Jared

Jared is my 2-year old nephew (Uriel Nathan’s youngest brother  <- click to read related article). He’s the most hyper kid I’ve ever known! He laughs a lot, run around all the time and most of all, he loves to play with the cooking utensils (the real ones!). You betcha! It looks like we have a chef in the making.

“buy” ingredients

little chef

don’t disturb

One time, my brother and his family went for a trip in Singapore. We all met up and I became their tour guide and at the same time, “nanny” of the kids (Uriel Nathan and Jared). I showed them around the Singapore tourist spots and visited the neighboring countries, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Songs of the Sea, Singapore

On board a train, there’s an instance wherein Jared just burst into tears and cried non-stop. I was in a state of panic because the train was totally jampacked. It’s either he was irritated with all the people around him or he’s hungry or he wants to run around or he just feels like crying (?).

Later on, my brother told me that Jared sometimes pretend to cry if he doesn’t get what he wants. My brother and his wife usually ignore him and let him “cry” . Take note, you can’t see any tears but you can definitely hear the “crying sound”. 😀  He’s such a best child actor that I even got fooled once! Ha!

Genting, Malaysia

gotcha!

When they went back to the Philippines, my brother kept bugging me (up to now!) to have a video chat via Skype with Jared because he loves looking at himself in front of the camera. FYI, we don’t really talk because he can’t say much yet. He just kept waving and smiling and saying “Ta” (short for Tita – Filipino word for Aunt) while looking at the camera. He probably thinks that he’s the most handsome kid on earth. 🙂

Jared

future heartthrob

That’s Jared, the tornado, the little chef, and the best child actor!  😀

Indonesian Immigration

“Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho” was being shown on GMA PinoyTV (a Filipino Television station) while I was busy fiddling my phone. I was barely looking on the screen and half listening when one of their segment caught my attention.

It’s about a Filipina who was suspected as a drug mule and was held by the Indonesian immigration for several hours. That brought back a somewhat similar (but not quite) incident that happened to me when I went to Batam, Indonesia to accompany my brother’s family for a day tour.

The Indonesian immigration official thought that I was using the trip as a form of exit in order to get my passport stamped with another month to stay in Singapore. He led me to an office for an “interrogation” in which I calmly explained that legally, I’m allowed to stay in Singapore for a maximum of one-month after the cancellation of my work pass.

I further mentioned that I’m going back to the Philippines in three weeks time, showed my flight itinerary, and the cancellation of my work pass. Unfortunately, I don’t have the letter that states that I can stay in Singapore for one-month.

As a result, the immigration officer was eyeing me like I’ve done something horrible and I felt like he’s silently telling me that I’m a threat to the national security. Ok, I was paranoid… but that’s how I felt when he was looking at me. The little tigress in me wanted to scratch his face and scamper away. However, my Philippine passport reminded me not to act like a neanderthal… hence, I controlled my boiling temper and met his eyes with a cool and composed aura.

passport

I informed the officer that I need to hustle because my relatives were waiting for me and I don’t want to be the cause of delay of our one-day package tour. To speed up the process, I seek permission to use their internet connection so that I can show the information (found in the Ministry of Manpower website)  needed to clear the air. Sadly, the internet connection sucks to the highest level! 😦

The immigration officer can’t seem to stand my incessant query as to why they don’t have internet connection so he referred me to another immigration officer. The second immigration officer led me outside and apologized for the poor “nonexistent” Internet connection. I looked at him with “it’s absolutely bizarre!” plastered on my face.

We went outside to check if the signal is better. Using his blackberry, we were able to find a hotspot but the speed was terribly sloooooow. After half an hour, I was still stuck in the Immigration area and by then, the tour guide appeared. I explained the situation and expressed my exasperation about the Internet connection in that port. The immigration officer seemed to take it as a cue and went to look for a computer with a “stable” connection. After 15 minutes, he led me to a different office and told me to use the laptop that he borrowed.

In less than two minutes, I showed the Ministry of Manpower website and the section which states that I can stay in Singapore for 30-days. The first officer had a serious look on his face while stamping and returning my passport. I was grinning mischievously and triumphantly while I took back my passport. Thank goodness the issue was handled in a mature fashion otherwise I could have been deported if I allowed the barbaric side of me to control the situation. Ha!

