Monday, March 31, 2014

Random blah otw home...

On my way home from the gym. Blogging from the phone again. Until now, it is still a struggle for me to write long on the phone. Haha!

Anyway, I went for Combat at Fusionopolis. Since I had a good class last week, I decided to skip the 7AM Combat class I usually attend to go for the evening class.

Hmm, I dunno. I think I still prefer going for the morning class. My body clock is already used to it plus I get to have a more efficient use of my time.

The thing about the 845PM class is I have three hours to kill. I could be using that time for other more important things.

Had I chosen to wake up for the 7AM class, I feel like I would have made better use of the hours of the day. Haha!

In other news, I can't believe Q1 of 2014 is done!

It's been a good first three months so far. There's one major concern in my mind right now, as I previously said.

So far, I've been highly successful at keeping a positive attitude and hoping for the best. Once again, faith is playing a big role as to how I am able to do this.

Surely, there must be a reason for things. Without a doubt, something good is bound to come out of whatever.

You've got no choice but to be ultra awesome to me this year, universe!

First, the sheep are supposed to have a fantab year! Second, you owe me still for the challenges you gave me in 2013. Haha! #thesecret

How is everyone's 2014 Q1?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Dark skies somewhat...

(Somewhat) dark clouds have been hanging over my head these past few days.

A good friend shared some news recently and it has been at the back of my head since.

The good thing though is that I am still able to let the sun shine through those so-called dark clouds.

True, the news took me by complete surprise. I expected to hear that news but I didn't expect it to be this soon.

Oh well, the world works in mysterious ways. Hehe.

There are two ways I can approach this - one is to be the kancheong person that I am. The other is to lift up things to Him.

It was but natural to choose the latter.

Things have yet to fully unfold and at this point, all I've been doing is praying and entrusting everything to Him.

I have my own outcome that I want. I have a second possible outcome that I think is not so bad. But at the end of the day, my prayer remains to be, "Your will be done."

Let's see what will happen.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Happy email...

I received the email above early this afternoon from one of the team leads in my department.

She attended the session I gave on Best Practices for (relatively) new hires in our department.

Actually, I was wondering why a team lead was attending a session meant for new hires. I should have known that a team lead should really be there just to ensure I dun create new policies/procedures to the newbies. Hehe!

To be honest, I actually enjoy giving "classes." Here at the office, it is an outlet for my creativity as work can be sometimes monotonous. Presentations are always a nice break from the usual work.

As with previous presentations, mine was very visual. Lol! I included a few GIFs which I thought would make the presentation more interesting. Hehe!

Uhm, I guess I got this style of creating presentations during my years with Smart. The senior management, as well as our big boss at the Public Affairs department, always like presentations that have visuals and not too text heavy. I guess I sort of got that from them.

If it were up to me, I'd use Keynote. Hehe! I feel like it's more superior to Powerpoint in terms of making kickass prezzos. Hehe!

Oh well, thanks to this email, this week ends on a very good note. :)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Happy April Fools from US Vogue...

Who says Anna has no sense of humour?

Have you seen the April Fools issue of US Vogue? :-/

I thought Ms. Piggy and Kermit would sell more issues though.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How to pack light, ah...

With two weeks to go before the trip, I think I have start wondering about packing.

Here's the thing. I don't know how to pack light.

It is not my core competency. Haha! Just how "bad" can I beWell, on one of my visits to Manila last year, I exceeded the allowed 10KG. by 7KG!

That was just for a 4 (or 5 day) trip. Eeeep!

The upcoming trip is about 13 days (14 days because I will be flying out Wednesday night)!

It is my first ever long holiday trip in my entire life.

The longest holiday I've ever had was about 7 days? It was a few years back. I went to Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh with one of the best friends of my ex. Haha!

PG Boy does not have any problems packing. I've seen him pack for his overseas trips and I dunno how he does it.

Or maybe I do know. For one, he is not as concerned as I am with what to wear, what to bring. He has a tendency to just dump stuff in his luggage. Good for him.

To me, I've always been crazier about packing. Hmm, aside from prepping a checklist, I also have an attire guide.Seriously. I create a spreadsheet for the trip. I think about the activities for a given day. Then I think about what I can/should wear.

