Sunday, December 28, 2008

Punggol Singapore Get Together with Mamul

Last night, I went online in my yahoo messenger and I had a chance to converse with Mamul and Agnes. My talk with Agnes was more of how she is, what has happened more or less with her last few days in Makati and basically her next destination and that is Singapore. With Mamul, our conversation was focused on her stay here and how she's doing so far in this really environment friendly Singapore.

Olga and I would love to visit Mamul so we asked her if it was okay to visit her place. So it was signed and sealed last night that we will be visiting Mamul at Punggol(it's a rhyme :P).

This morning at around 11AM, we decided to fly by or rather began our journey to Punggol. Since we will be cooking monggo soup, Olga and I first had to go to the market and bought 100 grams of bilis - dilis in Tagalog or bolinao in Bisaya. After we purchased this special ingredient, we then walked our way to Buona Vista MRT station going for Outram Park Interchange. The ride took us 15 minutes. We then alight and went to the interchange bound for Punggol. The trip took us 45 minutes. After arrival, we alight again and went to the LRT station bound for Cove which if I am not mistaken was at the 3rd floor. This time it was a shorter right or could have been if the car or caboose wasn't in maintenance. Punggol to Cove was just a station away but we had to go a joy ride for the maintenance but it was a blessing in disguise because we got to see the beauty of the place. Mamul fetched us from there after Olga sent an MMS and did a miss call. Mamul had to purchase some spices and other ingredients for the "get together" so we dropped by at the nearest supermarket. After that, we went to a unit nearby to get her Magic Sing Karaoke System. After that, it was time to go to Mamul's place. Check the pictures for our visit:
A Steel Bar Creature Steel Bar Being Modelesque Model too The Elusive Mamul Group Pic The Performance

It was fun seeing a friend and just talk anything mostly crazy stuff. See you next week Mul in your visit to Holland :)

Friday, December 26, 2008

From Cebu with Love

What a surprise that was in December 14 of 2008. I mean it's been like two weeks more or less but the memory still lingers and it will live on.

Since I don't want to cry or anything, I asked my father not to send me to the airport together with my brother. Instead, I asked MJ and Angel to go with me. They are I guess my most beautiful friends. I have lots of great friends who are so sweet and kind and and who truly cared for me but these two ladies are different.

Anyway, as I can still remember that day, these fab friends of mine came to our house just on time. Well, my father went with me until the corner street for the taxi together with MJ and Angel, after I have prepared everything. We got a taxi for ourselves. I told MJ that I have finished reading "The Zahir" so she can borrow it and told them that I was also done watching "The Gossip Girl". Then I realized that I forgot my laptop. We had the driver went back to it's way and I was calling my brother that I will be coming back in a minute to get my laptop. I thought everything were accounted for but not. Thanks for MJ mentioning "The Gossip Girl" series because the DVD was in my laptop and so that was it. I came back to our place running and I saw my dad with my laptop. He gave it to me and then a tap on my back. Well I can kind of cry but I did not allow my tears to even peep. I got back to the taxi and Angel was teasing me that I was going to cry but I told her not. I just took a deep breath, an unfathomable one.

We came to the airport just on time and I just checked in my luggage to SilkAir. After that, MJ and Angel and I were talking lots of things. Our lives and future lives maybe. Well both girls will be coming to Singapore next year and I will play as their host. There was a flight delay for about an hour so we just talked and talked anything and everything under the universe. It felt so relieving with them by my side. I could have wished for more time but reality was in a couple of minutes it was boarding time. When it was the boarding time, MJ and Angel gave me gifts. These were stuff toys and they were named Sark and I forgot the other one so I named him Turbo just today. They are lovely.

I'm glad God gave me these people and somehow showed me some meaning in life. I'll be waiting for you guys to come over here in Singapore and rock our world.

In the picture, its Pong the turtle, Sark the choco brown puppy and then Turbo the snow as white puppy with the red cap. Aren't they cute ?

Internet connection with Starhub

Well my online hibernation has come to an end as we have just installed our internet connection here at Singapore. Our housemate transacted just this afternoon at starhub and we got a cable connection from starhub which was on a promo, and so we got a cable TVwith free channels and we need to subscribe to TFC so we paid for an extra. The promo also includes two phone connections with an ultimate free local phone calls. That was in a sum of 75 SG dollars a month. We are going to pay for the installation but we decided that we can manage it. So Olga and I did those installation and taaaaaahhhdaaaaaa we have a connection. I am so excited to upload my pictures right now. My connection to my friends and family would be easier from now own. Thanks to this connection things would be a lot different. Oh we will need to get a wireless router for ourselves so others can go online as well and tomorrow we will be checking DLink or Linksys or anything which is cheaper and of good quality.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas To Everyone

Merry Christmas to every living and non living creature on the planet. May we have more blessings, better yet, be a blessing to others!

