Traveling multiplied by lethargy

Keeping myself in PGP in multiple attempts to force myself to study, not even logging in on MSN and YIM for a week, contributes very little to my academic life.

In short, traveling had evaporated most of my drive to study. I have done almost no “reading” during Reading Week.

temple climbing in Siem Reap
On the contrary, I did some temple climbing.

Going to Phuket, Thailand from the 11th to the 14th then to Siem Reap, Cambodia from the 18th to 20th was probably not the best prelude to final exams.

The best thing about getting to travel without parents (and in foreign countries) is the fact that I have experienced it. This. That. Those. One thing I promised myself is that I will definitely, oh most definitely, go back to Thailand because I fell in love with it as deep as I wanted to fall into its beaches. I can’t wait for an opportunity to go to Bangkok and then travel to the North, which a friend-of-a-friend had done.

I was deeply moved more by the poverty I saw in Cambodia than its immense god-stricken temple ruins and I was bothered by the regrettable fact that despite the similar state of poverty in the Philippines, I had to be moved by it in a foreign country. Or maybe I just had more to regret in Siem Reap than in Phuket.

Regrettable, life-changing drama from my first semester this year (June-October) had diminished what was left of the industrious, studious, note-taking and book-hogging student in me. That was followed by an unusual but exciting pre-second-semester (with all the Production gigs I got involved in while I waited for the results regarding one semester’s worth of scholarship at the National University of Singapore). Perhaps I just started to be convinced of “all the wrong things” — or things my mom would definitely disapprove of, or maybe I’m just tired of Ateneo and I just want to leave my frustrations with that university behind as soon as possible, but I’m not very keen on exams and tests anymore. The effort I exert on academics is merely a fraction of what I had been sacrificing for it when I was in sophomore year. I just want Friday to arrive and then I’ll be going to Bintan, Indonesia for two days worth of relaxation and water sports and amazing fun with two awesome friends I’ve made here. Then I can’t wait to get back to the Philippines where I can dive back into creative projects and actually do something to change my room’s design (ASAP). I left the Philippines four months ago looking for a muse and now I’ve found some inspiration, I can’t wait until I get my hands on materials to create lovely things.

Pigging out may or may not be related to my horrible study habits but today I’ve successfully saturated myself and sworn off junk food. I just finished a pack of potato chips for lunch and I feel so queasy, I’m sure I won’t be eating a whole pack in a long time again. While yesterday I stuffed myself with all forms of sweets: cheesecake, ice cream, cupcake, chocolate. I swear, I don’t know why I can’t just balance my food intake to satisfy my picky taste buds.

Islam is a beautiful religion

I first learned some of the few things I know about Islam from the best history teacher back in high school, Sir Beni (I kept my notes color-coded only because they were for his class. I drew penguins on every map of Asia/world a we had to sketch for the tests just because I knew he wouldn’t mind hahahaha). He was also traditionally the Philosophy professor for 4th year but he went on a trip to Europe just when I got to 4th year. Sadness. Anyway, I honestly don’t know if he still teaches in Assumption Antipolo but when I was still studying there, he was one of the “legend teachers.” And while I can write a paper on the greatness and wisdom of Sir Beni (he is a teacher that transcends time!!), I have to remember that this post isn’t about him but of my KL trip.

Point of the intro was, supposedly, how most of what I know or remember about Islam was really still from Sir Beni. I only fed my curiosity about their beautiful calligraphic images from museums (such as the gallery at the Asian Civilizations Musuem).

I haven’t been to KL (or anywhere in Malaysia, for that matter), so I decided to hit two birds with one stone and join the NUS Muslim Society to their one-day Islamic Awareness Week trip to KL. Based on what has happened to me in the past week (self-injuring myself accidentally), my friend warned me to take care and since I’m blogging right now, luckily it only means I haven’t encountered any serious mishap. But my trip wasn’t without any interesting experiences either. I’m going to flood this post with my usual silliness and senseless ramblings so be warned.

TADA! me at the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization
TADA! me at the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization

The S$50 trip was primarily an excursion into Islam and while it wasn’t exactly a vacation trip, one of the best things about going on that trip were:

  1. meeting a lot of wonderful, friendly, very nice and thoughtful people. Not just NUS students or organizers but even their friends/family members that went on the trip. NEW FRIENDS FTW! The guys were all so funny, haha, that it made me realize that most guy-groups are really kinda the same wherever I go.
  2. Getting to know the Islam religion and culture. Maybe not so much (I wasn’t able to attend most of their lectures during the Islamic Awareness Week) but I have learned quite a few things too! There are quite a lot of Muslims in the Philippines also and I’ve had two teachers in the past (back in high school) who’s either from the south or taught/had experiences living in the South. I’m the type of person who enjoys learning about cultures and new places!
  3. Trying new food and eating LOTS of ice cream (simply because it’s cheaper in Malaysia).
  4. Getting held up at the immigrations because I forgot my student pass in the bus. And then learning that the bus driver lost his passport.

I start with #4 because well, that’s where the trip technically starts. I mean, I was THIS CLOSE to stepping into Malaysia until oh, apparently we need our Student Pass to get to the other side. Continue readingIslam is a beautiful religion

WARNING: CAPSLOCK

OK SINGAPORE, LET THE SUN SHINE. BECAUSE I BETTER USE THIS.

>:D EVIL PANDA SMILE
>:D EVIL PANDA SMILE

WAIT WHAT? AGAIN.

WOOT WOOT WOOT!
WOOT WOOT WOOT!

I JUST PANDA-SPAMMED YOUR BROWSER, BUWAHAHAHAHAHA.

