First of all, why these thoughts? It’s because Im having my favorite season coffee while listening to Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Frank Sinatra and this season simply just never fail to refresh everyone’s spirit. This is my 3rd year to celebrate Christmas away. And as it is fast approaching, can’t help but miss home. This time of the year or maybe a week earlier, I am already setting up the Christmas tree and decorating the house. At night, just the yellow lights on. Jackson 5 christmas CD on!

My mother is always the early bird in buying presents and my sisters are the best gift wrapping artiste! Hahaha
(Now Playing: Sleigh Ride by Johnny Mathis)

We usually place the gift underneath the Christmas tree and the kids would gather there looking very excited to find out what their present is. Shaking it, feeling it. While my dog Shobe give them a cute curious look and my Dad tease them. My father is a teaser. But he’s the Santa Claus! ;)
(Now Playing: White Christmas by Bing Crosby)



Sabi ko sa inyo e! Hehe


Queenie is so young here :)

Anyways, before Christmas me with my sisters and cousin always have a LOT of holiday bonding moments left and right! We never get tired of each other! Hahaha





On Christmas Eve, after church, we will have dinner together. I always make carbonara for them. During my first year here in Singapore, sweet cousins will message me just to tell how much they miss my carbonara and not me. :| If I knowwwwww… :)

We are now grown ups and taking our own paths on fulfilling our dreams. We now have our set goals, new set of friends, new place to live. Inevitably we have to be away sometimes but I’m glad we have these moments to remember and the bond NEVER breaks. I miss them so much especially this time of the year and I know how much more my Mom, Dad & Tito and Titas. (Maybe they sometimes wish we are forever kids. :)

I’m looking forward on spending Christmas with them again. Of course, with the new members! :D


But for now, peppermint mocha anyone? Take a sip and be taken away in the good old days. ;)

Hahaha Wait I have to be honest. Guess what’s the last track?
Now Playing: Under The Mistletoe by Justin Bieber :p Hahaha


May we all have a happy jolly Christmas! :)

Yes, talk about a 12hr/day job 6days/week. I’ve read somewhere that we only have 24hrs/day, use it wisely and as suggested alot 8hrs for sleeping, 3-4hrs eating small meals 5x, 8hrs for working, 1hr for exercising, 3hrs for relaxation; time for yourself. In my case, having to work 12hrs/day, I was deprived of that “relaxation” time, even eliminate a bit time for sleeping too for 2years. Until now, I couldn’t imagine myself starting all over again, having to work far from home and away from your family, long hours, noodles, language barrier – but ad of now, Im proud how I made it!

During those period, I’ve tried countless of ways to de-stress and relax myself. And here I’ll share my personal (based on experience) tips on how to survive a 12hr/day job: (like a Pro) Hehehehe…

1. Have a self discipline. If you work 10-10:30 a day, make sure that you try to be in bed by 1AM. Lights off. Gadgets off. This way you can still have at least 7-8hrs of sleep. This is the No.1 thing I struggled to work on to before.

Tip: An aromatic room spray or scented candle can really help!

2. Plan a vacation. Time flies so fast especially when you always have something to look forward. Try to do it every 4th month or 6th depending on your budget. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just a short getaway. It can be a 3-5days trip. For me I always opt for nature/adventure trip and my budget ranges from $150-$400 depending whether it’s local trip or out of the country. Promise, it pays off!

Tip: Save $50 from your monthly salary for this.

3. Keep your room clean. This place is your sanctuary. Nobody wants to go home from a 12hr job in a messy room. Little did you know, it causes stress too! Get rid of the clutters. Make your bed. Make it a place to rest and not another place to clean.

4. Eat healthy. Try to eat healthy. I know how hard it is but home cooking is still the best, health and money wise. All you need is the motivation to cook no matter how lazy you feel you are! I usually do stir fry vegetables/meat and/or meat that requires simmering (this time I use to get other things done). If I have the time, I try to create good food with a really good presentation even I’m the only one who’s gonna eat it. See, there’s always a way to pamper yourself. Nonetheless, I always find cooking therapeutic. :>;

5. Treat yourself twice a month. Some do it in the form of shopping but for me, I do it in the precious form of SPA :):) Yes spa here in SG can be very expensive BUT there’s always Groupon, Deals and here Malaysia! :) I usually buy deals online which is 70% cheaper or go to JB Malaysia wherein spas are half price cheaper. If not for them I probs need to wait until I go back in Philippines! Aside from being cheap, superb massage you can ever get too!

