Monday, December 31, 2012

Faves of 2012....

At the end of almost every fashion show, all the models would come out to give the crowd a one last look on the collection. The designer would then be the last one to come out to take his or her bow.

I guess the closing of another year is also like that. (O ha! Na-relate talaga sa fashion show ang buhay? Can it get any beki-er? Haha!) For some people, taking one final look at the year that passed by is something that needs to be done before we bid the year adieu and move on to the next season... errr. year.

While writing this post, I looked at my December 2011 and December 2010 archives and saw that I didn't write a yearend post for those two years. The last time I wrote a year in review kind of post was in 2009.

This year, I decided to do a highlights of 2012 sort of post since I pretty much have some time to sit down and write. Hehe!

In no particular order, here are the most memorable things about 2012.

1. Yogyakarta. I've been dreaming of visiting Borobudur and Prambanan for the longest time. After being wowed by the Angkor temples, Borobudur was definitely on my list. I was really glad that it finally happened this 2012. It's even more memorable because the trip was with PG Boy and it was our first trip together overseas. The best parts - the sunrise tour at Borobudur and the dinners at awesome Yogya food places.

2. Myanmar. I wasn't planning on making a trip to Myanmar. I'm trying to save for a trip next year so I wasn't really keen on doing a lot of travel this 2012. However, looking back now I am very happy that I did the trip. It turned out to be a very amazing travel experience. The fact that it was with MkSurf8, RKGreg and Chris made it even more awesome. The most memorable part of the trip for me was catching the sunrise at Shwesandaw Paya. I did love the experience in Borobudur, but the sunrise at Shwesandaw is enough to move one to tears. Okay, I didn't cry but being there and watching that sunrise was enough to take one's breath away.

3. Bintan. Some time in July, MkSurf8 invited to go to Bintan. This was a first trip to Bintan and I definitely want to go back. I was glad to have been able to go because if there's one thing I really miss about the Philippines, it is the beach. Thank you, MkSurf8, for having me and PG Boy!

4. Concerts and plays. It has also been a good year for shows and concerts. While I may have missed Guetta and  have yet to experience ZoukOut... I feel lucky that I was able to catch the concerts of Lady Gaga, JLo and the Philippine Madrigal Subgers. I also enjoyed watching Spring Awakening, Company and, of course… God of Carnage. That night at God of Carnage was a major fan boy moment. Good definitely come to those who wait. I was able to take my photo with the cast, which included Lea Salonga and Adrian Pang!

5. Nature walks. I've said a million times. I will say it again. As much as I love the city, I crave for the countryside. I'm a city boy with a heart for the countryside. Haha! Thanks to my Singaporean friend Melvin, I was able to see the green side of Singapore. From Bukit Timah to Punggol, I had a great time going on all of the nature walks/hikes even if it required waking up at 6AM on a weekend. My fave trip for this year probably was the one at Pulau Ubin with Melvin and his friends David and Patrick. For a souvenir, I have a scar on my elbow. Haha!

6. One year plus in Wiley. If it weren't for Wiley, if it weren't for the referral of Chris, I wouldn't be where I am now. (Well, I probably would still be in Singapore but it will be much more difficult.) I am just really so grateful to be part of this company. I have a great team lead and very supportive team mates. There is not a day that goes by that I am not thankful for the job that I have.

7. One year. Just like what PG Boy said, "There has been ups and down. But here we are." I came to Singapore in search of a job and to start planning for the future. I got so much more. I got you. Thank you. :)

8. 33rd Birthday.  Another year. Thank you, Lordy. For the second year in a row, it was a great birthday celebration despite being away from home. I was able to have a birthday lunch with good friends. On the day of my birthday itself, I was able to do things that I wanted. And then of course, there was the birthday celeb with the kids of Yong-En Care Centre. It's a simple of way of thanking Lordy for the blessings and for giving back to the country that has adopted me for the past (almost) two years.

And before even the year ends, 2013 is already starting to look very good. January is a trip to Bali. In February, I'm going to Nepal for work.

These are just a few of the things I can think of right now that made my 2012 an awesome one. Iam certain that there are many other things that happened but the ones above are those that stand out. Haha! This is also not to say that there weren't any difficulties throughout the year. There were. Really, there were. However, I would rather focus on the good and just learn from the not so good. Hehe!

The only thing stressing me so much lately is the work pass renewal, which will happen in either Jan or Feb. I am praying for a few more years in Singapore. I still can't go back to Phils. My life here is just starting. So I'm really, really praying for the approval of my work pass renewal.

How was your 2012???

P.S. I checked my January 2012 posts and I did write a review of 2011. Haha!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A day with the fishies and other sea creatures...

Spent the day with Melvin and Miru at the Marine Life Park in Resorts World Sentosa.

It's supposed to be the world's largest oceanarium, which is home to more than 100,000 marine life and over 800 species of marine animals.

