Wandering Juan Travel Blog Contest

My blog, Palawan: A Place Like No Other, was chosen as the Best Travel with A Cause Blog in the recently concluded Wandering Juan Travel Blog Contest given by Cebu Pacific.

Cebu Pacific invited professional and amateur travel bloggers last June to share their insightful writings, travel tips and beautiful visuals to the Wandering Juan Travel Blog Contest in the hope of inspiring readers to join the “go-out, travel and explore” bandwagon. About a hundred or so bloggers participated proving to many that the travel bug has indeed bitten a lot of people. Out of these entries, 3 lucky bloggers took home the major awards and prizes: Mr. Angel Juarez for Adventure and Sports category, Mr. Estan Cabigas for Culture and Heritage category and Mr. Marcos Caratao for Leisure and Relaxation category. I bagged one of the minor awards, Best Travel With a Cause Blog (but the prize is anything but minor, it was major major indeed, so you can just imagine the prizes that winners of the major awards took home) together with Ms. Ada Lajara who won the Best Travel Blog Photography.
In behalf of the winners (I will take the liberty, just like what the others did in their respective blogs*wink*), I would like to thank Wandering Juan Travel Blog Contest team and Cebu Pacific for choosing us as winners. I am looking forward to my second honeymoon and trying out that Green Fun Tours package in one of your top resorts destination in Cebu. More power again, Cebu Pacific! and Kudos to us winners!=)

My Top Ten Emerging Influential Blogs

The Top Ten Emerging Influential Blogs , now on its 4th year, is a writing project spearheaded by Janette Toral that aims to identify new and emerging blogs who are making an impact to its readers this 2010. For a blog to be nominated, it should have started anytime between March 2009 to the present.
I have been orbiting in this blog “universe” both as a blogger and as a follower (of other blogs) for quite sometime already. Recently, I discovered a lot of interesting sites that have created quite a stir based on the numbers of their faithful followers. They are young, fresh and hip and worthy to be called emerging influential blogs. They have made it to my list as well. Here they are:
Reluctant Stylista I enjoy reading her product reviews, fashion and styling tips. I also like her no fuss, no frills kind of writing.
Christian Homeschooler I have always admired parents who bravely took that great leap of homeschooling their children. Motherhood and teaching have a lot of similarities but they usually are incidental to each other, that is why there are a lot to be said about those moms who homeschool their child/ren. I’ve been learning lot from Jen as she chronicles her homeshooling journey with her son.
Gadgets and Tech I am not a techie/gadget person that is why this blog is of great help especially if I want to know the latest products or features of the gadget that I have in mind.
Fat Girl No More Her mantra “saying goodbye to obesity one step at a time” caught my attention as I have been struggling with some weight problem myself for over a year now. I’ve picked a lot of health and fashion tips from her blog that has helped me in my own weightloss/pretiffying project.:)
Feeling Photographer I am a frustrated photographer that is why I truly admire persons who have that eye for photography. The pictures in this blog speak for themselves.
nomnomclub I usually check out this site for some gastronomical feast for the eyes and some honest to goodness food/resto reviews.:)
yesnomeh A good “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” type of blog. A “He says, She says” corner of just about anything and everything under the sun.
Liboreto I love to travel but I don’t have the funds nor the budget to do that often that is why I just make do with reading nice travel blogs such as this one. This blog has that WOW Philippines vibe into it.
When In Manila Another travel blog that I like to read. It has the juciest travel features and tips.
Quirky Old Me This is the other blog that I am starting. It hasn’t gain that much followers nor have I written a lot of entries there yet but just the same, I want to plug it in here because who knows, maybe in a few months time it would gain as much following as this blogsite. Indulge me.:)
This year’s Top Ten Emerging Influential Bloggers 2010 writing project would not be possible without the help of Events and Corporate Video, Budget Hotel in Makati, Pinoy Party Food, Copyediting Services, PR Agency Philippines, Budget Travel Philippines, Send Gifts to the Philippines,Black Friday Deals, Roomrent – units for rent, Search Profile Index, and Corporate Events Organizer.

