January 25, 2015

Images of Singapore LIVE (The Real Deal)



(Unfortunately they don't allow photography inside the IOSL, succeeding pictures are photo grabs from the IOSL website)


Images of Singapore Live (IOSL) is housed in the same building as the Madame Tussaud Museum.  IOSL used to be the Images of Singapore, but was enhanced to incorporate live actors in their program.




IOSL transports guests back in time.  Here you get to see real actors, with the help of special effects and  compelling backdrop the story of how Singapore came to be one of the most powerful nation we know today.


This is a one of kind attraction, that showcase how Singapore transformed from a small fishing village to a first world country. 

Inside the IOSL complex, you will see:
  • Singapore Dock - Quayside Walk
  • Four Winds Trading Company
  • Malay Fishing Village
  • Commercial Square
  • Chinatown
  • Jubilee Cinema (which was my favorite)
  • Television shop (showing footages of Singapore in 1945 and 1965)
  • the Miracle of Singapore (a visual interpretation of Singapore's success)
  • the Spirit of Singapore Boat Ride (a boat tour of Singapore's best loved attractions and land marks) 

A visit to the IOSL is highly recommended.

 For ticketing and additional information on IOSL,
please visit their website at: IMAGES OF SINGAPORE LIVE.









January 24, 2015

Madame Tussaud Singapore Invasion

 
What is not to like about the Madame Tussaud Museum? 
 
We have been to the Madame Tussaud in Hongkong, and enjoyed our visit so much, that I can't let pass visiting their newest museum in Sentosa, Singapore.
 
We had so much fun, posing like stars besides country leaders, famous  athletes, rock stars and Hollywood A-lists.
 
 
It is an absolute haven for photo fanatics. 
 
 

Of the pictures we have taken, these are my favorites.

 
 
 
 

It was cool posing with the Terminator himself and pretending like famous rock stars after.

 
 

 

 
L-R/T-B: An upper-cut vs. Muhammad Ali, sit ups with David Beckhams, followed by an interview with the Queen of Talks "Ophra", a leisure biking with ET.
 


 
 L-R: Rocking it with Taylor Swift, striking a pose with Madonna and Madame Tussaud herself.
 
 
 
L-R/T-B: With his EX-girlfriend Nicole Kidman, idol Johnny Depp, taking a kick from Bruce Lee and rocking with the King "Elvis".  
 
 
 
 
L-R/T-B: Sit-ups with David Beckham, wanting to be an Artist, too cool for Arnold Schwarzenegger,
readying a punch for Muhammad Ali
 
  
Book a date with your favorite stars.
 
When in Singapore or HongKong include the  Madame Tussaud Museum in your itinerary.
 

Heart-Healthy Recipes in GMA’s Basta Everyday Happy and Sarap Diva


Do you know that cooking oil is important in a healthy diet?  The oil you choose makes a big difference to your health! 


Oil high in saturated fat, raise BAD cholesterol, which may lead to high blood pressure.  Choose cooking oil that is high on monounsaturated fat or GOOD cholesterol that helps lower blood pressure.


This is why I always choose Canola Oil. Canola Oil is one of the healthiest cooking oil because of its low saturate fat and high monounsaturated fat content. 


Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil, Better for the Heart, Better 
for the Budget, is the heart-healthy, versatile, and value for money cooking oil.


Jolly Canola Oil also has omega 6 and 3 which are good for the heart.  Omega 3 has also been known to help treat several health conditions, such as heart disease, stroke and memory loss.  It also has a pale golden color, light texture, and neutral taste so you can use it for any dish. Jolly Canola Oil also has a high smoking point which makes it ideal for 
frying.






Hosted by Donita Rose, GMA 7’s Basta Everyday Happy, recently showcased heart-healthy recipes using Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil through the month of December. Eight episodes featured Filipino-favorites such as Beef Stew, Crispy Calamari, and one of Donita’s personal favorites “in the whole wide world” as she shares on Instagram, Crispy Binagoongan. She tells of her Beef Kaldereta version "Pinoy ang lasa pero mas bongga! This is my Better Beefier Caldereta made healthier with Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil!"




