31 August 2011

Happy Anniversary!!!

"I have learned that true friendship continues to grow... Even over the longest distance." - Anon.
How long has it been? Five years? Yes, it must have been five years. But no matter how long we had been best friends, I still remember how it all started. We were at our usual seats in our "Hyacinth" classroom when we suddenly realized that we were best friends without actually labeling our closeness. You even told me that the date for our "best friendship anniversary" was easy to remember because it was the day before my birthday. And that explains how I remember this day every year. :)

Although, we have spent most of those years apart, I am glad to say that no matter how far apart we are, and no matter how long we do not see each other, nothing changes. The friendship is still the same. The trust is still the same. The laughters are still the same.

I know I sounded like a boyfriend missing his girl. And I'm so sorry I couldn't help but get emotional when I think about how far you are from me. Dati kasi three and a half hours lang... Ngayon you're seven hours away na (well 3.5 from Guam to Manila, then another 3.5 from Manila to SG). I know it does not make a big difference, but still!

I guess what I had been trying to say (which I say a lot of times) is I miss you. And I love you. Happy friendship-anniversary to us. :)

25 August 2011

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

Do you give presents to very good girls on their birthdays? I know you put presents under the christmas tree on christmas eve for good girls. But what about for very good girls? Don't you have to give them a bonus gift for being very good, and not just good?

Anyway Santa, just in case you decide to drop by in my place on the eve of my birthday, here's the list of what I want to receive. :)
Cannon Rebel T3 18-55mm IS II Kit
iPOD touch 4G (I'll be happy with a 32 gb but a 64 gb is much better) :)

G-Shock Men's Glide 6900 :)

Lastly, I want an iphone 5! Sadly, it's not available in the market yet. But that can be your Christmas gift for me. :) LOL.

21 August 2011

Because I miss Singapore

Last night I had a dream. I dreamt that Glerren and I were boarding a train to go to Malaysia. While in dreamworld, I was, or course, aware that: 1) there are no trains in Guam; 2) Malaysia is so far from Guam; and 3) Glerren is not in Guam. That was when I realized that I was probably in my fantasy train station which is most likely located in Singapore. I have read once that Malaysia is just a train away from SG. :)

Throughout the day, I was wondering why in the world would I have a fantasy about heading to Malaysia. And a few minutes ago, I came to the conclusion that I was probably missing Singapore... and my best friend, of course.

The collage above are collections of signs that I took while I was in SG. And as you can see, I am not very good with taking pictures. *sigh* Anyway, the collage was created through CollageIt for Mac. 

20 August 2011

Remembering Sophomore Days

This video had been stuck for so long in my laptop.This video reminded me of the Sophomore days. A minute's worth of video taken during one of those not-so-busy days. =)

18 August 2011

A little rant about the first days of school

So school started yesterday. Guess what. Tomorrow, we will be having out first make or break exam. Quite a start, isn't it? I now take the stand that there is no such thing as time lag after vacation in University of Guam's Nursing program. Yes, it is that tough. And tough as it is, I still do not feel my usual pre-exam anxiety attacks. I guess my brain is still on vacation mode. Oh well. Just wish me luck. =)

16 August 2011

Last night of summer vacation

As preparation for the upcoming semester, which will start tomorrow by the way, I cleared my email, arranged and categorized my files, and emptied the e-trash from my laptop. LOL. =)

Also, I bought this pricey August-to-August daily planner (I got it for $16.95!).

Due to the planner's cost, I swear to abuse it and follow whatever unrealistic schedule that I write on it.

Ah, it is 10:22 PM here in Guam and I can't fall asleep. Tomorrow is a big day. I have to have my zzzzs. =) Wish me luck guys!

15 August 2011

My Baby Brother: Now and Then

Due to the slow internet connection in Philippines, I have deferred uploading and blogging about these videos. Being the camera whore that my youngest brother is, we got to take some videos of him doing practically whatever it is that he wishes to do.