Now I can say I literally, all-for-real, true-to-life, in-real-life have not much money. But I have a panda hat.

Before I made this ridiculous purchasing decision, let me spam my blog more with useless pics I took of other souvenir/merchandise from the Night Safari. Continue readingWARNING: CAPSLOCK

Two sides of the same river

Yesterday early-afternoon I went to the Asian Civilizations Museum (ACM) to catch the 2pm English tour (I’m still an art student, ok! So I was genuinely interested and I’ve been looking forward to visiting ever since! I left early when I first dropped by two days ago because I missed the English tour). AND I DISCOVERED THE MOST AMAZING THING. STUDENTS CAN GO INSIDE FOR FREE. It originally would cost me five bucks so the word ‘FREE’ just sent my heart into a flutter.

I went there alone because other people had things to do or classes to attend and I didn’t know many who are interested in museums. But it was okay because I could go in my own pace. I know I’m going to go back to the museum a lot of times. I JUST KNOW IT. One day wasn’t enough. I wasn’t even able to explore the whole building yet–all the exhibits and galleries–so that just proves how often I’ll be going back here. And it’s just perfect because I’m taking a visual arts class (unless it does come in conflict with another subject) and our topic next week would be Buddha (I think). It’s easy going there: from PGP, I took the bus to Buona Vista, hopped on the MRT there, and then went down Raffles Station, took Exit H, and then just crossed the bridge and VIOLA.

I was able to go around the area more this time. It was so cloudy I was afraid the rain would start pouring. I ended up getting chased under my umbrella by a little drizzle by the end of the afternoon but I was lucky it didn’t really rain hard. The pictures aren’t at their best though.

Victoria Theatre (from afar)
Victoria Theatre (from afar)

Continue readingTwo sides of the same river

In search for the cheapest food

Yesterday, following Advertising Strategies class, Tata and I went to the FASS Canteen and lo and behold! It was even cheaper than dorm food. We bought from this stall a meal that cost $2.30 but had servings for 2 people.

tofu, vegetables, and rice!
we shared this, of course. it's like lunch for $1.15, which wasn't bad at all.

And although yesterday was the ultimate adventure fail (it started to rain hard when we were on our way to this roadside flea market that we ended up not finding it), this afternoon was rather nice. I met up with my mom’s office-mate to get my happy-package from him so I went to the Asian Civilizations Museum at around lunch time (took the MRT and came down at Raffles Station, from which the ACM was easier to find). I didn’t know I’d end up at the riverside, which was, apparently, also near Clarke Quay.

Continue readingIn search for the cheapest food

Singapore la! (Part 2)

Going around places on the second day made me realize how much I wanted to buy and how little I actually had for spending. Now, I’m always thinking of money-money when I buy things (converting them into pesos just to know if it’s expensive or not). My biggest cut-off is on food because really, compared to Manila, food here is expensive. You don’t have drinks that go with them so you’re really just paying for the food itself for the price of twice a regular Manila meal. :( In short, nothing is cheap in Singapore. NOTHING.

My second day started with an affordable brunch and ended with dinner I shared with Tata so we could half it. I was itching to do some accounting because I didn’t have time earlier during the day. As soon as we got back from the hotel that morning, I took a bath (WE GOT LOST/MISSED A STOP SO WE HAD TO WALK A LOT A LOT A LOT SO I REALLY NEEDED THAT BATH) and fixed/cleaned my room. Then we were off to explore a bit of NUS (now we know where the buses at PGP are) for the orientation and registration the next day. After which we went to Orchard Road to get all my dollars converted.

Then we looked for things for Tata. It was a nice (expensive) department store but it had so many cute things. I wanted to buy this toothbrush holder they sold at the kid’s section but I wasn’t going to spend bloody 8S$ for one when I have other more important things to worry about. BUT THERE WAS A PANDA ONE AND I WANTED TO HAVE IT. I wanted to buy a pencil case too because I don’t have one but I’ll go pencil-case-less for a while before I even think about it (THERE WAS THIS SHEEP DESIGN AT KINOKUNIYA BUT DAMN MONIES!). I wanted stickers too. :(

Then dinner.

And then another train ride going home. Where we walked a lot again because we had to find out how to get to the bus stop on the other side of the highway so we looked for the pedestrian lane (on the way we discovered that the shops below the Buona Vista Station are cheaper so we can afford a couple of things there). Everything involved a lot of walking and walking and moving from one station to another to get to different rails that by the end of the day I was just plain exhausted.

so tired from days of walking :(
so tired from days of walking :(

Before sleeping, I set up an excel file for account (WHICH I’M REALLY PROUD OF BECAUSE I’M NOT EXCEL SAVVY). And then I was too exhausted to do much else.

Singapore la! (Part 1)

If there’s one thing about me, it’s the fact that until January 4, 2010, I’ve never rode on an air plane before. January 5th was the first time ever and it’s a mixed experience because (a) I did not get any sleep at all–I was up until 3.30am, (b) although I didn’t know what to do inside the airport, I managed, (c) the flight was mostly smooth until a point where we were about to land and my ears just started to hurt like hell, (d) that due to that I was kinda deaf. It was only at the end of the day that my ears started working fine.

Nevertheless, I was on the same ride with Danica (my Philo classmate). Luckily, I got a window seat for my first flight ever! So it was easy to take pictures of pretty clouds. Our plane was a PAL Junior because it was smaller compared to the others. For breakfast, I had a choice between tapa and seafood dumplings so of course I chose seafood dumplings (DUMPLINGS!!). They served it with noodles and Kopi Rotti. Weird combination but ohwells.

Philippines from my window!

Continue readingSingapore la! (Part 1)