Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fan boy night...

As I mentioned in my previous post, I found God of Carnage great and what followed after the show even better.

Throughout the show, there were several laugh out loud moments. I wasn't sure how the play was going to be and I was a bit hesistant to watch it. (I'm more of a musicals guy than plays. Hehe!) But I was really, really glad to have watched the show because it was just good.

It was also great that I was able to score some good seats for PG Boy and me. This certainly helped in making the play more enjoyable for me, at least.

Adrian Pang was really gooood! I've seen him in Spring Awakening. And of course, I know him from his former TV series The Pupil. His performance for God of Carnage is one of my favorites. He was just perfect for the role. Haha!

And then there's Art, Menchu and Lea. It was definitely a proud night for Filipinos! Hehe! I'm not the most patriotic person in the world, but I was really proud of the three actors that night. Hehe!

There were a few people seated behind me and PG Boy who didn't even know that Lea Salonga is Filipino. Gasp! Haha!

Anyway, after the show, I managed to convince PG Boy that we stay behind and wait for the cast to come out. I saw in the FB of a friend's niece that she was able to have a photo with Lea and that gave me hope. Haha!

While most of the audience made their way out of the DBS Art Centre after the show, a handful of us stayed behind. Naturally, there were also a bunch of Filipinos. I was also pleasantly surprised to see friend Ivan who played Peter in the recently concluded musical Company.

We made an agreement that I would take his photo with Lea and he would take mine and PG Boy's. Hehe!

With that settled, we waited...

We weren't sure if they would come out. There were two exits from the venue and we weren't sure which exit they would take. While waiting, I asked PG Boy, Ivan and his friend that we move another area closer to one of the exits.

There were other people waiting, but I managed to get us into a strategic location. All those years of being public relations/corporate communications is paying off. Haha!

When I finally saw Lea and Menchu on their way down, I immediately got excited and waited for them to reach the ground level. Very quickly, I called out her name and asked for a photo. I quickly asked PG Boy to join. Next, I pushed Ivan and his friend towards Lea just to be sure they can get their photo before the rest of the crowd head to Lea and ask for a photo. Hehe!

Next was Menchu. I've seen her in Next to Normal and a bunch of other shows and I really like her. She's very pretty and very warm and friendly. PG Boy actually liked her as well because of that.

It was also quite easy to get a photo with Art because he was just standing outside the venue with his wife(?) and waiting for their ride I suppose.

Surprisingly, the one that I got sort of starstruck with was Adrian Pang. Hehe! I've always been wanting to have a photo with him. I've been wanting to tell him that I liked him in Spring Awakening and that I loved him in The Pupil. However, when the time came for the photo, all I did was to congratulate him and thank him for the photo. Hehe!

Still, it was an awesome night for me. PG Boy was very amused. LOL! It's his first time to see me in a fan boy mode. And he does know how crazy of a fan Filipinos can be. Hehe!

Definitely a happy Sunday!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Good Sunday except for one thing...

Despite the heavy downpour throughout yesterday...

The good things:
By afternoon, the rain had stopped. Found a new book I'm planning to read. Dinner with PG Boy at The Wine Connection at Robertson Walk. Awesome bolognese at the said restau. Catching Lea, Menchu, Art and Adrian on God of Carnage. The show was great! The after show was even more awesome. (Separate entry for this one)

The one thing I forgot:
Richie's bday. Ugh! I can't believe I forgot. I only remembered because the first message I saw in the group chat when I got up this morning was, "So please explain why no one greeted me on my birthday?" Ugh! Kicking myself for it. Haha!

< Except for that one thing, it was a great Sunday...

Friday, November 23, 2012

Checking out the H&M x Margiela collection...

I dropped by H&M over the weekend just to see if there were still any remaining H&M x Margiela pieces.

There were still a LOT!

I was really surprised to see that the collab wasn't that big of a hit as I thought it would be. This is Singapore! After the Marni and Versace collabs, I actually thought that everything will be sold out on the day the collab pieces went on sale.

