Word Play

My friend, what have you discovered lately about yourself?  It is said that regardless of our age, we need to continuously grow and learn.  Anyway, the world is our classroom and we are the eternal students of life.

I am fond of art and appreciate it on all its form – dance, visual, music, literature.  As you know, I dance and can sing a tune (sometimes).  My hands were not gifted to draw nor paint. Literary was never an adjective used to describe me.

One lonely September night, my friend Marie and I accidentally discovered a hippie indie bar in Mandaluyong where they feature Spoken Word Artists declaming their pieces and offer open mic to those who want to share their work of art.  Since then, we have grown to go out again at night just to watch spoken words at quaint bars and envy those who can choose all the right words to say and how beautiful their pieces were.  I used to chat with someone I met online last month whom I exchanged what I called “word play” where we throw random thoughts about our daily lives which turns out to be lyrical.  I don’t know if he enjoyed it but I do, SUPER!  It was a needed diversion from the stressful situations I’m in lately.  I was surprised by the simple yet sensible conversations we have in a poetic manner.  Though our exchange of messages ended (Unfortunately, I was dumped.  Haha!  Moving on…), I still have this thought that I can possibly write something sensible.  Hey!  I am trying to keep a blog so maybe I have the talent somewhere hidden inside.

And so I grabbed some notes and tried to create a simple poem.  It’s hard!  After tossing and turning, I came up with a simple Haiku:

Haiku 01

I am not really sure if it was good enough, but at least I tried.

I tried to post one Tagalog word play I exchanged with my previous chatmate.  How I came up with it was a suprise to me (Maybe because Halloween was near at that time?  Or maybe because I described myself to him as a Vampire – amply describe the lifestyle and time zone I follow).  It amazed me that I can compose something on a whim so I submitted it on one Facebook Page that I follow.  Luckily, it was posted and liked by some.  YEHEY!  I am one happy gal!😀

Paalala

My first published work.  Click the pic to see the link (Hey!  That rhymes🙂 )

Just sharing my simple accomplishment.  This inspires me to have a small notebook and write any of my ramdom thoughts and create something out of it. Even if the budding friendship I’ve had with my chatmate was cut short, even if I am alone, I can still continue with my word play.

*Tinakits*

Restart

My friend,

 

As you have noticed, most of my posts were gone.  Those were not deleted but rather “privatized” to give some needed “reconstructions”.  Why is it?  Let’s just say I am currently starting life anew.  But those entries that I continuousy receive feedback were kept to retain the objective I have in putting this up.  That is to help others.

So, let’s grab a cup of coffee and I tell you everything. But not here, of course.  It’s too public. Hehe!

 

 

-Tinakits-

How to Exchange your Philippine Peso to Foreign Currency?

Thai Baht taken from Wikipedia

Thai Baht taken from Wikipedia

My friend, when will you go out of the country?  I’m sure you’re excited and prepared for your trip.  Do you have the pocket money you need with the currency of the country you’re going to?  Though you can do that at the airport before your flight, it is best that you have everything you need as sometimes, the currencies may no longer available or not enough.  Admit it, the rates inside our airport in the Philippines does not have the best rate.  To ensure that you have the currencies, here are some of the suggestions for you.

  1. If you have savings account in any commercial bank, reserve the currencies you need.  Call the branch where you open your account at least a week before your departure so they can reserve the notes for you.  If this is not available, move to number 2.
  1. Secure a Cash Card with Visa or MasterCard sign.  This is available in any established commercial banks.  If you have it, it means you can use your card to swipe and/or withdraw overseas if you need cash.  But do note that if you use your card in any machine overseas, corresponding charge will be deducted to your account.  Sometimes, aside from the usual overseas usage charge, additional charge will be paid by you.  Example of this is if you use your card in Thailand which they called ATM Fee worth THB 150.

HOW TO AVOID THE THB 150 ATM FEE IN THAILAND?  ANSWER: Look for any Citibank ATM and withdraw your money there.  I got this tip from this blog.  Unfortunately, Citibank do not have any ATM machines inside Suvarnabhumi Airport so you really need to roam around the city to look for one.  Look for Don’t Worry Just Travel blogsite to give you the list of Citibank ATM branches in Bangkok, Thailand.

