Friday, April 1, 2011

Going to the Land Down Under

January 29 - February 6, 2011

We finally made it to Australia! *cartwheel*

My friend and I took separate flights going from Singapore to Australia: me via Perth, she via Sydney. We met up in Melbourne and followed our itinerary from there.

Day 1: Day tour to Phillip Island which includes a visit to some wild life sanctuaries, a chocolate factory, a beautiful beach, meeting the Koalas, feeding the Wallabee, and watching the Penguins come back to shore.

Day 2: This was our free day in Phillip Island. This was the most relaxing day of the entire trip. The day before I saw this fish & chip resto by the beach. My friend and I went there by bike and had a picnic nearby. Until now, I can say this is the best food I have eaten in all my trips.

Day 3: We're back in Melbourne's business district. We spent the morning touring the area on the free tram. After lunch we headed to the airport for our flight to Sydney. It just an hour flight so we still had time to claim our tour pass and transportation card. We also had our first dinner in one of the restaurants along Darling Harbour before we headed for West Ryde for our accommodation.

Day 4: The first activity we did was the Oz JetBoating experience. It was one of the highlights of this trip and totally unexpectedly fun. We were still somewhat wet when we joined the city tour. The last stop of the tour was Manly beach. We did not bring any swim suit so we just visited the Manly Aquarium. Then we took a ferry ride back to Circular Quay and on to Darling Harbour where we found a $10 steak available. Perfect! Since Sydney Aquarium was just nearby we decided to visit it before calling it a day.

Day 5: We had to start the day really early to be able to make the most of the Blue Mountains experience. It was a lovely day to spend with mother nature, trekking along the marked paths. I finally got to meet the Three Sisters and see the beauty that surrounded them. I bought a winter jacket for a souvenir before we went back to the city where we went up to the Sydney Tower.

Day 6: The last day we can use our city tour pass. We started off with another city tour which brought us to the Mrs. Macquarie's Chair that has a good view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, and the city's skyline. We also stopped by Bondi beach for 30 minutes before we headed back to the main city passing by suburbs with houses with iron terraces. The last stop of the tour was the Opera House. We also joined the informative tour of the Opera House. Interesting history. It was quite a hot and warm day, we finally decided to watch a movie (Black Swan) at Dendy Cinema -- this was included in our city pass. And on a last minute decision we visited the Aquatic Center and the ANZ Stadium.

Day 7: We met up with Ethel, a childhood friend of mine who now lives in Australia, for lunch and she showed us where we can shop for souvenirs. It was basically a shopping day.

Day 8: It's our last day in Australia. We attended mass in the morning, had our lunch with our host, then went to the airport for our flight back to Singapore.

Rough Start

January 28, 2011

SG - PER via Qantas Airlines.


MISSED FLIGHT!!!

It was all my fault. I got out of the office late and there was a traffic jam on the express way.

We decided to spend the night in the airport and try our luck on getting the next best flight to Perth or Melbourne we could get.

In fairness, Changi airport wasn't a bad place to spend the night.


Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What a start..

This is my desk calendar that I bought at Daiso, the $2-store. ^_^

As you can see, I had quite a lot going on even at the start of the year. I went home to Cebu for the New Year and stayed on for almost two weeks. I had a great time being back home. As usual I spent most of my time staying at home with my family and only went out to see some close friends.

When I got back to Singapore, however, I got sick. And some tasks sort of piled up when I got back to work. There was also my coming trip to Australia which I have not prepared at all except for the air ticket. I had a lot to think about and I couldn't focus well. It took quite a lot of effort to focus on one thing and work on it. Sometimes even at sleep I can't help but think of any one of the things that need to be done. I haven't been in this kind of situation for a long time. I was actually beginning to think that 2011 is just not my year. And honestly, it took a long time for things to settle and allow me some peace of mind.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Holland Noche Buena

Dec 24-25, 2010

This was my second time to spend Christmas eve in Singapore. Last year I spent it packing my luggage as I was flying out and going home for Christmas. This time I spent it with my flatmates.

One Filipino Christmas tradition is having what we call a Noche Buena on Chrismas eve. If I'm not mistaken it is Spanish for "Good Night". So each and everyone of us in the flat prepared a dish for our feast. I prepared the spaghetti. -_^

Orchard Christmas

Dec 18, 2010

I think I may have told you this before: one of the things that I miss in the Philippines is how we celebrate Christmas.

As soon as the "-ber" months starts one would certainly feel that everyone is getting ready to celebrate Christmas. Christmas songs and decors can be found almost everywhere. And as soon as Holloween ends... Well, it's definitely Christmas everywhere: in residential areas, shopping malls, business districts, everywhere.

Unfortunately here in Singapore, it's only at a few certain places that one would see Christmas lights and decors hanging, and mostly it is in shopping centers or malls. In this case it's along Orchard Road where one could see that the street is livened up with Christmas lights and decors. And there were a lot of people too. It was my first time to "join" with the crowd.

Actually it started with some of my friends meeting up somewhere for some Christmas shopping, and then I met up with them at Funan. I was planning to buy some gifts but did not find any in that mall so I did my shopping when we got to Orchard.

After treading the length of Orchard Road and battling our way through the crowd at the malls, alas we were exhausted. And the best way to gain back our strength was to eat. \o/ Our table looked like we were having a feast. ^_^

Office food trip

Dec 15-17, 2010

We had a couple of celebrations around the middle of December.

First was the successful delivery of one of our projects at work. Our project leader brought this beautiful and delicious cake to share with everyone in the team. At first I thought it was just another ordinary meeting, until she took out the cake from the refrigerator in the room.