But three days later after the Margielas went on sale and still, there were so many pieces available.

I was talking to my friend Jane about it and she felt that it was because of the price point. I have to agree. Compared to the previous collabs, the Margiela collection is probably the most expensive one (I think). Most of the pieces were SGD100/200 over.

Another reason could be the sizing. The women's dresses were obviously ang moh sizing. Asian women would probably need to chop off a few inches of the hem.

Or could it be because Margiela, like Comme des Garcons, is more of a cult brand? It has its own set of followers and the pieces are, not to sound snobbish, not really for everyone.
br/> PG Boy, for example, does not know Margiela. He only found out about him because of me. LOL! Although PG Boy is an exception. When we first met, he told me he actually thought Prada was a man. I almost fainted. Kidding. Hehe!

Going back, I did like the bags!!! Ugh, if I didn't have a moratorium on myself, I would've gotten the upside down bag as well as the tote bag. The pieces are in real leather so I think the prices were acceptable. Hehe!

Anyway, I only wanted this one bracelet but as I expected, it was already sold out. Boo!

As a souvenir, I just got the magnets. Haha! I also bought a set for my friend, I-van, because I know he will love it!

So far, H&M has been good in selecting its guest designers. I wonder who the next collab will be with.

I have yet to experience the queuing up overnight just to be ahead of everyone else. Haha! That should be fun!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I'm going to Nepal... I'm going to Nepal...

I'm going to Nepal in February.

Yup, that's right. Unless something bad or something very good happens that will prevent me from doing the trip (LOL!), I will be hopping on a plane some time in late February to go to Kathmandu and stay there for a few days.

Around the first or second week of October, an email was sent out to all employees in Asia about a chance to go to Nepal to visit the a children's center that the company has been supporting for about three years now.

According to our VP, the center would like to have a few employees go to Nepal to see how the company has been helping lives in Nepal.

In this regard, an essay-writing competition of sorts was held for employees to join and win a chance to represent the company in a trip to the center in Nepal. The task was simple yet challenging. In 250 words, write why one should be selected to go and what one can do for the children under the care of the center.

Sounds easy, right? However, the word count limitation made it quite a challenge to provide a meaningful and substantial answer on why I have to be selected.

I thought about what I could write and how I should write it. I wanted to share about my experience on how my Singapore dream became a reality. Hopefully, it would serve as an inspiration to the children to work in achieving their dreams, too.  That was the main message of my essay.

I came up with a draft. I left it for a day or two. I read it again and made some changes, and afterwards I submitted my entry.

That was it. All I knew was the winners would be announced on 15th November.

Come 15 Nov, I was eagerly waiting for the email announcing the people selected to go to Nepal.

I was not sure about my chances of winning, but I must say I felt good about my entry. Hehe! At 2:17PM, the email from Corporate Communications arrived.

As soon as I saw the first few sentences of the email, I wanted to get up from my seat and shout for joy! I made it! My entry won! Pretty soon, I was getting messages from close colleagues congratulating me for being selected. I was so, so happy but I had to contain myself because I dun want my colleagues to think I'm crazy. Hehe! I messaged PG Boy immediately and told him the good news. He thought for a while that I was joking. Later on in the evening, I explained it to him. Hehe!

I read the message from the children's center director that came with the announcement of winners and I was really happy about her feedback regarding my entry. The center director was one of the judges for the contest who had to go through 30 entries from China, Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, and of course, Singapore.

In addition to winning, I also had a small feature in the online newsletter of the company. Hehe! Having been the one who's always doing writeups and featuring other people/groups (I used to do Public Relations/CorpComm), it was a bit strange seeing an article (lead story! LOL!) with me. My two minutes of fame. Hehe!

So there, that's the story of how I got an opportunity to be able to visit Nepal next year.

Really excited!!!

