EAST COAST WEEKEND CYCLING

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If there's one thing I am proud of about being a probinsyana who grew up in the 80s-90s, it would be the ability to do things not every kid from the city can do. I practically grew up in the neighborhood playing all sorts of street games with the kids of my age. I can play tumbang preso, piko, siato/syato, luksong tinik, Chinese garter... I know how to ride a bike. Although I know some city kids who also know how to cycle, majority of them don't probably because of the limited space they had and the danger of being out on the streets. I'm not saying the province is always safe but I think all types of people can be seen in the city and unfortunately, a lot of them can be bad. Naturally, parents would be protective and not letting them out as much.

To this day I still enjoy cycling. It has become one of my regular exercises. In fact, I purchased a foldable bike so I can bring them with me on the train or bus going to the park. But I haven't tried that, the park we went to last weekend is too far from my place it took us almost 2 hours to reach. 

We went to East Coast Park. If you happen to stay in Singapore, be sure to visit the park if you want to escape the toxic city even for a while. There's a lot of shops there that offer bike rental for about $8 per hour. There was this 'weekend promotion' when we went there, we got the bike for 2+1 hour for $10 (you can say that's $10 for 3 hours). If you don't know how to ride a bike then get those 'doubles' (I don't know how to call it but it's the one where 2 people can ride), or those bicycles with balancers. Aside from bike, they also rent out rollerblades. 

There are also food offerings; from hawkers to fancy dining. You will love the selection, I assure you. :)

Anyway, enough of the crap. I just wanted to share with you some photos from my weekend cycling activity with friends, our first alcohol-free activity since the holiday break. Hahaha.











Activities like this make me believe I'm still having a work-life balance. As they say, "Everything in life has to have balance." 

Riding a bike included. :)



ALIWAL URBAN ART FESTIVAL 2015 WITH CHINO L AND CARLA D

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This week I had 2 visitors; one is a cousin from London and the other is a friend from Manila. Yesterday I met with that friend from Manila, Chino. We went food tripping cos he said he wants to go to hawker centres to eat local dishes. This is embarrassing to admit but I know nothing about famous eating spots in Singapore because I'm not a hawker/local cuisine type of person. Singaporean dishes are usually savory and sometimes spicy, I prefer my food plain and bland. Hahah. I am that boring, you know. So there, we spent the entire day yesterday looking for hawker centres. We first went to Makansutra (my usual 'tourist' eating place) but unfortunately it was still closed. We ended up at Newton Food Centre, which I learned, is one of the to go places of tourists looking for local stuff.



After our foodtrip, Chino said his friend is inviting him to their school's (Lasalle College of the Arts) open house. This friend, he said, is an actress. I was like, "Actress? Here in Singapore?" to which he replied, "Yeah, she was in the Kitchen Musical. You know Karylle and Christian Bautista's TV show?" Apparently, it was Carla Dunareanu that we were meeting. Chino used to work with her in Magic (they are both DJs). Perhaps Carla is better known as Christian Bautista's ex-girlfriend. Oh dear, just when I thought my showbiz life is over here in Singapore... hahahaha.. just kidding! :D

Unfortunately, the open house was over when we arrived at Lasalle. Good thing Carla's updated with the happenings in Singapore so she took us to this event called, "Aliwal Urban Art Festival". We walked from Lasalle toward Beach Road area, passed by Bali Lane, Haji Lane, Arab Street and all those interesting alleys. If you are a Pinoy teleserye addict then you must be familiar with this....

Yes, this was featured in Got to Believe

We finally arrived at our destination - the Aliwal Urban Art Festival happening at the Aliwal Arts Centre at Kampong Glam. The building itself had food and drink stall in front, a few tables and chairs and people handing out brochures.


There was also this blaring hip-hop sound that we followed until we reached some sort of an empty 'club' with just DJs playing in the booth. There was a huge mirror we had to take our photo.





Aliwal Urban Art Festival is an event where Singapore's urban artists, bands, dancers and DJs gather to celebrate creative freedom and communal bonding. Everything happens simultaneously, with activities occurring across a love music room, DJ room, car park and gallery (SOURCE).

So we got some beer, wandered around and saw some interesting stuff..






There was also this breakdancing thing as well as people skating..




Although this kind is not my thing (because I believe I am too serious and boring for this), I still enjoyed the fest. I love the graffiti, the music, the crowd and everything else in here. I guess sometimes I just need to let loose and deviate from my usual activities.

It was fun. Looking forward to see more events like this in Singapore. 

Carla is nice, too. She hugged me as we bid goodbye. And posted a comment on my Instagram post when we got home. Very pretty and down to earth lady, I must say. Hope to bump into her again. 




