6th Birthday Celebration: Around Singapore Day 1

Checking in at Hotel V Lavander was a breeze (and if I may add, checking out took less than one minute!!!) and after surveying the room (it was small, around 16 sq. meters but very clean and gave us a nice view all the way to the Singapore flyer), we were off to our first adventure.

Ahhh, his dream is for our room to look like a hotel room: all white sheets. We were billeted at the top most floor of the hotel which is right on top of the Lavander MRT station--how's that for convenience?

Our days are carefully planned. Since we have a senior citizen and a little boy with us, the plan was to stick to one main attraction a day. But man, it is still very tiring. The heat had a lot to do with it so I am thankful for Singapore's airconditioned walkways which made this midday trek more bearable.

The selfie pod came in handy

On our first day, we explored the Gardens by the Bay.

But the thought of another long walk, this time with no shade from the underground walkway to the main garden attraction is so far we decided to ride the tram instead.  Here is the boy looking every inch the tourist while waiting for our ride.

This was our ride to the cooled domes.

Going to the garden area, we passed by this impressive floating baby.

You can actually see the super trees from the outside but because of the heat, we paid SGD99.00 for the four of us so we can visit the two cooled domes, the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest as well. The cooled dome never sounded so terribly appealing to me as it did that day.

The Flower Dome

This was just okey for me-- if I can skip it I will but for tourists, you can't buy ticket to just one attraction.


The Cloud Forest

Now this I like! It has trails, a gigantic waterfall, lush plants and mist. It looked like a scene straight out of Avatar. Alas, we missed having a picture taken by the giant waterfalls =(


If you just choose to stay outside, there are lots of photogenic spots where you can rest and pose.

Okay, I have to mention the heat again. I could have walked some more but somehow our energies seem zapped by 4 pm so off we walked again to Marina Bay Sands.

Our first day was full and I'm glad we booked an early flight out of Manila. Our 6 year old was so game in walking, too! No more "carry me mom/dad" unlike our travel to Hong Kong two years ago.

It really also helped that our hotel's located right on top of an MRT station. Going in and out  of our hotel was a breeze! There is also a Fair Price supermarket nearby (the 2L water here was $.75 compared to $2 at the convenience store), a Kopitiam at the ground floor and a Wendy's branch for quick meals.

Day 2 coming up!


How a monkey is making my photos look nicer

I'm so tempted to just dump all the photos of our previous trips, but this time I will try to edit them and make it look more blog worthy.

Picmonkey is a free and easy to use photo editing tool. I just upgraded to be able to use the features that I want but the free version will be very useful especially for editing newbies. I work with artists and designers every day and I appreciate all the hard work in tweaking photos to showcase the best, because our photos tell the story, right? It's just that personally, I want them to look nice, and do it fast because I don't have the whole day to edit photos-- I also need to keep one active 6 year old entertained.

Here is a comparison:

And a closer look.

Before - The picture nicely captured the father and son joy of riding the cable car for the first time but I wanted a brighter look to the photo.

After a minute or less of editing at picmonkey, tadahhh!!! So much better!

Patience is a virtue I always need to remind myself again and again. I'm almost halfway done editing and so excited to post my beautiful photos this weekend!


6th Birthday at Singapore and Malaysia

I love that our birthdays are only a week apart! I don't really need to plan anything on my day because we celebrate together-- less leaves filed at  the office and joint celebrations are more pocket friendly.

The one year between him being 5 and 6 really brought a lot of changes and in a lot of ways, he really is a big boy now: independent, can speak his mind, has developed his interests (in science, particularly about the universe, dinosaurs, legos) and those we seriously took into consideration when we began planning this birthday trip.

It should be noted it was also a year of setting aside extra funds for this trip so we can enjoy what we felt will be a treat for our boy--Singapore and Malaysia.

My simple pleasure in life is to do mock bookings on Cebu Pacific's website. Yes, I almost always book every time I see a promo with no intention of ever going on a trip but the 75% off tickets to Singapore were too hard to resist. At P6,000 per RT ticket, this sealed the weighing in I had been doing for several weeks prior.

My real target though was the Singapore Airlines promo for just $210nett but never reached them by phone or email.

Here are some photos as we boarded the (very early) morning flight to Singapore.