This is my own way of trying to stay within the baggage allowance policy. Lol!

I've already created a spreadsheet for the upcoming trip. I've already listed the clothes, bags, accessories that I need to bring.

It's just a matter of indicating in the spreadsheet what to wear on what day. Haha!

Yesterday, Tipz and I met up to look for a pair of shoes that I hope will be comfy enough for long walks. RKGreg told me to ensure I have good footwear since I will do a lot, a lot of walking.

The thing is I don't want to spend too much on a pair of shoes. I have two to three pairs of shoes at home, which I hardly wear. It's bad. Lol! That's why I didn't want to buy a new pair. I also am in a major saving mode. A storm is brewing and it's stupid not to prepare.

However, I think I do need a good pair for hours and hours of walks.This isn't just to justify the expense.

We went to a few shops in Plaza Sing and ended up getting a pair at Orchard Central.

I needed a pair that was not just comfy but can also go with the attire I am planning? Lol!

So I want to Instagram, did a search using a particular hashtag. The above photos are some of the pegs that I think I can pull of. Apologies to the owners of these photos.

Done with the shoes. Two more things on my to buy list. After that, I can really focus on editing the would-be contents of my luggage. Lol!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Brunch at Jewel Cafe + Bar...

Despite having a very long Saturday night, hitting the sack at 6:30AM Sunday morning, I still woke up about 10 in the morning.

From RKGreg's birthday gathering, I headed to Tipz's place just to freshen up a bit before heading to Changi Airport to fetch PG Boy. Thankfully, his flight was on time. Hehe! We didn't make any plans for me to fetch him. I decided I'd just go fetch him since I expected RKGreg's party to finish very late and it'll be easier to get to Changi from Tipz's place.

Major thanks to Tipz for letting me crash at his place! Will definitely miss City Sq once he moves next week.

Speaking of moving, Tipz and I agreed to meet up for brunch on Sunday morning since he was also already up so early (suprisingly! Hehe!). I knew PG Boy was too tired from his flight and would like to stay home and zzz, so brunch seemed like a good idea.

Also, there are a few cafes around Farrer Park worth visiting, which Tipz didn't know about. The heartlander had to be the one to tell him. Lol!

I gave him two options - one is L' Etoile, which I've been to during one of my brunch place adventures with PG Boy. The other one I suggested was Jewel Cafe + Bar, which I haven't checked out yet. Chye Seng Huat was also a possibility.

We settled for Jewel Cafe + Bar. I was expecting the place to be full since it was Sunday morning after all and it was almost noontime. I couldn't be more happier that we didn't have to queue as there was a table available. Woohoo!

Tipz and I reached just before the rest of the brunch crowd arrived.

I ordered the Eggs Benedict, while he ordered the Pancakes with Strawberry and Bananas and just shared.

The food was enjoyable. I still like the pancakes of eggs and berries, but I'm not complaining about this one.

Unfortunately, I didn't order a latte as I couldn't bring myself to pay $6 for it. Lol! Stupid me since it would cost more at CBTL and yet I'd pay for CBTL. I regretted my decision even more after reading that the beans are roasted in-house and they have an awesome Italian coffee machine or something. Haha! Oh well, that gives me a reason to go back.

After brunch, we headed back to City Square. I deided to tapau breakkie toast set from Toastbox for PG Boy since I thought he might be craving for it after a week of being away.

We'll definitely drop by Jewel Cafe again one of these days.

Jewel Cafe + Bar
Address : 129 Rangoon Rd
Singapore 218407
Tel : 6298 9216
Opening hours:
Tues – Thurs: 9am-10pm
Fri – Sat: 9am-midnight
Sun: 9am-10pm
Closed on Mon.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Hello again, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve...

Just when I thought our nature walk today wasn't going to push through, I received a message from Mr. Lim that he was about to leave his house.

Thankfully, our destination this morning was at my side of the island. That gave me just enough time to shower and travel to Beauty World Plaza (seriously, that's the name!) where Mr. Lim and I agreed to meet.

After enjoying my $3.30 only(!!!) breakkie of nasi lemak, Mr. Lim and I started our walk to our nature park for today.

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve will always be my favourite nature reserve in the island. (Well, that one and Sungei Buloh... and Pulau Ubin. LOL!)

