Category Archives: Family days

Super Moms

SuperMoms

“Honor your … mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), (3) “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” (Eph. 6:2-3)

Mother's Day

My Supermoms (credits to Lalooshes)

What would be more apt on this special day than to write a post that honors the women who in many ways have shaped me to what I have become today? Besides, I do not want to miss out on the blessings that come with it nor be cursed for not giving the honor due them! Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!

Supermom #1…

She is our granny but we fondly call her “Nanang” meaning mother. A very strong woman who raised chicken, goats, pigs, and pesky little humans. From her came lessons of frugality (by serving inexpensive meals though she can afford a lot better :D), responsibility (I got bouts of beating for not doing my assigned chores to the dot) and farming (how to thwart a brooding hen was one of the basics). Now she’s old and can barely scare the ducks away from the porch but still graces our trips to the beach with her old-redundant-rhetorics which I find rather amusing!

Supermom #2…

What would this post be if this woman is not part of it? My mother is a living and breathing Superwoman minus the cape and mask (Would love to see her wear such).  She is a package large enough to not fit in a house no matter the size. A wife, mother, father, cook, laundry woman, gardener, electrician, carpenter, Teacher, Researcher, Author, Editor, Agriculturist, School Administrator and a whole bunch of other things. Much of the strengths I have were forged by her. Should she be the benchmark, I’d say she did a lousy job 😀

Supermom #3

She is the most special person in this post – the mother of my kid (and a half) and the love of my life…she inspires me in my endeavors but keeps me grounded at the same time. She loves me and my son that in itself makes her Super!

Supermom #4, #5, #6…

They are works in progress (aren’t we all?) but are doing great!

#4 is a mother of 2 girls who are growing with great promise and beauty!

#5 is a mother of smart little girl who could outclass “Dora the Explorer”.

#6 has a 3-year old son possessing the discipline expected of a 10 year-old in the dining table.

Supermom #7…

This young lady is technically not a mom but has as much if not more experience than #3 to #6. Much of the mothering those kids above received was from her. Her greatest achievement so far is making my son love her so much that he wants to marry her!

Oh I almost forgot, to those who would raise their brows and believe mothers are not that important perhaps reading my previous post here would help you think otherwise.

Tiny Slippers

Dear Jacob,

I have already lost count of the number of times we have been away from each other. It is inevitable, given your Mom’s current condition or at least I like to think of it that way. I expected that it is not going to get this tough not having you and your mom around having been through it countless times but I was wrong. I have no problem taking care of the basic things like laundry, cleaning of the room and preparing my own meals but the silence is beyond bearable.

I arrived in our house at around 3 AM on Sunday excited of the freedom that I am going to have while you are away. I practically leaped to the bed upon reaching our room and I am sure there was this devious grin on my lips. Don’t get me wrong. It is not that your presence is unwanted, I love having you around and totally enjoy the days we spend together just you and I. However, adults sometimes need time to be alone, and quiet to do what they have to do and put their lives into perspective. I was about to raise my hands in celebration of the many quiet hours ahead when my eyes froze on those tiny slippers at the base of the cupboard that seem to be waiting for your wiggly feet. My moment of joy was cut short by the underlying implication of not having you around which my conscious brain keeps pushing back. I will miss a lot of things most of all your stories, unending questions of why things are like this or that and our Father and son escapes.

Those tiny slippers had their way in me. They seem to be staring back with questioning eyes…where are those wiggly little feet? It’s been a while why haven’t they come to take us for a walk?

It is going to be a week since I left and many times I have been tempted to pick-up those tiny slippers and hide them away in the store-room but I have chosen not to. I want them to be where I can see them as a reminder that I have to make wise decisions so in the future we will not have to be separated again.

I am having a hard time coping up for now but I will be fine…more or less.

Love,

Dad

Touristy Park – Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden

I was scheduled to work nightshift overtime but my boss called me to work the following day instead. It was already late in the afternoon, a very tempting time to just sit down and splurge into facebook but I have promised to bring my son out. So I hurriedly geared him up with one word in mind – “International”.

There is this place I went with him before where kids of all sorts of skin colour flock in, that is Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden. I thought this place would be perfect for the few hours we have to spend outdoors. We took a train to Orchard area then boarded a bus to Singapore Botanic Gardens. It was too late when I realized that Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden is located at the Bukit Timah side which is exactly the opposite of where we dropped off – What was I thinking???? I was tempted to hail a Cab to take us there but it would defeat the value on which this “escape of father and son” was built – have fun and do it cheaply! So we trekked through the lush greenery stopping from time to time to enjoy some of the attractions Singapore Botanic Gardens has to offer.  It was worth my walk and my son’s ride on my shoulders. Whewww!

On the Way to Jacob Ballas Children's Garden

On the way to Jacob Ballas Children's Garden

The 20 – minute hike seemed endless and I was getting tired. Just when I was about to grumble and ask my son to get-off my back I saw this sign which got my adrenaline flowing!

Just a few minutes more!!

With just a couple of minutes more we finally reached the destination. Along the way my son was complaining that he was very hungry and that his stomach was “growling like a monster”. There’s a small canteen at the entrance of the garden and just when I was about to order food my son was pulling on my shirt excited to go inside the garden and eat later! “What about the monster growling in your stomach?” I asked. He just answered with a brief “Let’s go”. So that was just what we did!

Inside the garden was already bustling with children playing rough-wet-wild-and-dirty of course my son immediately joined the chaos! There are plenty of things to do in the garden but he likes to do 2 things only…play in the sand box and get wet in the fountain!

A Sand Box full of fun!!!

