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Thursday, 31 May 2012

Are You Freaking Kidding Me?

It's May and it means one thing to Filipinos: It's Flores de Mayo time!

I know that it is done as part of the Catholic tradition, but let's face it, some people can't avoid inserting a hint of beauty pageantry in it. So I would also apply a little touch of snark, as we mere mortals do during pageants. What would Flores de Mayo be if it weren't for the funny gowns?

Exhibit A:
Skirt Overkill

Exhibit B:
Like I've said before, hindi sa lahat ng pagkakataon ay kailangan ng tone-toneladang design sa gown. Dahil pag masyadong OA ang design, chaka ang kinakalabasan. BOW.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Batam, Indonesia

My sister and I were supposed to go to Bintan, Indonesia but we chose to go to Batam because it is not that expensive. As mentioned previously, we had to maximize our money so we can visit Indonesia and watch Wicked:) 

Since we do not know anyone who can take us around, Charmaine and I signed up for a tour for only S$69. Not bad actually, you'd be getting a basic tour of the town, you'd get to have free lunch and transportation costs are already shouldered. And really, you couldn't go to another country for only Php 2,336 so I'd consider it as a steal.

Most people wouldn't be interested in this tour because it's more of a cultural thing. Like I said before, you'd only get to truly appreciate a country if you experience it's culture and tradition, so off we went. Lena, our tour guide is a very informative person because she fills us in with all the details about the places we're going. We didn't take too much pictures because we wanted to enjoy the place.

Small details first:
  • Batam is an hour behind Singapore. Indonesia rests on 3 different time zones, according to Lena.
  • It belongs to a group of islands calles Kepulauan Riau.
  • Majority of the population here do not speak English. Bonus points for you if you know Bahasa Melayu, since they have the same words.
First stop is the Keropok shop where we bought some prawn keropok, for Rp15,000. It's somewhat similar with our kropek but only with less oil.

Next stop is the Ralph Lauren Outlet Store. If our goal is to shop, my sister and I would've bought something there because everything is so cheap. Imagine, you'd buy a Ralph Lauren shirt here in the Philippines for say, Php18,000. But if you'd buy the same design and same style there, it's cost only Php5,000. But again, since we were on a tight budget, we didn't buy anything.

Next stop is the Starmoon bakeshop wherein we bought kueh lapis (layer cake). We ate some samples together with free tea, and boy, was it good! 

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Our New Family Picture...

Now that the eldest daughter is married, we had to have a new family picture...

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:

Wicked is Wicked!

I thought that watching Wicked is just a dream that's going to be fulfilled once I get to charge professional fees (READ: fulfilled when I'm already 40). Since I can't afford it right now, I was expecting it as my birthday gift but it didn't happen.

That gift came four months later. I was really close to not watching it because I saw on the taxi ads that it was extended until April 1st only. I was so ecstatic to find out that it was extended until April 22. Whoopee!

I couldn't believe that I'd be seeing this stage in person!

When Charmaine and I was left in Singapore, we decided to scrimp on our trip to Indonesia just to watch Wicked. Mom and Dad says that we have a free hand on the money but they won't give us money anymore if it runs out. Since we are on a tight budget, we took the S$98 seats through Sistic. I decided to let Bingkee come with us since we haven't had time to meet up before the wedding. She was ecstatic and we just decided to meet up at the Esplanade Mall since the performance is at the Grand Theater in Marina Bay Sands.

Me and Bingkee

This is my first time to watch a Broadway Musical and it's better because I'm with my sister, Charmaine and Bingkee. We have few photos because Bingkee came from a lecture and that photos are strictly prohibited in the Grand Theater. But whatever, it was so awesome. I nearly teared up when Elphaba and Glinda were singing Defying Gravity. I almost peed my pants (or skirt for that matter) when Elphaba was flying on her broom. I found myself singing along...
So if you care to find me, look to the Western sky.As someone told me lately: Everyone deserves the chance to fly! And if I'm flying solo at least I'm flying free...

Everything about this production is really good. From the props, costumes, to the cast it was all awesome. I was even amazed to find out that it's the Australian Wicked who was performing. They gave new character to the roles that they playing. Suzie Mathers (Glinda) is hilarious because of the way she squeals. David Harris is hot as Fiyero. LOL. Jemma Rix's voice fits the role of Elphaba. Another kiss of approval.

I'd like to thank Bingkee for taking time out to meet us up. I know she enjoyed even if she came from a lecture. I'm also grateful to our Mommy and Daddy for letting us stay a few more weeks.

This is one of the most unforgettable moments of my life. :)

A Moment of Silence

April 12 came as a shock to me and my family. Our Auntie Simple left us forever. :(

She has been taking care of all of us since were little and what happened was too painful because it had to happen all of a sudden. All of the Oville kids grew up with her on our side, cheering us on. Stage mother naming lahat. Sometimes it gets so annoying because it puts a lot of pressure on us but she often tells us that it's her way of motivating us to do better.