Bintan

I was still a newbie in Singapore when my newfound friends, Manager and Big Sis, invited me to tag along with them in going to Bintan, Indonesia. It was a combined birthday celebration of Manager and their other 2 friends. Roughly, there were 10 of us who travelled together via the ferry boat. It was my first time to ride a ferry and good thing, I did not feel sea sick during the 45-minute trip.

The birthday celebrants rented two villas for our accommodation. When we reached our destination, we ate our packed lunch and rested for few minutes then we immediately went to take a dip in the swimming pool.

After an hour or two, we went to the beach and played the “Pinoy Henyo” game (a game made famous by Eat Bulaga, the unbeatable noontime show in the Philippines). We were bubbly and into it that a lot of people were curiously looking at us with amused smile. 😉 After the game, some of them went for a half an hour swim at the beach.

The banana boat rental area was our next venue. We split into three groups and took turns in riding the banana boat. While waiting for our turn, we donned our life vests, planned a strategy and Manager gave a last minute instruction. It’s my first time to ride the banana boat so I was a bit nervous at the same time excited.:D

We were the last group (two guys and two ladies) to do the banana boat ride. Manager took the front row, next was Big Sis, then me, then the last one was Drew. From what Big Sis and I have understood in Manager’s last minute instruction, if one falls, the rest should also release their grip and dive. When Manager (intentionally) lose his balance and fell in the water, Big Sis released her grip and I also followed.

And yes! You guess it right, aside from not being blessed with a good singing voice, I don’t know how to swim. :p  No matter how I tried to imitate the frog kick (which I normally see from swimmers), I cannot get out from my location. I was so scared because we were in the middle of nowhere and we were in the deep part of the sea. I whispered a prayer and did my best not to panic as I listened to Manager’s instruction.

He asked me to move my feet like I’m cycling. I was able to move a bit but it’s extremely challenging. I don’t know how but I was able to reach the speedboat… I  think the wave helped me.

We all had a dinner in the other villa and played a couple of games. Although, I was the sole “outsider”, it didn’t feel like it because they all made me feel at home in their company.  I must say, it’s one event worthy to be treasured.

Not knowing how to sing and swim will never be a hindrance for me to enjoy life.  Wallowing in self pity is a waste of time.  As they say, imperfections make life more exciting.  Live life to the fullest. Aja! :p

lost momentus 26052010

Genting via KL Sentral was our next stop on our second day in Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia.

Near our hotel (Ancasa Hotel & Spa), we took a taxi to reach KL Sentral. As we alighted at the KL Sentral, I double checked just in case I left anything in the back seat. When my father asked me to take a photo of him in KL Sentral, that’s the time when we realized that the camera was missing. Unknowingly, the camera fell on the floor when I paid for the taxi fare.

Sad to say, we were not able to get the plate number of the taxi. The information we have were: a yellow taxi and the driver is about 60 years old, thin, with a beard, and he looked like a Malay.

I called the hotel seeking for assistance but the duty manager could not help much since we didn’t take the taxi from the hotel entrance. However, he provided the number for the helpline for taxi and further advised to file a police report.

We searched for the nearest police station and filed a report. The insufficient information provided made the police officers hesitant in helping out. Narrowing down the search via the taxi color  and the time and location didn’t help much either because taxis were owned by different companies. It’s my bad to even think that color coding scheme are practiced all over the world. No matter how slim the chance was, I was still persistent in filing a police report in which the police officer abided.

Although we missed the bus because we stayed at the police station longer than expected; Genting trip was still pushed through as planned but we had to a taxi  that charged almost triple the actual fare. From the taxi drop off point, we took the sky cable (skyway – which run about 3.8 km) to get to Genting.

Despite the lost camera, the Genting and KL trip was still an unforgettable experience that will surely be treasured. Deep in our heart, we are still hoping that a kindhearted soul will return the photos.

New cameras can be bought, but the captured moments that we had in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore were all gone. sigh… Well, life must go on.

Thanks to iPhone… We were able to have some snapshots:

Genting Sky Cable
ip2010 162

Genting First World Hotel

Petronas Tower
ip2010 224 ip2010 230

Lesson Learned:
Always take the plate number of the taxi no matter what!
Think positive. Good things will happen.