My blog. My class.

February 28, 2006

More Singapore Tourist Pictures

Being a tourist here, I have taken numerous pictures (as visual remembrances of course) of things and places using my humble Nokia camera phone and posting them in my flickr account for safekeeping (since I don't have my own PC or laptop computer).

Let's begin with food fare:

Gyoza and squid nuggets on sticks

I liked these "on stick" fares of Old Chang Kee, with a branch nearby in Toa Payoh Central. Sometimes, these would be my lunch (paired with fragrant rice). Currently, I enjoyed the Gyoza on stick. Old Chang Kee has a plethora of products including the familiar spring rolls (lumpia in the Philippines or "loompiya" as advertised in a sign inside the Enterprise building food court in Makati City).

Hawker food stall signs

Speaking of "on stick" fares, there are plenty of other food stalls that can be found inside the malls, and along the roads and streets of Central Singapore. Most of these food stalls advertise their available menu using colorful images of their products. Price were included in these images. Being the adventurous and always curious type of person, I would usually try the unusual like the deer meat with fried egg shown above, as long as I could afford the price.

Walk signal counter

I was able to take a picture of the counter contraptions I was talking about in one of my posts. I did this while briskly walking one of the streets here in Toa Payoh. Of course, I had to be quick in taking this shot.

Walk signal counter

The orderly and color-coded map of some of Singapore's MRT stations. I commonly use the red route of the MRT trains.

Some men playing checkers

I took this picture of some men playing checkers while I was walking back to my friend's flat after attending mass nearby. Heck, these people don't mind the people around looking at them - they're all too focused in their game.

Mysterious hyoutan gourd lying beneath a tree

Now this is one interesting yet strange sight I frequently see whenever I walk back to my friend's flat - this mysterious gourd (or hyoutan) wrapped in red ribbon sitting under a huge tree. Beside it is a red paper (some Chinese prayer inscription written on it?). But today, I found the gourd now lying on the grass under the same tree (had someone or a stray animal played with it?). I never dared to touched it. I'm thinking somebody must have intentionally left this as an offering to the dead or some folkloric spirit residing around the area or in the tree. I'll never know the reason. I'm too scared to know; I might disturb something unknown and will crawl to me silently unaware of its presence (kind of creeps me out like Sadako of The Ring movie series).

February 24, 2006

Observing From Afar The Revolution

Currently watching the TFC news on what is happening back in my home country

Watching the news in the TFC cable channel.

In a way, I was expecting this "revolution" would someday happen. And now it did. While typing this, I am listening to the commentaries of some mayors and officials conveying their either their contradictions or support to the ongoing rally along Ayala Avenue, Makati City. Now I am hearing Brother Eddie Villanueva speaking to the people, as if exorcising President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

I'm still a week old here in Singapore, and yet many things had happened back in my home country - from landslides in Leyte, to submerging grounds in Adriatico street, and now this EDSA Revolution (history repeats itself again, as Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has just stated).

What is happening to my beloved country? It's a vicious cycle; haven't our people ever learned about the consequences of this mass action? And I see again the supporters of ex-President (now stop calling him President, fanatical supporters) Joseph Estrada muddling the rally, ever hoping that Estrada will be put back to presidency. If that happens, I really would not go back home (maybe just for a while, to get my other stuffs before I'll return back here again).


February 22, 2006

Going To City Hall Station

Yesterday, I met up with a kabarkada staying here in Singapore and eventually he became my tourist guide, taking me under and over the streets around the City Hall MRT station area.

People walking towards the center of the fountain of wealth

I kept on hearing from my friend about this fountain of wealth in Suntec City mall where wishes are granted by following a short ritual. The fountain was constructed in a location favorable to feng shui, thus radiating an aura of wealth. According to anotgher source, this is the world's largest fountain. Well, the picture above doesn't show the entire perimeter of the fountain (look at the third picture below).

