"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do... Explore. Dream. Discover."~ Mark Twain

Friday, December 30, 2011

Casa Santa

House of Santa

     Do you believe in Santa? Father Christmas? Saint Nicholas? You'd be delighted with the many figurines, dolls, objects inspired by Santa found in this house! To get there, we rode an FX from Cubao to Antipolo then took a tricycle to Casa Santa. 

     Santa Claus' story begins with Nicholas who became a bishop and then a saint. He was known for his generosity to the needy and for being the patron and protector of children, sailors and voyagers.

Gingerbread house :p

     Casa Santa is inside Jardin de Miramar, a garden-like venue for parties and different celebrations. The Jardin has different themed areas, gazebos, and function/ reception halls. 

The Owner of Casa Santa

     Casa Santa houses over 3,000 Santas in every form and size collected by the owners of Jardin de Miramar. The Casa was formerly a rest house, and was just converted into a museum in 1995. Unlike other museums, visitors can look at the items closely, even play with them! There are Santas dressed like athletes, in national costumes, as bishops and more! 

    There are home decors inspired by Santa like plates, glasses, utensils, some stuffed Santas, as well as small Santa figurines and display items. The entrance fee is 150php per person.

     In front of the house, you'll be greeted by a Santa who's seated and seems like to be inviting you to sit on his lap! There's also one by the door going up a ladder. :) There were a lot to see so we toured the house in parts! :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Singapore Day 6: Merlion Park & Departure

We love SG! ^_^

     This day concludes our Singapore - Kuala Lumpur trip, but we promised ourselves that we would have photos at the Merlion Park during daytime so even if we were still tired and sleepy from jam-packed day 5, we went to go see the Merlion.

     From Bugis station, we went down City Hall interchange to the red line, alighted at Dhoby Ghaut station and transferred to the yellow line to Esplanade. From there, we walked to the Merlion Park.

City by day

Clear skies

     The morning was so calm and peaceful. The place was very clean and everywhere you looked was a testament to Singapore's beauty. We passed by a lot of skyscrapers and eye catching architecture like the Esplanade, the well-known Marina Bay Sands and the towering Singapore Flyer.

Singapore Flyer & Helix Bridge

The Esplanade

Marina Bay Sands

    After about 20 minutes of walking around the Marina Bay, we finally reached our destination and goal for that day -- photos with the Merlion at daytime. :p

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Singapore Day 5: Little India, Sentosa & Singapore Flyer

Little India

     While others are still tired and asleep from our Malaysia trip, we got up early and went to Little India to see some famous temples. From Bugis station, we alighted at Outram Park interchange to the purple line and went down at Little India station.

    We went to see Mustafa Center first, a shopping center known for its affordable goods. We then walked to Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple which shows the different incarnations of Lord Vishnu. 

Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple

     The temple, adorned with images of Hindu dieties, was built as such so that it can be seen from afar and so that Hindus can pray from a distance. All entering the temple should remove their shoes.


Hindu priest

     Inside the temple are smaller shrines for different Hindu dieties. Some had priests out front giving their blessings. The altars were colorful, filled with flower offering for their gods.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Malaysia: Petronas Towers, Genting Highlands & Batu Caves

Petronas Towers

     We went back to the hotel at around 8pm and rested for two hours before going to the bus terminal. The bus leaves at 11.30pm and we left the hotel at around 10.40pm, thinking that we would get there in 30minutes. Panic kicked in when it was already 11pm and we were still waiting for a cab. Dozens of cabs pass by but all were occupied! 

     One of us went back to the hotel to call for two cabs while the others waited on the street. We were able to hail a cab but apologetically went down since Princess told us that we can't cancel the cabs we called for. We waited anxiously for our cabs -- it was already 11.15pm! Good thing we had a good driver who beat the red light. Haha! :D We got there just in time, even having to wait for a couple of minutes for the bus to arrive -- that was an adrenaline rush! Whew!

StarMart Express Bus

     We booked our round trip SG - KL- SG bus tickets  for 64SGD each online. The bus had spacious, comfortable seats with a massager! This makes the five-hour trip more comfortable. We had to get down twice though for immigration, one going out of Singapore and one entering Malaysia. The process was quick and hassle-free -- back to sleep. Hehe! :p

Selamat Datang!

     After the long bus ride, we alighted at Berjaya Times Square. It was still early so we waited outside the mall -- the MRT doesn't operate until 6am. From Imbi station, we alighted at Bukit Nanas and transferred to the other line to KLCC station. From there we walked to the majestic Petronas Towers.

Dreams do come true ^_^

     We were so excited to see these famous towers, the tallest skyscrapers in the world from 1998 to 2004. It features a 2-storey bridge, on the 41st and 42nd floors, where 1000 visitors per day are allowed to go up. Unfortunately, the bridge was closed on that day.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Singapore Day 3: Singapore Zoo

Ready for the wild :p

     First up in our itinerary for Day 3: Singapore Zoo! Agenda: To take good pictures of cool animals and to ride an elephant! :p 

     We took the MRT from Bugis to City Hall interchange, transferred to the red line to Ang Mio Ko Station. We then took the bus to Singapore Zoo. It took us about an hour and a half to get there. Whew!

Map and Admission Tickets

     We bought our tickets for 29sgd each. This came with a 5sgd unlimited tram ride ticket and a souvenir - a small, green towel. We should've just gotten the 20sgd admission ticket, 5sgd tram ride and bought a better souvenir. Hehe! :p

     Singapore Zoo, dubbed as the world's best rainforest zoo, is home to about 3,000 animals and is a part of Wildlife Reserves Singapore along with Jurong Bird Park and the Night Safari. The zoo is open from 8:30am to 6pm daily. 

Happy birds :D

     First up on the map, to the left of the entrance is the Treetops Trail, an wooden path a few meters above the forest floor. Animals around here include a golden pheasant, mouse deer, siamang (a type of gibbon) and a false gharial (cross between an alligator and a croc) down below.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Singapore Day 2: Universal Studios Singapore, Chinatown and Clarke Quay

Welcome to Universal Studios Singapore! ^_^

     Before heading out, we had complimentary breakfast at the hotel. You can choose from Continental (toast with butter and jelly, with orange juice or tea) or Chinese buffet (fried carrot cake, siopao, noodles, fried rice, with coffee or tea). Serving time is from 8:30 - 10:30am -- that's why we leave a little late hehe!

     From Bugis station, we went down Outram Park interchange and transferred to the purple line and alighted at Harbourfront Station. We then took the Sentosa Express for 3sgd each inside VivoCity shopping mall at the 3rd level.

USS tickets

     We bought our Universal Studios Singapore (USS) tickets online for fear that we wouldn't get any. Hehe! It's a good thing that we already have our tickets -- we skipped the long queue, especially since it was a peak day (students are on their break). Our tickets cost 72sgd, 8sgd more than the usual price.

At the famous globe :)

     We got so excited upon seeing  this well known landmark. It was like the feeling we got when we went to Disneyland Hong Kong. ^_^

     After getting the park map, we decided to go left first, where we saw the photo op with the stars of Madagscar! We had to line up but it was worth it! :)

Cast of Madagascar

     We then went on our first ride, Madagascar: A Crate Adventure. Good thing the queue wasn't that long even if it was a peak day. :)