03 September 2010

the lovely bones

i've always wondered where souls go after death. in the philippines, most people believe souls roam the earth for forty days (maybe to say goodbye to loved ones), before going to either heaven or hell (raised catholic, the idea of heaven vs. hell has been firmly ingrained in my brain). in "the lovely bones", the soul of the dead girl who narrates the story shows that apparently, the afterlife is not exactly what we imagined it to be. in her "heaven", she has a counsellor, a roommate, has an apartment, and sees her family struggle to accept her death.
even though the movie came out a couple of months ago, i held off on watching until i'd read the book. and now i understand why peter jackson chose to make the film. only his imagination can do justice to the book.

can't wait to get the dvd and watch the movie version!


16 August 2010

weekend in rawa

a few weeks ago, we were last-minute invitees to the FDS's trip to rawa island. salamat dun sa nagback out!

rawa is an island north-east of singapore. it's about a 3 hour bus and 45-minute ferry ride from singapore via the mersing ferry terminal. it's the perfect weekend get-away.

it's not too crowded at this time of the year, which is really great if you want to relax and have a little quiet time.


the view from my shades...

can we stay for one more day? puhleez?

unfortunately, it was time to go back to singapore the next day. but we will definitely come back. thanks, FDS!

15 August 2010

my first 10K

after joining several 5K runs these past few months, i finally gathered up the guts to run my first 10K. actually, i signed up last year for a different 10K, but unfortunately, hindi ko na tinakbo, because i had a stressful project that time. i got the goody bag for that, though.  this time around, i didn't really have a lot of preparation (tinamad lang talaga ako), but about two or three weeks before the race day, i increased the distance of my runs gradually. i also had a practice run around our neighborhood so i can estimate how long i'll do the race, and i estimated i'd finish in about an hour and a half.

i'm glad to say i beat my practice run time by a few minutes. when i did my practice run near my flat, i would keep going through the same paths. paulit ulit lang yung scenery. but on the actual run itself, makikita mo na marami ka palang mapupuntahan sa 10K!

sorry, 36 is not my placing. that's my bib number. yung 2001 po. i think i did fairly well, considering that there were 4,186 runners in the race. nasa middle group naman ako, so hindi rin nakakahiya.

i have a few more runs coming up in the next months. my running year will end by joining the standard chartered marathon. don't get excited, i'm just doing the 21K (half marathon). good luck to me. training starts pronto!

06 August 2010

the night festival

there are times when i just want to take a break and treat my senses to some art. you know, walk around the museum, look at paintings. i don't really do deep thinking and try to understand what a painting is all about, or try to determine if it's abstract, modern or whatever category it falls under (because i wouldn't really know). i just like looking at pretty pictures and stare at them for a while.

in singapore, the focus is mostly on works by asian artists. no picassos or van gogh's here. when museums mount exhibits of pieces they borrow from the louvre, greece or egypt, you usually have to pay for entry. that's why one of the events i look forward to is the night festival. once a year, all museums in singapore (yes, even the philatelic museum - that's a museum for postage stamps) are open until two am, and people can go in and look at various exhibits for free. there are lots of activities, so it's more interactive.

this year was no different. there was the "slowest sms billboard".

this is how you get messages up there.

and i got to watch graffiti artists at work.

one of their finished pieces.

strange and beautiful paintings, like rabbits and nudes...

clowns and fruits..

there were some outdoor performances too. unfortunately, i didn't understand what they were about.

but i'm sorry, but what's a muay thai match doing in an art fest?

the highlight of the night fest is usually the large installation at the front lawn of the national museum. two years ago, there were floating dancers. that was awesome.

this year, it was kinda boring. for the first five minutes, the discs were just moving around with different light patterns. then there was music played supposedly synchronized to the movement of each disc. we left after about ten minutes. hindi ko gets!

but it was a good experience altogether. i hope next year they make the programs and exhibits more interesting. may i suggest borrowing some pieces from the louvre again?