Other healthy everyday recipes included Wholesome Chicken, Paella, and this Heart-Healthy Salmon recipe.  



Heart Healthy Salmon

INGREDIENTS:
 
For the Salmon:
2 center-cut salmon fillets (6 oz. each)
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
¼ cup finely chopped cilanto
2 Tbsp Jolly Canola oil
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Salsa:
1 medium red onion
3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 pcs medium tomatoes
2 firm-ripe avocados
1 pc rip mango
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or to taste
 
PROCEDURE:
  1. Place the salmon fillets in a shallow bowl. Toss well with lemon juice, cilantro, Jolly Canola oil, and pepper. Let rest for 15 minutes.
  2. Cook the salmon, skinside down in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the pan and carefully lifting the salmon with a spatula to loosen it from the pan,
  3. Reduce the heat to medium. Cover the pan and cook until the salmon is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes more. The skin should be crisp and the flesh medium rare.
  4. To make the salsa: Finely chop onion and mince garlic. In a bowl toss onion and garlic with cilantro.
  5. Chop tomatoes and mango, add to onion mixture, tossing to combine.
  6. Peel and pit avocados and cut into 3/4-inch pieces. Add avocados, lime juice, and pepper to taste. Spoon over cooked salmon



Catch Sarap Diva with Regine Velasquez-Alcasid on January 24 and 31 at 9:40 a.m. to 10:25 a.m. as she dishes out two, exciting dishes: Pamplina, a Spanish-influenced soup dish, and tasty Pork Steak with Mushroom Bits.






PORK STEAK WITH MUSHROOM BITS

INGREDIENTS:
1 kg pork steak, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp ground paprika
2 tbsps Jolly Canola Oil
2-3 tbsps chopped garlic
2 cans Jolly Button Mushroom Whole, cut in half
1/2 cup red wine
2 tbsps butter
garnish with some toasted garlic and chopped parsley   


PROCEDURE:

  1. Season pork steak in soy sauce, salt and pepper, set aside
  2. Pre-heat a with some Jolly Canola Oil and cook the pork cubes until slightly brown in color.
  3. Remove from pan. Toss in the chopped garlic and Jolly Button Mushrooms. Saute then season with some salT, pepper and ground paprika
  4. Deglaze with the red wine simmer until sauce is slightly think.
  5. Mis in the cooked pork and cold butter.
  6. Transfer to a plate then garnish with some toasted garlic and chopped parsley.




    Now that everyone is trying to get back in shape after the holidays, the easiest way to start is to be mindful of how daily dishes are prepared. Start the year right by using Heart Mate Jolly Canola Oil that’s “Better for the Heart, and Better for the Budget!”


    =====================

    Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil is exclusively distributed by Fly Ace Corporation. It is available in all major supermarkets nationwide. Learn more about Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil at www.flyacecorp.com.

    Fly Ace Corporation is one of the leading food and beverage consumer goods companies in the country today. Propelling limitless multiple-category growth by bringing the best of the world closer to Filipino homes, Fly Ace Corporation’s portfolio of food and beverage products includes house brands and exclusively distributed brands. Learn more at www.flyacecorp.com.

    Legoland Water Park

     
     Picture this: A Lego themed water park!!!
     
    My boys literally went gaga, when they heard of waterpark and Lego in one sentence...
     
    LEGOLAND's WaterPark boasts of 20 thrilling slides and more than 70 Lego models.
     
     
    LEGOLAND WATER PARK
     

     
     
     
    Attractions included:
    • Build a Raft River - a lazy river type pool, which my boys totally enjoyed.
    • Duplo-Splash Safari - a water play area for the younger kids
    • In the Imagination Station - there are interactive tables where kids can build stuffs
    • Joker Soaker - is an interactive playground, built to get you wet (BIGTIME!)
    • The Lego Wave Pool - the pool generates gentle waves for all ages. 
    • Older kids, would definitely have swell time trying the water park specialized  tube slides such as:  Red Rush, Twin Chasers, Brick Blasters, Splash and Swirl, Tidal Wave, Slide Racers
      
    LAZY RIVER
     
     
     
     
    video
     
     
     
     
     
    TIPS:
    • Bring lots of sunscreen. Did I mention, how scorching hot it is?
     
