The Iloilo One-Day Trip

It was mostly about work during my first visit in Iloilo but made sure to devote a whole day to explore the City with the boys. A truly fast-emerging destination for commerce and tourism. It is a booming place with a lot of building constructions, real estate developments, call center companies, and huge malls. It reminded me a lot of Manila but it is a sight to behold seeing less traffic on the road even during rush hours. Streets are mostly empty at the Iloilo Business District while the heavy car flow is just on the main tourist areas.

If planning a tour by yourself or with a guide, here are some places that you may consider visiting for a one-day trip:

  • Garin Farm – Located at San Joaquin and an hour and a half drive from the City. As you arrived, prepare Php150.00 for the entrance fee. Get ready to walk in the farm (you might smell foul odors along the way) then take a stop at the nipa hut to get acquainted with all the vegetables in the Bahay Kubo folk song (each one is planted around the kubo according to the sequence of the song). After a few elevated steps, you will get at the foot of the real climb! Take the 456 steps up while reflecting on the life of Jesus as a stopover. Eye on the Divine Mercy Cross and take a solemn moment reaching the peak with all is blinding whiteness—a version of heaven.
Garin Farm

Divine Mercy Cross

Angels are waiting when you reach the peak!

  • Miagao Church – Completed in 1797, the church is famous for the artistic sculptural relief carved on its façade. In 1993, the church was designated as one best example of the Baroque Churches of the Philippines and included in the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. (Reference: Explore Iloilo)
Miagao Church

View from the outside of Miagao Church

  • Tatoy’s – There are many branches but we ate at their resort-resto in Sto. Niño Sur Arevalo branch. Having lunch in front of the beach is the most amazing! Meal serving is a lot but the taste of the food is just okay and service is lousy; servers are inattentive.
Tatoy's lunch at the beach

Lunch in front of the beach!

  • Molo Mansion – Build in the 1920s and named Yusay-Consing Mansion; the place had hosted two Philippines Presidents— Manuel L. Quezon and Sergio Osmeña. While there is an attempt to preserve the historical ambiance, the lobby has become an SM Kultura store and the garden is now filled with restaurants. It could have been kept with fewer establishments.
Molo Mansion

Outside façade of Molo Mansion

  • Jaro Cathedral – The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)  formally declared the cathedral as the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Candles (Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria) on February 2012. It is the second national shrine in the Visayas. (Reference: Wikipedia)
Jaro Cathedral

The walk towards the altar

Drive around the City Proper and quickly visit their landmarks:  Arroyo Fountain, Libertad Train, Dinagyang Festival path, and Iloilo Port.

We were supposed to walk around La Paz Market but the weather did not permit (thanks to typhoon Domeng) so we went to Atria for Netong’s La Paz Batchoy and took a cup of coffee at Madge Cafe. The batchoy is good but not to crave for while Madge Cafe is a complete disappointment. The cappuccino tasted like chocolate powder drink and the black coffee was bitter thick and not fresh; the cafe has no coffee aroma. You also need to pay Php40/hour when charging your phone on top of paying for your drink/food order. I like to think that this unhappy encounter with these local favorites is just at Atria branch and does not reflect the other stores.

But we have discovered other good food! I am not a fan of biscocho (baked bread) but this has changed after a having a bite from Biscocho Haus! It has the right crunch, sweetness, and creaminess. Oh, the Guimaras mango remains the best of its kind! We will get back to Iloilo as full vacation next time! There are a lot more to explore there. We are eyeing these hotels for our next stay:

Richmond and/or Courtyard by Marriott – Located within the expanse of Iloilo City’s newest Megaworld township development along the  Iloilo Business Park. The area is a budding economic district consisting of important corporate offices, modern residential area, and a stylish shopping and entertainment complex. In between these hotels is the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) that hosted the APEC 2015 as its initial event.

 The Mansion – One of the most prominent landmarks in Iloilo City featuring a unique blend of Chinese, Spanish, and Filipino heritage and architecture offering 187 spacious and renovated rooms. It is a 1.5-hectare property at the heart of the main city.

A place to explore and a hotel to stay in, what would you recommend?

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Ramen Destinations in HongKong

The craving for ramen was equally strong even while in Hongkong and we found that they also have a lot of worth-slurping restos with no main branch yet in the Philippines (or maybe there is one opening now?!).

