Saturday, December 30, 2006

Thoughts To Live By (not only for 2007)

This holiday season, I'd like to share to you an article I got from Ricky Lo's column in The Philippine Star. I've added some of my thoughts in it (in blue italics) and I hope you guys will find this article as insightful as I found it to be.



‘Yield’ and other thoughts for Christmas
FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo
Publication Date: [Monday, December 25, 2006]
Philippine Star

Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

We often hear people say that, don’t we?

Like Michael Jackson’s enduring message – to paraphrase, give love not only on Christmas Day – that line rings with more resonance and more meaning when you ponder on it on a blessed day like this...when we greet one and all, friends and foes alike, a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Today, I’m giving my space to my friend (and loyal Funfare reader) Robin Tong, an incurable bookworm who includes "Yield" (in the banner) and the opener quotation in his list of 50 Thoughts For Christmas.

Here’s the complete list:

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

*Ditto! That's why I'm making it a pact to try and be more understanding of others who seems like are always in the warpath.

4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

*I've only had my VERY OWN credit card for a few months now, but even before I got it, I made a promise to myself to spend only what I can and to pay every month's bill COMPLETELY (and NOT just paying the minimum amount required)

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

* I am saving, alright. But not exactly for "retirement"...would saving for a house...or condo unit...or for a small business be equivalent to "retirement"?Ü

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

*HAHAHA! Guilty as charged!

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

*I have done this...I think (or at least I'd like to think so)...Ü

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life with others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

*Gotta start doing this...

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

*Hay...I should've realized this 6 years ago...Ü

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

*Ditto! I vow to do this this year and for the years to come...which means no more long speeches (from yours truly) about not having a ____...and why i'm still ____. I promise you guys, this will be the end of it.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take "no" for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

*Exactly my thoughts...

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

*Yes, it is!

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"

*One of the greatest words of wisdom ever.

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

*Hard to do but I will try.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

*I will surely keep this in mind.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your family will.

*So...does this mean I gotta use my VLs? HEHE!Ü

33. Believe in miracles.

*I do.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative! – dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

41. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

48. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

*It surely is, even if sometimes, you feel like it's not.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Check this out! From! I actually got this from Ethel's profile page (HEHE!Ü Thanks Ethel!).

Cute diba? Ü Just wanna share it to you guys! They actually have a lot more photo flicks (that's what they call it) to choose from. Just check out their site. You'll have to register first, though (for free). Enjoy the holidays, everyone!


Friday, December 08, 2006

That Christmas Feeling


It ushers in the cold weather (although I can barely feel it), shorter days...and longer nights. It brings in the endless EDSA traffic...long queues at the mall...super-crowded-everywhere...aching minds as to what to give "who" and what will "who" like...and of course, that nerve-wracking budgeting that has to take place in order to be able to give everyone something and hoping that you did not miss out anyone. But despite all the craziness that comes with December is this warm feeling inside that just makes you feel like you're home. It's weird...I can't even describe it with words...I just know that December brings in a lot of happy feelings for my family and I. It's the time that we get together and see each other...make kulitan...videoke-singing-sessions 'til our voices are hoarse...just a lot of those little fun stuff that we do each year that makes every Christmas special. It's a perfect ending to a great year actually. That's why I can't wait to celebrate Christmas with the family this year...because I know that even for just a few hours, I get to de-stress and simply BE HAPPY.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Grey's Anatomy Anonymous


I am like a firefly to a flame who just couldn't stop thinking about the next episode of Grey's Anatomy and what will happen to the oh-so-complicated lovelife of Meredith Grey (well, at least SHE HAS A LOVELIFE!). To tell you the truth, I'm actually more addicted to Grey's Anatomy than Prison Break. And to think Wentworth Miller's soooooo HOT! With Prison Break, I haven't watched a single Season 2 episode coz I'm waiting for the complete Season 2 DVD to be available so that I won't have to wait weekly for another episode to be shown. But with Grey's Anatomy...well, let's just say I couldn't wait for the Season 3 DVD to be available so now i'm actually downloading the episodes as they are shown in the US (once they're availabe to be downloaded of course...Ü).

I admit: I'm an addict. A Grey's Anatomy addict. Someone should enter me into the Grey's-Anatomy-Anonymous rehab program. GAA for short. HAHA! So how do you know you're addicted? For starters, you have The Fray's How To Save A Life in continuous replay on your CD Player. Another thing is you watch Seasons 1 and 2 over and over again! really is HARD to be addicted! So don't start watching Grey's Anatomy unless you want to be addicted like me! HAHA!

So...what does Grey's Anatomy have that other shows don't? Well, I actually DON'T KNOW! I'm addicted and I don't know why! So let me just give you a run down of what the plot of Grey's Anatomy is and maybe someone can tell my the reason why I'm so addicted to this show!

The setting for Grey's Anatomy is Seattle. Seattle Grace Hospital (SGH) to be specific. Of course we oftentimes get to visit Meredith Grey's apartment and Derek Shepherd's trailer among others. Oh, by the way, Meredith Grey is the star of the show. Hence the title: Grey's Anatomy. Which is actually a monicker for the popular medical textbook, Gray's Anatomy (the full title of which is Harry Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body). So you get it? A medical textbook by Harry Gray and a medical-related TV show starring Meredith Grey. So that's where they got the title of the show (at least I think that's how they got it).

The story is about Meredith Grey and her fellow interns at SGH, and how they struggle to cope with life as a first-year intern. Add this to the fact that sleeping with your boss is a recurring theme of the show. Meredith and Derek. Cristina and Preston. George and Callie. Wow! They surely know how to make life complicated. Not that being an intern and working 100-hours a week isn't complicated enough. Oh well...I guess getting to meet different patients everday is more than enough to keep these interns going. And as a viewer, I am actually looking forward to what kind of neurotic-psychotic patient these interns we'll meet each episode.