We only got to visit the S.E.A. Aquarium, which is the world's largest aquarium. Uhm, except for the huge crowd (it's a Sunday and tomorrow is the eve of a public holiday! Haha!), it was still an enjoyable day.

We arrived at the park a little after 10AM thinking that there wouldn't be that many people yet. We were wrong.

What I thought would be just a two to three-hour activity turned out to be an almost daylong activity. Haha!

It was okay though. Great seeing all the magnificent sea creatures.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Almost done....

You ready to say buhbye to 2012?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Last work day for 2012...

Today is my last work day for 2012.


 Even with the challenges encountered along the way, it still is an awesome year!

 Salamat. Xie xie. Terima Kasih.

 I have a good feeling 2013 will be even more awesome.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Eve dindin....

How was your Noche Buena? :)

PG Boy and I spent ours at the place of very good friend Mon and Richie. Hmm, I think it is PG Boy's first Noche Buena.

Last year, we missed the Noche Buena at Mon and Richie's because I planned a Christmas eve din for both of us.

This year, I was glad that we were able to go to this dinner.

It was really great to be with good friends and loved ones to welcome Christmas 2012.

How was your Christmas Eve?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Nice gifts with naughty tags... hehe....

Our Christmas gift tag this year for our pressies for friends was a bit naughty. Haha!

It also came with badly-written poetry.

Happy Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I promise you me...

Thursday cheese.

Got this from Chris. Haha!

I looooove the vows. It's SO awesome.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas dinner no. 1...

Last night was the dinner gathering with some of my good fellow OFWs in the island. :P

It was probably the only opportunity to have everyone gather together before we all get (a bit) busy for Christmas. MkSurf8 will be flying back to Phils this Thursday. Tipz has his plans with CP. I have my own plans with PG Boy. The others most probably have their own plans for Chrissie as well.

And so we decided to have the gathering on a Tuesday night. The venue selection however took a lot longer. Hehe! Initially, I suggested a Filipino place so that we can have a feast of sorts that would be similar to the ones we would have if we were in the Phils. Unfortunately, the restau I had in mind was already closed. Tipz suggested a place. Ian suggested a place. Coly suggested a place.

No one wanted to decide. Haha!

It was only a few hours before dinner that it was decided that dinner will be at Serenity Spanish Bar & Restaurant at VivoCity.

I've never tried the place, but almost everyone seemed excited about the cochinillo. Hehe!

We all met up at the restau around 730ish. Unfortunately, some of the guys couldn't make it. A few were feeling under the weather. Some were busy with work. Some didn't reply at all to the group chat. Lol!

The gang decided to order the Whole Roasted Suckling Pig and Paella Valenciana. Coly ordered a few tapas so we had some appetizers before the main event. Hehe!

I thought that the whole cochinilo also came with Roasted Turkey and the Honey Baked Ham, but it didn't. (It was the 1/4 Suckling Pig Platter and the 1/2 Suckling Pig Platter that came with the turkey and ham.)

It was a good dinner. We all enjoyed the cochinillo very much. It was prolly the closest thing we can have to lechon. Hehe! I also enjoyed the paella. If there's one thing I'm grateful for for being a colony of Spain, it's the sinful Spanish dishes. Hehe!

More importantly, it was a good opportunity to celebrate the holiday season with good friends. Really grateful for these guys!

Pasko na! :)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Prada A/W 2009...

How are you feeling on a Sunday night?

Prada Spring Summer 2009 Ad campaign.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Coffee afternoon at Chye Seng Huat Hardware...

PG Boy and I finally got to go to Chye Seng Huat Hardware to see what all the fuss was about.

I've been seeing the cafe in a number of blogs recently so naturally, I was curious to go and check out the place.

The cafe is very near where PG Boy used to stay. It's a very short walk from Lavender MRT. After grabbing lunch from the Thai foodstall from the kopitiam at the corner of Tyrwhitt Rd and Horne Rd, we made our way to Chye Seng Huat Hardware.

Despite being a lazy Sunday early afternoon, the place was kinda full. We still managed to get a place though so yay! :)

Prior to going, I read somewhere that the breakkie/brunch stuff weren't that spectacular. My bad for quickly believing. When I saw the brunch plates coming out of the kitchen, I actually thought the food seems worth a try. Note to self: next time, try the food yourself. Don't rely on reviews too much. Hehe!

I did like the coffee very much. I ordered the hand-brewed - Balanced. I liked it so much I had two cups. Haha! More than that, I also loved the interiors of the place. It was well done. I guess the charm of the place starts right even before you enter. The people behind the cafe retained the facade of the hardware store that it used to be (??). This gave the place its own character. Hehe!

I also like that there is a shop just above the cafe that sheels nice bags and other quirky items. Do check out the Tyrwhitt General Company store for the pieces.

Meanwhile, PG Boy was looking around every bit of detail of the cafe while he enjoyed his latte. He liked the interiors very much. Plus, he was very impressed with how the baristas handled the coffee. They really knew what they were doing.

