Manila 2017 || Birthday Staycation at Rizal Park Hotel

This is going to be my last post until I get out of a one to two-month hiatus. I know I said I wasn’t really sure, but I work out things so much better when I give myself a timeline or a deadline of sorts, and that’s what I decided to do this time. I wouldn’t want to stop blogging again because I did that back in 2012 and only got back into it by 2014. I sometimes wish life would just be a series of fun staycations and hotel hopping but I would rather that staying in hotels do not become second nature to me and be the source of my anxiety. I know this anxiety is unreasonable, but that’s exactly it. Unreasonable. I get pumped when I find a new hotel to try out that is within my price range, which is also why I’m always on the lookout for newly opened hotels because they tend to have introductory prices and you know you’re sleeping in a brand new bed. When I came across Rizal Park Hotel, I booked it for my birthday weekend without hesitation.

The location is ideal if you want to visit the attractions within Rizal Park (such as the National Museum of Fine Arts, Planetarium, Manila Ocean Park, Museo Pambata, etc), or Rizal Park itself. I wouldn’t say walking around is the safest, because let’s face it, this area is not really known for its safety from pickpockets. The hotel itself is gated so you don’t really need to worry about this once you’re inside hotel grounds.

The hotel itself is beautiful. The building was finished by 1911 and was initially used by the Army Navy Club. This year, after being restored to its initial glory, it opened its doors as a luxury hotel. Do note that as of writing, a huge portion of the hotel is still being constructed. There may be more amenities available by the end of the year or the next. I think they are still working on the gym because as of now, it’s just a small room with a glass wall where you can see only a handful of gym equipment. Better than nothing, for the fitness buffs.

However, since it was new, the staff is still working on providing hotel guests a more streamlined experience and it’s okay since they’ve only been open for roughly 2-3 months. If you’re bringing a car and decide to head out, you will have to get your parking ticket validated every single time at the reception because you will need to give the slip at the exit every time you go out.

Ever since I experienced a mix up in reservations and was unwittingly got scammed at Vietnam, I make sure to send an email to the place where I’m staying at within a week before I check in. I didn’t like that it took them three days to respond to my email, which is a bit lengthy as I’ve never had to wait that long to get a response for a booking confirmation email. So if you’re planning to check in spontaneously, your best option would be to give them a call. The check in process also took a while because they only reserved one room for one night (we booked two rooms for two nights) even though I confirmed my reservation a few days before. I also requested on my initial booking to get rooms located on the same floor since I wanted to be able to hang out with the sibs, too. I think whoever was in charge in making room assignments had to rearrange it again since they only reserved one room for us. We eventually did get both rooms located on the third floor.

It rained on our first day – and the rest of the weekend – and it is something I have learned to expect over the years because it never fails to rain on my birthday. What was unfortunate was C going down to the reception (which I later found out was not to find food but to arrange for a cake to be delivered to our room) and on his way up, the elevator door opened to a mini waterfall display. Since all the elevators leaked/got flooded, we had to utilize the stairs for the rest of our stay. Thank goodness that our rooms are located on the third floor because if we were higher up, they’d never hear the end of me complaining.

The rooms itself are great, not too spacious but the Deluxe Room had enough space for two people. I love the colorful tiles and the actual chandelier in the bedroom. The room’s neutral color palette was really relaxing, with a hint of luxury. And there’s a full body mirror – which I like because it’s hard to check your outfit without one. Haha! We did have a wifi problem since we couldn’t use the room/last name combo to get wifi access, so they gave us another way to connect to the wifi. I also didn’t see a safe in the room, which is something to keep in mind for guests who have valuables they want to leave in their room. The television’s channel guide is also a little off, but it’s not lacking with English channels for foreign visitors. If there’s one thing I like about local hotels in this country that I really can’t say for a lot of foreign hotels I’ve been to, is that Filipinos are westernized enough that we have a lot of English shows available. (There are also some Chinese and Korean channels, too, if I remember correctly.)

I like hotels with bidets in their toilets. Do you know how annoying it is to use toilet paper to wipe shit off your butthole? I don’t know if it’s just me but I never feel fully clean until I get to wash my ass. Haha! The bathroom had an abundance of towels for two guests, and they provide what I would consider complete toiletries.