Tip: Try Sonya’s Garden Signature Massage in Tagaytay

6. Take a nap. It’ll recharge you to make it through out the day. I usually start my work at 10 and have my lunch break by 2PM. I eat in 15mins and in 45mins, I passed out! When I wake up it always feels like Im just starting the day. For so long it’s my way of tricking myself that I start working at 3PM, making it feels like an 8-hr job. It works! (Though sometimes you can’t really trick yourself)

Tip: NEVER EVER sleep so late especially when you have to do a full shift in 3 or more consecutive days. You’re killing yourself.

7. Keep the goal in mind. May it be a short or long term goal. Remember that hard work will always pay off. No matter how gloomy it may seem, it WILL pay off! :) When you have a hundred reason to give up, think of that one reason why you have to stay. If you don’t have any reason to stay at all, then leave. As Steve Jobs said, don’t settle and keep looking until you find the one you love. :)

8. Be inspired. Nothing can be as blooming as it can be than an inspired person. Find an inspiration. May it be your family, your dream, your crush, look around you. Inspiration surrounds you. You just need to acknowledge them. Hehehe As of the moment Im so much inspired to turn my dreams into reality. And this what drives me to continue. Okay daw yung pinaghihirapan, para mas maappreciate yung worth. :)

9. Read a book. Just take sometime to take your eyes an hand off your phone, iPad or laptop. It doesn’t matter whether you can finish a book in one seating or a year, what matter is you give yourself a little time to stay away with technology. Madadagdagan
pa vocabulary mo!
Some do it in form of sports which is good too! And some other things such as cooking. (Ulet?) Anything that can help enhance yourself and others. I struggled with this before too!

Book Recommendation: Before Ever After, Eat Pray Love, The Witch of Portabello,The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingkay too!

10. PRAY. When things went wrong OR when things went right, pray. Ask and be thankful. I have no idea of how many times I asked for strength. When I came here in Singapore, Im so skinny I don’t look like I can do a 12hr job. I always pray for strength and patience and thankful everytime I make it throughtout the day. Praying is like writing in a journal, even more, blogging for me, only between God and myself. It became one of my way to release all the negativities, at the same time celebrate the goodness life is bringing. This really helps to re-shapen my faith and my relationship with God which I overlook before coming here.

These are things that kept me going throughout those years. Mine was never perfect. I was learning those the entire process of adjustment. And kept in mind, thousand of times I thought of giving up. LET GO OF THE BURDENS. No matter how precious they are for you, if they’re burdens, they’re burdens, you have to let go. If you learn to do that then you’ll see what I mean :) Hehe

Must write lest I forget :)

Photo by: Syd Bautista taken at the Singapore Zoo

Who doesn’t know Harry, Ron and Hermione? Harry Potter is part of my teenage years and I know a lot of people from all over the world. And so when I found out about their exhibit here June-September, I never let it passed away without me having to experience it! (I was late but at least!)

I went with my good friend Liu Ling.
Entrance: $20






Mind you that taking photos at the exhibit is strictly prohibited. But I couldn’t help. So it’s pure guilty pleasure here.

Snippets of the actual costumes/props used in the movie. I love how detailed they were!










How I wish I could take photos to share with you. Anyhoo, we’ve spent a good hour walking around and giving attention to details. I may not have photos but oh thanks to memories! Those so worth keeping. I felt connection with Harry, Ron and Hermione that time. I imagined them shooting with those costumes and props and of course I wonder what “if” I was part of the movie too! CHOS! :):)

Had dinner at Din Tai Fung! A must try. Best dumplings I had so far ;)






Happy Tuesday indeed! :)

Just answering some of my friends’ common questions! :)) Hope this could help :) Umaasa talaga ako! Hahaha

1. Dong or Dollars?
We used Dong. However US Dollars is accepted too :>

SG$1 – 16,300 Dong

Note: Careful sa 10,000 and 100,000 kasi almost same sila sa color. Confusing. Some, especially taxi drivers will confuse you too. Kapag kumukuha ka pera, and nahawakan mo 200,000 sasabihin nila “ok. ok!” when dapat lang naman is 20,000. So just make sure you double check the decimal point. Always check! ;>;

2. How many hours from Ho Chi Mihn to Da Lat?

7hrs by bus and 45mins by plane.