Three years ago, I joined my friend Francis in a walk at Bukit Timah. Mr. Lim joined us and that would be the start of a good friendship.

I found our walk today so damn easy leh! Haha! Compared to the first time I climbed Bukit Timah (and it's not even high at all), today was definitely not tiring.

After an hour of walking, I was surprised to see that we already reached the summit. So fast! Haha!

There were quite a lot of people who went on a nature walk this morning. I thought it was really great to see families, friends, buddies waking up early to be surrounded by Mother Nature.

Seriously, my favourite part of the island is not the Orchard area. Neither is it the CBD. My favourite would always be the "green" side of the island.

When the artist Chen Wen Hsi moved to Singapore from China, he recreated that love for nature and the environment which he had when he was still living in China. So he always painted egrets, herons and gibbons (in fact, he even owned a few as pets!).

I guess it's similar to me. I always say that the beauty of the Philippines is outside of Manila. I was born, raised and I have lived in Manila all my life before working overseas but I don't feel any attachment to the place (except maybe for my university). What I have always loved about the Philippines is the countryside. I am always happiest when I am away from the city and I am in the provinces. Seriously, I think I'm a city boy with the heart of a promdi. Hehe!

Sure, I love Makati. I love certain parts of Manila. I agree that it was once such a beautiful city. But my heart will always belong to the rural areas. Hehe!

That's why I really love the nature parks of Singapore. It's somewhat a reminder of the countryside.

From Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, we walked over to the nearby hawker centre where I had another awesome lunch and dessert for just $5!!! Insanely cheap. Really good.

Afterwards we parted ways as I have to go get some rest for a long evening ahead (RKGreg's party) while Mr. Lim has his own dinner to attend.

Great start of the short weekend!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Thursday night at the movies...

I watched Divergent last night.

As expected, the movie was better than the book.

I absolutely enjoyed watching the film. I must say that I had a different version in my head when I was reading the novel so I'm really glad the movie was great.

Loved the cast as well. Hehe! Looking forward to see more of Caleb.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Done with Tris and Four...

I finally finished Allegiant, the third book of the Divergent trilogy.

It took me a while to finish the book as I was really struggling with it. Haha!

The fact that I dun recall anything from Divergent and Insurgent pretty much tells what I feel for the trilogy. Whereas I tremendously had a great time with The Hunger Games trilogy, I felt so blah with the Divergent trilogy. Maybe because I found the latter to be too juvenile?

I decided to read Allegiant just so I can achieve closure. And today, I got that. Haha!

The big surprise was I actually enjoyed reading the last few chapters of the novel.

It was completely unexpected.

All of a sudden, the story became more interesting and I found myself wanting to finish the book.

Initially, I was planning to finish it by end of week.

Today, I read on the way to the gym, just before Body Pump class started and during lunch time.

By the time lunch was over, I was already done with the book.

This is probably my favourite line.

"Yeah, sometimes life really sucks. But you know what I’m holding on for? The moments that don’t suck. The trick is to notice them when they come around." - Christina, Allegiant

I'm still looking forward to watching the movie. I think this is one of those book-turned-into-a-movie and the movie is actually better than the book. Hehe!

Moving on to the next title...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

One last visit to A Changed World exhibit...

Liu Kang's National Day

Chua Mia Tee's National Language Class

Chen Wen Hsi's Gibbons Game

Cheong Soo Pieng's Singapore River

Georgette Chen's Malayan Fruits

When I learned from senior museum guides that there will be an exhibit featuring Singapore artists, I knew it was one exhibit I would be keen to guide for.

My late father Antonio Morales, or Tonyo as he was called by us his family and his relatives, was an artist.

What would otherwise be just another drab wall in our home became an art space featuring Tonyo's works.

As a kid, I have memories of seeing him paint late at night when everyone else was asleep. His only companion would be his canvas, his brushes and paint tubes and a radio that played classical music.

It was him Tonyo who planted the seeds of my interest in the art world.

And so I thought what better way to say thank you to my Dad than by talking and sharing with strangers my love for artists and the visual arts.

Last October, the National Museum of Singapore staged an art exhibit entitled A Changed World: Singapore Art from the 1950s - 1970s.

