Rain

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A sweet melody
Drizzles outside the window
Giving us new hope

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Botanic Gardens of Singapore

Someone, I know says, “Why bother with nature when you are surrounded by it already?”

Our reasons differ from each other, it depends on the person.  As for me, it feels good roaming around, inhaling fresh air, sounds of birds that ring my ears, and most of all, the quietness make me at peace like something like this..

While strolling around, stop and follow your curiosity for something educational.

The playground of squirrels that were aloof and hide when they see people.

After enjoying the long walk, we stopped by in a certain restaurant called, The Halias for our breakfast. Four sets of this for SGD61.

I knew my Mom loves plants and flowers so I bought entrance tickets for SGD5 each and SGD1 each for seniors.

And the rest was amazing!

Look at those faces, we are all living in the mountains, yet we still appreciate nature.  That is the benefit of mountain living, a healthier and happier life.

A Day in Saigon

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius –

Travelling is something that people should make room in their lineup.  Aside from acquiring something from your experience and building an attachment bond with your family or friends, just the satisfaction alone and memories can’t be replaced by any material things.  Happiness is action and action is a form of tenacity to fulfill things that will make us happy through touring.

My 2017 Travel Bucket List is to travel to 12 different places, not necessarily 12 countries but at least 12 corners of the world.  So here’s my first that I have visited for this year.  What a lovely country to create a moment!

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Saigon was renamed to  Ho Chi Minh City in 1976, the largest city in Vietnam.  Since we arrived late at night, I didn’t appreciate the city that much.  We spend our two nights in La Felix Hotel, a hotel that is adjacent to the famous Ben Thanh Market.

Breakfast

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Breakfast complimentary at the 9th floor of the hotel with a wide selection to choose from. From vegetable salad, egg, bread, noodles and fruits.

5 Things To Do in Saigon

1.  Handicapped Handicrafts

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Lacquer painting is a recognized art of Vietnam.  While visiting the factory, I was amazed how the painter hairsplitting a duck shells as the primary material in producing a special paint. After hard work, the output is all worth it.

2. Cu Chi Tunnels

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Cu Chi tunnel is about 70 km from Saigon.  It was a strong base and military camp of Vietnamese during the war.  Crawling in the actual tunnel was exhausting.  You need a lot of energy to surpass all the tunnel from 100 to 500 meters.  Aside from the tunnel, you will also see an exhibit of different weapons they have used during the war like traps, tanks, and bomb craters.

3. Saigon Port

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If you love eating, Vietnamese food is something to try on.  After a whole day of walking under the sun, a private dinner cruise while viewing the scenery, it was a happy tummy after all.

4.  War Remnants Museum

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If you want to know more about Vietnam and its people, it’s worth a visit.  There are a lot of things to see inside like memorabilia’s, old weapons, history, articles, and exhibits.  I was touched how the tortured happened and the sacrificed that was made.  This is the crucial part where tourists must be aware of.

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5.  City Highlights

This city is not as huge and commercialized compared to some other Asian countries but how the buildings were built, very impressive.

Saigon Central Post Office.  It is still a post office up to now but,  it filled up with a lot of tourists and establishments.  You can’t clearly see the post office itself.  As you enter the building, Ho Chi Minh’s portrait is visible.  There is still the best part here, enjoy the colonial style architecture and its archaic phone booth.

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 Across the central post office is the Notre Dame Cathedral, constructed by the French colonists.  This is a great photo break so why not grab the chance!

Pham Ngu Lao Street is a backpacker’s spot in Saigon opposite to the park.  You can see a lot of tourists from different countries in this place.  A charming, busy street with a lot of restaurants, tours and travels, bus terminals, accommodations, information area and an excessive volume of motorcycles.  Just watching loads of activities in the park alone, you will never get spiritless.

Since we spent 2 nights and a day, we missed going to Behn Thanh market, where there are extensive selections of souvenirs to choose from.  Anyways, there is always a round two, as Mary Oliver says, “and now you’ll be telling stories of my coming back and they won’t be false, and they won’t be true but they’ll real.”

