Monday, September 17, 2018

What Happy Looks Like Vol. 10

1. Adding a new Archie Comics graphic novel to my ever growing collection

Thanks Manila International Book Fair! I got this on a 20% discount.

2. Unexpectedly meeting my old mentor 

Carol is one of my two superiors from a previous job. I worked closely with her for four years. She taught me so much about how to be a good accounts person. I loved working with her because she's such a cool boss. Beautiful and fabulous to boot too!

3. Being able to workout on a rainy weekend

It's an awesome feeling to be able to sweat it out at the gym and fight off my laziness especially on a weekend because let's face it! Lazy weekends are love! But I want to stay fit and healthy too so it's great to have a balance - workout in the morning and spend the rest of the day relaxing.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Travel Diary: The Places to See in Malaysia Day 1

What's there to see in Malaysia? Honestly, the only one I know is the famous tourist attraction, the Petronas Twin Towers - the one that's indicative that you're in Kuala Lumpur. But the trip I planned for my mom was five days so of course I had to figure out what else could we see and do while in the country.

To find out, I naturally relied on Google for research. I visited blogs and travel sites for ideas on  tourist-y activities we could do that my mom, her friends and two early thirty-something ladies (that's me and my friend, Mai) would possibly enjoy doing while in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. But I also made use of a nifty service called Klook to get a couple more ideas. 

I didn't book any join in tour activities for the first day even though we were going to arrive in Kuala Lumpur by lunch time. I didn't want to risk missing out in case there's a delay in our flight and I certainly didn't want to stress myself out worrying that we had to meet a target time. The idea for the first day was to relax and go at our own pace. 

Tugu Negara (National Monument)

What this is is a sculpture that's built to commemorate Malaysia's fallen heroes - those who fought for the country's freedom against Japanese occupation during World War 2. The 48, 562 sq meter space is composed of five components which include: the Monument, the Pavillion, the surrounding gardens, the fountain and the war memorial. 

The first thing you'll see when you arrive in the place is the Cenotaph which actually remembers not only the heroes of both World War 1 and 2 but also the Malayan Emergency. This was erected by the British and it's original location was near the old Kuala Lumpur Railway station but it was moved here in 1964 since they were building a flyover downtown according to what I read. 

This is the Central Pavillion which is a sight to see because of its beautiful golden dome color. 

That's my Mom with her friends getting in the way of my shot! LOL! It was so hot and humid in the afternoon! Can you see my Mom's friend taking the photo? That's not her with a long grey hair! That's her jacket which she placed on her head for cover against the unforgiving heat of the sun!

That's Mai showing the surrounding view around Tugu Negara. The place is near the Lake Gardens which is another tourist attraction. We didn't go there anymore because it's more of a nature attraction - greenery and lush vegetation. I bet it would have been a relaxing view to see but I had my mother and her friends to consider and I was pretty sure it wasn't something they would have enjoyed seeing so much. The whole time we were in Kuala Lumpur, the attraction they kept asking me about was Petronas Twin Towers - specifically if and when we were going to see it. Our first day in Kuala Lumpur is a Monday so Petronas Twin Towers are close.  

Sultan Abdul Samad Building and Merdeka Square 

Another historical building we went to visit was Sultan Abdul Samad. It's a late nineteenth century building that housed the British colonial administration in its early years. 

While you can't go inside the building, you can explore its surroundings which is seriously nice for photos! I mean just look at those golden yellow facades. 


I read that this building also lights up at night - an even more beautiful sight to see but we couldn't wait for that since we were at the area early afternoon. We crossed right over to Merderka Square after exploring the area. 

The week that we went to Malaysia was the week they were gearing up to celebrate Hari Merderka (Independence Day) which was going to be on Friday, August 31 and Merdeka Square at the time was a busy place to be at. We were told by one of the Grab drivers we rode in that the place was were the celebrations were going to be held. We were still able to take some photos around the area though - walk around and have a photo of you taken with Sultan Abdul Samad building at the background.

And finally to wrap up our first day in the city, we visited the Kuala Lumpur Tower. I booked our tickets via Klook so we could skip the lines in this tourist attraction place. To go up to the lobby of the tower, you can take the free shuttle service they offer which is what we did because our Grab driver only dropped us off at the gate. 

The Kuala Lumpur Tower is a communications tower and it is considered to be the 7th tallest free standing tower in the world. Go up to the Observation Deck and the Sky Deck for a panoramic view of Kuala Lumpur city. Usually, the popular attraction people go to for that breathtaking view from above is the Petronas Twin Towers but from what I read, most tourists prefer to go to Kuala Lumpur Tower to enjoy that view.

Yes besh, mahangin sa labas! Luckily, I had a cute hair tie to hold my hair in place. 

Wait for night fall to enjoy this view even more and by night fall I mean, around 7:30 or 8 o'clock! The later, the better (though last call for KL Tower visitors is at 9!) because at 6:30 in the evening, which is around the time this photo was taken, the city still looks like it's only early afternoon! Europe feels! Not that I would know for sure because I've not been there but I heard that's how it looks like in that part of the world at that hour. 


Kuala Lumpur at night. Yes, that's a view of the Petronas Twin Towers right there all lighted up! I love the city even more at night! 

I actually thought we were going to miss this view. I thought we wouldn't be able to stick around long enough to see the city when all the lights in the buildings are on but we were in line to get in the Sky Box and it was a long wait! So long that my feet had numbed from standing so long! And it's cold by evening at the top so bring a light sweater or cardigan with you to keep you warm. 

