Chalk Marks

Sometimes I get tired of teaching. As much as I love my job, there are times when I just wish I was back at my old office desk pacifying an irate client, negotiating a sale or poring over sales reports. There are also times when I long for the freedom of time I had when I was doing field work.
I call this my low teaching moments. This feeling just sneaks up on me like a thief in the night, usually after a particularly difficult day or sometimes just out of nowhere. God is good though or should I say cunning, for He knows just when to send his angels in disguise my way to subtly disperse the feeling away. Usually it’s a pack of kids laughing at my silly jokes, a thoughtful little note from a student left conspicuously at my desk, or a serious dressing down from my well, “so-called” friends…the storm of angels surely come…until the feeling is gone.

Right now, I am staring at the face of another school year, feeling that same feeling slowly creeping in once again and wondering when the comforting storm from heaven will come…

Universal Studios Singapore (A Repeat)

Yes, I had my part II of Universal Studios two weeks ago when we went there (CLICK here to see my previous post on Universal Studios). Nothing changed much, except that Sci Fi City and Jurassic are now fully operational. We went there last year when it was on its soft opening, so we were able to enjoy the $7 food voucher and $4 shopping voucher that comes with the ticket. I came with my family this time and we did the rounds of the shows such as Shrek 4D, Monster Rock and Underwater World, the programs are still very much the same, which is short of saying amazing. Last year, my sister and I missed Donkey Live, so I was quite excited when we lined up for this one. Unfortunately though it didn’t meet much my expectation. I was all looking forward to a stand up commedian playing donkey and was not up to an animated donkey talking on a wide screen. So this one is a bit of a disappointment. I brought my family to watch Steven Spielberg’s Special Effects and got spellbound once again. Eventhough I’ve seen this already last year, it still left me feeling WOW, definitely a must-see I will say.
Here are some pictures taken at some of my favorite picture-perfecty corners of Universal Studios and some with the “celebrities” that I missed having pictures with last year.

with the family

another one with the fam


steven spielberg's studio

the ever beautiful Marilyn Monroe. hihihi

with Princess Fiona and Shrek

the Rockafellas (aka Streetboys) bantering with the crowd

one of the perfromers in Holyywood strip

We ate again at Goldilocks since I had some gastronomic good time there last year. The fried chicken still tastes as great but the mashed potato wasn’t as good as last year’s. I suggest that you buy the tumblers that they sell for $16 so you can avail of the unlimited refill for only $2 at any drinks stall for great savings. You will definitely crave for some drinks as Singapore can get really hot especially around noontime. The Jurassic hall, which is like a food court, is now open so there are more budget friendly meals there now that you can choose from.
at Goldilock's, we had to stay outside since it was a full house that day

the Jurassic tubler that we got which served as pass for $2 refill drinks and souvenir.

I had a super great time with my family there. My daughter, her friend, and my husband, who are fearless when it comes to rides, rode all the roller coasters and they had nothing but raves and praises about them. I conquered my fear and rode one roller coaster because my sister said it was an easy ride, The Revenge of the Mummy. Let me tell you, it was no easy ride but from the looks of it, it is one of the best one so far in Universal Studios. I was scared shitless but no regrets, it was FUN!!! We were lining up at the entrance promptly at nine am and we left just when the last ember of the fireworks died. We stayed there for 12 straight hours, would you believe, that’s how fun it is to be there.
morning shot

night shot

and here are some of my favorite chocolatey fun shots.:)





I say, what made it twice the fun this year is that I was with my whole family this time, there’s nothing like a good family bonding where you are at Universal Studios.:)

Singapore's Signature Dishes

While some would claim that chicken rice is Singapore’s signature dish. For me, it’s actually this super tasty chicken barbeque. I had tons of this while I was there and man, this little charmers are delicious.

barbequed chicken wings

I also gobbled quite a number of times this spin off of our very own fresh lumpiang ubod. In Singapore, they call these Popia. It has a sweet and tangy taste, with a kick of spice.
popia

My husband, on the other hand, went gaga over Tom Yam Kung shrimp soup which is originally a Thai delicacy. It is a magical mixture of mushrooms, red chillies, lemongrass, scallion, cilantro and kaffir lime leaves, as well as the famous nam pla fish sauce. The end result–a sweat inducing, mouth watering bomb of a soup.
Tom Yam Kung Shrimp Soup

These foodies can be easily found in Food Republic, a food court which has to me a complete list of food representations from all over the world. They have branches in almost all major malls in Singapore. The food prices here are reasonable too, just perfect for tourist working on a budget.
my mom and I at Food Republic in Vivo City

fresh produce from Food Republic

Another foodie place that we always frequented when we were there was Makasuntra Glutton’s Bay, near City Hall, right beside the Esplanade Bay Theatres. It is one of the most popular hawker (read: street food) centers in Singapore. It is like a food tiangge which serves a wide variety of dishes both comfort food and exotic ones. You need not worry about cleanliness and sanitation, the food is totally germ free and well-handled, I guarantee you. The food prices are easy on the pocket too, you wouldn’t think twice in ordering one or two sets of viands. I suggest you try the satays, the sting ray, and the barbecued chicken wings, they sure were quite a hit there.
busy at around 7-8 pm

one of the best sellers here is the curied sting ray

I love desserts. Singapore has some of the most yummy ones, they compliment my palate as I don’t really like overly sweet ones. Here are some of my recent favorite sugar picks:
Both are utterly yummy, but the best one is the ice cream cake on top from Han's cakeshop. Heaven!=)

chewy cheese cream puffs from Chewy Junior. They come in many different flavors

my friends are actually waiting in the wings ready to grab one while I was taking a picture of these yummy treats from J. Co.