Walk around three times while touching the rising waters with your right hand

My friend encouraged me to do the ritual of the fountain of wealth. To gain luck, wealth and have one's wish granted, we were instructed to walk around the rising waters of the fountain three times. While doing this, our right hands should be touching the water. Of course, I wished hard that I might find a suitable job in Singapore. Incidentally, my friend was also looking for a job, thus he wished also the same thing.

Looks like a giant alien creature squatting over the fountain of wealth

Looks like an alien creature squatting over the fountain of wealth. Actually, this structure is a giant sprinkler of water, part of the entire perimeter of the fountain.

Curtain of water used as background for displaying playful colorful lights

At night, this fountain becomes a spectacle to many people here. Picture above shows a curtain of water shooting out of the fountain. The water is used as a form of background for displaying dancing, colorful lights while pop, rock or classical music blares from speakers nearby (I remember the catchy song Pink by Aerosmith as the background music last night).

Rooftop ceilings inside the Suntec City mall

I focused my camera phone above towards the ceilings of the Suntec City mall and I kind of liked the picture that came out (a criss-cross of steel and metal).

St. Andrew's Cathedral

This is the Anglican church, St. Andrew's Cathedral. It's a few blocks away from the Suntec City mall. This has its Neo-Classical type of architecture. I liked this place for its serene and quiet grounds.

On the stairs of City Hall

A few walks from St. Andrew's Cathedral is this old structure called simply as the City Hall. Just look also at the Neo-Classical architecture of this place. Reminds me of Greek and Roman buildings. That's me on the stairs.

Esplanade Park theatre and museum
I call this place the Scaley Egg Theatre and Museum instead of the Esplanade Park Theatre and Museum. This huge structure also reminds me of a porcupine but instead of quills, razor sharp scales were used.

Listening to piano music

Me and my friend stopped by inside the theatre cum museum and listened to the soothing piano music of this person. With us were many students and young couples also watching the pianist.

Colorful banners inside Esplanade theatre and museum

More colorful banners inside the Esplanade theatre and museum featuring international musical artists coming to perform in this place.

Love strucked cow statue

I found this white cow statue painted oddly with hearts all over. It was standing as a sort of mascot in one steak restaurant inside the Suntec City mall.

February 21, 2006

Other Images In Singapore

Colorful publications

At the left is an advertisement from the newspaper about a milestone of a local magazine here. At the right is the travel guide book on Singapore that my friend lent me as my survival guide book.

Three metal sculptures

Found this unique three metal sculptures upfront of the Paragon mall along Orchard Road.

Block of ice cream sandwich - Minty Chocolate flavor

Now this is quite a large block of minty chocolate flavored ice cream sandwich (between thin waffles). Along with some friends, I saw some group of people gathering around a man selling this treat along Orchard road. This would be equivalent to the Philippines' dirty ice cream, though this sells for one Singaporean dollar (P30+). Expensive to us, but here, it's quite a bargain for such a big, cool and yummy treat. I'd try next the one that looks like cookies and cream.

Welcome to the dark side. Darth Vader masks galore

Inside Toys R' Us store - darth vader masks. Hot, yes, but too expensive though.

February 19, 2006

Touchdown To Singapore

Finally (and thank you so much to God), yesterday evening I was able to arrive safely to Singapore - the lion city.

It's better that I tell my adventures here via photos. See them below. Move mouse over each picture, and see the comments on each.

Boarding the Tiger Airways plane

Tiger Airways airplane. The only thing I dislike air traveling are popping ears due to changing air pressure, especially when landing. I got a great discount for my airfare in this flight. Bad thing was I went to a long and sweaty trip to Clark Airport in Pampanga last Saturday.

At the Changi Airport Immigration

At the Changi Airport Immigration. I needed to smile a lot to be able to exit the airport without any hassle. Luckily, the female Singaporean Immigration officer was in a sunny mood too.

Singapore Idol, baby
Singapore Idol (The sign says it all).