It was definitely an enjoyable early Sunday afternoon hohol.

Must definitely go back to try the brunch and the pastries.

Chye Seng Huat Hardware Coffee Bar
Address: 150 Tyrwhitt Rd
Contact: 6396 0609
Opening Hours:
Tue - Thu: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm
Fri - Sun: 9:00 am - 10:00 pm

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Until it beats no more...

One of my fave songs from the JLo concert a week ago. ;)

Yeah, because I'm cheesy liddat.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Birthday decors for PG Boy...

With a few more leaves to use up, I decided to take the afternoon off.

I was thinking how I'd be able to decorate PG Boy's room for his birthday tomorrow without him being at home and it seemed like this afternoon was the only good opportunity I have.

So by noontime, I left work and headed to PG Boy's place to put up the decors. Last year, I placed balloons and some drawings I made. Hehe!

That turned out to be a good surprise.

 This year, I thought of printing fake magazine covers to go with a Happy Birthday banner. It took me about an hour to put the whole thing up. I'm meeting him later for a birthday dinner with his friends.

Hopefully, we'd be out until late. That way, it'll be his birthday by the time we get back. Hehe!

We'll see. We'll see. :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Queensies at Quincy (Hehe!)...

As I've said in my previous blog post, PG Boy surprised me with a staycation at Quincy.

I've read about Quincy ages ago through the blog of Chuvaness. If the hotel got good reviews from Chuvaness, then I'm sure it was definitely a good hotel. I dunno if a lot of people know about Quincy. However, it must be popular to a certain population because it bagged the Trendiest Hotel in Asia award in TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice® Awards for 2011 and 2012 and the best luxury boutique hotel in the World Luxury Hotel Awards 2012.

You go to TripAdvisor and you'd see a lot of good reviews from guests who previously stayed at Quincy.

I now know why.

Quincy is tucked in a quiet neighborhood just behind Orchard. It's a very short ten-minute walk (or less) to Paragon, Mandarin Gallery, Takashimaya, and so on. What is awesome about the location is that after you go shopping (or walking) the entire day at Orchard Road, you can quickly escape the maddening crowd and head back to the peaceful comfort of your hotel room. The fact that you dun have to take the train or the bus to get back to your cozy room is one more reason why the location of Quincy is just perfect.

The Lobby, The Restau/Café:
Quincy has a small lobby that is directly connected to the hotel restaurant/cafe. What I love about the lobby is that never did it become very crowded. Because the hotel only has a certain number of rooms, both the check-in and checkout were a breeze. It's definitely soooo much better than the check-in at other hotels. I remember the check-in experience of a friend at this one giant luxury hotel where he had to queue (!!!) for almost thirty minutes (!!!) . Seriously, if you're paying a few hundred dollars for a hotel stay, do you really want to go through a loooong queue just to check in?!?!  

The restau had limited seats. When PG Boy and I had our dinner, we were both wondering whether the restau would be able to seat all the guests if everyone arrived for the meals at the same time. We were lucky to quickly get a table because we arrived early. During breakfast, we had to wait a few minutes before we got a table. It was not a problem though because the waiting time was very short. We actually did not see any of the guests complaining. Here's the reason how I think the whole thing works. Since the restau is small, although nicely done, you wouldn't really want to stay and hang out at the area. You would just enjoy your meal and afterwards, either go back to your wonderful room or head out of the hotel to do whatever it is you have planned for the day or the evening.

The food, I must say, is also good and enjoyable. I liked every meal that I had. In addition to your mains, you can help yourself to a soup or salad, desserts, and free flowing drinks. The breakfast was buffet. Though there’s a limited choice, I must say that there is still something for everyone. I must also mention that they serve Dean & Deluca bread, jam and fruit preserves. Nice,ey?!

The Room:
I'm not sure what type of room PG Boy got for us, but I have no complaints about it. The bed and pillows were very comfy. I say that because it was one of the very rare occasions that I just want to stay in bed under the sheets and with the fluffy pillows for hours and hours. Haha! I also love that everything in the mini-bar is free. You'll find bottled water, soda and iced tea, chips. I love that there is an iron in the room. For someone who cannot leave the house without pressing his clothes, an iron in the hotel room is a big thing. I love the bath products - Molton Brown. PG Boy said it’s actually an expensive brand.

Other amenities/services:
The hotel has a small gym with the basic machines and a few treadmills. There is also a swimming pool, in case you want to take a dip. There are informal baking classes and movie night every Saturday. You'd have to register for the baking class. It was very easy and quite fun. There are two Mac units with good Internet connection at the lobby, which guests can use.

Most of all, the hotel staff are all very pleasant. From the concierge to the restau wait staff, they always had a smile on their faces and they were quite attentive to the needs of the guests.

So those are my thoughts basically. Bottomline. If you’re planning to go on a staycation, Quincy is definitely a good choice for a hotel.

I know I would definitely want to go back for more staycations.