Eat Pray Love

I love words. Happiness for me is reading a well-written piece such as Eat Pray Love. At the onset, I wanted to write a review of the book but scrap the idea as I was starting this entry. I believe that any review that I will write will not in any way give justice to this book’s being. You have to read it and get totally immerse into it to actually understand the message that this writer wants to come across. To me every tale rings with truth just because it happened to her, as the cliche goes, she’s been there and done that. It is written simply and sincerely as any woman would want her story to be told.
I am still in Book Two (India) and I am lovingly savoring each page and in no way in a hurry to reach the last and final chapter. Elizabeth Gilbert took me for a ride and I am not ready to get off just yet. I am still enjoying the experiences through her words and through her eyes. I have this little black book where I write down lines, passages, and quotes that inspire me or struck a chord inside me. From this book alone, I’ve written quite a lot. That’s what I would like to share here. May you be inspired by them as I am. May it touch your being, the way it has touched mine…
To find the balance you want, this is what you must become. You must keep your feet grounded firmly on the earth that it’s like you have four legs, instead of two. That way, you can stay in the world. But you must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart instead. That way, you will know God.
From the center of my life came a great fountain
Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognize yourself as a friend.
the beauty of doing nothing
the art of making something out of nothing
Let’s cross over
yesterday I might have been a glorious monument to somebody, true enough- but tomorrow I could be a fireworks depository
Even in the Eternal City says the silent Augusteum, one must always be prepared for rioutous and endless waves of transformation
I honor the divinity that resides within me (Om Namah Shivaya)
Our whole business in this life is to restore to health the eye of the heart whereby God may be seen
If you yearn sincerely enough for a Guru, you will find one. The universe will shift, destiny’s molecule will get themselves organized and your path will soon intersect with the path of the master you need.
Take seroiously. Make punctual. Be cool and easy. Remember, everything you do, you do for God. And everything God does, He does for you.
Prayer is the act of talking to God, while meditation is the act of listening to Him.
You are what you think you are. Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts and you are the slaves of your emotions.
There is a reason why they call God a presence-because God is right here, right now. In the present is the only place to find Him, and now is the only time.
At some point you gotta let go and sit still and allow contentment to come to you.
Look for God like a man with his head on fire looks for water.
A true soulmate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. Soul mates, they come into your life to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it.

Prayer is a relationship: half the job is mine. Half the benefit of prayer is in the asking itself, in the offering of a clearly posed and well considered intention.
Destiny is a play between divine grace and willful effort. Half of it you have no control over; half of it is absolutely in your hands, and your actions will show measurable consequences. Man is neither entirely the puppet of Gods, nor is he entirely the captain of his own destiny; he’s a little of both. We gallop through our lives like circus performers balancing on two horses, speeding side by side–one foot is on the horse called “fate”, the other one on the horse called “free will”.
When karma of a relationship is done, only love remains. It’s safe. Let go.
When the past has passed from you at last, let go. Then climb down and begin the rest of your life. With great joy.
God dwells within you as you yourself, exactly the way you are.
You may return here once you have fully come to understand that you are always here.
The hub of calmness–that’s your heart. That’s where God lives within you. So stop looking for answers in the world. Just keep coming back to that center and you’ll always find peace.
Happiness is a consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes you must even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.
God long ago drew a circle in the sand exactly around the spot where you are standing right now.
To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life.
All the pain of a human life is caused by words, as is all the joy. We create words to achieve our experience and those words bring attendant emotions that jerk us around like dogs on a leash. We get seduced by our own mantras.
In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you , forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.

P.S. I am finally done with the book. Thank you for the ride Liz. It was great travelling with you. Now, I better get on with my own journey.:)

32 and Loving It

Today, I turned 32. I believe I am neither young nor old. I am in that comfortable spot called “in between”:) That only means there are still a lot of things that I can get away with (like maybe wearing my comfortable mini skirts?hehe) without getting snickers and jeers from the younger set or the censure of the much older ones. It also means that I still have more chances to follow my dreams and much more opportunities to make the grand plans in my head happen.