Sleep quality was A+ in this bed. It was super comfortable that even if we set an alarm using the room’s alarm clock, the only thing we do once it wakes us up is turn it off so we could sleep again. The room’s air conditioning didn’t help either because it was cold no matter how much we turn it up. Haha!

As with most hotels, you can pick between getting a room with twin beds or a king bed. While C and I got the one with a king-sized bed, the sibs got one with separate beds. They had the same amenities we do although their room felt slightly bigger than ours.

As I always say whenever I write about hotels I have stayed in, the staff is a major part of the hotel experience. No matter how great the amenities are, the staff can make or break your stay, especially with staycations. Fortunately, the hotel staff is great. They are always eager to help and would accommodate what we considered ‘silly’ requests. I stayed for the long weekend for my birthday, and C went to the hotel’s buffet (and as of writing, their only) restaurant to inquire whether they sell their cakes whole. They don’t, but they eventually acquiesced and let him buy a whole cake from their buffet (he also told me how the restaurant staff let him pick the icing to use in writing the greeting) and delivered to our room even though they do not have room service yet. Whenever we’re carrying bags to and from the parking, if a staff sees us, they would immediately offer help to carry it (even if it wasn’t heavy).

Our stay came with complimentary buffet breakfast that runs from 6 to 10 in the morning. The buffet breakfast offers different breakfast choices from Filipino, to Japanese, Chinese, and Western breakfast. The choices for each is not as overwhelming as most international buffets, and there were some hits and missed with the available dishes. I can’t go into too much detail though because we didn’t really get to see the entirety of the spread whenever we had our breakfast. I believe that this was the first long weekend so the volume of guests was higher than usual, and some of the items in the buffet breakfast ran out/took a really long time to be refilled even though it’s not even 9 AM yet. I think the staff at the restaurant also got overwhelmed because we had to ask for coffee repeatedly until we got it.

The restaurant has a door connected to the hotel’s courtyard where guests can smoke, hang out or drink al fresco.

Checking out also took a while since a lot of the guests were checking out at the same time. Also an additional note, I’m not sure if it’s the hotel or the bank, but the cancellation of deposit via credit card also took a while. I’m anal about any sort of credit card charges so I always check my credit card account to make sure cancellations push through and the cancellation still didn’t reflect a full day after checking out. My experience with other hotels is it is canceled within the hour after check out..? I’m under the impression that they’re still working on managing the hotel with a large volume of guests.

Overall, I would definitely stay in the hotel again. There is a great potential for a luxury hotel with the available amenities, and the service the staff provides. They gave me a 50% off discount coupon which I plan on using in a few months to see the hotel amenities that are still being constructed and see if the experience improves once they’ve had more time to operate. 🙂

Rizal Park Hotel, South Road Drive, T.M. Kalaw Ext., Ermita, Manila, Philippines 1000

What’s your favorite luxury or boutique hotel in the Philippines? Let me know in the comments below because I enjoy staying in nice hotels! 🙂

Manila 2017 || Where to go, what to eat

If I had to pick one thing to love about the blogging community I’m surrounded with, it would be the sheer amount of support you get from the friends you gain online. The outpouring of love and “please don’t throw yourself in front of the bus” I’ve gotten from the comment section and private messages I received from that previous post really touched me. Don’t worry! I don’t plan to. I feel awful complaining about life when I know I’m already privileged – all my life I’ve never had to go really truly hungry, always knew there was a bed for me to sleep in, I have enough clothes to go a month without repeating outfits, I have been employed by jobs that pay well/allowed me to help my family/finances my travels and the things I enjoy doing, and I have more than a handful of people that loves and supports me throughout all of it. But that crushing feeling of being overwhelmed about not having a “purpose” is not something I can accurately put into words. As I’ve said, I’ve been getting sick more frequently – there’s nothing wrong with me that can’t be fixed by getting a good amount of sleep, some weight loss, and a cleaner diet. But it’s also made me think about my inevitable death and how much I don’t want to die regretful. It has made me take a look at my life, what I spend time on, and I guess I just wanted to take a break to examine just that. And maybe get my head out the water and just keep breathing. But enough about death and all this sad talk guys and girls, I’ll get over it. I’ll just be extra and dramatic about it first. Haha! This post was about something more cheerful and the entire opposite of death. So here’s a rundown on how I spent my 26th birthday weekend! 🙂

