Summery of My Short Summer.

 Summer slipped by so quickly. Just wanted to make a quick recap of my favorite season.
Tans will fade but the memories will last forever...
Not so Black Saturday.
ER Socialization.
Caving. Trekking to the Waterfalls.
Pedia Buddies Beach Break.

With the Fam.
Coloring the World. One classroom at a time. Yes! We painted the walls! :)
Beach Hopping.
Some things aren't supposed to last a lifetime. Some things are only supposed to last a year, a summer, a month, or a moment. But the memories made are always worth in the end.


Like a boss!

And what better way to spend our last day in Singapore than by spending it over shopping. After all, we had a major score for the budget department, thanks to generous and accommodating cousins!

Ding! Ding! Ding! Bugis is a shopping haven selling everything from knock-off handbags to souvenir shirts to durians. I managed to buy a lil something2x for friends and family.

Of course, Singapore is one of the best places to buy electronics. Everywhere you turn, there's a deal on the latest camera, cellphone, laptop, tv, etc. We tested our bargaining skills at Lucky Plaza.

Daut and I finally gave in. We are now happy (and poor) owners of Iphone 4s and Ipad 2. These gadgets may meaning nothing to others, but for commoners like us, we felt LIKE A BOSS! Mwahaha. We got a huge discount and even got a $100 GST Refund. *tip: always ask for a receipt for the GST refund when buying goods*
But we felt cheated when we bought screen protectors for $100. I didn't realize that's about 3k in Philippine Peso. LIKE A BOBO! Huhu!

Now, several months later, we are still very happy with our purchase! Current game addiction: Hanging with friends. Haha play with?


24 hours in Kuala Lumpur!

I love exploring new places and I don't mind sleeping on a bus while travelling. Maybe because I am el cheapo! :) We took the last trip (11:30pm) of Starmart Airasia Liner which departed from the Golden Mile Complex in Singapore. The bus ride costs $20 and it was pretty comfortable with the reclining and massage chair and foot rests. On the way to Kuala Lumpur, we stopped twice for the immigration. The bus called off at Berjaya Times Square at around 4am. It's amazing how a 4 hour trip can change everything completely! My first impression of Kuala Lumpur is that it was a dirty city. Compared to Singapore, of course! There were plastics on the sidewalks and I see people toss their waste so nonchalantly. But KL has a lot of character. One of KL's claim to fame is the Petronas twin towers. As cliche and obvious as it may sound, one can't be in Kuala Lumpur without paying a visit to the iconic twin skyscrapers. The beauties were glowing like giant crystals from the dark sky. :)

We had no Ringgits yet and the money changer was not yet open on that dark morning. Good thing, we were able to find an ATM machine and my BPI card came in handy. We stopped by a little Indian restaurant to eat. And Daut's so tired. He just couldn't help but sleep. Tawn sad....Hahaha!

As Mr. sun came out, we took more pictures with the Petronas Towers as our backdrop. Thank you to the friendly Indians passing by for happily taking our pictures. Forgive the tourists! Haha
Petronas Twin Towers
We walked towards the KL tower which ranks as the 5th tallest tower in the world. It is used for telecommunication purposes and features an antenna. From the entrance gate, there's a free shuttle service to the top. There's a lot going on here from restaurants to theaters. We still needed a money changer and conveniently, there's one on the ground level.
KL Tower
After the towers, we went to the Malaysian Tourist Information Center which has free wifi, free water and comfy seats so we spent some time there to recharge for a whole day of walking! We also got free maps and learned about the Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour. It is probably the best way to explore Malaysia's capital without sticking to a rigid schedule. The bus goes around the main city attractions every 30 minutes throughout the day and you can get on and off as often as you like!

Lezgo to...

Craft Cultural Complex - offers traditional Malaysian arts, crafts and cultural activities

Chinatown - chicken feet here tastes weird :/

Istana Negara or National Palace - official residence of the King of Malaysia. We saw His majesty!