This is the first time that I don’t have anything profound to say on my birthday. Usually I become philosophical and all. I guess, there’s really nothing much left to say but “Thank you” to God for never failing to bring a smile of wonder and delight on my face everyday. He always surprises me with abundant blessings wrapped in love, miracles that come in big and small packages, and angels in disguise.
I will be forever grateful to Him for giving me my…
Family. They have given me a sense of purpose. It is because of them that I feel like a superwoman, ready to take on whatever life throws my way. It is for them that I strive to be the best daughter, sister, cousin, wife and mom.
In-laws. They make me experience what it’s like to belong to a big family. They taught me what true family bonding is all about and how families should look after each other.
Girlfriends. They are there whenever, wherever and whatever. They know me well enough to anticipate my next move and the crazy things that are on my mind. I just cannot escape their knowing eyes.:) It is with them that I share some of those great heart-warming, gut-wrenching talks and those crazy belly laughs.:)
Students. They make me feel that I am finally doing something great. I grow ten feet tall everytime I receive letters and drawing that they lovingly scribbled for me. My heart does a small dance everytime they surprise me with their sweet bear hugs.
Colleagues. It is because of them that I know in my heart that I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now. They have taught me how it is to be a true professional without losing that “human touch.”
Parents of my mentees. They have given this wonderful gift called trust. They have wholeheartedly shared their daughters with me and for that, I feel humbled.
Strangers who prove to be Good Samaritans. Their random acts of kindness reminds me to make a conscious effort to see the good in every person that I meet and to spread kindness all around.
These wonderful people I am blessed with, they make my life complete. They beat all the expensive gifts I can ever imagine receiving on this special day. They give my life so much meaning and make my soul so rich with love. At this point I can truly say, I could not ask for anything more.:)

Cats In Manila!

I have always been fascinated with theater. I get the Ohhhs and Ahhhhs whenever I watch a live musical. In fact, when I was a child, I once dreamed of acting in theater, never mind if I don’t know how to dance and can’t even carry a tune.
Last summer, my sister’s friend treated us to a live broadway musical at posh Esplanade in Singapore. We watched Chicago The Musical which was having its limited season run that time. I was in awe and just let the great great show weave its magic on me. It left a great impression that I was singing All The Jazz in my head for like days and kept on replaying scenes from the play.:)

Esplanade Singapore

after the show

And now, here comes a treat too good to pass up. Cats will definitely be here in Manila! Nope, not another one of those furry felines, but CATS Now and Forever, the hit stage musical. It is based on “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” by T.S. Eliot, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. It stars none other than our very own, Ms. Lea Salonga, as Grizabella! I am getting excited just by the mere thought of it. The last time I watched Lea Salonga was when she did the stage musical, Cinderella, a couple of years back. I am pretty sure she will give another superb performance (which is her trademark) once again here in Cats. A good enough reason to watch it.

It will have its run starting July 24 for a strictly limited season at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, CCP. Tickets are priced as follows: Matinee- Sat 3pm and Sun. 2:30 pm. (Php 7,000, 5,000, 3,500, 2000 and 1000), Evenings– TWTh 8 pm (6,000, 4,500, 3,000, 1,500, 750) and Friday and Sat. 8 pm (7,000, 5,000, 3,500, 2,000, 1000).
So let’s go buy our tickets now, this great treat only happens once in a blue moon, let’s allow ourselves to be dazzled. For more of Cats in Manila, log on to their facebook page Cats In Manila.

