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Your Singapore, My Singapore

your singaporeSingapore feels like my second home already. My sixth visit to Singapore in a span of three years and yet there are always new things to discover. My recent visit from July 15 till July 18 was upon the invitation of the Singapore Tourism Board to cover the Singapore Food Festival 2010. Wasn’t it just last year that I was in uniquely Singapore? What’s truly amazing are the changes that are taking place all the time. It is no wonder that the brand changed to Your Singapore just recently. Each traveler has their own reason for visiting Singapore year in and out. Mine is always a business trip, the preferred choice of venue for events. My daughter’s reason for travelling to Singapore is the Great Singapore Sale.

your-singaporeYourSingapore takes over from where ““Uniquely Singapore” left off. The focus is visitor-centricity, meaning the experiences are made wholesome and personal, drawing their allure from the breadth and richness of attractions many have grown to love here in Singapore. I believe shopping is one of the many reasons for visiting Singapore. Others visit for the arts, culture, the fun places, or business.

My tour guide, Wee Toon Hee brought me to the new malls (including a refurbished mall) along Orchard Road that wasn’t around since my last visit in October 2009 and other exciting sights as well.

Here is My Singapore, the sixth time around:

Orchard Malls

Ion Orchard

I enjoyed my shopping at the Sephora. It is the largest branch I have ever been to. Such a pleasure looking at all the makeup and skin care goodies. If you’re a tourist, there is a 5% discount but make sure to bring your passport.
ion-orchard-singapore (2)


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A Chance to win a National Geographic Expeditions trip to the Greek isles

A Jewish proverb says “No matter what happens, travel gives you a story to tell. ” I just came from my husband’s hometown for a Father’s day weekend. It might just be an ordinary place to travel for most of you but see, there is a story to tell. Since we moved to our new home in Pasig in 2007, my husband felt our new home was the ultimate vacation destination. Except for a brief trip to Singapore, we never traveled within the Philippines as we used to in the past. I nagged him to take us back to his birthplace because the kids missed travelling with us. Unfortunately, only one daughter could join us as the second daughter couldn’t leave work. Being in a different place is always an opportunity to take a break from the computer, bond with my husband and daughter. This is just the beginning of a series of travel in the Philippines and elsewhere for the year 2010. Of course, a travel is never complete without photos and I took lots of them. Above are just a few.

National Geographic Energizer Ultimate Photo ContestI am back in Manila and eager to start work when I saw this email in my inbox. The sender, the awareness campaign of National Geographic and Energizer who asked me if I was interested to share the Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest with my readers. The thought of travelling to the Greek Isles will surely interest everyone. I thought you might be interested in this unique opportunity which is now in its third year so I am sharing it with you.

What is it about? (EDIT: Found out the contest rules are “open only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia who are at least eighteen (18) years old “)

1. Send in your best photos – in categories like Animals/Wildlife, Travel and Weather – for a chance to win a National Geographic Expeditions trip for two to the Greek isles and a featured in an Energizer ad in the December issue of National Geographic magazine.

2. Entry is open until June 30th at National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson serves as a contest judge, and will also be doling out photography tips and participating in a Q&A session on the contest website.

3. ALL photography skill levels are encouraged to enter – one of last year’s winners was shot by a zoo employee on a regular point-and-shoot camera!

The deadline is next week, June 30. Send your photos here at

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It didn’t feel right being in Singapore, holed up in a fancy hotel, and eating gourmet dishes while my two girls and husband remained stranded in the second floor of our house. I couldn’t really concentrate on my media coverage of the Black Eyed Peas Concert yesterday because my mind revolved on the neck deep waters in the first floor. Our 3 cars are submerged in water. Our furniture, refrigerator and stove are also under water. Property damage alone is probably 3 million pesos if we include the cars. So that’s how my day has been today.

I went online to make sure my family got food, looked around for rubber boats. Media with me like Tim Yap did relief goods coordination in Eastwood but there was no boat to reach home. I begged around for small boats to reach our neighborhood and finally by 4:00 PM, there were helicopters for food drops and 37 rubber boats. My family finally got food by 4:30 PM. That lifted my spirits up because I felt that going to a party with just didn’t seem right if I am not assured that my family is safe.


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Another Uniquely Singapore Event

Trying to break the language barrier at dinner, I asked the Chinese TV host if he had other adjectives to best describe our culinary experience at the Singapore Food Festival. Delicious, yummy, heavenly, mind-boggling, wonderful…I forgot his name now but he said he ran out of words himself but he managed to utter two words “Delicious” and “so special”. How else can I describe the food and the experience? (edit- I found his calling card. Silly me, his English name is Never and I even told him “I will NEVER forget your name is NEVER. Senior moment for me indeed)

Maybe this video compilation of photos will help?

