I love how generous the tomatoes and meat were! It satisfied my pasta craving. For the fries, you get to choose the flavor. Tried sour cream and onion. OK lang. Mas maalat yung sa Manila, mas gusto ko yun. (My first choice was their salmon but it was unavailable that night. Reason to come back!)

Hubby: Pork chop with curry fries and salad. The pork chop was so tender. And masarap ang timpla. His curry fries were more flavorful than my sour cream and onion.

Drink: Lemon iced tea. We requested for more ice. Ang init eh.

Tab: Less than SGD40.

What we enjoyed, aside from the food: people watching. The place attracts a young set. With that name, that's kinda expected. Pareho naman sila ng Pinoy youth: noisy and mahilig mag-picture-an.

16 February 2012


We don't do Valentine's. Read previous post about it here. Our dates, little acts of love, exchange of "I love yous" are not confined to February 14. We're mushy all year round. If you're into it, hope you had a Happy Hearts Day! To each his own. Walang basagan ng trip. Lol.

But I have a confession: I fell in love with the Google doodle for Valentine's 2012. 

The message is so simple and true -- love is never about the stuff. As a couple who's more into living an enriching life than a rich life, relate na relate kami. *teary eyed*

Washington Post puts it perfectly, "...the determined boy inadvertently finds the answer that was before him all along: The jump rope is the ultimate heartstring to pluck. Together, at last, in rhythm, their hearts skip a beat."


07 February 2012


See bits of Singapore through my Hubby's eyes via this music video. The clips were taken during some of our dates around the city.

"One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things." -- Henry Miller

06 February 2012


Cheap thrill: Concrete jungle time-off at the Singapore Botanic Garden. (MRT Station: Bontanic Garden, Circle Line). Eksena on a Sunday: Families and friends having picnics; kids flying kites and learning how to ride their bikes; senior couples walking hand-in-hand. 

What we did: While Hubby was busy with his Project (he was the only one who went around the Garden), I chose a spot where I could quietly read. I'm low maintenance. Iwan mo lang ako sa damuhan, with a book, OK na ako. Hahaha!

Below's my lovely spot under the sun. The umbrella's a despedida gift from my friends N, J and M. It was part of my 2011 birthday wish list.

What a view! It was so relaxing to be lying down on the grass, looking at the sky, reading my book, snacking on my Seaweed Lay's, sipping Coke, napping. THANK YOU, GOD, for such blessed moments!

What I was reading: David Nicholls' "One Day."
I vowed to give the book a chance since the movie failed me. Very good decision.

We've seen the ducks before...

So the date highlight was seeing Black Swans for the first time! 

They're more beautiful than Natalie Portman! *kidding*

Are you joining me on the grass?

Ah, life's simple joys! 

Savored the moment from my reading spot. 
Those are my black ballet flats. (May theme? Black swans, black flats...Haha!)

Merienda at Cluny Court, located at the left side of the Botanic Garden gates (MRT station gates).

Pretty lamps and blooms at the Cluny Court entrance. Yes, Spring Festival pa rin! (I believe the Year of the Water Dragon officially started yesterday, February 5, 2012?).

Pizza Date at Gastronomia. 

Hubby had Chili Con Carne pizza. It was good! SGD7.50. 

I had the Salmon & Pesto pizza. Yum! Also SGD7.50.

The lovely pedestrian bridge near the Botanic Garden MRT station. See the bridge facade from my other Botanic Garden entry.

Date shot. Love, love, love.
The grass is greener
on this side of the fence.


Little things I'm grateful for:
  1. That I can commute with my bag unzipped. I can use my open totes here!
  2. That I can commute wearing jewelry.
  3. That I can walk alone at night.
  4. That people can use their bags to reserve / save tables in hawker centers.
  5. Comfortable bus rides. (Where I came from, I stayed away from buses. Too many horror stories. Pet peeve: Pinupuno muna. Such a waste of time. And once the bus is fully loaded, and on the road na, watch out for road rage!)
Low crime rate is not zero crime rate. But I still celebrate my 'peace of mind.'

More items on the list:
  1. Thank you that someone very dear to us is feeling better. She values her privacy so yan na lang...
  2. Thank you for fresh air
Yes, health is wealth.

05 February 2012


Ola! Craving for Mexican food in Singapore? Go to Piedra Negra, along Haji Lane.