We went there by bus. Bus ticket if converted in S$ costs S$10 :>;

We chose Futa Buslines as recommended by our Vietnamese part-timer at work ;)

Note: Best to travel at night. You can ask the receptionist to help you book the bus ticket prior to your trip. Bring “bain”. Chips, buscuits. Anyhoo may stop-over naman :) No need for “sleeper bus” as I find it disgusting :( Okay na yun regular bus.



3. Hotel name at Ho Chi Mihn and Da Lat

HCM – Nhât Ha 2 Hotel
Da Lat – Empress Hotel

It is cheaper to book hotel through and/or I don’t advise walk-in. Mahal! ;) You can save 50% by booking online. Less hassle too!

All in all, I spent $100 for 5days/4nights for hotel accommodation.

Nhât Ha 2 in Ho Chi Mihn




Empress Hotel in Da Lat




4. Mura ba bilihin? Mas mura sa Pilipinas?
Yes! :D Go to Saigon Square for
shopping pero if wala ka check in baggage, watch out!

Sa Da Lat, mura ang sweater and trench coat :) Ganda! Lamig kasi dun, at night feeling mo napunta ka sa mas iba pang lugar kasi lahat naka trench coat and booties ;)

5. District 1 ba sa city center?
Yes. Magkakalapit lang! Actually yung attractions, pwede mo lakarin. From the airport nasa 50,000.00 ang fare going to District 1. Pa arrange ka na sa airport. Additional 10,000.00 para sa (nakalimutan ko) Haha airport fee? Sa mga cab. You pay that too! Papalit na din ng Dong sa Airport. Sa Da Lat, may tinatawag silang “Gold Shop”. Okay magpapalit dun ;)

6. Budget (in SG$)
Air fare – $113
Hotel – $100
Food & Transpo – $60-70
Pocket Money- depende if you want to go shopping and what you’ll buy pero “mura” pero sabi ko nga watch your luggage kasi 7kg lang allowed. Umabot ako 12kg :( Paraan lang sa airport! Haaa

Note: Kasama pa yung Hot Stone Massage therapy and Facial dyan ha. Free use of sauna and steam
bath. Sa spa ng Blue Moon Hotel in Da Lat (4-star) For $25 lang! A must! Very good service and facility.

No need for a tour guide sa HCM as you can just walk around or take cab,
however I advise you to have one in Da Lat. If you haven’t read the Travel Juju yet, I highly recommend them:


They can take you on a day tour for US$25 :>;

Mura ang food and take note: fresh ang vegs at fruits! Masarap!













Have a fun trip! Cheerio!

I was 23 years old when I came here. Dark skinned, curly hair and super thin. Teka, hindi naman ang mga mahal nating katutubo-like ha. But, I was totally lost.

Lost in the city. Lost in my own place. Lost at work. I looked at our menu and wow, I was completely LOST. Japanese term and cuisine-lost na lost!!

This was the very first photo of me with my workmates! It was also the first time I joined them for dinner and the first time to try Chinese/Malaysian food!



I was wearing a white polo shirt as a management trainee. That was the best uniform I had. :>

From zero to being in love with Japanese food. From hotate, to idako to kurage name it. I can name all the sushi’s and maki’s that’s running through the conveyor belt. I know now the difference between a sashimi, maki, sushi, gunkan and temaki. Before, I thought they’re all the same!

I’ve been having a love and hate relationship with my job until now. Let’s start with the hating! :>
1. Long hours of work.
2. Some customer can get really pointless.
3. Some customer again can get really rude/unreasonable.
4. Some workmates (operation or office) can get irritable at times probably cos of stress.
5. There are some things that when you do repeatedly, it just gets boring and boring and boorrrrr Zzzzzzzz.