I usually go out of town for my birthday on a solo trip. I’ve always found solo trips a gift to one’s self. I know it’s just not me who enjoys traveling solo, but I also like that I get to make decisions based entirely on my preference. This year, however, I decided to stay put and just go on a staycation with my family. My birthday is a day before a national holiday which always guarantees that I either get a long weekend or at the very least, an excuse to stay in post birthday celebrations. C kicked off my birthday weekend by handing me a huge pink Aranaz paper bag. I’ve always had a thing for structured boho bags. I really liked the ones that are available in dozens of online shops now but I’ve seen it on a lot of people now that just seeing it made me tired of looking at it. Haha!


As usual, I didn’t really have a solid plan of what I wanted to do during our weekend. While C loved doing nothing for his birthday, I wanted to sleep in before heading out to visit the museums in Metro Manila for mine. It’s weird because I’ve lived in this country my whole life. I head out to travel and visit museums, but rarely do so when it came to local ones. Unless it was a school requirement, I never bother, so I decided to change that. Of course, our first stop was the National Museum of Fine Arts. It’s a four-story building that used to be where Congress and Senate meet until it got turned over to the National Museum of the Philippines, and was in turn, filled with exhibits by Filipino artists and houses the famous Spoliarium by Juan Luna. Before I started looking into museums to visit, I thought this was the actual National Museum, and didn’t realize that the title is used for the governing body who manages all the National Museums. Entrance fee to all the museums they handle is also free since relying on visitors fees proved to be detrimental in managing the museums, hence, taxpayers now fund the upkeep. I think it worked because it was packed with locals and tourists alike on a rainy Saturday afternoon, more than a year since the fee has been revoked.

Juan Luna’s portraits of daily life in Paris
Philippine Hero, Jose Rizal

An artistic representation of me at work LOL

We attempted thrice in the span of two days to watch the shows at the National Planetarium but was unsuccessful because we always get stuck in traffic. It recently re-opened early this year after renovations to upgrade the facility and I really wanted to see whether it lives up to my memories of being in awe of it back when I was in grade school. The nearest miss was when we missed the 10 AM show by 5 minutes and the next one was for 2 PM. Instead of hanging around and waiting, we headed to BGC for another museum.

Adult responsibilities aside, I still feel like a child at heart and interactive museums never fail to entertain me. We went to The Mind Museum where I’ve been itching to visit.. but I also don’t like heading to anywhere in Taguig (the office included) because that place is like a bubble. Getting in and out of it is a journey on its own because traffic is horrible. It takes me a full hour on normal work days to get from the BGC bus terminal to the office building I work in even when I get off at the third stop. Ugh. But I digress. The Mind Museum is not as extensive as other interactive museums I’ve been to, and they know that which is why they have three-hour time slots which are ample time to explore the entire museum. Unlike the National Museums, admission is not free. If you’re going with a student (or anyone you know that has an ID for discounts), have them bring their ID. My brother goes to a state university and his discount is huge (since my sister attends a private school, hers is minimal but discounts are discounts haha).

After visiting The Mind Museum, I wanted to head back to Rizal Park and take our chances at either the Planetarium again or Museong Pambata. But we knew the museums close early and all this rain is undoubtedly going to foist our plans once again that C just drove around while we thought of what we wanted to do next. He remembered how I wanted to go to a gun range, and headed to Makati Cinema Center where there’s a bowling alley, a gun range, and an archery range. When we got there, we had a vote on what we wanted to do (I’m all for democracy, even on my birthday haha), and archery won. Off to Kodanda Archery, we go.


I also think that birthdays are a good excuse for stuffing your face silly, and I had three days to do so (which was, unfortunately, also detrimental to losing weight). We had a late lunch in Binondo on our first day and I over ordered that it ended up as both lunch and dinner for us. C & I have made the walk to Sincerity Cafe & Restaurant from Binondo Church since we were in college, mainly because it was C loved their fried chicken, plus it was cheap and we didn’t have a lot of cash to spend on dates. This time we went to their branch in Lucky Chinatown Mall and had our patience, with the traffic and the almost full parking, tested.