It featured over 120 art pieces done by artists between the 1950s-1970s. Why this period? If one were to review Singapore history, 1950s to 1970s was a period of immense change.

The change served as an inspiration for the artists living then.

On one hand, there was a group of artists who responded to the politico-economic situation through their pieces. Their main objective was to use art as a vehicle to make people aware of the plight of the masses.

On the other hand, migrant artists created works as a response to the new environment, the changed world they were living in.

After the country achieved full independence in 1959, the succeeding years also served as another trigger for artists to further develop their work. One group wanted to capture the rapidly changing physical landscape as a result of nation-building efforts. Another group explored abstract art, seeing it as a new medium that would bring Singapore arts to the international scene.

The exhibit came to a close last Sunday. I had no plans of heading down to the city, but I felt that I wanted to bid the exhibit a proper farewell. Besides, I didn't know when I would see these pieces again. While walking around the exhibit, I realised that it was the only time that I actually had the time to really appreciate the talent and skill of the people who created the pieces on display.

My father introduced me to the great Filipino artists such as Amorsolo, Manansala, Ocampo, Bencab, and my personal favorite, Anita Magsaysay-Ho.

It would have been great if I had the opportunity to introduce him to Cheong Soo Pieng, Chen Wen Hsi, Chuah Thean Teng, Georgette Chen, and Lai Foong Moi. These are but a few Singapore (and Malayan) artists who quickly became a favourite.

Even if I didn't get the chance to bring my Dad to the exhibit, I am quite sure he was happily watching from above.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Peranakan Museum, Kith Cafe and Saboten on Saturday...

Saturday was quite a busy day.

In the morning, Tipz and I met up with Jamie and his brother Rain for a visit to the museum.

I suggested we visit the Peranakan Museum since I thought the Peranakan culture was something Jamie and Rain would appreciate. (Turned out I was right! Yay!)

We joined the 11AM guided tour. Though I've been to the Peranakan Museum a few times, I haven't had a chance to join a guided tour. I was really glad the docent assigned for the 11AM was very good and knowledgeable. At the start of the tour, there were about 10 of us. Towards the end, our docent was left with the four Filipinos who were very interested in (almost) all things Peranakan. Hehe!

From the Peranakan Museum, we headed to Kith Cafe for lunch.

Luckily, we got there before more hungry people arrived. Hehe! PG Boy joined us for lunch. Glad that he met Jamie and Rain. I told Jamie that PG Boy is half-Hokkien. I tried to get them to talk to each other in Hokkien. Well, they managed to communicate though Rain said there was a slight difference in accent. Hehe!

Afterwards, we all parted ways. Jamie and Rain wanted to check out some furniture stores. Tipz headed to Plaza Singapura to buy a birthday pressie. PG Boy and I headed back to his place since he still hasn't packed for his work trip.

Packing for a trip is one more area where PG Boy and I are on opposite sides of the coin. Lol! He's all pack light and I'll just bring whatever. I, on the other hand, always have trouble packing. "Pack light" does not exist in my vocab. Lol!

We'll see how I'll be for our upcoming trip.

PG Boy's flight was close to midnight but we decided to head early to the airport. It was my suggestion, of course. Haha!

Since we were heading to Changi, I already knew what I wanted for dinner - Saboten!!!

We dun go for tonkatsu that often anyway. I felt like I was allowed to treat myself.

I really like Saboten. The food is just great. The other tonkatsu place is Tonkichi. I should bring Tey and Moneigh to these awesome restaus on their next trip to Singapore.

After dinner, PG Boy and I headed to T3 for coffee and dessert. By the time I left Changi, it was already 10PM. I told PG Boy that by the time I get home, he would already be boarding his flight.

I was correct. Haha!

So, yeah, it was quite a busy Saturday. It's one Saturday I feel was well spent. Hehe!

Kith Café
#01-01E, Park Mall, 9 Penang Road
Tel: 6338-8611
Opening hours: 08:00 – 22:00 daily
(Breakfast menu until 3pm)

80 Airport Boulevard
#031-004 Departure Check-in Hall Level 3
Changi Airport Terminal 1
Tel: +65 6214 9504
Daily: 8am – 10.30pm

Friday, March 14, 2014

Jamieson is in town...

Good friend from Manila Jamie is in town for a few days.