Well I would like to fill the gaps by narrating some updates to you.

Last December 22, after work, I immediately went to Olga's cube and we went outside to eat somewhere at East Commonwealth Ave.'s food shoppes. I was in a hurry - quite a bit, because I need to pack my belongings. After Olga and I ate dinner which was around 7PM, we hurriedly went off and I proceeded to the MRT station. I needed to reach the house early. Well, I got there after 30 minutes so it was good for me. My hotel mate by the way, was not with me since he was out somewhere at Boonlay to look for his own place. Right after I arrived, I switched on the television and then began packing my things. After making sure that my personal belongings were all accounted for, I just brushed my teeth and fix my hair. I still have a few minutes, so I decided to watch was shown in Discovery Channel. It was 9PM and I decided to go ahead and leave the hotel. The bags were difficult to slide and maneuver because the whole floor was carpeted. To give you an idea, I have one big trolley bag, a smaller trolley bag and a laptop bag. All were carried by my poor shoulders and arms. I could have waited my hotel mate to ask for errand but it was late already. Getting to the elevator was a struggle but i manage to reach the first floor where the reception was stalled. I checked out officially from the hotel and asked the security attendant to get me a taxi. After a minute, the cab arrived and I got my things to the car. They were really heavy but the good thing is the hotel staff helped me so things went smooth :P. Anyway thanks to the staff and crew of Orchard Grand Court Hotel. I arrived at my new place in Ghim Moh at around 9:45PM. I was a little lost and thanks to Olga for fetching me from the entry way. Thanks also to the cab driver for helping me in unloading my luggage. Well, Olga and I just went straight to our unit at the 6th floor of the building and I had to set my things and arrange them. All of the housemates were there so I was introduced to one of them whom I have not known yet. Anyway the night ended with a hot bath and I went to bed.

Last December 24, our office hours was until 12 so everyone in the company was released earlier. Olga and I went out at around 1PM and we took the free bus service of the company going to Bouna Vista. We were invited to go to Christian's place so it was kind of exciting because we will be cooking and stuff and he told me that they have this internet connection where I can again be alive in the cyberspace. Before we went home, we bought some bread and fruit juice and some fruits. I also went to a food stall to buy food. After that, Olga and I went to our flat or unit. It was a long walk but a nice one since there was zero pollution and less heat from the sun as the pavement was covered with lots of greenery - Singapore is near to be a jungle city or a city in a forest, whichever suits you. Anyway, when we arrived at our flat, I ate and Olga watched the television. We decided to go to Christian's place at around 4 or 5PM. Olga got bored so she slept in her room while I managed to put up with the shows. I was getting sleepy, I mean just my eyes, every time the electric fan sweeps and blows the room; but, I was not able to sleep. I just watch and watch every show there was. Well Olga got up and decided to take her bath while I was still in the couch more or like a potato but wasn't mashed. Anyway after Olga, I had my turn. After that, I noticed that I have some messages on my phone and reading the lines, that the get-together at Christian's place was postponed. I replied that it was okay. Olga and I decided to go to Orchard and check the place for some events. Olga brought her pink cannon digital camera and I had my Lumix Panasonic camera. We went to Orchard and rode a 111 bus instead of going for a train. We took some pictures inside the bus and before that, we also took some pictures on the streets. Okay, we are picture freaks or maybe not? We arrived at Orchard at around 7PM. Olga was craving for KFC and in no denying the fact, I too had a craving for the hot and spicy chicken. Well, first order of business was to look for KFC in Orchard but, I needed to change my camera batteries so we went to 7Eleven at Lucky Plaza and I purchased four 2AA batteries. After that, Olga and I strolled along Orchard's pavement or rather sidewalk while taking pictures. While we were in a bus, we saw this rotating Christmas tree so we searched for that. It was at Isetan mall which was just on the opposite side of Marriot Hotel. We got there through an underpass. The drizzle was going on and I hadn't brought my umbrella and Olga's umbrella was having issues of its own. Anyway, we got to that rotating Christmas tree and took some pictures but the lighting was not good so we decided to locate where is that KFC fastfood. I saw a security officer and I asked him where is the nearest KFC. All I could understand from him was 6th floor and he said just go inside of the building while making hand gestures. Olga and I went to the mall and looked for the directory and there was no 6th floor. So tried our luck at the side exit of the building and we saw another directory but still no KFC to be found. There was a security booth at the left side of the exit door, so I asked again and he replied that it's on the 6th floor at the cinema. Olga and I just nod because that was the only English part of his answer. We went back to the main mall and looked for the sixth floor with the cinema. We found it actually but we're a little lost as to how to get there since the escalators looked weird. Anyway we managed to be at KFC after looking for it for quite a while which felt a month. We decided to have a buddy meal which has 4 fried chikens, two mini cups of mashed potatoes and 4 pieces of breaded shrimp. I would have wanted rice instead of mashed potato but they don't serve one in KFC as well as McDonalds so I had no choice. Anyway, it was a nice belly feast and it was the most expensive food I bought for myself. Usually, a meal here would cost me 3SG $ and this one chunk an amount of 6.45 SG dollars off from my limited budget. The price I pay for that craving. Hehehehehe. After we ate, we went out of the building and walk and walk again then take some pictures from here to there. I will post them later here :)

