WINTER BY THE BAY

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If you happen to be in Singapore this month, be sure to catch the island's latest offering in time for the holiday season. It's called Christmas Wonderland. My cousin from Hong Kong is visiting and we had nowhere to go so I thought of bringing her to Gardens by the Bay. Good thing there was this exhibit so we both experienced something new in Singapore.


Located at the Gardens by the Bay, Christmas Wonderland showcases a festive, winter season in this tropical island with amazing display of light sculptures that were flown from Italy and a European-style festive market. Aside from the beautiful lights, Christmas Wonderland also exhibits a two-century-old Spiegeltent (traveling tent) from the Netherlands and a lovely gazebo called Casa Armonica.


There are also food offerings at the market so you won't have to worry about getting hungry while wandering around.



And for those of you who love shopping -- there are also some merchandisers present.



Light sculptures at night (I heard there were scheduled 'blizzards' too, like it was really snowing in that area below):




Entrance to this area is FREE but....

.... If you happen to have a $28 spare in your pocket, might as well visit one of the conservatories to experience White Christmas in the tropics, the Flower Dome, after spending time at the Festive Market.

The dome was decorated with probably thousands of poinsettias in shades of red and white; a Santa Bear in his sleigh, snowman (is it Olaf from Frozen???) a Christmas tree and a lot more Christmas decors.







Since its 'winter' the conservatory was really cold yet I was in my 'perfect' winter outfit. Wooohooooo!!!



And oh.. apart from flowers the field was also covered with 'snow'.





Very WHITE CHRISTMAS eh? :)

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PS: Trivia for the single ladies out there:



Merry Christmas everyone!!!! :)



TOUR GUIDE MODE ON!

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The last quarter of this year has been pretty full for me, not only due to work but because a lot of friends came to Singapore to pay me a visit. Yeah, I'm claiming they were only here to visit me and not because they wanted to tour around. Hahah. Most of them stayed at my place so it was kinda tedious for me to work during the day and meet them up at night to explore the city. Good thing they extended their stay until the weekend so I was able to spend 2 full days for each. Aside from touring them around, I think the most stressful part of having visitors is to always make sure they're comfortable at home. In addition, I had to ensure they have something to eat, internet access for them to go online and help them fix their itineraries for the next day (plus writing down all the bus stops, bus numbers and MRT lines to and from a certain location). Although Singapore is a small country, it can get confusing when you first ride the MRT. Taking a bus is even more confusing you can get lost when you take the wrong bus number or ride at the opposite side of the road.

Once again I visited some famous landmarks in Singapore. And take pictures there, too, like all those tourists do. It was tiring yet I had fun, because I reunited with my friends. :)

So, who were my visitors?


SUGAR. One of my best buds from college. She is currently working as a flight crew at Emirates. On one of her flights to Brisbane she had the opportunity to stop by Singapore and spend a night here. She (we) stayed at Swissotel.

Swissotel

inside the MRT

Esplanade

Merlion Park

Doing the Jake Cuenca pose at Candylicious Sentosa

Universal Studios


AMAE. Another best bud from college. She was feeling burnt out at work so she quickly booked a trip to Singapore. Just like that. Haha. It wasn't her first time here so we skipped the usual tourist destinations. Instead, we spent time bar hopping. Kidding! No, just stayed at home and went out at night. :)

Din Tai Fung at MBS

Photoshoot at MBS.. Hahaha

My place

Clarke Quay
Shiraz - Clarke Quay

Hop Dog - Clarke Quay


VERL. Another good friend from college. She is a doctor in the Philippines and has a very hectic schedule so when she got approval to go on a 5-day break she immediately booked a flight to Singapore. She came with her sister. 

Makansutra

Esplanade

Gardens by the Bay

Sarah and Miss Minchin at IKEA :)


Anyone visiting Singapore soon? Let me know.. I can be your tour guide, baby..  lugi nga lang kayo kasi lilibre nyo ko ng pagkain e malakas ako kumain.. HAHAHAHA... Jooooke! :)




GREAT EASTERN WOMEN'S RUN 2014

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Three weeks ago I joined yet another run called Great Eastern Women's Run. It is a female-only event organized every year  by by Great Eastern Life, the largest insurance company in Singapore and Malaysia.

The event featured 3 distances: 5km Live Great Fun Run, 10km and 21.1km. The race route covered Singapore's iconic landmarks such as Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands, Merlion Park, Esplanade and Singapore Flyer. The finish line was located near F1 Pit Building. 

I joined the 5km run, because obviously.. I just wanted to have fun. And I did. See my pictures below. :)

After hours of raining, the sun finally came out

Tabi kayo jan mga alipin, dadaan si Senyora :p

Running? NO. Dancing.

Come on ladies, let's do the Jake Cuenca pose

Tired.. from all the playing and photo-taking

'til next year! :) (Not much of a runner though so you won't be seeing me joining even half-marathon ;p)



MAKE A WISH!

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Last night while running around Marina Bay we passed by these white balloons in front of a restaurant at Esplanade.


There was a group of guys handing out pens to people so my friends and I came over to see what the fuss was all about. One guy gave me a pen and my friends told me I could write my wishes on one of these balls. Later on these balls will be thrown at the Singapore River.


