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!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Hazy day but still productive...

The haze today is really bad. When I was on my way home about an hour ago, Richie was telling me that the PSI reading already climbed up to 313. In short, it has reached hazardous levels.

This is a bit of a surprise because I actually thought the burning was over. We've seen significant improvement in the air quality these past few days. Uhm, hello, I even managed to go for a nature walk last Sunday. What happened? Lol!

I usually have a mask in my bag. Today, of all the days, I didn't put it in my bag. Haha! I left the house a little after 9. When I reached Jurong East, that was when I saw how bad the air was. For a split second, I actually contemplated heading back home.

However, I thought the condition would eventually get better. I had a schedule in my head and I did want to keep that schedule today. Stubborn me.

The first agenda was to go to the gym. Today is Pump day. I went to the gym at Amara because the Pump class was at 11AM. I thought it was perfect for my sched today. On the way to the gym, I messaged Ian because I suspected he was also going for Pump. I was right. However, he planned to go to another branch.

We just agreed to meet up after for lunch. I was also borrowing his camera so I can use during my trip. Good thing I messaged him before he left the house. He was able to bring the camera with him.

Ian and I had lunch at Toss & Turn, which is starting to be a default go-to place when craving for yummy healthy food. Haha!

Afterwards, we did some errands at LP and Far East before heading to 10 Scott at Grand Hyatt Hotel. It turned out that he needed to work. I also needed a place to park myself and do the stuff I planned to do. Thank, Ian, for telling me about 10 Scott. I have I'll be going there again whenever I need some nice place for coffee and reading.

Ian left around 330 since he was going to see a movie with one of his friend, I decided to stay behind for another 45 minutes. Richie and I agreed to have dinner and he only gets off work at 7.

When I left Grand Hyatt, that's when I saw that the haze got even worse. Really, really grateful to Ian because he carried an extra mask with him. I just quickly walked over to Ngee Ann City because I wanted to look for some books at Kinokuniya. I spent a good hour or so at Kino. Then, I crossed over to Paragon to check Times bookstore and Muji.

When I left Paragon, I just had enough time to reach Korat Thai's opening time. The place only opens at 7PM. When I reached the place, there were still no customers waiting for the place to open. I just went ahead and got a table for me and Richie. That turned out to be a good decision because other diners started arriving immediately.

Richie already knew what he wanted to eat so I was able to order for both of us before he even arrived. Dinner was seafood fried rice, pad thai, and chicken omelette.

So, that's basically how the day went. A few activities but I thought the day was well spent. Hehe! Now, I'm just waiting for laundry to be done and then I'll be off to lalaland. Tomorrow is a special day. I need to have enough hours of sleep. Haha!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

1 October, please come already...

Tomorrow is a holiday in Singapore.

My mind is already thinking of the longer and the real holiday that is to start next Thursday. Haha!

So far, I think I've got a good game plan. The itinerary is done. I wonder how doable it is though. Me being me, I suspect I may have packed a lot of activities per day. Haha! I hope things pan out perfectly and without any glitch.

Friend Dean is still in Europe and will only return to Tokyo tomorrow. That being said, I still have to get his home address. More importantly, I have to figure how to get to his home. Haha!

My other friend Makoto also messaged asking me to set one day for a day trip. The place he mentioned looks very interesting and is something that I think I will enjoy visiting.

Hmm, there are a lot of things to look forward to in this trip. There are a lot of firsts happening as well.

Can it be already 1 October when I wake up tomorrow?

Monday, September 21, 2015

Zubuchon on a Sunday night...

Last night's dinner was sinfully delicious thanks to the kindness of a number of people. Haha!

When my friend NN was in town a couple of weeks ago, she told me that she will ask her friend Fe to handcarry the famous Zubuchon from Cebu the next time that Fe flew to Singapore for a holiday. I told her it wasn't necessary, but NN was insistent. Hehe!

Fast forward to yesterday, Fe messaged that she was already in town and that I should drop by her sister's place to collect the lechon. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see her when I went over to her sister's place. I went for a walk in the morning and by the time I reached Whampoa, Fe already left for MBS where she was going to watch the Bon Jovi concert.

I told JoAnn and Arlyn about the Zubuchon and I know that they will be excited for it! Earlier during the week, I asked them to block off their Sunday night for the Zubuchon dinner. Hehe! I also volunteered JoAnn to host the dinner at her place since she can cook, if needed. Hahaha!

