Saturday, August 31, 2013

Friday night with the Phantom...

What was supposed to be a quiet Friday night at the library preparing for my museum guiding activity today suddenly became a night with friends at the theatre.

Phantom of the Opera is running at the Marina Bay Sands Theatre until tomorrow, 1 September.

I was really planning to watch the classic musical, but I ran out of tix because I kept on delaying the purchase.

Thankfully, I don't feel for Phantom the same way I feel for Wicked. LOL! However, I still did want to see the musical because who knows when it will be staged again.

That is why I got all excited when the iMessage from Tipz popped up on my phone screen yesterday afternoon.

I immediately replied to him to say that I super wanted the tix. Haha!

He told me that his friend who was really supposed to go with him didn't make her flight to Singapore. Hence, the spare ticket... and that he was willing to let it go an el cheapo price. Yay!

Tipz got the $168 tix with restricted view. I wasn't sure where that category would be seated but I didn't care because I was going to watch the musical. Haha!

Having said this, I was really pleasantly surprised that we were seated a few rows close to the stage. By close, I mean the third row I think. I was glad for this because we got to see the Phantom, Christine and Raoul up close.

It made the experience so much better.

Quite an enjoyable show. The set, oh my god, the set! And the costumes, oh my god, the costumes! Haha! Even with the restricted view, I think the tix Tipz got was super worth it.

Thanks again, Tipz!

Next time you have another spare ticket for a great musical... music please...

Think of me... think of me fondly... Lol!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Kurot Principle...

I subscribe to a Financial Coaching enewsletter and below is the newsletter I got today.

It's worth sharing so I'm posting it here. It does make a lot of sense. It's a very simple principle, but it definitely teaches one a lot.

Prior to moving to Singapore, I must admit that I belong to the dakot club. I can try justifying it by saying, "Oh, but it was only after graduation that I really started to treat myself and enjoy the good things in life." When I think about it now, I've been treating myself far too long. LOL!

Having been in Singapore for a little over two years, I'm impressed with how money savvy people are (or maybe just the friends I know?). Maybe the fact that I am also going to reach mid-life next year (yes, I intend to live only until 70 and that is if I'm coupled; 60 if I'm single. LOL!) also is another factor I am thinking about retirement and savings all of a sudden. Then there's that uncertainty of where I will be by March 2014 since my work pass will be up for renewal again very soon. I love Singapore. I really do. However, I know I must also think long term.

Anyway, read the Kurot Principle below.


Below is a short excerpt from Vic and Avelynn Garcia’s book entitled "Kontento Ka Na Ba Sa KaPERAhan Mo?"

I suggest you grab your own copy of that tiny book as it contains very practical and down to earth tips on how to better manage your finances. I liked very much their style of writing that's very much like talking to their readers. Lots of humor too. I felt like attending a live seminar with their reality-drawn dialogues. Definitely a must read!


Ano ‘yung Kurot Principle? Ay, ang ganda nitong Kurot Principle na ito. To better understand this, I will tell you a story of a person na balak bumili ng cellphone worth P1,000. Nagkataong mayroon siyang P100,000 na savings. Puwede ba siyang bumili ng cellphone? Puwede, kasi yung P1,000, kurot lang ‘yon sa kanyang savings.

May pangalawang taong balak bumili ng cellphone. Ang bibilhin niya ay worth P1,000 din. Mayroon siyang savings sa bangko na P1,000. Bumili siya ng cellphone. Anong tawag dun? Dakot na ‘yun! Dinakot lahat ang pera niya!

May pangatlong tao, balak bumili ng cellphone, pero walang savings. P1,000 lang naman ‘yung bibilhin niya. Bumili siya. Anong tawag ‘dun? Utang na ‘yun!

Ang tanong: ano’ng prinsipyo ang ginagamit mo sa buhay mo? Kurot, dakot, o utang?

Magtataka pa ba tayo kung bakit tayo naghihirap o baon sa utang? Ang gagaling nating dumakot! Ang gagaling nating umutang! Gusto mong yumaman? Starting today, matutong kumurot. Kapag may bibilhin, dapat kinukurot lang! Nagkakaintindihan ba tayo? Kapag ginawa mo ito, pangako, yayaman ka.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sunday with the Martelinos...

Another highlight of the weekend was dinner with UP friends Ella and Gino and their little ball of sunshine, Soleil.

Ella messaged me on Facebook last Friday to say that the fam was in town for holiday and because Gino was going to watch the Metallica concert.

Ella told me they were at W and we can meet up there.

I replied, "Ella, that's already another country. Haha!"

