Singapore Trip 2019 Part 1: Arriving and Settling In

Where the head of our family goes, Justin and I will follow, and Singapore was where we landed and stayed for 5 days, from August 12 to 16. The hubs has already gone to Singapore for his past missions, but it was mother and son’s first time to go there. I hope and pray that it won’t be the last time because honestly, we fell in love with the place for so many reasons that I will point out as I go along with my blog post.

It was already past 5:00 in the afternoon when we arrived at Terminal 4 of the Changi Airport. It was truly awesome! The floor was carpeted, mind you. Our first stop after more than 3 hours of flight was the restroom. It was spotless with tissue and a toilet sanitizer at that! The foaming hand foam smelled really good, too! Restrooms at Changi Airport deserve another blog post, and I will do that soon.

We were greeted by this kinetic sculpture (Petal Clouds) at Terminal 4 upon arrival. These Petal Clouds in action are one of the attractions tourists will see at Changi Airport. It didn’t take us long to get our baggage at the claim area after a fast Immigration clearance. We arrived at our hotel from Changi Airport in less than one hour. Traffic flow was smooth, and we didn’t experience any bumpy roads on our very first taxi ride in Singapore.

Where We Stayed

Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre became our home for five days in Singapore.

All three of us fit in this comfy bed.

Our bathroom with complete bathroom amenities

Our hotel room comes with a Handy smartphone that we can take out and use for free calls and Internet during our stay. Cool!

Holiday Inn is located along Orchard Road, Singapore’s most popular shopping street. That means we only had to walk a short distance from our hotel to go to the various shopping centers and dining destinations. But nope, we didn’t do any shopping there because we didn’t have any budget for that. Haha!

Our First Dinner

Our first food stop in Singapore was at Bao Today, a dim sum place at 313@Somerset.

Food offerings at Bao Today are good yet inexpensive. That’s why we kept coming back. We highly recommend this place for first-timers in Singapore.

On our way back to our hotel, we passed by Uncle Ching’s ice cream stand, and we bought wafer ice cream.

My favorite Durian wafer ice cream from Uncle Chings’ Yummy!

Part 2 of our Singapore trip will cover the places we went and activities we did during our 5-day family vacation in Singapore, so watch out for that.

Posted in 313@Somerset, Bao Today, Changi Airport, Family Trip, Family Vacation, Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre, Orchard Road, Petal Clouds, Singapore, Singapore Trip 2019, Uncle Ching’s, Wafer Ice Cream | Leave a comment

Grade 7 Achievements and Learnings

The memory of my son weeping about his transfer to a new school is still clear to me. He said he would miss his classmates and friends from his old school, and I kept assuring him he would gain more friends in Pisay. It took a lot of convincing and coaxing to make him finally agree to this arrangement, but he easily warmed up to his new classmates in Grade 7-Emerald during orientation and was excitedly looking forward to their first day in school. He just started Grade 8 recently, and before school gets hectic again, I just want to remind my son of how he survived Grade 7, what he accomplished last school year, and how he can do better in Grade 8.

Justin got a bit of a culture shock in Math during Grade 7. Math used to be his strong point in grade school, so it became quite frustrating for him to realize that he was not fast enough to finish some of his Math quizzes/tests and not prepared enough for some of the quiz/test questions that he was not expecting to come out. At one point last year, he even mentioned he regretted not having MTG (Mathematics Trainers’ Guild) training. This he said could have prepared him better for Pisay Math. While this minor setback dampened his spirits, he continued to persevere and worked even harder to rise to the challenge, and he outdid himself in the last two quarters of Grade 7.

We got his report card showing a GWA (general weighted average) of 1.372 and two certificates of merit for being in the Director’s List for the last two quarters of SY 2018-2019. Achievement unlocked! I was the happiest mom not much for the recognition (I was happy for that, too!) but more so for the perseverance, hard work, and determination he showed during the second half of Grade 7. “Never giving up when the going gets tough” helped him recover and regain his self-confidence. That was his motto way back in grade school and up to now. And while he experienced toxic schedules in Grade 7, he also realized that procrastination and cramming won’t get him anywhere. I hope he makes use of this learning experience in Grade 8.

Posted in Achievements, Grade 7, Grade 7-Emerald, Philippine Science High School, PISAY, PSHS, PSHS Main Campus, PSHS-MC | Leave a comment

First Day High: Grade 8 at Pisay

I thought I wouldn’t be able to take a picture of my son on his 1st day of 8th grade, but I found a way to do just that. Having had to pick up Justin’s books which my mommy friend entrusted with the Gate 1 security guard of Pisay was a blessing in disguise. Doing so allowed me to walk with my son to the school’s entrance and take a photo of him and his friend before they finally dashed off to the gym for their flag ceremony.

I will never get tired of taking this obligatory first-day-of-school photo of my son. I’ve been consistently doing this since Kinder 2 at La Salle Greenhills, and I intend to keep doing it until his college years. Good luck, Justin! I hope you retain those fuller cheeks until the end of Grade 8.