Im not going to be a hater here because believe it or not I had some of life bestest lessons from here.
1. Long hours of work for 2 years made my endurance level SKY HIGH. 8hrs of work as I see it now? Sisiw man!
2. I was able to appreciate Japanese food which I didn’t even dare to try in Philippines. I became more adventurous with foods here and I beside that I really loved Korean & Chinese cooking.
3. So back in college I thought Buss Mgt subject was a pain in the ass. But now, weekly/monthly report, labor costing, food costing, inventory, petty cash, payroll name it! It’s now as easy and boring as writing my own full name! :p Jk lang! It still requires thinking and all but it’s not as hard as I thought it was before.
4. I’ve learn to deal with people of different race, culture, profession and age which made me become more flexible.
5. I’ve met wonderful people who became my friends and family here in Singapore.





















(Random photos from 2010-2012)

Well, Im 25 now :>;; I gained so much weight, my hair is long and straight and I’d like to think I’ve become fairer Haha. From white uniform to black.



All the negativities became bearable having friends like them. I always say that I’m so blessed to be working and be surrounded with nice and positive people. From kitchen staff, service staff to my superiors. AND to work in an outlet that is not always busy but was never empty. Just like other human BEAN :>;; though, there are time that I get tired, bored, irritable, lazy, crazy, mad child (hehe) but you know what, wherever life takes me…

I will always be thankful for this.

Just want to share the first part of the itinerary planning for my Vietnam trip, down south. I’m HONESTLY trying my best to not spend so much time in Ho Chi Minh City since Im already coming from Singapore and I definitely prefer nature/cultural trip. Since it’s quite impossible to travel from south to north at baka mahilo hilo lang kami pagbaba ng train, I decided to just settle on looking nice places to visit in the south (yet still away from the city).

Then I learned about Da Lat and Nha Trang. I’m still figuring out the travel time but I’m sure it’s not going to be more than 5hrs by bus.

So here are some of the interesting places in Da Lat which is in the central highland. I’m expecting a cool breezy weather here. :)

DALAT CATHEDRAL – built between1931-1942 for use by French residents and holiday-makers. Pwede!

HANG NGA CRAZY HOUSE – I know already, I’m going to be shutter-happy here! HAHA

DALAT FLOWER PARK – This is not really my thing but for relaxation and photo purposes, it’s not going to be a bad idea after all! Just hoping that flowers are in their full bloom.

CUONG HOAN TRADITIONAL SILK CENTRE – Paano ba i pronounce yan? Wanna see how they make silk cloth from scratch baby!


At eto naman yung mga nice places in Nha Trang. Few hours away from Da Lat. Beach beach beach! :DD

HONG CHONG PROMONTORY – anything pretty beach, i love.

……. I’ll continue this post promise! There’s few more interesting place at Nha Trang and things to do like Mud Bath :) Will try to come up with budget schemes too.


Skin hurts, I MUST stop scratching from this travel itch. So yesterday, after weeks/days of being in a full hunt mode, I scored a cheap flight going to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam from Singapore. Me & my friend booked the flight right away. Yay!

I’ve been asking friends and doing research online about the place and guess what, there’s NOTHING really that much to see in Ho Chi Minh City. Oh well, city nga. They say the best tourist spot in Vietnam is up north. But we’re in the down South yow! I get really frustrated now as I prefer relaxation and I mean nature, beach, SPA. So after hours of looking online, figured that there’s no easy way to get from Sorth to North so I gave up and settle for just looking nearby good places to visit beside Ho Chi Minh. Mau, my sister’s sis-in-law, recommends Da Lat (which she said is Baguio-like) and Nha Trang (along the coast). It’s around 5-6hrs travel from the city which I DONT MIND. :) Still figuring out the best transpo though. I came across random posts that says there are lots of scams over there that will cost you $1 up the normal price. Okay. Hmm. Still thinking whether to book hotel online or just do some walk-in.

I did some more researching, this time, I’m down to two specific places nalang! Mas madali. I WILL POST OUR ITINERARY here so in the future, if you feel like going in this place too, you’ll save up time researching.

Until then… Cheerio!

You might also like to check: Travel Juju: Phuket, Thailand :D



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