My Path to Change

For quite sometime, I had been under the illusion that I still possess that skinny body I used to have when I walked down the isle with my husband 9 years ago. I remember that everytime the mirror screams fatness at me, I turned a blind eye on that image. When people would say, you’ve gained, I listened with deaf ears. When my close friends (who I know just mean well) warn me of my constant ballooning, I dismissed them as just mere criticism on my persona. Sure I go through bouts of depression everytime I won’t fit into that nice blouse and cool jeans, but that is how far it went. I never did anything. I still enjoyed my meal like there’s no tomorrow, with second and third helping at that. I would still guiltlessly eat junk food with iced cold softdrinks like they were the next best thing that happened to me. And I would still have second helpings of dessert with a lame excuse, I deserve some treat (like every meal?). In short, I was stuck in that negative pattern, until my health caught up with me.
Looking back, I realized that God never failed to drop little hints my way. Red warning signals like having an unstable blood pressure at this young age of 31, vertigo that suddenly developed out of nowhere, back pains due to scoliosis that would come frequently, or tummy ache that occur most often and refused to go away. Tell tale signs that I am abusing my body that I would choose to ignore. Until the day I received my ultrasound which showed too much fat and a simple cyst forming in one of my organs. Succeeding ultrasounds confirmed the cyst growing in centimeters and then later on developing into a solid mass. To say I was shaken was to put it mildly. Being sick at this ripe age of 31, when there’s still so much great possibilities in store for me , is something I don’t want to happen and so I took a tentative step towards change.
My eating habits and lifestyle underwent a total make over. I added fruits and vegetables in my must eats, started reading up stuffs that would help me get back in shape and began an afternoon ritual of one-hour walk everyday on top of the daily exercises that I had to do for my scoliosis. It wasn’t easy, for the most part, it was frustrating. There were times when I was just about ready to give up. There came a point when I became weak and gave in to my cravings of unhealthy food. There were moments when I would question the whole point of all that I set myself to do. There were also those instances when I get discouraged hearing all the sarcastic comments coming from friends, questioning the sincerity of my actions. It didn’t help that the medical results initially showed minimal and almost no improvement at all too. I guess what got me through is that deep down inside I know I had to do this, because I owe it to myself. It took me many misses and turns before I was finally on the right track, but I am glad I forced and willed myself to do it.
I started out as wanting to shed some of my unhealthy fats but then now, I feel like I’m going to end up with more than just a healthy body. For by trying my shot at change, I discovered a lot of things about myself that I never would have thought I am capable of. I learned to practice patience, of putting on much effort and time before expecting or reaping the results. I learned to have more self-control, of saying no to things that would give me great satisfaction in an instant but then probably a whole lifetime of regrets after. I learned to sacrifice, of letting go of things that I badly want in order for me to attain the things I truly need. I learned to embrace acceptance, of acknowledging the fact that there are things in me that need to change if I want to become a better version of me. And I learned to take responsibility, of owning up to my past actions that placed me in this difficult situation and actually doing something about it.
I am still halfway in my journey towards change. I still have a long way to go. I am still far from the healthy me that I set myself to be. But I know I am getting there in no time. If there’s one thing I realized, it is that change, you have to give it time. It is not something you can have in an instant. It is a long process because it doesn’t just happen on its own, you have to make it happen with all your heart, with all you’ve got. Everyday you have to fight for it and struggle for it to reach your goal. And change is something you do not do alone, you need all the help you can get. My family and close friends for one thing are always there behind me, cheering me on and accompanying me in this journey towards change. And I believe that God is ever present even from the start to give me little miracles everyday to motivate me even more. Recently I underwent a CT scan, to confirm the nature of the mass in my internal organ. To my and the doctor’s surprise the CT scan read no mass or cyst at all. So many theories and speculations but to me it is just pure divine intervention. You see, God has laid the path before me, all I need to do is follow. The path to change might look endless at this point but I am willing go the extra mile just to be the HEALTHY ME that God, my family and most importantly myself would be proud to see become eventually.

All The Best To You Mr. President!

