Thursday, July 23, 2015

Our Lady's boy...

Perhaps it was because I went to a Catholic dedicated to Our Lady. That's the main reason I can think of why I have always been a devote of Our Lady.

When I was still in grade school, my younger brother and I would always pass by the church right next to our school to say a little prayer at the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes.

It was quite common for almost all the students at our school, since our school is named after the holy place where Our Lady appeared to the young Bernadette Soubirous.

At the altar of Our Lady of Lourdes, there is a pile of stones encased in a glass box. It is believed that Our Lady actually stepped on those stones. Every day, we would pass by the altar and kiss that glass case. (Thinking about it now, the germophobe in me is a bit grossed. Hehe! Just thinking of all the others who have kissed that glass case... shivers... hehe!)

Also, my own Mom taught me how to pray the rosary. I did not have the best respiratory system growing up. I made a lot of trips to the Emergency Room because I needed my nebulizer. Probably because of that, my Mom always prayed to Our Lady. When I was old enough, she taught me how to pray the rosary. That was a habit I brought with me up until today.

This devotion to Our Lady got me started in somewhat collecting unique kinds of images of Our Lady. Last year, I naturally bought a Pieta piece when I visited Vatican.

When PG Boy and I went back to Amsterdam, a thought came to me. Since The Netherlands is known for Delftware, maybe there is one of Our Lady. While we were walking along the canals one afternoon, we passed by a store specializing in Delftware. True enough, I found a beautiful, beautiful piece of Our Lady. It was quite expensive but it was the best souvenir I got from the trip.

During Tipz's trip to Spain and to Belgium, I asked him to find and bring back a Black Madonna and the Bruges Madonna for me. True friend that he is, Tipz got me the two pieces.

Most recently, I found another beautiful and unique Our Lady image in... drumroll please... Siem Reap. Thankfully, we managed to find the only (?) Catholic church in Siem Reap and we were able to attend the sunset Mass. While checking the shop, on display was a beautiful Cambodian Madonna.

Just like the Delftware piece, this one was also quite expensive. Maybe because it was carved out of a single piece of wood. Maybe because the details are very intricate. It is beautiful.

Hmm, I found another unique piece from a friend. It is Our Lady in a kebaya! A Peranakan Madonna, how unique is that?! However, I haven't gotten it yet because it is quite tall (about 9"). I want to stick to the current sizes that I have. Maybe I will find one soon.

I am also quite excited for my trip to Japan. I'm hoping to find a Japanese Madonna and child piece. I know that there's a possibility because I have previously seen a Chinese Madonna and child... at the Asian Civilisation Museum. Hehe!

Still, there might be a chance...

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Last week with I-van, Edsel and Moi...

What a great week the past week was!

Wednesday. Dinner at Lau Pa Sat. Dessert at The Landing Point One Fullerton.

Thursday. Dinner at Pappa Rich. Drinks at Out and May Wong. Supper at Maxwell.

Friday. Lunch at Toss & Turn. Shopping. Window shopping. Dinner at Korat Thai. Dessert at PS Cafe Palais Renaissance.

Saturday. Shopping. Window shopping. Dinner at Long Beach Dempsey. Dessert at PS Cafe Dempsey.

Sunday. Breakfast at CBTL Paya Lebar. Dinner at Toss & Turn.

Monday. Dinner at Soup Spoon. Dessert at TWG MBS. Shopping. Window shopping.

Earlier, Edsel already flew back to Manila. Moi, on the other hand, flew back last Sunday. I-van will be flying back to KL tomorrow night.

It's back to regular programming for me, Richie and Mon. Richie and I were talking about how tired we were from last week (I have been sleeping at 130AM every night and waking up at 7AM... LOL!) but it was definitely super fun having the vharkadings around.

Friday, July 17, 2015

The week just got better...

Well, the week just got better.

The other day, the SG-KL-MNL Whatsapp group chat was having its usual conversation. I then sent a photo from Timehop that showed a group photo from 15 July 2013.

Edsel then sent a photo of the "To city" MRT sign. I wondered why he was sending that photo. I thought it was a stock photo from a previous trip. Then he sends another photo in the MRT, and another one. The next thing we know, the group just goes alive because Edsel is also in town! Hehe!

So, yup, the week just got a lot better. Wednesday night, I met up with the gang for dinner at Lau Pa Sat and from there, we headed to One Fullerton for coffee, desserts and hangout at The Landing Point. Gad, One Fullerton has the best interiors, I swear!