After a long and tiring walk which was by the way fun and exciting with all the drizzle and the crowd, we went to church and hear the mass. After the mass we went home and had our Christmas inside the four walls of the house. Our housemates prepared gifts for us so we opened them on that midnight.

Merry Christmas to everyone once again and I am so excited of the new year. And oh, I sent my merry Chritmas wishes to my family just after I arrived home.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Orchard and the crowd - I felt like a tourist though.

I woke up on a Saturday late in the morning as it was 9:30 AM. This past few days, I would normally get up from bed at 6AM. My Indonesian mate and I just went to the hotel cafe to again savor the free breakfast. After breakfast we went up to our room at the 5th floor. I did my own personal time by browsing the web, checking my gmail and yahoomail, while I listen to music along with it.

At around 1PM the free internet connection that we have in the hotel got disconnected. We just prepared and decided to go to POSB. There's a branch at Ngee Ann City, so we went there and found the bank at the 4th floor of the building. We need to open a bank account for our salary. Here in Singapore, you can use any bank of your choice for your payroll. I was amazed at how fast things were processed. It took me 20 minutes to open the savings account with passbook and ATM card readily available. Well the bad thing is they require 500 SG dollars for the initial deposit amount which was quite a sum.

Olga sent an MMS to me saying that she's coming to Orchard to have our keys duplicated. So we decided to meet her at Lucky Plaza as that's the only place where we can have our keys done. When Olga arrived, she had to call and text me at the same time and I did the same because Orchard was filled with lots of people doing shopping and excursions. I found Olga at the engorge of the building and so we just got inside and looked for the building directory. We couldn't find one so we went to customer service. The staff guy who looked diligently answered our queries. He even pointed out what unit in what floor and which way of the building. He seemed to have memorized the building's blue print.

We arrived at the stall of the key maker and Olga did her transactions. The key for the main door was not duplicated because the key maker did not have that type of key, but the side door's key were good to go. I paid Olga 2.80 SG$ for the key. We felt a little hungry because obviously I did not have my lunch. We went to the building's food court and took our picks for lunch.

After lunch we decided to do window shopping. We walked and walked around Orchard which sent my feet in pain and so we stopped by at Singapore Tourist's Center and had an electronic foot massage. It was soothing. We then decided to just walk around. The three of us bought ice cream bars. There just huge crowd and so we decided to just go window shopping. When Orchard got dark, we thought of stopping by at the street shows. We first stopped at the contortionists show. There were two girls there bending and showing their flexible bodies in dark leotard suits. After that we passed by at a children's choir, then at the Korean community doing some of their cultural show. There was an Indonesian community as well. We also passed by at the pantomime area where the crowd was endless at taking pictures with the animate character. We then stopped at the Filipino community. We spent a total of 3o minutes their watching them sing native songs and some dance performance. The crowd were a mix but you can see that there were other Filipinos aside from us. You would also notice them visibly because after the performance they would clap their hands terribly and scream (is it a sign of narcissism or just pure or total admiration of the performance). For me it was just an ordinary performance. I enjoyed it and also cheered through clapping but not scream. I even asked my self in English candidly and the guy beside me must have overheard and replied that it was just an extreme appreciation of the performance. I just shut myself up and enjoy the performance while laughing at the back of my mind. Another thing caught my attention was when I looked behind me, I saw some member of the Korean Community watching the show which was a little funny for me. I told Olga and we were just slightly laughing. I mean why would they be there instead of attending their own show? Or maybe their show or performances was finished....