The good thing was they moved to Mandarin Orchard last Sunday so we got to arrange a dinner. Hehe! (But even if they stayed at W, I would still make the trip just to see the couple and cutesy Soleil.)

We met up at Mandarin Gallery around 6. They wanted to have ramen so we queued at Ippudo. Unfortunately, the queue was taking so long so we moved to Jones. Hehe!

It wasn't really a dinner place. The dinner menu was very limited. No wonder there were a lot of vacant tables. Haha!

It wasn't so good for dinner. It was very, very good for catching up.

Though it was a short get-together, I'm still very glad to see Mr. and Mrs and baby. I didn't get to see them at all when I was in Manila since most of my activities were either in Makati or Manila (City) and the fam stayed in Quezon City.

For a lot (?) of people, their lifelong friendships were formed when they were in high school. Not for me. A lot of my long-time friends are from uni. That is why the uni days at Padre Faura have a special place in my heart.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Birthday celeb for MkSurf8's nth...

It was definitely a good weekend.

And one of the main reasons why it was one was the celebration of the birthday of good friend, MkSurf8.

He booked a room at one of the nicest hotels in the city that gave a fantab view of the city, ordered Filipino food that made everyone forget our diets and gym commitments, and brought out several bottles of booze (or was this RKGreg?!?! Haha!) that doubled, tripled the festive mood of the night. Hehe!

If I were to be asked what TV series would best describe MkSurf8, I'd have to say it's "Everybody loves MkSurf8."

Though I've only known him for just a few years, I can say that he's really one of the most humble and most down-to-earth people I know. Chris and I actually share this thought. I also told this to PG Boy when I was intro'ing him to my circle of friends.

I say this not because he made sure we were well-fed and had several rounds of drinks over the weekend. LOL! I say this because this is how I know him and because it's the truth.

His parents did a good job in raising him. Hehe! Well done, Tito and Tita!

I may have said it before. I'm saying it again. Real friendships can be made online and it's possible for that online friendship to move to the so-called real world.

The friendship with MkSurf8 is one very good proof.

Happy, happy birthday, Teh! I wish you less stress, more travels, more bortaness, and more happy moments in life! :)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

24 hours in Kuala Lumpur...

As previously mentioned, Mom's trip to Singapore included a side trip to Kuala Lumpur.

She was also asking about going to Indonesia, which sort of made me want to do cartwheels. I was like, "Ma, Southeast Asia concert tour, is it?" Haha!

Even if we wanted to, I still wouldn't be able to take her to Bintan or Batam because I couldn't take another leave day from work.

This is my nth trip to KL. Uhm, to be honest, it reminds me a lot of Manila. It doesn't excite me very much anymore because I usually just go to the same places every time.

I know KL has a lot more to offer. There are a number of brunch cafes I want to visit. But since I dun really know anyone from there to show me around and because I'm too much of a wuss to take the cab, I stick to what I know. Hehe!

This time though, I told myself I want to see something else besides the Petronas. Thanks to Google, I was able to find out about how to reach places I haven't been to.

I was thinking of bringing Mama to Batu Caves, but it might be too far and tiring for her. Hence, I decided that we should just stay in the city and go to places that I've also never been to.

We went to the Central Market (which I looooved!) and Petaling Street (which I didn't like at all! LOL!). We also went to Bukit Bintang where Lot 10, Starhill and Pavilion was. Lot 10 was bleh. I expected more. Pavilion was the complete opposite. I was like, "So this is where the good stuff is. Hehe!" On the second level, at the far end, the reason for friends Mon and I-van to visit Kuala Lumpur are located. LOL! Oh, I also saw the Petronas Towers at night for the first time and yes, I must say it's a glorious sight.

We also took the KL Monorail from KL Sentral to Bukit Bintang. It's a bit scary. LOL! I was telling PG Boy that I was wondering if it would fall over since the monorail tilts to the side. I'm glad I wasn't being too paranoid because he said he and a friend felt the same way. Hahaha!

Overall, it was a good trip. The other highlights were the foot reflexology and the nasi lemak. I don't think I want to see KL again anytime soon. But if it includes a trip to Pasar Seni aka the Central Market, why not? Haha!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sweeet naman...

Mom was finally able to head home today.

I dunno how my brothers did it, but they went to Tey's place to fetch Mom with all her luggage. She arrived in Manila yesterday morning. If I'm not mistaken, that was the time that tropical storm Maring was really starting to pound Manila with her might.

Good thing I was messaging Tey and Monet to check on them and to ask about the weather condition as well. When I told them that Mom was arriving, both of them were quick to offer their places as a temporary shelter.

