Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Our KL to SG Trip Part 3: Swimming at Sunway Lagoon

Back in 2009, I made it a point to visit Sunway Lagoon. Unfortunately, I made a wrong estimation as going to Sunway Lagoon took more than 30 minutes and spending the day is the only way to actually get the most of the place so for this trip, we had spent the whole day in this park.

We got up at 8:00 am to have breakfast and leave the hostel at around 9:30 am. We made our way to the Kelana Jaya MRT Station and boarded a bus going to Sunway Mall.

Expenses so far: Around 1RM/person

 Photo: Sizzling Chicken Rice

Since it was almost 12nn, we decided to eat in the Pyramid Mall instead of inside the park. We went down to the food court and purchased chicken and beef rice in a sizzling plate. Then, got our drinks in a juice stand. Jessie noticed another thing. The name in the Jusco, synonymous to JUSCO or "Juice ko" or my juice was printed in our juice cups.


After eating, we proceeded to the Sunway Lagoon. I pre-bought tickets using the online purchasing function of the Sunway Lagoon website, which also gave us 20% discount. I got two 3 parks ticket, which normally costs 80RM with just 60RM.

Photo: Welcome to Sunway Lagoon!

I also had to pay a wrist band deposit of 10RM/person, which I was able to refund after the day ended.

Animal Park

The three parks ticket was defaulted to the water park, the animal park and the amusement park. Since we just ate, we went around the Animal Park, first. The park consists of attractions featuring a wide array of birds, reptiles, mammals. In the pet area, I was able to hold a Hedgehog. He had hard fur which can feel like needles but wouldn't really wound you. Check out the different animals we were able to interact and see.

 Photo: My new friend, Sonic

Water Park

By 2:30pm, we had pretty much covered the animal park and we shed off our going around clothes and left all our other stuff in the paid locker, which was 5RM per opening.

We first swam at some pools in an are the park tagged as Africa. We floated and swam. Then, took lots of pictures. After a while, we decided to try the water rides.

 Photo: Waters of Africa

Our first stop was the surf slide. We went more than once since we wanted to have a video of us going down the slide.

We then made our way to that long tube slide with many circles (African Tube Slide with lots of loops) and the really high one (Cameroon Climb). We swam some more in the other pools within that section of the park until we decided to go to the Amusement Park.

Amusement Park

At around 4:30pm, we put back on our strolling clothes, headed to the World of Adventure and rode the pirate's revenge.It looks like Anchor's Away ride in Enchanted Kingdom but it swings at 360 degrees.

 Photo: Pirate's Revenge

Another 360 degrees ride is the tomahawk which is lighter than the pirates revenge Ride and the belts are much more loose, I really felt going upside down as we made 360 degrees turns.

Since the other rides weren't as adult-friendly, we went to the other amusement park tagged as the wild wild west. It was generally full of kiddie rides but has a number of adult rides wherein you would end up wet. We rode the Niagara Falls Flume Ride, Colorado Splash, and the Grand Canyon River Rapids.Which was similar to rides in Enchanted Kingdom and Star City where you end up wet.

 Photo: Grand Canyon River Rapids

After riding wet rides in Wild Wild West, we made our way to the longest pedestrian bridge where we found people bungy jumping. Thr Bungy jump costs 130RM, which was out of our budget. (so I am envious at those who did bungy jumps)

 Photo: The "Longest" Hanging Bridge

After crossing that "longest" pedestrian bridge, we made our way to the wave pool and swam our last hour.

 Photo: Presents Sunway Lagoon

At 6pm, Sunway Lagoon closes. everyone is asked to leave the pool and head out of the park. We took some last shots and changed into our going home clothes.

 Photo: At the Pool Area Display

We rode a bus back to the city but the fare is more expensive by another ringgit so the fare is RM2/person since the way back is a longer ride.

Back to our hostel

Before going back to the hostel, we took a detour to pasar seni so I could buy souvenir ref magnet which costs 10RM for 2 pieces.

Photo: At Pasar Seni

Since the hawker center was already closed since it was almost 9:30pm, we dined at a nearby Indian restaurant before heading back to the hostel.

Our KL to SG Trip Part 2: Dinner at Jalan Alor

It was still raining hard and I urged Jessie to get up and walk in the rain with our umbrellas. After half an hour of bugging. We finally went out for dinner.

Our hostel is just a 5 minute walk to Jalan Alor so it wasn't that hard to find a place to eat. We looked for a place that doesn't have wet tables and chairs and chanced upon one restaurant where the waiter and waitresses was overly eager to get us seated and get our orders.