Back home, we've got Mc Fried Chicken and spaghetti at McDonalds. Here, you've got this... I don't know... looks like, exotic rice cake sandwiches.

Exotic rice sandwich in McDonalds. I discovered its price to be at around $SG6 (roughly P180.00 back home). Expensive indeed. I did not order this, I went with their usual McChicken sandwich meal (around P90+ back home).

Oh, really?

In the news. No, actually it's a big advertisement in the newspaper I found lying on the floor in the apartment.

Everywhere I go, I see big apartment buildings like these.

Apartment buildings (everyone in the area I am currently staying).

Money, money, and more money. A US dollar bill there and Singapore dollars here.

Bills and coins - these all I have. You could see the US Dollar bill behind the Singaporean notes. The guy in the Singaporen bills resembles the Philippine national hero Jose Rizal.

Underpass here below Orchard road towards Lucky Plaza is quite spic and span.

Underpass. Very clean, though I found a couple of crumpled tissues and cigarette butts in certain corners.

Lucky plaza, where many money changers, cheap finds and food fares exist.

Lucky Plaza. I see too many kababayan Filipinos here strolling and gathering in stalls.

Orchard road, where many malls and entertainment places exist.

Orchard Road. Many classy malls line up this area. I also discovered that certain portions of this road have counter contraptions used in indicating how many seconds are left signifying the change of signal from "pedestrians walk" to "pedestrians don't walk". Say, the green signal lighted up for "walk". Then the counter would begin to "count down" shortly (usually 25-20 seconds) before the red signal for "don't walk" would light up.

I've never thought I'll be able to catch a picture of pigeons this near. Other exotic wild birds fly down the pavements undmindful of the throngs of people passing by

Pigeons. I constantly hear other birds crying and schreeching on top of trees. I saw ravens or crows (I think) pecking another one of their dead kind at the middle of the street. In one case, while walking, I saw an exotic yellow streaked black bird following me (resembles a mynah bird).

Filipina househelps gather in small corners in Lucky plaza.

Picnic time. Besides looking at features, I would readily notice fellow Filipinos when suddenly I would hear them chatting in Tagalog or other Filipino dialects.

Inside one of the city's MRT trains.

Inside an MRT train. This country has quite a fast and efficient transportation system. And when I say fast, I mean really fast. Back home, MRT trains would sometimes travel slowly or stop in the middle of a long trip for unknown reasons.

A window display of rubber shoes in one mall.

Display of rubber shoes. I wish I had so much pocketmoney to be able to buy all of these items.

February 16, 2006

Two Days To Go

I'm getting excited and at the same time nervous about going to Singapore for a break and job hunting at the same time. It's been years since I've left the country and stayed at the foreign land. The first and last one was in Bangkok, Thailand out on a training sponsored by my previous employer. It was just a week of nothing more but short sight-seeing trips like tripping to the city malls, trying out spicy exotic foods, buying silk ties and Thai souvenirs.

Now I don't know exactly what would happen to me in my (risky) adventure out of this country. Three weeks is almost a month and more number of days to travel around a foreign country (uh, city, that is Singapore).

Wish me luck. Flight would be this Saturday. Hope everything would be fine. I'll try to write down my travelogues once I get there.

February 14, 2006

New Layout For Heart's Day

Today marks the revelation of a new layout for this site. New colors. Some (whatever) image banner above. That's all for now.

* * * *

On some note, I've heard a morning show host tell the greek mythology story of Psyche and Eros and their love child Pleasure.

My thoughts especially for this day: the formula is

Psyche + Eros = Pleasure

Psyche (according to a dictionary) refers either to the soul or the mind as the central essence of a human. Eros or Cupid, of course personifies love. Now, we all know the phrase "heart and soul". Also, we have teachings about using both our brain and heart in everything we do. Thus, to achieve great happiness (pleasure) in one's life, we should use our soul/mind and heart together. Check and balance. Not too much heart (uses emotion without thinking to act and make decisions) nor too much intellect (being too critical or analytical in everything while hurting feelings of others). Too much of anything is indeed not healthy for anyone.

