Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thank you Nuffnang!!!

We are pleased to inform you that you've won in the 'Indulge in Uniquely Singapore' blog contest!
You will join the Philippine delegation to the Inaugural Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards on October 23, 2009 at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Singapore.
The flight, hotel, and Singapore tour will be shouldered by Nuffnang.

The itinerary will be:
October 23, 2009

Leave Manila for Singapore at 6:25 a.m.
Blog Awards Night Proper
October 24, 2009

Singapore Tour
October 25, 2009

Free time with flight back to Manila at 5:45 p.m.

Please be advised that the awards night is a Formal Black Tie event. Men are requested to be in suit, ladies in cocktail dress.


Friday, October 9, 2009

Indulge In The Uniquely Singapore Experience

* entry to Indulge In Uniquely Singapore/Nuffnang Awards 09

As the world goes global and foreign countries become neighbors, it's not easy to admit that I could still count on my fingers of one of my hands the few countries that I was able to visit. This is to sadly say that Singapore is not one of them.

Being from a neighboring Asian country, the Philippines, I don't live really that far. Actually just around 3 hours flight. Most of my friends had experienced Singapore, either as tourists or workers. From them I heard how unique Singapore is. They are in awe of how much culture,cuisine,arts and architecture have blended richly in one single country that is Singapore.

Images of uniquely Singapore amaze me. So much so that it has been part of my future plan to visit it one day. But what really hurried me to push through with this plan is the recent on line reunion with my long lost friend who I haven't seen for 15 years.

She found me in the internet just very recently. She is now based in Singapore and has nothing but wonderful words for the new country who adapted her. She lives there for around 15 years now and has witnessed the progressive success of Singapore through the years.We reconnect through on line communications and always she would bubble with invites to this beautiful country.

Weeeh.. I wish I'm living the life (a jet setter on her own right, travels Europe, USA and the rest of the world) she lives. But not..in fact I'm on the opposite end of the rope. Stop that drama queen-ess. The fact is for a happy dreamer like me, life goes on..and on to my dream indulgence of Uniquely Singapore.

1. Waking -up in a fresh morning enjoying :


- A Kaya Toast Breakfast at Yakun

- a thick layer of kaya (jam made of coconut and eggs) spread generously on toast and topped with a square pat of sunny butter. Washed down with a mug of piping hot coffee or Teh Tarik. Teh Tarik is tea with condensed milk mixed using the pulling method.

My sweet tooth would surely smiling from ear to ear with this breakfast that would energize the start of a day tour.

2. The day is young and best to start early a Sentosa Island Tour which will consume 4 uniquely Singapore hours.

- I would definitely look forward to experience the cable ride in Mt Faber, enjoy the scenic view on the way to Sentosa Island.

- I would then proceed to the Underwater World, one of the largest oceanarium that has an 83m long acrylic tunnel for a spectacular view of marine life.

So far so touristy, but I'm a lucky tourist for a day. I have no choice but enjoy the places this beautiful country offers ;)

- Then, me the tourist would next head for the Dolphin Lagoon where you get the opportunity to marvel at the performance of intelligent pink dolphins.

Wow! I've never known that there's a different color of dolphin other than black and white.

-Now it's time to hop onto the island's shuttle and head for the Merlion, standing on a 23m high hillock overlooking Sentosa. It offers a 360 degree view of Sentosa as well as a panoramic view of Singapore's southern shore.

Everytime I see photo of this Merlion, Singapore quickly comes easy to my mind. There's no way I would miss a photo ops of this landmark.

3. It would be around 12 noon at this point and I would be having second thoughts of taking a foodie lunch here or at the next destination which is to return back to mainland Singapore by coach via the Causeway Link.

One thing is sure though, I have to taste the Singaporean chilli crab where it was originated

4. The better half of the day is coming over and I see myself at the girls' heart hang out_ The Orchard Road, where shopping is divine.

Restricted by time, I would just concentrate my shopping escapade in one place _The Ion Orchard

5. Happy and happier I would be but ready to meet my friend to unwind and recap the day and the missed years with my long lost friend Jay in one of dining places here_still at the Orchard Road.

A day in Singapore is definitely not enough to Indulge in the Uniquely Singapore Experience!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Second Look of Borawan

Last month we went to my home town in Quezon . On our way back to Manila, we took a new (to us..) route. From Gumaca Quezon, instead of taking the Zigzag road, we opted to experience Bondoc Peninsula route which comprised of a number of towns_Agdangan, Padre Burgos, to name two of those towns. It was our first time to pass this way. We had been to Bondoc P, but only up to the first town (Padre Burgos) from Manila. This time, we took the other way around, which made Padre Burgos the last town before Lucena City to Manila.

