Thursday, December 15, 2016

Road to the Crown

It seems like we don't need much Christmas lights this year to brighten up the holidays as the entire country is giddy about the upcoming Ms Universe pageant. With some of the candidates already gracing local tv and visiting some of our awesome tourist spots we can't help but feel blessed somehow that one of the most prestigious beauty pageants on earth is happening right HERE :)

          As we delight in Pia's reign and remain hopeful that Maxine will shine as well, I can't help but look back and ponder on how other Bb Pilipinas Universe winners have been instrumental in shaping the quality of our winners today.

1. Ma. Venus Raj

They say her name alone declares she is a true queen and goddess. The one who started the Ms Universe streak for us this decade, Venus has an undeniable strong stage presence honed by years of victory in countless beauty pageants. With her warmth and sincerity, she also won Ms Friendship during her time in Bb. (which is quite unusual because she was a threat to many girls in her batch!) She says the late Melody Gershbach (and fellow Bicolana queen) is her angel.

2. Shamcey Supsup

"Wassup Supsup?" A lot of people laughed when Toni Gonzaga joked about her surname lightheartedly on national TV. But what some people regarded as an unqueenly surname turned out to be a blessing. Even the great Lea Salonga was impressed by her performance; she's so stunning you'd forget she's a topnotch architect & restauranteur.

3. Ara Arida

"If there's Venus, I'm Mars." Ara is the witty chemist next door who reigned over Pia during her first try yet managed to mentor and remain friends with her.  That alone is remarkable. She continues to host a variety show on tv.

4. Gionna Cabrera

She won Ms Photogenic when she competed in Thailand and up to the time of Venus, she along with Mafae Yunon- Belasco and Karen Agustin-Ostrea were hands on when it comes to pasarella and wardrobe selection of the winners. She started the campaign to use modern Filipino designs again in Bb; she used to design bags that were featured in various runways abroad.

5. Miriam Quiambao, Teresa Licaros & Lia Andrea Ramos

Who wouldn't know these three? Quite formidable if you would ask me. Miriam has been a household name for decades now; she has inspired everyone when she rose gracefully like a swan after she tripped on her dress. Who cares if it was a tad bit too long for her? It helped her show how regal she really is :)

Tere will always be known as the summa cum laude lawyer and Lia as the Philippine online makeup expert.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Boat Ride at Madame Tussauds

Leji wasn't allowed to ride with me in this boat attraction at Madame Tussauds so I took as many photos as I can.  It's a fancy wax and lights introduction to Singapore's famous tourist attractions. She didn't feel so bad anymore after showing her these.

The fancy boat

immediately greeted by colorful lights

first photo with a Merlion

F1 glam

Art and science hub


Pretty fascinating right? If a tourist can't decide which attractions to prioritize, at least he/she can get to have selfies with their replicas first.

Baby Explores Singapore

I quietly celebrated my birthday this year with my family chasing merlions in Singapore. It was Leji's first trip out of the country so we were all thrilled.

We booked our flight via Singapore Airlines because I heard they offer the best service for kids.  We had to pay for Leji too (for a few dollars less than an adult's discounted fare) despite her being less than two years old and even if they mentioned they didn't have baby food onboard. But the trip was delightful for her and she enjoyed my silver utensils, beef, ice cream and orange juice so I guess it was worth it.  

We were able to conveniently bring her stroller up to the plane's entrance; when we got off the plane it was also brought to the door ready for pickup. Talk about convenience! 

We left Manila as soon as the sun was setting and she was so amazed how the light illuminated my face from the window.  They provided a bassinet with a soft Dory toy for her but she could barely sleep because of her excitement in seeing the clouds in various colors. She only managed to nap on my chest 10minutes before landing!

We rolled away to our hotel (Mandarin Orchard) via train and Leji was amazed with all the elevators and lights. It's a cool city for kids on strollers.  

We got discount coupons from Mandarin Orchard (c/o the portable hotel phone with free calls to anyone in selected countries including the Philippines) so we took advantage of the roundtrip cable car and explored the sights from point to point in one day.

Here are some of the most memorable spots:

1. Bells of happiness at Faber Peak

We bought two bells at Faber Peak: one gold bell for wishing and one silver bell for Leji's stroller.   She had so much fun with the bells. But I should have brought my own fine tipped marker; the one I got from the store dried up too quickly in my bag. 

 2. Madame Tussauds

Leji was annoyed that she wasn't allowed to ride the boat inside; she refused to have her hand cast in cold wax (it was supposed to be a freebie :/). Then, she got scared of the politicians and the theater exibit. But there were some wax figures she particularly liked:

Breakfast at Tiffany's

"Pfffshhh!!!" Spiderman!!!
We got so hungry after taking all these photos-- we ended up in KFC because we couldn't find the next elevator to get to the cable car. We had to carry Leji and her stroller over three non-working escalators.  We were surprised that Singapore has its share of non-working stuff in a famous tourist spot :/

3. Fountains

Oh my, Leji couldn't look away from the fountains. All of her shots with water looked like this:

4. Candylicious

I try to limit her sugar intake so we ended up just taking photos in front of this magnificent store.  It reminded me of Willy Wonka and Hansel and Gretel.

5. Universal Studios

Leji's still not allowed to ride most of the attractions in Universal so I guess we just have to come back some other time.  She still loved the globe; she likes all things round and colorful.

Leji and I had so much fun!

 Her smile at the end of the day made it all worthwhile :)