Places in northern Luzon have always been a part of my top local destinations bucket list. I’ve always admired the photos and blogs that I see, and promised myself to get there before I near 30 (and visit every other province in the Philippines before I’m 40). So to my delight, a lunch get together with my bffs from CSA, Janie and Mich (whom i’ve not seen for 10 years) last March allowed my travel plans to materialize. Coincidentally, my relatives from the US had decided to come home for the summer and tour the country, that by the last week of March, I was booking a piso-fare flight to Laoag (Thank you for Low budget airlines! travel is now more feasible. aminin!).
Despite the downpour days before our scheduled flight, I was pretty psyched to push through with the travel, although I have to admit, the flight cancellation announcements in between the threat of storms were putting my hopes on a rollercoaster ride. However, on the day itself, we woke up and went to the airport with sunny blue skies above, and it was on. :)
My niece Alia & Ralph (on summer break), me and my bff from kindergarten, Jianina (too bad, mich begged off on going because she had a later date of travel)
- 1 year ago
- 28 notes
- 2 years ago
On the eve of February 27, my last day of being 22 years old, I had my birthday Salubong on top of the famous hotel in SG. Every weekend at 8:00PM, The Club on the Sky Park of Marina Bay Sands transforms from a quaint restaurant into a heaven of Chocolate creations. I originally planned for a dinner at Chef Justin’s Quek’s restaurant, Sky on 57, however, since we we’re coming from USS and I was pretty sure we’d run a bit late for reservations considering that we still wanted to go shop at the MBS mall. Instead, I made reservations for the Chocolate Bar, an all-night buffet of 57 unique chocolate treats created by Chef Luna,
After an hour’s worth of freshening up in the Y, we took a cab to Marina Bay Sands Tower 1. I emailed reservations for 830PM, however, because of the my need to shop in Sephora, I asked Ilyn at the concierge to move it to 10PM. One thing you’d notice when you get into the hotel was that some of the staff are Filipinos, so it was not so bad to get help with directions and tweak reservations. They are so polite and so professional that it makes me proud to be a kababayan! So we first went to the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands which is a building across but has underground access from the hotel. The place is pretty big, reminds me of The Venetian in Las Vegas. Since we had about an hour and a half to shop, we all split up once again to go around. I had my eyes on Sephora since I got to SG to buy some of my kikay kit essentials, particularly Urban decay’s Naked Palette, however, to my dismay, the Naked Palette was still sold out. So I got UD’s Eye Shadow Ammo and Primer Potion, Sephora’s Make-up Brush Cleaner (Such a good buy!), A kabuki brush (which is very very very useful!), and Sephora’s Blush me Twice. I pretty much spent most of my money here, and despite the Naked palette disappointment, I was satisfied with my loots. We also went to look around Charles and Keith, Outfitters, and Miu Miu. A quarter before our reservations, we were back at the concierge who handed me the club card which was need to access the entire Sky Park. (Tourist can purchase tickets to the Skypark however in the concierge in Tower 3, and have access to one are of the deck).
The elevator ride was fast with the feel of air pockets (57 floors high!) and we were welcomed and ushered to the bar which was in the just across the amazing Sky infinity pool and a majestic view of the Singapore skyline. We were welcomed by a Filipino server - Ericka - who was just divine and funny making the night extra fun. The staff were all wonderful, and of course the 57-course buffet of Chocolates was sinful and fantastic that at the end of the night, we were pretty stuffed.
A few minutes before midnight, my BFFs, Mom, Dad and Tita Sol, and the staff of The Club surprised me with a Birthday cake and of course a song. We also got a souvenir photo and a MBS picture frame from the management (freebies I love!).
It was a lovely birthday, thanks to all these wonderful people I had around with me. I wish my brothers were there too, but they texted me early after so that was good! hehe. I’m blessed to turn another year old, to be in the arms of good company and of course, to have such wonderful and unconditional parents. Thank you mom and dad for my birthday, beyond the celebrations, the best gift i have still are family and true friends. Cheers!