Side note: I do not recommend to use your Credit Card or even your Cash Card to pay overseas.  Aside from additional fees you may incur (depending on your bank), sometimes they will charge you more.  It happened to me more than once in different countries!  That’s why I opt to transact in cash abroad either I have them before my trip or withdraw instead from any ATM Machines using my Cash Card.

  1. Buy currencies at your most trusted money changer.  Money is their business.  Definitely they have most of the currencies available.  But make sure that you call them at least a week in advance to reserve the notes you need.  Two of the establishments I trust are Czarina’s and Sanry’s.  They have branches at some popular malls in the Philippines, specifically at Ayala Malls.  For Czarina’s, you can fill out their form online by clicking here.  As for Sanry’s, you may check their locations here.  Unfortunately, I do not have any contact number for any of their branches.

WHAT IF THEY DON’T HAVE THE FOREIGN CURRENCY YOU NEED?  ANSWER: Buy Dollars or Euros instead.  This is because they are the ones that can be exchanged anywhere in the world.  Example is if you will go to Vietnam.  Their Vietnamese Dong (VND) is not widely circulated.  So before you go to Vietnam, make sure you convert your Philippine Pesos to US Dollars, Canadian Dollars, Euro or UK Pound and then exchange it to Dong once you arrive in Vietnam.

So my friend, prepare your money.  And don’t forget: Enjoying your hard-earned money does not mean you have to spend it all.  Save for the future, too.  To close this, let me inspire you with a quote which also describes my current goal:

“The thing I should wish to obtain from money would be leisure with security.”

– Bertrand Russell

Where Have I Been?

My friend, HI!!!!!  It’s been a long time since I created a post.  It was relatively odd that I don’t update my humble site even if I have been to so many beautiful scenery within my backyard, the Philippines.  I just like to catch up with you and make sure I have enough entry for the year (I just recently realized that I have not made any entry for 2015).

Aside from the usual routine I have on a daily basis – work, home, occassional socials here and there; I have enjoyed exploring these places:

February 2014: Banaue & Sagada, Mountain Province

Trio at Banaue Rice Terraces

Trio at Banaue Rice Terraces

Brushing my rusty rappeling skill at Cave Connection Tour (Lumiang & Sumaguing Cave) at Sagada

Trying out my rusty rappeling skill at Cave Connection Tour (Lumiang & Sumaguing Cave) in Sagada

Strawberry Cafe - our favorite and highly-recommended restaurant at Sagada, Mountain Province

Strawberry Cafe – our favorite and highly-recommended restaurant in Sagada, Mountain Province

May 2014: Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte

Beautiful piece of paradise at Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte

Beautiful piece of paradise at Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte

Waling-waling Eco-Village at Calaguas, Camarines Norte - your only option for non-camping accomodation on the island

Waling-waling Eco-Village at Calaguas, Camarines Norte – your only option for non-camping accomodation on the island

August 2014: Kamay ni Hesus, Lucban, Quezon Province

With the family that adopted me illigally (hehehe!) - the Condicion Clan :D

With the family that adopted me illegally (hehehe!) – the Condicion Clan😀

December 2014: Baguio City, Benguet

Raisin Bread shopping at Villa Cordillera Hotel inside Camp John Hay, Baguio City

Raisin Bread shopping at Villa Cordillera Hotel inside Camp John Hay, Baguio City

February 2015: Puerto Princesa & El NIdo, Palawan

My favorite travel buddies at Puerto Princesa Underground River

My favorite travel buddies at Puerto Princesa Underground River

Enjoying the crystal clear water and fine white sand at El Nido, Palawan

Enjoying the crystal clear water and fine white sand at El Nido, Palawan

April 2015: Isla de Gigantes & Iloilo City, Iloilo

Spelunking with my new travel buddies at Bakwitan Cave, Gigantes Norte Island, Carles, Iloilo

Spelunking with my new travel buddies at Bakwitan Cave, Gigantes Norte Island, Carles, Iloilo

Breathtaking view at Cabugao Island, Carles, Iloilo

Breathtaking view at Cabugao Island, Carles, Iloilo

With my best friends Roger and Emer at Catedral de Nuestra Senora de Candelaria, also known as Jaro Church at Jaro, Iloilo City, Iloilo

With my best friends Roger and Emer at Catedral de Nuestra Senora de Candelaria, also known as Jaro Church at Jaro, Iloilo City, Iloilo