Intently studying the inflight safety instructions. Good boy!

With grandma as seatmate

The a little more than 3 hour flight went by in a breeze. Kept the boy entertained with snacks and movies on the Ipad.

And before we could get bored, we have arrived in Singapore!

Everything at the Changi (which he early on pronounced as Tiangge) Airport fascinated him. The vastness of the space, the walkalators, even the drinking fountains!

Raring to start going around the city, we bought our EZLink cards at this stall.

His first ever MRT ride in SG. Of course, mom has to capture it on cam.

We went around the city by MRT and Jared so loved the efficiency of it all. Fascinated with all the stop,s platform changes and various exits, he really got to know this system and by our last day knew our surrounding stations better than me!

Stand by for Part II!


Jared Says, the almost 6 year old edition

His fascination with science and planets continues.

J: Mom, when was Jupiter reclassified?
Mom: reclassified?
J: when? When was it reclassified as a dwarf planet?
M: huh?

* * *

While praying

J: ...and Dear God, please do not let the sun burst, not in 13 million years because I don't want to get toasted.

* * *
J: grandma I'm going to the CR
Grandma: Okay, call me when you are done
J: It's okay, I can do it by my selfie!

p.s. Jared in year 2014, selfie  is a big word. It means taking photos of yourself, fyi.

 and because we have a boy who loves hotels
J: Grandma, I want our room to look like a hotel... white bedsheets, very clean.
Grandma: That's not possible
J: Why?
G: Look all your toys are kalat, stickers on the headboards etc etc
j: Oh, never mind. Let's just stay at the hotel when we have money.

* **

J: Mom, oh white bedsheets, white pillowcases. Did you get these from a hotel, mom?


Feeling Nostalgic

I will turn 37 tomorrow, but age doesn't affect me anymore. I've long embraced how wiser, more experienced, calmer and ehem prettier I feel as I get older. Never mind the gray hair, I've had those pesky ones since high school and I blame it more on genetics than age.

I'm teary-eyed because my baby boy is graduating on Friday! I should put my emotions in check because it might be a little funny if I cry on a graduation for kinder students! We have at least 11 more years of schooling to go.

From a small preschool, he'll be moving to a much bigger school so I shouldn't be a selfish mama and focus more on my feelings when this time is also all about big changes for him. New school, new classmates, new schedule, new level, new everything!

Thankfully, he seems to be really excited and is looking forward to being a "big kid" who goes to a "big school". This line from him sums up his torn feelings about being mommy's baby and being a big kid:

"Mom, I'll try to still be a baby, okay? If I can't do it, then I'll be a Grade I. But I will still love you mom."

I love you more little big boy.


The Art of Losing Gracefully

Can't believe it's been months since I last blogged or even visited my own blog. In that time, I've been an aunt, went to Davao, back to Canyon Cove with friends, celebrated Christmas and New Year, reupholstered our chairs, attended a beautiful Tagaytay wedding and I can go on and on.

I've been keeping a small notebook to jot down random thoughts and special things happening but still....

So, this entry is my comeback after a blogging hiatus and for good reason. My heart was shattered this week.

So, here's what happened:


Today, I saw my son experience his first "real-life" heart break. Not just his usual I-want-ice-cream-but-mommy-wont-buy or i-want-to-play-the-ipad-but-mommy-says-only-on-weekends. It is real and 100x more heart-wrenching for me as his mom.

Last year before the school break, our 5 year old came home with a poem with instructions to memorize it. And so we did and a week into school this 2014, we were greeted with the happy news that our boy has been chosen to represent their school at the preschool poem recitation contest of the Las Pinas Private Schools Association.

Of course we were proud parents! Our boy didn't seem to be frazzled at all. Never shy nor lacking in confidence, he embraced this news excitedly and looked forward to reciting it in front of a crowd.

And so we practiced him, but his dad and I were careful not to put too much pressure. We wanted it to be a nice way for him to experience some friendly competition. He is just 5 years old after all and very, very playful.

Ever supportive, we met with his teacher/coach a few times to talk about costumes...

We debated on  pa-cute

to a simple and ordinary kiddie outfit

 to something more formal

On the day of the contest, the grandparents were in full support

I didn't realize competition will be that stiff-- for pre-school kids but given that kind of pressure, I would have to commend all the contestants. No one threw a tantrum, and no one forgot their lines. True, some were close to whispering but I'm pretty sure everyone did their best.

