Friday, July 26, 2013

CH175a: London Part 2

Following the entry CH175: London Part 1.

As was previously mentioned, London is a beautiful city. There's a lot of history in the place. It can take quite a bit of time though to go to all the castles - some of which are outside London like Hampton Court Palace and Windsor Castle. But a visit to London / the UK will not really be complete without seeing them.

To maximize on the travel and cost, CP and I bought the London Pass with travel included. We bought two sets for each of 3 days. The explanation is all in the link above if you're interested. Basically, we were able to go to all the sites already pre-paid for. Some attractions had a fast pass available so you don't have to go through all the queue. For some, audio guides (which can be a bit cumbersome having to lug it around) were provided which provided more interesting historical facts. It saves you time having to read through some of the notations provided in some.

Of note, I realize that for this travel, similar to New York, a visit to the museums is a must. I found that I appreciate architecture, the general space inside the structure, sculptures and modern art. (I didn't appreciate 100% the visit to the portrait gallery just having to look at paintings of people).

Also, of note, it's nice seeing the Changing of the Guards scheduled once a day i think usually around 1130 - which can change or whatnot depending if there's an occasion in Buckingham Palace.

Anyway, I'm boring you with the talk:

So, without further adieu, more pictures! :-)
Next up, Edinburg.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

CH176: Hokkaido Cupcakes

Despite popular belief, Hokkaido cupcakes originated from Malaysia - not Japan.

So, just tonight our team went to have a team building activity baking Hokkaido cupcakes. I would say this is my first foray into the world of baking and it was fun! Separating egg white from the yolk, whisking, mixing, folding hahaha. #housewife lol

I think overall as a team activity, we were able to achieve our goal of bonding. Considering I'm the newest joiner, it was fun getting to know my teammates as well as baking. Our instructor was also nice and patient to tell the background of the cupcakes as well as answer our random questions.

I was reluctant to wear the pink pinny (as CP called it). It's short British slang for pinafore or apron haha I researched.

We went to Blk 333, Kreta Ayer Road, #02-32, Singapore 080333, ITSI baking studio. I highly recommend it as a team bonding activity.

CH175: London Part 1

I have been meaning to write about my trip to the UK (London and Edinburgh) but got caught up in other things. One thing I was to lazy to do is have to sort through pictures upon countless pictures again (after I sorted through them for Facebook).

As I have written on my Facebook page:
Suffice to say, London is a more beautiful city than New York. But New York, to be fair offers something entirely different - the "dirt", the massive almost endless lines of buildings towering and surrounding you, very American. Whereas London, is much more open, cleaner and surprisingly green and very English lol.

There is a regality everywhere you go - or at least that's how it seemed to me considering how different the architecture and the general "air" and feel of the place is. Everywhere my head turned was worth a picture - which is probably why I accumulated so much!

London is a very progressive city. One of my basis for a progressive city is the ease of transportation (Singapore I would say is almost there but not there yet). Everywhere is accessible by train, but in some parts, it's generally easier to just walk the straight path rather than hop on and off the train.

It is a very lively city - although, I'd like to add that the bright lights of Time Square up until the wee hours of the morning was lacking. Piccadilly Circus could come close, but the immensity falls short. They also have "The Shard" which is the tallest building in all of Europe (as I heard) but it's not Empire State tall. We weren't able to go as I thought it would be a waste considering we went up to St Paul's Cathedral's peak as well as saw the surrounding metropolis via the London Eye.

And, yes, I understand the sentiments of a lot of English people with regards to the weather. Although London is very much enchanting as a city. Weather-wise, may become DISenchanted with cloud cast skies.

As I don't want to overwhelm this entry with pictures, we have a part 2! :-))


Thursday, July 18, 2013

[Random] BFF Conversations

It takes candor to be open to people and just laugh of what's seemingly stupid and embarrassing. It takes a true friend to be able to ride through the comedy and hilarity of circumstance. 

R: Ang hirap naman ngumuya dahil sa rubber ng brace ko. [sabay tingin nagmamakaawa]
(I'm having a hard time opening my mouth to chew because of my brace's rubber [puppy dog eyes]) 
T: Eh ano gusto mo gawin ko? Nguyain ko para sayo at iluwa sa bibig mo parang ibon? Ganon?
(What do you want me to do? Chew it and spit it in your mouth like a bird?)

(R wearing something sleeveless)
T: Ano ba yan? Kita ko na bra mo sa gilid!
(OMG! I can see your bra from the side!)
R: Ganyan talaga style niyan!
(That's how it is!)
T: Eh wag ka nalang kaya mag bra!
(Why don't you just take your bra off then?!)

R: Di ka ba bibili? [with matching taas kilay]
(Aren't you going to buy yet? [raises her eyebrow])
T: Bakit? Pwede ba munang pumili?
(Why? Can't I decide first?!)

R: Have you tried "3Σ"
T: Yep but I found it boring
R: Why?
T: Because all the attention was on me
(awkward silence lol)

Boracay, at store with a sales lady bawling and throwing some hysterics with people watching
R: Gusto mo bumili ng candy?
(You want to buy some candy?)
T: Seryoso ka?!
(Are you serious?!)
R: Ha? Bakit?
(Yes, why?)
T: [sabay tingin sa mga nakapaligid na usisero] Di mo ba nakikita yang nagtitinda na nag aamok?
([looks at the gathering crowd] don't you see the sales lady getting hysterical?)
R: Ay! hehehe

R: Gosh! Na miss ko na feeling ng makipaghalikan!
(Gosh! I missed the feeling of kissing!)
T: Baka mamaya gapangin mo Ko sa kwarto ah!
(You better not creep to my side of the bed tonight!)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

CH174: Time Away 2

Here I am waiting for my laptop and my reporting manager to come back from his meeting, and I realize, the previous post on Boracay may leave the impression that I didn't enjoy it as much...