FOR SALE: imported handicrafts

The Collection: Rice God Panel

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The rice gods of Ifugao, Mountain Province in Philippines, is locally known as “Bulul”. It is usually carved in woods or stones. They are believed to gain power from ancestral spirits. They are treated with respect. The male wears “wanes or bahag or g-string” a loin cloth and usually holds a pestle, while the female wears “lufid” a wrap-around skirt with earrings an anklets, mostly holds a mortar. They are seated on the ground with arms crossed or on the knees. They are usually dark because they are touched by hands dipped in chicken or pig blood, overlaid by grease from food offerings, during rituals called “tunod” done during rice planting season for bounty. The Ifugao culture revolves around rice cultivation and harvesting. They made the Banaue Rice Terraces with their bare hands with minimal tools, 2000 years ago. The structure, design and water irrigation is sophisticated with no modern engineering! Hence, the the title: Eighth Wonder of the World. the Ifugaos are not only known for their stone works, earthworks and weaving but also in wood carving. The rice good wall decor is now marketed internationally as part of their amazing artwork.

FOR SALE: Imported Handicrafts

Handicraft Center

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Ethnic Handcraftz  is a family owned business. Our goal is to be part of the promotion and globalization of artisanal handicrafts from different parts of the world. We aim to support and empower self-reliant indigenous men and women of all ages. People that has been very resourceful and untiring to overcome poverty and difficulties. This is our little way of proudly showcasing their phenomenal talents as well as their imaginative and technical skills. Some way of rewarding their toil and sustaining their cultural heritage.

To our valued buyers, thank you, and may you experience the artisans’ values, ancestral tradition, history, myths, beliefs and ways of life, through their symbolic products. A lot of their designs and creations have been passed down through generations. Enjoy your little adventure!

 

Ten Things to Do

if I have the power to be invisible..

  • Travel the whole word for free
  • My way of revenge is to frighten people who hurt me the most by acting as a ghost
  • Spy on the government who are the corrupt to form a partnership ha ha ha
  • I would follow Donald Trump and learn free from him
  • Sleep in Buckingham Palace and enjoy their lifestyle
  • Get to know those people who are real and fake
  • Listen to people what they say about me
  • Make fun of my family and friends
  • Rob the bank ha ha ha
  • I will just enjoy being invisible

When You Think You’re Not Good Enough

girl-working“Working hard is very important. You’re not going to get anywhere without working extremely hard.” – George Lucas

It was the year 2000 when I accompanied my friend to apply for a job overseas. It was not my intention to look for a job because at that moment I was enrolled in my BS-IT degree and at the same time working in a courier/forwarder company. While in the agency, one of the employees accidentally gave me an exam questionnaire before proceeding to the next level. For fun, I took the written test. After two hours the examiner announced those people who made it to top 5. To my surprise, I made it to top 3 and sadly my friend failed the test.

It all happened in just three weeks. I have to quit school and my job. It never came to my mind going to a country with no one beside me. A lot of questions in my mind that I am not pretty sure what would be the outcome of my unplanned decision especially it was my first time to travel alone.

When I reached my destination, I was too nervous.  Before I left the country, I was advised that a representative from the company I will be working on will fetch me, but unfortunately no signs of fetching. Two hours had passed,  I was so worried until I have decided to buy a phone card and call my international broker agency. I had known that he had difficulty in finding me because I didn’t wear my uniform jacket that was given to me when I was still in my country.

My job is tough and tiring. I did work for two years in a night shift and during weekdays, I worked  16 hours  like a machine. Well, I love doing that, never in my two years with them complained about my overtime. Every time there’s a 16 hour worked; I was their favorite. When payday comes, money is overflowing.

On my nearly two years, I was given another 2-year contract, so I’ve decided to take a two-week vacation. When I came back from my short vacation, I suddenly felt something strange. I don’t have the urge to work anymore; I do not like my environment.  Breaking my contract is the only option in my mind,  so I talked to my supervisor without thinking what’s the consequences.   He told me that my contract was already renewed.  “You have to pay the equivalent of your monthly salary for breaking it!”  I immediately answered him, “I don’t mind.” I paid the asked amount and decided to go home.

When I was at the airport, my broker handed me a white envelope. “You open it after you checked-in, and call the manager immediately after seeing what’s inside.” I did do what I was instructed to do. When I opened the envelope, it was the money I paid for breaking my contract. I instantly called the manager, and he said, “we are all sad for your early resignation. Thank you for giving us the highest output ever! Don’t mention it to your colleagues that the company decided to give back your money; it is a law”. I was shocked by his words; I didn’t even realize that I was an asset to the company. “I have no regrets. I don’t believe in looking back. What am I proudest of? Working really hard… and achieving as much as I could.” – Elena Kagan –