Saturday, January 31, 2009

Chingay: Singapore Tourism should sue Google

I don't know what seems to be the problem with Google but when I searched about Chingay 2009, the search results are not opening. Singapore tourism should sue Google for this.

I was able to open the link by typing it manually in my URL. So, how's that? Google should not worry about me opening sites which it thinks as harmful. It should just open it after at least asking the user or warning the user and let my security software installed in my laptop just deal with those security threats.

I checked some of my friends who are online right now and they are having the same issues. Not just the "Chingay 2009" keyword, but almost all of the search that one tries to do.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Philippine economy, recession and OFW (s)

I was so happy to know that my beloved Philippines is not in recession. For the year 2008, it posted 4.6% economic growth, though compared to year 2007's 7.3%, it's slightly lower.

The world is in recession and most economies that the Philippines is dependent on are in this economic turmoil, it's still a good thing that the Philippines is not joining the bandwagon.

I am an OFW and a little worrying scenario, is the devaluation of the Singapore dollar. Last week, 1SGD is equal to 31.35PHP and two weeks ago it was 31.40PHP. When I had my lunch today at Fusionopolis, my mates were discussing about the exchange rates and an office mate told us that the exchange rate right now is 1SGD = 31.15PHP. The fact that the Singapore government is planning to weaken the SGD will make this worse.

I am not sure how many OFWs who are here in Singapore, but this turn of events will generally affect us and our families. The Japan economy is in recession but the Japan yen is still strong and I haven't heard or seen on print and TV that they are planning to weaken the yen. Haven't heard of the US weakening their dollar. Is that legal for a country to actually control their monetary strength? Anyway, if things would really get worse and these rich countries which are in recession will weaken their currencies, then the OFW will be in slaughter. So sad but I am hoping this will not happen and also hoping that this recession will be over soon.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

American Idol 8 and I am too late to post.

It has been a week since American Idol has started. The last AI was really amazing and both men were really talented but sad to note my bet did not win. Hehehehe. Actually, my bet then was Ayesha Mercado but had some not so great performances that could displace the two Davids and so she was voted out.

American Idol is super fun during the auditions where you would see the corky looking, not so talented individuals, some are even freaks, and a few of those who really have real talents. It would be even more exciting during the AI processes of selecting the final 24 then to 12 etc., going to the top 2 then the ultimate or grand champion of the AI search.

Too bad I am so so late already in blogging about this show which I have been following since the previous seasons. Right now they have a new judge and it's Karah DioGuardi. I just think that the judges' table is getting crowded though another personality is a welcoming idea as well.

Here in Singapore, American Idol is show every week's Wednesday and Thursday at 10 PM for one hour. I am so excited for the next stops of the AI auditions and so far there have been promising talents.

Hope to see some Filipinos joining this time like the last season of AI, they had Ramiele Malubay. She was not that impressive but nevertheless pulled it through to the top 12.

Anyway, got to sign off already. Need to get a good sleep as my muscles ache :D

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Nuffnang Membership

Right now, I am an official member of Nuffnang Singapore.

I think this is going to be fun with this new affiliation. I can reach a new audience where I can share my thoughts - joys and angst. I feel that it's going to be really exciting as well. Hope I will be an active member :D

Hope I can get someone to sponsor my blogs so that I can own a site of my own - wishful thinking, because of this new membership. Blogger is a cool web blog utility and community but I am also hoping to have one that I can call my own. I guess it's what most bloggers would want.

Good luck to this new membership. Thanks to Nuffnang Singapore!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sentosa Singapore that is!

It's been a plan to actually go to Sentosa and indeed the plans were realized yesterday, January 26, 2008.

The plan was to meet at Vivo City at 10AM but then, we woke up late again. So we arrived at our rendezvous at 11 AM. Mamul waited there for around 45 minutes. I guess she is used to us being so late. Hope she won't leave us in our future plans. Anyway, we were hungry when we arrived there since we did not have taken any meal yet. Olga and I found Mamul at level 1 of Vivo and since I was to wait an officemate, I was left there waiting for him near the National Geographic shop. Mamul and Olga proceeded to the "Food Republic", a chain of food shops inside Vivo City. Moren and I went up the top most floor of Vivo City where the "Food Republic" is located to eat as well. Though the food was a bit pricy compared to regular hawkers. Anyway after the meal we had, we need to buy some snacks and as well queue to this very long pile of people going to sentosa. It's like hell and for one thing my allergies were a bit attacking me and they itch but not much.