Anyway, I have one last thing to say: McDreamy. Any GAA addict would know what I'm talking about. McDreamy IS Derek Shepherd...the neurosurgeon of SGH whom Meredith is in love with. Where the hell did "McDreamy" come from and how the hell did the writers of the show come up with this, I don't know. What I can say is, it has a nice sound to it...don't you think? From McDreamy spawned a number of other "Mc" names like McSteamy, McVet, McSexy, McHottie, McBitch...etcetera, etcetera. Who knows what other "Mc" names the writers of the show will come up with. We already have a lot of "Mc's" and we're only in the 3rd season of the show. So for now, i'm just gonna mcstop saying all these mcthings and just mcshut the hell up.Ü

I think i've said enough. I'm just gonna end it here coz i'm sure there are a gazillion sites out there about Grey's Anatomy. You can check those out to know more about this TV show. I'll just leave you guys with this:

Things I Learned from Grey's Anatomy

AMA - Against Medical Advise
DNR - Do Not Resuscitate
M&M - Morbidity and Mortality; Season 3 Episode 5
Bovie - An instrument used for electrosurgical dissection and haemostasis (from
Teratoma - a tumor made up of different types of tissue (Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary); Season 2 Episode 7

(Feel free to add more by posting a comment or leaving a message on the Message Board Ü)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Plato Wraps: Sandwich with a Twist!

If, by any chance, you drop by SM Mall of Asia, I suggest you visit this little booth selling what you can consider as their own version of the sandwich, but with a twist! It's called Plato Wraps, and it can be found at the 2/F North Wing of MOA, in the open air portion right after you exit the main mall via the theater booth. However, remember that this is the NORTH WING...right-hand side of MOA if you're facing Manila Bay (coz there's a very similar exit on the South Wing...and you definitely won't find Plato Wraps there...Ü).

Anyway, I say "sandwich-with-a-twist" because the filling or spread they use is what you'd usually see in a regular sandwich: tuna...chicken...hotdog...BUT (and there's a big but!), it's the wrap that they use that makes this creation unique. They have this circular bread, similar to a small pizza pie crust (almost like the size of your hand with all figners stretched out) but is soft to the touch and sans all the toppings. They then put this on a toaster, the one which opens up and closes like book...much like an iron press, and after one flip (turnover) and around a minute of heating, the wrap comes out with these distinct stripes on each side. They then put whatever filling/spread you like (my favorite is chicken), together with whatever veggies or add ons are included with the chosen filling (with the chicken filling, a few slices of cucumber are included), fold the wrap such that the fillings are somewhat folded in a half circle (like a taco) and voila, the Plato wrap is served to you in a small plastic for easy handling & munching.

I very much enjoyed Plato Wraps the first time I tasted it that's why a trip to MOA is not complete without it. As i've mentioned, my favorite is their Chunky Chicken filling since it's very yummy, but their Ham n Cheese is good as well ( I didn't like the Wrap n Roll, which is their version of the hotdog sandwich).

Everytime I order, I add P10.00 for their Pesto Wrap which I just adore coz it's very tasty & delicious. They also have Wheat Wrap, for an additional P5.00, but this one I've yet to try.

I believe Plato Wraps have branches distributed in the Metro Manila area, but for now, i'm only aware of their MOA and Virra Mall branch. Nonetheless, below is a list of the fillings they offer, as well as their prices (as of writing this blog).

So if you find yourself at MOA, do try & check out Plato Wraps at the 2nd Floor. I'm sure you'll love these "sandwiches-with-a-twist."

Chunky Chicken P39.00
Ham n Cheese P39.00
Yummy Tuna P39.00
Wrap n Roll P39.00
Very veggie P45.00

Also available: Platito Wraps @ P25.00

10 Signs You're Addicted to ALIAS

I just finished watching Seasons 1 to 5 of Alias on DVD...and as a tribute, I'm posting this blog: 10 Signs You're Addicted to ALIAS.

1. You start saying phrases like:

"You're good to go."
"Wheels up at 0600 hours."
"According to Rambaldi, (fill in the blanks)."
2. You walk with your back against the wall.
Plus 10 points if you have your hands clasped together like a gun.
Plus 10 more points if you're actually holding a (toy) gun.

3. You refer to your boss or teacher as "Base Ops."
Plus 10 points if your boss calls you on the phone and you answer with, "Base Ops, this is (your callsign), do you copy?"

4. You have a callsign.
Plus 10 points if your callsign is one of the following: Mountaineer, Boy Scout, Phoenix, Evergreen, Outrigger, Shotgun.

5. You send secret messages via Morse Code.

6. You question the validity of everyone who dies around you.

7. You don't trust anyone and believe that everyone has a hidden agenda.

8. You plan to go to Sta. Barbara for a vacation.

9. You bought yourself a Motorola Razr phone.

10. You dyed your hair red and have a collection of wigs.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Prison Break

Break In.
Break Out.
Save your brother's life.

That's the tagline of this new TV series hitting America (and our humble abode Ü) by storm. It stars Dominic Purcell as Lincoln Burrows and Wentworth Miller as Michael Scofield. Both are brothers who have vowed to be each other's keeper for life. That's why when Lincoln, who got sentenced to die via the electric chair for a crime he did not commit, was condemned to stay at the Fox River State Penitentiary while waiting for THE day, in comes his little brother Michael, who gets himself arrested & put away at the same prison as his brother.

When I first learned of this plot, I thought, WOW! There's a whole lotta lovin' going on between these two brothers for one to sacrifice his life & reputation for the other...which is actually more than I can say on my relationship with my lil bro (HAHAHA!). Anyway, that's not all. Did I mention that Michael (the little bro) works as a construction engineer for the company who designed the prison? And that he's suffering from low-latent inhibition (LLI), a condition that causes a person to be more open to incoming stimuli from the surrounding environment (from FuturePundit). When someone suffering from LLI has low IQ, this most likely results to mental illness. However, when someone with a high IQ suffers from LLI, this almost always results to creative genius. So you guess what part of the equation Michael fits in...Ü

Too much coincidence, huh? Well, it makes for good TV so i'm quite sure audiences & avid viewers (like me!) are wililng to forgive those too-good-to-be-true facts in lieu of one whole hour of good entertainment weekly.

I, however, have this one question in mind: Why do Lincoln & Michael have different surnames? They have the same father so that explanation is clearly ruled out...unless there's this dialogue that I missed in Season 1 explaining this one mind-boggling fact. Anyone care to explain? Please do. Post it as a comment to this blog or in the message board. The person with the best answer gets a prize (HAHAHA!).

Kidding aside, I hope that after reading this blog, i've stirred your curiosity enough for you to consider buying the 1st season DVD of this TV series. I assure you, it's definitely worthit, especially since Wentworth Miller is SOOO HOT (as in H-O-T, HOT! BTW, he's mine! wink!) One last tip though, I recommend NOT watching this series before you go to bed since the suspense will definitely leave you wide awake long after an episode has ended. That was the effect on me at least. But I guess that's just me...I probably get way too much affected by each scene as if I was one of the convicts trying to escape from prison. HAHA!

