My Birthday Trip Part 1 – Singapore

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This post is several months late, I know. I wasn’t decided whether to push through with it as I’d been to Singapore many times, but I figured, I love this place so much, it needs to be posted. So here it is.

Singapore is one of my favorite places. It represents a lot of things in my life: family, independence, photography, design, fangirling, and a lot more. It was there that I really bloomed as a person, where my creative self shone through. It was there that I made some life-changing decisions which is why the place holds so much memories.

It’s impossible to go to Singapore without being all nostalgic and this trip was no exception. And sometimes, I feel like I go there just to bring back the memories. In December of 2013, when I was there for my sister’s wedding, I told myself I would revisit all the places that used to have meaning in my life: previous workplaces, malls I used to shop in, restaurants I used to eat, and houses I’d lived in. I didn’t get to do all that so I said I was gonna do it in my next visit.

Fast-forward to November of last year. I had chosen Singapore for my birthday trip (and Bali too, which I will be writing about in another post). I didn’t get to visit everything I wanted to visit, but I still had a good walk down memory lane. (WARNING: This post is image-heavy)

Reconnecting with old friends

Because I worked and lived in Singapore years ago, I have managed to accumulate a few friends there and I still see some of them whenever I’m in town.

My dinner dates, Farina and Saeedah.

A photo posted by Raia Ajihil (@raiaajihil) on

I worked with Farina and Saeedah before in ABN-AMRO. And I also met up with old high school and college classmates who had gone to Singapore to work there too.

With Karen, a friend from college
Singaporean Food

One of things I love about Singapore is their food! (Here’s a post of me gushing over Wang’s Kopi-C) Unfortunately, I didn’t take a lot of food pictures during this trip, but here are a couple:

My yummy dinner. Badoque Ribs. The serving was so huge! 😱

A photo posted by Raia Ajihil (@raiaajihil) on

Coffee break turned early dinner. Laksa set at Heavenly Wang. #cantresist A photo posted by Raia Ajihil (@raiaajihil) on

I enjoyed the food at Badoque and it’s just a short bus ride away from my brother’s place. I will certainly go back there in my next visit.

Walking and Running

Two months prior to booking a ticket, I had registered myself to the Great Eastern Women’s Run. It was my first run outside of the Philippines, and I blogged about it here. It was a fun experience, even though I walked like half the time!
One of the many things I like about SG is that it’s safe to walk outside no matter what the time. I think I developed my love for walking there. I would walk to and from coffee shops (5 km away), malls, everywhere! (Also, I hate taking the MRT at rush hour. TT_TT)

Photo-walk

I did a mini photo-walk right before I left. It was my last minute attempt to revisit my past. I went to the first place I took pictures of when I first got my DSLR camera 7 years ago. Here are some of the pictures I took:

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All pictures taken with my Fujifilm XF-1. It was a very tiring, nostalgic night, but I went home happy.

Shopping

I don’t shop much whenever I’m travelling, but given that this was my birthday trip, I think I maybe have splurged a little. I bought a moisturizer and a facial peeling gel at Adore, bought two matte lipsticks at MAC, several tops and a jacket in H&M, and several penssssssss, notebooks, and sketchbooks in Art Friend and Popular. I just couldn’t help myself! Art Friend is pen hoarder heaven!

Incoherent

I’m sorry if this post does not makes sense much. But I think I’ll wrap it up. I will be blogging about my Bali trip next!

– RA

Great Eastern Women’s Run 2014

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Last Sunday, I took part in Great Eastern Women’s Run 2014. It was a couple of months ago when I decided I would go to Singapore for a visit and while I was contemplating that, I searched for runs to be held anytime near my birthday and I found GEWR. I registered right away (didn’t even have a plane ticket then!).

It was my first ever out-of-the-country run and I was psyched! I promised myself I was gonna run the entire 5K this time. I know, I know, it’s just a short distance and I’ve registered to dozens of 5K runs before… but I’ve never completed the entire 5K without stopping to walk.. =_=. And as much as I would like to tell you that I did what I promised, I can’t because it didn’t happen. I didn’t train like I was supposed to because I was sick the entire time since I got to SG and didn’t want to risk running everyday in rainy weather for fear of aggravating it.