The family went to HK for me to attend a digital marketing summit, for our son to revisit Ocean Park, and for hubby to simply bond with us.  The Japanese Ramen exploration was not in the main plan during our short stay but it has surprisingly become one of the highlights of the trip as we have been solid lovers of this dish. Sharing our top three picks:

  • Ichiran

Get ready to line up for one to two hours before you take a good seat and enjoy that hot bowl of ramen. We don’t really like waiting that long but this one is an exception. They only have one type of serving but it fits to a lot of people; you just get to pick your mix on a menu sheet (flavor taste, richness, garlic level, green onions, type of sliced pork, Ichiran’s Original Red Sauce, noodle texture) and get ready to savour the moment… then do it again! The next day we went to line for hours once more at Tsim Sha Tsui branch before our evening flight.

Address: Lockhart House, Block A, 440 Jaffe Rd, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Ichiran Causeway Bay Hongkong

Fascinated with our ramen corner!

Ichiran Honkong

Best place to eat alone with no care in the world!

  •  Kuma

Address: 8 Parkes St, Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong

 The Black Kuma is one of the best garlicky noodle ever while the boys had a feast with their respective Kuma orders.

Kuma Ramen Hongkong

Ramen bowl for each! Happiness.

  •  Bari-Uma

Address: G/F, 26 Kimberley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, China

 Imagine pork flavored shoyu soup with grilled thick-cut chashu! I like how they perfectly flamed the meat to the inside making it so good to bite.

Bari-Uma HongKong

Which of these ramen flavors to choose?

Going to MonteMaria Batangas

The Family had a quick meaningful escape to Batangas and visited MonteMaria at Brgy. Pagkilatan, Batangas City. It is a beautiful pilgrimage center dedicated to Mary, Mother of All Asia. The location is a plateau that overlooks Verde Passage and the entrance of Batangas Bay of almost all vessels coming from Southern Philippines.  There stands a 63- meter tall stainless steel monument of Mama Mary while on top of a 25-meter tall podium.

Driving closer to Her now!

The one-way drive is about 2 1/2 hours from BF Homes and the view when reaching Batangas is just amazing. What I enjoyed the most was seeing the structure shaped as Mama Mary, tall and high while from a distance. So inspiring to see Her from far away like She is waiting for us.

Montemaria Batangas

She is waiting!

Ideal to come in the late afternoon or when the sun is not at its peak; the climb is high but reaching the auditorium would be worth the effort. If traveling with elders, you can just go up and park beside the tower (which we did for my Mom).

The Mothers and the Boys!

Montemaria Auditorium

The altar at the auditorium.

 It will be the icon and pilgrimage destination not only of the entire Philippines and eventually of all Asia and the World. So many more infrastructures are bound to be constructed—approximately 22 hectares of land to be allocated for the development of 1,000 condotel rooms and 500 villas with average floor areas of 40 sqm and 300 sqm, respectively. These residential accommodation facilities will be available to pilgrims, devotees, tourists, retirees, and all others on a time-sharing basis or sale. Built in the areas around the vicinity of the monument, this project was named Cloisters @ MonteMaria. In addition to this, there will also be 2 residential subdivisions with a total land area of 37 hectares. *

It will still take a long time before all the constructions are done; for now just simply enjoy the drive, the view, and make a solemn visit to Mama Mary.

 –

Reference: *www.montemaria.com.ph

Coworking Space in BF Homes Parañaque

To spend a day in a coworking space is something I have been planning to do but never had a chance. Most coworking areas are not-so-near my location and going out of the village is not very ideal, thanks to the heavy traffic in the Metro. I also saw some packages with expensive rates and not very welcoming to a per-day-only office setup. Have you tried coworking or do you wish to explore this arrangement?

Coworking is a style of work that involves a shared workplace, often an office, and independent activity. Unlike in a typical office, those coworking are usually not employed by the same organization. Typically, it is attractive to work-at-home professionals, freelancers, independent contractors, or people who travel frequently who end up working in relative isolation. (Source: Wikipedia)

Just when I was reconsidering an area in Alabang (either LaunchPad or Regus) and in Las Pinas (Gather), I saw two possible spots with no need to leave the subdivision! So while walking around Pergola and eating at Container Turf came into view The Common Space and WorkPlays.

The Common Space

Address: Unit 203, The Pergola Mall, Aguirre Ave., Cor. Gaches St., BF Homes

The Common Space is a coworking area offering different platforms of workspace for freelancers, startups, students, and ventures of all types. They support these core values: Community. Cowork. Create. Collaborate.

