Thursday, December 31, 2015

Hello, 2016...

Thanks, 2015... hello, 2016!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Butahage night...

There were two highlights to my Sunday.

First was a visit to the Singapore Gallery of the National Gallery Singapore.

Though I have been to the gallery a few times, it was my first time to see the galleries all done up. I could only stay for an hour when I went but I promise to go back. I think I could definitely spend a few hours in the Singapore gallery alone. Another day needs to be set for the Southeast Asia Gallery.

The other highlight was dinner with friends Bernard and Miru. It's been awhile since I last saw the guys. I'm more than happy to meet up with them and catch up.

We decided to have dinner at Butahage, a Japanese restaurant in Liang Court. The mall is one of the least crowded malls in the city. However, it is an interesting one because of the number of authentic Japanese restaus in it. Add to that the Japanese supermarket at the basement. The Filipinos have Lucky Plaza. The Burmese have Peninsula Plaza. The Japanese have Liang Court. Hehe!

Food was quite enjoyable. After dinner, we headed to a cafe for some dessert and coffee.

It was defo a good way to end/start the week.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

About our Noche Buena...

Our Noche Buena was held at the home of Richie and Mon in the East.

It's not that difficult to guess what the theme was. You have a crown, a sceptre, a mirror, diamonds on the table. Haha! Obviously, it was the Miss Universe.

As usual, the duo hosted a wonderful gathering. The food was simple but extremely yummy. We have Richie's Mom to thank for making the lasagna and buco salad, which was more than enough to give the dinner a Filipino feel.

I can't believe the year is almost over.

It's another memorable year. I'm really grateful.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas...

A blessed Merry Christmas to all!

P.S. How beautiful is the Nativity tableau of the Church of St. Bernadette?!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Slow Sunday...

Uneventful Sunday.

In the morning, I spent a few hours in front of the computer brushing up my skills on some topic.

By noontime, I made the trip to the far, far northeast in the name of Christmas. Lol! I had to pick up something from Fernvale LRT!!! Think an Alabang person going all the way to Diliman. Hehe!

The good thing is that there is no jam along the expressway on a weekend and the buses are usually reliable. Tbh, I contemplated taking the train but that would involve multiple transfers. Between the train and the bus, I really prefer the latter because I enjoy the scenic route.

Anyway, after that errand, I headed back to the West. I spent another two hours at the Woodlands library. This time, it was to prepare for the British Museum exhibit. At 5PM, I walked to the Church of St Anthony for Mass.

That was my last agenda for the day.

I got home a few minutes ago after having dinner at the kopitiam. I was thinking of studying some more but I think I'll just relax and take it easy.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A look back at how I did in the dating and relationship department...

While I was in the train on my way home from the gym, I started thinking about how the year went.

I dunno why but I thought about how I did in the dating & relationship department. Maybe because some random guy who was a Pump newbie asked for my help to set up his bar and stuff.

Anyway, it was a so so year in the dating & relationship department.

The year didn't start very well in that area. There was HB Boy who vanished into thin air. Lol! I never got to find out what happened to him. After contacting him via Skype, iMessage, Viber, Whatsapp, Gmail, I figured he's gone. A part of me felt that we could've had a good thing together, but my good friends helped me realise it wasn't the truth.

Then there's JKT Boy. Asshat that I am, I broke his heart resulting in me getting unfriended and blocked on Facebook. We had a good thing while it lasted. Unknown to friends, I was seeing JKT Boy for three months. I only told MonRich about him when it was over. For awhile, JKT Boy and I kept in touch. We hung out, talked to each other, until we got into some sort of argument. He accused me of certain things, which I couldn't accept.

After some time, he took back the things he said and things went back to normal. Then, it was his turn to be the asshat. When I realised that I was unfriended and blocked, I also realised that I made the right decision to not get into anything serious. He is still a boy.

Lastly, there's CD Guy. After a few glasses of whiskey Coke, I was buzzed and got too close to CD Guy. That hohol was followed by a few times of going out and messaging. Then one morning, we got into a misunderstanding. Again, I was accused of being something. To break the convo, I said I'll just have lunch. When I returned from lunch, CD Guy delivered the "Let's just be friends" message.

Haha! Oh well... So that was that in the dating & relationship department. Hmm, I think I went out for dinner with two or three other people but nothing came out of it. It's okay, though.

When I returned from my Japan trip, I realised that I could actually be okay being on my own for now. The other part of me is yearning for permanency. I do want to settle down already whether it's with someone or by myself - I'm okay with either. I just want to have some semblance of permanence in my life.

Richie said I like to do that - to have a look back at the year that was. I told him I do it because it reminds me of things I should be grateful for, things I can improve on, things I want to change.

Change. That's the broad theme I want for my 2016.

Let's see how.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Cruise virgin no more...

