SG with Family!

We have been blessed with an opportunity to travel together again as one family. This was after my niece was born and my dad was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure. With the baby in tow and with dialysis sessions that dad should not miss, it seemed impossible to travel. But with go signals from dad’s doctors and all the needful for his health, plus, our baby girl is now three, big enough to walk, off we went to Singapore!

( if you are in the same condition or your family member has the same health issue but you wanted to travel, hit me up, I can tell you what are the things to prepare as advised by our doctors, by the airlines, etc)

This trip was even made special because it was dad’s birthday. This was my second trip to Singapore, yet, this place still amazed me.

Giving you glimpse of our trip.

Accommodation : Strand Hotel

Address: 25 Bencoolen St, Singapore 189619

Phone: +65 6338 1866

You could book via Booking.com / no pre-payment required.

 

What are the places near the hotel?

  • Right outside the hotel is MRT Bencoolen Station, on the other side of the road is Bras Basah MRT station. Very convenient.
  • Across the hotel is a Food Court called Food Republic that offers wide variety of food. ( this was where we had most of our meals specially breakfast)
  • Beside Food Republic are 7-11 store and Starbucks Coffee.
  • About 5 minute-walk from the hotel, we attended Sunday mass at Church of the Sacred Heart.
  • Walking distance from Bugis Junction – One of the well-visited shopping sites in Singapore.

Getting Around the City:

Since we were a big group and my dad was advised to refrain from walking, plus we needed a car seat for our toddler, we always took advantage of grab cars. It may seem expensive but it’s worth it if you are in a big group. We would always book 1 6-seater and 1 grab with kid ( 3adult +1 kid).

So much for my words, here are the outtakes of our Singapore trip.

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Marina Bay Sands at Night

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View From Merlion Park
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Merlion Park
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Jewel at Changi
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View From Singapore Flyer

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Have fun!

Leaving you with this:

Always find time to spend with your loved-ones. Need not be pricey, but memorable.

 

Thank you. Love, SimplymeSMC.

No Filter Needed : Coron Islands

I had an opportunity to explore the Calamian Group of Islands last week. A 45 minute-flight from Manila took us to paradise.

The Calamian Islands or Calamianes is a group of islands in the Philippine province of Palawan. Amongst its numerous Islands, we visited the following major ones:

  • Busuanga Island
    • This is where the airport is located. It’s 40-min drive to Coron Town
    • It is the largest Islands in Calamian and the second largest island in Palawan
    • It is known for recreational diving, this is where you will see WW11 Japanese Ship Wrecks
    • Beautiful Coral Reefs are also seen here
  • Coron Island
    • This is where you see Kayangan lake
    • Twin Lagoon
    • Beautiful rock formation
    • The pristine white sand of Banol beach
  • Calauit Island
    • It is a wildlife sanctuary and game preserve area
    • Known as Safari park

We also did the town tour which includes climbing the freaking 721 steps to Mt. Tapyas summit- the second tallest mountain in Palawan. This mountain has its own story to tell too.

Our trip was made convenient by Be Cool Travels and Tours. Our Agency was all accommodating and thoughtful of our needs. We traveled with kids and they made sure to book us in a hotel with swimming pool.

There was a little adjustment to be done because of overlapping schedule at the hotel due to cancelled flights because of heavy rain the day before we came, but everything was handled accordingly. So much of my talking, please enjoy snaps from my trip.

All these pics were taken through my mobile phone only. Natural lights and clear waters made the difference. As they say, #nofilterneeded!

Feeding these big guys at Calauit
Feeding these big guys at Calauit
Big Cross at Mount Tapyas with the best bru
Big Cross at Mount Tapyas with the best bru

 

Shameless Pose at pass Island - my favorite place
Shameless Pose at pass Island – my favorite place
Breathtaking Pass Island
Breathtaking Pass Island

Banol Beach is LOVE

View From Kayangan View Deck
View From Kayangan View Deck

 

Natural Wonders!

planning to get on the plane and travel to Coron yet? wait, there’s more:

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The Cleanest Lagoon in Asia

View From the Hotel - not a bad view to wake up to
View From the Hotel – not a bad view to wake up to

I hope you had fun!

As for me, I went home with a burnt skin, happy heart and a renewed spirit!

-Simplymesmc

Christmas and New Year The Filipino Way

Hello There!

I hope you all had a great Holidays!

How was your Holidays? I hope you had time to reconnect with your friends and your family to celebrate the season.

I’d like to take a moment and share how  Filipinos Celebrate Christmas Season and New Year too.