Well, that's all for now folks! I can't wait for Season 2 of this series, which incidentally, is already showing in the US. So, 'til next blog! Ciao!Ü

Monday, September 11, 2006

Cold Rock ROCKS!

"Heaven, must be heaven..."

That was the song playing over & over in my head while relishing every mouthful of my Cold Rock Choc Mint ice cream with cookie dough mix-in. If one must describe heaven, then this must be IT

I first got a taste of Cold Rock when I was in the U.S. two years ago. My sister Bambi treated me to dessert and after several minutes of pondering, I finally chose their Choc Mint ice cream (i'm a big fan of chocolates and mint!) with brownies as mix-in. From then on, I got hook! I was again able to eat one cup of this über delicious ice cream concoction, as a treat, for passing my DMV test. Again, I chose the same ice cream flavor & mix-in (clearly, i'm not the adventurous type...HAHA!).

Fast forward to August 2006. My Dad and I were walking along the restos facing Manila Bay at SM Mall of Asia when, out of nowhere, I see this ice cream store that looks vaguely familiar. Going inside, I see my favorite Choc Mint ice cream peering through the glass counters like a love lost and eventually found! Imagine my excitement as I burst out of the store screaming to my dad (OK, that was a bit exaggerated...I wasn't screaming) that this was the ice cream store I was telling him about. The one that sold soooper delicious ice cream. The one I tasted in the U.S. Being a daddy's girl, he immediately asked me if I wanted to buy one. I said no coz I was super busog from eating a hearty dinner at Highlands Steakhouse (also at MOA...which i'm planning to write about in my future blogs).

So anyway, I eventually learned that Cold Rock has a branch in Greenbelt and The Fort. Shucks! Being a Glorietta baby, I didn't know that (oh well...water under the bridge). And that the one at MOA is probably their 3rd store here in Manila. It's also a good thing though (that I didn't know about the Greenbelt and Fort branches) since their ice cream is a bit pricey...actually, a bit too overly pricey for me (coz i'm kuripot). Their prices range from P99.50 to 25 bucks for every mix-in you want to add. BTW, mix-ins are sort of like "add-ons" to your ice cream (you can opt not to have any mix-ins). Examples are brownies, cookie dough, m&ms, kissables, fruits, and a gazillion more. What they do with this is they SMASH (that's their term) it together with your ice cream of choice on top of their Cold Rock (hence, the name). Don't fret though that after all those smashing action your ice cream would've melt a won't be. It'll still be as good as it has just come out of the freezer.

When you go out and visit Cold Rock, I suggest you allot at least 10 minutes of your time just for choosing what ice cream flavor and mix-in you want. My favorite is Choc Mint with Cookie Dough mix-in (or Brownie) you would've guessed from what i've written above. But they have house favorites or suggestions on what mix-in (or mix-ins) would be good for what ice cream flavor. My dad tried their Ferrero Rocher ice cream, which is their #1 selling ice cream flavor (according to them), with Hershey's Kissables mix-in. It's good but I still love my all-time-favorite Choc Mint flavored ice cream. I usually order their Regular size cup, worth P159.50, and is equivalent to 3 scoops of ice one mix-in, thus making a grand total of P184.50. I'm posting their price list below so that you know what you're getting into when you visit Cold Rock the first time.Ü

Go visit Cold Rock. I promise you won't regret it.Ü Your pockets will be lighter (One-hundred, eighty-four bucks and fifty cents lighter for me), but you'll feel like you're in heaven. It's like falling in love...only better. And sans the heartache! wink!

Cold Rock SIZE and PRICE List

  • Kiddie P99.50
  • Regular P159.50
  • Large P219.50
  • Small Take Home Pack P369.50
  • Large Take Home Pack P699.50

Mix-ins P25.00 (regardless of size)

How To Order:

STEP1: Select your size cup, cone or take home container.

STEP2: Choose your favorite flavor from our range of premium ice cream, low fat ice cream, or sorbet.

STEP3: Mix in your selection of fruit, nuts, chocolates, confectionery, biscuits & fudge.

STEP4: Watch as we SMASH & blend your ice cream on our Cold Rock.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The IMAX Experience

I finally found the time to write this blog. I've originally intended to write this right after we watched the movie but I just couldn't find the time. In other words, PROCRASTINATION got the best of me. Then, lo and behold, it's already August, almost a month after watching the movie. Wow! Hadn't it been for the fact that i've been in bed for 2 days now due to the flu, then i'd probably still wouldn't have found the time to write this thing. So, let's get to it, shall we?Ü

After spending much thought on whether or not I will be watching SUPERMAN at the now-famous IMAX Theater at MOA, thus spending 350 bucks of my hard-earned money, my officemates and I finally pushed through with the plan and bought advance tickets to this much-anticipated movie. 6.10PM was the showing time and July 6, 2006 was the date. We couldn't get nice seats on a weekend since tickets were selling like hot potatoes and are already sold out so we opted for the next best thing: Thursday night after office. So armed with our jackets, full stomach, and our pockets 350 bucks lighter, we headed to MOA...a mere 20-minutes drive from our office to the mall proper.

Believe me when I tell you that hadn't it been shown at the IMAX theater, I probably wouldn't have watched Superman 'til now. HAHA! So anyway, the first thing that impresses you when you enter the theater is it's über large screen! And when I say large, it's soooper-doooper large! So large to the point that every time I tried looking back as my friends and I were making our way towards our seats, i'd get nauseous and the world around me starts to spin. Good thing my nauseating memories got replaced by FEAR when we got to our seats. Yes, you read right. FEAR, my dears. Fear of getting eaten by a gigantic dinosaur on the movie screen. You see, prior to the movie, T-Rex was being previewed and what I saw was some very good 3D action! It was so good to the point that you'd think that the dinosaurs will be eating you...ALIVE! So you can just imagine my disappointment when, during the course of watching Superman, I found that the 3D parts of the movie were not as impressive. I was expecting to see Superman flying towards me and hopefully, trying to make a move to kiss me (HAHAHA!), but NO...all I got was the "impression" that the tractor (at the Kent farm) was popping out of the screen. =( Nonetheless, I still didn't think that all that was a waste of time, effort and money because...oh my gosh! BRANDON is sooooo HOT! His innate ka-gwapuhan more than made up for the fact that the 3D parts of the film were lousy. Plus...he's so tall pa!!! What more can I ask for??? Tall, handsome, nice body...all the characteristics i'm looking for in a man. Physically, ha

So anyway, I'd stop gushing about Brandon lest I lose some of my readers here. HAHA! I just have some other things on my mind that I want to share...Superman's Boots. What is with his boots? I don't like it. It's not nice. It looks like platforms and that his boots got stuck in the 80s while the rest of his outfit transformed. Couldn't they style a better-looking boots for Superman? He IS the Man of Steel anyway? Gheezh! Superman needs a better stylist on his next film.