It was our only choice because she's the only one with a well-equipped kitchen. Hehe! Arlyn brought ice cream for dessert. I brought the lechon. Lol!

So from the two kilos of lechon, JoAnn just baked part of it and then the other half, she cooked lechon paksiw. It was a super yummmm dinner!

Hiking Sunday again...

With the PSI level going below 100, that allowed us to go on an easy, morning nature walk yesterday. Yay!

I got to admit. I've been missing the nature walks. I've also been missing my outdoor runs at the park connector.

Thankfully, the air quality yesterday wasn't bad. Mr. Lim and I met up with kiddies Ted, Jackie and Shane for a quick walk.

As is our usual tradition, we met at Bishan for a nice breakkie. Afterwards, Mr. Lim drove us to Lower Peirce Reservoir. He and I have been there a few times. The kiddies have not. It was a short and very relaxed walk. Lower Pierce is one of the easiest trails, I guess. Along the way, Mr. Lim was picking up rubbish with a pair of tongs and dumping it in the trash bag that he brought. The short walk we had resulted in him filling up his plastic bag. Ugh, it's saddening that there are people who have no regard for the nature park where they run, trek, or relax.

Since it was quite early for lunch, we still managed to go to another reservoir. This time, it was more for just to check out the place and to chitchat. From Lower Peirce, we drove to Upper Seletar Reservoir. It's my first time to visit the place. The best thing about it is there's a lighthouse tower where one can go up and have a 360 panoramic view.

The five of us stayed at the tower for a good 30 minutes just relaxing and talking about all sorts of stuff. Close to noontime, it was suggested that we go to a yong tau fu place. I had an image of yong tau fu in my head but it turned out that the place we went to was a special kind. The dish is called Ampang Yong Tau Fu, named after the historic town in the state of Selangor, Malaysia.

I actually liked it but I still ordered chicken rice with roast pork (which I shared with Mr. Lim) Hehe!

It was a good Sunday morning! I'm happy to be able to go hiking again.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Happy Wednesday...

Well, we'll see how things go...


Monday, September 14, 2015

Random post...

This thought was in my head last night.

Nope, to be exact, in the wee hours of the morning. Around 2AM. The cab steadily moved along the expressway, once in awhile a pair of taillights appeared from another car or two, as the thought came to mind.

Usual Sunday...

I just got home.

Saturday started with the Design Film Festival; Sunday ended with the Design Film Festival.

Tonight, the movie I watched was Iris. Originally, Mon, Richie and I were supposed to watch the film. We were hoping that we could find a spare ticket for I-van. But as fate would have it, there was no need to look for another ticket. Mon's flight from Manila was delayed so his ticket just went to I-van.

Iris tells the story of 93-year-old style icon Iris Apfel.

After the movie, I remarked to my companion that the movie was not really about fashion. It was more about style, originality, individuality and expressing oneself. I think both guys agreed with me.

Prior to the film, it was a relatively relaxed Sunday. There's really not much to be done outdoors because of the haze. Ugh!

In the morning, I just called la familia. As expected, I only got to speak with my Mum and Raymond. After the call, I went to Clementi for Mass at Holy Cross. I also met up with Jon because he borrowed some jackets for his upcoming Europe trip. We also went to Mass together and had a quick lunch afterwards.

From Clementi, I headed to Tanjong Pagar to meet up with I-van. Similar to yesterday, we agreed to go to the gym together for a workout. Today was more insane though. We did back-to-back Pump and Combat classes. It's been awhile since I've done something like that. I'm glad I still have the energy to do it. I'm glad that I'm really much better now because I survived both classes.

The only thing troubling me now is my runny nose. I think it's an allergy due to the haze. Urgh! Hope the weather improves this week.

Anyway, it was a nice Sunday. How was yours?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Rather nice Saturday...

What a productive day today turned out to be.

First off, I'm glad that I'm about 90% recovered. I'm feeling a lot better today. Fever is gone, sore throat is gone. What I'm dealing with now is a runny nose. Hehe! That didn't stop me from going on with my activities for the day though.

In the morning, Richie and I met up with I-van at the latter's hotel for breakfast. I-van's one-week business trip was extended to become a two-week trip. Hehe! I won't be surprised if he'll be assigned in Singapore one of these days. Anyway, since Richie's work was at 11 and the film I-van and I are watching is also at 11, the three of us just had enough time for a relaxed breakfast.