    • There are very few picnic tables and benches around. The park can get pretty much crowded; and the humid (with occasional thunder storms) Malaysian weather doesn't help much, I really recommend you rent a cabana.  
     
    A half day cabana rental costs MYR150, while a day rental costs MYR280.  I know it is somewhat expensive, but it was so worth it. 
     
     
    THE "Elephant" CABANA
     


    Price is inclusive of Cabana rental, with mini refrigerator, electric fan, safety deposit box, 2 lounge chair, 2 lounge bed, 2 huge Legoland towels, 10 bottled drinks and wifi.  There was also a host ready to assist the Cabana guests for food orders and other needs.

    I had a lovely time in the Cabana, while the boys ran wild all over the park.

    • Best to come on a weekday to avoid the crowd. I also noticed it was less crowded in the mornings, so best if you can come early.



    (Photo grab from Legoland Malaysia website.)


    • We bought our water park tickets through the Legoland Malaysia website. The site has regular promotions such as combo-tickets and  special rates online and advance purchases. 

    =============

    Also planning to visit the Legoland Theme Park, check out our Legoland adventure here: Legoland Theme Park, consider also staying at the Legoland Hotel.




    January 19, 2015

    Hap Chan Antipolo

     
    I love Chinese cuisine and was all too happy to know, that one of my favorite Chinese restaurants, Hap Chan has recently opened a branch at Robinson's Antipolo.
     
     
    The restaurant is located at the mall's Al fresco ground floor area. It was small, but still inviting and cozy.
     
    Me and my girls :P

      
    We ordered: pork and shrimp siomai, hakaw, birthday noodles, spicy squids, lechon macau and yangchow
    (what? we were hungry!).
     
     
     
    The food were expectedly delicious and filling.  
     
     

    Gardens by the Bay Singapore

    Did you know that Singapore is also known as a Garden City? Amidst high-rise buildings are lush green parks and meticulously landscaped gardens all over the city. 


    As part of our 8D/7N Singapore-Malaysia adventure is a visit to Singapore's premier green park, Gardens by the Bay. 

    The Gardens by the Bay is a 101 hectares park located in Central Singapore.    It is divided into three uniquely themed world-class gardens: Gardens at Marina South, Gardens at Marina East and Gardens at Marina Center.

    The Gardens main attractions are the:
    1. Cooled Conservatories (consisting of the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome)
    2. Super Trees
    3. OCBC Sky Tower
    4. Far East Organization Children's Garden

    Due to limited time, we were only able visit the twin cooled conservatories: Cloud Forest and Flower Dome.




    Via the Cloud Walk: fun and scary walk atop the Cloud Forest Mountain.





     Our favorite Cloud Forest's attractions is this
    man-made Waterfalls.






      



      Awesome-awesome sight!



    TIPS:
    • If I had one regret, it was not having enough time to explore the famous Singapore's Gardens by the Bay.  We tried to cover both conservatories in only three (3) hours.  I recommend that you spend at least a day to get a full appreciation of The Gardens' beauty.
    • The conservatories are air-conditioned. You may want to bring a light jacket to wear inside.

    Please see also related articles on our Singapore-Malaysia adventure here:  Singapore-Malaysia Itinerary.


    For more information regarding Gardens by the Bay attractions please check their website "Gardens by the Bay".





    January 18, 2015

    View Park Hotel's Red Lemon Grill and Adam's Cafe


    Are you in search of tummy filling alternatives to your usual Tagaytay staple native restaurants? 

    We came to know of View Park Hotel's Red Lemon Grill by accident as we were traversing Tagaytay-Calamba Road from 8 Suites, which was our Tagaytay home for the weekend.  


    Red Lemon Grill is a modest restaurant operated by View Park Hotel.   The restaurant serves fusion Italian and Asian meals. 

    Indoor sitting capacity is limited with added few outdoor benches for guests who would rather enjoy the Tagaytay's weather out in the open.