2013 hasn't even begun, and already I have a feeling it's going to be a good one! Yay

Monday, November 19, 2012

Chill Sunday...

Sunday was rather relaxed.

Earlier during the week, Mr. Lim asked me whether I wanted to go to Pulau Ubin again. I would've gone, because I like Ubin. However, I declined so that I could have some QT with PG Boy. Hehe!

We didn't really get to spend time together last Saturday because I was at the AIDS conference the entire day, while he had a Family Day thing at the office. When we met up in the evening, we thought of watching a movie but as expected, no good seats available. So instead we just chose to have a quiet dinner at Cathay before heading back.

By the time we got home, it was only 10PM but I was already feeling tired and sleepy. It didn't take long before I was in lalaland. PG Boy, on the other hand, had difficulty sleeping because of his gastro attack. I couldn't really do anything when he gets the attack because he just has to wait until it gets better. I think he slept at 3 already. :-/

Sunday morning, I woke up at 615. There was a 645 Mass at Holy Trinity, and I decided to rush in order to catch the Mass. Thankfully, I made it. Yay!

Afterwards, I went back to a PG Boy who was still fast asleep. Poor boy.

When he woke up close to noon, we agreed to grab breakkie and then head to i12 Katong for our movie date. Hehe! We watched Pitch Perfect, which turned out to be quite an interesting/entertaining film.

Then, we had a grand lunch at Wee Nam Kee. Hehe! I just wanted roast chicken and some soup because it was freezing at the theater and I was cold. When the food arrived, I was surprised to see that there was a lot. LOL! Roasted chicken. My fave ngo hiong. Dumpling soup. Really good lunch!

Lunch was followed by coffee at Trung Nguyen at the basement. We skipped dessert because we were so full from lunch. Haha!

Following coffee, we decided to head back. I wanted to get home early because I wanted to do chores. PG Boy had to get back too because he was having din with his best friend.

It was a good, relaxed Sunday though. Enjoyable. :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Getting to Zero... Must get to zero...

I was lucky enough to have been able to attend the 8th Singapore AIDS Conference yesterday.

Thanks to the group I'm volunteering with, I was able to get a ticket to the one-day event.

It's my first time to attend an AIDS conference. As I have expected though, it would be a day full of learning.

Fellow volunteer Jane and I agreed to meet up at Scape at a very early 715 to get breakkie before heading to Mandarin Orchard for the event.

The event began a little after 9 when Minister of State for Health Dr. Amy Khor arrived. Afterwards, Action for AIDS President Prof. Roy Chan kickstarted the day with his speech.

The theme of this year's conference was Getting to Zero: Zero New Infections. Zero Stigma. Zero Deaths.

Very ambitious, yes, but everyone is aware of this.

As Prof. Chan said, "Though lofty, zero is the ultimate goal."

Following him were keynote speakers Dr. K. H. Wong who shared about the experiences of Hong Kong and fellow FIlipino Laurindo Garcia who talked about his work in the Philippine setting.

I was so damn proud listening to Laurindo's speech.

Afterwards, the concurrent sessions began. Prior to the start of the conference, I already went through the program to choose which topics I want to listen to. There were quite a number of interesting topics.

I thought I would get sleepy at some point, but I managed to stay awake thanks to the very informative presentations.

To me, one of the highlights of the event was Avin Tan coming out about his HIV status. He's the second Singaporean to public reveal that he's HIV positive. The last one was about 15 years ago. Really proud of him for his courageous act.

My takeaway from the event?

The issues are pretty much the same. Awareness about the disease is needed. Stigma needs to be removed so that more people will take the test. We must be alarmed that some of those who are infected are just in their early teens. We all must aim for zero.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Company the musical on a Friday night...

PG Boy and I, along with another friend, managed to catch the local adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's musical Company yesterday night at the National Library Drama Centre.

My friend Ivan was part of the cast and I did tell him I planned to watch. Thanks to Ivan, we were able to get really good seats at a really good price. Yay!