So, why am I not blogging about it?  Well, I read soooo many travel blogs providing all the nitty gritty details of the places I visited!  To tell you honestly, I was quite indimidated and awestruck with the completeness of their entry and they created it way before I visited the place.  So, what will I offer more? – that is the question that is still stuck in my hard coconut shelled brain.  My insecurities led me to have a creative block.  But the optimist in me says, “Take it as a challenge”.  The carefree side of me says, ” Go ahead.  Blog away what’s in your head”.  Therefore, I will try my best to offer other insights and share to you my exact thoughts and things I think will help you.  Anyway, that’s what friendship is for, right?  You need to be open with each other.

I miss you my blog and my friend.  I will try to get in touch more often.😉

-Tinakits-

My Blog in Review for 2014

To all readers and visitors of my blog, thank you for the support! I may not have the luxury of time to update my simple site on a monthly basis, but you made it active. I will try my best to update as much as I can with not only about my travels but also something similar to my most popular post. That is, about enjoying our Government-mandated benefits.

Let’s make 2015 one of the best! Cheers!!!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 55,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 20 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

SINGAPORE ON A BUDGET: Food and Shopping

The best Hainanese Chicken Rice with Milo Dinosaur - two must-try popular food in Singapore

The best Hainanese Chicken Rice with Milo Dinosaur – two must-try popular food in Singapore

My friend, we are not only travellers.  We are also shopaholics and a hungry bunch, too.  In Singapore, we can also have our food and shopping adventure without damaging our pockets.  Here are my experiences on my recent Singapore getaway.

FOOD: Hawkers!!!

Maxwell Food Center at Chinatown.  It's just right across the Pagoda

Maxwell Food Center at Chinatown. It’s just right across the Pagoda

Singapore is also a place to fulfill your gastronomical adventures and hawker centers offer the best and cheapest option to taste the different flavors the country has to offer.  Depending on the food you will eat, you will spend around SGD 3 to 10 a meal per person.  For drinks, it ranges from SGD 0.90 to 3.  That is cheaper compared to eating at fast food joints or restaurants which may cost SGD 20 or more.

Long line at Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice at Maxwell Food Center.  Home of the best chicken rice for SGD 5 only!

Long line at Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice at Maxwell Food Center. Home of the best chicken rice for SGD 5 only!

As for desserts, walk on any street and look for any cart that sells ice cream sandwiched in wafer for only SGD 1.20.

The popular ice cream wafer at the streets of Singapore

The popular ice cream wafer at the streets of Singapore

To know more about the location of different hawker centers in SG, go to this website.

SHOPPING: go to street markets or grocery stores

Shopping for souvenirs at Chinatown

Shopping for souvenirs at Chinatown

Singapore is a mall rats wonderland!  There so many malls in this country full of shops catering to your different liking but may cost you an arm and a leg, or even your kidney or liver.  But if you want to save money, go to street markets instead.  I highly recommend that you go to Chinatown with 3 streets full of sellers of knick knacks of everything.

For SGD 10, you can buy either of the following:

  • 3 to 4 pieces of souvenir t-shirts
  • 4 to 6 pieces of ref magnets (depending on its size and material)
  • 6 pieces of key chains
  • 3 pieces of accordion fan
  • 3 to 6 pieces of wallets for ladies (depending on its size and material)
  • 3 to 4 pieces of table display (depending on its size and material, again)
  • 3 to 4 pieces of paper weights
  • 3 to 6 pieces of lucky charms (depending on its size)

But if you want to bring along some flavors of Singapore with you, go to any grocery stores for a more budget-friendly option.  A bottle of their popular Kaya spread costs SGD 2 to 5 dollars depending on its size and brand.  Buy chocolates, cup noodles or chips that are not available in the Philippines for SGD 0.50 – 8 depending on its brand and size.

Hope I help you save on your upcoming Singapore adventure.  So my friend, enjoy your vacation and don’t forget to buy me a pack of flavored Yakult (priced at SGD 3.10).  Hihihi!

A pack of Yakult with Green Apple, Orange and Grape flavors.  Available only in Singapore for SGD 3.10

A pack of Yakult with two original flavors, one Grape, Orange & Green Apple flavors.  Available only in Singapore for SGD 3.10

 

*Tinakits*