Last night, it was another nightout with the guys. Edsel and I had dinner. Afterwards, we met the rest for drinks then late dinner then drinks then supper.

Today, the plan is to accompany the shoppers. Haha! I dun intend to buy anything seriously. I need to save for two trips end of this year.

Tomorrow, Moi is also arriving. Unfortunately, Vic and Richard couldn't fly in. Otherwise, it would be one big reunion. Haha!

Nice weekend, it'll be.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Thanks for the box...

So it was Whatsapp'd. So it shall be done.

Thanks for the box. Lol!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I-van is in town...

Monday started out on a very good note.

I worked from the office. The reasons for this were the following: morning meeting with manager and team mate, and in the afternoon I signed up to help with prepping for a company volunteer activity.

From the office, I headed to Mon and Richie's place to hang out first while we wait for I-van to land in Singapore.

He'll be here for a week; Moi will also be flying in this Friday night. So, this week will be for I-van and the coming weekend will be for Moi and I-van. Hehe!

When I-van finally messaged that he was on his way to his hotel, Mon, Richie and I also made our way to Clarke Quay to meet up with I-van. Jon was also free to join us, so yay!

After checking in, we just walked to the nearby Robertson Quay and had dinner at The Wine Connection. I swear, the place never fails. Food is good, wine and other drinks are not that ex, the environment is nice for gathering with friends.

Our party of five parted ways just before 11. By the time I reached home, it was almost 12. It was good because CD Guy also gets home from work around that time. I managed to wait for him to get home and chat for a bit before saying good night.

Good Monday!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Tired and sleepy at 9PM...

It's been a long day and I am thankful that I am finally back home. Haha!

There is no doubt that I will be sleeping by 10PM or even earlier tonight. The reason for this, aside from having a long day today, is not enough sleep from last night.

After I was done with work yesterday, I headed to Orchard for dinner with Mon and Richie. CD Guy and I made plans to watch a movie at 930PM. Since he had dinner plans with his cousins, I made plans with Mon and Richie as well. However, Richie was only getting out of work at 8PM.

With time to kill, Mon and I checked out the sale at Zara before heading over to Richie's workplace to wait for him. We still had 40 minutes to spare so we ended up going for drinks at CPK.

When we reached the Thai place, it was packed but we quickly got a table. The only problem was the food took a long time to arrive. One of the wait staff told us that our food was still third in queue. It was already 9PM so I apologised to Mon and Richie that I had to go. Hehe!

On the way to Cineleisure, CD Guy thankfully asked if I wanted to snacks. I replied that I wanted a hotdog sandwich, or maybe chicken nuggets and drinks. I was starving!

I saw him waiting for me with a lot of food, LOL, and looking very cool at the spot where he chose to wait. The good thing about movie screenings in Singapore is that it really doesn't start on time. The tickets we got was for 9:30. I knew it would only start around 9:45. That gave me enough time to wolf down the food that CD Guy bought.

We watched Far from the Madding Crowd. There are no other movies to watch. It was a good choice though as I enjoyed the film. CD Guy said he also enjoyed it. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to talk about the film afterwards.

It was already 1140 when we got out of the cinema and I had to rush to catch the last train to JE. I only had less than 15 minutes to reach the station. CD Guy, sweet boy that he is, even walked me to the station. It's nice to be the one who's looked after for a change. Haha!

I reached home around 1AM. When I got home, my new flatmate and his partner were still up. I know it because the light in their room was still on. My flatmate also came out of his room and was about to shower. He asked me if I wanted to shower first. I said I want to rest first and he can go ahead. Lol! It took him a loooong time to finish! The good thing was he knocked on my room after 48 years to say that he was done. I thought that was really nice and considerate of him.

It was 130 when I finally fell asleep.

Because of a training today, I had to wake up at 7, and be out of the house by 8. Training was from 930-12. I had a leisurely lunch at Plaza Singapura afterwards and debated whether I should head home to take a nap or go to the library as I had originally planned.

The spirit triumphed. Yay! I went to the library and spent a good few hours to work on my museum paper. By 5, I made my way to church for the anticipated Mass.

Then, it was time to head back for dinner and now, I'm just going to finish this and I'm going to get ready for zzz...

Tomorrow, it will be a somewhat busy day. I want to go to the gym at 10AM for Pump before heading to the museum for my guiding duty. I only have one schedule for tomorrow but a fellow docent needed help. I was free so I agreed to do an extra shift. Good luck with that! Haha!