Company revolves around thirty-something single urbanite Bobby who is surrounded by a group of married friends. Throughout the musical, Bobby's friends talk to him about the ups and downs, the good, the bad about being single and being married.

The lead character in the Singapore production is played by Peter Ong (who's from Penang. WoohoO!). It's my first time to see him perform and he is good.

Overall, I really enjoyed the show. I loved how it was sort of localized. I may not be Singaporean, but having lived here for almost two years now, I actually enjoyed that Hossan Leong and his Dream World Productions made the musical more relevant to the local audience. Hehe!

Company won SEVEN Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Really glad to have been able to catch the last performance.

Friday, November 16, 2012

How to say hello in...

Happy email received yesterday!

Where is this, ey?!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Champorado weather...

Raining again today. Boo.

The rainy weather these past few days has been making me craving for champorado.

Photo above from here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Chill Tuesday...

Happy Deepavali! :)

It was a relaxed public holiday for me and PG Boy.

In the morning, I got up around 8AM and headed to the nearby Bedok Reservoir Park for a run. Since I didn't get to go to the gym on Monday night, I was determined to do an easy run around the reservoir. I managed to convince PG Boy to go with me, although I went ahead of him because he was still struggling with the bed. Haha!

We met up at my favorite spot of the reservoir around 1015. From there, we finished the whole round of the reservoir. Afterwards, we walked back home and went straight to the kopitiam for a much-deserved breakkie.

In the afternoon, we went to Ken's place,  a few blocks away from PG Boy's place, for a late afternoon potluck lunch. Ken made a wonderful spaghetti in seafood marinara sauce. Gavin made his grandma's nyonya curry chicken. Andi brought tiramisu. PG Boy and I brought roast chicken. Wid brought drinks.

It was just a very chill afternoon with the guys. Around 5PM, PG Boy and I said goodbye to the group and made our way back to his place. We were so stuffed from the pasta and the chicken so we decided to walk back. Haha!

The evening was also just spent watching TV and reading books and prepping for the work day tomorrow.

Nice, nice Tuesday.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Lor mee and Argo...

Despite crashing at MkSurf8's couch at 4 in the morning, I still managed to wake up at friggin 7AM! Haha!

I dunno what it is about my body clock, but I'm happy that I can still operate even with just a few hours of sleep. While Chase, MkSurf8 and RKGreg were still in lalaland, I put some order on the couch I slept on, quietly washed my face and then left the flat as quietly as possible. Hehe!

When I got to the MRT station, I was so surprised to see that there were a lot of commuters. It was a Saturday. It was 7AM. Where were all these people going? Work? They certainly didn't look like they came from a night of partying. :S

Anyway, I reached home around 8. I put my clothes in the washing machine. I went back to my room and tried to sleep for an hour or two.

By 1030AM, I was on the road again. Haha! "We rest when we die," the motto of my best friend and I. From my faraway place, I took the train to the other side of the island to meet up with my nature walk/hiking buddy Mr. Lim. We planned to watch a movie. Initially, I thought it'll just be at VivoCity. This was great since it wasn't that far. But then he messaged that the tix he got were for i12 Katong. LOL!

Our first stop was the Old Airport Road Food Center, which is near Dakota MRT. I found Mr. Lim and then he asked me to get my lunch first. The Old Airport Road Food Center is quite popular for a number of things. I asked Mr. Lim what I should get and he recommended the lor mee from one of the stalls. It wasn't difficult to find the stall. I just looked for the one with a loooong queue and I knew that was it. No wonder it was popular. The lor mee was good. I just got the Medium bowl ($4) and it was good enough for me. For dessert, we bought banana fritters that sort of looked like turon. Hehe!

After lunch, we drove to i12 Katong to catch an early afternoon screening of Argo. I had no idea what the film is about, but I'm glad Mr. Lim suggested the movie. It's a very good one. I didn't even know this happened before, so it was also an impromptu history lesson for me. Haha!

