Friday, August 31, 2012

Night Festival tomorrow...

Just a quick post. Planning to check out the Singapore Nights Festival this weekend.

The festival will just be for two weekends - 24 and 25 August and 31 August and 1 September.

I was able to download a guide to the event, and there are a bunch of things worth checking out.

Uhm, I actually just want to see the light installations at the Singapore Arts Museum.

However, after going through the guide, it seems that there are more things to do.

Whooppee! :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Mistress... I want to watch...

Aside from adobo and Jollibee, one more thing I miss about the Philippines is watching cheesy Pinoy movies. Hehe!

Yeah, yeah, I'm a huge sucker for (most of) these flicks by Star Cinema.

Minimum requirement: John Lloyd Cruz or Sam Milby.

I'm not very much up-to-date with who  the stars of the moment are in Philippine showbiz, but these two guys are among my all-time favorites. So far, I've really enjoyed every film these guys have appeared in. (Believe it or not, I dun care too much for Piolo. Sheesh, I still remember that film of his with Angel Locsin shot in Mindanao and in Australia. Yeesh! *shudder*)

Oh, oh... and any film with... Sharon Cuneta. Hehe! (so much for being a closeted Sharonian.)

My friend Noreen who's a writer for ABS-CBN recently mentioned the movie The Mistress in her blog.

She shared a line from the movie, which I guess have been and will be tweeted and posted in every social networking site. Haha!

"Walang babaeng pinangarap maging kabit."

It was only yesterday that I got to watch the trailer and Youtube. Right after watching the trailer, I sort of wish I could catch it on the big screen.

The film looks very promising with its cast and the plot. The Bea and JLC tandem has already proven formula, so I'm quite sure that tatabo sa takilya ang pelikulang ito. Hehe!

Oh, Noreen's fave line may have been Bea's. The one I liked was that of Hilda Koronel's character. "Layuan mo ang asawa ko. Tagalog iyan para maintindihan mo."

I love how she delivered the line. It was with the emotion expected of the line. Really good.

I wonder if it will have the same effect in in another language...

"Wo de zhangfu duzi likai. Mandarin iyan para maintindihan mo." Haha!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Nature walk at Lower and Upper Peirce Reservoir...

The venue for the recent nature walk were two reservoirs that I haven't visited yet - Upper and Lower Peirce Reservoirs.

With nothing on my calendar for a Saturday morning, I said agreed to do the walk with usual nature walk/hiking buddy Melvin aka KK aka Mr. Lim. :P I asked three other people if they would be interested to go. Only said yes. Melvin invited a bunch of people as well. Only one said yes.

Come Saturday morning, there was just me and Mr. Lim having a breakkie of prata and kopi at the Kim San Leng food centre near Bishan MRT. Haha! My friend didn't wake up on time. Melvin's friend was the same.

I jokingly told him, "You and I are the only two crazy people who would wake up at 7AM on a weekend to go nature hiking." The other guy who we're both sure to wake up as early as us is Francis, who unfortunately is now in UK.

Anyway, after finishing breakkie, we made our way to Lower Peirce.

The Peirce Reservoir is one of the oldest reservoirs in the island. It used to be called the Kallang River Reservoir, and was commissioned in 1912. The reservoir was renamed in 1922 after Robert Peirce who was the Municipal Engineer from 1901 ro 1916.

In the late sixties, the increase in demand of water led to the construction of the Upper Peirce Reservoir. Work began in 1972. Three years later, the reservoir was completed.

Lower Peirce may be reached via the Old Upper Thomson Road. Upper Peirce, however, is difficult to reach by commuting. The only way to reach is by cab or by car.

Between the two, I like Upper Peirce more because of the panoramic scene it offers. On one side, you will have a view of the lower reservoir and a bit of the city skyline (?). On the other side, you have a view of the reservoir and you can faintly see the highest natural point in SIngapore - the Bukit Timah Hill.

Lower Peirce, on the other hand, provides a bit more of adventure. There is a boardwalk throughout the forested area where one can see various species of plants and animals. If you're lucky enough, you may even see some wild boars which are known to inhabit the area. (We saw only one and it was huge! It quickly ran away into a more forested area though.)