The Common Space, Pergola BF Homes Paranaque

WorkPlays

Address: 3/F C&C Building, Aguirre Ave., BF Homes

Workplays is a coworking space provider that caters to freelancers, small companies, and startup businesses. They aim to offer their tenants a work space that is both relaxing and mentally stimulating, breaking the mold of conventional offices; providing a conducive work area plus the opportunity to meet and work with other entrepreneurs.

WorkPlays at Aguirre BF Homes Paranaque

At the moment, I am only eyeing for three things: the location/parking, amenities, and rates for half-day, whole-day-only and one month plus per hour meeting room fee of 5 people. 

Coworking space rates at BF Homes Paranaque

Shall I include in the category where is the better coffee? 🙂

For now, I just like to know if this kind of setting is for me. If the experience is good, I am open to cowork for weeks or even months. Well, both have unlimited wifi connection and coffee refills so this must be okay! Where to spend an office day?

Photos c/o the FB Fan Pages.

The Not-So-Very-Nice People at the Coffee Stores

coffee shop pet peeveI enjoy working at coffee shops; it is an ideal other-office to finish a deadline, start a collaboration, prepare a report, read a chapter, or write a blog. There are a lot of times when I can accomplish more here than staying at the office. But not every day I get a dose of tranquility or that sense of accomplishment with a coffee in hand; some people just seem to miss good manners and drop “proper courtesy” in their vocabulary that I cannot simply ignore The Attitude. Have you encountered these not-so-very-nice customers?

  1. Talking on their mobile phones as if they are the only one in the room.
  2. Lounging on the store couch feeling like they are in their own bed.
  3. Removing their shoes and flaunting their feet! Are they assuming they are alone at home?
  4. Taking their time to look at the menu not minding the long queue.
  5. Chatting with each other in a loud voice perhaps imagining they just purchased the place!
  6. Owning an entire four-seater space and not planning to share despite the many crowds.
  7. Depriving other people a chance to charge drained phone or laptop batteries.
  8. Not cleaning their own mess; yes there are cleaners but throwing empty cups or setting aside used mugs won’t be much of a sweat.
  9. Slurping the coffee which makes me wonder if I am in a ramen house.
  10. Saying sorry or excuse me is not very common nowadays. There are instances when the venue can be full and we might unintentionally hit someone’s shoulder in a cramped walkway or drop someone’s stuff in a squeezed table… shall we just pretend like nothing happened?

I’m sure you have more encounters to add. But isn’t always ideal to go back to the basics and recall what we have learned in grade school? As simple as applying respect and courtesy wherever we go. Well, hope you still enjoy the fresh brew!

Coffee chat with @WriteNowNa

Up and Awake for 2018 (Part 4 Coffee Stops at BF Homes)

If there is one thing I have written in quite a series then that would be topics about coffee at BF Homes—been writing about it since July 2015’s 5 Coffee Stopover to November 2015’s Next 5 Coffee then March 2017’s Coffee Spot! Now starting the new year and continuing the brew-adventure all along Aguirre Street.

Drinking patterns change as I refuse to drink black and no sugar before but now this type of beverage has been a hobby to order especially when trying new coffee shops plus a taste of flat white (an espresso-based coffee drink. It is prepared by pouring microfoam into a single or double shot of espresso. It is somewhat similar to the caffè latte although smaller in volume and less microfoam, therefore having a higher proportion of coffee to milk*).

There are actual realizations too being a coffee drinker for years, like the quality of milk for a latte order must be as good as the beans in order to achieve that perfect cup; brewed coffee would taste bad if not served within 30 minutes after the brewing is done; not all beans are made equal, the aroma would always warn you if the coffee is really good or not.

Here is the latest list of coffee shops worth to visit while inside BF Homes.

Address: 218 Aguirre St. BF Homes

Specialty coffee providing a unique experience by serving a high-quality coffee in a warm and friendly setting. It creates a gateway that will support local community growth.

My Cuppa Fix at BF Homes

Address: 252B Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes

Also a specialty coffee shop striving to serve a bolder, more flavorful experience in every cup. Venue is well-lit and cozy; I like working here.

 Need Coffee along Aguirre

  • The Alex Coffee (January 2018)

Address: JJACC Building, 169 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes

Another new and very spacious coffee stop; they offer nitro and roast their own beans (there is even a special corner inside the store for the roasting).

The Alex Coffee - Coffee Roasting Corner

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_white

Photo Source: Images via Facebook page of each Coffee Store except Alex.

10 Realities of Freelancers

There are really so many perks of being a freelancer; as most practitioners proudly claim—own your time, be your own boss, freedom to be when and where you want to work.