National Museum

KL Lake Garden - includes the National monument, deer park, butterfly park, bird park, carcosa seri negara, forest research institute, orchid garden and hibiscus garden. HIGHLIGHT: STONEHENGE
National Mosque - Masjid Negara

Merdeka Stadium - initially erected for Malaysia's declaration of Independence
National Art Gallery - Learn more about KL here!
Sultan Abdul Samad Building - this was the most photographed building before the Petronas came along
Central Market - buy el cheapo pasalubongs here!
Brickfield (Little India) - please bear with the smell hehee
It was a quick but a fun filled sojourn in Kuala Lumpur. We left Malaysia at around 12am and arrived in Singapore around 4am. The MRT operates at 6 am so we had to wait. Daut sleeps everywhere. Someone is lethargic! Hahaha.


Kids at heart!

The next stop on our whirlwind tour of Singapore was Sentosa Island. I just couldn't help but feel giddy as Daut and I made our way to Resorts World -- HOOORAYYYY ITS UNIVERSAL STUDIOS DAY!!!
We arrived in Universal Studios 9ish am and did not waste any more time. We went in line for our first ride-TRANSFORMERS. We entered the NEST FACILITY and it sets you in the mood for the mission.
We rode on EVAC, (autobot made for the ride) with our 3d glasses not knowing what to expect. I've never been on anything this AWESOME. And AWESOME being an understatement. The effects were AMAZING!!! No writing can give justice to the thrill of the unexpected twists, turns, bumps, smoke effects and drop near the end of the ride. I genuinely felt like I was with the autobots and decepticons. This one has to be my favorites ride. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!

Another attraction in the Sci Fi City zone is the Gallactica. This is a dual roller coaster where both tracks run simultaneously. One is called the "Cylon" where you are underneath the track with legs dangling. This is similar to the roller coaster in star city. The other one is "Human" where you are on top of the track. We opted for the more hardcore, Cylon. The ride made me feel sick, excited, scared and thrilled altogether!

Still feeling dizzy from the Gallactica ride, we proceeded to Ancient Egypt Zone. The main attraction within the zone is the Revenge of the Mummy. The passageway was entertaining with artifacts, artwork about Egypt and the mummy. But honestly, I did not enjoy the ride itself. It was an indoor roller coaster with a lot of backward riding in the dark. I'm usually an adventurous rider but this made me throw up :( I recovered soon enough and took pictures around the beautiful structures. I wish I can go to Egypt someday.

We watched the Wet Live Action at USS Waterworld. And what do you expect? It was WET. SOAKING WET for those sitting on the front rows. 

Hello Far, Far Away. I felt like a princess in the huge life size castle. The main attraction in the zone is the Shrek 4d Adventure. We did see, hear and feel the action right from our seat. At one point, the donkey sneezed at us. Yikes!

We moved on to the Madagascar zone. I like to move it, move it! The crate adventure ride was more laid back. Just what I needed from all the hair raising, ultra high speed roller coasters. We met Alex, the lion, Marty, the zebra, Melman, the giraffe and Gloria the Hippo in person. 

Lights! Camera! Action! Twas an amazing show in the New York zone hosted by Steven Spielberg, appearing on a video projection. The highlight was when the sky darkened and the room was filled with thunder, lightning, pouring rain, strong wind and intense fire until the windows were blown away. *claps*

And finally we ride the Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure. The ride is very similar to Rio Grande in Enchanted Kingdom. The main difference is that there were hungry dinosaurs and we were on the menu! My favorite part was the thrilling white water drop! 

And that's a rundown of our fun, fun, fun activities in Universal Studios! :) H-A-P-P-Y across our foreheads. 

To end the day, we watched the mesmerizing Songs of the Sea @ Sentosa Island. A not to be missed multi sensory extravaganza. I'm still amazed by the vibrant colors, entertaining music, outburst of flames, lasers, water jets and pyrotechnics.


Singapore lah!

Last weekend, Daut and I went to Singapore, lah. Second of many, lah. Oh lalala! Haha. When you're in Singapore, just remember to add the word "lah" in every english sentence! :)

Singapore is a very small country and with its flawless transportation system and MRT, going around did not present much of a problem. We met up with my cousin Ate Roscelle and Daut's cousin, Ate Darling. From the airport, we proceeded to Hougang Ave. where Ate Roscelle lives. I noticed that most Singaporeans live in high rise residential buildings. We have condominiums in the Philippines but it costs a fortune!