Next on the list: Superman's Bangs. Does he even have to have bangs? And CURLY, nonetheless??? I was actually bit-by-bit accepting this non-life-threatening-but-disturbing fact as the film progressed but, what the heck! Superman gets all wet, is submerged in water, goes through hell and beyond, and his bangs are still nicely curled? What's that all about??? I can't even get from my car to the office lobby without the wind blowing my hair into a topsy-turvy mess! Well, I guess i'd have to be the "man of steel" to always have that prim-and-proper-hair look.Ü

Well, I guess that would be all. Some additional notes though: (1) There's a sign that flashes on the super big screen every time you have to put on your 3D glasses. This is actually great since you wouldn't have to worry on missing the 3D scenes that you paid 350 bucks to watch. Besides, those 3D scenes, once they start rolling on screen, would be "double-vision" when seen by the naked eye so instincts will automatically tell you to reach out for the 3D glasses to better see what's happening in front of you. (2) I initially didn't like Brandon Routh. This is true (believe me!). But when I saw him on Jay Leno one night, sans his Superman attire, I finally saw what other girls were seeing: the hunk behind the Superman costume and Clark Kent persona. And that was the beginning of my love affair with this drool-able hunk of a man.Ü (3) The IMAX Theater's screen is sooooo big that you can actually see the actor's pores while watching the film.

So I guess that's all for now guys. 'Til next month's blog! *MUAH!*

Saturday, July 29, 2006

How I Wish...

Hmmm...i'm wond'ring what could be the cause???

"Could it be over a girl?"


AKO. Ako ang dahilan ng pag-jojombagan ng dalawang yan sa Embassy.

In my world of fairy tales and dreams...that would be the case.

Hey, a girl can dream, can't I??? wink!

I just can't pass the chance of posting this here. Imagine my surprise when I read today's paper and saw MY two hunks on the same page sharing one newspaper article! HAHAHA! This made my day (even though the news is a bit on the negative side...).

For the full-length article, you may view this link:

Have a great weekend everyone! *MUAH!* 'Til next month's blog! Ü

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Bench Fever

To BEnch or not to BEnch,
That is the question.

And I have the answer!

Last Friday, June 30, I found myself following the throng of people en route to MRT (my 5th time ever to ride the MRT) to catch the 6:30PM train leaving Taft. My destination: Araneta Coliseum. Purpose: To watch the biannual (or biennial) Bench Underwear & Denim Fashion Show. This year's show was aptly titled Bench Fever, with the show paying homage to the 70s era: right from the retro set and catwalk, to the roller-blading guys in colorful wigs that started the show, and the special performance of Sister Sledge and The Villlage People capping the night off. The night was super fun and again, the producers and models didn't fail to tease and wow the audience with the right mix of sexiness and creative glamour only the guys from Bench can muster.

The show started a tad less dramatic this time compared to the past two shows i've been to. Last, last year's show started with Wendell Ramos doing an ala-Vitruvian Man, only backwards. This year, the guys who were initially wearing jeans tore their pants up in one sleek move to reveal great buns and other what-have-yous. But that was short-lived since they immediately turned off the lights much to the audience's dismay (I told you they knew how to tease the audience!Ü). Also, the last show (two years ago) was more on the amazing side because of the acrobats that they had as guests, who would go dangling from the ceiling in a long sheet of white cloth and do stuff only you can dream of doing. This year's show, however, was more on the upbeat side, with the retro music more than making up for the lack of amazing factor that the previous show had. I was actually very much enthralled by the music (I always thought that I was born in the wrong era) and the colorful setting that there were a number of times I wanted to get up and join the models strutting their stuff in the catwalk. Good thing I was able to control myself and be content with taking in the view which was very pleasing to they eyes. HAHA!

The biggest surprise of the night (for me at least) was John Estrada grooving and working the catwalk. Oh man, is this guy sexy or what?!?!!! I was actually surprised to see him given that he's not been visible in the showbiz scene lately and was definitely awstrucked by his über sexy bod and the way he grooved and moved to the 70s music playing in the background. He was pitted alongside Keanna, but that's a different story. I'd rather stick to John and say my ooohs and aaahs about him and his great physique. The two of them indeed knew how to tease the audience in their red underwear...I won't explain how they worked the audience coz it's PG-18 territory (you know what I mean) so let's just leave it at that. Bottomline is, John Estrada is gwapo and sexy, I never thought of him as that before, and that, for me, was the biggest revelation of the night.

Great expectations were met that very retro Friday night. These Bench fashion shows are definitely something that i'll always look forward to. They never cease to amaze me! And of course, it doesn't hurt that Jay-R was (again Ü) part of the show (OK, i'll stop now and leave it at that.Ü). This year's show included a handful of designers who conceptualized a theme showcasing different kinds of Bench underwear that were embellished according to their theme. Themes this year included Pucci prints, Stripes, Superheroes, Victorian, and a few others that I can no longer remember. The selected designers included Rajo Laurel, Celine Lopez, Patrice Ramos-Diaz, among others. New additions to the show (as models) are former PBB housemates Sam Milby, Cassandra Ponti, Zanjoe, Kim and Gerald. Raymond Gutierrez was there as well and strutted the catwalk alongside his twin brother Richard (from my vantage point, you can definitely see the difference between these two siblings). Alicia Meyer was there too (I never knew her face was actually very endearing and sweet), and Joey Marquez (I wonder how they said their HI's and HELLO's backstage???) with his daughter (dunno her name) who looked a lot like Alicia! Talk about coincidence, huh? Lastly, Ai-Ai de las Alas, with a Disco ball on top of her head, flirted with the hunky male models in briefs much to the audience's delight. And of course, Bench's first family, Richard & Lucy Gomez ended the show as always.Ü

I definitely enjoyed this year's Bench Underwear & Denim Fashion Show. I sure hope that i'll get passes again in the next one. And before I end this article, i'd like to say thanks to the following peeps: My Aunt; My sis Vivian & My nieces: Rysha and Ryanna; Dio (for lending me her MRT card Ü); and last but definitely not the least: My Mom and Dad. That's all! See ya in the next blog!