Around 1015, the three of us shared a cab. Richie dropped us off first at Shaw Centre before heading to Marina Square. The film I-van and I watched was Capital C. The documentary film which revolves around the phenomenon of crowdfunding is part of the ongoing Singapore Design Film Festival. Hmm, if not for I-van, I wouldn't really have watched the film. I really just wanted to watch Handmade with Love and Iris. Hehe! Still, Capital C was an interesting film.

After the movie, I-van and I just hung out for a while at the Orchard area before heading to our next agenda - Market Street for FF.

Earlier during the day, he mentioned that he wanted to go for an evening run. I told him I can get him in into FF if he wanted to work out. So, he ditched his evening run plans and instead just opted to go to FF. I told him he can go for Combat, while I can go for Gentle Flow Yoga. Hmm, I thought to myself that I didn't want to push my body to work so hard since I still haven't fully recovered yet.

Well, surprise, surprise, I ended up doing Combat with I-van. Lol! I haven't done Combat in several months. I was glad that I still knew the routine for some tracks and that I still haven't lost my hand/feet coordination. It was great to attend class again with someone.

By the time we left the gym, it was almost 5PM. I-van headed back to the hotel while I had my own plans to head back to the West. My plan for tonight was to either go to an anticipated Mass or spend a few hours at the library yet again. I was late for Mass so I decided to just spend a good few hours at the library to read. Hehe!

Thirty minutes before closing time, I packed up my stuff because I was starting to feel cold and because my nose was getting worse. Lol!

I got home not too long ago and I'm just glad that today was quite productive still.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Dinner and drinks on a Tuesday night...

It was a great Tuesday night thanks to a good dinner and more especially, good company.

The guys and I managed to arrange a dinner at a food place in Geylang that most of the guys haven't tried out yet and that Richie, Mon and I really liked.

It was also a great dinner because it was a very late post-birthday dinner for MkSurf8 and Chris. The latter, unfortunately, couldn't join us due to work commitments.

After dinner, we walked over to nearby Tuckshop for drinks. I-van, who is in town again(!!!), joined us at Tuckshop. Jon and I left early. Jon had an early call tomorrow; I am not feeling very well. Lol!

Nevertheless, it was a super Tuesday night!

Handmade with Love and Iris...

I managed to catch this wonderful documentary film tonight.

It was just beautiful.

I wish I could have lived during that time before World War II when everything was still handmade.

Next Sunday, we'll be catching the film Iris.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Tired because of the weather...

It was a relaxed Saturday, compared to the past few Saturdays. Haha!

For some reason, it still turned out to be a very long day. I got back about 40 minutes ago and I intend to hit the sack after I write this post. I'm slightly tempted to watch an episode of Agents of SHIELD since I'm a bit behind. Hmm, I think I will skip it because I want to wake up early tomorrow for a run.

Today's very hot weather, I think, is partly to be blamed why I felt so exhausted on the way back. Haha!

My day started with Pump at MBFC. Initially, I invited Mon to join me but he had errands to do. I invited Jon to join me but he had a late Friday night. Hehe!

I did meet Mon after gym. He was done with his errands by then. We agreed to meet up at Raffles City for lunch at the salad/wrap place at the basement. Hmm, I think I still prefer Toss & Turn. I'm a huge T&T fan now! Haha!

Post-lunch, my next appointment was at 2PM at the National Museum. Since I had 40 minutes to kill, I decided to hang out first at neighbouring SMU for kopi si. I know, I know. It was insane that I was having hot kopi si given the crazy sweltering heat. What can I do? I love my kopi si. Haha!

Close to 2PM, I walked over to the National Museum. Today, I felt very lucky because I got to see how the new revamped history gallery now looks like. It is exciting! I was happy to see Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles again! Hehe! There are still several traces from the previous layout, but there are also a lot of new additions. I can't wait for it to open... along with the National Gallery. Sheesh, November onwards would be very busy guiding time for docents.

The curator walkthrough a little after 4. My next appointment was at 6. I had to meet up with a fellow docent to collect tickets for the Design Film Fest movies Mon, Rich and I are watching tomorrow and next Saturday.

With some time to kill, I headed back to SMU and spent an hour reading and studying. After I got the tickets from my fellow docent, I headed next to the library to continue my reading and studying. I stayed there until closing time, of course. Lol!

From the National Lib, I walked over to City Hall where I took the train all the way back to the West.