After watching three performances, we accompanied Olga to the bus stop bound for Ghim Moh, where my future address be.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Medical Checkup and Chinese 101

Last thursday, I had to wake up early because I need to go back to Boonlay for the medical check up. I woke up at 6AM and I was terribly sleepy. I had no choice. The room was really cold. I am not used to airconditioned rooms so that is why it felt chilly. I got up from bed and grabbed my undies and towel. I went to the shower. Good thing it was a hot and cold shower so I took the hot shower obviously and it has helped. My hotel mate was still asleep and so I had to call his name telling him that his next.

I immediately took my polo shirt and iron it. After I changed what I worn, and after my Indonesian hotel mate was read, headed at the cafe for our breakfast. The meal was as usual good. After the meal which took us 15 minutes, we went back to our room to prepare for the office.

We usually take a train / MRT at Somerset and alight at an interchage going to Bouna Vista where our office is. We arrived at Bouna Vista after approximately 3o minutes of travel, and went to ride a bus at the other side of the station going to the office. We arrived at the office around 8AM. It was really early and the office was really quiet. I was assigned to read the specifications and the technical documents of the project so it was kind of boring. I was waiting for my team lead and our manager to ask for permission regarding my second medical evaluation. I thought that my hypertension has normalized and there I was back on the old track. Anyway my team lead was not around and so when my manager arrived in our office I hurriedly went to him and asked for permission which he gladly approved. I just composed an email and sent to my team lead regarding my itinerary. I waited outside and it felt that the bus was not coming so I decided to take a cab. Too bad he did not turn on the meter and he told me that the taxi charge was 3.80 SG dollars. Anyway, I did not have any choice so I just paid him. I went to the train station knowing that I only have 30 minutes as I was scheduled for 10AM to see Dr. Ang. I needed to relax as I felt tense that I will be late. Good thing, I arrived at Boonly CeterPoint just in time. I went to the reception and the queue was already long. So it felt like forever. I waited for almost an hour just to get my turn. Well the doctor checked my blood pressure and it is now normal. She actually gave me a medicine to take. I guess I don't have any choice so I decided to take the medicine and it's going to be forever.

It was already late so I need to take my lunch. I had fish and a vegetable with rice for 3.80 SG dollars. Not that expensive compared to the meals in Orchard. The problem was I spoke to the servant in English and she would reply to me in Chinese. I did not get what she told me but I just said yes. The words which I only understood from her was when she told me about my bill. Anyway she gave me what I wanted so it did not really matter but at the back of my mind I was really confused and laughing.

Haven't I told you that I am a little stupid at directions. For example I would get lost easily as to where is my left or right or my north and south etc. Wahahaha. I'd get paranoid! Well when I got to the train again bound for Bouna Vista, I honestly dont know where to ride or which train. So I asked the train staff and the train headed for Buona Vista was just infront of me. Wahahaha. So there I took the ride and reached the office on time. I even met Olga at the bus because she also went out from the office to open a bank account at POSB. We arrived on time and we proceeded to our own cubes and I continued reading the manual / specifications which would send me to sleepy mode.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'm back and I apologize for the silence

I have not been blogging for about two weeks or so and it felt a little sad. The idea of not being able to blog was also a little maddening though I can manage to go on but I think it has been part of my life. Well, I just would like to share to you the updates and what has been going on in my little world.

Dec. 2, 2008 - The last day of work in my previous employer, RenditionDigital Inc. (RDI). I was so relieved that all the turn over and related stuff went smoothly in the end.

Dec. 3, 2008 - The clearance day. I had a minor issue which was about the health card that I have to surrender to RDI. I had to call and asked my father to send the health card addressed to the company administrative office so I would be cleared. All the other departments cleared me except this one. After the clearance processing, I went home with Olga and took a few hours of rest for the "Datalex" party. I went home tipsy by some bottles of beer and a glass of vodka. Bubba Gump, the venue of the party is cool and the food was great.

Dec. 4, 2008 - The time to fly to Cebu. Prior to that, I have packed my other personal stuff and delivered it to LBC, a local air freight, to be sent to Cebu. An hour after that, RDI admin staff called me telling me that they received the health cards from Cebu but there was another problem. I have alledgedly failed to submit my company ID. It was absurd and made no sense as to why the most basic thing to do wasn't done. It was kind of rude to tell the kind lady on the other line those words and so I just pleaded that it might be just misplaced and asked her to just double check as I was totally convinced that I have surrendered all the company issued cards to her. Thankfully, after an hour she sent me an SMS and informed me that everything was fine as my card was just there on the brown envelope and everything did not have to go to a fiery battle of reasoning and other unnecessary exchange of remarks - and thank God. I went to Cebu with a huge peace of mind. I arrived in Cebu at around 8pm and due to some miscommunication, no one in the family fetched me from the airport. I was a little worried because my brother or father did not send any SMS. Well I decided to just take a cab and head home. My father was a little shocked when I arrived, as he was not expecting me to be home by then. It was all my brother's fault but then things happen and it already did so I just let it go. I had to have dinner outside with MJ and Angel at Max Restaurant.