Rewind : Last summer vacation (April 09), we visited the town of Padre Burgos and enjoyed Borawan Island. (island photo took from April 09 visit)

*see more of Borawan here.

When we reached Padre Burgos, my girls had recognized one familiar sight..

Borawan_ on a different angle.This was from the road, which we hadn't realized during our first visit that it was visible from here since we took the other route then.

I featured the island on my sites and realized it was "news" to many. I received lots of inquiries and interests to visit the place. I remember in one of my sites, I would read like 20 messages a day on the first week of posting it. Some of them had reached me through multiply and facebook account as I was sure about how resistant the comment space here at blogspot if you don't have your own account here.

One of them was "Leo", one of the 2% who shared back to me his own experience of the place. I intentionally hid his headshot photo and contact infos for his privacy.

hi... sorry to bother you.Jul 23, '09 10:26 PM
by leonard for users mylenemonik and elcapistrano0321
Hello... im leo and ive been reading your blog about quezon... Im planning to bring my team to padre burgos this coming august. Nobody has been there yet, not even me. Im wondering if you could be kind enough to answer some of the questions and concerns that I have. First is the place to stay, are there other resorts or vacation houses available around the area where the tamarind tree is? we dont require a big resort amenities we are doing this as a team building activity and we would like it to be a little private. We also would like to visit borawan island because of its beauty. Hope that you could help me out on this one. By the way i saw your blog about fitness first. I myself is a member but i usually go in MOA. hehe . Take care and hoping for your response.

mylenemonik wrote on Jul 24, edited on Jul 24
hello leo. i wonder how did u arrive to my multiply acct. i assume, u r talking about my site in blogger (ascertain bliss)? i mean there's a comment box there where u can send message too..:D anyway, u actually came to the right place. i frequent multiply and saw ur message right away. now that we're here, hope i cud help u somehow.
other than Tamarind Tree, i think there's another one in town (according to the boatman) but i don't think it has contact nos available in the net, neither i hold personal infos about that other resort. if you're not concern about coming in without reservations,maybe u cud just walk- in. anyway, it's off season and really Padre Burgos is uncrowded even on summer (when we went there). if your group is into adventure, you may opt to stay in the islands_Dampalitan or Borawan. there are nipa hut cottages in Dampalitan and i think campsiting is possible in Borawan.
i'm about to publish my entry of Borawan Island (that has been sitting as a draft for weeks now) in Ascertain Bliss. you cud check it out a little later.

elcapistrano0321 wrote on Jul 28
hey... I really appreciate your time and effort in helping me out. Im almost stressed in planning this trip already. I was able to track you down up to your multiply account thru your blog site. Whenever you google Padre Burgos your site will always be on the top of the few listed. Its really hard to research about this place since the place is reserved and not all people know about it. But i really think that its amazing. Honestly Ive never been to Quezon nor anyone on my team and its gonna be our first time and i think its really gonna be exciting. Whenever i look at pictures of borawan and dampalitan it never fails to amaze me. How they were able to preserve such beauty and kept it away from the crowd and commercialism.

By the way, so aside from tamarind tree there is another one in the area? I wonder if its villa anita? We are actually considering staying in borawan but our main concern is potable or fresh water in the island. Do you think we could take the risk of going there without prior reservations or definite place to stay in? We are planning to leave Manila around 3pm so most likely we will get there in the evening do you think we will be able to find a place to stay in the mainland for the night? Gosh... im sorry to put stress on you. hehe hope you dont mind.

Alright, well you take care hope to hear from you again. i love your blog by the way. Its a real compliment. hehe. hope to see you soon in the gym i usually go in MOA and at times in megamall. Good health to you and good luck on those pounds that youve gained within 3 months of not going to the gym.Im still in struggle of loosing my pounds away. hehe ( i read that as well). Take care.

mylenemonik wrote on Jul 29
hello there..to leave mla. at 3pm, i guess u really have to make a reservation then. arriving at night (around 6-7pm) wud leave u no time to look for a place. as for the other resort, maybe it was villa anita, but i'm not sure..I've bin there (padre burgos) only once last summer and went straight to tamarind tree.