After 5 minutes of deciphering the menu, we ordered the following:
  • Kung Pao Chicken

  • Seafood Fried Rice
  • Beef Satay with Peanut Sauce

  • Tom Soup
  • Watermelon Shake for me
  • Coke for Jessie
Yes, obviously, we were hungry but what we ordered turned out to be a lot!

Expenses: 55.50RM for Dinner or PhP 850 (not that bad for a dinner out)

We were super full as we headed back get a durian pack and walk around Bukit Bintang, as the rain had already stopped.

 Photo: Buying Pasalubong at the Giant Supermarket.

We went back out to buy pasalubong at the Giant Supermarket. We got Koko Jelly to give to everyone.

Expenses: 90++ MYR for pasalubong and our own coffee and tea

 Photo: When we saw this, Jessie couldn't stop laughing.

Photo: Some Korean/Taiwanese Actors... 
We don't know who they are but snap a shot since they maybe famous

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Our KL to SG Trip Part 1: Voyage from Manila to Kuala Lumpur

Around May 2010, I found a sale in Air Asia that sold tickets from Clark to Kuala Lumpur at a bargain price of P2k++/person. I immediately grabbed the opportunity to get cheap tickets and planned to accomplish my promise to return to Malaysia and Singapore.

It was a long wait until the trip actually came to existence. There was even some close calls of the trip not pushing through. First, there was the lack of budget which was solved when I got my perfomance bonus just 2 weeks before the trip. Then, there was the my leaves pending approval when my project ended a month before the trip and the new project I was transferred in, didn't require my expertise a lot so my leave with my new boss was easily approved.

The trip begins

On Saturday night, I rushed to our QC house as I needed to get the other luggage from my dad who just arrived from Baguio. The commute was long, as usual so I had my dinner at our house before packing all our things at around 10pm. The trip was early Sunday at around 5am since we needed to be at the Pasay Terminal by 6:30am. We arrived in time and had extra time to eat breakfast for 15 mins. The travel was fast, but I really didn't notice as I spent most of the trip sleeping.

Photo: Me at the Philtranco Bus

Expenses so far: Taxi: Php60,  Breakfast: Php120, Bus Fare: Php 700

We arrived at a great time. After we withdrew money from a RCBC ATM at DMIA (Diosdado Macapagal International Airport). We entered the terminal to exchange money from Pesos to Malaysian Ringgit and Singaporean Dollars. By the way, I advise you to change money at our airports, as money changers in other countries has a greater exchange rate.

Expenses so far: Withdrawal Fee for other banks: Php11 multiplied by 5 transactions.

We then paid Travel Taxes and used the self-check-in terminals of Air Asia. By the way, these terminals chose seats at random so if you arrived early, it will sit you together otherwise you will be in different parts of the plane. At this time, we were lucky enough to get a window seat and seats that are beside each other. Of course, I get the window seat. Anyway, we checked in our bags that weighed 16kgs at that time. Then, paid the terminal fee. We then passed immigration and one more security check and awaited our flight in the departure lounge where we had snacks.

 Photo: DMIA Pre-departure area

Expenses so far: Travel Tax: Php 1320/person,  Terminal Fee: P600/person Snacks: P300 Load: P300

At 10:45am, we boarded the Air Asia Plane which was covered in Bank Rakyat advertising and almost slept through the whole 3 hour flight. We had our pre-booked meals and tea, which we thought was part of the meal we got but wasn't.

Photo: Me before boarding the plane

Expenses so far: 10RM for our teas

We arrived a minute after our planned arrival at around 3pm. We went through the usual process of immigration and headed out the Sky bus terminal when we realized we forgot to claim our luggage. Lucky enough, the LCCT security wasn't that strict so after explaining our case, we got in the baggage claim section and got our luggage. We, then, boarded the Sky bus and slept another hour and 15 minutes as we made our way to the KL Sentral.

Expenses so far: 9RM/person for the sky bus fare.

From KL Sentral, we dropped by a convenient store where Jessie found a picture worthy cake.
 Photo: Pasalubong para kay Mommy

Expenses so far: less than 10RM for our snacks

Then, we made our way to the monorail, which is on the other side of the street of KL Sentral. since some tourists were taking their picture in front of the monorail. I did the same. Naki-gaya na din!

 Photo: A tourist in the Monorail

Expenses so far: less than 5RM for our Tickets

From the monorail, we alighted at Bukit Bintang where our hostel is nearby. At that time, it was already raining so we had to bring out our umbrellas as we navigated using the directions from the email from HostelWorld. We mistakenly entered the wrong hotel since our hostel ended up just beside the hotel we entered.

