Wednesday, December 21, 2011

# 52 LOST !!

no tropical island setting and thankfully, no plane crash, either. this is not the hit tv show. it is a jungle, alright.  singapore's subway system is, after all, one big cosmopolitan jungle for a first-time tourist.

the group is lost, no doubt about it.  in a subway.  in a city far away from home.  at ten in the evening. you come from a city without a subway system.  without trains. sure you have buses plying your busy streets but your bus drivers are not disciplined. they stop wherever they want to stop.  you can cross to the other side of the road whenever you want to.  that is unheard of in this city you are visiting.

you get off the train. you need to get on a bus that would take you back to your hotel. the bus is on the other side. you are told to use the subway.  the group goes down. animated still. make several right and left turns, walk several hundred meters. see a flight of stairs and decide to use that. walk. turn around. walk again. go down again. up again. on ground level once more. you take a moment and heave a big sigh of relief. you explore your surroundings and it hits you. you are back to where you started. tempers a-flaring.  nobody is smiling.

an hour into all the circuitous wanderings and just when you are ready to give up from exhaustion, you look up and see the sign. the group rejoices!

it would be a few minutes before midnight when you finally get back to your hotel. seeing the light of at the end of the tunnel.  make that the light at the end of the subway.  isn't that awesome?

Monday, December 19, 2011

#51 mabuhay!!

thank you for flying philippine airlines!

the stewardess welcomes all passengers on board with a smile in her voice. mabuhay!! she says it with so much life befitting a word that literally translates to 'life.'  it is the local counterpart of 'viva' or 'cheers.'  you are seated in coach, ever careful not to extend your elbow too far lest it encroaches on your seatmate's space.  it is time for the safety reminders.  you have memorized the instructions but you look up and listen anyway.   you think it is rude to keep your eyes on the book you are reading while someone is talking. 

you never fly on business class. your budget does not allow you to.  you have seen one of those traveler's kits given to the privileged few in business class.  you wonder what is inside the kit until someone gives you one as a trip souvenir. 

 favorite item in the kit is the eye mask. comes in handy on your next trip.  lights are out but the one seated beside you switches his lights on.  he insists on reading the in-flight magazine from cover to cover over and over and over again.

small things most often tossed aside or discarded are rendered useful in the hands of appreciative coach travelers. when joyfully simple things turn to simple joys.   isn't that awesome?

Friday, December 2, 2011

# 50 birthday post!

cardinal rule when going on a trip -- NEVER leave an external hard disk loaded with pictures behind.  not with kids.  not with crazy kids.

an album of not-so-flattering pictures (deliberately chosen) and an accompanying note posted to facebook awaited my return. it was a surprise like no other.  tete, not one who would write her thoughts,  decided to present me with this gift.  

48 rounded off is 50! :D  
There's this person we call, she's not our grandmother...of course not, she looks and is much too young to be our grandmother! :P 
Nanna is our aunt… but not only that, she’s a runner, blogger and book-reader. She also helps us with our homework. She helps us make essays, articles and check grammar. She also helps us edit videos and take pictures. She encourages and helps us do what we love to do. But most of all, she never fails to make us smile. She finds humor and joy in random things which causes us to burst into laughter at the most random times. She always has a way to make everything happy and cheerful. This is what makes Nanna NANNA.

Nanna – isn’t she awesome? hahahaha

Nanna! Happy 48th Birthday! I know you will probably get mad at me for posting pictures of you…’s okay, no matter how unruly your hair is and how big your face is in the pictures, you will always be beautiful to us…awwwww (put my name back on your gift list okay? hahaha) Yea..I’m seriously not as good as you in writing things…I was gonna make this long but it’s already 11:26 pm and I think I need to sleep...hahaha…Anyways…Happy Birthday again! Love you Nanna! 
yangi prepared her own surprise, too.  our in-house wacky artwork creator can tweak and fine-tune pictures and colors,  her trademark artistry and humor written all over her finished work.  it was an effort of love that she meticulously spent some great amount of time on.   she was quick to post it to facebook, too .

   of course, she wanted to include that decades-old black and white picture of an antiquated-frock-wearing  kid.

are they not the sweetest kids? they are sure to be on my gift list.  on the second list. i have two gift lists for christmas - the GIFTS TO BUY list and the GIFTS MONEY CAN'T BUY list. love and affection is something money cannot buy. i am giving that to them.  i can hear them whine now.

priceless birthday surprises from the kids.... isn't that awesome?