Here is the Link to the Video Compilation
It’s my first time to cover an event of a country. Usually it’s either I blog about a product, service or even politicians and personalities but an event in a country? It was truly an experience! My trips to Singapore have always been limited to shopping at the digital mall , Hawker’s center or museums. In the course of my media familiarization tour, I found out that Singapore saw visitors spend more than S$1.4 billion on food and beverage, about 14 per cent of their total expenditure in 2007. On the average, around 20% of the Singapore Food Festival attendees are tourists. No wonder the Singapore Tourism Board needed to sustain that source of economic activity or even increase it further. A country needs to be run just like any profitable business enterprise. Media promotion is one way to champion tourism just like how Secretary Ace Durano invited Happy Slip to do videos for the Philippines Tourism global campaign.
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New York! New York!

These little town blues, are melting away
Im gonna make a brand new start of it – in old new york
And if I can make it there, Im gonna make it anywhere
It up to you – new york new york

There is no truth to the rumor that Lauren is now a homeless person begging and living in the streets of Manhattan.

There is also no truth to the rumor that she is selling her wares to earn her keep.

Most of all, there is no truth to the rumor that she flew all the way to New York in search of branded ukay-ukay selections for her Ukay Ukay Store

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Deadly Swine Flu (H1N1) is Worrisome

“Ninety percent of the things we tend to worry about we have no control over, so why worry about them?” Author Unknown

A (H1N1) Influenza Booklet A (H1N1) Influenza Booklet Noemi Lardizabal-Dado Things to Know, Things to do . A UN publication

With the swine flu having already spread to at least six other countries, authorities around the globe are like firefighters battling a blaze without knowing how far it extends.

WHO spokesman Peter Cordingley singled out air travel as an easy way the virus could spread, noting that the WHO estimates that up to 500,000 people are on planes at any time.

Governments in Asia — with memories of previous flu outbreaks — were especially cautious. Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines dusted off thermal scanners used in the 2003 SARS crisis and were checking for signs of fever among passengers from North America. South Korea, India and Indonesia also announced screening.

Source : Deadly Swine Flu Spreads to Mideast, Asia

My husband has been worried sick of this Swine flu. Travel outside the Philippines is part of our graduation present to my daughter and she leaves on May 6. That’s all he talks these days during dinner time. It is natural for parents to worry but up to what degree?

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Department of Tourism with Happy Slip, Partners with MTV for 2009 Global Campaign

Happy Slip (Christine Gambito) is in town since December 9 and I only found out today. Yehey invited a few bloggers for dinner at Alchemy for a sneak peak of Department of Tourism (DOT) and MTV plans for 2009. The intimate dinner gave us lots of time to chit-chat in a very informal setting. I am once again reunited with Happy Slip and this time we had more time to talk about Filipina dating online ads appearing in her myspace account which is now deleted.

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Photo Hunt: Blue (Skies)

Photo Hunt theme today is Blue. What better way to portray the Photo Hunt theme than the clear blue skies of Jamesport, Missouri. You know how much I love the country side so a trip to a town with 505 residents was even more exciting for me. As we head off to Jamesport, I notice the sky is a lovely blue as the sunshine starts to beam and the green grass starts to gleam from afar. Not to mention the bales of hay.

It’s rare to see perfect blue skies in a tropical country like the Philippines. I’m not seeing any clouds. Such perfect day it was! I just had to capture the beauty by taking photos of the pristine blue skies as my brother and I head off to our destination with Kippy Cat as my travel mascot.

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Living in the Countryside, My Brother & Telemedicine

I love countryside living. This is my third visit to mid-west Missouri but in the past two visits in 1998 and 1999 (with the girls to visit Lauren’s online friend), we stayed in hotels never really basking in the beauty of the surroundings. Missouri never fails to freak me out. My arrivals always happen at night. Driving along the lonely dark road at night is like being in Twilight Zone. Think “Jeepers Creepers” and you will understand why that movie was filmed in Missouri. Whenever I vacation in the US, I am contented with big cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago or Florida but Missouri? If it weren’t for my brother, I swear I never want to visit Missouri until…a week ago.

Here I am in a part of rural Missouri with a population of 18,000. I am taking in all the goodness that countryside living has to offer sans the high pollen count. The first thing I did the next morning was walk around the private park surrounding my brother’s residence. The chilly weather didn’t stop me from walking the dog and enjoying the new sights like the cows in the perimeter fence.

And a lake and trees in Autumn. It is just so pretty!

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