Sincerity Fried Chicken
Sincerity Patatim with Cuapao – I’M A BIG FAN
Sincerity Fried Rice
Oyster Cake – NOT a fan at all

Anyone who spent their childhood in the Philippines in the 90s grew up with Jollibee. I’m not gonna lie, as an adult, it still is my favorite fast food. When I was younger, all I wanted for my birthday is a Jollibee birthday party which I didn’t get, so I’ll make do with a birthday lunch from Jollibee.

The last leg of stuffing my face happened during my birthday dinner at Niu by Vikings. I was looking into dinner buffets that had a birthday promo and wasn’t too expensive (no hotel buffet dinners for me) but still served quality food. When multi-cuisine buffets started popping out of nowhere the past few years (beating the classic Pinoy buffets that have been around forever), cheaper ones followed suit. I didn’t want to gorge with so-so food, as quantity over quality has been quite the theme in some buffets I’ve been to. I did my research and ended up here to ensure a nice birthday dinner. I, unfortunately, didn’t get to try all the cuisines they offer because I got full around my third plate of food. Haha! 🙂

I had a number of restaurants that I wanted to try on our third day, but I still had a large amount of undigested food in my tummy. I was also starting to show symptoms of the flu. The feeling of being bloated and runny nose does not mix well together, and we spent the rest of our staycation utilizing the bed for sleeping. Overall, I had a relaxing and [literally] filling birthday weekend with my family. I honestly was dreading turning 26 for a bit, because 25 is a good number to achieve a lot of milestones in life (admittedly, a lot of my plans were thwarted but it happens). 26 sounded so close to 30 – and it meant I only had four remaining years to tick off the remaining items in my ’30 before 30′ list. But good food and great company (with their thoughtful birthday gifts) make for awesome birthday memories. Cheers to turning 26! 🙂

Suitecation at Infinity Tower Suites + Eating our way through Makati

I already had a draft of this post just sitting there, waiting for me to fill the gaps with words, for almost a week now. However, before I even got to doing so, the stats on my old posts kicked up for some reason. I had been putting off updating them because there were a lot, but since I was getting comments on some of them, I knew I had to go back and do a clean up of sorts. I went and deleted most of them that were basically just a college student’s rants, and my posts went down from 700+ to 275. I also worked on updating the posts with missing photos (such as the ones from a 2013 travel series/my first foray with a Schengen visa) and even got to upload a video of old clips with it. I’m now working on another old travel series where C and I went to Singapore for my birthday. Thank goodness I have the long weekend to work on this. Now all I need is another staycation, and this weekend would really take a turn for the better.

Last weekend, we did just that. I bought a Dealgrocer voucher for a room in Makati and booked one for me and the sibs. Since all of us had different schedules, last weekend was the only one we could free up without it being a holiday/long weekend, and totally avoid the crowds. When we got to Makati, the first thing we did was go to Glorietta for a little shopping. C was busy with weekend work, but we had lunch together at Kanto Freestyle Breakfast in Makati. Every time I didn’t work from home and worked the night shift in the office, we make it a point to have breakfast. We often end up here or Crepe Amelie, so we decided to have the sibs try it out too. Both siblings had Crispy Corned Beef, C had his usual New Zealand Beef Tapa, and I ordered my favorite Tuyo Flakes with Kesong Puti. We all had Scramble after our meal, to try and beat the heat.

We stayed in a 2-bedroom suite at Infinity Tower Suites. It was huge and looked more like a condo than a hotel room. The master bedroom had its own bathroom and too many cabinets for a hotel room. Honestly, if I had a condo, this would be how big I want it to be (but it would be too expensive and I’d just buy a house instead lol), and the location is great as well. It’s located in the heart of Makati’s business district, and would be perfect for anyone who works within the area. You can just bike or walk to your workplace! That’s what I would do if I lived there.

The master bathroom had a tub, although it was a little faulty since it drains slowly even while it’s plugged. The bathroom does look dated though.

The common bathroom looked even more dated than the master bathroom. It did function properly, although the bidet in this toilet had a super strong pressure.

