Starting the school year right. ✏️ Any student from the Philippines has brought them for school—the typical 50- or 80-leaves notebooks stapled to bind and printed with red and blue lines. These notebooks would have cartoon characters or Filipino celebrities on the cover. They have the red margin to the left of the page as a guide for numbering lines. While I grew up with these notebooks, I despise them now as a parent. I've bought Holly two sets of these red-and-blue lined notebooks for 2nd and 3rd grade, and each time her notebooks didn't stand the continuous use. The weak card stock covers tore off from the rest of the notebook, the pages fold and bend so easily, and tear if the kid applies too much glue on the page. I . . .
It's our final day at Singapore, which surprisingly was difficult to plan for because we didn't know what exactly we wanted to do or visit for our last hurrah. Eventually I decided to take the kids to KidZania Singapore, an indoor theme park which promises an interactive learning experience where kids could become whatever they wanted to be—a doctor, a fireman, a pilot, etc. We got on the Sentosa Express again, stepped down at the last station, and walked all the way to the large building with an airplane sticking out of its front. Thinking that it was going to be some sort of playhouse x 1000, I told Jayson I'd take the kids myself, while he tours his mom and sister around the island. What I didn't expect were the different . . .
Happy 5th birthday to my youngest son and my personal bodyguard, Noah! 🎂 This photo's taken on the bus heading to VivoCity Mall where we'll be able to catch the Sentosa Express. It'll take us to Resorts World Sentosa, where the kids will finally get to have their fun at Universal Studios Singapore. The kids have been waiting for this day for months, talking nonstop about what they'd do and the rides they're gonna get on. It's heartwarming to see just how happy they are now that they're finally at its doors. Noah was especially excited because he gets to visit The Lost World where his favorite dinosaurs are waiting for him. While he wanted to make a beeline for the park, we managed to convince him to try all of the . . .
If there's one place I wouldn't hesitate to splurge on plushies and stainless steel tumblers, it's Wildlife Reserves Singapore. We visited two of their famous attractions for our second day in the country: Singapore Zoo + River Safari. I want the kids to see, smell, hear, and learn about these beautiful creatures they've come to know by watching Wild Kratts. We hopped on the SAEX bus for the 50-minute drive to Singapore Zoo. It was a pretty smooth ride, despite the 25-minute delay the kids wouldn't stop yapping about. We eventually arrived, and thankfully the weather was just right. Welcome to Singapore Zoo! Singapore Zoo's our first stop, and they were running this exhibit called Dragons & Beasts: Where Inspiration Meets . . .
No matter how optimistic I envision myself to be about writing travel updates on schedule, Body and Mind just don't give a damn if rest comes a-knocking. The trip from the Philippines was a long and tiring one, no thanks to Philippine Airlines for making us get up at 3am, only to wait more due to a 3-hour delay. But we're finally here in Singapore, and we made it to our hotel, The Quay Hotel, safe and sound! This is our second visit since 2012—7 freakin' years ago—and the kids are so excited for what we have in store for them. For their first day, we gave them a taste of public transportation by taking the MRT from Changi Airport Singapore all the way to Clarke Quay, which was a 45-minute ride + a 15-minute walk to the . . .
Don't be fooled. The entire collection wouldn't fit this tiny bag even if I tried. As soon as we received our Japan visas, all I could dream about was bringing home beautiful, quality Japanese stationery. Some would even say it has a cult following—communities of enthusiasts gushing over the creamy pages, clean-cut bindings, and gorgeous inks. I fell head-over-heels in love when I first held the Apica CD notebook (A5) with grid paper. It had some of the smoothest paper any writer could behold. 😍 But try as I could, my budget and my suitcase wasn't big enough to bring back every Japanese notebook, paper, and pencils I could get my hands on, but I did choose items that were both in my wish list for some time and that I just had . . .
Visit the project at https://www.turnsofplace.com/ Four years worth of correspondence, four years of stories. That pretty much sums up what this writing project is about. I've not mentioned it since launching Diwa Daily, so I thought today's a great time to introduce this collaboration between myself and my good friend and fellow writer, Johna Baylon: Turns of Place What's Turns of Place? It's an exchange of letters across borders between myself 🇵🇭 and Johnalene Baylon 🇭🇰/🇨🇦 The project highlights the key events of our travels, lessons those journeys have taught us, and the experience of returning and finding our way back home. The main section of the project consists of twenty letters, each of us writing ten . . .
Taken at four in the afternoon—not the best time for raw phone photos It is never too late to be what you might have been.George Eliot Three months have gone by in such a hurry. As soon as I got back from Japan, I was head down in work for two weeks before I was on another plane to the USA. Those three long weeks were some of the best I've had, with so many experiences that completely trumped my trip back in 2016. But I know this also meant I had left Diwa Daily to dry, to gather cobwebs once again and completely break the system I've set up for it. So, hi 👋, and I'm really sorry for not updating DD for the past three months. 🙏 My theme for 2019 One of the reasons why I started this blog was to be more in tune . . .
Jayson and I have made it our personal mission to take Noah to Universal Studios to see Jurassic Park in all its dino glory. 🦖 We eventually managed to save up and book plane tickets to Singapore for this summer, but I was ecstatic when Universal Studios Japan made it to our Japan itinerary as well! Not only does Noah get to see all the dinosaurs at the park, but I'll be able to finally see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for the first time—another dream come true for this Hufflepuff! ⚡ We're about to enter the theme park RAAAWWRRR! Day 2 of our trip was reserved solely for the theme park, and we got there around 9-ish to be able to make the most out of our stay. What we didn't expect was how intense the crowds were, and . . .
Patience is bitter, but the fruit is sweet.Artistotle The family and I are visiting Japan for the first time to celebrate the new year with my dad, his family, and my sisters. I've been looking forward to this trip since the beginning of the year that being here at this hotel desk at 5:30 in the morning truly sweetened the long and arduous wait. Though we've got our hands full with three boisterous children every minute of the day, I'm so glad we're all given this opportunity to experience what Japan has to share with the world. I've seen the torii gates in photos and anime, and have always been drawn to their serenity and history. Taking my own tranquil steps through the gates, and standing in front of the . . .