After the meal, Moren and I went to queue for the tickets and the girls went to the groceries to pick some snacks for us. Wow the queue was a mile long. We stayed like 20 minutes on the queue before we can get our tickets. We were planning to get the package that they have but, the attendant advised us not to because there is a huge crowd and for that we might not get into the rides or attractions in the package. So she advised us to just obeserve first what or how is the place at Sentosa itself and from there decide which attractions to take or what package to checkout. Anyway we got our tickets for the Sentosa Express and directly went to the queue for the Express ride. Well it was fast one and we reached the island very quickly. We had our first stop at the Imbiah Station. We proceeded to the Merlion, Singapore's symbol. We took some pictures with it as a background but we did not go to the Merlion tower itself. We proceeded to other attractions. We were still deciding which to take and were highly considering of going for the package. Well when we checkout some of these attractions, there were just few people crowding to get it so since we were there already, we decided to take the package and we can also save lots of SG dollars if we take the package. Off we go to the counter and decided to take the package.

We went to "Tiger Sky Tower" first and enjoyed the view of Singapore skyline. After this short ride, we proceeded the next attraction in the package but ofcourse I did not allow the fun to escape without capturing the moments. We then went to the "Images of Singapore". We got inside the studio and found ourselves in a short presentation about the hopes of Singapore. We then proceeded to checkout Singapore's history still inside the studio. There details of events culminating the birth of Singapore and some figures of prominent men of the country who have shaped the nation. It's a historical tour of Singapore indeed. After that wonderful tour which was refreshing about Singapore, we went to the next in our list and that's the "Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom". The entrance was still not flooded with tourists and we got inside so easily. We then went to trail the pathways like in a maze. It has displays of insects which were dead and preserved. We then found ourselves in this caged greenery and there were colorful butterflies. As the name of the attraction says, "butterfly" and "insects", to my surprise there were cockatoos - not related to the attraction , logically; but, they had a show which was a little fun so it was very much acceptable. It made the more fun inside because of that. After that, we then proceeded to the "Luge and Sky Ride". This time, the queue was long but not a mile long. When Mamaul got our tickets, we then tried the Luge. It was like a ride from the top of the hill and the earth's gravity was dragging you way down at a speed which can be controlled by the rider through the steering handle just like a bicycle or motor bike. It was a fun ride and I wanted to try it again and it's going to be a hundred times the next time I'll go to Sentosa. After the Luge, next in line was the sky ride and the same thrill was there. Riding in just a seat with less protective gears in an elevated cable is very good. I wanted to try it a lot of times too but the package has it for only one way. All I could do is sigh. But anyway the ride was fun. It was a doze to the human will akin to the spirit. The next on the list was the cable car ride going back to Harbourfront but it's the last thing to do. So we decided to checkout "Song of the Sea". It was on the other side of the island so we decided to take a bus going to Siloso beach and planned to take a tram car going to the attraction itself. When we got there, the tram car is out of service, so we decided to walk. Since we still have time, we watched the sunset and decided to sit at the sands of Siloso beach. After a few minutes of witnessing the glorious sunset, we started picking up ourselves going to the next planned attraction. You understood that we were a little tired already with our feet screaming. We got to the place and found this very huge line and we back out because it seems to be like thousands of people on the queue. We then walk our way to the top of the hill and it's a short-cut going back to the Merlion. We navigated the steeps and at the same time we were in a queue - yes still a queue, you read it right. We decided to call it a day and went to the cable car station which was on the top hill. And when we arrived there, we were greeted by a new pack of peoples. It was the last ride and we just talked and talked to enjoy ourselves. Before we could get to our ride, there was this picture taking and I was having a hard time even making a fake smile - we were just exhausted already. I noticed everyone just wanted to go home. But when we had the cable car ride, it was refreshing again! It would have been great if we had it in the daylight - it was already dark at that time. Though the skyline was good for the sight but I think I would love it in the morning.

That was our Sentosa adventure and too bad Agnes was not with us. Anyway, there is still another time to have fun at Sentosa.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Johor Bahru Malaysia Adventure

Malaysia would be the second country that I have visited. I was not expecting so much from it since it was not a resort or even a vacation of some sort. It just so happened that Johor Bahru is very close to Singapore.

The plan was we need to be at Woodlands Singapore by 10AM but I wake up at around 8:30 and needed to do the morning rituals. After the morning rituals, I knocked at Olga's door but then she seemed to be still asleep. Anyway I think she was not coming so asked her again and she said that she was not coming anymore. So I left the house and I know that I was late already. I even forgot to take my medication so I need to go back to our unit which was at the 6th floor and this time I was running already. After taking in my medication, I was already sending an SMS to Mamul about where I was already.