Here are some videos of his attempt into dancing Cosmo's (from Fairly Odd Parents) La Cucaracha dance.

This video was taken three years ago, back when he was five or six years old:

The following videos were taken during our last nights in Philippines (he is nine years old):

Take 1:

Take 2:

These ones are his attempts to... ughh.. insult his older brother.

Take 1:

Take 2:

14 August 2011

Feeling sad and nervous at the same time

I'm counting down the hours... I will be leaving Philippines tonight at ten o'clock in the evening (Philippine time). Right now, it is about ten in the morning. That means I have roughly twelve hours left. =(

13 August 2011

Rapunzel, Rapunzel... Lay down your golden extension!

Last night, I realized something. Looking back on the month of June, when I took two summer classes, I talked about Disney Princesses in about all of my projects for both classes. I thought they were just interesting and I was just trying to rekindle my love for the said characters. But last night, I have come to the conclusion that another probable reason I actually like talking about the Disney Princesses is because I can relate to some of them. Although, last night, I thought that I could relate more to Rapunzel these days. I am not saying that I have seventy feet of golden hair or that I have a chameleon pet. I just thought that I could somehow understand her feelings about being locked up.

Rapunzel, in the 3D movie, was the damsel who was locked up in a tower by her pseudo-mother. Her false mother claims that the reason she does not allow Rapunzel to go out into the real world is because she was scared for Rapunzel. According to her, life outside of the tower was cruel.  Being locked up in her tower, Rapunzel is left with no other choice but to look out of her small window to get a peek of what the world actually looked like. Then, if she finds something interesting, she would draw it on the walls of her small abode. Time came when curiosity got the best of her and she went outside of her tower – without her false mother’s permission. At first, she was guilty for sneaking out. But in the end, she was happy to have taken her chance to go out of the tower and learn about the life outside of her small room.

During my therapy session with L and R (to know more about this, read my previous post), I suddenly mentioned that I wanted to be a boy. I thought, if I were a boy, I would probably have more freedom; my mom would not have to worry that I might come home pregnant because I missed curfew. Then Rob replied, “Mas mahirap maging lalaki dahil mas madaming tukso. Mas prone kami magdrugs kesa sa babae.” (“It is more difficult to be a boy because there are more temptations. We are more prone to using drugs than girls.”) I told him, “Pero hindi kayo nabubuntis.” (“But then again, you don’t get pregnant.”) He said that he does not believe in such things. Boys and girls, granted that they are old and responsible enough, should enjoy the same freedom.

I am twenty years of age, but I do not enjoy the kind of freedom L and R enjoy. Heck. I do not enjoy the freedom most of my female classmates get. Now that I have come to think of it, some of these female classmates are younger than me.

Right now, I feel like I am Rapunzel. I see the outside world by peeking through a small window, but I have no freedom to go out and taste what life is outside of what my mom would probably define as the “comfort zone.” You are probably thinking, how did you go to Singapore? Isn’t Singapore outside of your mother’s comfort zone? Well, to make a long story short, I had my mom’s approval at first, and then she changed her mind. And now, she told me that I couldn’t go on a tour again. That is, until I get my Registered Nurse license, which will take me about two years if I do not fail any of my classes. As of now, going out is prohibited. Because mom says it is dangerous out there. So I guess, for now, Rapunzel would wait for two years and wonder when her life can truly begin.

Anyway, here is a youtube video of Rapunzel singing "When will my life begin."

The Non-Judging Starbucks Club

As much as I wanted to blog about this yesterday, my dad prohibited me from using the internet (we do not have wifi at home so we share only one connection). You are probably thinking, what happened yesterday that was so special? Well, aside from the relaxing one-hour massage that I got for a very cheap price of Php 250 (approximately USD 6), and bought a pair of pants and a shirt for Php 700 (approximately USD 17), I was able to get a FREE psychological therapy.