Last night, Ian and I met up with him for dindin at Tim Ho Wan. I invited Tipz since he hasn't met Jamie and I always think it's good to meet new people. Hehe! I also invited Richie, Mon and Coly but they had a Zumba class. The good thing was Richie, Mon and Coly agreed to meet us after their class.

Now that Tim Ho Wan has two more branches in Toa Payoh and Jurong East, the queue at Plaza Singapura is not that bad anymore.

It took us about 15 minutes or so before we got a table.

Hmm, to be honest, the only thing I really find fantab at Tim Ho Wan is the BBQ buns. Other than that, I think I can get the other dim sum some place else where I dun have to queue. Hehe!

Anyway, it was a good dinner. Glad that Jamie and Tipz (also a TWH virgin!) ejoyed the food.

From Plaza Sing, we headed to Grand Rendezvous Hotel where we met up with Mon, Richie, Coly and their friend Eunice. They were having dinner at the Mexican place Baja Fresh.

It was a good few hours of catching up with everyone. Good to see Jamie again after so long!

We agreed to meet up again tomorrow if he's free and if he's up for a visit of the Peranakan Museum.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Dinner at Eng Kee Seafood house...

As most of my friends know, I'm a bit difficult to be persuaded to go out on a work night. Make that work night and Sunday nights. Hehe!

It's not because that I don't want to go out. It's because I'm most of the time lazy or because I want to wake up early the following day to go to the gym for class.

However, when the dinner is organised by a friend who is leaving Singapore soon, I forget about the gym. I forget about just wanting to be home after a long day.

And I go to the get-together to see that friend.

Last night, I had dinner with Richie, Mon, Ana, her friend Yumiko, with our Belgian-bound friend Coly.

Coly's last day in Singapore is Tuesday next week (!!!) and I guess she's doing the rounds of meeting friends and eating the local cuisine that she will definitely miss once she's in Belgium.

Our destination last night was Eng Kee Seafood House in Alexandra.

It helped a lot that the place was very close to my office. That definitely made it so much easier for me to go. Haha!

The place specializes in crabs cooked in different styles. I'm not really a fan of crabs as I find the whole process of breaking the shell and all too tedious. Lol! However, the great thing about these zi char places is that there are other fantab dishes served.

Coly ordered black pepper crab and chili crab, coffee pork ribs, prawn paste chicken, homemade beancurd with ground pork, and a vegetable dish.

Everyone enjoyed the dishes that we ordered. I didn't have any of the crab dishes, but I did get a bun just so I can dip it in the sinful sauce of the chili crab that Richie ordered. Haha! It was sooo good!

The dishes were reasonably priced. The place is a clean coffee shop where guests can either go for the kopitiam al fresco style or if you want to be a tourist, then go for the area with AC. Haha! Will definitely visit again soon.

Keng Eng Kee Seafood
Blk 124 Bukit Merah Lane 1
#01-136 Alexandra Village Singapore
Tel: +65 6272 1038
Opening Hours:
Daily: 11.30am –2pm, 5pm–11pm

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

About the upcoming trip...

Officially counting the days to the major holiday for the year. Haha!

It's less than a month before PG Boy and I fly out and I'm starting to get really excited for the trip.

The trip is going to be a lot of firsts and I'm really looking forward to it.

One sad thing about the trip is that I won't see my good friend Bernice as she decided to accept a job offer in a country closer to Singapore.

We've talk a lot about how I should visit her so she can show me around just as I have played host to her and showed her Singapore.

But as I have expected, she got the job and will be in her new adopted country by the time PG Boy and I arrive at her soon-to-be ex-adopted country.

PG Boy is flying to the country we're visiting this weekend. It's going to be for work.

I gave him strict instructions that he better not set foot in any of the places I've included in our to-visit list. Haha!

Luckily, his office is about two hours from the city centre so I'm hoping that will discourage him from making the trip to go to this and that museum.

If he does go, oh well, I bo chap already. Lol!

Hmm, so far, it seems like I've got almost everything for the trip covered. Flight and train tix. Check. Accomms. Check. Tours and attractions I want to see. Check.

Planning for the trip has been quite enjoyable as I get to read about things. I created a spreadsheet which is quite detailed to guide us in the trip. Lol!