June 30, 2010 marked yet again another milestone in our history. That of officially putting into office Mr. Noynoy Aquino, son of the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino and late Pres. Corazon Aquino. Thanks to the first ever automated election held last May 10 that made it almost impossible for cheating to occur, we now have a President truly mandated by the people to assume the highest position in the country.
Let me start of by saying that I did not vote for Noynoy, I went Gibo all the way. The main reason was Noynoy’s “portfolio” did not impress me at all. To me, he doesn’t seem to possess that impressive political track record that I was hoping our next president will have. But then, when the smoke cleared and everything settled down, I came to the realization that in the true fight for presidency, it doesn’t really matter how thin or thick your portfolio is. What truly matters is that big amount of trust you were able to gain from the people, for the rise to presidency is dictated by faith and fate. Noynoy Aquino for that alone rightfully deserves the presidency. I believe that what Noynoy lacks in competence, he more than makes up in character. Competence he can easily acquire with the help of sound political advisers, well meaning friends, supportive family members and a whole wealth of personal and professional experiences that would surely come his way in due time. Character, on the other hand, is something that he already has within himself. A product of virtues and values that he was able to gain over time through his natural inclination towards common good and his deep sense of what is right. Competence will make a very good president but Character I believe will make a very good leader. If we are to determine where he stands right now, he is neither way ahead of us like Pres. Arroyo nor way behind us like Pres. Estrada. He is at the moment, right beside us, clearly in our level, ready to march on with us towards change and progress.
To you P. NOY (as you wish to be called), though I did not personally vote for you, I still wish you nothing but the best. May you possess the courage to go against the tides if need be, like your father, who moved head on and fought for what was right even if the odds proved to be very little on his side. May you always be guided by your faith like your mother, who did as much work as she could with deep fervor in the presence of God. Like her, may you bow down and worship no one but God. May you aspire not to be the greatest president the Philippines has ever seen but instead the greatest leader the Philippines will ever have. May you also LEAD instead of rule, and lead not according to the laws that govern our society, for even that can bend and weaken in the hands of mishandled power, but according to your principles and beliefs that are clearly anchored on church’s teachings. As you lead, use not an iron hand but instead the gentle but firm hand of a true gentleman. May you always always carry with you these three things (which the previous presidents seemed to lack) as you move this nation towards greatness— true Compassion, Concern and Conscience. Make us proud Mr. President, you have the whole trust of the Filipino people behind you. In the end, may you give the whole nation that sense of pride in knowing that they made the right choice in choosing you.
To my fellow Filipino, let’s start working on that change now. It is now or never. P-Noy may have won the presidency but we are still the ones who will call the shots in our lives. The future is way too big for Pres. Noynoy’s hands alone.

Chinatown (Singapore)

Since my recent trip to Singapore was already my second time, you could say that I was not as much scared to venture out on my own as compared to the first time I had been there. I was able to figure out how to ride the bus and the MRT on my second day which surprisingly was quite easy as long as you read and follow the maps available in the stations. I happily explored Singapore while my sister was slaving it out in her office. The one place that I frequented to when I was there was Chinatown. I simply love the place. For one thing, they sell so many interesting pieces at a bargain (and I am a sucker when it comes to shopping)–Jades, Chinese bags, fans and wallets, pashmina, shirts, quirky chinese amulets, I mean they are all over Chinatown. This is, to me, the best place where you can buy stuffs to bring home. You can get great finds for like 3 for 10 dollars and sometimes 4 for ten dollars.

I love Chinatown

one of the best places indeed

one of the shops


busy street

In one of my outings to Chinatown, I chanced upon the Sri Mariamman Temple, a beautiful Indian temple. I got curious and went inside since it is open to tourist. As soon as you enter the gates though, you have to take off your shoes and walk barefoot since you are standing in what they considered as holy ground. If you want to bring your camera with you and take some pictures, they also charge a minimal fee of 2 dollars. I was mesmerized by the beautiful hand painted ceilings and big statues of their Gods.
at the entance

handpainted ceiling

work of art

looks like a tombstone

main door of the temple

worship area

Indian Gods

On the other side of Chinatown stood the Buddah Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, a buddhist temple. I specifically looked for this place because they said it is beautiful. True enough, it left me awestruck. You do not have to take off your shoes here but you have to be careful not ot disturb the ones worshipping. The security team is also very strict with the distances so you always have to respect the line. You cannot go past it or else they will get upset, after all it is their place of worship. When I went there, there was a worship going on so I had to wait for it to finish so I can see up close the giant buddhas made in (sigh!) gold. I made sure I did not miss anything, there is just so much to see. In one of the floors, there is this Sacred Buddha Tooth Relic made in stuppa and pure gold. You can go inside the room but you cannot take pictures so I just stayed long enough for me remember how it looked like since I cannot capture it in film. This Buddhist temple is truly, truly beautiful. I was lost in this place for hours just drinking in the sights.
Buddhist temple