True that doing freelance has a lot of advantages especially in managing time but it takes beyond time to keep up. Before taking the leap into freelancing (a lot are considering it now with the turn of the new year and the option to shift a career), I would always recommend friends and colleagues to study the pros and cons on top of their evaluation of their emotional and financial status. Our own attitude plays a huge part in the process; connection with people who can help is also very useful especially on the first year (my first consulting job was from my fulltime employer). Someone has to be there to support you, give you an opportunity to handle projects while you are still building a portfolio. It is a must to bank on discipline, patience, and perseverance; delivering quality work given the deadline.

Hubby is also a freelancer and we have made a random list which others can surely relate across industries. Get ready to live these realities once you jump into the freelance world:

Working on Vacation is the life of a homebased freelancer

Work while vacationing (taken a Veue Cabins)!

  1. Get accustomed to working even on vacations.
  2. Do a Monday night gimmick as you wish! 
  3. Learn to market yourself beyond the beauty of your CV.
  4. You will miss the excitement of going to ATMs on the 15th and 30th plus the thrill of holiday bonuses.
  5. Good thing, you won’t be affected by “petsa de peligro” (days closer to salary and pockets of employees are almost empty).
  6. Seeing all your billings become a nightmare when there is no work in the pipeline.
  7. There are months you will be overloaded to the point of refusing a job (so as not to compromise quality) while there are also off-peak days when you just stare at your computer screen and no work is popping.
  8. Some clients are way too unreasonable, admit it. Now, you have the option to refuse working with dementor-like-clients.
  9. At several scenarios, getting your cheque on time is but a dream and sweet promises of the accounting department is the last hope.
  10. You will get a full-time offer that is so tempting you will have second thoughts if you are doing the right thing.

Do an honest analysis of where you want to be in terms of your career and finances along with your personal goals; the realization will help you stay as freelance or go back to corporate world, your choice. Stick to where you are most happy and productive. 

As the year ends and new plans will prosper for us all in terms of personal and career growth, let me thank you for staying with me through 2017 and looking forward to more of our adventures together this 2018!

Merry Christmas!

 

Reviewing Veue Cabins at Bolinao Pangasinan

This long ASEAN weekend, we were able to sneak for a quick out of town at Bolinao, Pangasinan. It was a secluded place ( 5-hour travel time from Paranaque without heavy traffic) with our room fronting the beach.  Veue has a relaxing atmosphere with only six cabins for guests with swimming pool in the midst. There was no internet signal in the vicinity; it feels refreshing to detach to digital world sometimes. 

If the idea is an escape from the chaotic city traffic for a few days and go on a long tranquil drive without much stress, you can try to leave the Metro at 4am and enjoy the trip to Bolinao. Sharing the same thoughts of Hubby (with a few of my add-on comments in green italic font), here is the review he did (also seen on Veue Facebook) and credits to his photos too! 🙂

VEUE Bolinao Pangasinan

… We were booked in Veue Beach Cabins from November 16-18. They have 6 cabins, and we picked the nearest from the beach (they have 2), one of which is named Malang house. Yes, the drive was long, with some roadworks but, when you reach the place, it was all worth it.

Let me start off with how to go there. I followed Waze and used the TPLEX Ramos (Paniqui) exit. There were a few road constructions, but nothing fuzzy about it. From the Bolinao Hi-way, you will make a left towards Patar Beach (roughly around 18 kms). Waze then will say, you have reached your destination but no. You have to climb up and follow the “G” sign. It will lead you to a rough road. SUVs, Pick-up Trucks, and Vans can traverse the road easily; Sedans are another story. If your sedan is equipped with stock tires and stock suspension, please proceed with caution because the road is rough with pointed rocks. But if installed lowering springs and low profile tires, better think twice. You will then see Veue Beach Cabins after the G resort.

After the long and winding and a bit of rough road, you will eventually feel that your vacation will start instantly. You will have a break with your mobile devices, social media sites because there is no signal (there is phone signal, for calls only in one spot in G resort). So, grab a book, or better yet, just enjoy what is in front you. The view is majestic especially during the magic hours.