This walk was definitely easy. No scratches and bruises involved. Hehe! The boardwalk definitely made navigating Lower Peirce so easy. Meanwhile, Upper Peirce did not involve much walking because Melvin drove. Hehe. I think though it would be a good place to go for a (very) short bike trip. Very short because it’ll just be from the main road up until the reservoir. ;P

As with all other nature walks/hiking trips, we would always end it with a good meal. This time, we headed to Longhouse at 183 Upper Thomson Road.

The place is a hawker center which offers several yum traditional dishes such as chicken rice, duck rice, rojak, popiah, prawn mee, hokkien mee, and so on.

Melvin and I both had chicken rice. I ordered popiah as well, while he got raw fish salad.

Well-spent Saturday morning.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Cutest Korean couple ever... hehe...

Once in awhile, I would do a random search for LGBT films on YouTube. Most recently, I stumbled upon the Korean movie "No Regrets." Story was quite okay. Weird ending though. (Not going to say here whether it's a happy one of not, so you'll be curious to watch it. Hehe!)

Last week, I can't remember what it was that I was watching on YouTube but I saw on the side bar a number of clips named Tae Sub & Kyung Soo (eng Sub) Part.

I clicked and watched one vid, and that was all it needed for me to get hooked. Haha!

Tae Sub and Kyung Soo are the two gay characters in the Korean soap "Life is Beautiful." The series is about the lives of the members of a family living in Jeju island. Tae Sub (played by Song Chang-ui) is a His partner Kyung-soo (played by Lee Sang-woo) is a photographer/university lecturer. The latter was living the "picture-perfect" life - beautiful wife, beautiful daughter, affluent family. The drama when his affair with Tae Sub results in him being outed and his wife filing for divorce.

You won't see any of this in the vidclips on YouTube. The clips available on YouTube (which are actually more interesting... hehe!) follows the story of Tae Sub & Kyung Soo as a couple.

There are 29 clips, I think. I'm on clip 14 now. It's sooo addicting. Haha! If you're into cheese, you have to watch this. If you're into drama, you have to watch this. If you're just into good-looking Koreans, you have to watch this. Hehe!

The issues faced by the two characters, both as individuals and as a couple, are certainly familiar to LGBTs.

I'm a bit surprised to find out that the Korean culture is still dominantly conservative, so kudos to the network, the writer and the cast of this series for being courageous enough to put out a show with gay characters... on daytime television!

The series aired in 2010. From what I read, there were about 60 over episodes. In each episode though, the Tae Sub and Kyung Soo story  will only get about 15 minutes airtime. That's why it's awesome that their vids are available on Youtube. Whoever was behind the clips, thank you!!!

Or should I say kamsa hamnida. :P

Friday, August 24, 2012

Moving... to a new work area...

Today I moved to a new work area.

My team lead feels that I sit quite far from the rest of the team, and I guess she sort of feels sorry for me that I am separated from my team mates. (Or maybe it's just becoming too troublesome always having to call me every time there's a team meeting. Hehe!)

If it were up to me, I'm perfectly okay with my work area. I dun really like moving. Whether it's moving homes or moving to a new work area, I'd avoid it as much as possible. Hehe.

Since I don't really have a choice, I went to work quite early this morning, packed my things and started moving my boxes.

After transferring the boxes, the first thing I did before setting up my PC and arranging things was to take out my iPhone, and launch this app MkSurf8 shared with me and Chris.

The app name is Geomancy. Based on my birthday and Kua number, it tells me which direction to face using the iPhone's compass app.

From there, I began setting up the things in my new work area.

I'm not really a huge feng shui fan. My Mom is. For as long as I can remember, she's been moving things around the house because of feng shui. When I started working, she brought me to Chinatown so we can consult on what feng shui "gadgets" to get.

Hmm, I'm not really sure if it helps. It probably does. I am in Singapore after all. Hehe!

So I'm really wishing my Mom is here right now so she can help me feng shui my work area.

With the little that I know about how to feng shui the work area, I need a dragon tortoise, a jade cicacada, some crystals, a panting of a mountain, a mirror, to begin with. All these things I had back in Pinas. I wish I brought em with me.

I'm not on the verge of freaking out but this new work area is quite a challenge to feng shui. There are a number of so-called poison arrows I have to remedy. Sigh.

But for now, the best I can do is to face my Personality Development direction. It's impossible to face the direction for Success but at least it's to my right. Hehe!