Following the movie, I wanted to head back because I was really sleepy. Mr. Lim also had to head home because he had something going on that night (I think) and needed to power nap or something.

Relaxed Saturday. Wheee!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Jay Bell's Something Like Summer...

What was the last book you read?

The last one I recently finished (and the first book I read on my Kindle) was Something Like Summer by Jay Bell.

I stumbled upon the title while I was setting up Kino (the Kindle) and experimenting with how to purchase ebooks from Amazon even if I'm in Singapore.

I was searching for titles that didn't cost much. That way, if the transaction fails, I would have lost just a few dollars. Hehe!

That's how I stumbled upon Jay Bell's Something Like Summer. I was looking for LGBT fiction since I really miss it and this title kept on coming up. It had several stars, which I guess gave me the impression that it was good. And the price was very good.

My fave LGBT writers are Michael Thomas Ford, Timothy James Beck, Alex Sanchez and Andrew Tobias. It looks like Jay Bell just might be added to this list of mine. Hehe!

I won't delve too much into details of Something Like Summer since I dun want to spoil it for anyone. But to give you an idea, it is a "love story spanning a decade and beyond as two boys discover what it means to be friends, lovers, and sometimes even enemies."

The story revolves around Ben, Tim and Jace. There are also a few sub-plots involving Ben's best friend Allison.

There are several memorable lines and several memorable scenes. I found myself laughing sometimes at the troubles Tim got himself into. And I found myself feeling kinda heavy at certain pages as well.

I'm glad I bought the book. It turned out to be a good read. It's my first time to read Jay Bell's work and I think I can say that I will look for his other titles.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Exploring the Northeast side of the island...

As I wrote recently, I went for a walk last Sunday morning with hiking/nature walk buddy Mr. Lim.

I actually invited two friends to go with us. One found the walk too early. The other one woke up two hours after the designated meeting time. Haha! I dun think think there are a lot of people across the island willing to wake up at 7AM to go for a walk. Hehe!

Mr. Lim and I met up at Bishan, our usal meeting point whenever we would go for walks. After having breakkie at the kopitiam just next to the bus interchange, Mr. Lim and I got into his car and headed to the northeast side of the island - Punggol.

Many would say that Singapore is such a tiny country, but seriously there are still several places in the island I've yet to explore/reach. Punggol/Sengkang, for example, areas I hardly go to. The last time I was in the vicinity was for another walk and the birthday lunch of Mr. Lim.

Anyway, we reached Punggol Promenade by 930. The parking area was very small and had limited parking slots (maybe because the park is so remote?). Thankfully, we saw a group of walkers who had just finished their morning activity get into a car and leave. Yay!

I'm quite confused with the correct name of the place. There was a huge sign that said Punggol Promenade. However, when I Googled Punggol Promenade, I was seeing another area.

The area where we parked and which served as our starting point was Punggol Point Park. Also in the park is the Punggol Jetty. The jetty has a viewing deck which gave park visitors a nice view of the strait of Johor.  One will also see on the other side of the straight what appears to be an oil refinery or an industrial area. Mr. Lim told me that that was already Malaysia. He also explained to me that was the reason why there was a police post at the jetty, so as to prevent any illegal exit from/entry to the country.

From the park, we followed the Punggol Promenade Punggol Point Walk. As we started our walk, Mr. Lim shared more trivia. The beach is actually historical because it is a World War II site. According to Mr. Lim, it was where many locals were shot to their deaths by the Japanese during wartime. Eeep! Hmm, I was wondering though why there was no official marker along the beach for this (or maybe we couldn't find it?). There was just a sign post saying World War II site.

It's a bit hard to believe that what is now an idyllic area was the same place where many locals were massacred. During our walk, there were runners/joggers, a few cyclists, and a number of anglers. The area was still relaxing though because of the panoramic views and also because the area is not as easily accessible as, say, East Coast Park.