Universal Wisdom Hall (with the giant buddhas)

Pagoda of A Thousand Buddhas

Prayer wheel

just a small portion of the thousand Buddhas (mini ones)

lots of Buddahs around

My Zodiac Sign God

Buddhists in worship

Worship Hall

Posing with one of the Wisdom Buddah

last shot before stepping outside

looks majestic from outside

This is one of the things that I love about Singapore, the abundant culture clearly present there. It is very rich and diverse. Whether you’re a foreigner living there or just a transient visitor, the place, it just grows on you.:)

My Love Affair with Rubi Shoes

I found the ultimate flat shoes paradise in Singapore. There is this funky shop, Rubi, that sells comfortable, durable and stylish flat shoes at a bargain. Think ultra chic flat shoes that come in many fabulous colors for 2 for $25 or a pair for $10 or $15 dollars.

I love flats!!!

I felt like I’ve died and gone to heaven while shoe shopping there. Rubi shoes are also available at this (sigh!) fab shop called Cotton On, both stores are all over SG. You definitely won’t miss it because if you are a certified flat shoes addict like me, you will just know that it is THE SHOP just by looking at the displays.
with my goodies!

That distinct heartbeat when you pick up a pair is something hard to miss. And that sudden rush of excitement that flows through your body which signals you to BUY is something that is hard to resist. In no time at all you will find yourself walking away with a pair (or two) and a big big smile pasted on your face.
My little, as in, very small collection of Rubi flats.
my flats

Looking forward to my future additions (sponsored by sister dear).:)
CLICK HERE for my latest blog update on Rubi Shoes.:)

Universal Studios Singapore

I am way behind my blogs I know. It is already June but I am still stuck in Summer. After my last trip, everything just went crazy. Summer saw me, like I said, in one of my favorite city, Singapore. My second time in this Tiger City actually. For me, the 10 days I spent there were not enough for everything I wanted to see. I guess I’ll never get tired of going there. l was amazed by the many changes that happened since the last time I’ve been in that place which was just a little over a year ago. In the area of Mustafa for example, what was once been a busy Indian street full of restaurants and stores is now the Metro mall which is said to be the first eco mall in Asia. The vast area of contructions along harbor front, which we saw while we were riding the cable car going to Sentosa last year, now boast of Resorts World and Universal Studios. So many developments in a span of one year!

Metro Mall

Universal Studios ahead

Resorts World

The main objective of my Singapore trip really was (well, aside from visiting my sister) to experience Universal Studios, and experience it we did, my sister and I. We arrived at Universal Studios at exactly 10 am, just in time for the opening because we didn’t book ahead. They sell only limited tickets to walk ins so you have to be there early or else they will close out the booth on you. Normally, you have to reserve tickets via the internet. Universal Studios is fun, fun, fun! This particular blog is solely devoted to my Universal Studios experience. The rest of the places I went to in Singapore have to wait.=)
Universal Studios Singapore has six fun filled areas.

the famous Universal Studios logo

We were welcomed by none other than Mr. Woody Woodpecker himself.

In the Lost World, there’s the Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure (a river raft ride), Canopy Flyer, Dino-Soarin’ and Amber Rock Climb. This is where you can watch also the Waterworld, a live water show of death defying stunts and explosions. You will be entertained at the start by some of the actors who would reenact a scene from the movie itself. If you don’t want to get really wet I suggest you stay on the top or at the rear side of the ampitheater.:)
In front of Jurassic Park


In Madagascar, you can try the Crate Adventure (another river raft ride) and King Juliene’s Beach Party Go Round (in short carousel). The cast of Madagascar usually go out every hour to do some meet and greet and to do some nasty moves on the dance floor which is quite amusing, so don’t miss out on that if yu’re there. Get ready with your cameras also because the lines can get really long.
the penguins!
In Ancient Egypt, there’s the Revenge of the Mummy (a roller coaster ride) and Treasure Hunters for children. There are also tall towering Egyptian replicas scattered along this area which are great for picture taking.
Big Egyptian Replicas