 Photo: Maraming ads ang kamukha nito!

Upon entering the hostel, we were greeted by another guest who looked like some sort of yogi and told us to look for the woman with no hair. Wow, freaky but as it turns out she just had a boy cut. The woman was the owner of the hostel and her name is Suzy. She told us the rules of the hostel and checked us in the room of happiness.

 Photo: Our room is the happiness room

For an hour or so, Jessie opted to be a facebook addict and while we were waiting for the rain stop.

 Photo: Jessie was facebook-ing

Expenses so far: 189RM for the Hostel Stay and 10RM for the key deposit

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Thirdy Lopez: A Yuppie Story

I'm currently reading a book titled Think Rich, Yuppies by Sha Nacino and Trace Trajano, best-selling author of Think Rich Quick.

In the first chapter, Sha shared how she became a yuppie and how it felt.

So here I write about the same thing.

At the beginning of 2007, I set my goal of becoming an employee. I was still not sure if I would graduate but I already finished the final draft of my resume so I sent them out anyway and went on a few interviews. I got to go to Shaw to Eastwood to Ortigas, in my search of an employer.

Around the time I was finishing our thesis, I had a few offers. But around March, I signed with my first company as junior consultant which is a java developer position. Fortunately, my first assignment was training and initial work in Spain so instead of going on a vacation where I spend more of my parents money. I spent it on vacation in Europe. Having money given both in Pesos and Euros, I splurge on shopping 100 euros for pasalubong on one shopping day and I went on 2-3 shopping days. With my euro allowance, my officemates and I was able to tour Barcelona, Madrid (twice), and  Toledo(twice).

The 3 month assignment came to an end and I got to keep around P20,000.00 or more.

Why I became a yuppie?

My father is a medical professional. My aunts are government and medical professionals.

My father told me to study hard so that I could earn my own money. When you are young, all you could really look up to are people within your family.

And at that time, majority of my family and other relatives were slaves of the corporate or government world.

I aimed to be like them. 'Coz I decided then that they are what successful mean.

I studied hard and earned a degree to become a yuppie.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

My life according to Britney Spears

Using only song names from ONE ARTIST or GROUP, cleverly answer these questions. Pass it on to people you like and include me (presuming I'm someone you like). You can't use the band I used. Try not to repeat a song title. It's a lot harder than you think! Re-post as "my life according to (band name)

Pick your Artist: Britney Spears

Are you a male or female:
"Boys" (Britney, 2002)

Describe yourself:
"I love Rock and Roll" (Britney, 2002)

How do you feel:
"Toxic" (In the Zone, 2004)

Describe where you currently live:
"Circus" (Circus, 2008)

If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
"Where are you now?" (Ooops, I did it again, 2000)

Your favorite form of transportation?
"I run away" (Britney, 2001)

Your best friend?
"Perfect Lover" (Blackout, 2007)

Favorite time of the day:
"Kill the Lights" (Circus, 2009)

You and your best friend are: 
"Born to Make you Happy" (Baby One More Time, 1999)

What's the weather like:
"Break the Ice" (Blackout, 2009)

If your life was a TV show what would it be called?
"I'm a slave for you" (Brtiney, 2001)

What is life to you: 
"Lucky" (Ooops... I did it again, 2000)

Your Relationship:
"Stronger" (Ooops... I did it again, 2000)

Your fear:
"Lonely" (Britney, 2001)

What is the best advice you have to give:
"What U See (What U Get) (Ooops... I did it again, 2000)

Thought for the Day:
"Someday (I Will Understand) (Greatest Hits: My Prerogative, 2005)

My motto:
"I got that (Boom Boom)" (In the Zone, 2004)
"Till the World ends" (Femme Fetale, 2011)

Sunday, March 06, 2011

My Deal Grocer Experience: Borough, the Podium

Early in January, I discovered a site called Deal Grocer. This site sells discounted items like restaurant vouchers and other items.

The first deal that came to my interest is the 50% 3-course meal in Borough, Podium. For around, P500 per person. We usually spend around Php 1k on dates and this deal is perfect for us 'coz we get to dine for worth P2k for only P1k, which is within our budget.

I grabbed the chance and purchase 2 vouchers. There were something wrong the vouchers at first but the team behind deal grocer had sorted out the wrong information in the coupon and I was able to avail it without any hassle.

So for only P500/person, we had a sumptuous 3 course meal.

Mind you one course is already enough if you are dining without deals so I assure you we felt like bloated pigs after that date...