Race Day

I was so scared to get lost while trying to get to the event location so I purchased a shuttle bus ticket. It was a mistake because even though my run would start at 8am, I was in the location as early as 4:30am! TT_TT… There were no seats and I didn’t want to sit down on the floor (germaphobe alert! LOL). So I was standing up the whole time. Not to mention, I had walked a good 20 minutes to get to Sengkang station where the pickup location was. So, you could pretty much say I had a decent warmup before the run. LOL, but my legs were hurting by the time I finished the 1st kilometer. D:

Experience

I had a few tearful moments during the entire event. For one, I was alone and I had nobody to talk to. Everybody else had a friend with them and were taking selfies or wefies or whatever you called them. I just felt like events like these needed to be experienced with someone. Second, it was just a happy moment participating in something like this outside of the Philippines, and in a place close to my heart. I couldn’t help but get nostalgic. Singapore gave me a lot of memories and all of them came rushing back as I was walking / running past the familiar places.

Again?

I will definitely do this again. My best friend Ellen wants to go to the StanChart run next year. I may come with her. Who knows? I might be running a half-marathon by then!

That time I went to Singapore and fell in love with Kopi C

I visited Singapore in January to spend New Year’s with my family, and to attend my sister’s wedding. Singapore is my most visited foreign country. I’ve worked there before and my brother and my younger sister are permanent residents there. So it was naturally one of the more obvious options whenever my parents and I are looking to go on a holiday.

Singapore and I, we have a love-hate relationship. When I was working there, i hated it half the time (okay, maybe more than half). The MRT was always crowded, the malls were always crowded, everything was expensive, etc. And yet, this time when I visited, all I could remember were the good things (mostly food, teehee).  Continue reading

That Time I Fangirled Hard at the Universal Studios Singapore

One of the things I really love is when an anime/cartoon or a book turns into a live action movie or series and the movie lived up to the awesomeness of the original version. I just have a lot of respect for filmmakers who can pull that off. There’s just something so unbelievably remarkable when a cartoon character comes into life right before your very eyes.

Transformers is one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s just cool and awesome and I run out of words to describe it. I clapped and did a standing ovation after I saw it in the cinema. There’s just too much awe. I didn’t even care much about the whole storyline. What mattered was there was Prime and Bumblebee, transforming into real cars, talking to real people, it was just pure love.

I felt that again after going to the Universal Studios Singapore and went in the Transformers The Ride. I cried. I felt I was part of the movie. It felt too real and I couldn’t help but feel emotional about it. I am a fangirl after all. I am not gonna go into details as to what the ride is all about. I suggest you just go ahead and try it yourself. You won’t be disappointed, whether you’re a fan or not. That ride was worth the SGD74 I paid for and more!

With that being said, I did enjoy some of the stuff we did there too. I had the most fun because I bonded with my two sisters. We wore the same shirts. Haha.. we’re dorks like that. We laughed for the most part, took pictures with awesome characters, and went on rides that shook us like nobody’s business. We were too chicken to try the Cylon and the Human though. Boohoo.

I also got to met the Streetboys who I was a big fan of when I was in high school. That was another highlight as well.

Here are some of the pictures from the trip:

The rest of the pictures are available here at my Facebook page.

Rock on! – RA

Fun at the Jurong Bird Park, Singapore

My family and I had the chance to visit Jurong Bird Park yesterday. The bird park is the largest in the world in terms of number of birds. It boasts of a lot of attractions, among them are the tallest man-made falls and the Lory Loft. We didn’t get to explore the whole place because we got there at 4pm and the park closes at 6pm. So we only had less than a couple of hours to tour whatever we could.

The best fun we had was when we fed the Lory birds! Oh how awesome it was when they flock on the cup of food. Haha.. here are some of the pictures I took. I used my brother’s Sigma 28-300 f3.5-6.3 Macro lens for all the shots.

You can check out my Facebook Page for other pictures. 🙂