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!