Archive of ‘Travel’ category

Little India, Singapore

After Chinatown, we went to Little India. Little India is located just across Chinatown. Although Little India is not solely an Indian neighborhood, many Indians choose to settle in this part of Singapore. We saw more Indians here compared to other parts of Singapore. True to its name, Little India is filled with Indian restaurants, mosques and other commercial establishments.

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We were browsing through one of the brochures at our hotel and we found a restaurant in Little India that was supposedly a Michelin star awardee. The first thing we did after getting off the MRT was find the restaurant. It was not far from the train station and we only had to walk a few blocks before we found it. The food here was really good. Our server even gave us dessert on the house.

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What I love about traveling is I get to experience different cultures and try new ways for doing things. Despite the things that are happening around us, the world is still such a beautiful place and I intend to continue exploring it.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.

-Alex

Chinatown, Singapore

On our 3rd day in Singapore, we opted to go around the city by train. Singapore is such a small country and very easy to navigate via their MRT. Our friend from Toastmasters, Coen, was getting married that night. Since we planned to go to Malaysia straight after the wedding, we checked out of our hotel and left our luggage at Regent Hotel Singapore, a posh hotel located in Orchard Road. Thank you Coen, for being so accommodating :) After leaving our luggage, we were now free to roam around.

First stop, Chinatown. Chinatown is an ethnic enclave that is a bustling mixture of the old and new. Unlike the more modern areas of Singapore that’s filled with high-rise, modern buildings, Chinatown has traditional one-storey shops,food stalls and cafes. This is the perfect place to do pasalubong shopping. They have t-shirts, keychains, figurines and other Chinese products.

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Go live a Truly Wealthy life.

-Alex

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

We finished touring Universal Studios at 5pm. After a getting some rest and refreshments, we decided to proceed to one of Singapore’s most popular tourist attractions – Gardens by the Bay.

Gardens by the bay singaporeGardens by the bay singapore 1Gardens by the bay singapore 2Gardens by the Bay is a nature park that covers 101 hectares of reclaimed land in Singapore. It’s located near the Marina Reservoir and near the popular mall and hotel – Marina Bay Sands. From Harbour Pointe, we took the MRT to Marina Bay and then walked to the garden. The garden came about because of the governments desire to create a “City in a Garden” to increase the greenery in the city and improve the quality of life. The park consists of 3 waterfront gardens – Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay Central Garden.

To create this, an international competition for the park design was launched in 2006.It garnered 70 entries from different countries all over the world. The winners were 2 British firms – Grant Associates and Gustafson Porter.

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1 Gardens by the bay singapore 6 heritage garden1GARDENS BY THE BAYThe park has many attractions such as The Flower Dome, Cloud Forest, OCBC Skyway, Supertree Grove, Childrens Garden, Dragonfly and Kingfisher Lake, Heritage Gardens, World of Plants and The Canyon.

Upon arriving, we walked thru Dragonfly and Kingfisher Lake, Heritage Gardens and Supertree Grove. Supertree Grove is a majestic edifice that looks especially outstanding at night with all the lights on. We weren’t able to check out the Skyway as it was closed at the time, but we did visit The Flower Dome. It holds an astonishing number and variety of flora and fauna.

SUPERTREE GROVEGardens by the bay singapore supertree grove

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FLOWER DOME

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Gardens by the bay singapore 29Singapore Cityscape at night

 We also got to watch a show near Supertree Grove at 7:45pm. The show featured fire dancers,aerial yoga and fire works. All in all, it was fun tour.

-Alex

Singapore Day 2: Universal Studios Sentosa

On our 2nd day, we decided to go to one of my favorite places in Singapore – Universal Studios in Sentosa. It’s about an hours ride via MRT from Geylang. I don’t know about you, but theme parks make me feel like a child again. Even though I’ve grown up, I love the feeling of wonder and magic being in a theme park evokes in me. Knowing we’d have to spend the entire day in USS, we woke up early. Since it’s really hot in Singapore I decided to wear shorts and sandals and bring an umbrella.

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Travel tip: Bring the right footwear. Traveling usually involves a lot of walking so you’ll need comfortable shoes or sandals. Singapore is a tropical country with weather very similar to the Philippines, so I brought a long a pair of comfy Grendha’s for this trip.

We took the MRT from Geylang to Harbor Point and then another smaller train from Harbor Point to Universal Studios. Sentosa is located at the end part of Singapore so it’s beside the beach. Aside from Universal Studios, there are other attractions in Sentosa you can see as well.

Universal Studios ticket prices:
Adult               S$76
Child               S$56
Senior Citizen S$38

They accept both cash and credit card.