- 2 years ago
February 27 was the last full day that we all had for our SG trip. Since it was a Sunday, my parents and I woke up extra early to hear the 8am mass in the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd which was a few blocks away from the Y. Prior to church though, I really wanted to have an authentic Singaporean breakfast, so being away from the hotel was a chance for me and my rents to experience it. The kopitiam centre in the corner of Bras Basah and Bencoolen street was our destination. I ordered 2 slices of Kaya toast, Singapore’s breakfast staple. Kaya is a sweet sticky spread made from coconut milk and it is partnered with either Kopi or Teh (both hot drinks have the signature sweetness of condense milk). On the side, my parents had ham and chicken sausages, while I chose to have soft-boiled eggs mixed with soy sauce. Some friends and my family think it’s weird, but having studied the culture of SG since I booked the trip, most of the locals eat it that way, so I think I was ready for how it would taste like, and it was good – always the balance of salty and sweet.
We were then back at the Y by 930AM and found our companions in the café just about finish with their breakfast. It was the day for our visit in the newly opened Universal Studios Singapore (USS) in Resorts World Sentosa. We were back in the SMRT to Harbour front station around 10am. Just a tip, the SMRT card can be used for the Sentosa Express, so no more need to purchase a separate ticket. We arrived in RW before 1030 AM and whilst walking, all of us were already snapping away everything that we could see. A lot of people were pouring in already so after a few poses in the trademark USS globe and entrance, we went to the queue in the entrance. The tickets were bought online for S$72, and served as your whole day pass to everything in USS.
- 2 years ago
I just absolutely had to make a separate entry for this because unlike my usual posts, pictures may suffice how much of a highlight this is in any SG-Sentosa trip.
This is a musical act with superb multimedia and water jet effects by the shores of Sentosa beach which showcases the story of a young man singing his heart out along the shores of a sleeping fishing village with his friends. They suddenly see a vision of a young beautiful woman who is asleep, and with his desire to see the woman and wake her from her slumber, he sings an array of songs that awaken the magical fishing village and its creatures who help me find a way to rouse the beautiful woman he had seen.
Words will not be enough to describe how magical the experience was. For us, who had a very long day touring and enduring the soreness of our feet, this was a very rejuvenating show. We we’re in awe and in good spirits right after. For some reason, it had a calming effect, and was a very good stimulant for those weary happy hormones.
This is a great way to end the a day in Sentosa. I highly recommend that you purchase your tickets online, especially if you are planning to get the VIP seating, so you can settle in the area without having to worry about the long lines and getting good seats. Also they don’t cancel the shows, so when rains, it would be good to have a raincoat along. It is one of Sentosa’s best attraction, so expect a jam-packed arena all the time. Don’t worry, its all worth it!
(Headed back to the Y after to get some rest, as the next day would be the fated visit to USS!)
- 2 years ago
(In continuation of the Singapura escapade)
my lovely rents!
Vivo city is known for being the largest entertainment center and shopping mall in Singapore. Located in Southern Singapore, it boosts of amazing structural artworks, and hundreds of shops and restaurants (think SM Mall of Asia). It also has the terminal for the Sentosa Express which is one of the reasons why there are many tourists flocking this mall. We arrived at around 1230PM and were very much reenergized upon seeing the many shops and the many SALE signs as well. Obviously, my friends and I are shopaholics, and we were itching to get our hands on all the goods in the mall. As proof of that, we came to the decision to separate for about 2 hours to go around, and just meet up at the top level where the Sentosa Station was. Anne and Kareen disappeared in an instant and my best guess was they were already scoring on good buys from clothing stores. Meanwhile, together with my parents and my Tita Sol, Feliz, Edward and I went to Food Republic on the top floor to get some rest and eat some grub. Since it was lunch time, the place was pretty much packed. My rents went to get a table, while I went to the Sentosa ticketing counter first to get hold of our reserved tickets for the first show of Songs of the Sea (and good thing we did). Food Republic had so much to offer, from Kaya toasts, to chicken rice, chili crab, Thai, Peranakan, Chinese, Indian Cuisine etc. I had my first ever Hainanese Chicken Rice from Sergeant’s Chicken Rice Stall. For S$7, I had the roasted kind. Being a first timer, I had nothing to compare it to, so I cannot label a critique on it. However, for eating it the first time around, I can say that I had a good lunch, plus I partnered it with Wintermelon tea as recommended by my friend @onchie that by the end of the meal, I was pretty much satisfied.