It was not really the formal therapy people with issues and problems get from licensed psychologist. There is no way I can get a free therapy from those people, anyway.

To make a long story short, I met up with two of my friends – Lorenz and Robin, and talked to them for hours at Starbucks Lipa. I got to talk to them about almost everything – my trip to Singapore, school related stress, my small achievements, my work, my schedules, and a few of my family problems. It could not be helped. I tried to control myself to avoid telling them about my family drama but I guess I have been controlling myself long enough that I could hardly contain it. And I guess, I told them about the negative stuff more than I should.

Anyway, we spent a couple of hours just sitting at the usual place we sit at. Talking to them was so easy that I shared so many experiences – the good and the bad – without actually thinking and holding back. Having said that, I now conclude that friends could be better psychologists than actual psychologists. True friends understand. They do not call you names after you have done a very stupid mistake. They laugh with you when there is something to laugh about. They empathize, not sympathize. Most of all, they do not judge. So I guess, right now, I am in the position to call me, L, and R the non-judging Starbucks club. After all, this is not the first time that we sat at Starbucks and talked our lives out.

To conclude this post, I have determined that one of the reasons I like to go to Philippines very often is to keep my sanity intact. I love my friends here, not just L and R; I can talk about almost everything to them. Best of all, nothing beats talking about life over a grande cup of frappalatte with the people you call friends.

“Walang lalaking perpekto, pero may lalaking swak lang talaga sa’yo.” – quoted from Rob

12 August 2011

Decreased Cardiac Output related to palpitations secondary to absence in transition course

At this very minute, I am not-so-proud to say that I missed the one-day transition course... AGAIN. Last January, before the Spring 2011 semester started, I missed the three-day transition course because I was on vacation in Philippines. Now, I am missing from the transition due to the same reason.

Some of you may think, so what if Tin missed that transition course? She got by and survived last semester even though she missed the transition course!

Because of hard work and luck (but mostly luck), I passed all of my classes last semester. It was a bloody semester for me, I tell you. And this coming semester, I know (because my professors kept stressing it), there will be more blood. Last semester, I heard that six people failed a class or two. This coming semester, my professors are predicting that we will lose half of our class. And that news makes my heart beat really fast to the point that I am having chest pains, or as how nursing students call it, palpitations!

I am really scared for this coming semester. But I do hope that my fellow classmates and I will be able to get through this.

By the way, I just received news from my classmates who attended the Transition Course via, of course, the oh-so-helpful-and-reliable Facebook statuses, that our teacher made it clear that we will be losing a lot of sleep this semester. That just means, so long sleep, you will be missed!

Anyway, here is my schedule for this semester:

11 August 2011

What I have learned on my tour to Singapore:

