Singapore @ its best

“The world is a book…and those who do not travel read only a page”- Saint Augustine Summer is  fun!

Not for the sun,

nor for the amusement

Or the enjoyment. ..

Summer is fun!

A time to trek…tour…and take a long trip…away !

Dreams do come true...even for a moment...a feel of Hollywood at universal studios Singapore
Dreams do come true…even for a moment…a feel of Hollywood at universal studios Singapore

They say Singapore is now considered the most expensive city to live in…well…that’s actually true. ..everything is really expensive. .from the bottled water…to the noodles…to the hamburger. ..to the coffee. ..to the gifts….well…everything. …but; who cares?  If you have everything then why not make use of it?

As I was growing up..travelling for me would mean shopping. .. (if you remembered I wrote something about it last year) but I guess. .as I aged…I have become more aware of the real meaning of travelling. ..it has become more of keeping up as many experiences and memories together as family. ..

Sure enough…this year was a different experience for me…

 

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starbucks ..

The pretty strabucks who made my latte this morning
The pretty strabucks crew who made my latte this morning

Waking up every morning is quite a struggle especially if ….well…we’re getting a little older.

Waking with a cup of coffee. .latte or cappuccino. .is another thing especially if you go to a fancy coffee shop where you can splurge over gourmet coffees

We live in a province. .a little farther from the capital city. .and I must say I was one of the very few who rejoiced when starbucks opened few years ago.

Some say it’s an elite place.

Others say it so expensive.

Few commented its for those who are bored.

Well…whatever your take over this fancy coffee shop I say..I enjoyed it here. Let me count down three reasons why.

1. The crew

A fleeting smile,

A waving hello,

That’s what they are

To you and me….

Yes…they have the habit of smiling as soon as you enter the door. They wave hello and they wave goodbye. .and mind you they get to familiarize themselves with the names of the regular customers.  So I was in fact delighted to hear my name being called out the moment I entered.  And one important aspect of the crew that made me like them…they speak the English language fluently.  Whether its part of the application requirements or not…I enjoyed it..o enjoyed seeing beautiful girls making coffee while at the same time having a command of the English  language.

2. The ambiance

Cars passing by…

People strolling around…

Friends engaging …

A place to converge beautiful thoughts

For you and me..

Yes…the place…I love the location. Its is situated in a very busy street where you can practically see people from all walks of life from the inside. You get to enjoy friends trying to catch up with each other..and you got to see some people who just love to be alone with a coffee (count me in..)

3. The coffee

Sweet luscious Smell…

Unwavering distinct aroma…

A coffee specially blended…

Just for you and me…

Yes you see..I cant can’t let the day pass bu with out a coffee. .and for some reasons I love the way coffees ate blended n star bucks..it speaks of a lot of things..it tells a story. …it opens up emotions….it cuddles a person….it warms your heart…

This morning after dropping off my daughter in school I stopped by for a latte and a french croissant. …

Delicious. ..heartwarming. …soothing….ahhh I am ready to kick off my day…

The caffe latte made special
The caffe latte made special

The Prom season

Yes …if you have not realized it yet, this is the season of Prom…

Belle, the prom queen; elegantly beautiful, yet, simple and modest.
Belle, the prom queen; elegantly beautiful, yet, simple and modest.

My eldest daughter is now in college..my second daughter is in her 8th grade; however, she was required to join as one of the observers…to have a glimpse of what will happen..A sort of preparation for next year…

The modestly and beautifully dressed girls from a distance. ..
The modestly and beautifully dressed girls from a distance. ..
A beautiful smile..from the sister and the students
A beautiful smile..from the sisters and the students

20140221_214436-1The event was held in a hotel…45  minutes drive away from home..as a consequence I have to send her to the hotel and of course wait patiently at the lobby. I would occasionally then visit their cafe to alternately grab a coffee and tea…

By 9 p.m. the band began to play .. I initially thought this is going to be one of those moments when I would quitely recall every single event in my life so as to ease my boredom.

Thankfully. ..this time it was different.

Let me tell you why:

For one, the hotel served a really good brewed coffee.  Grand Regale Hotel in Bacolod may not be the finest but I am delighted by the coffee they serve..I should know, I knew every bit about coffee. .

The coffee. ..the aroma brings back a lot of wonderful memories;  the taste warms my heart...
The coffee. ..the aroma brings back a lot of wonderful memories; the taste warms my heart…

Secondly, the band. I suppose they are an amateur band, but well..What better way to celebrate solitude than with music?…they’re a duo..the lead is a female and the guitarist is a male..the choices of songs were really great..it made me reconsider a singing career..

Third, to my surprise. …the ladies at the reception area ? (Five of them) were my former College students!!! and my oh my…they all remembered me..hearing them scream my name out loud…as an educator, it warms my heart to see my former students doing well in whatever chosen carreer they have. I am so happy seeing them happy and beautiful while enjoying what they are doing.