Travel tip: Many of the lines in Universal Studios (for the good rides) are really long. The Transformers ride was the longest. We had to wait for over an hour to be able to ride it. If you want to go at a faster pace, then you can get the VIP Pass. It’s a bit pricier than the regular ticket but it’s worth it if you want to maximize your time in Sentosa.

You may also check out this website for good deals. The tickets are cheaper than if you buy on site: https://www.getyourguide.com. From S$76, the USS tickets on this site cost only S$50.44. A pretty great deal if you ask me. Once you get the 1-day pass, you can go on all the rides. There are also restaurants there that you can dine in.

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Here are my favorite rides in Universal Studios:
Transformers. It’s a 3-D ride that really makes you feel like you are in the movie.
Galactic. If you enjoy going on roller coaster rides then you have to try this one. There are 2 types – Human and Cyclone. I’ve tried both and I think Cyclone is the crazier ride. You’ll need to leave your bag and loose items at the locker or with a non-rider as they don’t allow you to bring these with you for your own safety.
The Mummy. This is another roller coaster ride that takes place inside a tunnel. Also one of my favorites.
Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure. This isn’t an extreme ride but I still enjoyed it a lot. You’ll need extra clothes though for riders are most likely to get wet – maybe even soaked.

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Travel tip: Bring sunblock and an umbrella. It’s really hot in Sentosa and you’ll need to protect yourself against the sun’s UV rays, since you’ll be spending the entire day walking around.

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Hello Singapore!

Last week, I went on vacation to Singapore together with my mom, fiance and Sha, a good friend from Toastmasters. We were there to attend the wedding of our friend, also a fellow Toastmaster, Coen and to do a little site seeing. singapore tour 1singapore tour 3Although I’ve been to Singapore before, it still struck me how advanced it is as a country.

There are 4 things I  love about Singapore:

First, their transportation system. You can get around Singapore via private car, taxi or bus. But their most convenient mode of transportation (and most affordable) is their MRT. Their MRT is so easy to use (and fast) that we knew how to get around Singapore after just one day of using it. After arriving at Changi airport, we walked to the nearest MRT (there’s one near Changi Airport) and bought an MRT card for 15SG, 7SG of which could be used for travel. For tourists who plan to tour around the city center, they also have an unlimited, ride-all-you can 3-day pass for 20SG. We originally wanted to buy this but it couldn’t be used to go to Sentosa so we switched to the regular MRT card.

Second, cleanliness. Singapore is so clean. There are trash bins almost everywhere so it makes it easy for you to dispose of your trash.

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Third, the food. The food in Singapore is really good. But also expensive. If you’re traveling on a budget, then hawker stalls are your best bet. They have delicious food at affordable prices there. A meal at a hawker stall costs around 4-5SD. If you eat at malls, you can easily spend 20-30SD on 1 meal. On our first night in Singapore, we checked in our hotel located in Geylang and decided to roam around the area. Luckily, we found a good place to eat. I was able to try barbecued sting ray for the first time and it was really delicious.singapore tour 6 singapore tour 8 singapore tour 5

Fourth, the people. Singaporeans are generally helpful and respectful. They dont hesitate to help out foreigners in need. And it helped a lot that most Singaporeans are proficient in English.

All in all, I enjoyed Singapore and would definitely like to come back to visit it. After I visit all the other countries in my list. :)

Want to hear more stories about Singapore? Find out about Day 2 of my Singapore trip HERE.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.

-Alex

Travel Diaries: Lake Apo, Valencia Bukidnon

One thing I love about living in Cagayan de Oro City is that it is near the beach and the mountains. Last weekend, my boyfriend and I felt like going away to the mountains so we packed our bags and went to Bukidnon. Our main itinerary was Lake Apo.

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Lake Apo is a crater lake located in Brgy Guinoyoran, Valencia City, Bukidnon. It’s about 30 minutes from the town center. It used to be a volcanic cone that later on widened into a basin and filled with water. The name comes from the bisaya term “apo” which means grandson or granddaughter. As legend would have it, a man living in the mountains was said to have assaulted his granddaughter and was punished by the deities by flooding the area with water, forming Lake Apo.

lake apo valencia 3How to get there:

From Valencia, log in to Google maps and follow the Guinoyoran road. Or you can hire a tour guide to take you there. Some parts of the road a not cemented so bring a pick-up or elevated vehicle.

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Canyoneering in Badian, Cebu

I love traveling and trying new, sometimes crazy, things. I’ve been dying to try canyoneering ever since I saw videos of it on the net.  Last April, my friends and I were finally able to do so. And it was AWESOME!

canyoneeing in badian cebuCanyoneering is the sport of exploring a canyon thru different activities such as waterfall jumping, climbing, swimming, walking or sliding. Canyoneering in Badian was discovered by a couple of tourists about 5 years ago and has been gaining popularity ever since. The trek starts at Canlaob river and ends at Kawasan falls. There are about 6 jumps and 2 slides.