At 7AM this morning, MV Sapphire Princess of Princess Cruises docked at the Marina Cruise Centre in Singapore.

I'm a cruise virgin no more. Haha!

If I were to summarise the trip, it was good food, good rest, and more good food. It was also somewhat nice to be disconnected for a few days. The only time I turned on my data roaming was in Port Kelang, Malaysia. That was only for a few minutes though. I sent some photos to Tey. I also posted one photo of me, Rich and Mon at Khoo Kongsi in Penang.

It was not easy for me to put away my phone. I guess the main reason is because I did not leave anyone behind in Singapore these past few days. Also, it was because I can actually survive a few days without my phone. Seriously. Haha.

Going back to the cruise trip, it was really quite enjoyable.

There wasn't time to be bored onboard the ship because there was some activity happening somewhere. If there was no activity interesting enough, we spent time either at the Fitness Center, the Adults Only Pool, or at the room. Richie and Mon got a mini-suite, which I thought was quite spacious. The toilet and bath was just right. Richie and Mon shared a Queen bed, while I stayed on a sofa bed. The small room had two TVs, which allowed us to watch the same show at the same time or different shows. Hehe! We also had our own balcony, which we didn't get to use too much.

Aside from relaxing, each meal was just wow! For breakfast and lunch, we ate at the Horizon Court. I think this was the Anytime Dining section of the ship. For dinner, we had our own table at the International Cafe. I particularly liked the dinner because it was sit-down. In addition to that, the quality of the food was different. Whereas breakkie and meal were at a buffet restau, dinner was like having it at a somewhat fine dining restau. It was certainly a good way to end the day.

The cruise made two port stops - Penang and Port Kelang. Unfortunately, we only spent a few hours in Penang. Wanting to make the most out of the few hours, we joined an organised tour that took us to the Thai and Burmese temples, the Khoo Kongsi, and the Peranakan Mansion. A few hours were certainly not enough for Penang. If I do go back, I def want to take some time to visit the ancestral houses and the clan houses. Oh, I also want to visit certain museums and of course, try out a number of Penang dishes.

One of the things that I also wanted to do in Penang was to send postcards. I wasn't sure if I would have time to do it because we were part of an organised tour. Thankfully, there was a souvenir shop just outside of Khoo Kongsi. I was able to get the postcards and stamps from the shop. I also asked if they can mail the postcard for me. For a few ringgit more, the Auntie agreed to post the cards for me. Hmm, the test now is whether she will really send it. Haha! So, while the group checked out some areas of Khoo Kongsi, I sat at a nearby shophouse and furiously wrote to five people. Haha!

At Port Kelang, we just stayed onboard the ship. It was actually quite nice. I managed to squeeze in an hour of gym time and a few hours of lounging. The rest of the day were spent relaxing and watching movies at the room.

Nice experience, actually.

When Richie asked if I sould do it again, I said I would but not anytime soon. The reason was I want to use my legs and feet first and walk as much as I can before the gout/arthritis gets the better of me. Hehe!

What a nice ending to 2016! Thank you, Richie and Mon! :)

Friday, December 11, 2015

Last overseas trip for the year...

After the Manila trip, I had no other planned trips outside of the island anymore.

It was okay because my wallet needed to recover after my brother's wedding (haha!) and more importantly, I need to do a lot of studying. I will be guiding for THREE exhibits! Preparations are needed! So, I was perfectly okay with just staying put.

That was not to be case though.

A few days ago, I missed a phone call from good friend Richie. He then messaged saying, "Come on a trip with me and Mon."

I told him I can't because I'm saving and that I'm planning for something.

He replied, "It's our Christmas present to you."

Now, I have an idea of sorts how the audience at Oprah's Favourite Things feels. Haha! But seriously, it is Tita Merlita (Richie's mom) who I need to thank. She couldn't be in Singapore in time for the trip. MonRich didn't want the ticket to go to waste. Good thing it's transferable!

So, yeah, this afternoon the three of us will be on board a ship bound for Penang. I have been on board a cruise ship before having worked for a maritime company but I have never been on a cruise. Lol!

Exciting, isn't it?!

Thank you, MonRich, for this really unique Christmas present!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Nice Japanese movie...

Out of random Youtube-ing (is there such a word?) and in an effort to retain whatever little Japanese that I know, I stumbled upon this film called My Rainy Days.

At first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. Maybe because of some of the themes presented during the film. Haha!

By the time I finished the film, I was quite sure that I really enjoyed it. I wish I can watch more films like this.

I’m wondering though why the English title is My Rainy Days when the Japanese title is Tenshi no Koi (which should mean Angel of Love).

Anyway, another foreign film I’m hoping to watch is Eddie Peng’s and Shu Qi’s The Last Woman Standing. Still no playdates for Singapore while our neighbour on the other side of the Causeway already has a release date. Hmm, it looks like I’ll be making a trip to JB soon just to catch the film. Haha!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Another packed Sunday...