I was having some dilemma on what route to take. I was not sure, so I took the MRT going to Raffles for an interchange going to Woodlands. There was a better route and that was going to Jurong East. Anyway, one of the reason that I took the longer route was I haven't been there and wanted to pass by at Yishun where a friend lives. Anyway, I was still at Orchard when the clock struck at 10:10 AM more or less. Mamul sent a message that her friends, whom I was not introduced yet, decided to go ahead. So I thought maybe they were becoming furious or impatient already about me being late and Mamul must have been a little worried already and ashamed. Anyway I was there already so I needed to just go on. I arrived at the Woodlands station at around 10:45AM and I was exchanging SMS with Mamul throughout my trip. Mamul was there at the exit of the station waiting and I was already running in going down. We were walking briskly. There was a long queue already waiting for the bus 950 at the interchange. Luckily when the bus arrived we were able to hop in and rode with comfort as there were still seats available for us. The trip was smooth and we came to the checkpoint for our exit here in Singapore. Everything went good for us also when we had our entry to Malaysia's Immigration. There was not much time to go arond the city so we headed directly to the mall as that was the initial plan. We went to City Mall that was. Since we arrived there at around quarter to 1PM, we directly spotted for a resto cafe. I ordered a spicy chicken with black pepper, a mango mousse, and a glass of mango with watermelon juice. They were delicious. Mamul had meat balls and a chicken salad. Since I had my order coming in late, Mamul shared to me the meat balls. My new acquaintances ordered spaghetti with white sauce, salmon with rice and lasagna. I cannot remember everything as I was minding my own meal. After lunch, we checked some shops and I bought three books written by Stephen King. This is going to be an exciting read :D After we hit some of the shops on the third level, we went to the cinema and check for a movie to watch. We decided to watch "InkHeart" which sounds interesting but personally I would have chosen "The Underworld". Anyway after we have purchased the movie tickets, we went down and check some more shops. I actually bought a ring for my thumb and when I turned around, my companions were not around already. They're gone! Wahahaha. I did not mind it too much because I know we will see each other or meet at the moview house, so I just went around and check more shops. I also watched the stage show for the coming lunar new year. After the show, I went to the cinema since it was like 20 minutes before the show will start. I just waited there for Mamul and her friends arrive. Well I wasn't mistaken and they arrived and told me that Mamul was gonna cry already because I was lost. Hehehehehe. I just said sorry to Mamul for making her worried. Anyway the movie started already. I was enjoying it a bit and there were interesting characters. Just an average movie though but I can be entertained so easily with some witty conversations. I so liked Eleanor :) After the movie, I need to go back to the ticket counter because I left my camera. After that, I had to look for the group. Then I went to the CR and noticed that there were people smoking there. It's very unbecoming of these people. Anyway, I did not have to resort to complaining to an officer so I just went ahead and confirmed what my group mates were talking about. After that, the group decided to eat again. I had no money already and Mamul spared some of her Ringgits. Too bad it's not for free. After we ate, which I find not so okay by the way because of the drink I ordered (hehehehe), we decided to call it a day and we went home bound for Singapore.

It was I think fun all in all. I was thinking of even going back there some other time.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Singapore economy is in stormy weather.

It's been all over the news that the Singapore economy is in recession and the forcasted growth would be -2% to -5%. The finance minister of Singapore announced the budget spending for this year of the cow and it has with it a mooing $20.5 billion (SG) to be spent as to spur the economy and aid the low income residents(What about foreign workers who in one way or another have helped the Singapore economy?).

So what's my take on this?

Suddenly I'm becoming interested because I am very new here in Singapore and I think this will gravely affect my stay here and my family in the Philippines.

I knew that there will be retrenchments in other companies and too glad not in our company. In fact we are hiring more engineers for the upcoming projects. They will be recruiting these new engineers from around SEA. But since many will have no jobs so the competition will be tougher. I have friends in the Philippines who are coming here in Singapore to actually get a job and I told them to postpone their plans until things get better.

I also knew that the Singapore government will try to weaken the SG dollar. Grrrrrrrr... If that's the case then my remittances' value will be lesser. Hoping things will be alright. Wishing that the Philippines will have bolder steps as well so the effect won't be too much which I am positive....

I do hope that this recession will be over. Predictions has it that this recession can last up to the next six months of this year or longer. Scary yet I am pretty much positive that everything will be better.

Those bad investments, something-fishy investors and greedy investments has to be abolished(next time) and should not be allowed. Hehehehe. I am not an expert in Economics so I don't know exactly what I am talking about. This is a serious matter though that needs attention, back up plans, aggressive and decisive steps. Let's just brace ourselves and ride the tides for this stormy weather not just in Singapore....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Samsung Mobile Hack

I actually bought a new Samsung mobile phone with model number SGH-C160. I bought it so I will not have to switch my two SIM cards I have for Singapore or Philippines for which has made my mobile life complicated.

I got a bargain at 7Eleven and bought this phone for 65SG dollars. I set some settings on the phone like the tones the date and time formats, language and other stuff including the passwords and phone lock system.

This morning, on my way to the bus stop, I turned on my phone and then asked me for the password. For some reason, it is not accepting it. I tried almost all possible combination but failed. I was riding the bus thinking of how to get it unlocked or fixed. Certainly my fault for putting a password on it. My friends told me they don't know how to fix it and that advised me to not have the password.