PG Boy is more about being spontaneous and so. I'm more, "Well, I don't want to waste my time thinking about how to get to this place or whether this place is going to be open on this day or queueing for hours to get into a museum."

If this were my second or third trip to the places we're visiting, then I can afford to be more spontaneous and not be too detailed with planning.

Looking for accomms has been quite a challenge as all the areas I want to visit have damn expensive accomms. Haha! The thing is I want to stay near the central train stations as I feel like it makes things more convenient. However, these are the really ex ones. Haha! For one of the places we're visiting, I chose a B&B that's a stone's throw away from the "church." It's quite expensive but the place has good reviews on Tripadvisor.

AirBnb and were fully used in planning for accomms. Thanks to Tipz, I also found out about another accomms site - Ebab and GV. Haha! I used Ebab for one part of the trip.

I'm really glad the Internet is also around to provide answers to all the things I've been wondering about for the trip.

Still, I'm planning to drop by the library soon to borrow books to bring along for the trip.

Just a few more things to take care of. Foremost of which are what to wear (thanks to Chris who will lend me some jackets/coats) and how to pack lights.

Seriously, I have no concept of pack light. Haha!

We'll see how.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Birthday lunch for Mr. Lim...

I organised a somewhat surprise birthday lunch for Mr. Lim last Saturday.

Somewhat because I'm guessing he had an idea on who was going to be there. Hehe!

A few days before his birthday, I asked him where he wanted to have his birthday lunch. He just said he wanted curry fish head.

Richie reco'd we go to Samy's Curry Fish Head at Dempsey.

The fact that the place was in Dempsey assured me that it was going to be an ideal place for a birthday lunch.

After making reservations, I sent invites to our common friends - Miru, Des, Justin, David, Patrick. Thankfully, all of them said they were available for the lunch.

I was also thinking of inviting his god brother Bryan, but I think he'll prefer to have a separate lunch with him.

Saturday noontime, Miru and I met up at Plaza Singapura to buy cake before heading to Dempsey. Of course, the obvious choice was Awfully Chocolate since the cake was sure to be delicious. Hehe!

From Plaza Sing, we took a bus to get to Dempsey. Thankfully, Samy's Curry wasn't too far from the main road unlike the other food places like Jones the Grocery or House. Hehe!

A few minutes of waiting and the birthday boy arrived. The others were late. Lol!

We already ordered food since Mr. Lim said he was starving. And of course, the lunch was for him after all. It didn't make sense to make the celebrant wait. Haha!

So we ordered a Medium Fish Head, palak paneer, butter chicken, black squid and biryani rice. Yum, yum! While waiting for the food, we enjoyed the compli papadum.

I love Indian food. If I didn't care about putting on weight, I would eat biryani rice and prata more often. Haha!

Just as we started eating, the others arrived and joined the happy lunch.

Afterwards, we asked the waiter to clear the table so that we can have the cake. We bought the choco/banana flavour which everyone found awesome. Yay!

Though Samy's Curry is in Dempsey, the price was not that ex. Our total bill came out to about $120, which was okay. The cake was just $32 and everyone got to have second servings. Haha!

Glad that Mr. Lim enjoyed his birthday lunch!

25 Dempsey Road
Singapore 249670
Tel : 6472 2080
Opening Hours :
11am-3pm ( Lunch )
6pm-10pm ( Dinner )
Open on Monday and Wednesday to Sunday (Including Public Holidays).
Closed every Tuesday.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

HBD, RKGreg and my other Mom...

There were five people I know who celebrated their birthday yesterday.

Of the five, two are people who I really, really care about and consider to be very important in my life.

One is RKGreg, the significant other of MkSurf8. I've written about them a few times and how I'm a huge fan of the RKGreg/MkSurf8 love team (sounds very Young Love, Sweet Love. Hehe!)

I don't think I've ever written about RKGreg as a person and as a friend.

So, here goes...