The other bedroom had two single beds where the siblings slept in. All of the rooms had the AC temperature control panel, but the entire flat was really cold no matter how much we fiddled with it.

The kitchen was equipped with a fridge, an old electric stove top oven (you can tell it has been used countlessly in the past), a microwave, and complete utensils. We were weirded out by the door here and found out that it leads to a laundry room, and the maid’s quarters.

The living area had a huge 2-piece lounge set and a small dining table.

I bought a bath bomb from LUSH to use on the tub! I never knew how amazing they were but even if I had a tub at home, it would be too expensive to use it.

After spending the afternoon filling ourselves with junk food and binge watching movies, we headed to BGC with C to have dinner in Genki Sushi. It’s unfortunate that Japanese cuisine in this country is a bit on the pricey side. I wish I can crave for sushi and sashimi anytime I want and not worry about my wallet. What’s special about Genki Sushi is the automated ordering system and the food train that delivers your food.

When we got back, we spent the night hanging out again with drinks and ice cream! Even though we all live in the same house, we don’t really see each other often because of our conflicting schedules. I work the night shift, my brother attends the university, and my sister still works on her academic prowess even during summer vacation. *cough nerd cough*

The next morning, I was lying in bed thinking what our breakfast would be at The Wholesome Table. I knew it was an organic restaurant so I decided on eating an ice cream cookie sandwich before we headed down there. I know, I know. For someone who is trying to eat healthily, I eat so much junk.

Our stay in Infinity Tower Suites comes with free set breakfast in The Wholesome Table. It’s an organic restaurant and the interior is heavily inspired by nature. It uses wood, fake plants, and warm lighting. There were floor to ceiling windows to let natural light in, and tons of flora outside these windows to complete the one with nature feel of the restaurant. The decor is dreamy and similar to how I would decorate the breakfast nook on my future forever home. As hotel guests, you get a one-page menu to order your set breakfast from. The selection was understandably limited compared to their actual menu.

C and I both had the Meat & Eggs Plate. Our meat was our choice of Nitrate-free Bacon, scrambled free-range eggs, and breakfast salad. To be completely honest, everything tasted okay although all I could think of while eating was that it could use a little more salt. But that’s just me and my taste buds. My brother had their Gluten-Free Lemon Yogurt Pancake, while my sister had their Gluten-Free Waffles. Both came with coconut vanilla butter and raw honey. I’ve had quite a lot of vegetarian, vegan, and, organic meals in my life (I am fascinated by them), but this was, unfortunately, my least favorite.

He was not happy with me when I told him where we were having breakfast

We wanted to have dessert after our meal and went out in search for something sweet. I initially thought that the Salcedo Weekend Market was open on Sundays and it was a short walk from where we were, so we headed there. But I was mistaken, and our search ended with the suggestion of going to another of C and I’s favorite breakfast places. Crepe Amelie has been an establishment that we frequent for years now, and I can order from them without looking at their menu. Their floor to ceiling windows are similar to the ones on The Wholesome Table, and this is actually where we conceptualized that we wanted a breakfast nook with great windows to let the morning sun in.

Our Pink Lemonade came into this cute honeycomb glasses. Can I just say that I really want to own a set?

My brother was still not full from the meal so he had the BLT sandwich. I think I may have already mentioned before that my sister and C have the SAME preferences in food, and she ordered C’s favorite, Banana PB & Nutella Crepe. C and I shared his because we were both already a bit full and didn’t want to overwhelm ourselves with food.

After our lengthy breakfast, we headed back to our room to pack our things up, while C headed back to his office to work on a Sunday. Boo! The reception called 30 minutes before checkout to remind us of their checkout time, but I decided to stay inside the room on the dot. Haha! After getting our incidental deposit back, we headed to SM Makati for some more window shopping and then to MINISO for some actual shopping before heading home. I ended up with three of MINISO’s Php 99 eyeshadow trios, cotton pads, and phone cases. $2 shopping is so much fun!