Sunday was just as busy as Saturday.

I didn’t even have time to hit the gym. Lol! Even if I got home from the Christmas dinner past midnight and slept at 1AM, I still woke up at just after 6AM.

For about thirty minutes, I just stayed in bed thinking of my schedule for the day. I had a lunch with Smart colleagues JoAnn and Arlyn. There was a lecture at NMS that I had to attend. I wanted to squeeze in some library time. In the evening, I had dinner plans with Mon and Richie. I had to think if I should go to church in the morning or before meeting up with Mon and Richie.

In the end, I decided to get up and leave the house at 8AM. This was so that I can attend the 930AM Mass at the Church of the Holy Cross. From there, the rest of the day went by as planned.

Following Mass, I met up with Jon (who lived near the church) and we took the bus to Ikea Alexandra for the lunch with JoAnn and Arlyn. At 1PM, I left the group and took the bus to head to the National Museum for the lecture. Afterwards, I managed to join a guided tour by seasoned museum volunteer. I picked up new information and techniques. From the museum, I took the train to 313 to spend a few hours at the library.

The final agenda for the day was dinner with Mon and Richie. The former suggested Tonkichi for dinner. Neither Richie nor I objected. Haha! Tonkichi actually has a set for 3 people. It was a better choice compared to ordering individual sets. For $75 (excluding tax), the set included 3 pork fillet, 3 oyster tempura, 3 ebi tempura, 1 pork loin, 3 cups of rice, miso soup, dessert and the usual unlimited cabbage. Not bad, huh!?

We ended the day by sharing a teeny tiny piece of dessert from Robert Timms. Lol! We all wanted to go home soon because we were yawning by 9PM. Lol!

I’m going to see these two guys again by Friday. In fact, I’ll be spending the entire weekend with them. That’s something I’m looking forward to.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Pasko na...

The first of a few Christmas dinners for 2015 took place last night.

A bunch of fellow Filipinos at work organised a gathering to celebrate Christmas as well as the birthday of our colleague, JM.

The whole day was spent at the museum and as soon as I was done with my assignment, I took the bus to head to Redhill.

As expected, it was a feast! Everyone brought something - liempo, chicharong bulaklak, spaghetti, ham, hipon, siewmai and hakao, and two super yum homemade cakes!

Fun, fun evening!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Cultural Day cum Bring Your Kids to Work Day...

Today was a fun, fun day at the office. Today, I also got to wear a second time the Barong Tagalog I bought for my brother's wedding. Haha! As Tey said, "Nag-ROI na si Ernie Barong!"

It was Bring Your Kids to Work x Cultural Day. Since I don't have any kids (doh!), I meant to participate in the Cultural Day portion. Haha! I asked some friends to dress up in Filipiniana as well. I wasn't sure who was going to come in Filipiniana. When I saw Sheryl in a simple but wonderful baro't saya, I was really happy. Haha!

I was hoping to join in the Individual category of Best Dressed competition. Hmm, I guess I didn't get to join because I already won the Best Child Pic. Lol! I submitted a photo of myself when I was 6 years old or younger wearing Dad's barong tagalog. Whoever the judge was found it cute and I was selected winner. Lol!

It was a fun activity! :) Any chance to wear the Barong Tagalog, sign me up! I really love the Philippines' traditional costume!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Random blah...

As my work day came to an and while I was preparing to head out to go to the library, I received an iMessage from Richie. Before I managed to read his message, my phone rang and the caller display showed Richie's name. Lol!

It must be something urgent. Either that or he was going to ask me out to dinner because the topic in one of our group chats was liempo and lechon manok. Haha!

As it turned out, it was something more urgent and something a lot better than liempo and lechon manok. Haha!

I need to check a few things before I could reply back to him. That's what I'll do tomorrow. I'm crossing my fingers.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Snail mail from Tipz...

On the way to work this morning, I messaged Tipz to ask for his new snail mail address.

Fortunately, his morning was not too busy and we ended up chatting for a good 30 or so minutes. That’s my guess because that’s usually the time it takes for me from my place to reach the office.

We talked about plans in general, Christmas plans, etc. Because I asked for his snail mail address, he blurted out something like “My postcard already reached you??!!” LOL! That’s how I knew that he sent a postcard.

I think I’m really longing for days long gone. I love sending and receiving snail mail. On my recent trip to Manila, I dug up and brought back with me a few handwritten letters from two bests friends - one from secondary school days and one from my early university days. Seriously, who still does handwritten letters these days?

Hmm, I’d like to preserve the letters and maybe, I can show it to my nephews and nieces when I am much older. Or I can even probably donate it to a library. “This is what handwritten letters look like.” Hahaha!