Fourth, I am glad to have found another affordable hotel within the city….Well at least, it changed my perception ….that only hotels with 5 stars alongside their names could make me enjoy a coffee break..

And lastly, the mothers…the moms…you could only imagine how happy the mothers are….seeing their daughters all dressed up beautifully for the event. In fact I bumped at a mom towards the end of the event in an emotional state. She was very happy.  So happy she was actually crying. She said; her daughter used to be a troubled teenager (she came from a different school); but now that she is enrolled in a Catholic school run by the FMA Sisters, she has improved and changed a lot… for the best!!!How amazing, isn’t?  What surprised me more was the fact that she admitted to me…. enrolling her daughter in an expensive private school is a lot of sacrifice in terms of finances, but she’s willing to sacrifice because she knew that this is something that will help her secure her daughter’s future. ..how noble. ..I admiringly salute this mom..How many more moms could do that?

The girls with the FMA Sisters..smiling beautifully. .."you are beautiful when you are simple, honest, modest and radiance in purity"...
The girls with the FMA Sisters..smiling beautifully. ..”you are beautiful when you are simple, honest, modest and radiance in purity”…

This is one wondeful night..a night filled with music..a night filled with sweet aromatic coffees. ..a night filled with beautiful stories of former students…a night filled with happy moms..a night filled with me;  just me in my table alone but happy. ..

Securely alone is a sign of happiness, contentment, and stability...in everything that you have and even in those things that you don't have...
Securely alone is a sign of happiness, contentment, and stability…in everything that you have and even in those things that you don’t have…

Oh by the way..this would have been more exciting if my beloved is seated right beside me making me blush by him simply stairing at me…yes I still do…

It’s Always Fun in the Philippines

We were blessed to have spent summer abroad. It’s an annual event that we always look forward to as a family.  Its wonderful…its amazing…but i say…nothing beats HOME..

I’m counting down the reasons why i always love being back home.

1. THE FOOD

                   pork adobo is what we craved,

                   chicken inasal is what we fancied,

                   Filipino spag is what we desired,

                    early morning pandesal is what we missed.

    i am a pizza, pasta type of girl. But when your out of the country for a little while you will surely miss Filipino foods..nothing beats our adobo. nothing even beats chicken inasal. nothing beats surely the sweet Filipino spaghetti- it is only in the Philippines where spaghetti is deliciously sweet…nothing beats the early morning walk to buy pandesal…

2. FRIENDS (and the way they make you smile)

               people come, people go,

               but a friend will stay, they do.

               they make you smile,

              they make you crazy for a while.

 

    I am not so sure if my there were people who miss me when i was away ..(sigh…..) but one thing i’m sure though..i miss a lot when i was out…well, whether they are your good or not so good friends…you will miss the beautiful genuine smile you get even from a strangest Filipino stranger.. and when your out of the country…you try to look for that same genuine smile from every stranger you encounter but i guess nothing compares to the smile you see back home.

3. THE FAMILY

                                its crazy, but amazing;

                                 its irritating, but loving.

                                a family dearest,

                               we always cherish.

    I know we all despise the fact that at some point, our relatives can be so annoying and disturbing for always wanting to know every single detail of our own personal and private lives… and at some point we all want them out of our lives..(i know you do..) but again, having been out for a while, it made me realized that one of the sweetest most magnificent gifts we have from God is the gift of family….they complete us ..they make us safe… they love us…they adore us…no matter how irritating or annoying they maybe.

 

4. THE “CHAOS”

 

                 children screaming,

                  people laughing,

                  neighbors fighting,

                  friends enjoying.

 

          it is only in the Philippines when you walk around and hear people screaming  as if wanting to kill each other and yet you see them at the end of the day enjoying an afternoon talk. it is only in the Philippines when neighbors scorn each other and yet you see them passing on a bowl of adobo at lunch. it is only in the Philippines when you can afford to sit down and basically do nothing all and manage to have a good meal. it is only in the Philippines when you get to hear your neighbors karaoke moments and never getting irritated for the unwanted noise.

P.S

    its indeed ALWAYS FUN in the PHILIPPINES …..

 

Turi Beach – Batam, Indonesia

IMG_3257[1]Our out of the country annual summer vacation is nearing its end; and what better way to culminate it than spending the weekend in an exclusive resort in Indonesia – Turi Beach Resort. I listed down below five reasons why i should be back or say, why you should visit yourself.

1. NATURE IN ITS GLORIOUS FORM

trees swaying, how do you do?

birds chirping, come and enjoy,

monkeys waving, hello to you,

flowers smiling, welcome too.

a wonderful place to reconnect withe nature. …a five story building underneath the mountain overlooking a seamless view of the ocean facing Malaysia (if my geography is correct).