If he were a TV series, his show title would be Everybody Loves RKGreg or maybe Friends. Seriously. I wouldn't be surprised if he was voted Friendliest Guy of the Class by his secondary school classmates or university batch mates. The number of times we've been on a trip or we hung out somewhere, RKGreg would either know someone or he would easily make new friends. He's very easy to talk to and he's got the friendly/good guy vibe going for him. Of course, it helps that he has this resemblance to a Filipino actor named Zoren Legaspi. Haha! RKGreg, it's your birthday so you get to have your ego stroked. Haha! Kidding! As a son and as a brother, he would have also probably been awarded the Good Conduct award when he was in school. The few times that we talked about his family, I could say that he's the kind of guy a mom would be proud of.

Recently, he made the big move to Singapore. If my move took three years in the making, his was what? Six years? More? But I'm really glad that he's now here. It wouldn't hurt the island to have one more happy and friendly Filipino.

Happy birthday, RKGreg!

The other very important person celebrating a birthday is my other mom - Tita Ching. Aka Mrs. Aragon. Aka the mom of my best friend, Tey.

I don't recall the time I met Tita Ching, but I can say that I'm happy to be a part of their family and to be one of her "adopted" sons for close to two decades now. Tita Ching is well-loved and very popular among our (mine and Tey's) colleagues because of her amazing culinary skills. Tey's birthday is always an event everyone looks forward to because we all get to have a taste of Mrs. Aragon's cooking. To me, another reason why I love her is she is someone I can count on to pray for me. Sometimes, I wonder if anyone prays for me while I pray for everyone - from the Pope to the Philippine and Singapore leaders to my work colleagues to my friends and my family (LOL!). And then, I remember Tita Ching and how I know that she always has me in her prayers. Every so often, I would give her a call just to ask how she's doing. When I was going through the difficult period of losing my Dad last year, Tita Ching was one of those who gave me words of strength. I am really blessed to have two mothers in this life.

For her birthday, I asked for Tey's help to buy a bouquet of flowers for her. Tey sent the photo above. I also gave Tita a call when I got home and we got to have a wonderful chat.

One of my dreams is to be able to go on a holiday with my Mom, Tita Ching and Tey. Hopefully, it will happen this year.

Happy birthday, Tita Ching!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

HBD to my favourite Singaporean guy...

Yesterday was the birthday of Melvin - my first Singaporean friend and my favourite Singaporean man (hehe!).

I can't believe it's almost three years since we've met each other through a common friend, Francis. I met Francis through Ian during those days when I still did dragon boating.

The first time I met Melvin was during a trek at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. Being a newbie in Singapore, I wanted to meet people, explore the island, know as much as I could about my new "home."

Francis told me he was going for a hike at Bukit Timah, which was still unknown to me then. Hiking? In Singapore? That was the last thing on my mind. I've always associated the island with high-end shops, designer stores, non-stop shopping. That just goes to show how limited I knew about Singapore then. Three years laters and I'm proud to say I know a whole lot more now. Hehe.

Going back to Francis, it was not difficult for me to tell him that I wanted to join him being the morning person that I was/am.

So my very first nature walk in the island was Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the Bukit Timah railway, which ceased operations around that time.

Francis left for the UK soon after.

Melvin and I stayed in touch. Who knew that our one-time meeting would turn into a friendship brought together by a love for the green side of the island? Hehe!

Thanks to Melvin, I've explored places around the island, a few of my Singaporean colleagues never even knew existed.

From Pulau Ubin to Sungei Buloh, from Bukit Timah to Punggol Promenade, from Labrador Park to Macritchie, yup, we've pretty much covered almost all the nature parks around the island.

The other thing I'm grateful for for Melvin is that he is proud of his heritage and he is keen to share about the local history and culture. It didn't take long before we expanded our adventure walks from the forests to the heritage sites.

I've been to the Istana with him. We've done the Bukit Brown Cemetery walk twice. He's still planning a trip to the Southern isles.

Mama met him when she came here for her holiday. He drove us around and brought us to the usual tourist place and the not so touristy places.

So yeah, a huge chunk of what I know of and what I have seen around Singapore is all thanks to Melvin.

I'm planning a surprise birthday lunch for him this Saturday. Thankfully, a bunch of our friends are free to go. Yay!

Happy birthday, Melvin!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Two despedida dinners in one night...

Is it a year for moving? Changing places to live in?

Last Sunday night was the farewell dinner for two friends from two different groups.

And I dunno why, but both group scheduled the get-together on the same night and at the same time. Haha!

So how?