Okay, that's it.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Photos from the Cambodge trip..

Here are some photos from the trip to Cambodge with Mom and my best friend in Manila, Tey. I haven't really posted photos from the trip except on Facebook.

A few days ago, one of my good friends messaged me that she was somewhat "inspired" by what I do for my Mom (i.e. bring her on an annual overseas trip.). She told me that after seeing the trip photos with my Mom, she decided that she will bring her Mom and her brother on a holiday early next year. She was excited because it will also be her brother's first trip outside of the Philippines.

I was really happy to hear this from my friend. I told her that I plan to give my Mom holiday trips while she is still relatively healthy and since I can afford it. Hehe! Hmm, there's a tiny part of me that kind of wishes that I was also able to bring Dad on an overseas trip. However, I don't dwell too much on that thought since it's unhealthy. I do believe that Dad is with us on the trips that Mom and I go to.

I do want my two younger brothers to come to Singapore to visit me as well. However, my condition is for them to buy their own plane ticket. Anyway, we're all working and earning. I am sure they can afford to buy a plane ticket.

Hopefully, they can visit me soon. I have to keep on badgering them to book their flights.

Okay, that's it for today. It was a good day. I started my day with a fitness activity (went for a run around my neighbourhood this morning) and ended the day with a fitness activity (Pump class at Westgate).

Tomorrow, I have to go to the office to attend an HR briefing. That means I have to wake up early to avoid the MRT crowd. Haha!

Night, night!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Eventful Tuesday night...

Tuesday night was quite eventful.

For most of the people around the island, I'm guessing the breakdown of the Red and Green lines during peak hours was what made the night memorable (if you can call it that). For me, it was the hangout with CD Guy.

Hmm, it's already a month since I met CD Guy officially. I say officially because we were in the same party earlier than 5 June, but it was only on 5 June when we started talking to each other. Hehe!

Last night, I was telling him how amusing the turn of events were. I went to the house party at Sarge's that night just for a night of good convos and great drinks. Who knew that a month later CD Guy and I would be sitting right across each other having dessert and talking about things? Haha!

Started the night with dinner at Lau Pa Sat. We thought of going to Orchard for coffee. However, we decided to change plans when we saw the crowd at the bus stop. Instead, we just walked to Ann Siang Hill. It was a nice walk along Telok Ayer St all the way to Ann Siang. PS Cafe was not crowded at all and we were able to get a good seat.

A very nice wait staff reco'd the dessert pictured above. Ginger pudding. It was really good. I love how it's not extremely sweet and that it doesn't have whipped cream and nuts. Haha!

Over coffee and the delicious ginger pudding, CD Guy just talked about things. We agreed on a few things.

Around 11, it was time to head back. I was dreading the long bus ride going home. Thankfully, I got notifications that the lines already resumed operation. Although the train was running at a much slower speed, I was grateful that I didn't have to sit in a bus for hours or so. Haha!

Good Tuesday night... for me and CD Guy, at least.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Started today with a nice, sweet run...

I was slightly tempted to stay in bed earlier. Having gone to bed last night at half past midnight, I thought maybe I can just sleep until 8 this morning. Afterwards, I'll go to the gym at 12 for Pump.

As usual, I woke up before the alarm that I set. I stayed still on my bed trying to listen if it was raining outside. No rain.

So a few more minutes and I decided to get up, head to the toilet to brush my teeth, wash my face and then headed back to my room to change into my running attire.

It was already 7AM when I headed out. I thought that there wouldn't be that many people up early on a Sunday. To my nice surprise, I saw that there were a lot of people at the usual park connector I go to for a run. Some were running, others were going for a leisurely stroll. Some kids were on their bikes, some adults were on their bikes. It was a nice sight to see.

Initially, I was just planning to go for my usual 3K run or so. Instead, I opted to go for 5K since I felt it was a beautiful morning compared to yesterday. Haha!

I was back at my starting point just a little after 8AM. From the park connector, I made the short walk back to my place. On the way, I passed by the Filipino food stall to get my happy breakfast.

From now until 11AM, I'll just hang around here at home.

Today's schedule includes going to Pump at 12, followed by the library since I need to start working on my tour papers, and finally, the birthday dinner for good friend Mon.

It's a packed Sunday (what's new?) but not as tiring as yesterday.

Random thought after Mass...

Almost all the time, there would be a question, an intention, a petition in my mind before the Mass starts.