Other Articles on Bench Fever:

Love Thongs by RJ Ledesma

Breaking the Fever by RJ Ledesma

It's Raining Men by Danton Remoto

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Desperate Quiz

Being the Desperate Housewives fanatic that I am...I took the quiz available at their website ( and was actually quite surprised to see that I'm a "Gabrielle." I thought I was more of a Bree...HAHA! Oh well...gotta love those stilettos!
You could say that life's just about pretty dresses and expensive gifts to you, but you're looking for something more. You'll find it someday; as long as you can stay out of trouble. And away from hot young gardeners.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Probably inspired by our anniversary...Macel shared to us this poem (i think this has a personal touch...Ü)...

Girlfriends for Life

When I was little,
I used to believe in the concept of one best friend,

And then I started to become a woman.
And then I found out that if you allow your heart to open up,
God would show you the best in many friends.

One friend is needed when you're going through
things with your man.

Another friend is needed when you're going through
things with your mom.

Another when you want to shop, share,
heal, hurt, joke, or just be.

One friend will say, "Let's cry together,"
another, "Let's fight together,"
another, "Let's walk away together."

One friend will meet your spiritual need,
another your shoe fetish,
another your love for movies,
another will be with you in your season of confusion,
another will be your clarifier,
another the wind beneath your wings.

But whatever their assignment in your life,
on whatever the occasion,
on whatever the day,
or wherever you need them to meet you with their
gym shoes on and hair pulled back,
or to hold you back from making a complete fool of
those are your best friends.

It may all be wrapped up in one woman,
but for many,it's wrapped up in several...
one from 7th grade,
seven from high school,
several from the college years,
a couple from old jobs,
on some days your mother,
on some days your neighbour,
on others, your sisters,
and on some days, your daughters.

So whether they've been there 10 minutes or 10 years,
ONLY IF YOU WISH, pass this on to the women that God

has placed in your life to make a difference.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

10 Years of BWP

As my good friend Macel pointed out recently, it's apparently the 10th Year Anniversary of our barkada. WOW! It never crossed my mind that my friends and I have been a barkada for that long already...and I never knew we even had an anniversary! HAHA! can always count on Macel to remember those itsy-bitsy things that we most of the time neglect but actually matter a lot.

So, in commemoration of our 10th Year Anniversary, which up until now we don't know the exact date (any of you guys willing to research on the exact start of classes for SSC on school year 1996-1997???) and is actually a 10-month-long celebration (since one school year is 10 months long...), I will be sharing to you guys some bits and pieces of fact about our barkada, better known as BWP.

You're probably wondering what BWP stands for. Well, it's basically Barkadang Walang Panget. HAHA! Nice name, huh? Actually, you can substitute any word for the "P" part of the acronym, like: Barkadang Walang Pango, Barkadang Walang Panty, Barkadang Walang Point, Barkadang Walang Plan...any other "P" word you can think of...but basically, we're the Barkadang Walang Panget. The name was actually coined by a former member of the group, Millan. According to her, someone asked what's the name of our group and the first thing that came to mind was BWP...Barkadang Walang there. That was the beginning of it. And I guess none of us had any qualms about it anyway (kasi lahat kami pretty! HAHA!) so the name just stuck.

We were originally 11 in the group: Arfie, Assunta, Aya, Diana, Joy, Macel, Maris, Meñez, Millan, Tiny, and Moi! But eventually, Meñez, Tiny & Millan drifted apart from the rest of the group leaving us with magic number 8

It's vague to me how we actually got together as a group. But I believe we started forming small groups of 2 or 3 persons which eventually came together and formed the entire barkada. And this happened throughout the course of one school year: School Year 1996-1997, when we all were in 2nd Year High School (section 2R) in St. Scho. Probably the "event" that started it all was our project in one of our subjects (I can't remember the name of the subject...HELE? PerDev???), where we were asked to visit a place (e.g. park, public library, etc.) assigned to us and report about it. We were asked to form groups consisting of 6-7 persons (or was it 5-6???), go to the assigned place, then report about it in class. It was Arfie, Aya, Assu, Diana, Maris & Millan who were groupmates then and they went to Enchanted Kingdom. I think that was the "event" that started it all. The circumstances that transpired in between that trip to EK and the formation of our group is all a blur to me now but bottomline is, we didn't know back then but that was already history in the making (naks!).

Now that you have a short history of our group, let me share to you some snippets of the different personalities that comprise the group. In other words, let me introduce to you the 7 (excluding me of course) other members of the barkada.

Arfie...One of the beauty queens of the barkada. She joined Binibining Pilipinas and Mutya, which just proves our point that indeed we are a Barkadang Walang Panget. She's a writer so creative that she practically composed the write-ups for each of us in our Pax '99 yearbook. And did I mention that she draws really well too??? That's Arfie...always determined and a gal just brimming with lots and lots and lots of creative juices.

Assunta...She's the tomboyish girl with a great bod (nice abs and...hmmm...lemme just say that her vital stats are to-die-for!!!). She's the perennial VP of the class, running around with her clipboard in tow. She's the barkada's AVON lady (HAHA! And ANEW girl to Sadie Ü). It's a running joke in the barkada that her actual work in AVON is not what she claims it to be but rather a bra model for the company. I won't be surprised if one day I wake up and learn that she's already the VP of AVON (HAHA! Hanngang sa pagtanda, VP pa rin!!!).

Aya...Sitsirya products, anyone??? Aya is like an Energizer Bunny: always on the go and she just keeps on going and going and going... Her family owns Sitsirya, a company selling Filipino food products (with stalls around Metro Manila malls & tiangges), and my dad is actually one of their suki (I love their Pastillas de Leche in a jar!). She always has just enough energy for a night out despite having a tiring day at work. She's always game! Isang aya mo lang, game na agad sya (as long as she has no other plans).

Diana...For the longest time, she has always been Sadie to me (which is her surname). But now i'm learning to call her by her first name, Diana. She's the other gal who joined a beauty pageant in our barkada (Binibining Pilipinas), which, again, proves my point that we are indeed a Barkadang Walang Panget. She's such a hardworker, with rackets every day even on weekends. I admire her for being very independent and she's the best person in the barkada to ask about make-up (what brands are OK and those that are not) and beauty regiments that work!