Haji Lane on a weeknight, around 7pm...
(Nearest MRT: Bugis)

Piedra Negra's al fresco tables. We chose to dine inside though because of the interesting interiors. Mas feel ko ang pagiging Mexican cantina niya sa loob. Yes, they serve San Miguel beer, see the ashtray (photo below). And they have Pinoys in their staff so expect good service.

What we had:

Nachos: "...flavorful combination of toppings such as Mexican beans, chicken, delicious melted cheese, and sour cream. SGD10.90

Costillas de Cerdo al BBQ (aka Baby Pork Ribs): "Marinated pork ribs glazed with tamarind sauce, chili and herbs, grilled in slow fire for perfect tenderness." SGD17.90

Hubby: His favorite Coca-Cola, SGD3.

Me: Lime Juice (Had the good-girl version of the Margarita. Lol.). SGD3.

Lovely interiors...


What we loved about the place: everything! The ambiance, the interiors, the service, the food - they were all good. We wanted spice, we got spice! The pork ribs were so tender, they'd melt in your mouth. The nachos were super flavorful. Their hot sauce were really hot! Everything was reasonably priced. Total bill was around SGD40 (almost Php1500), with 10% SC and 7% GST. 

Buen apetito!


I prayed for the "right" job
and got the "write"-ing job.

Fade up music:
Life has a funny way 
of sneaking up on you...
-Alanis Morissette

Related post: Separation Anxiety

02 February 2012


"God says we need to love our enemies. It hard to do. But it can start by telling the truth. No one had ever asked me what it feel like to be me. Once I told the truth about that, I felt free. And I got to thinking about all the people I know. And the things I seen and done. My boy Treelore always said we gonna have a writer in the family one day. I guess it's gonna be me." -- Aibeleen Clark (brilliantly portrayed by Viola Davis), The Help

Best Picture indeed!
"The Help" recently swept awards at the SAG.

Moving. Inspiring, Empowering. The Help is such a compelling drama about the African-American maid's point of view.

You should see this. If you're a mom and a boss (matinong ina at amo, at that), I recommend you watch it with your children...and maybe even your help. Be sure makatao ka ha, or else yaya could pick up ideas.

My favorite napanganga-talaga-ako moment:

Eat my shit!

Excuse me!

I said eat...my...shit.

Have you lost your mind?

No, ma'am but you is about to. 
'Cause you just did.

I was so impressed with the movie, I'm reading the book next. I've had a copy since last year (a paperback I brought with me from Manila) but I've never opened it. Will do that now. 

Movie tagline: Change begins with a whisper. 


There was so much J. Co Donuts buzz on Facebook the other day. Because they're opening a branch in Manila (Megamall) soon. 

To satisfy my curiosity -- How good are these donuts, anyway? -- I dropped by Raffles City (B1) today. I got the J.Pops baby donuts. One box contains 24 baby donuts, in twelve different flavors, for SGD11.50. (Baby donuts = baby calories? Asa!)

I agree, their donuts are less sweet than Krispy Kreme. So hindi nakakaumay. OK sila.

12 Flavors (random):
Heaven Berry, Tiramisu,
Why Nut,  Berry Spears,
Coco Loco, Copa Banana,
Oreo, Al Capone,
Caviar Choco, Forest Glam,
Meisisipi, Blue Berrymore

 First ones to go (see below):
  1. Al Caponne, the one with almond flakes. Sarap!
  2. Caviar Choco. We love the crunch. And the faint bitterness (duma-dark chocolate). 
Oreo, you're next!


Which donut flavors did I really, really love?
  1. Copa Banana (the one with the white dot on top of the chocolate, 4th row from the front). It's like having banana split!
  2. Blue Berrymore (blueberry cheesecake, first row, with cheese on top).


Dear first paycheck of 2012,

I'm suffering from separation anxiety. From you.

I've been considering spending some of you on an experience -- on something I can always remember you by. I vowed not to spend you on material things. No shopping for dresses, bags, shoes, accessories, not even toys for my pamangkins, or anything Ikea. Yes, I'm a changed woman. As I blogged before, this entire adventure is shaping a better version of me. Haha!

On to the experience. I've been considering: (1) A world-class MBS date with the Hubby? (2) Round-trip plane tickets for two, to Manila and back, to spend time with my newborn nephew? (3) A yoga club membership?

After too much thinking and re-thinking, weighing and re-weighing (Lol), I've decided - you're too special. So I'm just going to keep you. Untouched. 

Thank you for coming into my life. You're God-sent. 


Here's to more of you!