Anyway, when I arrived at the office, my ever loyal friend Google came to the rescue. I found so many sites about how to unlock and stuff and some did not work and I had no choice so I decided to follow the instructions on resetting the phone.

It says: *2767*FULL# Reset Full EEPR0M (Caution).

Anyway, when the phone has a password (which was the issue), it wont allow you to key in this series of characters. So what I did was turn off my phone and took out the SIM card then turned the phone on. It says that it has no SIM card but then I can type in numbers and can do a call procedure. So I keyed in the characters then press the call button. To my surprise it did a reset. So I turned off the phone, placed the SIM card inside and then powered it up. It prompted the initial screen which was good then it went directly to the settings part like the first time I put in the SIM card. I followed the setup process and went successful. There was one problem though, like everytime I turn-off then turn-on the phone it always bring me to the setup process. The trick was simple. All I had to do was just ignore the setup process and go directly to the phone's menu and look for the time setting and from there do the necessary setup and do the same for other settings that acted weird. Well it has worked for me.

I got my phone back on its track after spending more or less 45 minutes of searching for clues. And it took me an hour or more to build my phone book. But in the end, I was happy about it :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Chinese New Year Celebration at Marche

I love this new company!

Last week, our technical director invited us for a lunch at the North Border, a cozy restaurant at Rochester which serves American South Western cuisine. And today, we had our lunch at Marche. Marche is actually a French word which means market. It's a restaurant at Vivo City just a few minutes ride from Ayer Rajah Crescent where Gemalto is located.

We got out of the office around 12:15PM and I was really hungry. You see, I only ate Mars Chocolate bar for my breakfast as there was not any rice and viand cooked. Certainly my fault for not preparing one. Anyway, I did not know then where we were heading and when the clock ticked 12noon, our manager told us that we were going already and it's at Marche.

I know the place but haven't tried having lunch there.

Anyway, when we got to the place, we were given an NFC card which would serve as our order record list, somewhat a money card. I think we were limited to 100 SG dollars per person. It was exciting as the food looked really delicious. Too bad I did not bring my digital camera with me.

Anyway, I ordered garlic sausage, Australian pork and they were grilled so I have to get back after ten minutes. I went around and saw this juice stall. I then ordered a large glass of orange - apple juice. I needed rice but the only available recipe was a paella and it has shrimp on it. Not unless I wanted to have those allegies again heheheh so I opted to look around. There were bread but I was not attracted to it. There was this slightly heavy queue on the Rosti section so I aligned myself. Checking on the list of menus, I picked Rosti with Smoked Norwegian Salmon. I then went to our table and from their delicately tasted my choices. They were all good except the smoked salmon which was a little weird. I finished my lunch with that one scoop of a very delicious Swiss chocolate ice cream and a scoop of passion fruit with mango which tastes funny.

After the meal, we had this picture taking. Hoping I can get copies of the pictures from my officemates.

Happy Chinese New Year to Everyone!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Punggol and China Town Part Two, Slingers versus Ginebra San Miguel and My Food Allergy

The title says it all. That's how I spent my weekend with friends and co-leagues.

Last Friday, dawn, I had a chat with Mamul and we decided to see a basketball match between Singapore Slingers and Ginebra Team from the Philippines. Good thing, I have an email from and instead of paying 18 SG dollars, we had to pay 11 SG dollars for each ticket.

Last Friday, after work, Olga, Agnes and I went to Tiong Bahru to buy our tickets from the Sistic ticket outlet, but, it was close already so we just decided to buy the tickets the next day. We went to Kopitiam for dinner.

Saturday came and since I had to go to Fitness First on that day, it was Olga who went to IMM to buy the tickets. She paid the tickets for us but they weren't for free. Hehehehe.

After my gym, I came home really tired and hungry so I went to bed and after an hour Olga came so I had to wake up already. I went to the shower room for another hot bath and prepared for the Punggol trip. I brought with me some clothes and a mickey mouse fleece blanket. Agnes by the way, is already living with Mamul. Her boyfriend also went to Mamul's place and they have prepared something.

I was hungry and told Mamul that I want to eat. Hehehehe. She actually cooked rice for everyone so I was really planning to eat once I arrived to their place. I don't know what they have prepared and it was a little exciting getting their already.

After an hour of MRT ride, at long last Olga and I arrived on a desired time. We set our things at Mamul's room and also, I went to the dining table and Mamul has prepared the food. Christian, Agnes' boyfriend and I ate together of course with Agnes. The food to my surprise was cooked by Christian though I did know the name of the recipe, I still ate. I was hungry as in uber hungry after the trip. Thanks to Christian and to Mamul.