Wet-Wild-and-Dirty! Picture frenzy for the Blogger Moms.

So if you are like me who is financially constrained to be able to bring his son to international school and yet would like to expose your kid to international culture, Jacob Ballas children’s garden is for you :P. Guess I sound Kiasu there huh! In fact after playing at the fountain with all those western kids hearing their western-English-twang my son approached me saying “Deydi! Eyts quite Cawld in heyr”! So I rest my case. More photos in FaceBook

Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden is open daily from 8am to 7PM except on Mondays and could be reached by bus SBS Bus No. 48, 66, 151, 153, 154, 156, 170, 186 and SMRT Bus No. 67, 171. Alight along Bukit Timah Road, NUS Bukit Timah Campus bus stop. It is open to children up to 12 years old who MUST be accompanied by an adult and admission is FREE. Food is not a problem since they have a canteen which offers great western comfort food. For more info check out their site at http://www.sbg.org.sg/bukittimahcore/ChildrenGarden.asp.

Harmoni One Hotel and Service Apartments

  Photo From their Website

Last month I went to Batam, Indonesia  with my family for our first ever family out of town together. We had a 2D1N stay in Harmoni One (Hotel and Service Apartments). Though our stay was brief to give a comprehensive review, I will still spill out my mind. After all, first impression lasts they say.

The Plus   

  • The place is elegantly designed inside out and “elegant”, I believe is the perfect adjective for Harmoni one Hotel and Service Apartments. The swimming pool area makes you feel like you are not in Indonesia but somewhere in the mid-east or Europe maybe.
  • They have very friendly and polite crew which is what guests always want.
  • Very efficient service. Check-in and check-out was brief!
  • Really Cosy place! With a lot of rooms to cater for functions or seminars.
  • Great value for money! A 4-star hotel of this calibre is expected to charge more.
Photo From their Website

The Minus

  • Tobacco Stench everywhere including their restaurants! This decreases the relaxing factor because at times and at certain areas it is difficult to breath. When we entered our room which looked freshly done, still the smell of burned tobacco was there. This is one huge smoking area!
  • I love their crew and I saw how hard they worked but during the wee hours they were still noisily carrying out their work. I heard shouts and bangs even at dawn.
  • The food! A place as elegant as this should have a matching delectable cuisine!

All in all Harmoni One is a great place to stay! I would recommend this place to my friends…in fact, many of them booked the same tour and stayed in the same hotel and all of them gave the same impression of elegance!

Rating? 4 out of a scale of 5. Minus 1 for the food :P.

First Family Out of Town

Yes you read it right this was officially our first family out of town vacation with no other agenda but to spend time together. Me and my wife spent time checking deals in the internet and in the end we booked a 2D1N batam getaway offered by deal.com.sg. It was short but it was fun and relaxing.

We took a ferry to Batam and were surprised that there was a complimentary guided tour (by BEST of Tour) included in our package although it was not that interesting 😦 (I am sad to say that). We visited a layered cake factory (or bakery) and got to taste freshly baked layered cakes. The cakes were good but the tour guide did not deliver her promise that we will get to watch them make the cake instead I got to see them slice the cakes! At least that part I saw 😛

Included in our package was a 5-course seafood lunch. We had our lunch at the Golden Prawn 933 restaurant. The food was fine though it’s not the best seafood lunch I had or maybe my expectation was up because of the “5-course” description. I have this notion that an “X-course” meal means fine dining with excellent service so I would rather call it a 5-dish lunch hehehe… My son did not like much of the food but me and my wife were hungry so we dug in!

We toured around for a few more hours in souvenir shops then to a shopping mall. Imagine my boredom…but my wife and the other 4 tourists travelling with us seemed excited. Once at the Batam City Square mall, me, and my son separated from the shopping crowd to a game arcade. I was expecting an enjoyable time but the place smelled bad because most of the people there were adults and smokers! Me and my son had to withdraw to a play pen which I’m sure he enjoyed a lot!

After an hour in the mall we were taken to the Hotel (FINALLY!!!). Harmoni One (Convention Hotel & Service Apartments) has an elegantly designed Façade which awed all of us as we entered the driveway. The lobby I must say is equally elegant with matching large furnitures and chandeliers (again that stench of burned tobacco). My son’s jaw dropped once in the lobby and was even more ecstatic when we entered our room. He’s got this thing about nice and elegant places that by the time we went home he was crying along the way saying “Ayaw kong umuwi! Ang Panget ng House natin!!!” (Trans. I don’t want to go home! Our house is so ugly!!!). We had a great time at the Jacuzzi and swimming pool! They also have gymn facilities but I did not even have a look because the swimming pool was so inviting.

After dinner we went to our long awaited Javanese Massage! Me and my Wife were actually worried about where to keep our son in holding while having our stress relieving time. Divine intervention had it that our son drowsed off while listening to the soulful songs rendered live at the Lobby Lounge. So we had our 2-hour massage + body scrub undisturbed. The massage was good although painful at times but the body scrub was an indulgence – so relaxing that the masseuse had to wake me up afterwards. You might have guessed just right that I continued snoring once I reached our room 😀

In the following morning we had a great buffet breakfast (although again the food is not the best Batam has to offer) at the Bamboe Café & restaurant just at the hotel lobby. We ordered beef bolognaise via room service before checking out and as expected it was not as good as that of Pasta Mania. Harmoni one I could say is a sight indulgence but lacking in culinary appeal. My overdue review of the Hotel coming up shortly.

We had a great time together as a family and at the moment we are planning for another one which is very soon! Stay tuned for it. Meanwhile, check out our photos…

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