Another Egyptian replicas

Far, Far Away which is my favorite place at Universal Studios, has Shrek 4D Adventure, a must see show for the kids and kids at heart. I totally loved it. It is better than The Pirates 4D Magix at Sentosa Themepark. Donkey Live, another hilarious live interactive show is also a must see. The rides here include Enchanted Airways, another roller coaster and Magic Potion Spin, a mini ferris wheel for kids. We ate at a restaurant in this area, Goldilocks, which serves the yummiest mashed potatoes and fried chicken. They also have other restos such as Friar’s and Fairy Godmother’s Juice Bar with relatively low prices as compared to the others inside Universal. Princess Fiona and Shrek also come out of their tree house to pose with tourists every hour, too bad we weren’t able to catch them.
Shrek's house

Kingdom Far Far Away

outside Goldilock's restaurant
Hollywood area is a nice place for taking pictures with its striking facade. Don’t forget to watch Monster Rock at Pantages Hollywood Theater if you happen to be there because it is an awesome show. They also stage the Kowabunga Kove singing sensation along Hollywood every hour.

Performance to the highest level
New York City has the Lights, Camera, Action by Steven Spielberg, a special effects and sound stage show. It is something worth seeing. It is like being right there on the set of the filming of a major hurricane about to hit New York, it left me dazed. This part also has many picturesque areas where you can take some nice shots. Celebrities like Manilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplain come out ready to pose with guests. The Rockafellas perform some street dancing live also in the streets of New York. A saxophonist can also be seen in the afternoon serenading visitors. It really has that distinct New Yorky feeling.
New York!

Steven Spielberg Studio behind me

Sci Fi City is not open yet when we went there, but there were already aliens going around, ready to greet guests.:)
Aliens at Sci Fi City
Of course, Universal Studios will not be complete without the shopping experience. I particularly liked the Universal Studios Store with its themed collectibles, toys and other apparel. The Brown Derby has some really fun products (think Betty Boop) that you’ll find hard to resist and Fairy God Mother’s Potion Shop has so much cute fantasy merchandise all from the world of Shrek. There is also the Penguins Mercantile that sells silly keepsakes inspired by the Madagascar characters. You can also load up some Hershey’s chocolates at the Hershey’s Store where they come in not just small but big packaging as well.
Universal Studios Store

Hershey's Chocolate Store

trying on hats at The Brown Derby

Penguins Mercantile

We went there for a day and we still missed out on a lot. Although the land area is small and can be toured in half a day, there’s just so much to see and explore. It really is a feast for the eyes. I truly enjoyed my whole Universal Studios experience and I am looking forward to going back there again next year with my little girl.
RATES: When we went there, the rates were 72 dollars for weekends and 62 dollars for weekdays. You will get a 10 dollar meal voucher (meals in restaurants ranges from 14-20 dollars) and 4 dollars shopping voucher. Not bad, not bad at all.
TIPS: Come early if you did not do internet reservations, they only have limited tickets for walk ins. Buy softdrinks instead of the water inside because they only sell Evian which is a bit expensive compared to the softdrinks, you will definitely get thirsty as you go around. Bring extra shirts with you because it can get really hot and humid in Singapore plus you will get wet when you go try the rides. Bring an extra battery for your camera because you will get crazy at the nice places there where you can pose and take pictures. Check out the schedule of shows first before you go around so you will know where and when they’ll be so you won’t miss out on them. Lastly, be nice to the other tourists and graciously accept their request for you to take their pictures. There are a lot of Pinoys working there, it wouldn’t help them at all if a fellow Pinoy becomes haughty in their dealings with other tourists.
Although Universal Studios is small compared to the ones in the States, every minute and every penny you will spend there are worth it because well, the rare chance of being a kid once again in this little place called Universal Studios is to me, just plain priceless.:)