  1. VISA cards are one of the greatest inventions of all time! With my visa card, I was able to buy my plane ticket online. Also, when I thought I was running out of funds while on Singapore, I was able to withdraw money from my bank account in Guam and have my US dollars automatically converted to Singaporean dollars. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?
  2. Talk to your mother seriously before buying your ticket. You’ll never know. She might be thinking that you are not serious enough about traveling and take your supposedly serious inquiry as a joke. Also, she might tell you that you never asked for permission and get angry at you before, during, and weeks after your trip.
  3. Make sure you have a very, very good relationship with your siblings, that is, if you have any. Why? Because once you realize your parents are not too excited about your trip and would not want to drop you to the airport, your good siblings will.
  4. The blue American passport really is a blessing. You only have to pay for terminal fee if you have one. It will save you a thousand Philippine pesos from the travel tax. Whew! Those thousand pesos could buy you a souvenir.
  5. Philippines and Singapore share the same time zones, which means you do not have to change the time and date settings on your watch, phone, and digital camera.
  6. Singaporean money is not made from 100% paper. If I remember it right, a few parts of Singaporean dollars are made from a special kind of plastic, which makes it a little difficult to get it crumpled.
  7. In Singapore, the driver’s seat on cars is at the right side.
  8. In Singapore, there is a card called the EZ-Link card. I shamelessly call it the “tap-tap card.” Why? Because when you use their public transportation such as the SMRT and LRT, and buses, you have to remember to tap in then tap out. Otherwise, you will not be able to save a lot of money from riding taxis.
  9. Obtain a map of Singapore when traveling especially if you are using the SMRT and LRT (trains) because it is very, very easy to get lost. Ever heard of the “circle line?” Do you know where the purple line will lead you? No? I thought so. (:
  10. Make sure you have really good, comfortable footwear. You will do a hell lot of walking while in Singapore so make sure your shoes don’t break or give you calluses. By the way, Havaianas slippers, especially when new, are not advisable. They made my feet hurt after so much walking.
  11. Use a small, lightweight bag and bring only what you really need such as your wallet, blotting papers, tissue, makeup kit (if you wear makeup), camera, cellular phone, and your tap-tap card. My shoulders hurt really badly because I brought a big shoulder bag. The bag by itself, by the way, is already pretty heavy.
  12. Shop if you have the money, but if you don’t shop only when necessary. The stuff from Singapore is quite expensive.
  13. Be mindful of the “fines” in Singapore. There are signs everywhere so pay attention! You might lose half of the money you brought if you get “fined.” Believe me, they have fines for almost every violation you could possibly think of.
  14. Enjoy your stay. You’ll never know when you can go back to this very clean and nice country for another tour.
  15. If people get mad at you for whatever reason related to your tour, just let them be. Enjoy your life while you can and try to see as much of the world as possible. After all, you only live once. (:
TIP: If you are planning a trip to Singapore, try to go there a week before or on the ninth of August. The stores at malls have sales, and the fireworks and laser light show at the Marina bay is a very pretty sight.

10 August 2011

Reminiscing Day 2-3 of Singapore Tour

On my second day in Singapore, my best friend and I went to Sentosa. To go to Sentosa, we rode on cable cars. At first, I thought it was a really awesome ride until my best friend pointed out that it was a little scary – we were sitting on a vehicle that is a hundred feet higher that the ground. That was when I felt a little uneasy. But then, it was still a fun and exciting ride.

Tin on train (:

Inside the cable car
The tour around Sentosa, was, again, tiring. We got to see the largest Merlion on Singapore. We also got to go to the candy stores; there were so many of them. But the best place we went to was Universal Studios. The entrance fee was a little expensive; it was SGD 72 for a person. Because we bought some chocolates before we went to Universal Studios, we had to rent a locker, which cost about SGD 10 for an all day pass.

The largest Merlion
Life size candies
We had a lot of fun at the Universal Studios. We got to see a live 1950s kind of show from the Mel’s Dinettes. They looked like Barbie dressed in cotton candy. But I thought they were really good performers. Then, we went to see our first musical, although it only lasted for twenty-five minutes. The musical was titled Monster Rock if I remember it right. It was prohibited to take videos and pictures so I was not able to take a shot of the cute boy leading the show, and the hot vampire who looked like Orlando Bloom. *squeals*

The huge Universal globe

My favorite photo. Glerren and Tin with Woody Woodpecker!
The Mel's Dinettes
Gee and Tin waiting for the musical to start
Then we rode on the Human (red) Battlestar Galactica ride. It was exciting and scary. I think I almost blew my throat screaming for my life. We also got to try the Cylon (blue) ride later that afternoon.

The Battlestar Galactica rides - Cylon (blue) and Human (red)
We went around the Universal Studio the rest of the day. We watched Donkey from Shrek perform “live.” We also got to watch the characters from Madagascar dance.

Far Far Away Castle
Tin and King Julien from Madagascar
After we left Universal Studios, we tried Garrett Popcorn – one of Oprah’s favorite things. The first time I tasted it, the first word that came to my mind was “heavenly.” It was so good!