Going back to Tipz, we had to cut our conversation as I was already at the office while he needed to go back to work. It was a good catchup though a short one.

The rest of the day went by uneventful. For lunch, I met up with Ann Marie and Ana. We ate at Insead where I had a healthy plate for just $5.50. For dessert, Ana brought some of her home-baked cookies. They were really good!!! Chewy and I love the choco chip she used.

When I got back home, I was surprised to see a postcard on the floor of my room. Obviously, I knew it was from Stephen! Haha! I wasn’t expecting any postcards from my other snail mail peeps Coly, Len, or Tey. I’m glad to have gotten Tipz’s postcard. It was a good ending to the day!

Keep snail mail alive!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Some Manila trip photos...

Some happy photos from the short Manila trip last week.

Loved ones, friends - the main reason I try to visit Manila. Lol! If not for them, I would just be visiting the countryside where my heart really belongs. Lol! I miss the urban/rural feel of Iloilo. I miss the panoramic views of Palawan, Sagada and Banaue. I miss the colorful scenery at Zamboanga. I still have to visit Bohol and Batanes. I still have to see other parts of Cebu. Hehe!

I was born and raised in Manila, and have lived there for the first three decades of my life. If I ever go back, I think I don't mind living in another part of the country and just make trips to Manila to see family, loved ones, good friends. Hehe!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

More interviewing today...

What a tiring day. Lol.

Because the soapbox tours at NGS were canceled, I just decided to go to Mass at St. Bernadette before heading to the National Museum.

Today is the second day that we're interviewing applicants to the docent training progamme.

There were fewer interviewees today so it's not as tiring as yesterday. Together with fellow MV Inn Siew, we interviewed 4 individuals - 2 guys and 2 girls. I was more confident to interview people today since I now know more how to conduct the interview. All four interviewees were interesting. It was nice to listen to their reasons for wanting to become a museum volunteer.

Afterwards, the team had a meeting. We finished at half past six.

Good thing I decided to go for the morning Mass. If not, I would have missed Mass today. Yikes!

I thought of going to the library but instead, I just decided to head back and have an early evening.

Oh gosh, tomorrow is the last day of November. On Tuesday, it's the start of the last month of the year. Wow, what a year it has been. Haha!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

All day Museum day...

Good morning, Saturday!

Who gets up before 6AM on a Saturday?! Lol!

It's going to be an entire day at the museums today.

In the morning, I have an activity at the National Museum. I'm helping out interview docent programme applicants! Whoa! Two years ago, I was the one being interviewed. Now, I'm the one doing the interviews. Hehe!

In the afternoon, I have volunteer shifts at the newly-opened National Gallery. Today will be my debut as a museum guide for the fantastic gallery. I'm very, very excited to see the space finally completed. I'm also excited to converse about the art works.

This weekend and next weekend, we will be doing soapbox tours (which means I'm stationed at one painting and if there are any visitors, I would engage them in a convo about the painting). I would say that I'm more knowledgeable in Singapore and Malayan art. For the soapbox tours, I chose the work of one Malayan artist - Chuah Thean Teng and one FILIPINO artist - Jose Joya.

Joya's work featured at the National Gallery was a loan from the National Museum of the Philippines. I couldn't be more proud to talk about it and see it in Singapore!

So, yeah, it'll be an all day museum day today!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy birthday, friend...

Back to the gym today. I went for the usual Thursday night Pump class at the gym closest to my house.

I've been taking it easy though because I'm trying to be kinder to my knees. Hmm, it must be aging. Haha! I don't feel any pain and I am able to walk properly. I do feel some stiffness on my right knee. I hope it's nothing. Ugh! I should pay a visit to the doctor this weekend, I suppose.

The other highlight of the week is the birthday of good friend Richie. A couple of years ago, his closest friends, including myself, committed the biggest offence against him when we all forgot to greet him. Yes, it happened! That was a reminder that we've been too reliant on social media to remind us of a friend's birthday. My other excuse was I watched a play that night and I was on cloud nine because I had a photo with Lea Salonga, Menchu Lauchengco, and Adrian Pang. Hehe!

Anyway, after that major blunder, none of us ever forgot Richie's birthday ever again. Hehe! This year, he decided to go celebrate in Manila. Unfortunately, I was already back in Singapore. The original plan was to have a feast at his place this Saturday with the rest of the becks. However, Richie's mom had to postpone her trip and as a result, the feast was also postponed. Hehe!

Still, a small, simple celebration was held on the eve of his birthday. We had dinner at one of his favorite places followed by drinks at a nearby drinking place.

Happy birthday to one of my long-time friends! We've been friends for more than a decade and counting! I definitely admire and respect him for having the courage to be vocal about his beliefs! :D

Andre x Lala...

I was in Manila for a few days to attend the family event of the year.

Though a short trip, a very short one, the few days created nice, new memories for me and the fam.