One important thing to note when eating in food courts though, is to not take too much time eating. The place is packed no matter what time of the day, and the people in Singapore love eating, giving up your space after having your meal would be ideal to give way for other hungry tummies and as the people who bust the tables collect your plates as soon they see that you are done or are not touching your food. And take note, some bust boy/ladies don’t bother to ask if you are done or not, so don’t get offended as they really tend to have that attitude. They do however offer an apology when you tell them that you are not yet done, so just be nice and polite in informing them that you are still eating. After we’ve had our fill, it was now time to go around the mall. Thank goodness for international roaming that we were able to get hold of everyone’s whereabouts, thus only wasting a few minutes of waiting on each other every time we lose one another. Feliz, Edward and I went around together after losing my rents in front of Montagut (turns out my dad did his shopping spree over there). We then lost Edward a few moments after, so Feliz and I made our way in and out of stores to find her a nice pair of sandals to wear (her sandals wore off earlier in the day). We finally got to reunite with Edward in Charles & Keith, and also got to buy Feliz’s sandals there. I, on the other hand, purchased a pair of gel cushions to give my feet some comfort for more walking. By 230PM, it was finally time for us to meet up and head off to Sentosa. After the ticket purchases made earlier, we were standing inside the Sentosa Express coach which would bring us to Singapore’s playground – Sentosa Island.
- 2 years ago
I know i’m way delayed with my posts on my SG trip last month, I’m currently busy with the last few weeks in school so all my entries are still on my scratch paper. I will transfer it as soon as I pass my last pair of exam papers in a few days :) haha.
Anyway, I’ll just keep this post short as I pity seeing my blog with no updates.
Today, Cebu Pacific Air had once again managed to make me go crazy with flight bookings. After receiving a text message from a friend of mine that CebuPac was on a domestic flight PISO fare, I scrambled to access the website right away. Since I have planned an outline of trips for the months of June to August, I just had to nail this offer.
After 10 or more refresh of pages, switching of dates, and cursing my internet connection, I finally ended up booking 2 domestic flights for June, all for below 200 pesos.
Back in the days, traveling entailed months to years of saving up, everyone of course, would prefer to spend less on airline tickets to get somewhere. Traveling has and still is my one and only vice. Some people think crazy of me for missing out on some things when I am given the opportunity to travel. No matter how queasy I get during take-offs, the excitement of going somewhere beyond the hustle and bustle of the metro excites me.
Last year my travel record was 4 round-trip local flights. This year I am supposedly targeting, around 6-8 flights both local and international (if the PH Azkals home and away games turn out to be possible for me to attend then the count may still go up), and thanks to budget airlines and promotional airfares, I may just be able to reach my target. To be honest, its not really cheap to make these trips even if you get to purchase the lowest priced tickets. Considering the accommodations, transportation, touring, eating so much food, and souvenir shopping, there is still a need for allotting sufficient budget for all these things. But for the past years of my travel experiences, good researching and the discipline to travel frugally solves much of those dilemmas. A lot more people are interested in making there own travel adventures nowadays, and many local and int’l spots have been leveling up their tourism industry to accommodate these many itchy-feet wanderers from all walks of life, so patience in googling the best yet cheap ways to travel is the way to go.
Years back, they say travel is luxury, nowadays, budget airlines, and backpacking guides, say otherwise.
So travel, there’s a world to learn out there.
Low fares, will travel
- 2 years ago
With the sun shining way too high and scorching its way across the pavements, we made our way across the street towards the Old Parliament House which is now home to The Arts House- a venue for the arts and performances in Sing. It is again one of the oldest historical buildings with a bronze elephant sitting in front of the Grecian columns, a gift from an old King of Thailand. With that being said, the Parliament house also has a restaurant that serves Thai cuisine (ohhh Spicyness!). From this spot, you’d be able to get a good photo of the Supreme Court and city hall in the background, so once again all our cameras were out of their hiding places. Beside the parliament was another famous venue for events and performing arts, The Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall. It also was the site of Sir Stamford Raffles’ statue, the founder of Singapore. We no longer ventured across the territory as we were pressed for time to get to the Merlion.
We made our way along the park and had a little fun taking pictures in front of the Asian Civilizations Museum which had different animal statues across their lawn. Other than that the Cavenagh Bridge that connected to Fullerton was a great Kodak spot, it is actually one of my favorites because it had a view of the river bend and the Fullerton Hotel and tall buildings across. Also, the mood along this area was very lively and tourists were everywhere! I guess you can owe it to the multi-cultural crowd, the random statues along the area, and the cool feeling the water brought upon us.
- 2 years ago