Makes sense to me.

February 13, 2006

What's Cooking For Valentine's Day?

Er, I know the red tag day would be tomorrow, but every year I celebrate that day with my family.

No further questions, your honor. Call me a member of the lonely hearts club, but really, I'm not in a hurry yet. I'm busy with other things.

Yeah, call me boring. Next topic please...

(Ok, advance Happy Valentine's Day to everybody)

February 05, 2006

Wowowee: To Die For

I awoke Saturday morning. Still groggy. Suddenly, our home radio announced this chilling incident that happened at the Philsports Arena (Ultra). "Stampede happened at the Ultra. 79 people feared dead, hundreds injured.", the radio announcer said.

Apparently, there were hundreds of people who lined up at the gates for days just to attend the (opening scheduled yesterday noon) popular noontime show Wowwowee aired by Channel 2. Wowowee was known to give tremendous amounts of prices - appliances and cash (even dollars from attending "balikbayans") to the show's attendees. These people might have been thinking that since yesterday was to be the first anniversary presentation of the game show, a lot of prices would be given to all. This may well have enticed thousands of the show's supporters to try their luck, line up before the gates and wait patiently since Wednesday.

The news reported that there were people at the back pushing forward in a mad scramble to enter the gates which were supposed to be opened at around 6 (I have heard from the news). But six o'clock came and still the gates were closed; the security guards have not received any orders yet to open the gates, or so I've heard from the news. Based from what were reported, clearly there were insufficient preparations made to organize everything.

Security could have been enforced strictly to make the crowd line up from all sides. Somebody could have announced through large speakers to pacify the pushing people and tell them that the gates will be opened at a later time (but apparently, reports have said that loud music were blaring from the speakers, drowning the crushed people's cries for help).

But I know it's easier to say "line up people". It's quite hard to enforce it, especially to a huge crowd of mixed people - die-hard fans, the naughty playful people (who have nothing good to do but push and do pranks to others), the elderly people (oh no), and even the small children (that their parents would carry with them). In any huge event like this, such a raucous crowd will hardly be contained if everyone has made up their mind to "get inside no matter what happens".

I've been in such a crowd. I have experienced being "almost crushed" in a sea of moving people. In one momentous event during the final UAAP basketball game between DLSU and UST, me and my other classmates patiently lined and waited to enter the coliseum, only to find out that there were no more spaces left to allow other attendees inside. This caused an uproar among the student supporters. Some people at the back started to push those in front, causing a human domino effect. Female students were shouting, trying to cry out to stop people from crushing them. Invectives were thrown to one another during that panic moment. Luckily, I survived that ordeal together with my classmates. Somehow, we have managed to enter the venue unscathed during the last few minutes of the game.


Why did these people flock to attend the noontime show? Why did they behave like this (the mad scramble to enter the gates)? Somebody pointed out to me that it's all because of money. These people (mostly the poor ones) were hoping to at least receive a small amount of cash from the show. As a fanatic said in the news, "Walang uuwing luhaan dito sa Wowwowee (No one would be leaving the show sad)". These people were looking to fulfill their hopes and dreams from this show which promises everyone happiness through prizes.

So does "this" reflect the real situation and poverty level in the country? I guess so. No, it is. It's a slap to many, especially to the government which still thinks that the economy is getting better and better as statistics show. So how would you explain this large number of attendees yesterday - all waiting and all trying to get in? It's not for the show's host (or other stars to oggle and cry out for). It's for the money.

Money to be able to survive another day.

Let's pray for the souls of the departed.

February 03, 2006

February Post

I should have posted something for February, but this is the only thing I had in mind for now.

Belated Kung Hei Fat Choi. I know its late. But its better late than never, right?

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Known to be the webmaster of the defunct Taym Matsing website (well, that's old news now...)