Though I'm not sure if I or my second brother will ever marry, I'm sure my Dad is smiling from the heavens to see that his family name will continue thanks to my youngest brother. Hehe.

Congrats and best wishes, Andre and Lala!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Waiting for boarding time of SQ XXX...

I'm at the airport now, waiting for boarding time.

This is the last overseas trip for 2015. Hehe!

2015, you've been a good year for travel. ;)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bridesmaid ka lang...

In light of a major event happening soon, this ad suddenly came to mind. Lol.

I'm surprised it's on Youtube. Or maybe I shouldn't be...

Monday, November 16, 2015

All around the island on a Sunday...

Another long day. Haha!

Started with a hike to the HSBC Treetop with Bernice and Mr. Lim. However, the latter only joined us until the Ranger Station. He had to head back earlier since he had a wedding lunch to attend. It was really nice of Mr. Lim though to wake up early and drive us to the starting point of the hike.

Bernice and I completed the hike in about two hours. It was a bit slow because I was carrying a backpack with toiletries and change of clothes. As most of my friends would know, I don't really know how to pack light even for very short hikes. Lol!

After our hike, we went to the FF at Ang Mo Kio to have a shower and change into fresh clothes.

In the afternoon, we met up with Mon and I-van and went to the Hermes exhibits Little Room of Wanders and Leather Forever. Both exhibits were wow! I think I'll pay a visit again, especially to the Leather Forever exhibit.

The long day ended with a nice dinner at CPK.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Random blah...

How sweet is this! :)

It's from an ex-colleague who is now based in Australia with her partner. I'm happy that we still keep in touch despite the distance.

Oh, I also received a postcard from the UK. It's from my friend Coly who's based in Belgium. I love snail mail from friends/family. Haha! I wish I can travel more to be able to send snail mail.

Keep snail mail alive!

Wednesday night at the museum...

Wednesday night was spent at the museum. It was the Appreciation and Awards Night for museum volunteers, and I thought I'd go to this once since I've never attended it.

Having guided for more than two years now, I think I can already attend the event. Hehe!

It was also an opportunity to see my museum volunteer friends and a chance to debut the Forever shirt I bought in Tokyo. Hahahaha! :P Now that I've been working from home, I usually get dressed in a casual shirt and berms. So, any chance to dress in something nicer needs to be grabbed. Hehe!

The night was enjoyable. Nice entertainment, yum food, inspiring fellow volunteers. Some volunteers who were awarded have been guiding at the museums for 15 years!!! Amazing! It's hard for me to say how long I will be guiding at the museums, mainly because my life in Singapore is tied to my work pass. Oh well, let's not go into that.

I had a lovely Wednesday night.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Short trail in my backyard discovered...

I went for a walk this morning. I haven't started running again because I want to be kind to my knees for now. Lol.

Hence, I decided that I'll just go for a walk. Initially, my plan was just to go for a one hour walk. I had a route in my mind. When I stepped out of the house, I decided I'll do a different route instead since I won't be running.

That different route led me to a short trail which was just near my neighbourhood. However, as I reached the end of the trail, I realised that I was actually a bit far off and I ended up in the industrial area of Kranji. Hahaha! It was okay though because I still managed to find my way back. And now, I know that instead of going straight I just need to do a U-turn.

Because I got lost, I ended up walking an extra 2K and an extra 30 minutes. Haha! Good exercise for today though.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Random blah...

Half day at work today.

That's one of the nice policies our company has. Half day of work on the eve of a public holiday.

So, the day just went by very fast. I worked from home today. I was online by 8AM. Before I knew it, it was already 1230 and I already turned on my Out of Office auto-reply for this afternoon and for the whole of tomorrow.

After getting my lunch, I decided to have a siesta for an hour.

The last activities for the day were studying from 4 to 6PM, and then Pump at my usual Monday gym.

Tonight, we had a different Pump instructor because the original teacher is on a holiday. I actually like the guy who covered the class tonight. He made everything look so easy. Lol. He was just leading the class the entire team with ease as he worked on his own bar and plates. Hehe!

Hmm, I'm taking it easy with my weights as I feel some stiffness on my right knee. I am hoping, praying it will go away soon because I want to run and do Combat again.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Cheesy Taiwanese flick on a Tuesday night...

It's been awhile since I last watched a Chinese flick. Hmm, I think it's because I haven't really seen any good trailers being shown in Singapore cinemas lately.

Over the weekend, PG Boy asked me if I wanted to catch Our Times with him and his best friend. I saw the movie poster of the Taiwan film but I didn't really pay much attention to it. Apparently, it is currently the highest grossing film in Taiwan this year. That means it has to be good. Hehe! Since I was entertaining ex-colleagues over the weekend, I had to decline to PG Boy's invitation.