After we ate, we need to go to the Singapore Stadium earlier like an hour before the game because it's far from the stadium. We arrived at the stadium and the game has started already. The first half quarter of the game has just finished and the score was, Ginebra at 23 and the Slingers leading the game at 27. During the second quarter, team Ginebra was in deep shit trouble at 10 points lead by Singapore Slingers. Third quarter went on and at the middle of this quarter, team Ginebra was fired up and went to catch the Slingers and the audience went into uproar. My hands were getting hot of the extreme clapping because of the great show of team Ginebra. From two points to steals and random three points and great defense. I don't know what happened but at the fourth quarter and towards the end of the game, they were weirdly dumped with a hefty 30 points which was really unbelievable. It was a dismay and it felt that I have wasted money. Even so, I still had a little fun but not much. Wahahahaha. Everybody loves to win, you know! Hehehehe. It was not the team Ginebra I knew so I felt a little cheated but not to the point of being stupefied. Wahahahaha. So still forgivable but I promised not to watch a game of theirs again not unless it's the SEA Games or Asian Games where some them are to be pooled for the National Team.

After the game, we decided to checkout Chinatown. It was my second time around going to Chinatown. We need to check the last MRT service so we won't have any problems when going home. We checked the Chinatown street shops, mostly window shopping and enjoying the crowd. We found ourselves hungry and it was almost 11PM. So we went to the other side checking the food strip. We saw this Kway Teow stall and ordered this local delicacy I guess. Sumptuous it is! After that late dinner, we decided to go home. Our foot soles were aching and everyone was tired already. And the day's activity was a blast. Upon arriving home and after some minutes, I was soaked in the couch fast asleep.

Sunday came and I woke up late. It was almost 11 AM already. Mamul was already up, as well as Agnes. I was hungry as a beast again. Wahahahha. Oh, have I mentioned that my program at Fitness First was to gain some weight and I did gain 1 kilogram. Well, Mamul had prepared prawns in chili. A simple brunch and yet very delighting to the stomach. We ate while watching Madagascar 2 in Mamul's laptop. A really wonderful time for the four of us. By the way, Christian was not feeling well last Friday and he did not went to Punggol or even Chinatown with us. He was with his friends who were there at the stadium to watch the game as well. After a brunch, I took a hot bath and after that, I noticed that my skin itched. I had some like tiny insect bites. I asked Mamul if she was feeling the same and I even asked if there were mosquitoes in their unit. I was freaked out when the itchiness went intense and they were all over my body. Good thing, Mamul had an anti allergic medicine and she gave me one tablet. My arms and hands began to really itch when we were on the bus. We were actually planning to IKEA at Tampines. So when we arrived there, my hands were blotched read and my arms were having mini maps. Good thing, it did not have to occur in my face though my face was reddish already. I was getting embarrassed of what I was going on. Another great thing is that, nobody knew me and so I just did my window shopping with my friends and we walked from IKEA to Giant. We also tasted the food at IKEA which was not that pricy and to my surprise had a Filipino flavor on it. I enjoyed the fried chicken and the meat balls. After a few hours the itchiness subsided and the swelling and the tightening of my hands were beginning to normalize.

After Olga purchased her bed stuff, Agnes and Mamul went ahead to Giant for groceries while Olga and I went to the bus stop going to Tampines station. We were headed home.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I miss Java so much !

It's not the coffee and by a fact I shouldn't be drinking one because of my hypertension.

I am missing Java the programming language that I have sworn to love. Right now, my project with my new company is going to use C++ and I don't how else or where else can I code or program in Java. It is a very challenging project and a very difficult one. Aside from the fact that I have been programming in Java for two years, my knowledge in C++ is not that huge. I am crossing my fingers actually to make it through this hard times in my career and I believe I can make it.

Well this hopeful torch is not going to remedy my want or maybe need to program in Java and so I am considering the idea of joining the q4e project. This was the project that I had with Exist Global which I stopped after I resigned. Anyway its in Java and if I don't get to program in Java ever again then I have to go pursue this idea and give back to the open source community. I hope the people who are managing this project would be still cool enough to accept me. Well it needs my time so I need to balance it as well. But my craving to code in Java has to be remedied as well so I will be in this cross croad again. Ciao!

Monday, January 12, 2009

My First Session at Fitness First

Okay, I have planned to actually have my first session last Saturday but, when I called them up, they told me that they were fully booked. Fitness First was supposedly be the one to call me and I did not received any call from them last week. Even so, I decided to agree with their proposal to have it today.

I was late in the office and the task that I have is to read and read and read. I am always getting sleepy while doing it the whole day. Good thing I finished the whole technical specifications with in the day. Though it was hard to remember everything, I managed to at least understood it in a snap. Hopefully it will proved useful to what I am doing.