Dec. 5, 2008 - Meet my friends. I got some cash for my Singapore trip and thanks to a special friend.

Dec. 6, 2008 - I went to money changers to have my cash converted to SG dollars. I had to meet Olga on that day to give her my initial payment of the condominium where I will be living in Singapore.

Dec. 7, 2008 - Went on a lunch date with college friends in Ayala Center.

Dec. 8, 2008 - I went to Metrobank to open an account for my father.

Dec. 9-10, 2008 - Shop at SM City Cebu for the things to use in SG.

Dec. 12, 2008 - I finished the book from Paulo Coehlo, "The Zahir". Then went to ABS-CBN in Mandaue City to claim the lost cellphone of MJ and then went to Simala in Sibonga to offer some prayers.

Dec. 13, 2008 - Went a lunch date with Darylen and Marjo - two of my dear friends. We love to eat fish tinola with lukot. Hehehehe. They actually treat me that lunch:) It was somewhat a reunion for the three of us.

Dec. 14, 2008 - The very day that I have to leave my family and friends and my homeland for Singapore. I did not want to see myself drop into tears so I ask my father to just go with me at an "eskina" or compound corner. I just told him good bye and be good and I couldn't bear leaving and if I stayed longer I may cry so I decided to just get a taxi and rode myself together with MJ and Angel to the airport. After some few minutes of talking, I realized that I forgot to bring my laptop and so we had to have the taxi head back to our place while calling my brother. As soon as we reached our compound and got out of the taxi, I saw my father running towards me carrying my laptop. He slowed down and gave the laptop and tap my back. I miss my family and friends to be honest with all of you who are currently reading this entry right now. Anyway, I got back to the taxi and off we go to the airport of Mactan. I was with MJ and Angel at the airport. I spent two hours with them talking almost anything under the universe as my flight with SilkAir was delayed. Anyway at around 4PM, it felt real that I was already leaving. I had to check-in as the plane boarding will have to begin in 15 minutes. Cebu to Singapore was a three hour plane ride and good thing it was way comfortable and enjoying with SilkAir. I don't know if I can ever ride SilkAir but my first impression was good. The delayed was a blessing in disguise for me. I arrived in Changi International Airport at around 8PM and I was a little hungry and a little lost. I only have the address of the hotel and I wasn't sure if I can make to the hotel on time. Well I took a taxi and it was a mercedes benz taxi (I never had it in the Philippines). I was hesitant to ride on it first but then the taxi charge/fare was just at a regular price so I hop on. My destination was from Changi to Orchard Grand Court Hotel. It was a smooth ride and I paid 19.45 SG dollars for the fare. I came to the hotel and went to the reception and asked for the reservation on my name which was made by the company that hired me in Singapore. At last in just minutes, the reception officer (I honestly don't know how they are called) processed everything. The girl actually greeted me with kumusta upon checking my passport and knowing I was Filipino. She even joked that she is Jericho Rosales' boyfriend. It was a warm welcome and I loved it. After that, I proceeded to my room which was at the fifth floor. I actually have a roommate from Indonesia. Good luck to some language or cultural barriers. Anyway everything went well and my roommate was also a people person.

Dec. 15, 2008 - My first day in the company. My officemate and I went to our company at Ayer Rajah Crescent and we hired a taxi as we were not familiar of the MRT system yet. After the contract signing and all that, we went to Boon Lay for the medical check-up. My first time to navigate the MRT system of Singapore which compared to the Philippines was more organized and advanced.

Dec. 16, 2008 - Orientation day and time to meet my office mates. This day was a great one and meeting people from different countries was awesome. I have office mates who came from China, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, India and from the Philippines.

One of the major reason I did not blog this past few weeks because I was terribly busy, and all I could do was reserved some portions of my daily excursions inside my cranium. Friends of the blogosphere, I think those are the updates that which I felt worth sharing. Thanks for bearing with me.Thanks to Singtel hotspot and I get to blog and thanks for the time available for me to blog.