Really, I am grateful to be blessed with kind-hearted friends.

I dunno how she did it but Mom was able to reach Tey's place in one piece. She stayed the night at the Aragon home. To be honest, I wasn't worried at all because I know that she was in good hands.

This afternoon, I guess Maring went on a break and my brothers were able to fetch Mom and bring her home.

I know that she already reached home because she sent a looooong message via iMessage. LOL! I know that it was her because her message just kept going and going. Bawal mag-paragraph break, Mommy? Hehe!

Anyway, the last part of the message is the one above. Hehe! She's right, I am blessed with good friends. That's one of the things I am always grateful for. And I'm really glad that she was able to meet a few friends who are my family here in Singapore. I was very proud telling her about the success stories of these friends and how they've all helped/inspired me in Singapore.

As for the last part, hahaha! Yeah, there were a number of times that I was grouchy towards Mom. I won't elaborate why but I'm guessing it's quite common. Hehe! Aging, I guess. On my part and not my Mom's. Haha! I would immediately feel guilty though after I get b*itchy. So I did apologise to her.

Hmm, I've yet to post photos and write about Mom's trip to SG and KL. I can say though that I'm glad she was able to go on this trip.

Lord, we have a deal, right? Please naman po and I promise I'll bring her to Cambodge next year. Hehe!

Go away, Maring...

Go away, tropical storm Maring.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Off to KL...

Gone for the next two days.

Flying out to KL tomorrow with Mom for the Malaysia leg of her concert tour. Chos.

It wasn't really in the original proposal but of course, I expected that she would raise the idea of going to KL as well. Hehe!

Thank you, Air Asia, for the dirt cheap tix.

Initially, Mom was suggesting we take the coach. On my first trip to KL, I took the coach and it took me about 6 hours. I said, "No, Mom. No. Cannot." Hehe!

It's the grumpy, old man talking.

But seriously, I think it'll be too tiring to take the coach for an overnight trip.

Anyway, there are really no concrete plans for KL except for Petronas. But me being me, I did my research and I even printed out a copy of the confusing train network. Hehe! I also want to get a full body massage. I also want to try a high tea with Mom, if possible.

Weekend starts early. Wheee! =)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Alam na...

There's the saying, "Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are."

I'm guessing that after the first two days of being here, Mom was already able to tell me who I really am. Hahahaha!

On the first day, I was telling Mom about this guy friend. Mom's question was, "He's single?" And I reply, "Yes, he is."

The following day, I told her about this other guy friend and how this guy became one of my good friends here. Mom's question was, "How old is he? Forty plus? He's also single."

And then of course, there's that episode where she met a few other friends and then she also met PG Boy. Always, her question after would be, "He's single? They're single?"

On our way home the other night, she was asking how often I see my friends. Then she said, "For example, how often do you see PG Boy?"


I replied, "He's the one I'm always with, Mom." In my head, I'm like, "You did see that photo of us together on my desk, right? Do I have to spell it out for you?" Haha!

Two words.

Alam na.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Flower power day... Hehe...

Sunday afternoon was spent at the Gardens by the Bay and a bit of the Marina Barrage thanks to Mr. Lim.

I was initially thinking of bringing Mom to the Botanic Gardens and probably, Dempsey. However, it was raining hard when we woke up in the morning. (I will say that there was a tiny part of me that was actually thankful for the rain because I'm sooo tired from all the walking these past few days. Haha!)

By the time we finished Mass though, Mr. Lim messaged to say that we can go to GBTB since the sky is starting to clear. I haven't been to the two domes at the GBTB and to be honest, I'm not too excited about it. I'm more into animals than plants. Hehe!

Having said that, I was quite surprised that I enjoyed the visit. I couldn't believe we spent two hours at the place. Haha! Between the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest, I have to say that I had a better time at the latter. It felt like being transported to another place. Hehe!

Meanwhile, Mom enjoyed both but her favorite part was the Crystal Mountain at the Cloud Forest. She's so into the whole crystals and energies emanating from crystals thing. Hehe!

After GBTB, Mr. Lim drove us to the Marina Barrage for some more photo ops. I dun think I've really explored the Marina Barrage so I was happy we got to go there as well.

Dinner was at a Peranakan restaurant in Joo Chiat. PG Boy joined us for dinner. So, finally, he met Mom. Haha!

It was a good day!

The photos above are some of the flowers on display at the Flower Dome. All photos were taken with an iPhone 5. No filter used. The flowers are pretty enough that no manipulation is needed anymore. ;)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Museum and Friends Day...