It took me forever to write my wish cos I couldn't gather my thoughts while my friends look on. I'm quite shy, you know... haha. :p

I just learned today that they are called Wishing Spheres and people are encouraged to write down their wishes on each one before casting them off into the bay. For years this has been part of New Year celebrations in Singapore, particularly in Marina Bay - Esplanade area. The celebrations are usually composed of musical performances and fireworks displays.

Thousands of these balls would be seen floating on the waters and the bay would like this:

Photo from YAHOO

Photo from HERE

Photo from HERE
Photo from HERE

So what did I wish for?





.... and another!



Can't wait for 2015 and for my wishes to come true!!! :)




I BROKE MY HEART AND FIXED MY LIFE

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Inspired by How Travel Healed My Broken Heart, an article I read in Rappler a few days ago, I found myself writing my thoughts down to share my own story of how having a broken heart fixed my life. A part of this transformation I attribute to working overseas and traveling a lot, the entirety simply because I had to move on and change for the better.

For 10 years when I was young I always had someone by my side; be it a boyfriend, a date, a guy friend, a suitor or a fling, hence I felt wanted. I jumped from one relationship to another, or at least maintained a nearly romantic kind of one with a few. It still makes me smile to this day remembering how it is to be loved by many. Until someone broke my heart. At 25, I felt I was too old to go back to the drawing board yet too young to be on top of my game. I didn't even know where and how to start, or if there's still someone out there who will love me after being hurt.

The day I lost my love was the day my confidence dropped to zero. Or even beyond negative, if there's such a thing. When someone dumped you, it is but natural that you'd think lowly of yourself. You would blame yourself why it never worked. You might even think you could have done something to save the relationship but you didn't, or maybe you are lacking in something. Worse, you would feel like you are nothing. It's so much easier to take the blame than accept the fact that he doesn't love you anymore, isn't it?

I thought of a lot of things, like I was not as pretty as the one he chose over me. I was not as smart; I was just a corporate slave while they both have that prestigious title attached to their names. I didn't belong to an elite clan, neither did I possess that classy presence.

I wallowed in pain for a while then got back on my feet and focused on my job. While working 8-12 hours a day I managed to squeeze in quality time with my friends and expanding my network by meeting people during my best buds' gigs that I religiously attended. I felt so great I was reintroduced to the word fun.

After N months I was offered a job in Singapore. Although I often told myself I will never work overseas I still gave it a shot. After all, it's not everyday that we are presented such kind of opportunity. Everything happened so fast and in one month I set foot in a foreign land, starting a new life.

Everything changed -- my looks, my weight (LOL), the way I speak, think, dress.. even the level of optimism reached its maximum. I became a different person. I felt like I transformed from that insecure ugly young lady into a more fearless woman that I am now. Perhaps I imagined myself being told by Nikki Gil, "You don't want to be ugly when you meet the one, right?" (this line stuck in my head after reading a feature on her in a magazine). More than vanity, I guess being beautiful makes a woman comfortable in her own skin.

Being single also means having more time for one's self. I traveled a lot, had the courage to move from one place to another on my own, learned about other culture and made new friends across the globe. All these made me a better person. Why? Because I learned to appreciate diversity. It taught me to accept the fact that although not everything would come my way, there's this verb called complement that can make relationships better.

I also reconnected with my family especially my parents. Being alone in a foreign land taught me that at the end of the day your family will always be there for you no matter what. It still makes me feel sad how I used to tell them lies just because I wanted to be with my guy. I remember not being with them on my dad's birthday years ago because I was away on a beach trip with the then-boyfriend. I felt stupid after realizing I chose an a*hole over my own family.

Then I finally accepted my mom and dad's N-year old Facebook request (LOL) recently, opening my life to them through the pictures and statuses I post online. They don't react but I know they are aware of what I'm up to most of the time. This makes them happy, I know. I also find time to visit them (will be spending the New Year with them in Japan, too) or sometimes make a quick visit to the Philippines whenever they are there for vacation. I check on them too, once in a while, via Viber and Facetime.

On to my professional life -- Years ago, I abhorred going to work because it meant lesser time for my man. We came from extremely different worlds so I had to skip work during his off days just so we could spend time together. I became a mediocre worker. I am happy now that I finally realized that one should create his/her own identity for his/her future. After all, who knows what's gonna happen next?

At present, everything at work turns out to be great. I am finally able to build my career after years of working in the technology industry. It may not be my dream job, but at least I have a stable job and I think I'm doing good at it. Yes, I feel burnt out at times but who doesn't?

I get so happy whenever I accomplish something at work, because my boss often has nothing but praises for me. I love that this brings back the feeling of being wanted, of being valuable to someone else's life. In this manner my boss' and colleagues' professional life. It gradually adds up to the confidence I've been trying to boost since I lost it all years ago.

It's true that pain makes us stronger, wiser and fearless. Perhaps so strong that nothing could ever scare the hell out of you anymore. I have overcome my fears -- from getting a tattoo despite having low tolerance to pain, working overseas albeit living a comfortable life back home, interacting with foreign people notwithstanding my low self esteem, to spending most of my days alone when all my friends are getting attached. Being fearless makes me bold enough to try new things (and probably get a glimpse of happiness along the way).

It's been close to 5 years since that someone tore my heart into a million pieces. You could say it's too long to forget, I'd say it's just the right amount of time to transform into the best version of yourself.

I may not be close enough to meeting the one at this time, but I am more than happy to wait. I know it's gonna be worth the wait.. :)





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