However, I really planned to catch the film soon. Soon was last night. Lol! After spending my hours at the library, I walked over to the neighbouring mall where I booked a ticket for the 9PM screening. Surprisingly (or maybe not?), the cinema was full house... for a Tuesday night. I did a quick scan around me and more than half were university (or even secondary school) kids. I think I was the only Filipino in the cinema as well. Haha!

The film was good! No wonder it's so popular. The storyline is a bit formula but that's fine. It was enjoyable just like the other Taiwan films I loved "You are the Apple of My Eye" and "Cafe. Waiting. Love."

What I'm really looking forward to though is Last Women Standing starring Eddie-Oh-My-God-Marry-Me-Peng and Shu Qi. I've seen both act in a few films and I like them. Eddie Peng. Sigh. Haha! I think I will enjoy this film more because the characters are already in their 30s and the setting is in the professional world - something I can relate to. Our Times is a high-school romance. Hehe!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

New word: Masturdating...

I learned a few new words recently.

This has to be one of my new favourite words. Haha!

Lately, I'm starting to be addicted to chronic masturdating.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Happy Halloween...

It was a packed weekend.

I spent most of the time with visiting ex-colleagues. Last Saturday, I was with them from 9AM until 6PM going from place to place around the island.

In the evening, I went for drinks and clubbing with my guys. That was from 10PM until 5AM. Hahaha!

With only three hours of sleep, I met up again with my visiting ex-colleagues on Sunday morning and stayed with them until after they checked in for their flight back to Manila.

From Changi, I took the bus to Woodlands to attend Mass at my usual church. By then, I was really doing my best to stay awake.

It was no surprise that I was asleep by 930PM. Haha! Super super fun Halloween weekend though!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

2016 is just around the corner...

I can't believe the year is almost over.

2015 was a good year. Thank you, Lordy.

2016 will be even better...

Saturday, October 24, 2015

What happened today...

Morning activity: I woke up at 630AM. Original plan was to go for a run around the neighbourhood. Scrapped the plan when I saw that the PSI reading was 204. Instead, I did some online baking to settle some bills. Afterwards, I prepped to head out of the house. Today was the orientation for people who are interested to volunteer for the National Museum of Singapore. I volunteered to help out.

Event finished at 130PM. Just like last time, I crashed the lunch plans of Gen and Zuraidah. Hehe! We went to a nice cafe place just next to the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul. It was a good place because the proceeds go to charity.

From Bras Basah, it was a short walk to the National Library. I had another errand but since my friend's sister was not replying, I just decided to make other plans. That meant going to the National Library to study.

Around 430PM, I left the library and crossed the street to attend the Sunset Mass at the Church of St. Joseph. The homily was good, very good!

Last agenda for the day was dinner and drinks with Richie. We had a feast for two at Grandma's Raffles City. Then we walked back to Suntec and spent some time chitchatting at Ginza Lion Beer Hall. I was so excited when I saw that the place served umeshu. It really is my fave. Richie also liked it. Hehe!

Now, I'm typing with one eye close. I'm falling asleep. Lol. It's the umeshu. Or maybe it's the haze. Or the packed day? Whatever it is, I'm ready to sleep...

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Tokyo 2015: Day Trip to Kawagoe

Manila has Intramuros, Kuala Lumpur has Malacca, Tokyo has Kawagoe. Not too far from central Tokyo is a city which allows one to get a glimpse on how Tokyo was during the time it was still known as Edo.

Traditional warehouses, constructed in an architecture style popular during the Edo Period, can be seen lining the streets. Some that date back from the 18th and 19th centuries are still standing.

The Toki No Kane (Bell of Time) bell tower, which is the symbol of Kawagoe, can be seen on one of the streets.

It's easy to spend half a day just walking around to check out the shops selling all sorts of items and restaurants/food places selling yum treats. What I liked most was just observing the architecture of the houses and shops. It was definitely a good break from the skyscrapers and buildings of central Tokyo.

Many thanks to my friend for driving to Kawagoe. More thanks for welcoming me to their lovely home. It was a wonderful dinner with the family followed by the enjoyable stroll around the neighbourhood, and of course, drinks at the neighbourhood izakaya.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Tokyo 2015: Yokohama, Roppongi

Sunday morning, I traveled from Higashi-jujo station north of Tokyo to Ishikawacho station in the south. Dean suggested attending Mass at the Church of Sacred Heart. I realised that there was no need to Google Maps the church from the train station. I heard a few groups of people speaking Tagalog. All I did was just follow them and yes, I made it to church on time. Hah!