Should you get in the Sky Box? Yes! Yes! Yes! Unless of course you've got fear of heights. Like a true blue acrophobia because while the surrounding view is amazing especially at night, the view down below is scary. 

This is a photo of the floor of Sky Box. Yup, it's an all glass view of the city from above and below. When we saw it, we got nervous to go in the box. But we did it anyway! Para sa picture my mom said! LOL! 

My mom's all smile in this photo. Doesn't look like she's scared at all, does she? Well just don't look down and you'll be fine!   

I found the Sky Box to be a nerve wracking experience but I wanted an IG worthy photo so in I went! LOL! I'm lucky to have had at least one photo worth sharing online! We actually took photos in a hurry because 1) we were scared! and 2) we didn't want to held the line up too long since there was  still a long line of tourists waiting for their turn to get in the box. If you do get in the Sky Box, I urge you not to think too much of the fact that you're 300 meters above ground and on the ledge too so you can get more awesome photos.  

There are two Sky Boxes. But this was the one with the longer line because it was the one with the view of Petronas Twin Towers on the background. If you don't care for that anyway, then you can get your photo taken at the other one since that also offers an amazing view of the city scape from above.   
Of course these are just the attractions we saw during our first day. There are lots more to show and tell you but you'll have to wait for my next blog post(s) for that! Meanwhile, you can also head on over to my Instagram page and follow me there so you can see a few more photos of my visit to Malaysia!   


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Books I'm Looking Forward to Reading

The advent of September for me means two awesome things: favorite series coming back on air after a season break and big book sales particularly the annual Manila International Book Fair and National Bookstore's Book Binge Bazaar.

Confession: Every time I'm in the mall, I almost drop by National Bookstore or Fully Booked to check out books and comics that I want to read and when I have the money to spare, I buy. Well this week both Manila International Book Fair and National Bookstore's Book Binge Bazaar are happening! Ubusan na ng pera! LOL! Kidding.

But if I am definitely going to check it out and maybe buy a book or two. Here are the books on my never ending list:

1. The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto

I've had this book on my list for the longest time! I said I'd wait for a paperback copy but up to this time, I haven't gotten around to buying it. Mitch Albom just has a way of writing about spirituality and life that would make you want to reflect about the way you live your life.

 2. All Your Perfects and Without Merit

Because I am a big fan of Colleen Hoover! Ever since I read Ugly Love. So yeah, I grew up reading romance novels and I describe myself as a hopeless romantic so love stories always draw me in. BUT Colleen - the way she writes, it's not any ordinary love story. It tugs your heart. It will make you cry whether over joy or sadness.

3. Archie Comics Graphic Novels

Because I love reading Archie Comics and in fact collect these comic books.

4. The Happiness Project

I actually briefly read Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project a few years ago. Borrowed the book from a friend but I didn't get to finish it as I got busy and the book was left collecting dust on my desk so I returned it. But I still want to read it.

5. The Trilogy books: To All the Boys I've Loved Before; P.S. I Still Love You and Always and Forever Lara Jean

I usually don't read books once I've seen the film version but I want to make the exemption for Jenny Han's books. It seems like a really cute young adult novel and I want to know what happens to Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky further.


Actually these are just top of mind books I want to read. Whenever I go to the bookstore, I usually find some more books I end up adding to my reading list. But anyhow, if I end up having some extra cash to spare when I go to MIBF, these will be some of the book titles I'd like to add to cart.

Are you going to MIBF? Or have you gone to MIBF yet since today is the first day of the annual book sale? What new books are on your reading list? 

Monday, September 10, 2018

What Happy Looks Like Vol. 9

Reviving this old blog series of mine where I share the awesome things that happened to me in the week. In case you're new to my blog or have forgotten about this blog post series of mine, I started this series to remind me of the good things that happen in my life big and small. It was inspired by Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project.

1. Donating old clothes and getting a discount voucher in exchange

If you've ever shopped at H&M, then you may have noticed that big billboard sign they have on their counter walls that encourages their customers to donate old clothes to the store. Whatever the state of your old clothing is - worn out, with a hole in it or maybe the color has faded - you can donate it at the store. Just show the cashier your bag of clothing donation and they'll give you a 15% discount voucher in exchange.

My friend, Jordan and I finally did that and got me this:

How awesome is this? I was not only able to declutter some of the stuff in my room such as my old clothes but I also got a discount voucher that I can use for my next H&M shopping!

2. Bonding over coffee

I love, love, love drinking coffee! So when Jordan invited me to chill over coffee, I jumped at the chance.

3. Made my first Carousell sale

Because I am doing some decluttering in my room, I also decided I'd sell some things I no longer use or want online. I signed up for Carousell account and posted some items there for sale. I made my first sale today when someone bought my old Nike rubber shoes. Yay! Additional money for HK trip!

4. This taho in the mall

When I was a kid, my mom used to buy taho for me almost everyday when Manong magtataho comes around our street in the morning. Somehow over the years, the sight of manong magtataho has become a rare thing so finding taho in the mall is awesome! Brings back memories of childhood taho days.

5. The shared dessert 

Speaking of nostalgia, when some of my friends and I were walking at the mall, we spotted a Mini Donuts vendor. Mini Donuts also used to be a favorite donut stall of most 90's kids. As years go by, some businesses close shop and I thought Mini Donuts was one of those that bit the dust. So imagine our thrill when we spotted this at the mall!

Rej shared his donuts with me.😊 These cinnamon flavored mini donuts are delicious!