1st course: Buffalo Chicken Wings
The chicken wings were really great. It came with a cream cheese dip and it was really spicy. A different sense that the usual salty and sweet blend of cheaper restaurants.

Photo: That was me, playing with my food.

2nd course: All Beef Cheeseburger
They actually served the first and second course at the same time but we ate it one at time.

The all beef cheeseburger was heaven. You could really taste the meat's natural juice and really protein filled. My tummy felt it.

3rd Course (Dessert): Milk and Cookies
This was super yummy.

The milk has a unique taste. Our best guess is that the added vanilla to the creamy milk. We had fun mocking doing shots with milk 'coz they had us use shot glasses for the milk.

Photo: Tagay na!

The cookies compliments the taste of the milk. It was super yummy.

We were really full so we took half of the cookies home.

Aside from our vouchers, I ordered a glass of cranberry juice. It tasted like wine without the alcohol.

The Borough experience was fun. The staff were very helpful. The owner was even checking if we were enjoying the food. We looked pained of eating because we were super full and the food was yummy so we had to empty our plates.

BTW, this is a free advertising. I don't get anything from Deal Grocer or Borough. Try both businesses out!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Anniversaries Celebrated

Honestly, I am blogging this as a homage to the bloggers who inspired me.

Anniversaries are great events.

In this day, you celebrate lasting longer than majority of couples out there (says a bitter amplaya).

In this day, you celebrate your love together lasting for a year (says the idealistic kid).

In this day, you try to seal the deal or reseal it again (says a hormonal boy).

For me, Anniversaries are a great excuse to do something out of the ordinary. Go out of the country, out of town. It is a celebration of your love, and an opportunity to escape the woes of daily life with (who else? but ) the love of your life...

So what did we do?

1st Anniversary: Tagaytay

During that time, we had busy schedules that the only way to go on an out of town trip was go to a nearby go-to-spot, Tagaytay. It was a simple day trip. Early in the morning, we boarded a bus to Olivarez and had breakfast in a trendy restaurant.

We, then headed to Picnic Groove to enjoy the try the zip lines and fly a kite.

Lunch was at Leslie's where we encountered rain, which was a good thing 'coz we got to rest for an hour.

Afternoon was spent in the Zoo, where we met a tiger.

We capped the day with a dinner in a pizza place and the purchase of our ring... (♪Put a ring on it ♪)

2nd Anniversary: Kuala Lumpur

Our 2nd anniversary was our first out of the country trip. We went around Kuala Lumpur and even ventured to Genting Highlands and Sunway.

I fell in love with the country so we'll be heading back there soon...

3rd Anniversary: Batangas

We were all set to spend the weekend in Batangas but due to sudden schedule conflicts, we went for a day trip instead.

We went early in the morning. The commute was mighty crazy that we arrived in the resort around lunch time.

We had a sumptuous lunch buffet and we went for a swim in a infinity pool.

Then, we relaxed at a hut before heading to the beach to do some kayaking.

The resort people told us to go home early as it is difficult to get a ride to the city so at 4pm, we rushed to a merienda buffet and headed back to the city. It was tiring but the 5 hours of relaxation was worth it.

What about for our next one? Hmmmmm....

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

What if

If there is one thing I regret, it would be that I didn't take that job something in June last year.

I started looking for a job sometime in April 2010 and after a very difficult quest to a company who fits my standard, I landed an offer. It was a good enough offer although it was lower than what I was getting.

On the day before handing over my resignation. One of my officemates, who became my team lead, approached me and asked me to stay instead. She told me that I would be a great loss to the team and only I could do the job I am doing. So I let go of that job offer and stayed here instead.

After a few months, the sacrifice was fruitful. I am currently tagged for promotion. Although, the salary difference from my current job and that job offer ceased when BIR released a ruling that made me in eligible for a Regional Office Tax break.

I wished I took that offer instead... What if I could have gone to France? What if I am already a team lead by now?

Anyway, regrets are not that useful. Instead, dwell on the present and plan and work for the future.

I have two options: Find a different job. Still in IT 'coz that is my specialty anyway. But not doing java or any hardcore programming. Job titles may include Business Analyst, QA Analyst or Developer using OOP tools.

My plan is to resign at exactly May 30, 2011 so my last day is on June 30, 2011. In this case, I wouldn't have to pay half of taxes paid for 2010 and early 2011.

I start looking for a job on April 15, 2011.

Countdown to when I look for another job

Countdown to my resignation day

Countdown to my last day in my current work

Another option is to not look for another job and quit having a job altogether, which is my preference. In this scenario, the countdown still applies.

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