Overall, our stay in Infinity Tower Suites was a success as our main goal was to relax. I guess it is value for money if you’re just looking for a serviced residence somewhere you can crash and not clean up afterward. The location in Salcedo Village is ideal if you plan on exploring both upscale side of Makati, and the booming foodie area of Poblacion. However, I am betting that for the price we paid for it in DealGrocer (Php 6900+), you can get a nicer room via Airbnb (this is an affiliate link where I can earn travel credits when you sign up via that link and book a place).

The long weekend is almost over! How did you spend it? 🙂

Singapore 2016 || Haji Lane, Bugis, Sun City & Fountain of Wealth

My last Singapore 2016 travel post is finally here! Let us all rejoice! 🙂

The past two weeks have honestly been trying for me career-wise, and I have had a hard time trying to be grateful for my job. Feeling thankful for life does not come easily, and I always try to look for something I could say I can be thankful for. The current situation I’m in is making it difficult to do so especially when it comes to my job and has gotten me looking hard into my aspirations and life decisions to be made. However, I’m fortunate that there are still so many things outside of the dreadful 8-6 that has made life a little bit more bearable. C, family bonding, good food, and vacations. While we were in Singapore, I had all of that minus C. 😛

On our third to the last day in Singapore, I was supposed to meet up with my best friend who was staying in Bugis. She would be flying back to Manila at noon and was heading to the airport early. I set my alarm early that morning.. and totally missed it. Since I’m already late, we slept in some more and only got up when we started to get hungry.

We always passed by Xin Wang on our way to the train station as it was located near the bus terminal. We were hungry and had brunch here instead of looking for another place to eat in. Everything seemed yummy at the onset, but halfway through the meal, all the oil in it became off-putting and it was a bit hard to finish.

I scheduled this trip to Bugis area for the day as I planned to meet up with the best friend. Even though we didn’t get to see each other, we still went to do a little bit of shopping and to drop by the famous Haji Lane. Can you imagine that I’ve been visiting Singapore ever since I was six years old, and I still haven’t been here?

I never imagined that the common theme for Haji Lane is the abundance of this big green trash cans. Haha! There was a trash can in front of every store. It’s quite fun to look around at the stores in Haji Lane as they sell all kinds of quirky stuff I’d totally blow my budget for. My brother got a [partially] leather backpack that has survived his daily use since then (he’s notorious for accidentally breaking his things, no matter how expensive they are). I also got to buy most of my souvenirs for friend and C’s family right here. Some of the boutiques though can be quite expensive, but I’m patient and looked through all the stores first before buying anything.

Some people think that I only do my hair in braids to look fancy or more put together. But I literally wear my hair in braided updos when I either can not be bothered to style my hair loose (it gets frizzy on bad hair days) or when I don’t want to wash my hair. Haha!

It started drizzling, and luckily, we were already done with our shopping. We quickened our pace as we walked back to Bugis Junction. The humid weather has had me upping my liquid intake, and juice bars are a blessing from the heavens for us that are almost always thirsty. Since the stall is open, you would see how the juices are made from fresh fruits and are put into cups with handwritten names in it.

My sister didn’t buy any juice for herself (as usual) but bought a cup of ice cream instead. There are a lot of cafes here as well, the one much more hipster than the one before. These are well placed, though, given the volume of tourists that goes here, and that Haji Lane is one of the most Instagrammed streets in Singapore (no statistics, just assumptions).

If I’m going to pick a place to go shopping in Singapore, it would be the Bugis area. It’s very accessible via train and unless you can’t read a train map, you won’t miss Bugis Station. Aside from the fact that Haji Lane is nearby for the people who like to buy unique goods (I found this cute crochet bunny in a wedding dress that I bought for C’s engaged sister who loves bunnies), there are other options depending on your budget. There are cheap finds (and even sex shops for the kinky adults reading this blog lol) available and a plethora of street food on Bugis Street. It’s covered too so you won’t get wet while shopping when it rains, and you can haggle for lower prices on items. There are also a lot of souvenir shops within where you can buy all the magnets/shirts/mugs/etc. for your friends and family at home.

There’s also the mall where you can buy from popular Singaporean brands like Charles & Keith, or other western brands such as Topshop, MAC, etc. There’s also an open-air area in the mall, as well as parts where it imitates old colonial architecture and stalls that look like food carts. This is perfect for people with bigger budgets when shopping.