if u r already in a nick of time, i cud only safely suggest to u the tamarind tree since i had it personally experienced.on second thought => u have to consider the nature of your team building. tamarind,by the way, holds some restrictions. they don't allow smoking & drinking (without which, cud the team survive?_hehe) inside the resort.food is packaged with the accomodation rate.otherwise, the resort is a good venue for team building.

as a bonus side trips, borawan and dampalitan are nice, especially if u love nature and appreciate the bareness of commercialism. but still, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. the islands are not that great as palawan and boracay but what make them "wow na rin", first of all is the proximity.it's so near from mla and so accessible. secondly, i like it that we almost owned the ocean and the beach when we were there and it was supposedly peak season.

are u planning to stay overnight or the whole weekends? if u really don't have the luxury of time to prepare for padre burgos, maybe u cud just go somewhere nearer.

hey_kip me posted, i'm already involved anyway_:)))

what days you go to moa?

sorry for the late reply just found time to go online today...

maybe we will just be pressing our luck once were there because tamarind tree holds a lot of restrictions when it comes to drinking and smoking and definitely we wont last a day without cigarettes. hehe. im not really expecting a place as beautiful as boracay or palawan but what amazes me is the absence of commercialism on the area and the serenity of the place. Thou honestly we have somewhat like high expectations on the place as well since the last place we visited was Bolinao in pangasinan and it was really amazing.

hopefully we will be lucky enough to find a place to stay in for the team building coz as much as i wanted Tamarind tree it cant be. I have a neighbor whos from quezon and she somewhat assures me that we will find a place to stay in there. Hopefully shes right. my plan is once we get there ill hire a trike to bring us around and hopefully find a place to stay in. I believe in a sying that nobody knows the place better that a tricycle driver. hahahaha.

Its gonna be 2 nights 2 days aug 5,6,7. its so close already and im really excited for it. I even prepared games to be played during the island hopping and prepared goody bags for everyone and even casting the menu for the trip and planning the itenerary for it. Hopefully everything will flow out smoothly as planned.

ill keep you posted and will even share pictures with you. i really appreciate your time and your kindness and your efforts to help me out. Btw i go to Moa almost everyday after my shift with a colleague of mine to work out. hope to see you soon. id love to see you in person. hehe.

take care! and btw you have nice beautiful kids.. youre doing great in raising them. congratulations. have a nice weekend ahead.

mylenemonik wrote on Aug 2
..and i don't mean it as "gudlak! na nagtataray" but really i wish u well, may everything be fun out there for ur team. i'm juz a lil' worried about u not having awaiting accommodations. anyway, you're all adults and i guess whatever encounters u wud experience upon looking for a place to stay, wud be an adventure/misadventure to laugh at the end of the day. i agree with u_nobody knows it better than the locals of the place especially the trike drivers!

i've been to Bolinao myself and it was another beautiful place.as for Padre Burgos, if in anyrate the place has failed to match ur expectations, try to divert ur attention to your company, the people u'r with because really at the end of the day_ it's the people, not the place that makes the trip a journey..haha! now that's unsolicited advise from an older traveler.

u saw my girls? they are 15 and 9 years old. now that gives u idea how a decade or two older I'm than u r.

it's nice meeting u on line. i'm sure we'll meet at the gym one day. till then..

have a fruitful team building! :D

elcapistrano0321 wrote on Aug 17
ei girl.....

how are you? sorry for the delay on the update. the plan went thru and we were able to go to padre burgos... girl the place is amazing and and the people are great and accommodating. There are some major problems along the way but we were able to pass thru it. The scheduled trip so happened became corys memorial day and the traffic is terrible. we were held in traffic in edsa and reach padre burgos so late at night that we didnt have a place to stay at. Buti na lang game lahat ng kasama at walang naginarte sa grupo. We stayed for the night in a local restaurant and then they even looked for a place for us to stay the next day. Thats how accommodating those people are. we have found a place and they charge 200 per person for a 24 hour stay. The place is pretty decent and comfortable. We were able to go to Borawan which really is our target then went to dampalitan as well. The place is very beautiful and we had the island to ourselves it like having our own private island and we loved it!! Im posting the experience on the blog portion of multiply. We are supposed to call it "The Quezon Adventure" and yes indeed it became an adventure. hehe

Thanks really for your help and all the information you gave me about the place. Im also posting pictures on the internet and will be sending you the link soon.

Take care always.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Lil' Turtle

It takes courage to come out..

It takes strength to have doubt..

It takes courage to lean on..

It takes strength to fit in..