When I realized that the day was ending, I started to feel sad because I knew it would take another couple of months before I can be with my best friend again. Although I tried to have fun and enjoy the rest of the day, I still felt a tinge of pain every time I thought about my upcoming departure.

The following day came, which meant that I had to leave. While on our way to the airport, I was just feeling a little sad. It was when Glerren left that I actually felt very sad. Then, it was when I was on the plane when my tears really fell. The realization that I would have to wait for another couple of months before I see her again finally sunk in. And yes, right at this moment, I am missing her.

Reminiscing Day 1 of Singapore Tour

More than a week had passed since I left Singapore, yet I still feel the adrenaline rush I have felt from the moment I bought my plane ticket. The three-day tour (from July 30 – August 1) gave me a different kind of high – a high that is far better than the high drug abusers get. Well, the tour marked off a few firsts for me (which could probably explain why I feel happy every time I remember my trip): it was the first time I bought a plane ticket with money that I worked so hard for; it was also the first time I rode on an airplane by myself; lastly, it was the first time for me to be on a country with my best friend… Just my best friend. Cool, isn’t it?

The plane travel to Singapore from Manila took about three and a half hours – the same time it takes me to get from Manila to Guam by plane. Cebu Pacific did not play any movie or music so I felt like the trip lasted forever. Then, when I stepped out of the Changi Budget Terminal Airport, I felt like I was in Singapore, but the fact that I was in a country quite far from where my family is did not quite sink in until my best friend talked me into it. It took me quite some time to realize it but when I did, I could not stop squealing from excitement.

The first thing that took me by surprise was when I saw the taxi driver enter what was supposed to be the passenger side in cars from the United States. Later did I find out that the driver’s seat is actually in the right side. It was in the taxi where my best friend handed me my first souvenir from Singapore – the EZ-Link card, which I shamelessly call the tap-tap card. It was a very important tool for getting around Singapore. Without the tap-tap card, someone cannot ride the SMRT, LRT and buses.

The tap-tap card (:
The first food that I tried in Singapore was ramen. It was then I realized why Naruto (from the anime and manga) loved ramen so much. To say that the ramen was really good is an understatement. It tasted very differently from the instant ramen that I am so used to. The place where we ate our ramen was also pretty. It was decorated with pseudo-cherry blossom trees. The view from the restaurant was also quite spectacular.

The ramen

The fake cherry blossoms in the restaurant. Pretty, aren't they?

The view from the restaurant
After eating our ramen, we went to Chinatown and visited the Buddha temple. There were so many praying bald monks (no pun intended), and artifacts.

Tin in Chinatown
Bracelet from the Temple

Praying monks
What followed was a tiring walk around so many places. We visited a few toy stores, shops and malls. Then, we tried one of the best ice cream shops in Singapore – Tom’s Palette. The ice cream was really rich and I loved their waffle. It’s just so sad that a small cup of ice cream and two waffles cost us about SGD 10 each. But I thought it was worth it. (:

Yup, we were here (:

Glerren, the waffles, and the cups of ice creams (:

With Astroboy at the Mint Museum of Toys
After finishing our ice creams and waffles, we had another long walk to go to the Orchard Road and then watched the practice for fireworks and laser lights show in the Marina Bay. It was beyond spectacular. I have never seen such choreographed fireworks show. And one of the buildings that overlook the Marina Bay (I have no idea what the building’s name is) reflects the fireworks, which is just really marvelous.

The building that reflects the fireworks
Glerren, Tin, and the medium sized Merlion at Marina Bay
The last stop for the day that we did was at an underground mall. Believe it or not, Singapore has a mall under a parking lot. My best friend bought a pair of sandals from Charles and Keith while I bought a Giordano shirt that said I heart SG. The day could have been perfect if I did not get spilled on with miso soup. I was even wearing my favorite white shorts! But then again, it did not ruin my day. I still had one of the most perfect days of my life.

The sushi restaurant where I got spilled on with very hot miso soup