We took another Uber back to the apartment because we were all carrying a lot of heavy bags that we didn’t want to walk with. In plain words, we’re lazy. We roamed around for dinner and found this little hole in the wall which served a variety of modified Malay food that tasted nothing like it. Typical nasi goreng dishes are composed of an explosion of flavors, but this one just tasted bland. It’s like eating a spicy paper. It was such a disappointing dinner.

On our last full day in Singapore, we went out to Suntec City to meet up with one of our cousins. While we were waiting for him to arrive, I spotted this store selling *dun dun dun* more quirky things and went inside. Look at that nice bag! I snapped a photo to send C because we both have developed dangerously expensive shopping habits.

Dad initially wanted to look for a buffet to eat in, which I vetoed immediately. I was wearing a body-hugging cropped top, and I don’t plan on subjecting myself to tummy tucking aka not breathing for the entirety of the day we were out. We headed to Tony Roma’s instead for lunch and ordered a spread that we didn’t even finish!

It is in Suntec City where you can find the Fountain of Wealth. You can actually head inside the fountain on specific times and there are instructions posted outside on how to wish for wealth in the fountain. You’ll have to touch the water while circling the fountain three times. I’ve done this every single time I went, but I’m not yet wealthy.. don’t let me down, fountain. Haha!

For dinner, I wanted to try out the sushi restaurant near the apartment that had plates of sushi in a conveyor machine and the family was convinced to go. It was something I wished to do in Japan but didn’t get the chance to. For the most part, the sushi tasted okay. The hard part about it is that you don’t realize how much you’ve been eating, only to find a pile of plates at the end of your meal. Overall, it was a satisfying last dinner in Singapore. ❤

A few floors up the same building where the sushi place is located is an ice cream place that serves coconut ice cream. Dad swears by it and buys us ice cream served in a coconut bowl. Definitely not something you can eat while walking.

We went back to the apartment, with our tummies full of sushi and ice cream, to pack for our flight. We were flying out the next morning so we needed to leave by 6 AM to make sure we make our flight. The best thing about traveling in a group is that I had other people with me with suitcases where I can stash some of my other things that wouldn’t fit. Haha! As much as I’ve gotten better at making sure everything fits in my luggage, I bought some bulky items during this trip like books and bags for C, and I had a few wayward items left that my brother had room for in his luggage. Thank you travel gods!

At the risk of sounding too much like I’m bragging, I would have to say that this is the trip has been the most gratifying so far. I’ve done a bit of traveling but being able to save up and afford to bring my siblings along made me so happy. I have zero regrets about saving up all the overtime pay and night shift money on these two. I can’t help but wish that I was able to do the same for mom. However, I try to live every day as my mom’s legacy, and I hope that wherever she is, she’s proud. ❤

As this is my last post with content from 2016, I wanted to share that at 25, that “oh shit I’m falling behind my peers” feeling is a constant, nagging one. I’m lucky I have a great support system, and, a ’30-before-30′ bucket list I made when I was 21 (after graduating), to remind me that I’m actually doing great – not in comparison with other people, but with the goals I’ve set for myself. Last year I ticked off ‘Travel to 10 different countries’ and a couple other things from the list. My 21-year old self would be quite proud. ❤

Singapore 2016 || Science Centre Singapore & IMM

I’m finally on to the second to the last post of this travel series! Once I’m done with the final installment of Singapore 2016, I’ll be going through my old posts that were migrated to this blog from my old Tumblr and update some of the content (most of the links still link back to old Tumblr posts). I’m still unsure what kind of blog (and Youtube) content I will start producing once I’m done with the series but I already wrote down some ideas on my planner to work on during weekends. I plan on making more baking posts this year because I did not name this blog ‘Adventures of Cupcake Girl’ for nothing. Ha! If you have any suggestions for me on what else you want to see, let me know in the comments! 🙂

I’ve been quite busy the past week and I have spent my limited free time catching up on blogs I follow and working on my remaining backlog. The daily commute is already taking a toll on my patience now that I’m back on the day shift which starts at 8 AM and ends 10 hours after. I live in Cavite and work at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, and the public transportation is such a pain to figure out daily (especially during rush hours). UGH. I wish I could have more Mondays like the last one we had in Singapore.