He did really well.

I went to him at the contestants' holding room while we are all waiting for the results.

I was so nervous while waiting for the announcement. We've told him many times not to expect and to just enjoy the experience.

But I know him and I know he was waiting for something tangible that he can hold. So the kids were asked to sit in front.


and more waiting....

They called the 3rd prize. And the 2nd. By this time, my boy had tears in his eyes. I asked him to come to me and just sit on my lap. I was hoping that can at least soften the blow.

When the 1st place winner was called, his tears just flowed. And my heart was broken.

Then somebody came up to him and consoled him, even carried him. Andrew E's daughter was the over all champion.

That gesture turned me from a mere fan... (taken before the awarding)

...to a super fan. He was so nice to my son and I appreciated his gesture so much.

After leaving the venue, we brought the boy to his happy place.

And in that mall, he saw this P88 pack of medals. I envy kids and how simple life is for them. He didn't get any award earlier-- so he asked daddy to buy. More than the disappointment over losing, I think my son wanted to have something to bring home. I hope the organizers will consider giving at least certificates for the kids next time.

As for my title, as my husband said, every child should experience the pain of losing.  And this is our first step in learning the art of losing gracefully.


Jared Says....

My son is the comic relief in our house. Since I am way behind on blogging, I am thankful my mama's updates on her news feed on FB are mostly my son's antics and words.

Here are random conversations between him and grandma.

This just in:
Grandma: Why does your head smell like that? What is your shampoo?
Jared: Brand X

* * *

J: grandma buy me a new bike po
Me: you already have a bike ah
J: i want an angry bird bike not the thomas bike
Me: i don't have money na
J: why, are you poor grandma?
Me: i don't have work now
J: di ba you work there
Me: ha, where?
J: there in the binggo-han

* **
Narinig ni j na kuma kanta ang kapitbahay na nag vivideoke
J: grandma, is there a mass in the neighbor's house?

* * *

J: grandma, daddy got angry because i did not follow him
Me: why, what happened?
J: because i told daddy, the boss in this house is mommy eh

* * *

J: grandma, i will collect medals
Me: so you have to study hard to have high grades
J: no, i will just buy it. Where can we buy medals?

* * *

J: ay ang sakit ng ulo ko facebook na lang ng facebook si grandma so tagal i cannot use the ipad

* * *

Nagbibilang ng by 5s
J: 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Hahaha
Me: why are you laughing?l
J: grandma, i can have a bAby na when i'm 35 di ba

* * *

J: grandma, why do they call you lola? They are not your apo.
Me: because i'm old na. When you are old na, what do you want to be called, grandpa or lolo?
J: No, i want to be daddy first.

* * *

Let's study Science
Me: give me example of gas, liquid and solid
J: when i go to the comfort room, i utot that's gas. Then i pee that's liquid and i uo so that's solid
Me: 3 in 1. You give that example to your teacher?
J: no po, she might get angry eh

* * *

J: grandma i know 6 banks
Me: really! What are they?
J: (counting with his fingers)bdo, bpi, east west, metro bank, cebuana and central bank
Me:but cebuana is not a bank
J: it is. Look at the commercial o, the man gets money from cebuana
Me: central bank is not a regular bank
J: it is the boss of all banks

* * *

A t the doctor's clinic:
Doc: jared do you go to school already?
Jared: no po, its summer eh maybe by june
Doc: oo nga naman. What grade are you now?
Jared: kinder 2 but soon i will be in college and then i will work na

* * *

After putting on make up
Mommy: anak am i pretty?
Jared: (without looking and still playing with the ipad) you're pretty-ful mom

* * *

Jared: grandma how old are you?
Grandma: i'm 62
Jared: eh how old is your tummy, how old is your brain?

* * *

While watching the evening news

Jared: why did she die?
Grandma: because she's old na
Jared: grandma, you will die na because you're old na
Grandma: no, no not yet i'm still young
Jared: when nga, what month?

* * *

Jared praying : Jesus please save our house make it healthy and strong and i pray for the BARANGAY and SOCO to watch our house po. Amen


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