After unpacking, we went to Suntec City where we embarked our Duck Tour. Great fun riding the amphibious vehicle a.k.a. "duck" on land and on sea. The hour long journey circulated around Singapore's Civic district, running past the Padang, City Hall building, War Memorial and the Victoria theater. My favorite part was the splashdown to the Singapore river adjoining the Marina Bay. Gotta take a photo with the merlion. As an added bonus, the view of the sunset was amazing! Oh how I love watching sunsets fade away! <3
Afterwards, we went aboard the 540 feet Singapore flyer for a breathtaking 360 panoramic view of the City. It is said to be the largest observation wheel in the world. Just before boarding, we experienced an interactive gallery called "the Journey of dreams" that provides a deeper appreciation of Singapore and the iconic Singapore flyer.

The ride inside the capsule lasted about 30 minutes and we did see the wonderful sights of Singapore. It was absolutely beautiful to see everything light up at night. Our journey of dreams has just begun. :)
After the tour, we were treated to a sumptuous dinner of chicken rice, chilli crabs, fish and Mee Goreng a.k.a. pancit at Makansutra. Singapore is a marvelous place to enjoy food. But it can be expensive and can make up a major cost of our travel expenditure. Thanks to Ate Darling, we were able to pig out some of Singapore's best dishes without burning a hole in our pockets! :)
If you really want to experience local Singapore food at its best, try the hawker centers within the neighborhood. It serves a diversity of Singaporean food at an affordable price. I'll be back for more foodtrips, lah!


Land Below the Wind

From the highest mountain to the deepest jungle. 
See it all in Sabah, the breathtaking "land below the wind"...

Feb 6, 2012
Mt. Kinabalu is the tallest mountain in Southeast Asia and is situated in the Kinabalu National Park. Unfortunately, the 2 day climb would not fit our schedule. And I think I have to prepare myself physically too! I have always wanted to do something different, something breathtaking, something out of the ordinary so I will definitely be back to climb this beautiful mountain! :)
Another attraction in the park is the botanical garden being home to myriad species of flora and fauna. We were happy enough to explore the natural beauty in the serene tranquility of the park.

Caution: I get grumpy and irritable when hungry. There's a saying in Spanish: "barriega llena, corazon content" that literally translates to full stomach, happy heart. That's the happy-me below after being fed. Mwahaha. Thanks for putting up with the hungry-me, Dawg! :)
-Taxi to Mt. Kinabalu RM 16pax
-Conservation Fee RM 3
-Botanical garden RM 5
-Lunch RM 13
In the afternoon, we went to Lok Kawi Wildlife Park. Too bad, we missed the elephant ride but the animal show was a hit! Proboscis monkeys, orangutans, tigers, bears, ostrich, peacocks are the few of my favorites!

-Bus to KK RM 20pax
-Bus to Wawasan RM 1 pax
-Taxi to Lok Kawi RM 120
-Entrance Fee RM 20pax
We had dinner in Sera Melaka. FYI, they bring you side dishes like peanuts and wet tissues on the table. But be careful if you're on a budget because there is an extra charge for the treats. Good thing, Daut warned me when I was about to eat the peanuts. Haha. Our dinner costs RM 19.50.
We bought some pasalubongs at the Filipino Market. Isn't it ironic to buy there for family and friends in the Philippines? Oh well :)

Feb 7, 2012
Goodbye to the friendly staff of Lavender Lodge. Thank you Ate! We enjoyed our stay!

For our last day in Kota Kinabalu, we had a DIY city tour on foot. We just walked and walked with our backpacks and stopped by interesting spots like the City Waterfront. 

Taxi to Sabah museum from the city costs RM 15. We just took pictures outside the building since we could not afford to spend another RM 15 for the entrance fee inside the museum. There is a heritage village on the museum grounds where you can enter and experience different types of traditional houses similar to those in Mari Mari village.

Near the museum is the Sabah State mosque which is a masterpiece of Islamic architecture and contemporary design. 

Luckily, we were able to ride a bus to the airport and paid only RM 1.50. We spent our remaining money for pasalubongs! 

Terimah Kasih KK! 
I would never mind doing this over and over again! :)