Sunday, November 13, 2016

MISSING: One Corydora


I just come to realize that I am missing one of my cory...  At first I thought has it jumped? Have I accidentally sweep it out when I was cleaning my tank? Or have my fishes gone carnivorous on me and ate it? *freaking out*

Then at the corner of my tank I saw what looked like fragments of scales and fish bone beads. Looks like the little fishy has quietly gone to fish heaven.

I felt sad because I thought I'm so focused on the big fish that I didn't even noticed that I was already missing a fish.

I guess it's like how my life is now...  Too focused on the big things that I didn't even notice the smaller blessing that comes my way till it's gone. Must be a little more conscious about these things. :)

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Walk this Way!

Today being the Philippines Independence Day, I am reminded of a tour that I went for a few months back ^_^

Walk this Way by Carlos Celdran is one of the most interesting and informative walking tours that I have been.

It's centers around the walled city of Intramuros, which was the center of everything way back when. In fact if you didn't know Manila Cathedral use to be kilometre zero. It tells a lot what was the center of everything during Spain Colonisation of the Philippines.

Carlos, with his little boom box walks us around and starts his storytelling during the Spanish era. One of the things I remember from his stories (hopefully without spoiling much of the tour) is that Philippines was never significant to the King of Spain, in fact it was only considered as a province of Mexico and has been given to the Religious Orders. The Philippines, if you observe, is the only non-Spanish speaking country after 300+ years in the colony, and the religious kept it that way for a reason. Not sure how factual is that but it does make you think doesn't it?

 Then in June 12, 1898, Emilio Aguinaldo declared our Philippine Independence after Filipino rebels defeated and demoralised Spain forces... Or so we may have thought when Philippines was actually sold to the US for 20 million dollars in the Treaty of Paris. However, American's coming to Philippine shores brought all the advancements of that time, from Education Thomasites, First Theatre,  and the First Airline in the region. They have bought all of these in 50 years (versus the 300 years of Spain)

Part of the tour was going to my Alma Mater's church, the last standing original church within the walled city after WWII. San Agustin Church, thanks to Red Cross that the church still stands where it is today, because it was used as the red cross center during the war. Eerie if you ask me, I remember having field trips here as a child and I never want to step on the floors, if you haven't notice they use to bury the dead on the church floors (and yes, I think they are all still there)

We end the tour with one of Filipino's favourite dessert called 'Halo-Halo', mix-mix if directly translated to english. It is a good analogy that Filipinos are like its favourite dessert, when you ask what is distinctly Filipino we are just a mix of everything.

I did enjoy the tour a lot, there is a lot more of information that you never thought made sense but it does. So, if you do have time or have tourist friends visiting I highly recommend this tour for you.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Single Ticket Please...

I have finally ticked a box in my to do list - to go watch a movie alone  รพ

The concept is not foreign to me as I do have a handful of friends who would watch movies alone and won't wait for anyone to ask them to watch it with. Somehow I never really felt that it was normal for me to watch a movie alone so pardon my ignorance about it.

So on my birthday leave I decided to take myself on the best date ever! 

My morning started with a home cooked breakfast then I prepared myself for a movie date - ticket for one :)

Birthdate, being too close to Valentines, I told myself any movie would do as long as its not a cheesy couple movie. Please, I don't want to be sitting in between canoodling couples in the dimly lit movie theatre. *queue song All By Myself*.  

I ended up watching something that triggers my interest with investment, which is good, something to plan for the future - The Big Short

The movie wasn't bad at all and in my experience there wasn't much difference with watching the movie with a friend or group of friends. All of you are just sitting there and watching the movie. And still there are those who talk in the middle of the movie who tries to share their unsolicited thoughts while it is still playing.

So after it all, what is the fear? There is actually nothing to fear about it... in fact I have watched a couple of movies solo after this. I've told myself, if ever I find work alone in another country I should be able to watch a movie alone. A movie is a movie.

I did share this experience with a friend, but then I was told I was in a path of depression.... what???where did that come from... #unfriend #knowItAll . hahaha.

Kidding aside, why I mentioned this is because, still, watching movie solo is not everyone's cup of tea. In the general view of things its still an exception rather than the norm.

I am happy I did it.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Walking Trail: Fort Canning Park Trees of the Fort Trail by Nparks


Following our nice Monument Trail we have signed up for another Nparks trail - Fort Canning, Trees of the Fort Trail. Our tour guide Anne, was quite knowledgable and interactive which made the trail really interesting.

Kapok or Cotton Tree lines up the perimeter of Fort Canning park. The thorny bark makes it distinct from other trees. Its flower pods that comes from these trees are used to stuff pillows, mattresses and life buoys. Kapok means 'floss' in Malay.
Septir is a very tall tree, it also sheds thorny pod like fruits. During World War II there was a Septir Tree that stood 50 meters tall in Changi, thus this tree is now commonly called as the 'Changi Tree'. Unfortunately the British had cut down the tree as the Japanese was using it as a marker to aim guns at Singapore. These days its illegal to cut any tree without permit. 

Just behind the Septir tree is another tall tree, Petai Kerayong. Its flowers are pollinated by bats, then those that are not pollinated end up on the ground like the one in the picture.

The Cannonball Tree is a sweet smelling tree. Its been called by its name because of its round sticky fruit that resembles a cannonball. It protects itself from crawling animals as it grows veins below its trunk.

Standing a few meters away from the Cannonball Tree is the Malayan Banyan. Fig trees such as this are called 'stranglers'. Once the sapling has established itself on the host plant, it will grow its roots down and eventually stranglers its host as it grows larger. (Side story: In the Philippines a common fig tree is the Balete. Known in local folklores where supernatural beings live and in some places sorcery and rituals are perform inside the chambers formed by the tree)

Lining the park trail is the Brazilian Ironwood, another common name for it is Leopard Tree. As its bark ages, its bark peels off to reveal colours ranging from light grey to whitish yellow. And you would think only humans who go for facials are vain, trees too can exfoliate.

The Common Red Stem Fig is one of the common plants cultivated by its fruits. This is pollinated by a specific type of fig wasp. Fig is the only tree that will produce fruit year round.

 Gelam or Melaleuca Cajuputi is a source of medicinal oil used for cough syrup and ointments for sprain and bruises. It leaves smells like eucalyptus when crushed. Kampong Glam is believe to have taken its name from this plant as it use to grow commonly in that area in the old days. It is also called a Paperbark Tree as the bark resembles like paper peeling. The bark smell like old books.

 The largest of the Madras Thorn is found in Fort Canning Park and has been given a Heritage Tree status. It is a bird tree as bird's uses the ferns as bird's nest and the fruits as food. As a Heritage Tree, the matured tree is maintained and conserved.

 There are a lot more trees in the park that can be explored. DIY walking trail guide are available in the Nparks website. Though I find it enjoyable to join the guided trail as our guide would give a more personal stories about the tree or the walk along the trail.

And so we end our trail all sweaty and then getting wet some more when the rain came pouring really hard... You can compare our faces from the first picture and now the last picture (LOL). But the morning was very enjoyable and fun. I'm looking forward to joining more trails like this in the future.