Indirectly behind me is the window, which is not really good. But at the same time, behind me is the Total Loss direction. So I'm just telling myself that it'll be okay because I'm turning my back on the Killings and the Total Loss directions. Hehe!

Next, must find time to head down to Chinatown this weekend to get the "gadgets." Hehe!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Gloc 9's Sirena...

Finally found the time to listen and watch to Gloc 9's Sirena.

Friend Victor sent a link to the vid to our group chat, but it was only recently that I got to check out the song and the MTV.

I like it. I'm not really a huge fan of rap (hehe!) but this song has quite a catchy tune and the words are still very much easy to understand.

The music video - the story, the treatment - is not bad as well.

The story is the all too familiar stereotyped image of a Filipino gay man. Effeminate, "wants to be a girl," weak and unable to stand up for himself - Roderick Paulate's characters in various sitcoms I used to watch growing up come to mind.

Hmm, I'm not really a huge fan of stereotype. When I was doing some graduate courses in Diliman, I wrote a "paper" on the changing image of gay men as shown in a film I saw that time. The review got published in the college's academic journal.

As much as it would be nice to veer away from stereotypes, the truth is the stereotypes do exist and are still very much part of the LGBT community.

One review of the song I read gave a very good reason why stereotypes still need to be recognized. While the stereotyped parlorista character is placed in sitcoms/comedy movies, one must also see that there is some "violence" involved in it. Forcing the son's head into a barrel of water while the usual tambays laugh at father and son; being jeered at while cheering for a crush at the community basketball game.

A line in the review goes, "Here is a song that deals with that violence, here is a song that refuses to laugh at it, and instead insists it is fact, it is truth."

Couldn't agree more.

One more thing that surprised me when I watched the video was seeing very good friend Carlo at the end of the video. There was also one person I was rather surprised to see.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Dempsey + Tiong Bahru Sunday...

What was supposed to be a brunch get-together turned out into an entire day of cafe-hopping and a zi char dinner.

Because of the long weekend, most people are either out of town or busy with other things. MkSurf8 and RKGreg headed to Thailand. Chris had his RCT, plus he and Ian were occupied with moving in and fixing the new place. Richie was working. Dunno where Mon was. The same was true with Pg Boy's friends. Ken was in Bangkok. E was in Bangkok.

That left me, Pg Boy and Pg Boy's friends Andi and Ho spending the entire Sunday together. Lol.

Andi suggested having brunch at Dempsey. He wanted to have it at House. Ho wanted to have it Jones the Grocer. Hehe. By the time Pg Boy and I reached Dempsey, the boys have already gotten at table at Jones.

In the middle of brunch, I posted a photo of the brunch plate on Twitter. A few minutes later, I get a message from Owen asking me to head over to his "tiangge" for a freebie. Hehe! Wheee!

From Jones, we moved to Ben & Jerry's since Andi wanted ice cream and I could use the dessert as well.

An hour or two later, Andi and Ho were thinking where to go. I suggested that we might as well go to House. So we walked to over to House and stayed for a few hours as well.

By the time we left, it was almost 6. I already missed Mass and I didn't know of any other late Mass aside from the one at faraway Bukit Batok. :-/

Agreeing that we're all Dempsey-ed out already, someone suggested having dinner at Tiong Bahru. The first thing that came to mind was Por Kee at Seng Poh Lane.

Andi's never been to the place so he was quite excited about it. I was excited for the homemade tofu. Ho suggested we order the Thai Style Steam Fish. I remember another friend saying that I should try it because it's really good.

It was. Along with the homemade tofu and the crispy chicken, it was quite a good dinner. The steam fish is served in a huge fish-shaped plate on top of a food warmer. The spicy Thai soup is served separately and the Auntie will pour the soup over the fish once it's served on the table. Really nice, but quite ex. Hehe!

By the time we finished din, I was really feeling bloated already from the whole day of just eating and sitting down. I really thought I would have the energy to still go to Avalon that night to check out the club. However, by the time Pg Boy and I reached his side of the island we were both dead tired.

That and the fact that the day of cafe-hopping + zi char really broke my wallet. Haha! :S Still, it was a good day. Relaxed and anything goes.

The best thing other than the food and the company, no need to wake up early on a Monday. Haha!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

First time...

First time to leave the office this late. LOL!

Just for the sake of posting something.

Are you GAYme enough returns...