As per usual, our day started off late. We needed to make a decision on whether to use our remaining Park Hopper tickets for River Safari. The rides were suspended the previous day due to the rain so we didn’t get to use it. However, the sky was dull and gray, so we decided against it lest the rides were suspended again. With that decided, we headed to the nearest mall once more for brunch. I had the ‘healthy’ rice meal in a clay pot (I only assumed that it was because there was a calorie count in the menu), while the siblings ordered from another stall. It may sound weird, but it was a proud moment for me to have grown up siblings who can make up their own minds and decide on their own (even if it was on small decisions like what to eat or on clothes to buy). All throughout our lives, we were all dependent on mom to make those small yet tedious decisions for us. She did raise us to be functioning adults who can take charge of our lives, but on chances that we have a hard time making up our minds or when we don’t even know what we want, mom was always there to help us. We miss her presence the most whenever we’re faced with moments when our first instinct is to ask what mom would do. Sorry, I’m rambling. Let’s blame it on my crazy hormones that get triggered once a month (if you get what I mean).

Someone got tired from the weekend!

As mentioned in a previous post, I already booked tickets for the Science Center for a previous date. It did say on the ticket that it’s valid for a certain amount of time after the date you bought it for, but I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t be. It, fortunately, was still valid and we didn’t have to endure the long ticketing queue. I’m quite an impatient person so I avoid queues like the plague. Claiming our tickets at the Visitor Service Centre (right at the entrance) had me sighing out in relief.

Our ticket also includes an admission for one of the movies showing at the Omnitheater. The Omnitheater is a dome theater, the biggest one of its kind in Asia. Due to its shape and the 3D glasses (that were super awesome because it also accommodates people wearing glasses since it wraps around your head), the entire screen seemed to come to life the moment it started screening. I’ve had to dodge 3D fishes swimming towards me! You know how relaxing watching fishes are? So relaxing that we all ended up falling asleep around 15 minutes into the movie. Hahaha! Even my sister who is a pro at watching movies (she stays awake no matter how dragging the storyline is) did not manage to fight off the lull of sleep.

I enjoy interactive museums, and you’d find me and C putting this kind of activities into our itinerary. Luckily, both the sibs like it as well (although maybe not as much as I do :p ) and we had so much fun exploring the museum. We’ve been to the Science Centre before, and have been to a couple other ones since, but science is an interesting subject in itself. Learning about it in a fun way like this is a great way to entice children (and everyone, really) to know more!

Since we were already on our last few days in Singapore, I decided to start hunting for a Christmas gift for C. He was bummed out that we didn’t get to spend Christmas together, so I wanted to get him something nice. Since we were already in the area, I knew we had to drop by IMM which is a big outlet mall. We took an Uber (remember that pro tip a few posts back about uber rides being cheaper than Comfort del Gro cab rides) to the outlet mall which was more convenient since it was quite a walk from the Science Centre. The mall had a lot of expensive brands that were selling things for a fraction of the price that it was packed with tourists and practical shoppers alike. Some brands even had a queue outside their store like COACH. Everyone knows I’m not a fan of queues that we never went inside, but I did find a lot of great deals in the mall. However, I was determined not to buy anything for myself. I can compare my shopping-without-an-item-in-mind habit with going down a rabbit hole where I come out the other side broke and laden with more paper bags than I can carry. Yup, nothing for me today! The mission to find C a gift was a success, and even the siblings found a gift for C as well. Everyone in our household is fond of C, even our house help since he never forgets to also bring her a souvenir whenever he goes on a trip. I am sometimes in awe of how I landed this guy. ❤

We got tired from all the shopping that we sat down for snacks at STREATS Hong Kong Cafe. As we’ve observed during our stay, the ordering system in the cafe caters to tourists (and staff that may or may not speak English) as you only need to put a check mark on your orders on a piece of paper. I’m not the biggest fan of what we ordered though as I found everything.. well, average.

On our way back to the apartment, we found directions to walk back to the train station via the J-Walk. We followed it and in true me fashion, we got lost. We may have taken a wrong turn somewhere and ended up in a completely opposite direction that the train station. What to do? I booked another uber back to the apartment. Bye money!