Derek is from PG Boy's group of friends. He's moving to somewhere in Europe. Or I think he's moving first to China before making the move to Europe. I can't remember. I met Derek a few years ago during a Christmas get-together at another friend's house. Friendly, happy guy. He'll be missed by a lot, for sure. Hehe!

Coly, on the other hand, is my friend. I met her through Richie as they are work colleagues and have been work colleagues for the longest time.

I can't remember the exact time that I met her but I do remember liking her a lot. She's one of those people who's very easy to get along with. She's always smiling and has a lot of nice, funny stories to tell. Like Derek, Coly will be moving to somewhere in Europe. She'll still work for the same company but a different position.

I'm glad that I still managed to go to both. Although I just did a cameo at Derek's dinner, I really wanted to go just to say buhbye and wish him all the best. From Derek's dinner, I rushed to Orchard for Coly's and stayed with the gang til we called it a night.

Hmm, wonder when it'll be my turn... haha!

Where to go, ah?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Series galore...

One more good thing that happened about being stuck at home during the weekend was getting to watch the new eps of the series I've been following.

Currently, I'm watching the following: Scandal, Looking, The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries, Arrow.

I've been watching TVD since it started and that was when I was still in the Philippines. Lately though, the story is starting to be annoying. It feels like the story is being stretched too much. Hehe! We'll see if I will drop this series soon.

TWD was introduced by a friend again, when I was still in the Philippines. To be honest, I was hooked for the first two seasons. The third season, imo, has been going well so far. It doesn't feel like the story's stretched yet. I guess it's great that there are many characters so the writers can build sub-plots about the lives of each character.

Now, Arrow, Scandal and Looking are my current top fave series.

If I were to rank the three, Scandal would have to be my favourite followed by Looking and then Arrow.

Scandal had me hooked since season 1 ep 1. The writing is just fantastic and Olivia Pope is a woman to be loved. This season 3, I'm starting to loathe Fitz aka Mr. US President. Haha! I guess the fact that the series can draw an emotional reaction from its viewers makes it an effective show. I'm really looking forward to the next eps.

Looking, on the other hand, has been receiving mixed revs. Most are not so good. Among my friends though (Richie, Mon, Edsel, Tipz), the show has been well-received. Believe it or not, there have been quite a few instances of dissecting a particular episode. Hehe!

Lastly, Arrow is interesting to watch because it's based on a superhero. Plus, Oliver Queen is pleasing to the eyes. Lol.

Oh, there's also another series I recently started watching - Sherlock. Great writing. The fact that each season is only 3 episodes (each ep is about 1.5 hours) makes it easier to follow.

Friends reco a few other series to watch - Breaking Bad, Suits, etc. I just have no time for more series. If I add a few more series to my to-watch list, I would have to give up other things I wanted to do. Haha!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Hello, March...

It's the first day of March and I am stuck here at home. Lol!

After much prodding from PG Boy, I decided to go and see the doctor last night. Thankfully (and surprisingly), there were only a few people at the clinic last night.

The doc gave me a lot of tabs for fever, for runny nose, for sore throat. Hehe!

Because of the meds, I was already asleep by 9ish... on a Friday night!

Having slept at 9, it was no surprise that I was up by 430AM! I am seriously turning into my mother. Lol!

I ended up watching the new episode of Arrow and The Walking Dead before finally going back to sleep.

The good thing about staying home is that I got to do a bit more planning for the upcoming trip. I'm still looking for accomms for the first leg of the trip. I've received a reply this morning from one of the AirBnB hosts I got in touch with. Since her terms were good, I decided to go and book the room. I have to look for one more room for the 19-21 April leg.

In addition to that, I was also able to note down the opening/closing hours of the museums/sights I wanted to visit.

The thing is I still haven't decided whether I should buy the 24h or the 48h city card. I think it makes sense to buy the 48h card so I'll probably go with that.

Anyway, I'm currently waiting for PG Boy to reach my side of the island. We're meeting up for lunch at my favourite mall this side of the island - Westgate! Hehe!

I'm really glad this mall is much better than its neighbours - JCube and Jem. The selection of shops are okay. I love that there's a Fitness First branch in it. There's eggs n berries!!!

It's been a good first two months of 2014. Yay!