Posted in First Day High, First Day of School, Grade 8, Philippine Science High School, PISAY, PSHS Main Campus, PSHS-MC | Leave a comment

Post-Birthday Celebration with Friends

Justin’s 13th birthday happened more than a month ago, but he was only able to celebrate it recently with his three closest male friends in Pisay who were also his classmates in Grade 7. After their enrolment/reorientation last Thursday, August 1, all four boys (we call them 4J’s) bonded over Timezone and good old American food at Ayala Malls Vertis North. We call our boys the 4J’s because all their first names start with “J.”

Enrolment time

Playtime at Timezone

Chow time at Nathan’s Famous

The 4J’s with the Active Moms

We all want these boys to enjoy and have fun while they still can because for sure, Grade 8 will be more challenging, more stressful, and more exhausting. My son’s baptism of fire, which happened in Grade 7, was made more bearable because the three other J’s became not just his classmates but his closest friends. I do hope they remain friends for life.

Posted in Ayala Malls Vertis North, Chow Time, Enrolment Time, Nathan's Famous, Philippine Science High School, PISAY, Playtime, Post-Birthday Celebration, PSHS, PSHS Main Campus, PSHS-MC, Timezone | Leave a comment

SAFE STEPS Kids Programme Educates Young Pinoys on How to Save Lives during Emergencies

One of the things that worries me as a mom, especially when I’m not with my son, is when he gets caught up in emergency situations that he isn’t prepared for. In cases of earthquakes, fire, or lockdowns in school, does he know what to do, and if he does, will he be able to execute what he knows in situations that may paralyze even the most knowledgeable adult? Good thing I was able to attend an event that alleviated my fear.

SAFE STEPS Kids, a new safety awareness programme developed by Prudence Foundation, in partnership with Cartoon Network, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) was officially launched last Friday at Manila Ocean Park. It aims to equip millions of children across the country with life-saving information that they can apply in the event of emergencies or disaster situations.

In 2014, Manny Pacquiao helped launch the successful, more adult-focused SAFE STEPS programme, which sought to enhance disaster preparedness and awareness by providing key survival tips for natural disasters. Now Prudence Foundation’s SAFE STEPS Kids programme has expanded to reach a younger generation and includes a series of kid-centric, practical, and easy-to-understand tips with the help of Cartoon Network’s well-loved cartoon characters.

The initiative comprises a series of twelve (12) 50-second public service announcements. Each video features a set of characters from a well-known Cartoon Network series who will anchor the storytelling process to raise awareness and provide educational information to Filipino kids. The messages addressing three types of key life-threating issues (Disasters, First Aid, and Road Safety) are approved by IFRC.

Earthquake survival tip: Stay away from windows, glass, and heavy objects.

The first category of videos to launch focuses on Disasters (Fire, Flood, Typhoon, and Earthquake), featuring the irrepressible superhero trio, The Powerpuff Girls. Later in the year, the First Aid episodes (Choking, Broken Bones, Burns, and Wound/Severe Bleeding) will be rolled out, featuring We Bare Bears. Last but not the least are the videos on Road Safety (Seatbelt, Helmet, Pedestrian, and Distracted Driving), featuring characters from The Amazing World of Gumball.

Fire survival tip: Crawl to stay below the smoke.

The videos on the Disaster topics have been on air since May 2019 across Cartoon Network’s channel in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Philippines. From August 2019 onwards, First Aid and Road Safety topics will be released.

“Efforts to simplify any process for kids, especially in the matter of safety, will always be a worthwhile initiative the Department of Education (DepEd) will openly embrace,” said DepEd Undersecretary Alain Del B. Pascua

“SAFE STEP Kids programme is a great opportunity to build a culture of safety in the Philippines, which we carry out through school safety or humanitarian education on disaster risk reduction and health promotion. This initiative does not only educate, but also enables children to be proactive when it comes to saving lives at an early age,” said PRC Chairman Richard Gordon.

“For DepEd, finding the right partners, with the same dedication to learners, and committed to Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones’ vision of providing Quality, Accessible, Relevant, and Liberating Basic Education for all is always key. Being able to effectively reach our learners, and in a format and manner they enjoy, is a welcome bonus” added Usec. Pascua.

The educational messages and videos are available for easy viewing on the SAFE STEPS Kids website ( and complement a series of collaterals (infographics and other print materials) that will be distributed to schools and communities across the country.

Leslie Lee, Vice President of Cartoon Network in Asia Pacific, added: “This unique partnership uses characters from shows that are really well loved in the Philippines. As the leading kids’ channel in the Philippines, Cartoon Network can create content that helps make this important message resonate with kids and their parents. Once again, the day is saved thanks to The Powerpuff Girls.”

These videos will air on Cartoon Network on Cignal Digital TV Channel 220 (HD), Sky Direct Channel 15 (HD), SkyCable Channel 178 (HD), and Destiny Cable Channel 178 (HD Digital) and on Cartoon Network’s social and online video platforms, websites and apps, including Cartoon Network Watch and Play.

Posted in Cartoon Network, Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Risk Reduction, Disasters, Emergencies, First Aid, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Life-Saving Tips, Natural Disasters, Philippine Red Cross, Prudence Foundation, Road Safety, SAFE STEPS Kids, Safety Awareness Programme, Saving Lives, Survival Tips | 16 Comments