The second celebration was for our intern. He finally finished his 6-month internship with us. And to celebrate his moving forward the team decided to order some pizza.

It was also a great excuse to stop working. Hey, it was Friday and everybody was ready for the weekend. I'm sure you understand. -_^

Girls' day out

Dec 11, 2010

This was probably our last "girl's day out" for 2010.

Vera and I met up at Vivo City intending to watch a movie. We changed our minds and so we headed out for Plaza Singapura. I did a little Christmas shopping for my mother and some window shopping on the side. All the while we were catching up on what's been going on with our lives -- sounds heavy but it wasn't really. After some time Vera got hungry so we went to StarBucks for some snacks. It was raining by the time we started having our Starbucks break and it did not stop until we finished so we went back inside the mall for another round of window shopping.

Vera was looking for a set of jewelries she can wear for her coming wedding. We couldn't find anything that suits her from there so we moved on to another mall, Tangs Plaza. She had fun trying on a number of set and I had fun assisting and taking pictures of her wearing the jewelries.

In the end, she did not buy anything. -_^

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Weekends

The first half of November has given me two busy weekends. The enjoyable kind of busy.

First, there was the long weekend which I spent most of the time in the malls with the intention of shopping. Yes. Shopping. After months of denying myself the pleasure of retail therapy, it's finally time to give in to temptations. That Friday we went grocery shopping. On Saturday I followed my friends to the mall where they were buying for winter clothes. Then I bought some toys for my sisters and nephew, and a winter coat for myself. We also went into the Sony shop to check out new cameras. I'm planning to change my old one. It took me some time to decide which I want to buy. In the end, it was my companions who bought the camera. I have decided to wait for the next IT fair to buy that same camera hoping to get a freebie in the form of an extra battery. The following day I went to the library to return some books and borrow new ones. Then I followed my two friends again to another mall. I did some more shopping while waiting for their reply to my text message asking them where they are. Then we had a little adventure of trying to find our way to the Marina bay. They want to practice using the camera and I want to see how the camera performs.

The second weekend was just as enjoyable. Last Friday some of our officemates/friends came over to our apartment and cooked dinner. It seems that two of them are celebrating their anniversary in the company. The food were delicious, and the karaoke after dinner was fun. The festivities lasted until the wee hours of the morning.

By Saturday we finally decided to go shopping again. I call it Christmas shopping. It was actually shopping for Christmas tree and decors. Afterwards we had dinner at The Asian Kitchen. I love their dumplings!

When we got home, we immediately set up the Christmas tree. Ever since I moved here in Singapore I've always missed setting up a Christmas tree or putting up Christmas decors. I have a friend here who had a Christmas tree since last year. I'm no longer envious of their tree 'coz we now have our own. It's beginning to feel more like Christmas!

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Quiet Holloween

"Trick or treat!", said my friend the mini witch.

Yes, it's Holloween and probably a lot of places and people all over the world is having a celebration of some sort. But not from where I am right now. Bummer...

I like Holloween! The time for creepy crawlers, ghosts, and other monsters to come out. Mwahahahah..!

But that's not what I'm seeing rigt now. All I see are quiet, zombie workers. So lifeless! These people should learn how to live! Oh right, zombies. Boring zombies. Maybe I should ask my mini witch friend here to cast a spell on these poor fellows and make them dance. I miss Holloween parties!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

October Best

October is coming to an end. And what better way to end it than having 3 reasons to smile all day at work - for me, at least.

Friday morning, as I was preparing myself to start with my tasks, somebody came over to my desk and asked for a little help. It seems that he asked help from his friend first, and his friend, whom I worked with in my previous assignment, told him that I'm the one he should ask for help from because "she's the expert in" that area. (Take note of the quote.) I won't elaborate on my supposed expertise because I honestly don't think of myself as an expert of that. Though I have to admit knowing some people actually believed in my knowledge and skills about something to make them think I'm an expert of it is a really good thing. It was a good way to start the day.

Friday noon, I went with my "bowling team" for a celebratory lunch at a dimsum restaurant. A few weeks back our company had a bowling tournament and fortunately our score ranked us 9 out 24 teams that we actually received a S$50 voucher price. So we used our price to pay part of our lunch at this restaurant. The food was good, but the company was even better. It was a very enjoyable 2hour lunch break. ;)

Friday afternoon, back in the office, I was still happy with the events earlier that morning and at lunch when somebody came again to my desk. Let's just say that there was some discussion and that I was able to win that round. And that win made me feel so good I was actually able to do more than I set out to do that afternoon.


It doesn't stop there. I still have some reasons to smile outside of work.

Friday night, after work, my friend and I walked home from the office. It was a good exercise. I stopped by our apartment for a few minutes then went to the community center for the culminating activity of our Korean class. As I mentioned in one of my previous post, this time we are learning how to cook a couple of Korean dishes. They were actually easy to prepare. And they were delicious. Though the first dish was quite spicy for me, still it tasted good. Maybe I'll try to cook it myself next time. We'll see. ;)


Saturday midnight, my housemates and I went to Coffee Bean. They had hot choco while I had hot vanilla. We also ordered 2 cheese cakes and a crème brûlée muffin. It's been quite some time since we last did this. It's one of our ways to unwind, relax, and have time to gossip.

Today, I spent the afternoon with my friend. We went to a couple of places to window shop. We also had dinner together. She also gave me a drawing book and a small cork board. As always our time was spent mostly talking and laughing. I really had a good time.

And now, just before I started writing this post, I called (via Skype) home and talked to my parents, sisters, and nephew. It's good to see them and hear their stories. I can hardly wait to go home for the holidays again. Just 2 more months to go!