During this 10 day trip alone, I gained 3 kilos. I love to eat and being in Singapore didn’t help me much in the diet area. While I was there, I had this weirded notion that with so much walking I had to do, I had to take in as much yummy food that I can too. Singapore I must say is truly a Glutton’s paradise, ask any OFW or PR there, and they would surely agree.
Meanwhile, I need to get down to this serious business of exercising these food weight off as I will be going back to work in a couple of weeks, it would be such a heartbreak if i don’t fit into my uniformed pants anymore. (sigh! jitters!)

Rubi Shoes is Love

Another highlight of my recent trip to Singapore is of course visiting Cotton On and Rubi shops for their cute flats. The price didn’t change much from last year (CLICK HERE for my previous Rubi Shoes blog). They are still selling them for 2 for $25 or $30. Although there are some styles that goes for $14.95 now like the cute flower printed espadrilles. I noticed quite a number of items for sale though like the yellow and red ones that I bought for my friends compared to last year when there’s hardly any. Anyway, here are picture updates of these cute flats that we are so crazy about. They now come in cute, “yummy” colors too. (pardon the poor resolution, I was sneaking photos and was just using my iphone here).

new additions--cutie espadrilles *big smile*

I love the cute feminine colors they have now

got this for myself

grabbed these from the 50% Off Rack

Rubi shoes is definitely LoVe, lOvE, LOVE!=)
P.S. Heard from a friend that they are selling Rubi flats in Hong Kong for $9 a pair and in Australia for a measly $5. I wonder if it is true. Hmmmm.:)

Marina Bay Sands

Last summer, I went to Singapore primarily to experience Universal Studios. This summer, I was there for the Marina Bay Sands. Towering over the Marina Bay Area and eclipsing the Statue of the Merlion (which by the way is now roofed inside the Merlion Hotel), Marina Bay Sands is considered as one of the world’s most iconic buildings.
For SGD$20 each, my husband and I were whisked off to the Sands Skypark located at the 56th floor, which I must say has the most stunning view of Singapore. Well actually, only half of this is open for public viewing, the viewing deck facing the flyer and the esplanade, as well as the landscaped gardens where you’ll get a first hand glimpse of the world’s largest elevated outdoor infinity pool (and some bikini bodies too.haha). Add for some little pocket corners perfect for picture taking and save for some cool wind and refreshing view, I would say not bad, not bad at all. I must admit though that for a tiny second there I felt like shouting “so this is it?!” but shook off the feeling after reminding myself that I wasn’t a check-in guest therefore I have no right to demand more. haha. Anyway, here are some pictures that are worth SGD$20 bucks. I am warning you, no glitzy and glamorous photos, you have to check-in first before you’ll be entitled to that.:)
I suggest that you forego the bus/taxi ride and walk along this famous Helix bridge.

Helix bridge is the spiral one to the left

hubby and the Helix bridge

stopping along the bridge for some photo op. The lotus shaped structure at my back is the ArtsScience Center, another architectul marvel.

view deck area
going down to buy the tickets

hubby na lang, I was scared to go near

fantastic view


and our access stops here

one of the benches along the infinity pool

the world’s largest outdoor infinity pool
the much celebrated infinity pool at my back



pocket corners


Marina Bay Sands at night
from the Esplanade

from the Merlion Walk

If you are a tourist and wants to go there, here’s how: From the Promenade station, walk along Temasek Ave. until you see the Helix Bridge (you’ll have to cross two spotlights), follow that path then go inside The Shoppes. There’s a link inside the mall that would lead you to the lobby of Marina Bay Sands, in the lobby, there’s a lot of porters around, just simply ask to be guided to the ticketing area.:)

Subic, Zambales

I remembered my trip to Subic about five years ago with my friends. I was a backseat passenger at that time so I did not get to enjoy the ride that much. On the way home from White Rock Beach Resort, we stopped by Samson Road to grab some lunch. Back then, Subic was a favorite weekend getaway and was sort of glitzy, it was like being some place else. Last weekend, we drove up north to visit Subic again, this time around I was with my family. Since I had the best seat, that is the passenger seat up front, I became the designated navigator cum tourista during most part of the ride. I was surprised at how fast the drive up north is now via SCTEX. During the whole 1.5 hours that we had to travel along SCTEX, I was wide awake because I was entertained by the fantastic view. We were literally cruisin’.