Anyway, I was excited for the office hours to finish. I am planning to go out from the office at around 7pm. When the clock ticked at 6:55PM I just prepared and went out of the office. I walked around 7 minutes going to Fitness First which was just at Fusionopolis. The staff from the gym called me and was checking where was I already. I just told her that I was on my way. When I arrived at the gym, the personal trainer introduced himself. I went to the locker room to changed clothes and secure my things. After that, I had my physical examinations. The exercises then started. I had the warm up first with the tread mill then the weights. I had some crunches and some curl ups. After that, he explained to me the programs that I should take. It was very inviting at first but it was just too expensive for me. So I told him, that I will think it over. So that was it. I will be in my own in determining what to do or the routines to do. I think I will just do some reading and stuff.

I went home. Took my dinner and thanks to Olga for cooking dinner for us. After dinner, I went to a hot bath. It was very refreshing. I think I'm gonna have new routines and set of activities for the whole year round. Hope it won't be boring me and hoping that it will improve my health and achieve my desired finess.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I have enrolled at Fitness First

I have been wanting to join a fitness club or something and today I have decided.

Fusionopolis is about 5-8 minutes walk from the office. So I searched online of what fitness club was in that building since I've heard that there is a fitness gym there. So I then found out that its Fitness First. After office hours, Olga and I decided to go to this gym and check things for ourselves. It was located at the north wing of the build and is at the 23rd floor. We got to the reception and check their pamphlets. After checking the available services I had to check with the receptionist as to the price of their services. The staff had me sign a log form then requested me to sit at their available guest area. While waiting, I got to see the place from the outside and it was a great view of the area. Well after a minute or two of waiting, another staff approached us and she introduced herself as Azlina. She then began the tour and guide us to the second floor where main facility was located. Then she showed us the yoga room. Well it was kind of exciting to try yoga. After the yoga room, she showed us the third floor which was the rooftop already and it has the swimming pool. After the pool area, we went down to the second floor then checked the looker and changing area. After that, she showed us the stretching area then the cycling area. It wasn't spacious but it was really clean. After the whole tour, Azlani had to talk to us about the dues and stuff. Well, good enough since we come from Gemalto and they have this promo and the fees were waived. Basically, I did not have to pay the membership fee, the Admin fee stayed the same and the monthly due was also slashed. Well I will be paying only 98SG dollars a month which is more or less the same in the Philippines. So I was convinced and I signed up. They gave me a back-pack, a headphone then a face towel. They also gave me a 14day free of charge use of the facilities. I just thought again that its a good thing to invest in my health and stuff.

I'm so excited to start my first gym day! Hurray I'm gonna dance and flex my body and then tone my muscles and become more fit.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

My Chinatown Singapore Adventure

I had to buy a gift for our new year's exchange of gifts for our team at work and so I went to Chinatown. My Indonesian friend went with me in going there as he knew the place and he will be checking some gifts too.

Our plan was to meet at Outram Park interchange at around 3PM. I arrived 1o minutes earlier and since I was wearing my new top-sider shoes, I felt that my feet won't survive for long walks. I can feel that I will have blisters after long walks. Moren sent an SMS to me that he will be a little late so I decided to locate the exit and asked the security staff as to where is the nearest shopping center. I got out of the station and hurriedly looked for the nearest shopping center. I did not bother what was the name of the mall because my primary concern then was where to buy a pair of foot socks. Well I walked around and felt lost again. At the far side end of the mall I saw a Giordano branch. I did not care even if the socks were priced at 7SG dollars a pair. After buying a pair, I looked for a corner where I could wear the socks and then walked towards the MRT station. This time it felt better.

I went to the Outram Park interchange and waited for another few minutes and Moren arrived. We then went to another station and rode a train going to Chinatown. Initially, we actually planned to go to Little India to visit the tourist center for maps but decided to just go directly to Chinatown.

We first visited the Handicrafts mall to look for some good buys. You see there were many choices but then nothing suits. There were beautiful crafts and interesting ones yet expensive and there were not too expensive but won't qualify as a gift. Anyway we both end up not buying anything in that mall. So we got out of the mall and went to the other one which was on the other side of the street. We went there and check things out and found nothing though the displays in the mall were very interesting - from ancient furnitures to beautiful porcelains and they are expensive. Moren bought some candies and some snacks in the mall in our way out and I didn't. We proceeded to another mall and found nothing. But the good thing was I found a queue of travels and tours centers. I just had an idea where to book my future travels to Bali or Phuket or Tokyo. Anyways, enough of those day dreams and we walked again and went to the Chinatown streets. There lots of goodies to feast your eyes. It's really great walking through the streets seeing interesting people and interesting goods. But none would qualify again as a gift. It's a little difficult because we would know who will receive the gifts minutes before the exchange of gifts would start. Anyway I just enjoyed the sights. We were getting thirsty so we bought fresh coconut juice. It was a real thirst quencher for 1.50 SG dollars.