    We were there on a Saturday night dinner.  And we were delighted to learn that they have an acoustic band that starts playing around 7pm.


    We had chopsuey, calamares, lechon kawali (sorry, I forgot the name of the food my eldest ordered).  Everything was delicious.  Servings was hefty, yet well within budget. 






    Their special chopsuey and melt in your mouth lechon kawali are highly recommended.



     We ended dinner  with brewed coffee, from Red Lemon Grill's adjoining coffee shop ~ Adam's Café.

    Adam's brewed coffee was perfect against the chilling Tagaytay weather. 






    VERDICT 
    • Thumbs up for Red Lemon Grill and Adam's Café.
    • Everything we ordered tasted great and price was about half the costs compared to other nearby restaurants.
    • Coffee was also excellent.  I recommend Adam's Café as an easy alternative to the always full packed Bag of Beans.
    • Unfortunately, the restaurant has no view of the famous Taal Volcano. But that was okay, since our accommodation at 8 Suites already has a majestic view of Taal. 
    Red Lemon Grill and Adam's Café  are located at
    3500 Calamba Road, Sungay East, Tagaytay City
    phone number: 584-4090



    For additional inquiries you may also check View Park Hotel's website at www.viewparkhotel.com.






    When you are having trouble getting pregnant

     
    Although pregnancy may come natural for most, this is not always the reality for some. Have you been wanting to conceive, but to no avail?  This article may be for you.


    A male’s inability to cause pregnancy in a fertile woman is called male infertility. If you think your man is experiencing infertility, always let him know you’re there to support him every step of the way.

    One of the reasons for male infertility is low sperm count and low sperm motility.

    There are several things you and your partner can do to improve his fertility.

    One of the things he can do is to avoid smoking.

    Smoking is known to mess with his manhood.


    Avoid eating junk foods and instead eat fruits and vegetables, especially those rich in Vitamin C, E, Omega-3 and Zinc.






    Avoiding hot tubs, which are known to be sperm killers. Soaking in hot tubs may work wonders on your man's aching muscles, but over exposure of his testicles to a high level of heat and can lead to fertility problems. 


    To know more about male fertility and additional help in conceiving, please check out www.diaperchamp.com


    Singapore - Malaysia Budget

    Sharing our expenses during our December 2014, 8D/7N travel to Singapore - Malaysia.




    I admit our budget is nothing close to frugal travelling, but will try to add notes, on how you can possibly save and make the most of your hard earned money. 

    Prices are in Philippine Pesos (using Php34 per SGD conversion) as of December 2014 and are broken down by day (except for hotel and combo tickets costs) based on our itinerary.  Cost is for 2 adults and 2 children, ages 6 and 10.

    Since we travelled on a peak season, airfare and hotel prices were obviously higher. You would be able to save a lot if you choose to travel on a non-peak season.


    If you have very little options and decided still to travel on a holiday, I suggest you book your airfare and hotel accommodations at least six (6) months in advance.  It is very rare that airlines and hotels will even lower their rates during peak seasons (which based on what I have seen starts 16th of December, all the way to the Chinese New Year). Remember: The earlier you book the more you will save.



    I. AIRFARE

    For 2 adults and 2 children is P 47,000 via Philippine Airlines (Booking PAL later on proves to be a wise decision, since Cebu Pacific had issues on numerous cancelled and delayed flights last December). 


    II. TRANSPORTATION
    Travel by taxi proved to be both efficient and convenient.  The attractions are not necessarily right next to the MRT or Bus station and still requires quite a bit of walking, which is strenuous if you are towing children.  Travel by taxi is roughly SGD15-20 from Orchard area to most of the tourists' attractions. 
     

    III. FOOD
    Price depends where you eat. Cost is expectedly more expensive inside resorts and parks.  I have noticed that most locals bring water container and refills it once empty. 

    Meals at hawker center is about SGD5-8 per viand, while prices at fast food restaurants cost SGD15-20. Hotel buffets range from expensive at SGD25-30 (for breakfast) to SGD80-100 (for lunch and dinner).  Note that prices are higher for holiday lunch and dinner.