Today was museum day for Mom.

Started the day at the National Museum of Singapore. We joined the guided tour given by one of my fellow volunteers. Quite impressive collection, I must say. There were pieces by Rubens, Rembrandt, Raphael, to name a few.

Afterwards, we passed by Singapore Art Museum for a photo op. Hehe!

Concluded the day with a visit to the Peranakan Museum. Mr. Lim joined us at TPM. I have to say that TPM is really one of my favorite museums in the island. I am very interested in the heritage and the culture of the Peranakans.

Today was also a day for Mom to meet a few of my friends, old and new.

In the afternoon, we met up with Jean for lunch and chitchat. For dinner, we met up with Rich, Mon and Tipz at Swee Choon for dim sum galore. Mom has been wanting to try chicken feet so it was good that we headed to Swee Choon.

I was really happy that she got to meet some of my "family" here in Singapore. I invited Ian and I would've invited Chris and MkSurf8 but Ian had dinner plans while Chris and MkSurf8 are both overseas. Maybe next time.

Today was a good day. =)

Happy birthday, Singapore!

Happy birthday, Singapore!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Back-to-school/Farewell dinner for Lady G...

She would always be in black at the office. Outside of work though, she transforms into a whole other person. Hehe!

That's a quick way of describing colleague Gemma, who Alexie and Paula have christened as Lady G.

I'm not quite sure which one I like more. What I'm sure of though is that she is a friend and that she will be missed once she leaves for Europe in a month.

Last Thursday, we had an intimate farewell dinner for Lady G at Kinki, the Japanese restaurant/bar at Customs House.

With Lady G, it wasn't going to be any regular farewell dinner though. We were required to be in a school uniform. Hehe! Easy for me since I decided to go as a school boy from some boarding school. It was also an opportunity to wear the badge of my beloved primary school Lourdes School Quezon City! Woohoo! Hehe!

Alexie and Paula were also game for the whole thing and they came prepared. Hehe!

It wasn't surprising though that we got the look (well, more them than me... haha!) as we made our way to Kinki from Fullerton Bay.

Before you let your minds wander about the restau/bar, let me clear it up for you. Kinki is a province in the Hokkaido region. Why the restau/bar was named after it, I'm not so sure.

However, I can say that the food at the place was good and enjoyable. There is also a rooftop bar to enjoy the view the CBD and MBS areas while having a drink and chitchat with friends.

It was definitely a good Thursday night. It was definitely worth skipping the Club 21 Accessories Bazaar. Hehe!

Best of luck in Brussels, Lady G!

Kinki Restaurant + Bar
70 Collyer Quay #02-02
Customs House, Singapore 049323
T: +65 6533 3471 | F: +65 6533 3473

Monday, August 5, 2013

Officially a museum guide at the National Museum of Singapore...

Saturday was a very special day for me.

After two months of history lectures and curator walkthroughs, two mock tours and my very first public tour a few weeks ago (which also doubled as my final exam), I am now officially a museum guide of the National Museum of Singapore.

A simple graduation ceremony for the new batch of docents (I like the sound of that!) was held last Saturday at one of the Seminar Rooms of the museum.

There are a total of 32 people who "survived" the rigorous training to be a docent. In my team alone, we had three people who left due to work (I think).

The new batch now joins the existing 40 over guides of the National Museum of Singapore and the more than 200 other guides of the 7 other museums under the National Heritage Board.

I'll be guiding at least once a month at the museum. The next one is towards the end of August. I'm excited because I get to do something that I've been wanting to do even when I was still in the Philippines.

I'm really happy to have been given the opportunity to be able to serve as a docent. As a foreigner living in Singapore, I feel that I am able to enjoy the best of two worlds - the Philippines and Singapore.

To a certain extent, this is also a simple way of me giving back to the country that has adopted me these past two years and counting. Though I've only been here for a little over two years, the experience is just awesome. (So please, MOM, keep extending my work permit. Hehe!)

Do drop by the museum one of these days...

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hey, August...

Hello, August! =)

Well, the first month of the second half of the year is over and I'm really glad with how it turned out to be.

I took on new responsibilities at work (read: promotion Hehe!). The final exam of the museum guiding course at the National Museum went well. Mrs. Morales will be going on her first overseas trip next week. There was the good trip to Manila at the start of the month. I say good because I went back to Manila with peace knowing that Tonyo is in a better place.

There are small challenges every now and then, but nothing to stop me from feeling grateful everyday.

Thank you po for all the blessings... and the challenges as well.

August, I'm sure you will do better than July. Yeah?