After Mass, I met up with Dean and we went for a walk around the neighbourhood of Yamate. The architecture of the houses are so different from the ones I saw in Kawagoe. From the design of the houses, one can already learn a bit of the history of the place. From what I read, it was where the Western traders after the Japanese ports opened in the 1850s. The hilly area was perfect because it gave a great view of the sea. The leisurely walk around the neighbourhood also doubles as an architectural heritage walk. Dean and I checked out the Ehrismann Residence, which I read is a registered historical building of Yokohama. The house was built in the 1920s and served as a residence of a Swiss businessman designed by a Czech architect. Today, there is a cafe at the ground floor, while the rest of the house is open for a visit. It was like visiting the ancestral houses in Iloilo or Negros. Hehe!

Further walking and we reached Harbor View Park, which offers a splendid panoramic view of Yokohama port. Apparently, the site used to be a British soldiers' barracks. It would be awesome to see at night. If I didn't have an itinerary, I would have spent more time to check out the shopping lane called Motomachi.

From the south, I traveled to Roppongi. My first stop was the Mori Tower to check out the Louise Bourgeois spider sculpture "Maman." I don't think Kok Kuan will want to see it though. From there, I walked towards the National Art Center. Unlike its sisters such as the National Museum of Modern Art, the National Art Center does not maintain a permanent collection. Instead, the center serves as a venue for various art exhibitions. I was curious to see an Issey Miyake exhibit but it was scheduled in early 2016. I wasn't too keen on the ongoing exhibits but I did enjoy exploring the center.

Kyu Shiba Rikyu (Former Shiba Villa) was the first Japanese garden I visited during the trip. It would also be the place to ignite my fascination and admiration for Japanese gardens. Right in the heart of central Tokyo, located just next to Hamamatsucho Station, the Kyu Shiba Rikyu was an escape from the chaos of the city. For a very minimal entry fee of 150 yen, I was able to visit one of the two surviving feudal era clan gardens in Tokyo. The gardens has a rich history dating back to the 1800s. It was only opened to the public in 1924.

It was easy to fall in love with the garden. From different points of view, there is always a scenic perspective to be seen. Once in a while, I would hear the sound of the shinkansen but it was not loud enough to distract me from appreciating the beauty of the place. I took a long time just walking and enjoying the garden that I reached my next destination a bit late. Lol!

I left the gardens and walked for about 15 minutes or so before reaching Zozoji Temple and eventually, Tokyo Tower. The former is the head temple of a certain Buddhist sect. The temple has a number of interesting features but I did not have time to explore them anymore as they were already closed. I just took a few photos and then continued walking to Tokyo Tower.

Before the Tokyo Skytree was erected, Tokyo Tower was the tallest structure in Japan. I only went for the main observatory and just as I expected, interesting views of the city can be seen. I waited for nighttime just to see the buildings lit up.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Tokyo 2015: Shibuya, Omotesando, Harajuku, Shinjuku

The day started with experiencing Tokyo rush hour at the train station. On my way to Shibuya, there was a huge crowd at Oimachi waiting to board the train heading to Shinagawa.

Like every other commuter at the station, I got pushed, shoved, elbowed and thrusted to get inside the train. Just like in the movie or some Youtube video, there was a train station attendant in white gloves who pushed people in so the train doors would close. At times, she had to close the doors. Add to that the train station chimes that kept on playing. It felt like being in an anime movie or a manga comics. Despite the chaos, no one was complaining and everyone just proceeded in an orderly fashion! What a full on Tokyo experience on my first hour of exploring the city! Haha! (I was later told that there was an incident in one of the stations that resulted in train delays and the huge crowds in other stations.)

After figuring out my way using Tokyo's dizzying network of trains, it was nonstop walking from morning til night. Hachiko statue. Shibuya crossing. Architectural walk in Aoyama. Omotesando. Harajuku. Meiji Shrine. Shibuya crossing at night. Clubbing in Shinjuku. Catching the train back to Shinagawa. It was only first day of exploring the city and I already knew I was going to love it.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Tokyo Day 2

Today was such a good day!!!

I managed to cover the things I planned for today. There were a few surprises and some experiences that are worth telling eventually. Haha!

Basically, I did a lot of walking today - Shibuya to Omotesando to Harajuku to Meijijingu.

Afterwards, I went back to Dean's place to shower and rest for a bit.

In the evening, I checked out the gay area with Dean. He and his friend Mark brought me to Alamas for drinks and then Arty Farty for dancing!

What a nice day today turned out to be! I couldn't be more grateful.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Just before I fly...

Typing this entry from one of the many free Internet terminals at Changi Airport. One of the many reasons to love this airport. Haha!

I woke up around 3AM. My flight is at 8AM, but I figured I'll head to Changi early. What's new? I'm always early at the airport anyway.

For a second, I thought of taking the train from home to the airport. However, I decided against it when I saw that the first train from my place departs at 530AM. That would see me rushing, rushing, rushing. Haha!

So last night, I booked a cab to pick me up this morning at 4AM.