    IV. HOTEL
    ITEM  PRICE   REMARKS 
    ROYAL PLAZA ON SCOTTS (ORCHARD) - SUPERIOR ROOM - 4 NIGHTS    32,000.00 This hotel is located in Orchard area.  It is very accessible to public transport and taxi fare is never more than SGD20 in most of Singapore's tourists' attractions.  At P8,000/day, we get free mini-bar (replenished daily) and wifi access for multiple devices. BTW, we have been upgraded to a Royal Premier Suite, which gave us access to the Royal club which included free buffet breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner for two. 
    LEGOLAND MALAYSIA - 1 NIGHT    19,000.00 Rate is for a Standard Room and included buffet breakfast for 4 and two days combo tickets to the Legoland Wetpark and Themepark. We were again upgraded to a Premier Suite.  To make the most out of your Legoland visit I strongly suggest you get a two days combo pass (however, this is only available to hotel guests).
    FESTIVE HOTEL RESORTS WORLD - 2 NIGHTS    29,000.00 Total cost is for a Deluxe Family Room and included tickets for 2 adults to SEA Aquarium, Universal Studio and Adventure Cove. Reservations was done through a Mastercard Promotion.


    DAY 1 - SINGAPORE CITY
    ITEM  PRICE   REMARKS 
    Asia Travel 3 in 1 combo ticket  - Adult P2400 / Child  P1800      8,400.00 Singapore Flyer, Ducktour and Gardens  by the Bay entrance to the twin conservatories 

    DAY 2 and 3 - LEGOLAND MALAYSIA
    ITEM  PRICE   REMARKS 
    Singapore - Malaysia - Singapore via SGMYTaxi Private Transfers      7,140.00 There aree cheaper options of travel from Singapore to Malaysia, but we opted for a door to door private transfer.  Cost is SGD105 per way. 
    Tickets to Legoland Themepark and Wetpark inclusive in the   n/a  Included in our hotel cost.
    Cabana Rental      3,220.00 Rental is not necessary, but very nice to have.  Cost is MYR280 for a whole day use.  Inclusive of Cabana rental, with mini refrigerator, electric fan, safety deposit box, 2 lounge chair, 2 lounge bed, 2 huge Legoland towels, 10 bottled drinks and wifi.

    DAY 4 - JURONG BIRD PARK and SCIENCE CENTRE
    ITEM  PRICE   REMARKS 
    Park Hopper Special 2 in 1      5,800.00 If you intend to do multiple zoo attractions, I suggest bookings online via zoo.com website and avail of their park hopper special.  We bought Jurong Bird Park and Singapore Day Zoo combo.
    Combo Science Center with Transformer Exhibit Tickets      3,672.00 We bought the tickets directly at the Science Center complex.  Adult - SGD32 / Child SGD22


    DAY 5 - SINGAPORE ZOO
    ITEM  PRICE   REMARKS 
    Zoo Entrance  n/a  Included in the park hopper ticket.
    Breakfast with the Orangutans      3,672.00 My boys enjoyed breakfast with Singapore Zoo's resident orangutans.  Adult SGD32 / Child SGD22


    DAY 6 - SENTOSA
    ITEM  PRICE   REMARKS 
    Sentosa Day Pass    10,064.00 The Sentosa Day Pass gives you single entry access to more than 20 attractions in Sentosa. Adult - SGD79/Child - SGD69.  


    DAY 7 AND 8 - UNIVERSAL STUDIO and SEA AQUARIUM
    ITEM  PRICE   REMARKS 
    Universal Studio Singapore (USS) and SEA Aquarium combo tickets through Asia Travel      4,624.00 Our USS and SEA Aquarium adult ticket came free with our Festive Hotel bookings, so we only bought USS and SEA Tickets for our children. Cost is SGD68 per child.


    Please see also the detailed itinerary of our Singapore-Malaysia travel. 

    "SINGAPORE - MALAYSIA Itinerary and Tips (8D/7N)".


    I hope you find this helpful as you plan your own Singapore-Malaysia adventure.  Let me know if you have questions, will try my best to answer them for you.