Joy...She's the group's Papa Bear.Ü The yearbook describes her as "Miss Prim and Proper" and the "queen of Discretion" basically because she is all that. The group can be really very rowdy at times (especially after not seeing each other for a while) but Joy will just always be the silent observer...just listening to our rants and raves about love, life and anything and everything under the sun. We'll surely miss this lovely lady.

Macel...She's my official hugger...Ü Especially in college, when things are just not turning out right, i'll just text her and meet up with her to ask for a much-needed hug. When we went out to the real world (e.g. naging office girls na kami...), and she was no longer campus-wide away, it just hit me how therepeutic (to me at least) and important her hugs are. That's why I try and hug her as much as I can when we see each other...investment kumbaga...for those upcoming depressing situations in my life. HEHE! She's also the first person in the barkada to get hitched! To her first boyfriend for that matter! Congratz again, Macel & Mike!

Maris...The former Nick Carter fanatic. Her room used to be plastered with Nick posters and her TV set tuned-in to MTV to catch the latest Backstreet Boys hit. Good thing she got over that phase (we all did) and is now very much busy manning her 7-Eleven franchise along Buendia. You gotta hand it to this girl...she knows what she wants and she knows how to get it. Her house (i think) is the official tambayan-slash-meeting-place of the barkada (we've had numerous sleep-overs at her place) coz it's the most accesible house amongst us (plus, it's near the mall...).

Well, that's the entire group in one blog. But, before I finish this off, let me just mention the extended members of the group, a.k.a. the significant others: Lesmes (Arfie's S.O.), Jomike (Aya's S.O.), Noel (Diana's S.O.), Mike (Macel's hubby), and Rex (Maris' S.O...ako nag-match sa dalawang yan! HEHE!).

So...cheers to the 10 years of experiences, fun and laughter that we had and more cheers to the upcoming experiences, fun and laughter that we will be having! Love y'all guys! *HUGZ!* and *MUAH!*


BWP Through The Years...

(L-R; Top: Diana, Aya, Arfie; Bottom: Millan, Assu, Maris; circa 1996)

BWP by the stairs...'96

Aya, Assu, Macel & Candy '96

Goofing around...'96

Class Picture Time! Circa '97

By the falls @ Villa Escudero, Feb. 21, 1997

Arfie, Diana, Candy & Macel @ Escudero, Feb. 21, 1997

Clockwise from left: Millan, Candy, Arfie, Meñez, Diana, Maris, Assu & Tiny

Picture-Picture! Take 2!

Clockwise from left: Arfie, Candy, Assu, Maris, Diana, Joy, Macel & Aya

Minsan lang kami ma-complete!!! Ü

During my 19th Bday...Oct. 2001

Mian's Debut, Jan. 17, 2004

My despedida/bday celeb, Sep. 25, 2004

Eto kami ngayon...latest complete pix...September 2005...Ü

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Coffee Jelly Galore

Coffee’s such a staple drink for us Filipinos, with coffee shops sprouting from out of nowhere & the prevalence of numerous 3-in-1 instant coffee available in the market. However, one thing that they haven’t thought of making “instant” is my favorite coffee jelly drink, which…thank God, are now practically available everywhere, from the ever-reliable Fast Food chains to the posh coffee shops around town. Given that I’m such a fan of this cool & sweet drink, I’m giving you a review of some of the coffee jelly drinks that I’ve tried.

(1) Jollibee’s Coffee Jelly Ice Craze @ P 27.00
This is probably the most “pang-masa” coffee jelly drink I’ve encountered. My mom actually swears by it, though I’m not very much of a fan of this drink. Actually, this is more of a dessert than a drink (unless you melt all the ice I guess) since you actually have to spoon it out to eat it. This dessert consists of coffee jelly strips on top of coffee-flavored soft ice cream (I’m not sure if it’s actually ice cream…it’s more of a cream if you ask me) with choco syrup & lots of ice. This is what I don’t like about this dessert. It’s got an excess of ice (like half of the cup is just ice) that doesn’t really blend well with the rest of the stuff. I like my coffee jelly dessert smooth & creamy. This is just rough & “coarse” to the tongue when eaten. However, for just 27 bucks, it is well within everyone’s budget & if you’re not as “difficult-to-please” as I am (and if you’re already at Jollibee), then this will do for you.

(2) Zagu’s Café Latte in Regular @ P 35.00
My all-time-favorite Zagu drink flavor is Café Latte. Despite all the new flavors that have come & gone, Café Latte will always be my number one. But this drink will never be complete without the oh-so-chewy black sago that they creatively call pearls. This drink will surely satisfy your coffee fix for the day & will leave you wanting for more. My only criticism about this is that the pearls are a bit warm at times & when they mix this with the drink itself, the tendency is for the small bits of ice to melt. And since I like my drink with bits of ice on it, this can really be quite a downer. Nonetheless, the drink tastes good & for only 35 bucks, it’s affordable enough for everyone to get a hold of. And for just an additional 5 bucks, you can ask for extra pearls (which I always do) or crystals (better known as Nata de Coco) for a more satisfying drink.

(3) Seattle’s Best Java Jelly in Tall @ P 130.00
This drink is über yummy, I can drink two Grande glasses in one sitting (and be soooper hyper after Ü). Seattle’s Best has almost perfected the art of coffee jelly drinks with this super satisfying beverage that feels like heaven. It’s a bit pricey though, but it’s reasonable enough for those special moments when you’d like to reward yourself for a job well done or when you’ve been given manna from heaven. However, as I’ve said, they’ve almost perfected their coffee jelly drink…almost coz I’ve noticed that the consistency of their drink differs every time I order. Sometimes it’s super smooth & not as cold as you’d want it to be, at times it’s just the right blend with bits of ice that melt like heaven in your mouth. I commend them though for making such great coffee jelly bits that are yummy & would make you feel like you’re on cloud nine. I super love this drink, though I’d recommend that you buy it only on occasions when you’re really craving for it since it’s a bit too pricey (in my standards at least). Seattle’s Best Java Jelly is available in Tall, Grande & Supremo, with prices of 130, 140 & 150 bucks respectively.

