My Happier Place

“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.”
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

As a die-hard Disney Princess and a hard-core Potterhead, you would think that visiting Disneyland and exploring Potterworld would be the top two things my happy fangirl heart has done.

However, I am an even bigger fan of this teeny-tiny asteroid-sized planet with the two active volcanoes, one inactive volcano, a rose, and the tendency to attract baobabs. It is also known to have a lot of sunsets (up to 44 on particularly sad days).

So as a side trip to my recent pre-birthday adventure (more on that on a later post), I went to The Little Prince Museum.

It was glorious.

Seriously, I have never seen myself look this happy in any of my photos, not even when I went to Disneyland and Potterworld.

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Look how happy my Little Prince obsessed heart is!

And yes, I’m the silly girl who dressed up in a green shirt and a yellow scarf because obviously, I can’t just travel this far without dressing up for the part! I am also wearing a novella necklace and rose earrings, by the way, but they’re not that clear in the pics. (I’m such a nerd, but it’s not like that’s new).

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Look! It’s Asteroid B-612!!!

Even my Little Prince Funko Pop looks happy to have seen a version of his planet, and guys, promise, I am not crazy, I just love this story so much. Besides the numerous statues and French setting, the museum featured displays of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s home and office where he wrote the story. There is also a room full of planets and twinkling lights that featured the rose and the individuals that the Little Prince met during his many adventures on other planets.

I spent so much time going in and out of the museum. There are only a few people there because I went on a weekday and I am happily relaxed. Also, let’s be honest, The Little Prince is not as mainstream as many other stories despite being required reading in school so I can’t expect that many people, which is both happy and sad for me. Happy because I am not a big fan of crowds, and sad because more people should appreciate this beautiful story.

Oh, and now I am definitely sure I am not going to get married because if I actually get to that point in my life, I am definitely only ever going to want to get married in the Museum compound’s charming little chapel, and let’s face it, that’s waaay too expensive.

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This chapel is beautifully charming.

Anyway.

I’d love to add more photos, but I don’t want to overdo it, so I may be uploading them (featuring my Little Prince Funko Pop) on the blog Facebook page later on. My happy heart wishes you all a good day.

 

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I Ate My Heart Out in Singapore

I believe that food is the best way to learn about the culture of a new place. Because I usually travel locally, trying new food is not that much of a big deal — the Filipino people eat similar kinds of food from all over the archipelago. However, I still always find it interesting that there are differences. For instance, adobo in Mindanao has a thick soup, while in the Visayas region, it’s more of a thin sauce. (There’s a difference, I promise!)

When I first went to Singapore, I came with my parents and was subjected to family rules: mainly, I can’t explore the city on my own unless everyone else wants to go.  Also, my mom is not really into eating street food, which means that Hawker Centres are not high on the list.

Then I came back to Singapore with my friends, which meant that finally, I get to eat as I please, and the foodie in me was happy. For a while anyway, because I realized later on that my friends, despite being voracious eaters, don’t have adventurous taste buds.

Not that it stopped me from getting them to try, although I can never seem to get them to eat the frog. Anyway, since we were only in the Lion City for three days, I couldn’t get around to eating every single Singaporean dish they had to offer. So I went with my top five musts:

Chicken Rice

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Does it look exactly like any other chicken dish? Yes. Does it taste better than other chicken dishes? Also, yes. Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken is a Michelin-starred restaurant, so that’s saying a lot regarding it’s quality. (The chicken is incredibly tender) Their set meals, which came with a canned drink only goes for S$5. It is said to go even cheaper at their original store at the Hawker centre, too.

Frog Porridge

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Sorry for the photo, I ordered the frog porridge for takeaway, and white meat on white rice porridge just look bland in photos.

Anyway. My friends refused to take a bite out of the frog porridge. Interestingly, it tasted exactly like arroz caldo, which Filipinos tend to eat a lot of. Frog tasted like chicken, but more chewy, I suppose. I realized later on that I may have eaten some girl’s prince charming, and for that, I apologize (but she should have kissed the frog incarnate sooner).

Laksa

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Hearty, spicy noodle soup perfect for chilly days. Except that Singapore is a degree above the equator and it’s super hot out when we went there. Nonetheless, I love anything spicy, so I finished the entire bowl anyway. #NoRegrets, amirite?

Sambal Stingray

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When I told my parents I ate stingray in Singapore, they went, “Why did you go to SG to eat stingray? There are stingrays here!”

Well, there are also blowfish in the Philippines but it doesn’t mean we know how to prepare them. We don’t prepare stingray at home, either. When asked how it tasted like, I love fish and it tasted exactly like fish to me. 😀 For non-fish fans, it’s actually pretty safe as a dish: it is soft and it does not have that fishy aftertaste. The sauce that went with it (spicy, but not hot) also added to the flavor.

