Before I continue blabbering about how awesome to be in the AshRald circle, I need to control myself. I can already feel James Lee’s famous “dagger eyes” glaring at me (all the way from Singapore) and silently telling that I should get back on track. Shhh… James Lee is my buddy as well as my worst and best critic! 😉 (Click here to read related article -> Big Sister’s House)
Let’s get the ball rolling…
I admit I’m a “health” buff and I do love to work out… However, doing it continuously is an enormous challenge. My body is not flexible and since time immemorial, I have difficulty reaching my toes without bending my knees. It’s bizarre! To think that I’m so tiny like Tinkerbell. Tsk tsk tsk. The funny thing is, eating non-stop is totally a piece of cake for me and effortless for me. :p
Surprise… surprise! I bought a Mari Winsor Pilates dvd with a pair of mini “dumbbells” sometime last week. Doing Pilates for beginners really felt great but it took a toll on me and I stopped for few months and then, started again, then stopped for few weeks … and the cycle continues on and on and on…
Now, I’ve been dragging myself in doing the simple routines and incorporating some of the things that DJ Mitch (@TheSoulfulVixen) taught me. And to spice it up, I’ve also added the dougie dance moves. Boy! The last one definitely pumped me up! Whoa!
Anyway, slowly but surely. I’m getting there. Who wants join?
The December 2010 family reunion of our clan (father side) was extra special because it’s the first time that we hang out with our cousin Kuya Jimson. He returned to the Philippines from Korea after 20 years. Ha!
The reunion was “planned” out of the blue.
I just came back from Singapore when my brother kept asking me if there’s a family reunion. When I got tired of him bugging me, I contacted Kuya Jimson and asked if he wants to organize the reunion and at the same time request the rest of the clan to chip in.
Kuya Jimson readily agreed. The preparation was not smooth sailing because there were mishaps and misunderstandings which is very normal in every family. The reunion took place in Auntie Remy’s house exactly during Christmas day. The food and drinks were absolutely overflowing!
After eating, we were all bored and sleepy. Somebody mentioned about games… however, we don’t have prizes. Our cousins and other relatives eagerly reached out from their pockets and handed me some fat bills when I went around to “solicit” for prizes. Thank you so much for your generosity!
With Ronnalee and Jillian’s help, we decided to have longest line, Pepsi drinking contest, water refilling contest, trip to Jerusalem, direction dance, and of course, our version of Eat Bulaga’s Pinoy Henyo (click here to check how Pinoy Henyo works). Thanks to Alvin for taking the pictures. Below are the captured crazy moments:
So far, it was one of the happiest reunion that we’ve ever had! It was soooo spontaneous!!!!!!! #It’smorefuninthePhilippines indeed!
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.
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!
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. 🙂
That’s Jared, the tornado, the little chef, and the best child actor! 😀
Being a stranger in a foreign land is one thing, not knowing anyone is another thing. That’s what happened when I went to Singapore few years back. At that point in time, I was getting drowned from too much struggles.
I seek refuge in Joan’s dig. I was a total stranger to her but she gave me a warm welcome like a long-lost sister and helped me out in getting settled in her place. I call it, “The Big Sister’s House” . Sounds familiar eh?
We were five housemates (indicated below), strangers at first, and eventually became one big happy family. 😀
Big Sister (Joan) : She’s in charge of the overall management of the flat. She also makes sure that we are all good despite her hectic schedule. Thanks Big Sis!
Manager (Jessie): Mostly, he takes the tab whenever the whole troupe goes out. Aside from being the big wig, he’s also our tour guide and comedian. Ha!
James Lee (Jamo): He usually gets his way. No, he’s not a spoiled brat. Shhh… I taught him how to mop the floor because he doesn’t know how to do it. According to him, he already mastered it to perfection. He thinks the house is cleaner now whenever he’s on duty. 😀
Tito Glennie (Glenn): He’s a casanova in the making… Err… That’s what he wants to portray. LOL He likes experimenting and cooking tons of food. However, after spending so much time cooking, he usually ends up eating a take out. (Read between the lines.)
BonBon (TheCuriousMe): Cooks “paksiw” (sour fish) all the time. I was on a tight budget at that time so I frequently cook fish, either “paksiw” or “sinigang”. Both are sour Filipino dish.
We all love to take it easy and live life to the fullest!