(4) Starbucks’ Coffee Jelly in Grande @ P135.00
Starbucks’ version of this yummy drink is similar to Seattle’s Best except for the aroma & strength. Starbucks’ coffee jelly drink is definitely stronger than Seattle’s Best, but its aroma is richer & will definitely satisfy even your sense of smell. This drink is topped with whipped cream as well and is better enjoyed with the cream well-blended with the drink (it makes the beverage yummier). I commend Starbucks for being consistent in making their drink. Unlike Seattle’s whose consistency varies per order (dunno why), the different times I’ve ordered this drink at Starbucks resulted to the same consistency & yummy taste as the one before, so hats off to their team for that. The sizes of their drink is similar to that of Seattle’s (available in Grande, Tall & Venti) however, Starbucks' version of this drink is pricier (they increased just recently), with prices of 135, 145 & 160 bucks respectively, so I’d suggest you reserve drinking this beverage for special occasions (unless you have excess moolah with you). Just a tip: It’s best to buy the largest size available since this will give you more value for your money. Same goes with Seattle’s.Ü Additional FYI though: Starbucks' offer a "more chewy" coffee jelly cubes in their drink, while that of Seattle's lean more on the "softer" side. Plus, Starbucks' has more coffee jelly than Seattle's such that there are lots of coffee jelly bits left even when you've already finished the drink. Don't worry though, they have this green "spoon-straw" that allows you to scoop out the leftover coffee jelly bits so that you get all your money's worth.ü

These are just some of the coffee jelly drinks that I’ve tried in the market. There are a lot more out there & even more to come, I suppose, since a lot of restos & cafes are actually concocting their own blends of coffee jelly drinks since it’s such a hit for us Filipinos. With the numerous coffee jelly drinks out there (I’ve only reviewed 4 but there are a lot more), I’m quite sure that you’ll find one that suits your taste buds & will keep you coming back for more.Ü

Note: The prices posted here are as of January 2006.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Random Thoughts 4

It's almost the end of May...and i've got a lot of things on my mind...i don't actually know where to start...but now my mind just keeps on lingering on the fact that: i'm still ELIGIBLY SINGLE! HAHA! Why start wondering now, you may ask...actually, i don't know too. Feeling ko i'm such a loser. HAHA! Ewan ko's weird. I don't wanna think about it. But it's like everyone expects for me to have someone special by now...considering that i'm already 23...super way past the age limit that my dad gave me for having a boyfriend. But the thing is, it's just not happening. I don't know if it's because i don't even make an effort to make it happen...or because it's just not yet my time...or because i'm too picky...I DON"T KNOW. I'm actually stumped. I'd rather solve quadratic equations...MENTALLY!...than think about this. mind really has some twisted way of playing tricks on me...

People say that it's because i'm too picky. But you know what...i guess i just haven't met HIM. I'm quite sure i'm ready to lower my standards once i get to meet this guy who'll sweep me off my feet. But the thing is, no one has done that to me...yet. Nobody has swept me off my feet. I know naman for a fact na, pag feelings na ang kalaban mo, wala ka ng magagawa. You can't resist it, not even if you want to. Feelings na yun eh. And i don't want to waste my time and my efforts trying to love someone na alam ko naman walang patutunguhan, right? i making sense? I'd probably have to stop this bruhaha now before i reveal too much to you guys...


What's all these fuss about The Da Vinci Code? It's driving me crazy actually. Don't get me wrong, i've read the book, and am one of the eager people who'd want to see how this 'super controversial' book is translated into film. But My God! A lot of people are putting so much unnecessary effort to ban this film. But what they're actually successful in doing is stirring the public's interest, therefore making them (the public) want to watch the film more. Had they channelled their efforts some place else (like the never-ending increase of fuel prices), eh di sana mas na-appreciate pa ng mga tao yun. They should just stop protesting about this film. Anyway, if they don't want to watch it, eh di DON'T! Nobody's forcing them to anyway. I commend MTRCB though for giving the film a rating of R-18. I think i'ts just proper that they did that. Although i'm quite sure a bunch of people under 18 will still be able to watch this film given that we're in a country where pirated DVDs proliferate...but that's another story. All i can say is, at least may effort diba? Na ipagbawal to those people under 18 yung movie...


BTW, it's my first year anniversary at PAL today! YEHEY! HAHA! Trip Pass here i come! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!


Belated HAPPY MOTHER's DAY to my MOM! Although i'm quite sure she won't be reading this, still it's the thought that counts right? LUV YAH Mommie! *HUGZ!* and *MUAH!* I would've bought you flowers and had them delivered at our house but you know how much that'd cost? 2,000 bucks!!! Grabe! I didn't know flowers are that costly! So pano ba na lang? HEHE! =)


Had I known SOP will be broadcasting live from SM Mall of Asia last Sunday, i would've gotten there before everybody else! HAHA! pretenses now, but i probably would've done that. If you know me well enough, you'll know the reason why. Anyway, i'd like to congratulate my friend Aya for the successful opening of SM Mall of Asia. I remember the times when she'd text me and ask me who are the current popular Filipino artists...and i would text her a bunch of names. I would've told her to guest Ashton Kutcher, but that's not even close to being a possibility so i didn't even bother texting her that. So anyway, congratz Aya! All the hardwork and going to office on Sundays paid off! Pa-libre naman ng tickets sa IMAX jan...HEHE!

Originally posted on 23 May 2006 @

Friday, May 05, 2006

Singapore on the Cheap

I'd like to share this article I got from PAL's Mabuhay magazine, Feb 2006 ish. It's about Singapore and where to find it's hidden bargain spots. Given that I haven't been to Singapore, this article will be one of the things i'll be keeping handy on my first trip there (kelan kaya yun???). And until i'm able to write to you about my OWN Singapore's a quick rundown on what to do and where to go when frolicking around the Lion City <*ROAR!* haha!>.


Singapore on the Cheap (by Lester V. Ledesma)

No doubt you've heard what people have said about Singapore being an expensive city. Indeed, a fancy dinner here may cost a day's wage in the Philippines, and an hour-long taxi ride may induce a headache. But don't let this keep you from enjoying one of Southeast Asia's richest nations. With the right information, a budget-conscious tourist need not break the wallet to have that authentic Singapore experience. Here's the lowdown on the Lion City's best -- and most affordable -- sights, sounds and flavors.


Glitzy Orchard Road is, of course, Singapore's premier shopping district, but just because it's a goods acquisition specialist's haven doesn't mean you can just charge into its stores blindly with your credit card in tow. Like any good hunting expedition, you should keep an eye out for signs of your quarry -- that is, the word "SALE." Malls like Lucky Plaza or Centrepoint often have sales at the center of their ground floors, with weekly themes ranging from books to clothes, textiles or shoes. This also applies to the basement atrium of Ngee Ann City, where much-bigger expos offer everything from toys to houseware and even quality leather goods. Should you desire a real shopping adventure, leave these chic confines and make your way to the This Fashion store (10 Eunos Road, B1-12 Singapore Post Centre) -- that's 22,000 square feet of bliss for the shopping addict. You can also check out the other This Fashion outlets scattered around town (there's one near the Dhoby Ghaut and Chinatown MRT stations), but this one by far hosts the largest collection of quality budget clothes and accessories.