Mr. Lim and I just followed the walk path until we reached the Punggol Marina Yatch Club. We crossed the main road and that led us to the Punggol Park Connector. The park connector gives one a view of the trees lining up Sungei Punggol.

Since we had no idea what route to take, we just kept on walking. An hour and a half after we started, we reached Sengkang Riverside Park. The park is located at Anchorvale Street and is right next to the Anchorvale Community Club and Sengkang Sports & Recreation Centre. The best part? There was MickeyD's! Haha! Because we started our walk quite late, it was already quite hot.

By the time we reached Sengkang Riverside Park, I was in need of a drink and a seat. Hehe! So Mr. Lim and I headed to Mackers and stayed there for a few minutes enjoying the AC and the cold, unhealthy drink. Haha!

That walk alone was already about 4KM. Though we were tired, we had no choice but to head back because the car was on the other side. LOL! The walk back was much more tiring and took a lot longer though because we took a different route. Basically, the walk back also served as an impromptu walkabout of Punggol and Sengkang. Haha! At least, I got to see that there were a lot, a lot of developments happening this side of the island. Construction of several BTO flats were underway in several areas.

By the time Mr. Lim and I were back at the Punggol Point Park, it was already nearing 1PM. Wahlau! We were walking for almost 4 hours. Haha! The first thing Mr. Lim headed for was ice cream. There was a lone ice cream vendor and we were both happy to see her.

As is our tradition, Mr. Lim and I ended our walk with a good lunch. I was tired. I was starving. All I could think of was lunch. Hehe! For this, we drove to Thohirah at nearby Jalan Kayu for a happy lunch of chicken briyani, thosthai and very cold lime juice.

Afterwards, Mr. Lim dropped me at Serangoon station. I headed back to PG Boy's place where I spent the next few hours zzz-ing before heading back to my side of the island in the evening. Haha!

It was a good walk! I'm glad that I woke up for it despite having gone clubbing the night before. I'm always happy to be surrounded by nature and to just explore areas of Singapore I haven't seen. I was extra happy too because I got see the sun in the morning (it rained heavily again in the afternoon).


To get an idea on the first leg of the walk that we did, go to page 6 of this guide, look for points 6, 7 and 9. That's the route we did heading to Sengkang Riverside Park. The route heading back I dun think can be mapped there. Hehe

Monday, November 5, 2012

Tourists for an hour...

PG Boy and I had our first year celeb of sorts over the weekend.

We didn't really get to celebrate because we were on separate holidays. When we both got back to Singapore, things were just a bit hectic with work. Hehe!

Cheesy/sentimental person that I am, I just couldn't accept the fact that there would be no celebration of sorts.

I did send ask his best friend to bring the anniv gift with him and give it to PG Boy on our anniv date. PG Boy did give me his presents from the trip (which I suppose are anniv presents as well). Also, he was the first to greet on the actual date and to me, that was a big leap for him already. Hehe!

Anyway, I sort of planned something to celeb. I did some research on what we could do and I remember him saying he's never gone on the SG Flyer and he's never visited Gardens by the Bay. These were two things I've never done myself and I thought both would be a good idea for the celeb.

Come Saturday, it was raining. LOL! Hmm, I was initially worried that the Flyer may not be in operations due to weather conditions. Thankfully, the rain stopped and we were able to have the 30 minute ride at the world's tallest ferris wheel. Hehe! (I guess I had to do the Gardens by the Bay some other time)

In addition to that, we had our QT at Hot Tomato and Starbucks before going for the flyer followed by a "local" dinner of noodles at the SG Food Trail just below the Flyer. Haha!

It was a simple celebration, but I think it was a memorable one. Yay!

By the way, if you're a PAssion card member, you get a huge discount for the flyer. Instead of paying for the usual $33 adult rate, I only paid $25 and this already includes a $5 voucher for the Singapore Food Trail.