VEUE Bolinao Pangasinan

We stayed in Malang house, two of the cabins that are closest to the ocean. Now, let us go to the cabin. The Malang Cabin is roomy (all Veue Cabins are). They have a pantry with complete accessories (coffee press without coffee beans, hehe, plates, utensils, dual electric stove, refrigerator, sink, microwave, etc), meaning there is no food (not even a single water bottle), so you are allowed to bring whatever you want to cook. You can also order at the G Resort if you don’t want to problem preparing. But, if there are no guests in G Resort, tendency is, they do not stock up their inventory. Don’t get me wrong, they serve good food, but not just complete (I must say, a bit pricey too). The cabins are also equipped with sofa bed and a king size bed. The toilet/bathroom is spacious too. By the way, you have to bring anti-insect patches when traveling with kids (we caught a spider in the room so stay alert for all types of crawlers). The cabins have enough spacing for privacy as well. Imagine, there is an ongoing construction just on the vacant lot near us, with backhoe and all those hammering, but once you got into your cabin, the noise was isolated (if no Spotify and TV is off, construction sound can be bothersome as it comes persistent in the morning until afternoon).

The pool is child-friendly; my son loves it. He even said, the best pool ever (maybe because he can touch the floor, and on our second day, he owned the pool since no other guests checked-in)! The view from the pool to the ocean is breathtaking. My wife and I literally stared at it for hours, just eating chips and drinking (coffee/)tea. God’s work is truly amazing.

VEUE Bolinao Pangasinan - Malang

The beach. Ah, the beach. My wife loves it only because of the white sand. But, you can’t really jump and swim right away because of sea rocks. It is filled with sea rocks. It is like a maze going to spot where there are no rocks. If you are into snorkeling, then it could work for you guys.

My observation, there was a security hut near our cabin, but never did I see any security guard on duty. There were occasional vendors that can go inside the premises. Privacy check here guys. We also wanted to extend our stay for another night and the staff suggested to just call the owners but we will go back to the problem of mobile signals. Opportunity lost there.

Overall, it was a great escape for us and worth the long drive. Are we gonna go back? Definitely. Thank you again Veue Beach Cabins.

Sunday Visit at Taal Basilica

Last Sunday, we agreed to have a long drive farther South and attend a mass somewhere in Batangas. Just a whole day escape from the City and to have a glimpse of the greens and seas—Batangas is filled of such sceneries.

We went to Taal Basilica, around 65km far from BF Homes, Paranaque. And yes, it is worth the drive. Truly amazing to see the old-majestic facade of the church with intricate exterior designs. The history and the initiatives to preserve the holy structure is also very interesting to know. The struggles and the will of the Church to stand firm despite many trials is so inspiring. Here are some great historical information worth noting.

·       It takes pride as the oldest church in Asia; it started construction beginning 1575—3 years after the founding of Taal town in its old site near the shores of Taal Lake with Saint Martin of Tours as Patron Saint.

·       The church was rebuilt and improved in 1642 using stronger materials but in 1754, it was destroyed along with the town of Taal in the largest recorded eruption of Taal Volcano. This event led to the transfer of the town and the church 7.5km west away from the volcano to its present site atop an elevated hill facing Balayan Bay. The ruins of the previous church can still be seen in San Nicolas, Batangas.

·       The construction of the new church started in 1755 to 1782 but yet again damaged by a natural calamity by a strong earthquake on September 16, 1852.

·       Construction of the present church began in 1856 and was completely finished in 1878.

·       A small tower on the left side of the facade contained the large church bell, which in 1942, was destroyed by an earthquake.

·       The church was then restored in 1953 and then the following year on December 8, 1954, the church was declared as a Minor Basilica, the third in the country to be given such honor.

·       The church was again restored in 1972 by the Taal Quadricentennial Council for the 400th anniversary of the town’s establishment and on January 16, 1974 was declared a National Shrine.

·       In April 4, 2017, the Basilica was damaged by a 5.5 earthquake that struck Tingloy, Batangas. The Basilica was significantly damaged again caused by twin earthquakes (magnitudes 5.6 and 6.0) that struck the neighboring towns of Mabini and Taysan that occurred on April 8. The National Historical Commission of the Philippines is undertaking some precautionary measures in order to preserve the Basilica.

The Taal Basilica canonically known as the Minor Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours (Filipino: Basilika ni San Martin ng Tours; Spanish: Basílica Menor de San Martín de Tours) is a Minor Basilica in the town of Taal, Batangas in the Philippines, within the Archdiocese of Lipa. It is also considered to be the largest catholic church in the Philippines and in Asia, standing 88.6 metres (291 ft) long and 48 metres (157 ft) wide. St. Martin of Tours is the patron saint of Taal, whose fiesta is celebrated every November 11.  (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taal_Basilica)

 

Visit their small gallery, light a candle, attend a mass, enjoy the sudden blow of wind at the entrance door, or just simply pray. Coming here is spiritually uplifting.