She's supposed to be my first formal patient if ever I pass the Physician Licensure Exams. She told me that since I'm contemplating a General Surgery residency, she wanted me to be the one to fix the shape of her abdomen kung tutuloy akong mag-GS. Dahil gusto ko rin namang i-grant ang wish nya, I promised her I would along with unlimited check-ups dahil napakatigas ng ulo niya at ayaw magpatingin sa doctor. Gusto nya kasi sa akin lang daw siya magpapacheck-up. Kaso hindi na niya nahintay...dalawang taon na lang eh.

The two year-old me with Auntie Simple

Kung may nararamdaman na siyang kakaiba sa katawan niya noon pa lang, malamang hindi niya sinabi sa aming lahat. Kahit pinapagalitan ko siya tungkol sa di niya pagpapacheck-up, lagi nyang sinasabi na wala naman. Siya na rin naman ang may sabi na kapag mamamatay na daw sya, gusto nya yung matutulog na lang sya at hindi na siya magigising.

I know she is in a better place now. Rest in peace Auntie. Salamat sa lahat at mahal na mahal ka namin.

Le Potipot Island Escape

In relation to my Sunbloom post, Potipot Island is the reason why we were there. It's a 10-minute boat ride away from Sunbloom. Boat rentals cost about Php 400 for 4-6 persons, roughly about US $9.34. Upon arrival to the island, you will have to pay the following:

Don't worry, you are not paying for nothing. You can actually bring in your food here. But if you do, please DO NOT LITTER. If you're thinking twice about paying the entrance fee to the island, you need to think harder because this is what you will see:

That's just the front of the island. But what about the back portion that isn't seen in the resorts? 


Not to mention, it has a lot of marine animals here that's why I'm telling you not to litter. :D
Here are just some of what we found.

So if you need to get away from it all, I would recommend that you go to Potipot Island. You will appreciate the beauty of its pristine beach and unspoilt surroundings and the tranquility that surrounds this non-commercialized island. Believe me, we enjoyed this trip. :)

The Sunbloom Experience

Since I'm a sucker for good service, I would like to reward the establishments whose service I enjoyed, by writing about them here in my blog. I know I don't have a huge audience but I think posting something good about them could help. Let me start off this "Kiss of Approval" by writing about Sunbloom Resort in Candelaria, Zambales.

My siblings and I went there last November when my Ate Richie went home from Singapore for a vacation. She chose Sunbloom because there are a lot of good reviews about the place. Not only that, Sir Allan is very accommodating and very professional in dealing with customers through phone inquiries so it gave us a good sign that it's the best choice. But what made me amazed by their service is their ability to handle last minute changes.

Since I am the abnormal one, my schedule won't jive with my sister's plan in going to Potipot Island so we are having a hard time planning the trip. Due to last minute changes, my IM Nephro mid-module exam was transferred to that Saturday that we are supposed to leave. We immediately informed Sir Allan about our problem and he was able to give us very plausible options and he even gave us tips on how to travel safely to Zambales. Another +1 for Sunbloom.

We arrived there at about 7PM and we noticed the place is very quiet, which is perfect if your goal is to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I found it very relaxing. However, during that time, their restaurant is not yet fully functional so we had to go to the nearby resort to eat. It didn't matter since walking kills fat. Haha. During that evening, Sir Allan confirmed our plans for the next day so he can make the arrangements with the boatman who will take us to Potipot and prepare our breakfast. Very good customer relations, indeed.

The resort at night.
Chamu, Peng, moi, and Ate Richie

We stayed in the Standard Room, which can accommodate four people. It has the basic twin beds and a bathroom. As for the rooms, it is clean and well maintained. I liked the bamboo bed frame because it was very comfortable to sleep in. The bathroom is small but very clean. 

The resort will give you a taste of the peace and quiet in the province. The architecture will also remind you of the old world charm as the buildings resemble the old stone houses from the Spanish era. 

You can play a little basketball game here.

And before I forget, we had a hearty breakfast. I really liked their longganisa because it's very tasty and satisfying even if it's small. I think by this year the restaurant would be open so it'd leave you with more choices.

If you'll ask me, I would love to stay here again. The place is really clean, the staff is very courteous and accommodating and they are very professional. With this, Sunbloom Resort has my kiss of approval. For more info, you can check out their website: sunbloomresort.com

What I'm Up To

Now I am up to updating my blog. I know I've said this many times but this time I will try to make it work. I've been too much of a procrastinator these past few months so I will start the change now. 

And now, excuse me for I have to flood my page with long overdue posts. :P