Anyway, we continued to walk and took some pictures of the place. The gift hunting turned out to be site seeing and having fun walking the streets. Anyway we went to another mall and I bought a pillow since I don't have one yet. Moren bought a pair of gloves since he was allergic to soap. After we paid our bills, we decided to go home.

On our way home, Moren alighted at the Commonwealth station and I will be alighting at the next station. I was kind of daydreaming again about the food to eat for dinner and if there were people at home. I am supposed to alight at Buona Vista but, I just was not able to pay attention and was not able to get out of the train. It was funny and thank God I did not make a huge scene when my body reflex sent me towards the door. So I just alighted at the next station which is Dover then went to the opposite side of the platform and rode the train going to Buona Vista. I just bought dumpling noodle at the neared hawker for my dinner and also bought fresh orange juice. I got home at around 9PM already and had my simple dinner.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My first ever major buys in Singapore

My housemates and I would have wanted to watch a movie, "The Transporter", but then things changed. It was because of a review sent via SMS by one of my housemate's friends. Anyway, the whole plan was they are going to watch, "Twilight" and then "The Transporter". Olga and I will have to watch, "The Transporter" together with my housemates and their friends after they have an eye feast of the "Twilight".

Part of the plan was we are going to purchase a wireless router at IMM but plans has changed and we went to Vivo City.

We went to Vivo City, one of the malls here in the small country of Singapore at around 5 or 6 PM. The mall is very accessible because it sits beside the MRT station, HarbourFront. When we arrived at the mall, there was a mall-wide sale and they were from 10% - 70%. We went to gap to Levis Original where Olga and Analyn bought their tees, then the Guess shop. Since Guess was for girls, I had a chance to checkout a shope beside it called Aldo. My eyes were glued to their display and the prices were really high and some were inexpensive because they were on sale. And one of the item that had my eyes super glued was on this top-sider shoes. Well I called the sales staff and asked for my size which was 39. I was actually looking for the size 4o at first but then they don't have it and so I sticked to my original shoe size and they have it. I was hesitant because the price was really inexpensive and maybe it was just a joke but then in a few minutes I approached the sales guy and asked of the price and it was at 31.50 SG dollars. I was convinced that the shoes was for me and I mean I like the pair so I booked it on my bill.

After that major purchase, we were kind of hungry and so we went to "Food Republic" which was at the last floor of the mall like at the rooftop already. We managed to take some good photo session and that was it. But prior to that, there was this fitness center and so we got inside and inquired about their service and facilities. I am actually planning to be fit and healthy. They have yoga as one of their classes and it's inclusive of their package for 99 SG dollars a month. I got excited of the idea.

It was getting dark and we were hungry so we then proceeded to "Food Republic", a classy food court or hawker. I ordered rice with a slice of pink salmon for 6SG dollars. The food was satisfying except that the served rice was not enough. Olga shared her cooked rice and thanks for her my crave was cured but not totally. I got a hot and spicy sauce so I badly needed something cold to drink but then it will cost me around 2-3 SG dollars so I opted not to buy one and just get a drink from somewhere ... wahahaha ... which I don't even know where.

After that hearty dinner, we got out of "Food Republic" and went to the cinema to check for the schedule. When we arrived at the cinema after getting lost twice we followed the lead of Razel, it struck upon seeing that "Twilight" was not post on the "Now Showing" ad boards. Anyway Razel saw the moving ad screens that "Twilight" was to be shown at 12:20 AM and verified it at the movie counter. Razel decided to call her friends to tell about the schedule while we waited. She then said that it was agreed that they will be going to another mall at Dhoby Ggaut. She invited me or rather us but I replied I won't be going. My reasons are it's getting far and my intention of going to the mall was to check for a router and possibly buy one. After that short conversation, we found 7Eleven and so we decided to buy fruit juices. At last a quencher for just 0.80 SG cents. We then checked for a router in this computer shop beside Samsung's but then they dont have a "Linksys". It was time for Analyn and Razel to go and so we bid good-byes. Olga and I went to this eclectronics store. We found ourselves at the game area where we tried the PSP 3000 series. I am planning to buy one in one of these days. Hehehehehe. They are priced at around 300 - 400 SG dollars depending on the memory. We then proceeded to looking for a computer area and found ourselves trying out the Sony Vaios. They were a bit sleeky yet came with a huge SG sums. Olga is actually planning to buy one so we tried out some of the laptops and Olga went to talk with a sales guy about the laptops. After some 1o minutes of exploring, Olga did not buy the laptop and so then we continued our look for that "Linksys" wireless router. At last we found it at one corner. The wireless router was priced at 69 SG dollars and without hesitation, I got my credit card and paid the price tag. I was overly excited of going home already to set it up myself.

After the purchase, we got out of the electronic shop and went to look for another computer store and check other laptops and we found one. The price was from 999 SG dollars for a Compaq or an Acer but then Olga was looking for a Sony Vaio. Anyway we ended up leaving the store. We had a few strolls and checked some shops. Then we got tired and the store looked like they were closing already, and so then, we left the mall after our last check in a shoe shop.