I consider my housemates in Big Sister’s House as my life-long friends. A true gem that’s difficult to find! Hopefully, we will have an awesome get together one of these days. Miss you guys! XO
Drink a bottle Heineken or Tiger beer and eat a bag of chips and fruits while watching the sunset
Roller blades (I learned by watching YouTube videos. -_-)
Jog at the crack of dawn
In this side of the world, the good spot that I could think of is Lake Louise (click here to read road trip article) but it’s too far from Toon City. I need to find my official “stress reliever spot” near or within Toon City.
Once the winter season is over, I might check out some places. Any suggestions?
Stressed? If you’re near Raffles and Fullerton Hotel in Singapore, it’s pretty awesome to drop by in Boat Quay to unwind. 😉 The steady rhythm of the Singapore river helps calm ones skittish nerves.
I used to frequent Boat Quay when I was still in Singapore. Once I find a spot, I will stay there for few minutes (or hours), staring blankly in the horizon and let my imagination run wild. Another fun thing to do in Boat Quay is to watch people. It’s certainly a good way to loosen up.
Shhhh…. My favorite spot was near the “Boat Quay bird” statue. I’ve been trying to figure out since time immemorial if it’s a big bird or a little bird… Hmmmmmm… It looks weird. What do you think?
Since I’m a Lola’s (a.k.a. Grandmother) girl (click here to read Lola’s girl article), I often mimic my Grandmother’s “religious routines”. However, when I was in (Catholic) High School, I started to feel uneasy with certain Roman Catholic practices such as praying to the statues, dipping the finger to the “holy water”, using the rosary to “chant” repetitive “prayers”, etc.
It was this time when my quest for the “ultimate sect” began… I joined various church services such as the Victory Church, Jesus is Lord, and Protestant Church. I’ve also researched on the practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ). The journey helped me understand their customs… but I can’t seem to shake off the fact that a missing piece of the puzzle is yet to be found.
Few years later, a friend lend me a book called National Sunday Law. Before I know it, I’ve finally connected most of the dots.
I started attending (not regularly though) the Seventh Day Adventist Church service held during Saturday as well as joining some of their activities.
Toronto is an improved version of Metro Manila (Philippines) and somewhat a bigger Singapore. The malls remind me of Megamall in the Philippines and Ion (and the mall near Somerset -forgot the name- is it 316?) in Singapore.
Toronto is an ideal place to do some “tourist-ty” things (check out the Ontario article for more photos). My trip there did do me good because aside from completing my errand without a glitch, I was able to relax, walk around and do some fun stuff like:
ride the train once again (I love trains!)
check out Dundas Square close to old city hall
drop by at Eaton Centre (a big mall downtown Toronto with 365 stores)
visit the CN Tower
drink hot chocolate in Starbucks (fyi. i’m not a Starbucks fan)
hunt for Korean soju in Yonge street (dubbed as the longest street in the world!)
and stopover in other scenic spots!
The most memorable one was the bonding moments with my long time friend Genevieve and my little sister Fritchie (both my fellow Lormanian).
No matter how exciting Toronto is, I still prefer the beautiful and serene Toon City… Ha!
Since I can’t visit my cousins in the US (see related article -> denied) I visited my other relatives in the Zoo! :p
It was absolutely thrilling to see the healthy animals roaming around in their designated area. I prefer the Night Safari in Singapore though…the eerie feeling made it more interesting.
The downside? My Canon digital camera got busted. Sigh… I was handing it to my nephew Rhajz to take a photo of me when it fell… I thought he was already holding it because I felt his hand touch the camera but apparently he was not.
I’m still nursing over the pain of having a bleeding pocket (see article -> denied), now the broken camera added to my misery. I just bought last November! :(When it rains, it really pours…)
P.S. My first digital camera (Sony) died a natural death. The second camera (Sony Touch Screen) got lost in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -> see related article,”lost momentus“). And the third camera (Canon) decided to rest.
To those who are thinking on what to give me this Christmas, a Canon digital camera would be lovely. Calling Santa Claus!
I bet you’re curious on who thecuriousme is? Get to know me at a glance… Read on!
I’m blessed with a very complicated name… to the point that I have to spell it all the time in order for people to understand it. What can I say, it’s a lifetime battle. 😉
I’m the kind of person who loves to smile and laugh. I enjoy hanging out with energetic and crazy people. I’m addicted to Korean and Taiwanese Comedy TV Series. Writing is one of my passions and it serves as an outlet for venting out my curtailed emotions.