  • In the Philippines, we start putting up Christmas Decorations and playing Christmas songs as early as September ( Yes! as soon as “- ber” months start, it’s a start of Christmas here)
  • For Catholics, dawn mass or Simbang Gabi is a big thing. It starts on Dec 16 to Dec 24. People go to mass at 4 in the morning.
  • Puto Bumbong and Bibingka ( Filipino Delicacies) are selling like hotcakes specially every after church.
  • By start of December, carolers start their house-to-house visit, singing Christmas carols in exchange of any amount as “Pamasko” ( present).
  •  Sale at malls and Bazaars are in, specially when people are receiving 13th month pay ( mandatory per PH Labor Law)
  • Christmas parties are everywhere
  • Family Reunions are well-celebrated
  •  Gift wrapping/ gift giving season
  • Inaanak ( God Children) go to their Ninong and Ninang ( God-Parents) for “Pamasko”.
  • Festivities from Christmas Eve never stop until New Year.
  • Christmas decorations are restored after Epiphany. ( Three Kings)
  • On New Years eve, we collect 12-13 round fruits for goodluck.
  • We also wear clothes with polka-dot designs for same reason ( they say round is luck)
  • And some jump when midnight strike in belief that they would grow taller ( I know dont roll your eyes, lol)
  • Torotot ( Hornpipe) is an alternate to fire crackers ( to make noise on NYE )
  • Food . Food. Food are everywhere!
  • I know there are still a lot.. but these are on top of my mind.

As for me, I had a great time with my Siblings. Parents are out of town this Christmas season, so it was just me and my siblings. It was even made special because of our little bundle of Joy. My 2 year-old niece who was obviously the center of attention and expectedly the one to receive the most presents. ( Oh I miss being a kid!)

How did you celebrate? Let me know how others celebrate? comment your country and your ways to celebrate.

 

I’m sharing with you our Christmas and New Year’s feast! (sorry to my non-meat eating readers, this post is not intended to offend,just sharing what we prepared. Much respect to y’all)

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Christmas Feast
Christmas Feast
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New Year’s setting

 

And Oh! Happy New year and here’s wishing you a great 2018.

 

Love,

SimplymeSMC

 

 

 

My Kind of Weekend

Not every day do I get to spend time with ny siblings. Not even every weekend.

As we get older, we realize the value of togetherness and spending more time with people who really matter.  I’m starting that with spending weekend with my three sibs. Awesome Foursome, we are indeed!

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My Role Model

I  was applying for a part-time job online and part of the online application was to write  and essay about  one person who has influenced me when it comes to training or teaching. Without any ado, I thought of writing about just one person. No one else comes close.

 

Here it goes…

I grew up to be hard working and responsible person especially in my studies and in my job because of a special person. She was my teacher in pre-school. I started at a very young age of three in school and she showed nothing but patience with me and my classmates.

I graduated from pre-school and moved on with my being a student. She also moved on to find a new job, as she has a growing family to support. She got a job from a government office. She remained my inspiration despite the so many changes that we each encountered.

When I was trying to decide on the course to take for college, she suggested AB – English because she knew I was good in that field. And she knew because she used to be the Best in English Awardee in high school too. As the say, it takes one to know one.

She has become instrumental in almost all of my milestones in life. When I got promoted to be a trainer at work, she was the first one to know. And she was genuinely happy. I told her, I did it all because she molded me ever since I first stepped my feet at school ground. She was my supporter in all my undertakings and my greatest critic too. She was so selfless and always willing to share with me everything that she thinks could help me in my journey in life. She set a very good example of professionalism as apparent in her almost 20 year – stay in a government office. And she doesn’t just love me, she loves my siblings too.

Her name is Ma. Belen. And I am one of her 4 children. Yes, she is my mother and she is my forever inspiration.

A Short Trip To A Lifetime Journey

Traveling is one of my favorite things in life.
Not only do I get to see beautiful scenery and visit top tourists destinations in the country, I also get to learn every provinces or regions’ culture.

I enjoyed every steps of my travel, from booking a flight, to going through all travel blogs for suggestions , to learning about my destinations geography and culture. During my travels, I get to live life fully! ( At least, that’s what I thought)

Due to important things that I have to apportion my budget to, I mellowed down on my traveling in 2013.
Instead of booking flights to different places within the country, I settled for short trips with cheaper expense.

One short trip brought me to a very special place. A place beyond compare: A trip to ANAWIM, a home for the aged in Rodriguez Rizal.

Seeing Lolo’s and Lola’s (old man and old lady ) at ANAWIM and hearing their stories set my heart to bleed specially when I found out that some of them were abandoned by their own family, yet, I am happy to see the positivity in them.

At the mini program held at the ANAWIM compound, our dear oldies showed off their talents in dancing and singing.
I felt proud that I get to witness how Lolos and Lola’s wowed the visitors.
I also thought of what their families, the family that abandoned some of them was missing out.

They didn’t get to cheer Lolo Rod in his Boogie and Cha-cha moves. Lola Ana’s family didn’t see how graceful she was at the dance floor, or how Lolo Steve serenaded the crowd. Lolo’s grand children or Lolas’ kids didn’t get to push their wheel chairs while wandering around, talking about anything under the sun. I know these old buddies miss them so much.

Despite what these oldies have been going through, they still manage to be happy in a community that they belong. They maybe away from their own families but ANAWIM tries so hard to give them care and comfort that of a family.

The entire experience changed my perspective in life.
I valued my own folks more than ever. I value life in general.

What seem to be a short trip to ANAWIM paved the way to my lifetime journey. A Journey to a meaningful life!

Thank You Tracy Fordan for the invite!

(**** names are intentionally changed to protect the oldies’ identity)