HAPPIEST NEW YEAR (JAPAN, 2015)

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Despite my mishaps last New Year's Eve, I still enjoyed my vacation because I got to spend time with my parents. Growing up, it was never my priority to visit them in any of the places they lived in.  I was more interested in touring other cities and wasting my money partying. Now that I'm older (errr... mature), I see to it that I visit them whenever I get the chance (and funds). I guess I am at this point in my life where I'd do anything to compensate for the lack of value given to my family back when I was young.

Every year my company goes on holiday shut down during the Christmas season until the New Year. Instead of going home to the Philippines I decided to book a flight to Japan where my parents reside for the last 15 years. I've just visited last spring but it seems that I can't get enough of them. It doesn't matter if their place is boring or has no tourist spot to boast, I just wanted to spend quiet yet quality time with them. Good thing my dad also took leave off work for a few days to be with me (and attend to my needs). They picked me up and dropped off the airport, drove me around the city, cooked meals for me, did the laundry no matter how many times I said I'd do it myself.. even paid for stuff I bought when I lost my wallet and deactivated my hacked card. Yes, I am still their baby. Being with my parents will always be the best feeling.

I stayed there for only a week. I got a 9-day break from work but the entire 2 days were wasted flying.  Because it was holiday season and airlines and airports were too busy, my travel time lasted for about 11 hours going there (plus 2-hour drive to the base) and another 12 going back to Singapore.

My days with them were spent eating, shopping and a bit of sight seeing. I did laze around a lot, too.

On New Year's Eve, my mom prepared a few dishes. We also got to use her new selfie stick given by a friend who just got back from Singapore and Malaysia. She loves it so much. Hahah.



What I love about being with my parents is seeing how they treat each other. They've already been married for 33 years, lived away from each other for a few years, surpassed many storms that almost tore them apart yet their relationship remained strong. My parents' love for each other still shines to this day and it always, always warms my heart.

I call them KathNiel, or sometimes XandEs. Senior Citizen edition. Hahaha. Kidding. Nope, my parents are not yet senior citizens. They're just on their early 50's. Below are the pictures that show how sweet they are (plus a few photos of myself enjoying my time with them).

Happy New Year!!! :)




















MARS IS HERE

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As mentioned over and over again, I am not the 'extrovert' kind of blogger. Meaning, I don't join groups, bloggers' meet up (I know they have Pinoy Bloggers here in Singapore but I haven't had the guts to join), contests, promoting my site and all. In fact, I feel awkward whenever someone I know personally reads my blog. I don't know, maybe I'm just not comfortable baring the other side of me -- the emo kind of one. Hehe. :D But I like it when strangers read and enjoy my story. All the more when they tell me they find my entries inspiring. It makes me happy knowing other people appreciate my thoughts.

So.... through blogging I gained some followers (maybe around 3.. haha) that later on became my friends. I am more comfortable to have readers turned friends than the other way around. Honestly, I don't know why. I am weird like that. Hoho. I've met some of them back in the Philippines but it was the first time today that I met a blogger friend in Singapore (too bad I didn't meet Giday before they moved to Norway, Precious, and Diane when she went here for vacation). 

Meet Mars. Or Hereismars. Or Constantmars. Or Maria Anna. Hahah. Her blog (used to be hereismars.wordpress.com) no longer exists, but good thing our communication still exists. Haha. :)

We 'met' each other online years ago, connected with each other via social media and today we finally had the chance to see each other in person. The past few weeks I noticed her Instagram posts were mostly pictures of familiar spots so I asked if she is here in Singapore. Apparently, she's already been here since November and we're literally 'close' to each other so I told her we should hang when I get back from my holiday overseas. And so we did.

I had fun chatting with her as she's also madaldal na jologs (and a bit maldita) like me so it felt like she was the little sister that I never had (although I am thinking maybe she's only trying to be jologs but in reality she's sosyal... hahaha. Kidding.)


Maria Anna and Anna Cecilia at the Coffee Club in Raffles Place


I'm hoping to meet more blogger friends! Ping me, guys! Hihi. :)




AWFUL BEGINNING OF 2015

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I am sad.

The other day I checked my bank account online and saw multiple unknown/unauthorised transactions. The culprit probably made post-Christmas shopping. The amount used can feed me for a couple of months. No joke. I quickly called the bank in Singapore to report. They will investigate and hopefully, the money will be credited back to my account. But with all the hassle and stress I've gone through, the difficulty to communicate from here to someone from Singapore (took us forever to understand each other)? I guess it drained me. It almost ruined my New Year's eve.

Today, I lost my wallet. I don't know where on earth I put it as I seldom go out of the base. We only went to a nearby town this morning and realized in the afternoon that I lost it. That brand new wallet I bought the other day where I put ALL my pocket money for this trip. I lost them all just like that.

It's so easy to say, "It's just money, you can still earn it." but when I think about it I feel bad, because I could have used it for more important things, or give to those who deserve it more.. but to know that some a*hole benefited from my hard-earned money? F&*^%@#?!

What a great way to start the year, right?

Oh well... I am just hoping something great will come to me and what I lost will return, a thousand-fold more.  :)




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