My unending thirst for learning has driven me to take up and finish several courses. These are: BS Computer Science in Lorma Colleges (Philippines); MA in Technological Education at Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (Philippines); through a scholarship grant given by Netherlands Fellowship Program, a Post Graduate Diploma in Managerial Control and Management Information System in Maastricht School of Management (The Netherlands); and a 10-week London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Level 1 Bookkeeping course in Uptrend Business School (Singapore).
Education, work experience and traveling helped me a great deal to become a well-rounded individual. Teaching at the age of 20 helped me become more flexible, open minded and extremely patient. While in HSBC, I learned to become an effective team player. Dealing with irate clients can be irksome but it’s absolutely fulfilling when they end up being happy and satisfied on how their concerns were handled. Whereas, working in Singapore and studying in Netherlands ignited my interest in learning other cultures and languages.
One last note, I’m a self-confessed nomad. So far, I have travelled few countries in Asia, Europe and North America. I still have four (4) more continents and several countries to go. The three (3) other things that I want to do in this lifetime are: to sing one song without a glitch, become a DJ for a day, and get drunk like there’s no tomorrow.
“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.
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!
Arnel phoned to inform us (Juvy and I) that he needed to pick up first his “lady friend” before going to our hotel to fetch us. He further mentioned that his college friends will be joining us in our night out (a.k.a. gimik).
Gimik Venue: Metrowalk (Ortigas, Philippines)
Arnel, Reyn, Juvy (the “Singaporean”), NoliPogi, Deo, Cynthia, Rosvie, Elma and I met up in Metrowalk. It was Reyn and Juvy who were the lovely guests in our gimik because majority of us graduated from Lorma Colleges so in a way, we all know each other either by name or by face.
Elma was late and was mumbling unintelligible excuse when she arrived. By that time, the early birds were already enjoying a “kilometric” babble and exchange of demure smiles. Little did we know that Elma will become the “star” of the night.
She practically stole the limelight with a “thunderous lightning strike” (if there is such thing). L How? See for yourself. Below is the excerpt of the group’s powwow with the unconventional and spontaneous remarks of the “star”:
Elma:(Looking at Juvy) How do you find the Philippines?
Deo, NoliPogi, Arnel, Cynthia, Rosvie, Reyn, Juvy and I exchanged confused glances for few seconds and then we instantly realized that Elma assumed that Juvy is a Singaporean (I came from Singapore at that time and Elma concluded that I brought Juvy “the Singaporean” with me.)
Juvy just smiled sheepishly. (Then she looked at me and we exchange knowing looks. )
Elma: (Speaking in Ilocano, a language used in Northern Luzon (Ilocos Region), Philippines) Apay haan na ammo ag English? (Translation: She doesn’t know how to speak English?)
Cynthia: (Speaking with certainty) Juvy can speak English, she’s a bit shy. She’s the daughter of TheCuriousme’s boss.
Elma: (Turning to Juvy) I went to Singapore last year. It’s a very beautiful country. I saw the Merlion. You know the half fish, half lion.
Juvy: (Smiling) Philippines is also a beautiful country.
Elma: (Speaking in Ilocano) Hayna! Agparigatak nga ag English! Nose bleed**! (Translation: Geez! It’s so difficult to speak in English!)
**Nosebleed is an expression in the Philippines. It’s normally blurted out when you’re talking to a foreigner or any English-speaking person and you’re running out or pretending to run out of English vocabulary.
Looking at Elma’s expression, we can’t help but let go of hearty laughters that we have been trying so hard to suppress.
Elma: There were so many Indians in Singapore. Give them “tawas”*** as a gift when you go home. They will absolutely love it. (Speaking in Ilokano) Hayna! Pirmi met ngatan ti “banglo” da. (Looking at Juvy) Baka met maka awat Ilokano datoy.
(Translation: Geez! They really smell “good” (referring to Indians in general). Maybe she can understand Ilocano.) TheCuriousMe Note: No Pun Intended ***Tawas is a white powder used as deodorant.
Cynthia whispered something to Juvy. Shhhhhh… Apparently, Elma’s ex boyfriend was an Indian.
Juvy: (Taking the cue from Cynthia) That’s perfect! Can you accompany me tomorrow? I’m going to buy an enormous amount and give to my boyfriend. He’s an Indian.
This elicited an ear piercing chuckle from the group.
Elma: (Looking alarmed) Oh! Don’t do that. Don’t tell that to your boyfriend. (Speaking in Ilokano) Hala! Kasatnu ngayen data. Baka agapa da. (Translation: Oh no! What should I do. What if they will end up fighting?)
Juvy: But why? You said Indians love “tawas”?