2. FOOD IS SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIGOCIOUS

telur tersembunyi is great,

mei goreng is a real treat,

nasi goreng is delectable,

sotong goreng is impeccable.

Indonesian cuisine at its best. You will be greeted by a delicious icy cold ginger juice as a complimentary welcome drink…breakfast is good enough to fill your stomach to cover up even until lunch….dinner might bring your blood pressure high ( the price is quite outrageous..)but you will eventually get over it as you dine and listen to the live performance of the band, with a vocalist whose vocal prowess is really good. The food? its worth the prize.

3. THE AFTERNOON WALK

water may not be my friend,

but its inviting, you wanna spend

some time alone in the beach,

or even in the pool around your reach.

You will enjoy a relaxing morning or afternoon walk smelling the breath of fresh air…hearing the splashing of the water slowly creeping through the shore…resting your eyes on the view; the sparkling blue water, crystal clear sky, healthy green garden, not to forget the smiles in each guest’s face – a manifestation of a beautiful day that was.

4. SATURDAY BARBECUE BUFFET DINNER

nothing beats chicken satay for dinner,

nor the mouthwatering ikan bakar,

or better yet a table filled with desserts,

you’ll forget your on a diet so feast.

Saturday night dinner is indeed worth the price… there’s just so much food to choose from..and to double the treat, they actually got to pick guests who will win certain prizes from the resort. Some got a one hour spa, dinner for two, an hour recreational activity, one hour KTV, and i can’t forget the scream when one of the guests won an overnight stay in the hotel for two, for free…i didn’t win though, but i almost win after all.. i enjoyed the night..

5. LIVE BAND – BATIK BAND

what is dinner without music?

its a live band so don’t panic,

when the price makes you turn back,

just go ahead and be tact.

The vocalist sings refreshingly good. It makes you forget the bill your about to get; and to my surprise, she sings English popular songs (i suppose she’s Indonesian)- so it makes her even more likeable and easy to sing and dance along with, giving you reason to shed off the initial calories you’ve had so you can have another round of sumptuous meal.. its buffet dinner so basically .. eat all you can…

for some spending the weekend here may cost them a fortune..but well..if you have..of course a fortune why not spend it here…its an exclusive resort, making it less crowded and less busy. It gives you time to really relax and enjoy your stay. Its free from the noise in the city….no fancy coffee shops.. no shopping… no towering buildings crowding your mind.. its just you, your love ones, the nature, the few people…..having a quite wonderful moment all together. oh by the way, i love the little nipa hut …its a beautiful place to create wonderful memories with your love ones..i just did…

P.s. I’ve been to different resorts, and hotels for that matter…(i have traveled a lot over the years) …but this one will surely be on my “be back” list….

siloso beach resort

Perfection

A day and a moment…
a sunrise and a sunset…
a life and me…
a wish it could be…

A snapshot of siloso beach in the morning. This photo was taken during
Our stay in this resort last April 24 to April 29. It’s like a jungle in the city- with its “back to basics” principle; siloso beach is a place for people who are “save mother earth” advocates, like me I suppose.

Fly High Flight 5J 799

I am a mother of four. A former College English Professor. Its been two long years since i quit my job to be with my four beautiful girls—— full time. This means, i got to prepare breakfast for them, drive them to school, pick them up in the afternoon and tutor them in the evening. Its exhausting but very rewarding. (and oh, in case you wanna know i am lean and fit at sighhhhhh…36 …they say i am the eldest version of my children) And as a usual reward, my husband would fly us all to Singapore every summer… for the past years we’ve been flying through Cebu Pacific.. i discovered that it’s very affordable not only that the flight attendants are really friendly…my list could actually go a long way so i wrote them down in poetry.. in case i haven’t mentioned i’m a self proclaimed writer (Whatever that is……)

On a chilly morning
i hear your voice ringing;
signals a new beginning
wishing for a happy ending.

On this motion-filled place
I see your image as i trace;
signifying a new world to face
hoping it to be an enchanting maze.

On this seat i first had your touch
feeling the warmth, marvelous as such;
waits as we soar, waits as i catch
flying so high the sky within my touch.

Seven years and still flying
with you it’s wonderful and enchanting;
discovering new worlds so amazing
watching the stars oh breath – taking.

“thank you for flying with us
making cebu pacific your airline of choice”;
intercom interrupting as i chase
ending a dream with a smile on my face.

through the years we’ve been in the sky
enjoying the the heavens so might;
flying like the rich and famous safely
without being costly.

P.S.
this is not a paid article…i just thought you guys wanna travel in style minus the guilt of overspending for an airline ticket.
fly high and enjoy…..see you…