02 August 2010

the millenium trilogy

i finally gave in to my curiosity and picked up stieg larsson's "girl with the dragon tattoo". it's been on border's best-seller list for a couple of months, and for the past few days, i've seen people on the mrt and bus reading it. besides, lately my tv has been stuck on the c.i. (crime and investigation) channel. i'm fascinated with crimes and mysteries, so the book matches the phase i'm in right now.

i'm not really a fan of mystery thrillers, like the ones james patterson and james lee burke write. i've read sidney sheldon once, and christopher pike during high school, and decided that i can't keep up with the details in those kinds of books. surprisingly, i didn't mind reading larsson's first book. maybe it's because i liked the girl character (she's bad-ass).

it's the first book of a trilogy. i'm actually on the second book now, "the girl who played with fire".  funny, i was wondering when the movie version will be made, if at all (there are some details in the book that are quite disturbing).  then i did a quick search in google, and the first movie is about to be shown. at least, the original swedish version. hollywood is planning an english version, with daniel craig as the lead character.

i didn't actually picture the male lead looking like this in the book. the girl is close enough. and daniel craig in the hollywood version? it's a trilogy. pa'no na yung james bond nya? hehe. i was thinking the guy would look more like liam neeson (did you see him in "taken"?), and the girl, well, they got it right in this movie. please lang, not natalie portman, she doesn't look bad-ass enough.

the sad thing about these books is that the author, stieg larsson, died after he sent the first book to the publishers. so he never got to see how big his books became. i guess that adds to the intrigue surrounding the trilogy. that said, i was intrigued and i'm glad i read it. i'm looking forward to seeing the movie, if it gets shown in singapore, that is.

27 July 2010

weekend in kl (by plane!)

to be honest, the only way i've ever travelled to malaysia was by long bus rides from singapore. this time around was my first time to go to kl by plane. nag-level up na ko!

so apparently, from the lcct (low-cost carrier terminal) of the kl airport, you can take a shuttle bus and train ride to get to kl sentral.  reminded me of hongkong, pero slight lang, because i like hk's airport train better.

what was i doing in kl? no agenda, really. i just wanted to get away from singapore for a while. and have a "miss you like crazy" moment. hehe.

"minsan,pag tinitingnan ko ang petronas,naimagine ko para silang magkaholding hands"

revisited putrajaya, and one of the prettiest bridges i've seen.

the view from the menara tower. hello, kl!

bye, kl! i'll see you again soon!

12 July 2010

new stuff at sentosa

visited sentosa a couple of weeks ago. we were actually there to try out the casino, so we went a little bit late. universal studios was still open, though the rides were closing down. we bought the after-hours walkabout tickets for about $2 each, you can walk around hollywood boulevard and take some pictures inside.

the first thing you see when you get in is the shrek studio. lots of souvenirs here. good luck to the parents, i'm sure the kids will want to buy everything they see here.

there's really nothing much to do here, unless the rides are open. but you will definitely take a lot of pictures.

right outside the theme park is hershey's world. good luck again to the parents, your kids will want to buy all the chocolates; it doesn't matter that you can buy the same chocolates at the grocery.

i will not have to wait for shipments from the states for york's. yipee!

anyway, the main purpose of the night was take a look at the casino and maybe try our luck at the slot machines.

no pictures allowed inside the casino, of course. but let me tell you, the place is huge and there are a lot of people inside. i'm thinking they'll probably get their r.o.i. in about two years. this despite the fact that they impose a $100 entrance fee for P.R's and citizens. parang wala lang ang $100 dahil there were still a lot of locals there.

anyway, i'm not much of a gambler. mainly due to the fact that i don't know how. hehe. not even the slot machines. it's not that straightforward "pull the knob and wait for three figures to line up" kind of thing. it's all computerized, and kind of confusing. there is a "help" menu, which i spent a lot of time reading. it's different for each game.

all in all, we spent about $30 for the slots. the moment we won about $130, we stopped already. bawi na sa puhunan, as they say. wouldn't want to risk it. it was fun for a night, but i don't think we'll be coming back there soon. unless we drop by universal again, and we get really, really thirsty (libre ang tubig at softdrinks sa casino!).

next time we'll be trying the marina bay casino. i wonder if they serve free drinks too?

23 June 2010

since the last post

1. i ran another race. i can honestly say i've improved my time. yey!

2. i went home to manila for a break, to catch the last days of summer with the family. my mom, my sister and her family came all the way from the states. we finally met gremlin #7. yey!

ok, i think he was a little moody that day. and maybe he was getting overwhelmed with the other gremlins.

we met up with our relatives, raided the malls (i hear you, sm marikina!), and hung out at the house. i took some pictures.

3. i also attended my college friend's baby shower. yep, our barkada is definitely growing.

4. i also met up with my former bank friends. unfortunately, i wasn't able to take our picture. what i did take a picture of was the food!
inihaw platter and stuffed squid at mesa in greenbelt.

for dessert, we went over to gelatissimo. whatever calories i was trying to burn when i went to the gym that morning, they definitely found their way back. who can resist these?

and these cool flavors. i ended up taking the american chocolate flavor (not in picture). it tasted just like a snicker's bar. only creamier. i'm gaining weight as i think about it. and the great thing is, i just found out there's a branch here in singapore.