Elma: (Looking so helpless and worried) No. Please don’t. Ignore what I’ve said earlier.
Oppzie! Let’s end it now. This is becoming a “novel” (as usual). :p
I have no idea how the conversation was diverted into different mirthful topics and the “tawas” issue soon became a thing of the past. One thing is certain though, the exchange of banter and Elma’s facetious rejoinder tickled our funny bones to the maximum level! She really made our night memorable. Ha!
Up to the moment when we bid goodbye, Elma was still in the dark on the real “identity” of Juvy. By now, Cynthia and Rosvie must have told her. I wonder what her reaction was? 😀
Way to go Elma! You’re such a great sport! Until next time… Remember, don’t be late. See yeah!
One thing that doesn’t apply to me is planning my life. Whenever I intend to aim for something, it will automatically become elusive. After doing several attempts, I finally accepted the fact that planning doesn’t work for me.
Proof? Here you go:
Lovelife.I wanted to get married by year 2000 but it did not happen. I thought, it maybe too early so I extended it to 2005. It “almost” happened. However, some obscure phenomenon hindered it. Thus, this stage is still UNDER CONSTRUCTION. :p
Habitat. Initially, I intended to work in Qatar but I wound up working in Singapore. I planned to settle in Europe for good but I ended up migrating in North America. I’m still in limbo with this turn of events. Maybe fate brought me here? Whatever it is. I’m here to stay.
Work.My goal is to follow my late mother’s wish which is to keep away from the teaching force and my ultimate dream after graduation is to become a Programmer (aka Software Developer or Software Engineer). Yet, I ended up teaching for almost 8 years and did several other jobs but never as a Software Developer.
The above-mentioned are some of the instances which made me stopped outlining my goals and just go with the flow. It`s kinda weird because when I stopped planning my life, things started to fall into place.
I’m a true blooded Filipino who was born and raised in the Philippines. I stayed momentarily in Europe and Singapore then eventually migrated somewhere in North America. Moreover, I’ve never been to Korea… and nobody paid me to write this. :p However, if Koreans would like to treat me with an all expense paid trip to Korea… that would be awesome! If given the chance, I want to see the Jeju Island, Seoul and the Namsan Tower.
I can’t really understand why am I so hooked with Korean TV Series.. maybe because it’s an excellent stress reliever? Koreans make simple stories into a great feel good and charming series. I’ve finished watching five (5) series plus one (1) in progress. Every episode lasts for an hour and the usual series have 17 to 25 episodes.
Only Hearts of 19 has 160+ episodes. I’m now in the 95th episode but currently I stopped watching so that I can focus in writing entries for my blog site and at the same time, live my life like normal human being should do. :p
It’s always been my childhood dream to see a real snow and experience the four seasons (Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall). I lived most of my life in the Philippines and few years in Singapore wherein it’s summer most of the time!
Winter just ended when I went to Europe but I did experience Spring for three months. So, I still have Winter and Fall in my bucket list. Also, I promised myself that when I see a real snow, I will definitely take a pinch and savor the taste. Ha! Pardon my naivety. I am what I am. 😉
Following Big Bro’s master plan, I quietly migrated to North America during Winter time! It was crazy in a way because there were different timezones in every airport I went to for my connecting flights. Thus, my body clock was in a total chaos and I reached my destination absolutely stressed out… for a moment. :p
Stress was replaced with unconcealed childlike grin and excitement! My cousin picked me up at the airport together with her family. She told me that my “Matrix” coat is for Spring and is not thick enough for the Winter. My “Matrix” look had to wait (sorry Majestic Mom!). 😉
When we arrived at their house, I took a pinch of snow on top of her other car and tasted it. It reminded me of the ice in Chowking’s halo halo (Filipino dessert). It’s absolutely delicious and refreshing! Wohooo!
Previously, I never bothered to do it because the season was either sunny or rainy, warm or cold. I always bring small umbrella anyway. That would suffice back then. 😀 In a four season country, I learned that it’s a must to know the weather forecast so that you will know how to plan your outfit (how many layers), what jacket to wear (how thick or thin it is), if you will need mittens, etc.
Time flies… Spring is just around the corner and it will be Summer soon! I’ve noticed that a lot of locals love summer! However, for me, I anticipate Fall, Winter and Spring rather than the Summer. I’ve had my fair share of Summer in this lifetime, I think. -_- I was told that I will change my mind in a year or two. We’ll see.
Next winter, I will definitely make my own snow angel and snowman. Yabadabadoo!!!!