Singaporean Chili Crab

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Yum. I don’t usually eat a lot of crab because I find them tasking, but I would definitely not say ‘no’ to them if someone offers me the meat sans the shell. The sauce for the crab tasted a whole lot like Zamboanga’s Alavar sauce. However, I Googled recipes for the various sauces and I found that they are actually quite different! The chili crab sauce has ketchup, chili paste (duh), oyster sauce, soy sauce, and tamarind paste. Alavar sauce has a lot more ingredients that included turmeric, paprika, curry powder, and coconut milk.

Anyway, if you’re ever in Zamboanga, look for curachas served with Alavar sauce (not to be mistaken with cucarachas, which are cockroaches). The curachas taste amazing as soon as you get over their nightmarish look. (Check them out: http://bit.ly/2rZhJLv)

Meanwhile, here’s a fun fact about Singapura: According to a Reddit user, Merlions ate durian and hated it. They have been vomiting ever since.

Thank You, Kid

This is my first non-political post in such a long time, which is nice, since I really should stop with all my politicking.

Anywaaayyy:

The Cebu Literary Festival big event was on Saturday, and me being me, I volunteered as member of the staff, because that’s how you meet people. While I’ve been busy manning the booth, lectures, interviews, and talks were underway on the big stage, focusing mostly on local writers, which means yey, GoLocal!

My favorite thing about these kinds of events? I get to meet a lot of interesting people, like poets and writers, and even famed comic artists. I had been busy but my friend got to get me a signed copy of Manix Abrera’s latest comic so yey! Not that I missed out on a lot, I was manning the merch booth right next to Paulo Herras, and he’s so nice!

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But I found that the bookworms were the most interesting of them all — for instance, I met a Gryffindor who told me he didn’t fully appreciate the new Fantastic Beasts movie (gasp!) although he did note that Newt Scamander was a Hufflepuff, so there’s that. I’m a Slytherin myself, and there were also a few Ravenclaws there earlier in the day. As a Potterhead, it is always fun to meet other Pottergeeks. 🙂

Then I met a few obviously shy people who would smile at me cautiously as I help them pick out some merch. Me being bubbly is not exactly the best thing on the planet because I am not a bubbly person to strangers. I’m more of the “resting bitch face” kind of person because I’m 99.999 percent, well, bitch 100 percent of the time, but I can’t very well scare everyone away from the event, now, can I?

But I’m still doing my “when is the last time you did something for the first time” thing, and this is the first time I volunteered at a literary event so I have to make the most of it — even though I had to drag myself out of bed early in the morning (okay, at nine, which means I’m already up for at least three hours anyway, but it doesn’t mean I like going out of the house that early, either)

All literary things aside, though, meeting a budding reader was my favorite memory of the day. There’s this (probably) six-year-old kid carrying a few picture books as his mom was browsing the merch. I am about 70 percent sure he was carrying one of the books I donated last month at the book swap, a short version of The Velveteen Rabbit, like the one on top of the pile.

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His mother told me that they preferred book swapping because the kid goes through around six picture books a week, and he’s been swapping every week since the Little Library launched. And my heart felt like it grew so much because this kid is way younger than I was when I started reading a lot (although I don’t actually remember when I started reading so much — my  milestone started at 7 when I began reading non-picture books to the tune of Sweet Valley, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Baby Sitters Club)

And I loved how the kid’s eyes widened when he thought I had twenty books.I wanted to give him a big hug, but I settled on congratulating him on his reading prowess.

Made me want to write sunny things again. Thank you, kid. Continue reading: each book is a universe at the palm of your hand, I hope your eyes will always fill with wonder for each one you open.

:3

 

Turns Out, Music One IT Park May Have A Modus

Long story short, we went in a room in Music One IT Park with a damaged wall, did not report it because the waiter already saw it there anyway and we thought it was an old one and that they already knew about it. They called us after we paid and made us pay for damages. We argued it was an old one, and voices got raised. I think they kept touching and moving the wall so the damage got bigger somehow. Then the manager started acting like we spat on him or punched him or something (we didn’t) and called the police.

We explained to the police about the situation. None of us were drunk, none of us brawled, and none of us were happy about the situation because we don’t like being accused of something we didn’t do.

Follow up:

We are starting to suspect a Modus. There had been a few reactions regarding my post about almost getting arrested due to a “damage” that was already there by the time we entered the karaoke room. However, there are reactions that made me believe more and more that they’ve done this before and will do this again.

Someone told me about the same thing happening — they were also accused of damages and Music One “settled” for less than the “actual costs”/

By the way, they made us pay P2,000 for the damage. When we negotiated because of the “lapses” for both parts, they told us it was already a negotiation because the damages would have cost us P5,000.

While I could pass that off as a coincidence, I got this comment on the previous post tonight:

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So, I don’t know, you guys, this could be an actual modus, and I am seriously regretting that we paid them the amount they asked for. Maybe we could ask for a refund, but I doubt it.

I could chalk this up as an experience, but just in case: Check the rooms in Music One IT Park before signing the damned “waiver”.