Eh, so you think you know your LGBT history?!

Which section of the Singapore Penal Code criminalizes sex between mutually consenting adult men? What do the colors of the rainbow flag mean? How many countries recognize same-sex marriage?

Whether you know your ABCs of everything LGBT or just curious to know more about it or you just want to get into Play for free (Lol!), do come down to Play this Friday night for Are You GAYME Enough? Season II.

It's the second run of the gameshow where contestants get quizzed on topics ranging from sexuality and sexual health to local LGBT history and culture.

Come, come.

Friday, August 17 2012
Play – 21 Tanjong Pagar Road

Monday, August 13, 2012

Line Camera: nice app for cutesy patootsy photos...


If you take a look at my phone, you'll find a bunch of photo sfx apps. Most of these I learned about thanks to friends like RKGreg, Tommy and Alynn who use the cameras on their phones quite often. Hehe!

Lately, my fave app is Line Camera, which I found out from Tommy.

The app allows the user to make photos more fun and cute with its various features. Over 100 different frames to choose from, about 21 filters to add more character to the photo, and tons of cute stamps. You can also share your photos with various social networking sites easily.

The app is also free, which makes it even more awesome.

It's the stamps that are my current fave. I'm particularly liking the bear stamps. Hehe!

The app has lately been proving to be very useful and a favorite, especially during the train ride from my side of the island to Pg Boy's side of the island. Hehe! The otherwise dull and monotonous MRT ride becomes less boring because I get so occupied with editing some photos. Hehe!

Go download and try it. ;P

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Brunch at Batter Fluffy Flaps in Katong...

With nothing planned this morning, Pg Boy and I decided to head down to Katong area to try out one of the brunch places in the area.

Katong is not really the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of brunch. That just might change. Among with the several food places found outside of i12 Katong mall, there are three possible brunch places for people living on this side of the island.

Pg Boy was suggesting we check out Robolots. I, on the other hand, suggested Batter Fluffy Flaps. While we were walking along Joo Chiat, we noticed that Awfully Chocolate/Mooshi Bakes now also offers brunch. Nice.

We first went to Robolots at to check out the menu. When we got there, the place had just opened for the day. We saw some of the staff still prepping the tables. The menu looked interesting though.

So, we agreed to give it a try on another occasion and try Batter Fluffy Flaps today.

Batter Fluffy Flaps or BFF is a stone's throw away from Robolots and from i12 Katong.

When we got to the place, it wasn't crowded at all. Some tables were occupied but it wasn't very busy yet. I dunno if it's because the place is relatively new or like I said earlier, Katong has yet to be thought of as a brunch place.

Pg Boy and I were able to get a table very quickly. Ordering food wasn't difficult as well. The first thing I would usually look at is the brunch combo. Almost always, I would already be good with it.

The Breakfast Mambo Combo comes with one ham, two bacon strips, two poached egg, two Chipolata sausages, a small portion of greens and cherry tomatoes, and two pancakes. It's $14.

There's a note that prep time takes about 15 minutes. However, since we were there early and since it wasn't packed, the order came in less than 15 minutes.

I thought the food was quite okay. For $14, it wasn't bad. The pancakes were nice. You can get ask for as much syrup as you want. LOL! Two pancakes were enough to go with everything else.

As you can see, there are other dishes on the menu that may be worth trying. In the evening, I think the place also serves some light alcohol to cater to the evening crowd. Hehe!

The best part about the place? All Day Pancakes.

Must go back again to try other dishes.

Batter Fluffy Flaps
89 East Coast Road, #01-01. Singapore 428790.
Tel: 6440- 7071.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Happy birthday, Singapore...

Happy 47th birthday, Singapore!

A little over a year ago, the dream to work in this country became a reality. The objective was originally just to find work in order to finally be able to score that Prada I've been eyeing since forever. Kidding lah.

Looking back now, I came here for one thing but got so much more - good mix of Filipino and Asian friends (such as the guy I'm with in the photo above Melvin, who has shown me the "wild and green" side of the country), opportunities to see a bunch of exhibits and performances I've always been wanting to see, getting more fit and healthy (I think), continuing to do volunteer work, being IAR, and so on.

Really grateful for all these.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Checking out the Hermes Gift of Time exhibit...

After a back-to-back Body Pump and Body Combat class at Capital Tower last Saturday, I headed down to the old Tanjong Pagar Railway Station to check out the Hermes Gift of Time exhibit.