5. hmm. let me see: train for the next 10k or hang out at gelatissimo to try out all the flavors? it's a big dilemma, really

02 May 2010

and because i'm getting older...

i need a manual to figure out my body.  as if those science subjects in school weren't enough.

i got interested when dr. oz guested on oprah and talked about how making slight changes to your lifestyle can actually decrease your age (your real age is defined by how healthy your internal organs are, apparently).
did you know that having a daily dose of baby aspirin will help prevent clogging arteries, certain cancers and stroke? and did you know that the main reason that we yawn is because our body needs more oxgyen in the blood, and not necessarily becuase we're tired or sleepy? interesting...

i love how the book was written, as if dr. oz were speaking to you directly. and the illustrations are great help too! 

ok, now back to eating my chocolate (dark chocolate, as recommended by the doc!).

30 April 2010

really high heels

highest heels i ever saw.

 i wonder if i can walk on heels these high?

29 April 2010

another 5K

a few days before my birthday last march, i ran another 5K. i just got the certificate by post.

oh, ha! i clocked in at 39 minutes. i didn't even do enough training before the run. as always, the main motivation was to avoid the crowds because of the (ahem!) "air pollution". hehe. apparently, the first place winner finished in about 15 minutes. how she did that, i couldn't figure out. if she was at the first lane on the starting line and really sprinted the whole time, maybe?

my next run is a 5.6k this may. and i've been trying to squeeze in some running time in the mornings. let's see how i'll fare on that one.

02 February 2010

four years hence

time flies fast when you're having fun. or when you've been really caught up in work. or when you've been going places you'd only read about in books. or when you're slowly making your dreams come true. or when you're having the pinoy ofw experience of hard work, missing family, enduring heartaches, and making new friends. time indeed flies fast.

four years ago this month, i quit my job, packed my bags and said goodbye to my family in manila to try my luck here in singapore. i was welcomed by friends who came here ahead of me. when i got to singapore, there was a party, which was thrown not because i'd arrived, but for some reason i'd long forgotten (someone please remind me).

this was a preview of things to come. for in singapore, this is how we bide the time. in trying to forget how much we miss our families back home, we have gatherings and in the process, make a family of friends bound by the highs and lows of being ofws.

that first year, i learned a lot. lessons learned:

1) nasi lemak is good, but it will cause an almost immediate weight gain. i gained about ten pounds in my first month, because i told my manager i liked it, and she proceeded to bring it almost everyday to the office during that week we had a big production issue (this presumably was to make up for the fact that we worked almost 24 hours straight for at least a week). four months into the job, no amount of nasi lemak could make me stand the stress at that office. i quit and got a new job. nasi lemak stayed out of my vocabulary for a long time, until recently when i tasted the ones sold in tanjong katong road.

2) when depressed, a good make over will do wonders to boost your confidence. try perming your hair, for instance. or dyeing it a totally different color. the picture below was taken right after i got the dye job. i tell you, that was a long session at the salon, not to say a bit painful. i spent the next couple of months figuring out how to maintain it, until i finally got too lazy and grew it out.

3) explore the place you're working and living in. sure, you're here to work and earn all that moolah to probably get married and build your dream house. but try to break out of the home-office routine once in a while and do something different. in singapore, i learned to appreciate art and museums. it's a good break from facing the computer screen all the time. for example, try to ponder on the reasons why there is a giant chilli lying at the nms grounds.

4) singapore is a good jump off point to anywhere around asia. do not underestimate the thereapeutic effects of travelling. there are a lot of cheap airlines operating here, so you can take your pick of the different destinations. again, it's a nice break from the monotony of life and stresses of work.

visit hongkong to fulfill that childhood dream of seeing mickey mouse in person

or go to cities in nearby malaysia. like malacca

or kuala lumpur
5) and whatever experience you have as a worker living in a foreign land, be it happy or sad, don't forget that there will be friends who will share that with you. they will keep you sane during the times you think you're going crazy.

a lot of changes have happened since that first year. some friends have left singapore, some are married (and i must say, an awful lot are getting married!), some have kids already. some i rarely see these days. but in looking back, i don't think i would have survived the craziness of 2006 if i didn't meet these wonderful people.

kampai! here's to four more years (a big maybe at this point). but whatever, let's continue to enjoy the time we have here.
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