Height of jump:
– 7 feet
– 10 feet
– 35 feet
– 45 feet (Running Jump)
– 75 feet (Waterfall Jump)
– 100 feet (Waterfall Jump)

I was able to jump all the jumps except for the running jump (there were too many people) and the 100 foot jump since it’s not allowed anymore. For those who are adrenaline junkies, you’ve got to try this! It’s just crazy awesome!

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Route:
Bus from Cebu-Badian (South Bus Terminal)
Time: 3 hours
Fare: 200

Canyoneering Rates
>10-14 pax: 800 php
>8-10 pax: 850 php
>8-9 pax: 900 php
>5-7 pax: 950 php
>4 pax: 1,000 php
>3 pax: 1,200 php
>2 pax: 1,500 php

Inclusions: Tour guide, helmet, life vest, dry bag, transportation, lunch
What to wear: leggings or shorts, rash guard, aqua shoes
What to bring: water, Go Pro
Timeline: 5-6 hours

canyoneeing in badian cebu 6Jumping from a height of 75 feet is scary. But here’s how to jump at ANY height 😛

Step 1: Decide to jump long before you’ve reached the jump point.
Step 2: Upon reaching the area, count from 1 to 3. Don’t spend more than 5 seconds there or fear will take over and it will take you forever to jump. Trust me, the longer you stand there staring at the edge, the scarier it becomes.
Step 3: JUMP!

canyoneeing in badian cebu 5 canyoneeing in badian cebu 7canyoneeing in badian cebu 3 canyoneeing in badian cebu 4The more I travel in our country, the more I’m struck by it’s natural beauty. I can’t wait for our next adventure!

For those who want to try canyoneering, contact Lyka at 0933 604 1516.

Check out our canyoneering video here, courtesy of Stef Uy :)

La Vie Parisienne

la vie parisienne cebuWhen I first saw blog posts about this restaurant from my favorite bloggers, I just new I had to come here. It was such a pretty restaurant! The cherry blossoms, the furniture and the decors were like a dream. It didn’t look like much from the outside. In fact, we almost missed it. But the inside was like a different world altogether.

la vie parisienne cebu 2La Vie is the first French Boulangerie, Pastry Shop & Wine Library in Cebu. It has an array of french pastries and wines to choose from. What I love about it is it’s relaxing vibe and cool atmosphere. You can enjoy a glass of wine while listening to chill music. And the best part is, it’s just in the middle of Cebu City!

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La Vie is definitely a little gem in the middle of the city. You may want to try it out for yourself!

Go live a Truly Wealthy life!

-Alex

 

Toastmasters District Conference 2016: Cebu (Day 2)

IMG_8370Day 2 of Discon 2016 was just as fun and exciting as Day 1. Despite the lack of sleep from last night’s Fellowship Night we had to go to the venue early for the judges briefing since my friend, Stef, was a judge in the International Prepared Speech contest. The morning started off with learning sessions about Leadership and Branding. Then came lunch. Afterwards, it was contest time!

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discon 2016 cebuToastmasters of the Day

discon 2016 internation speech contestContest Chair DTM Dulce Ranosa

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The International Prepared Speech Contest started at 1pm and was hosted by incoming District 75 Director Dulce Ranosa. All the speakers were true story tellers and I had a great time listening to one story after another. I’m sure the judges had a hard time picking their top 3. From climbing Mt. Apo to killing to a giant python to growing up in jail – their stories had me captivated from start to finish.

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discon 2016 internation speech contest winnersInternational Prepared Speech Contest Winners
Champion: Amy Pagdanganan, Division A
1st Runner-up: Nedo Sasing, Division L
2nd Runner-up: Chris Dao-anis, Division G

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After the contest, there was an election of the  next district officers and then we were given time to prepare for the District Directors Ball. The theme for the District Directors Ball was Casino Royale. The ball is usually held on the last night of the District Conference. This is where we honor our district officers, past district governors, give out awards and bond with our fellow toastmasters. I see it as a grand conclusion to every discon. And this years ball was grand indeed. We were all dressed in either black or white and the room was set up like a casino with giant cards as the centerpiece of every table. I felt like I was in a James Bond set.  We were entertained by different production numbers. There was singing, dancing, gravity defying acrobatics, singing again but this time on hoverboards and a whole lot more.  IMG_8419 IMG_8421 copy IMG_8423All in all, it was a great district conference. I commend Discon Chair Benzon Lim and his team for all their effort and sacrifice in making this conference possible.

The 2016 Midyear conference this October will be in Davao. See you then!

-Alex

Photo credit to Ed Fabonan

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