Perfumes? You'll find cheap, original designer brands at Mustafa Centre (145 Syed Alwi Road), a cavernous 24-hour mall inside colorful Little India district. A favorite hangout of Indian migrant workers, this place sells pretty much everything from groceries to clothes, hardware and even electronics. Best of all, they've got a whole VCD/DVD/CD department dedicated to the best Bollywood hits.

If gadgets are your thing, we recommend heading for Sim Lim Square (1 Rochor Canal Road) -- that's where everything electronic is, especially those concerning computers and digital photography. It would be better if you knew exactly what you wish to buy, as bargaining for these products can be a rather tricky exercise even in Singapore.

There's also that one item that makes up a big chunk of every Filipino traveller's must-buy list: pasalubong (presents for people back home). These you can get at Chinatown's Temple Street, host to an open-air flea market that seems to be the country's knick-knack central. You'll know you've arrived here when you start seeing those "3 for $5" signs, which apply to a great array of mostly Chinese-made stuff like traditional oriental paintings, wooden table ornaments, Merlion keychains, silk pillowcases and that ubiquitous Singapore ref magnet. Better bring ample cash.


Here's the rule of thumb when it omes to finding the cheapest food in the Land of the 'Lah: head for the hawker centers. These al fresco dining centers offer some of the best eating experiences around. Their highly informal surroundings and varied menus ensure a thorough introduction to everyday Singaporean cuisine. Best of all, they're practically everywhere -- just look for the round plastic tables and the nearby food stalls with big, backlit pictures of the menu offerings. Hawker centres like tha Lau Pa Sat Food Market (near Raffle Place MRT) and the Maxwell Food Centre (near Chinatown MRT) do brisk business all day, their seasoned cooks serving up classic local favorites like Hainanese Chicken Rice, Malay Nasi Lemak (rice cooked in coconut milk and served with peanuts, fish and sambal chili sauce) or Indian Biryani (rice cooked with spices and chunks of meat) with chicken curry. You can gorge on these for as little as S$4 (Php130), drinks included. Alternatively, you may choose to eat at the food courts instead -- the indoor equivalent of the hawker centre -- which are often found at the top or bottom floors of most malls. You'll have to pay a bit more, of course, but that's in exchange for the cleaner surroundings and the air-conditioning.

Another dining option would be to seek out any of the traditional kopitiam ("coffee store" in the vernacular). These are small family-run cafés which offer their own specialty dish. Killiney Kopitiam (67 Killiney Road; is one of the more popular establishments. It is so popular that its owners already have a handful of branches around Singapore -- boasting time-honored Peranakan (Malay-Chinese) fare like Mee Siam (sweet, spicy rice noodles with eggs) and Popiah (vegetables and chili in a flour wrap), aside from good, strong traditional coffee.

Over at the Esplanade, you can also check out the latest branch of No Signboard Seafood (#01-14/15 The Espalanade;, the crab dishes are so good that the owners found no need to even name their joint. Despite the swanky surroundings, their prices remain true to their humble beginnings as a hawker stall.

Last but not least, there's good value dim sum to be had at Chinatown's Tak Po Restaurant (42 Smith Street), where guests order steaming baskets of Har Gao, Crystal Chives Ball or Prawn and Banana in Dragon's Beard (among a great many others) via a neat little checklist that displays the cheap, S$.70 - 3.00 (Php25-100) price range.


If you're the type of person who doesn't mind sleeping in a dorm bed and likes to hang out with ang mohs (Westerners) over beer and chips, take your backpack to Little India's Dunlop Street. Amidst the colorful environs of this ethnic enclave is a veritable budget travellers' community, complete with the de rigeur internet café's, pubs and provision shops. Around here it is possible to get a bed with breakfast for around S$15/night (that's Php100), thanks to cheerful hideouts like the Prince of Wales Backpacker Hostel (101 Dunlop St.) and The Inn Crowd hostel (35 Campbell Lane; A bit higher up the price ladder is the nearby Madras Hotel (#28-32 Madras St.;, which offers the standard-type hotel rooms starting at S$65/night (2,150 pesos).

If you find this neighborhood a bit too grungy, check out the area around Chinatown's Keong Saik Road instead, where a handful of decidedly classier boutique hotels stand. Of these, the least expensive would be the Royal Peacock (55 Keong Saik Road; with nicely-designed ensuite rooms that start at S$85 (Php2800). Also in the same area is a Hotel 81 (181 New Bridge Road;, belonging to a local chain with several branches throughout Singapore. On the other hand, those wishing to lodge near the Orchard Road area may check in at Lloyd's Inn (#2 Lloyd Road;, an independent traveler's favorite with room rates starting at S$70 (2300 pesos).


Forget that guided city tour if you're on a tight budget. The Singapore Tourism Board station at Changi Airport hosts a wealth of information about the Lion City's many attractions, most of them arranged according to subject and location. Highly recommended are the self-guided tour itineraries for the ethnic enclaves of Little India and Chinatown. These pocket-sized pamphlets come complete with a map and a walking route that traverses the neighborhood's highlights. In Chinatown, be sure to drop by the Chinatown Heritage Center (Temple Street, there's an S$8 entrance fee), a museum inside a beautifully-restored shophouse that recreates the lifestyle of bygone days. Visitors to Little India, on the other hand, should check out one of the many Indian temples along Serangoon Road -- come during poojai time (that's the daily Hindi prayer ceremony -- schedules are posted ont he main door) for a free and genuine cultural experience. And while you're there, look out for those fortune-tellers along the sidewalk. For S$5 (Php150), watch as a parrot picks out a card with your future on it -- whether this is real or not, it's still cool to watch.

Getting around, too, doesn't have to be expensive. An Ezlink card (which you can buy at the nearest MRT station for S$5+prepaid fares) gives you easy access to the extensive bus and MRT network. There's also the Citybuzz line, which passes the city's most popular dstinations -- log on to for a complete listing of the stops -- for a flat rate of S$1. Alternatively, you can alsto take the traditional bumboats that glide down the Singapore River. They're a bit more expensive at S$5, but the scenery is well worth the fare.

Originally posted on 05 May 2006 @