7 To-Do’s on a Singapore Weekend Trip

Plan a productive weekend when in Singapore while taking note that it has similar hot weather like in the Philippines (it was also bipolar during our stay as it was so sunny in the morning then a strong rain in the afternoon) but the place is completely clean and the highway traffic is way too bearable even during a Friday night rush hour. Special thanks to my Father-In-Law who treated our entire stay as his birthday gift to my Son! Where to go? Here are some of the places you may consider while on a 3-night vacation with a kid onboard.

  • Sentosa – an island resort off Singapore’s southern coast, connected to the city by road, cable car, pedestrian boardwalk, and monorail. Depends on how many attractions you wish to explore but you can spend a day here to just simply roam around (ride cable car and tour the Sentosa Island via Bus) or visit S.E.A Aquarium (large aquarium featuring 800 species of marine life in a variety of habitats; one-day ticket at SG$34 for adults and SG$24 for kids) and Universal Studios (one-day ticket at SG$76 for adults and SG$56 for kids), among many other activities that you can pick.

  • Gardens by the Bay – nature park spanning 101 hectares of reclaimed land in central Singapore, adjacent to the Marina Reservoir. In the afternoon, you can take a look at the Flower Dome, Cloud Forest, and Heritage Gardens. Comes night, stand in awe of the amazing SuperTree Grove uniquely designed vertical gardens of 25 to 50-metres tall with a light display (7.45pm and 8.45pm daily). Bring a thin blanket or a long shawl to spread on the floor so you can lie down and watch the effects for free.
Gardens by the Bay Light Show

SuperTree Grove Feels like in Avatar World

  • Marina Bay Sands – walk at the huge and intricately-designed mall;  enjoy your coffee at the DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe. Well, nothing really spectacular about their latte but a Superman-designed mug and a cookie shape Batman is fun to try. The kids would surely fancy DC-character ice cream stick! Then go up to the paid viewing deck of the boat-shaped top floor soaring 57 level; observation deck entrance fee is SG$23 for adults and SG$17 for children.
DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe

Superman Latte and Batman Americano, please!

 

What’s on the high boat?

From Marina Bay, you can just walk to the ferris wheel and stroll at the Merlion Park.

  • Singapore Flyer – the Flyer has an overall height of 541 feet and takes about 30 minutes cycle. (Only second to the highest ferris wheel in the world, first being High Roller at Las Vegas at 550 feet.) The ride offers a nice 360 panoramic view of Singapore. The ticket is priced at SG$33 for adults and SG$21 for children.

Singapore Flyer from the Marina Bay POV

  • Merlion Park – you’ve probably seen images of Singapore’s national icon, the mythical Merlion with the head of a lion and the body of a fish. She is the Mama Merlion and the body symbolizes Singapore’s humble beginnings as a fishing village when it was called Temasek, meaning ‘sea town’ in Old Javanese. Her head represents Singapore’s original name, Singapura, or ‘lion city’ in Malay.
Mama Merlion

Side view of Mama Merlion (The Daddy is on Sentosa Island)

  • Orchard Road – a 2.2 kilometer-long boulevard and Singapore’s retail heart with discount outlets, department stores, and upscale boutiques, alongside luxury hotels. Duration here is based on your shopping appetite, you can spend a whole day at Orchard to (window) shop and eat. As for us, we eyed on the eating part and found a really good ramen place at OrchardGateway! if you are Japanese noodle lover, have a slurp of shoyu or the black garlic at Kanshokuramen.
Ramen!

Ramen!

 

Starwars at Orchard

Starwars Product Launch at Orchard

  • Clark Quay – historical riverside quay (a structure built parallel to the bank of a waterway for use as a landing place) in Singapore, located within the Singapore River Planning Area. Drop by late afternoon or evening then jump to a dinner treat as there are a lot of mouth-licious food spots! If you are a seafood lover, get a reservation at Jumbo along the RiverWalk and make sure to order their crabs and shrimps! Or if you like cook-your-own steak done on a small-square stone grill, check Hot Stones. The extreme-adrenaline seekers might want to try  G-Max Reverse Bungy (I did NOT even think of riding it)!

The walk at Clark Quay

 

WriteNowNa in Singapore

Ready to crack the crabs!

These are just some of what you can do in SG and are guaranteed to leave memories! Have an amazing trip!