Believe me, I did. Boracay offers an escape. Being an hour away and a quick 20-30 minute ferry from Caticlan, and you're in paradise, heaven, nirvana, whatever you call it.

I've blogged before on my observation of how different the tourism infrastructure of Thailand is from the Philippines. I take it back, Boracay comes close. It just so happens that the Phi Phi island, etc that you can island hop on iin Thailand can come from Phuket or Krabi so its larger in that scale in terms of accommodating tourists and maneuvering them around through their speed boats. Boracay's infrastructure for tourism is okay. It can be convenient if you had the money to pay and have transfers arranged for you.

Price wise, Boracay seems cheaper than Thailad (we went off peak, as I did in Thailand). Food is almost comparable in terms of price if you based it in SG (around 10-15 sgd per main meal order, or 20-30 for the steak and something fancier). Still quite cheap if you come from SG or earn in dollars. But if you stopped converting FOREX, because peso prices seem higher compared to SGD, it does seem more expensive. 

There are so many things you can do in Boracay. At first we were planning to go for the Ariel's Point package but because it will take half a day, we opted for a more flexible and lenient schedule to just do parasailing and visit mt. Luho view point. Parasailing costs 1200 php per pax. Just make sure to try and haggle the price down.

Also, a quick commentary on where we stayed...we stayed over at Boracay Beach Club. It's not direct beach front but just on the Main Street and just a quick walk to the beach front. The owner is the same as the owner of Ariel's Point. The place was nice and the staff were very hospitable and accommodating. Considering its just 80 usd per night when we stayed, I would say its value for money. Relatively cheaper I think considering its in station 1.

And...I definitely should start on my entry for London and Edinburgh before I complete forget about them!

Definitely worth visiting Boracay!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

CH173: Time Away

I'll be starting at a new job in a few days. Because of the in between days of nothing to do, I decided 2 weeks back to go to Philippines instead and finally see Boracay.

Yes, it's my first time.

It is really beautiful here! But to be honest, I'm quite surprised with how over developed it is. Much like how puerto Galera was although a bit more class and less crass.

I still prefer the beaches and destinations hat offer a bit more quiet and private. Much like the resort CP and I went to in Bintan. I realize that I prefer the quiet and relaxation in beach destinations. But then again, Boracay is known for a party place...

So while, my bestfriend is in the shower - no wait, I can hear her blow drying her hair lol...

Pictures from Boracay!
(Feeling tipsy from the white wine we just downed waiting for the sunset)

Fooling Around with photos with a beautiful sunset backdrop

Sunday, July 7, 2013

CH172: Harry Potter Studio Tour

I decided on my Facebook to share the pictures from the Harry Potter Tour first because I wanted a continuity in the story of pictures that will be London and Edinburgh. One could say that it was an outlier to the overall experience.

I am and have been a fan of Harry Potter. I mean, who isn't? Most of everyone I know, has read and made an effort to read through the series. Harry Potter, has triggered in me the desire to read. It has opened my eyes to the wonders of literature. Whereas before Harry Potter, reading assignments for the English class felt "ack!" and "ugh!", after Harry Potter, there was a deeper appreciation to literature.

I'm not sure if I have written it before, but I was inspired to read Harry Potter after there was a talk in our school about "taboo" books. We had a speaker come to our school during our Chapel class to tell us about Harry Potter and the demonic messages of witchcraft and wizardry that it told. One of my classmates shared to me that she has read it and has been reading it and she said it was amazing! So...since it was around Christmas time I think when we had the speaker come in, soon after it was Christmas break when my mum, brother and I visited SM Megamall for some holiday shopping...I asked my mum to buy me all three of the books out for Harry Potter in National Bookstore. (or was it just the first 2 books? I can't quite recall). My mum, of course, gladly indulged because afterall, it was books I was asking for - not videogames as what she was used to.

I digress...the entry is supposed to be about the experience in the studio tour. To say the least, the experience was magical. To be immersed in the world and props of Harry be able to ride on a broomstick and get it captured in green screen (for the souvenir video and photo) be able to taste butterbeer and walk down Diagon felt giddy and amazing to immerse oneself in a world one considered magical....I will definitely recommend doing the studio tour for whoever pops by London!


Monday, July 1, 2013

CH171: Of Heart and Mind

There are so many metaphors one can use for relationships.

One can liken it to the process of a sword being crafted by a blacksmith. You'd need fire and water to temper the steel. One can also liken it to a house - you need a good foundation and constant upkeep as it's weathered down.

what is there for two people to hold on to in relationships? What choices do people have to make to be certain? The mind versus the heart. The good versus the bad.

All relationships have a mix of positive and negative experiences. What is important in recovery, is to look past the negative and focus on the positive. Negative experiences can be corrected and fixed to prevent recurrence if two people in love and commitment work together to resolve them and consequently give themselves time to heal and become better. Positive experiences can be recreated and have more of to flourish a relationship.

The mind and the heart work together. But they both serve different purposes and ideologies. The mind serves as a filter of the heart from the outside the same way it filters whatever the heart lets out - supposedly. Relationships are a matter of heart. If the mind was to decide on the matters of heart and relationships, then it should be making decisions based on rationale and practicality. The mind will decide based on satisfying physical and circumstantial needs - money, food, shelter, etc. The heart on the other hand decides something that transcends the physical and spiritual. As a filter though, the mind can come into conflict with the heart as an act of self-preservation.

Don't confuse the heart and the mind. 

Relationships are not meant to be perfect, but it requires both people together to fight for it.


The commitment is there, but the fire of the fight needs rekindling.
1 month. Cool off.