One interesting thing that happened today was I had a chance meetup with this guy I was chatting with via Line. Lol. I was walking to the library, I passed by the bus stop, and guess what, he was there! I didn't notice him because I was checking the bus route board. I started walking again. When I checked my phone, I got a message from the guy saying he was at the bus stop. Lol! I made a U-turn and we ended up having chitchat over dinner. It was good. He asked me if I wanted to hang out with him at his place, but I really was set to do some studying so I said no. Hehe!

Anyway... good night...

Friday, September 4, 2015

Tickets for the Imperial Villas... check...

Planning for the Japan trip started several months ago. Lol! Friends who know me know how excited I can be when it comes to certain things.

There's a reason for it though. Since I don't know when I'll be able to visit the place again, I want to make as many good memories as possible. So that means booking tickets to museums, tours, trains, planes, and so on way in advance. It also means checking some websites almost every day because I'm waiting for slots in a tour to open.

Singapore has a term for this character - "kiasu." For Filipinos, I think the term would be "atat" or the casual version is "atatinin."

Being kiasu or atatinin has its pros and cons. I'd like to think that I am kiasu/atatinin when the situation calls for it.

For example, if I didn't keep on checking the Scavi Tour website almost everyday, PG Boy and I would have never been able to get slots in the tour. I mean, who know when I'll be able to visit the Vatican again? And who knows if an opportunity to visit the tomb of St. Peter and the Necropolis under the St. Peter's Basilica will come up again, right?

Something similar is happening for the upcoming Tokyo and Kyoto tour. I am kiasu and atatinin to be able to get slots for certain tours. Hehe!

In particular, these are tickets for the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Kyoto Imperial Palace, and... drumroll please... Shugakuin Imperial Villa, and Katsura Imperial Villa (both in Kyoto).

Yeah, I already I had an idea about the popular places such as the Kinkakuji, the Kiyomizudera, and Fushimi Inari Shrine, to name a few.

But the Kyoto Imperial Palace, the Shugakuin Imperial Villa, and the Katsura Imperial Villa... I have to thank a Japanese guy I had coffee with a few months ago. Hehe!

As early as June, I was checking the Japan's Imperial Household Agency website to check whether slots for the days I will be in Kyoto have opened up.

It was in the first week of July when the October schedule finally became available on the website. I wasted no time in making reservations. Haha! I immediately got a reply for the Kyoto Imperial Palace possibly because there are more slots for the palace. For the Shugakuin Imperial Villa and the Katsura Imperial Villa, I had to wait a day for the reply. There was a drawing of lots to see if one can get slot in the tour.

The day after I filed my application, I received the good news that I got slots for the dates and schedules I applied for. Yay! I have no idea how far Shugakuin is from Katsura but I will find a way! I must find a way! Haha!

For the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, the tour slots only opened a few days ago. Thankfully, I've been checking every day so I was able to easily secure a slot for a guided tour.

There is one more place I want to visit in Kyoto. I think it is the trickiest of them all because the fee is quite expensive and the application to visit requires sending a letter. Let's see. Maybe I'll reserve it for my next trip to Japan! Haha! That's me being very optimistic that I will fall in love with Japan and IN Japan and that I will visit again soon after my first trip. Haha!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Japan, see you soon...

So, the first of September started on a very good note.

I went to the Embassy of Japan earlier to get my passport. When I reached the embassy, there were no other visa applicants at the area for visa collection. I got a ticket for my transaction and in less than a minute, my number appeared flashing on the screen.

The whole transaction was over in less than five minutes. The lady behind the counter just showed me the visa and told me that I was given 15 days. That's it. Hehe.

Thankfully, the visa is gratis for Filipino citizens.

I like how the Japan visa looks like. Hmm, my photo looks like one that is used for display during funerals or the one used for tombmarkers. Lol! My friend Bernice put it in a better way though. She said it looks like an image of an ancestor placed on the home altar for ancestral worship. Haha! Touch wood!

In the past few years, I've had to apply for a visa to Nepal, Myanmar and last year, the Schengen visa. I have a US visa that's still waiting to be used! I have to use it soon as it is expiring in 2020! Most of the time, I wish the Philippine passport was mightier. By this, I mean visa on arrival option to most countries. But then, there's also a part of me that actually enjoys getting news that my visa was approved. It feels like some sort of exam and the visa on my passport is proof that I passed.

Still, I don't mind having another passport that makes traveling to countries I want to visit easier. Hehe! Just saying...