And on more than one occasion, I've experienced some form of reply come from either the Mass readings or the priest's homily.

Today, the reply came from the Second Reading.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness... for whenever I am weak, then I am strong."


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Angkor Wat 2009 and 2015...

Since it's throwback Thursday... haha!

I might as well post a photo from my 2009 visit to Angkor Wat and a photo from my visit to the majestic landmark two weeks ago.

Though this is my second time to visit Angkor Wat and all the other temples, I must admit that it still amazes me.

In 2009, I went to see the temples together with the best friend of my first ex. He's a cool, straight guy and a good travel buddy. He wasn't very fussy about things. He knew how to stick to the schedule, he knew how to take photos. Hehe! So it was a good trip - few days in Ho Chi Minh, few days in Siem Reap. What could've been better during that time was the weather. A week or two before our arrival, the typhoon that just hit the Philippines also passed by Cambodia. As a result, the weather was still a bit gloomy and rainy.

For the recent trip, we were indeed blessed with very good weather! I have sunburn. Tey has it worse. Hehe! It was very hot when we were there but I'm not complaining. I would rather the sun than the rain. Also, I think our trip was blessed with just the right weather. If I'm not mistaken, summer season is ending and the rainy season is about to begin. So, we felt the breeze in the air most of the time. It did rain heavily, but it was on the night before our flight out of Siem Reap. If that is not a blessing, I don't know what to call it. Hehe!

Hmm, there's still much to write about the trip. There are much more photos to post. For sure, it'll take some time before I get to put up all photos on Facebook as I have to sort them. Haha!

Anyway, thank you, Lordy, for the blessing of being able to visit Siem Reap again. Thank you for the blessing of enabling me to bring my Mom to the vacation of her dreams. Thank you for blessing our trip with the company of my best friend Tey. I loved the holiday with the two most important women in my life.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A lot to be grateful for today and these past few days...

True, true.

Especially these past few days, there is so much I am to be thankful for.

Let's start with the recent trip to Siem Reap with Mom and my best friend Tey. The trip went very well. Days before the trip, I kept checking the weather forecast in Siem Reap. The few websites I went to all showed the cloud with rain icon. I prayed for good weather and I just said, "Lord, it's all up to you." The few days we were in Siem Reap, it was scorching hot. It was only on the night before the day we left when it rained. How can I not be thankful?!

I prayed that there will be no problems with our flights. Mom was flying in from Manila. I was flying in from Singapore. Thankfully, I found a SG-KL flight that had an arrival time just a few minutes away from my Mom's arrival time in KL. When I was walking towards immigration, I saw the Cebu Pacific plane land. So, I just decided to stick around the Transit counter area and waited for Mom to arrive. I was grateful that neither of our flights were delayed and that she did not have any problems with immigration in Manila.

I was thankful that my best friend Tey was able to join us. We do talk to each other regularly, but it is still different to have the person around you. I swear I am not wired for a long-distance relationship. Haha! I'm just too clingy. Anyway, I'm super glad that Tey managed to find a way to join us in the trip. It was a very memorable trip indeed since it was spent with the two most important women in my life.

What else?! Haha! After I took my luggage from the carousel and made my way to the Arrival area, I saw a very familiar face waiting just outside the Arrival area - CD Guy. Before I flew to KL, CD Guy met up with me for lunch. When I was in Siem Reap, we communicated every day via Whatsapp. We agreed to meet up on the night of my arrival but we didn't firm up any plans.

When I landed in Singapore last night and as I made my way to immigration and baggage claim, I messaged CD Guy to ask what our plan was.

His reply, which I only got to read when I already saw him was, "The plan is..." "You come out [of the Arrival area] and you will know it."

I was really happy to see him at the Arrival area. I didn't care about the people around us, I dropped my bags and gave him a very tight hug, which he very much deserved. Haha! From T2, we went to T3 where we had a nice dinner at Dian Xiao Er followed by coffee at Toastbox (since I missed Kopi Si big time! Haha!)

We spent the next few hours just chatting and catching up before taking the train to head back to our own homes. It was really nice to see CD Guy, and it was even nicer that he made an effort to go to the airport to fetch me. We made plans to hang out again this weekend and have a proper date.

Today, there are two good news at the office. I had a meeting with my manager and then she told me that the bosses agreed to give me what I asked for several months ago. So effective tomorrow, 1 July, that's Senior Production Editor to you. Hehe!

So yeah, so many things to be grateful for! I should offer a Thanksgiving Mass this weekend.