The railway station, which ceased operations last year and has since been usually closed to the public, is the venue for Hermes' traveling exhibit.

The exhibit was set up at the main area where the ticket counters used to be. A mini-museum of sorts with 7 rooms of installation art was erected in the middle of the hall.

Conceptualizing the exhibit was American artist Hilton McConnico.

Upon your entry to the second room labeled "Free Time", you will be given a small pouch for you to place your watch or phone or any timepiece. The idea is so that you can take your time to appreciate the exhibit.

My favorite room has to be the "Stroke of Time." In it, one will find a huge cat mosaic staring at a caged parrot in the middle of the room. Both the cat and the parrot are made up of recycled pieces of Hermes leather. It was really brilliant.

The concept of the room has something to do about freeing time. In the same room, two Hermes pieces are on display.  One is from the 1920s, while the other is from the 1990s. Both pieces still look great.

I was planning to do just a quick stop at the exhibit, because I had to head back to Tampines and meet up with Pg Boy but I ended up spending more than an hour at the exhibit space. Haha!

Good exhibit to visit if you wany to kill time or if you want to appreciate the Gift of Time.

The exhibit runs until 12 August 2012, 11am – 9pm daily. Entrance is free.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Cycling adventure at Ubin...

Pulau Ubin is an island at the North Eastern side of Singapore.

The name Pulau Ubin literally translates to Tile Island. According to nature walk/hiking buddy Melvin, there were several granite quarrying sites in the island. The granite was then transported to the main island for the buildings. Today, the quarries are filled with fresh water and now add to the panoramic scene of the island.

It is one of the last few areas in the country that is yet to be modernized. No towering housing units, no Prada or Vuitton, no foreign talent (sorry I had to make that joke! Hehe!). Instead, you will see wooden houses, lush green surroundings, wild animals roaming around freely. This is how Singapore was before it became the very modern city most people know it to be now. To me, it reminded me of the several trips I had to the countryside back in the Philippines. The simple houses, the relaxed environment, the freedom from city traffic and chaos - it was a nice place to be at on a Sunday morning.

Melvin, his friends David and Patrick, and I boarded one of the bumboats at the Changi Point Ferry Terminal around 9AM. After a very short 15-minute boat ride, we reached the Pulau Ubin jetty. Once you get off the bumboat and make your way out of the jetty, it feels like being transported back in time when Singapore had a "kampung" (village) way of living.

We rented a bike at the main village and began our day of exploring. I haven't been on a bike for several years so I had a very shaky start. Hehe! There is an island taxi one can rent, but there is really no fun in that, is there?

The first stretch of the cycling route was on concrete road, which somehow made it easy. After a while, the guys made a turn somewhere and we entered into rugged trail. This proved to be much, much more challenging. Hehe!

The reward for surviving was reaching the Chek Jawa Wetlands. Here, several different ecosystems may be observed. You have a portion covered with plants and trees. Further walking and you will reach a mangrove forested area. A little more walking and you will be led out into a view of the sea where you can see the main Singapore island. Hehe!

One will also find an authentic pre-war Tudor style home built in the 1930s. From the marker, the house is said to be built in the 1930s b then Chief Surveyor Langdon Williams as a holiday home. It now houses the Chek Jawa Visitor Centre.

By the time we were back at the Chek Jawa Information Kiosk, it was already noontime and the four of us were tired and starving. We started to make our way back. The trail going down was a bit more challenging and more steep. I know because I crashed. Haha! There was a warning about the slope being kind of steep. Still, I lost control of the bike and the next thing I know, I was going down very fast and I knew that I was already going to crash.

Thankfully, it was just some cuts and bruises on the knee, calves and arms and nothing major.

On the way back, we passed by one of the old quarries which now looks like some kind of lake. Hehe!

We were back at the main village past 12, and Melvin led the way to one of the restaus for a much-needed lunch. The guys took care of ordering - squid, clams, sweet potato leaves, and one more "exotic" dish. Hehe!

It was definitely a good Sunday morning activity.

By the way, if you're in SG and you like nature or if you just want to experience how Singapore was back in the 1960s, then you should go and make that trip to Pulau Ubin already.

According to Melvin, the government has plans to develop the island already. He even mentioned that there will be an MRT going to the island.