A few minutes before 4, I messaged the cab driver requesting him to SMS me when he is already at the parking lot near my block. He promptly replied saying that he is three minutes away.

By 4, I left my place and took the lift down. When I walked over to the parking area, the white Merc was already there. The trunk was already open so that I can put my luggage.

When the cab driver saw me, he quickly got out of his car and greeted me a very cheerful "Good morning!" He then walked over and said, "Allow me to help you with your luggage!"

Wah, I'm so impressed. I let him do the heavylifting and I made my way to the passenger seat.

Mr. Cab Driver then says, "You should enter on the left side of the car. There will be more space for you." I follow Mr. Cab Driver. When I got in, I noticed that he already pulled the front seat forward so that there is more leg room for me.

Wah, I'm even more impressed!

It was a nice, smooth drive to Changi. As it turns out, I made the right decision to be fetched at 4AM. We reached Changi 20 minutes before 5. Along the way, Mr. Cab Driver and I made some small talk. I asked him about his work. He asked me about living in Singapore. What a nice, nice cabbie!

The whole cab fare cost me an arm and a leg (lol!), but I thought it was worth it. I just met the most professional cab driver ever! My other thought was, "Hmm, this is how cab service should really be in the first place. But because I dun experience such kind of service every time I take a cab, I get surprised when I get a good customer service experience! Haha!"

Oh well, if the cab ride is an indication of how this trip will be, then it will be awesome...

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Random iMessage chat with Tey...

While queuing for Pump class registration yesterday, I sent a random message to Tey telling her that we should go to Tokyo in 2020 to watch the Olympics. Specifically, I told her I want to watch the Men's All-Around Gymnastics event.

I'm not sure if he'll still be competing then but I do want to watch Japan's Kohei Uchimura live.

Tey replied, "Sure, let's go. By then, we can afford to stay at Tokyo Shangri-la or Peninsula. Let's claim it."

I sent a LOL as a reply.

And then I also said, "Tey, one of my aspirations is to be able to walk into a Bottega boutique and purchase a piece that I like without having to worry about the price. Haha!"

When it was sent, I started typing again, "And I also want to stop choosing budget airlines as my first option when flying overseas. Hahaha!"

Tey sent very optimistic replies. "We can do that, Anj. By then, we will be able to do it."

Another message from her came in telling me about a friend of ours who gave up flying economy. Lol. "She just flies business from now on. She said she couldn't take economy anymore," said Tey.

My reply was, "Haha! Good for her! Before we aspire for that, let's aspire first for not flying budget anymore. Haha!" I want to be able to have that option of not flying budget 70% of the time. Haha!

We continued to chat more for a few minutes until the announcement for Pump class registration came on.

Dreams, dreams. Lol!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Quick meetup with Tipz...

Look who was in town...

... but only for an hour or so. Hehe!

Tipz had a short layover in Singapura before his flight back to Sydney. He spent a week or so exploring Vietnam with his KL-based best friend. It's sooo good to see him again. Since he didn't have that much time in SG, we just agreed to meet up near the airport. I asked Richie if he was free for dinner, then he and I could meet up with Tipz. I would have organised another dinner but the visitor didn't want to inconvenience other people.


It was not long ago when we were both FTs. Haha! Good times, good time. Okay, I will stop before I start speeding through a highway of nostalgia. Hahaha!

So good seeing you, Tipz! :) Thanks for the early birthday pressie... even if it was forced.

I can always return it when I visit you in Syd. ;)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Busy Saturday, not so busy Sunday...

For once, I have a rather free Sunday. Haha!

Surprisingly, I did not schedule anything today. All I have is a get-together tonight with a special guest. Lol!

Other than that, the only other thing I did today is go to the gym for Pump. Afterwards, I just had lunch at a nearby kopitiam before heading back.

I did mean to keep today free as I wanted to do some more planning for the upcoming trip in a few days. There are still more a few things that need to be done. Yes, surprisingly. Lol! That's why I decided to keep most of the day free.

Anyway, Sunday is the opposite of my Saturday. Yesterday was just another busy day. In the morning, I went to the National Museum for a curator lecture for an upcoming exhibit. That already took up the entire morning. After that, I had lunch with two fellow museum volunteers. We went to Concetto at Cathay. I'm glad I joined the girls because I finally got to eat there. I liked the food. Lunch was followed by dessert and coffee at a neighbouring coffee place.

The next appointment was at the National Gallery. I was scheduled to assess someone at 3PM. Since it was a bit hot, I just decided to head to the NGS earlier and wait at the lobby. I knew the docent I was going to assess so it was quite easy. Hehe!

The last agenda was to attend Mass at St. Bernadette. Oh wait, no. The last agenda was dropping by LP to get some Japanese yen.

I always go to the same money changer at the basement of LP since the shop has a good rate. When I got my yen, I walked over to Somerset and took the train back to the West. Haha!