We arrived at home around 10PM already and I just took my shoes off and then got my laptop and hurried to setting up the router. I was already a little familiar as to how it would be set up because of my first job so everything went smoothly. It was as easy as counting 1-1o and I also have set-up a security for our homepage and as well as the wireless connection. Upon testing everything went well and I began surfing the net and it spelled time to blog again :P

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Year in Singapore

Happy new year to everyone! More fruitful life, more blessings to share to our loved ones, friends, and community, and a great journey to life for the new year 2009.

WOW, I love new years. Christmas is amazing but new year is fabulous. These two celebrations are unique but they mean different in our lives. Well I am not here to write and compare the two important celebration and jubilation but I want to narrate what has happened to my new year here in Singapore.

We actually have office work in Dec 31st but after work, Olga and I planned to purchase a piece of cake somewhere in Tiong Bharu. It was also Analyn's birthday so we thought of buying a cake for this celebration well this is also for the New Year (wink). We bought a black forest cake. We came home at around 5:30PM and Razel has prepared the pastas and chicken and other goody-foodies. It's going to be a mouthful feast.

At around 7PM, our housemates' friends arrived and the birthday celebration began. We sang the infamous birthday song then the blowing of candles. After that, it was dinner time. The spaghetti was yum-yum, the breaded fried chicken was really sumptuous and the rest of the food were all tasty, so much that I don't know how to get them inside my tummy - I mean all of the food. I was filled and stuffed. I thought everyone was:)

After the celebration, Olga and I decided to watch the new year countdown at the Marina Bay. So I took a bath to refresh and Olga had her ritual as well. We bid new years and greetings and we went out of the flat.

Olga and I had to walk from our flat to the MRT station for 5-8 minutes. At last we reached the station and there was no crowd at all. I just thought people have celebrated new year in the comforts of their labyrinths. Well I was wrong! When we arrived at Raffles interchange and alighted to get to the other train bound for Marina Bay, there was a crowd. Olga and I did not know where the place was so we just followed the pile of people traversing the pavement. Wahahahaha I had a feeling that we are going to be lost or already lost. Well we reached a park where people set up some picnics but there was no music or what. So we decided that it was not "the place". We went back and rode a bus going to the Marina Barrage but prior to that, we had to walk for like miles =)). The pounds that we stocked in our tummies an hour ago were slowly eaten up. Going back, Marina Barrage was a nice place but it wasn't "the place". I sent an SMS to my Indonesian friend and told me that we should have gone to the City Hall MRT Station and from there walk to Esplanade. So Olga and I decided to get out of the building and move our way to City Hall. It took us another 30 minutes of our time and the clock was ticking for the countdown. We arrived at City Hall at around 10:30PM. We just wanted to get there because there's this concert where River Maya will be playing and it spelt fun but it will cost us 19SG dollars so going to the concert was not the main point of going there but more of watching the fireworks display. We were greeted by a really huge crowd at the City Hall going our way to Esplanade. Olga and I just walked and walked. It was getting 12 midnight. We stopped in front of Mandarin Oriental and decided to wait there. After minutes of waiting, the crowd cheered. There were few balloons being flown out to the sky. Inside this stadium was the concert but it did felt like a party though. Anyway, the moment we have waited for arrived. It was the fireworks display already. To our surprised it took place just 300 - 500 meters away from us and we were just luckily situated in front. There was extreme elation when the first batch of amazing fireworks jumped from its bunk. There were cheers all over the place and claps. It was a 1o - 15 minute show. I forgot my digital camera but Olga did bring hers so it was capturing the moment time. Well I sent my SMS to the Philippines to my family and friends and I was getting a network busy tone. I did not stop until my messages went through. It was fun and great even if we had to walk far. We got back home after the fireworks display and the flood of people was getting visible.

Compared to the Philippines, the new year in my hometown is celebrated with free as in free street party with charity campaigns and the same thing, a fabulous fireworks display. The neighborhood will have to make a lot of noise like blowing horns and noisy firecrackers (I hate firecrackers). What I am trying to say is, it's more fun to celebrate new year in the Philippines. Anyway there is this cultural differences and I cannot expect more. It's more of finding meaning to what or how it is. I just enjoyed the celebration as much as I could.

We arrived home really tired and our housemates were actually drinking beer and champagne. I had a glass of wine and that was it. By the way, it felt so starving so it was another belly feast. Hehehehe. After some small chit-chat and fun debates about relationships and hearing drunk people having to debate which was really fun, I just felt sleepy. Lots of opinions and lots of things to learn from your housemates. There was even a mini sing-along using youtube live streaming. I felt tired so at around 2AM, I said my prayers and then I went to bed.

That was how my friends and I greeted the new year.