SCTEX

I like how Subic has maintained it’s peace and order after the Americans left. Security and checkpoints are still very much in place as well as the honest to goodness traffic enforcers and cops.
Waterfront Road

I love love the beach, so the sight of Subic’s sand and sea last weekend excited me to no end. It was quite refreshing seeing and being in the beach again after 10 months of slavework.;)The beach was, what can I say, picture perfecty.:)
Lighthouse Marina

sand and sea (yipee)

sand, sea and love
In a nutshell, Subic is still as beautiful and clean as ever, but then it looks lonely to me now. It has lost it’s old world charm. Even the duty free shops from the outside looked abandoned. Gone are the cheerful Americans talking animatedly, the cheery signs along shop windows, and the upbeat character of the place. It has a melancholic feel somehow. Even the night life seems to be put on. But then, there’s hope for a great comeback for Subic, what with the many things it has to offer such as Zoobic Safari and Ocean Adventures. I am sure eventually business will pick up. I am crossing my fingers for Subic:)

Ocean Adventure

Last weekend, my family and I made a roadtrip to Subic for a much needed R & R. We left Manila early to avoid the heavy traffic in EDSA so we arrive just before 10 am in Subic. Since I am not a good navigator and bad with maps, we took a wrong turn, so we decided to just go ahead and follow the road that points to Ocean Adventure. We thought, what the heck, we’re there already, might as well check out what Subic has to offer. I’ve always wanted to see the dolphins anyway. We arrived at Ocean Adventure just in time for the first show which is set at 11:00. We went right ahead to Eco Theatre for the Walk in the Wild Show. It is basically a show that teaches some basic forest survival skills and sort of a show and tell of some of their trained animals:



This show is okay except that it is very much like the animal show in Night Safari, Singapore. Even the gimmickery like the snake gone lost and was found under one of the chairs is the same. For me it is sorely lacking in originality. I will give this a 3/5.
After this, we proceeded to the Seaside Theatre for The Adventures of Olangapo Jones Show. This is one is about the story of Olangapo Jones who are out hunting the Basura boys (who did some mean tricks using the trampoline), with the help of his two dolphin friends.



This show is for the kids. I have to hand it to the Basura Boys, they really left the audience spellbound with their trampoline skills. The guy playing Olongapo Jones though appears to lack the energy and seemed to be too tired from the heat. He looks like he’s just going through the motions and needed some boost up. Overall this is a 4/5.
The next show in El Caritan Theatre is something that I was really looking forward to, The Dolphin Friends Show.

dolphins showing that they can indeed walk on water

playing dolphins
giving his trainer the ride of his life

giving his trainer a big boost so he can fly

there goes my dolphins

The dolphin trainers truly love their job, it shows in the way they handle the dolphins and speak about the dolphins. And what can I say, the dolphins are simply adorable. I never took my eyes off them lest I miss some of their smart moves and tricks. This show is definitely a 5/5.
Overall, Ocean Adventure is worth the drive. My family and I enjoyed it very much, and the view of the bay down there is simply amazing too.:)

Chicken Lollipops: My Ultimate Comfort Food

I love food, that is why all restrictive diet won’t work with me. If there’s one major heartbreak that I would ever face in life, it’s probably spending a whole day without food. It didn’t help that my mom is such a great cook, I mean she can make plain corned beef tastes so great. So you can just imagine how this Kare-kare tastes like–heaven–I tell you.

obviously, I am too excited to eat this coz I didn't even bother to put this in a fancy bowl for picture perfecty effect. haha

My husband, a year ago, after a serious bout of professional crisis, decided to take a crash course in culinary. Eversince then, he has been whipping up delicious feast under the tutelage of, of course, my mom. haha. My tummy and I are not complaining. My current favorite is my husband’s chicken lollies. These little taste bud charmers paired with white rice is perfect for lunch baon. We have been getting increasing number of orders of this tummy buddies eversince we shared some away. These little charmers have made their way into our neighbors’ and friends buffet tables during parties. My husband has obviously perfected the art of cooking chicken lollies. You would notice, as you bite and sink your teeth on them that they have just the right amount of tenderness and crunchiness. 🙂
I absolutely can't resist a piece or two of this chicken lollies. 🙂

If you want your taste buds, like mine, to be seduced by this little charmers, just let me know, we’re accepting orders.;)

Bitchy Story

Here’s something to cheer me up and hopefully you guys too. Her name is Bubbles, and she came into our life just when I swore I didn’t want to have anything to do with dogs. But then she arrived at our doorstep, tiny and cute. Slowly my stone heart melted and I gave in to this wonderful feeling of having a small puppy around.

She's so tiny

my daughter, proud owner of this small thingamajig.:)

can't let go of her bones.:)

trying to look cute. haha!=)

She is 8 months old now, a little bigger but still quite a handful. We tried to train her with a few tricks but somehow all commands fall flat on her, so we just let her be the makulit doggie that she is. I never planned on having a show dog anyway, just a dog that would welcome my family with happy yelps and jumps of joy when we reach home.:)